I usually wait at least a year before I buy some packs for a very simple reason : it’s much cheaper. Yeah I know, I’m a genius. But a lot of 12 Topps series 1 rack packs were on sale for $22, so I figured I’d forget my rule for once. I already had the complete Blue Jays team set (without the SPs), so I was just looking for nice cards and fun inserts.
The one thing I got, though, was terrible collation. The rack packs yielded 432 cards, and 176 of those were duplicates. I only got 195 different base set cards. I can tolerate a 25% duplicates rate, but 40% is just way too high. I think Topps is just testing my patience. Or telling me to stop whining and buy a Hobby box next time (I know that the collation on A&G’s is horrible, but is it the same with flagship boxes ?).
I knew about variations, but I thought they were only cards with all new photography. Apparently, this year they added the sparkle element (I think they did it before). A sparkle here, a sparkle there, and there you go, another kind of parallel card, just in case there were’nt enough already to chase. I like the idea of variations with different photos. Sparkles are just a pain to look out for. But maybe I’m just bitter because all my duplicates had no sparkle in them. I should write directly to Topps HQ.
Anyway, you’ve all seen the base cards 1000 times, so I’ll just focus on the inserts.
Fairly easy to land, but I do like the way they look, even though the other cards will make fun of them in their oversized 9 pocket sleeves. And any Clemente on cardboard is good to have (and Kershaw, obviously)
Here come the parallels ! The Bogaerts is actually a nice pull, as far as the Topps base set goes. I also think they did a good job on that green.
Kind of boring, but inevitable (and they seem to come in pairs, just in case we didn't get the message the first time). And a good way to add cards of Cespedes and Trout. The good thing about getting so many duplicates is that you can compare cards :
Maybe they're anticipating the graded card craze of 2046 and are off-centering text on purpose (bottom right) ? They are creating a Cespedes shortage of perfect cards ! So clever. I'll buy 100 of them right now.
They already did Super veteran subsets in the past, but I just think it's a mean insert. They're basically telling those players that hey, you're not getting any younger, time flies, you're a SUPER veteran now, not just an ordinary veteran. Just look at how young you looked 14 years ago. Shocker huh ? Don't get too cozy in the locker room.
Another Trout...(I'm making fun of Topps putting some Trout everywhere, but in the 90s I was really happy to see Griffey on any and every insert possible). Those inserts actually look ok, and Bo Jackson is in my PC, and Aaron would be if I had much more money and was into vintage.
So there you go. Ordinary cards from an ordinary set, with good moments and good overall photography on the base set. I just want Topps to replace those 176 duplicates with 176 well centered Cespedes cards. I'm sure they'll agree to it.