Sunday, January 10, 2010

T206 has killed retro for me

It is minus 17 degrees right now up here. That doesn't have anything to do with this post. But I thought I'd mention that just to show you that you can actually string a thought together under those ungodly conditions.

Or maybe not. You'll be the judge of that.

OK, if you've been wandering the blogs the last couple of days you have noted the screaming about the National Chicle set that Topps will be releasing this year. I'm not going to jump into that, basically because I don't have anything new to say. And the mother of all posts on the topic has already been written.

But it's also because of this: I am officially sick of retro card products.

I know. I can't believe it either. I think I've written at least 300 times on this blog alone and about 700 more times on other blogs how much I smoochy smooch the retro sets. I think I may have threatened to drive somewhere and kick some random collector's ass because he disparaged the good name of a retro set.

It's a 180-degree turn on my collecting thought process these last few years. And I blame it on one particular set: Topps 206.

I don't like the set. I'm sorry I just don't. I've tried. Really, I have. But it's not working.

I feel a bit guilty about it. Because a lot of the cool collectors like the set. You know those blogs that I have listed on the sidebar, separate from the others in their own little first-class section? The ones I want to be like when I grow up? Most of them love, or at least are really "in-like" with 206 (except Ben Henry, who is playing with stickers or something). And in a lot of cases I like what they like.

But I just can't get into it. The endless talk about card back variations. I don't care. I don't care where the fake tobacco smudges are located. As for the front, I just don't like the look. Modern players on an old-looking card. I'm getting sick of it. And not only am I getting droopy about it, I'm getting cranky.

Actually, Topps 206 was just the last straw. It started with Heritage last year. Even though I blamed the infuriating short-prints for me quitting on Heritage, the more I saw the cards, the more they just didn't click with me. I got sick of seeing guys in dreadlocks on a card that looked like it came from 1960. (I didn't dare look back on the '08 set that I'm still trying to complete. If I suddenly decided I didn't like the look of those cards, I might run out on the street and give my collection to the first person I saw).

This past year I realized, I just don't like retro as much as I once did. Goodwin Champions came out and I shrugged. The Topps Turkey Red inserts came out and I pretty much traded all those away. Goudey arrived and I shrieked and ran away.

I don't know why I have enjoyed Allen & Ginter so much, because it's like all those sets. But somehow I make an exception for them.

But as for the rest, I'm over it. I'm over retro. I'm so over it that when I see it, all I see is what I dislike about it, not what I like.

T206 has become the victim of my realization. Because I have not purchased a single loose pack, rack pack, hobby pack, blaster or box of 206. It's helped that there's not much of it where I am, but I have seen it. And when I see it sitting there, I turn my nose up and select something else.

Still, like others out there, just because I don't like the set doesn't mean I don't want the cards in the set of my favorite team. And fortunately a number of bloggers do like the set and have sent me the cards. Here are some:

From Condition: Poor:

Mr. Rihanna.

Bronze/copper/rust-bordered Clayton.
Big Daddy Broxton.

Mannywood, showing what dreadlocks would look like in 1909.

Loney, featuring sunglasses that no way in hell were around 100 years ago.
The original-recipe Clayton.


Pee Wee and pee wee Pee Wee.

From Joe L.:

Sideways Raffy.

And Campy with a lot of bats (how often will they recycle this image?)

I sure do appreciate all of you sending me these cards. And I may be appreciating it even more in the future, because I don't think I'll be joining the retro craze anymore.

Not until Heritage gets to the 1971 set anyway.


  1. Maybe that cold weather did give you a litle brain freeze.Or,maybe not.They do seem to getting a little carried away with the whole concept.I like the idea of retro cards.Maybe just one set per year.It may bother me more if I was a set collector.Try to stay warm,have a cup of Russian Tea and maybe it will all pass.

    I do like the retro players on retro cards.May they should just be insert sets.

  2. Not to mention Manny's UnderArmor prooobably wasn't around, until, you know, the 2000's.

  3. I've gotten to third base with Topps206.

  4. Yes, they do need to cut way down on the retro, and while I'm a sucker for the minis, I don't really like this set much either. The Kenji Johjima card (that they used the same picture on as his '06 Bowman Heritage rookie) just makes me mad.

    Do you need the Campy SP? It has a different picture on it. I got them right after that last package I sent, or you'd have it (and a dupe of the regular base card) already.

    Oh, and tmi dayf, TMI! :(

  5. I'm almost with you on the being sick of retro sets, but then I look at '08 Ginter and sigh. 206 seems mailed in to me and incredibly lazy. The minis and relics are nice.

    So should I hang on to the Jackie Robinson short print I was going to send you?

    Take that!

  6. T206 base cards are chunky and weirdly colored and they're not relaxed and fun about being retro, like Goodwin Champions. And yet the minis work. We are comfortable with not making sense.

  7. I'll be publishing my wrap-up of 2009 in a few days (I just know y'all will be holding your breath). Although most of the cards I'm featuring in the post are retro, it's just my last spasm of retro overdose.

    geez, are these word verification things getting harder or what? I've got to type in anchansu!

  8. 206 has no snakes, flags, politicians, or hot dog-eating champs, so it's okay by me!

  9. I'm on board with you Night Owl.

    It started with 2009 Topps Heritage. When I knew it was coming out, I called and called the card shop until they had it in. I drove straight there, picked up a box and immediately ripped it open when I got home.

    I stared at the box and thought, What the hell was that?

    I've traded away most of the cards from that box, but still have more left. I can't get rid of them.