Tuesday, January 15, 2019

So Predictable

It seems as if Topps is going through the same cycle, year after year, with their Series 1, 2, and Update sets for the last couple of years now. 

Since 2017, we've seen a previous Topps set honored with 3 100-card insert sets across 3 sets. Additionally, Topps has also attempted a couple of unsuccessful promotions, starting with Rediscover Topps, then the Home Run Challenge cards.

Similarly, 2017 featured an homage to the wood-bordered 1987 Topps set as it was included as an insert set in Series 1, Series 2, Topps Update, and Topps Chrome as well. 2018 featured a similar story, only this time, it was 1983 Topps instead.

This was probably the best Rediscover Topps card that I pulled out of all the 2017 products. A 1989 Topps card of Roger Clemens with a bronze buyback stamp. Considering that most of the promotional Rediscover Topps cards were from the late 80s, pulling a card from 1989 isn't all that uncommon. Despite steroid rumors, Clemens appears on this card on the Red Sox, and if nothing else, it's one of the better buybacks you can get from this era.

While the Clemens buyback is the best Rediscover Topps card that I pulled, my favorite promo cards would have to be these 2 Montreal Expos buyback cards from 1971 Topps. It's hard to go wrong with one of my favorite Topps sets ever made and one of my favorite teams in Baseball history.

Apparently, different there are certain color stamps that cause some cards to be rarer than others. Although it's hard to see, the gold stamp on the Dan McGinn cards signifies that it's less common than the silver-stamped Bob Bailey.

Also found in Allen & Ginter and Topps Heritage, the buybacks weren't that well-received, and I must say that I wasn't a huge fan of them due to their confusing nature. I don't understand why this 1985 Topps common has a blue stamp, meaning it's the 2nd rarest type of buyback. 

Rather than giving away 2 million cards consisting mainly of late 80s cards, it would've been nice to see cards from the early 80s and earlier, even if it meant fewer cards would be given away.

With a drastic rise in power hitting in 2017, the 2018 promotion across multiple Topps set was the Home Run Challenge contest. Another promotion that failed to blow collectors away, cards were inserted in packs with codes on the back and a player on the front. 

When you entered the contest, you had to choose the game in which you think the player on the front of the card would hit a home run. If you guess correctly, you would win an exclusive parallel card of that player.

I pulled this Aaron Judge Home Run Challenge card out of Allen & Ginter at The National last summer, but he was injured for multiple weeks after. By the time he was healthy and back in the lineup, I had completely forgotten to enter the code for a chance to win for the Judge and Votto cards.

Still, with the unpredictability of hitters in Baseball, I doubt my picks for either of these guys would've been successful.

Bryce Harper has had a lot of success on Opening Day throughout his career, so I felt it was a no-brainer to enter this card for the first day of the season. However, when the Nationals game was canceled due to rain, my pick did not carry over. I had zero control over the game being canceled due to rain, and yet my pick didn't count. 

It was just 1 day into the 2018 MLB season, yet I already knew I wasn't going to be entering a code from another Home Run Challenge card. 

Like I mentioned earlier, both 2017 and 2018 Topps paid tribute to previous Topps sets, both from the 1980s, starting with the 1987 set which was included as an insert throughout the 2017 products. It seemed like a good idea at first with 100 different players, both past and present, being represented in Series 1.

With that being said, the idea was definitely overdone in Series 2 and once Topps Update came along, I don't think anyone wanted to see another card in the 1987 Topps design again. Even with Topps Chrome providing a shiny alternative to the regular 1987 cards, Topps definitely went overboard with this insert set, and I was hoping they'd rectify that with 1983 in 2018.

Despite the fact that Topps went totally overboard with the 1987 cards in 2017, they made virtually no adjustments when commemorating the 1983 set last year. In fact, they downgraded the cardstock, one of my favorite parts of the massive 1987 Topps insert set, to a cardstock nearly identical to the Topps base cards.

Just like 2017, 1983 Topps was included in Series 1, Series 2, Update, and Topps Chrome as an insert set that ended up being over 300 total cards total with the 4 sets being counted. I understand that Topps wants to utilize this opportunity to commemorate past products, but is it really necessary to do it at this level. I mean, they already have Archives and Heritage.

As for 2019, 1984 Topps is the set that Topps has decided to run with, and it's quite likely that it'll get the same treatment as 1987 and 1983 Topps. 

While I'm not thrilled to be burned out on yet another set, I'm intrigued to see what Topps will choose to do to commemorate the 150 years of Professional Baseball. Whatever they do, I hope the promotion is more successful than what they've attempted for the last couple of years.

No comments:

Post a Comment