The first baseball cards of 2020 have hit the shelves in the US. Topps Series 1 is out, and people on Reddit are talking. Because that's what people on Reddit do.
If I'm lucky, I'll get my hands on a few cards at the end of the month. There's a card show in Nagoya that I'm hoping to attend as a part of an overnight trip, and it's possible that someone will have the new hotness.
Perhaps I'll revisit these thoughts in the future, but my first impression is a lack of impression. I'm not impressed.
The Fox Sports Infographic design is constrictive, making the image area too narrow on vertical cards. Horizontal cards still have the design on the vertical size, making the area more like an old TV than a widevision movie screen. I'm glad that player images go over the design. I can handle the sideways player names, but when the name is on the right, it really feels like the card should be sideways.
I think the Topps Now year in review cards are a waste of cardboard and more of a shameless marketing ploy. Really, most of Topps' cards showing images of cards in the past few years have been tacky. Decade's Next is very boring. Turkey Red, a set I've collected many times in the past, is just tired now. Based on the images I've seen, they just don't look impressive. I have nothing nice to say about the Home Run Challenge cards, and are the 1985-style inserts any different from what we'd expect?
The Rookie Card logo medallion cards are odd because of the placement of the medallions. They're not in the place where the original cards had the logos, or would have the logos in the case of rookie cards of days yore. Stephen Strasburg's 2010 Topps card has the RC logo right over the Nationals logo, with the medallion above that, right next to his chest. This might be because of how they have to assemble these kinds of cards. But no sir, I don't like it.
Baseball Stars reminds me of 20-year old Bowman. Decades of Dominance only has one active player (to be expected, I suppose) but has a modern design. With a more "classic" feel I think I could have been behind this set from the beginning, though after seeing them in person I might change my mind. Why does Topps have 30-card sets for Hoskins and Guerrero other than a cash-grab?
After all this old-man-complaining, what is good about Series 1?
The Global Game Medallion set looks interesting. I won't be chasing the set, but it's got a nice idea and the horizontal design suits big manupatches and medallions. Usually, I am happy with the medallion sets Topps creates. The manufactured sleeve patch cards are neat as well, though I think the vertical design makes the photo seem squished. Furthermore, I actually like the triangle/pyramid/up-arrow design of the Postseason and World Series hits.
And Decades Best is my favorite. I probably won't go after the 100-card set; it's just too big. I could be interested in one card from every decade (it's a shame they only seem to go back to the '40s or '50s - surprisingly there's no Ruth, Wagner, Cobb, or Gehrig). The team cards might fit somewhere in my collection, too. Honestly, if I could built this set for about 25 cents a card, I'd be interested. (I could do without the Chrome parallel. Unless it's a full set that can be had for $25... then I'm in.)
As always, I pick up a full flagship set once Series 2 hits shelves. But beyond my type collection, I think my want list will remain safe for a few more weeks.
How tired is Turkey Red? Did you notice that the card above is really from the 2006 set? Here's some 2020:
By the way, if you didn't infer it from my earlier comment (I don't have any 2020 Topps yet), none of these cards are mine, and many are promotional images.
Have you picked up any 2020 Topps Series 1? What are your thoughts?