Thursday, February 4, 2016

2016 Topps Series 1 - Half-assed Review

So I was hoping I'd have opened a couple Jumbo hobby packs aquired from Bosco's Trade Night last night, but they hadn't gotten their shipment in so in the end I just stopped at the local Fred Meyer's and picked a handful of retail packs.  My review is only as good as the stuff I got from those packs.  I did get a nice assortment and sample of the insert sets and I did get to feast my eyes on the new base cards.

Let take a look at this years base cards.  It would be hard to follow last year's base set.  So colorful, so out of the box.  I can see from comments around the internet that last year's sets uniqueness had worn off for some, but I do still really like the set.  So this year Topps went borderless. They also went a little artsy fartsy with the fogging, but at least they didn't completely cut the player out of the background.  Over all it's a very solid design.  You've got the player name, team and position all neatly arranged and what I like to call the logo slash on the bottom part of the card.
 The backs are pretty typical.  Topps is using it's Series One designator again and I like the large card number in the upper right hand corner for easy collating.
I did notice that Topps went back and forth between which side of the card the slash was on.  I'm not sure if it's significant or just random, but it doesn't appear to be based on league or position.  I thought it might be related to numbering, like certain blocks have the slash on one side and other blocks of cards have it on the other.  Anyone know?
 It does create a cool effect if you place two cards side by side.

They could have made a cool bifold card, kind of like the ones Pacific use to put out.

Since 1992 Topps has had a gold parallel card and here is an example of this years Gold Parallel.

It might be hard to tell, but the card is a shiny foilboard and the fog is replaced by those gold hexagons.

Topps is continuing their First Pitch insert.  I guess this was pretty popular last year, although not one of my favorites.

Next up is the mandatory Topps reprint insert set.  I could be wrong, but it seems like every year we get another insert set that is just like this.  While this is not my least favorite insert set this year, it is the most unnecessary.  I'm all for honoring Sy Berger, but I think someone could have come up with something better than a reprint set.  I am happy though that Robin Yount is featured in it and it's not his 75 Rookie, or 74 (See last post).  I got two of these, Molina and one of Ripken's two from the set.

You might be asking what is my least favorite insert set this year... And sadly it's another set that my favorite player is featured in.  Meet Back to Back.  I have no idea what 's going on here.  I'm guessing that it's suppose to look like two guys backing each other up or something.  Not very well executed. This theme has been done before, most notably by Donruss and now Panini with their Back 2 Back Jacks inserts.  I'm not sure if that's what the Back to Back is suppose to mean, since when you read the back, of at least this card, Josh and Troy have never gone Back to Back that I know of.

OK enough negativity.  I'll feature my favorite insert that I've seen so far. Perspectives.  From the few I've seen and held these are pretty interesting and I mean that in a good way.  They remind me of the TV show Fringe.  Anyone remember it?  The show use to set up scenes with these cool perspective titles in the show that were angled to fit the shot.  Just like this.  This is probably going to be the one insert set I try to put together.  And the few I've seen the photos are pretty cool too.  That Polonco is just a great shot.

Next up we have Walk Off Wins.  Meh. I'm very middle of the road here, don't hate it, but meh.

A cool concept insert featuring a position player who ended up having to pitch in a game.  Although after reading Stan's write up on the back I wonder how far Topps had to reach to fill this set out.  And from what I can tell only one of the cards actually shows the player pitching.

The last insert I snagged was a MLB Wacky Packages promo sticker.  Remember when card companies would put promo cards in other sets to promote another?

Overall I like the base set design.  It's pretty solid and I can't complain.  The color parallels look pretty good.  The inserts are what they are, other than the Perspectives set not much jumped out at me, but I also haven't seen a few of the insert sets in hand yet, so maybe another will grown on me.  Plus if your a Cubs or Royals Fan there are lots of Wrigley Field and World Series insert cards to collect.

I think I'm probably going to wait and just buy a set outright instead of trying to put a set together from packs.  I figure I can save myself about $300, but I know I'll be buying a few random packs here and there.

What do you guys think of this years flagship set?


  1. Must have the Polanco for my header. Still haven't opened any myself.

  2. Im going for the wacky packages. imo, a much better product than Flagship this year.

    1. I'm with Julie. WP set is a great idea... however I wish that Topps would lower the number of inserts the create for this product.

  3. Berger's Best is hit and miss for me... I thought it was kind of odd that one of them is Kris Bryant's RC from LAST YEAR. I get that it was a popular card, but don't see the need for it to be reprinted this soon.