Friday, November 30, 2012

Despite what you see here, I'm still mad at Topps

A few weeks ago, Topps announced the release of a product that kind of set me off. The $100, online-only, limited-edition, god-help-us-if-this-is-the-wave-of-the-future Heritage High Numbers set threw me into full rant rage, and I basically swore off collecting current Topps product for 2013.

Then I turned around and obtained the Dodgers from that dirty set. Rod from Padrographs grabbed a box of Heritage High Numbers and sold off cards from it in a team break. It cost me under 5 dollars to get the Dodgers, plus a few other cards that are already coming in handy.

You may wonder why I'd buy cards from a set that annoys me so.

Well, that's easy. First, I'm a Dodger collector. I see a Dodger card, I want it. It's kind of like when a dog hears bacon sizzling. There's no thinking involved. Get bacon. What's to explain?

Second, the set was already purchased by someone else. In my ideal world, no one would buy any of the sets, and Topps would head crawling home with its cynical business model tail between its legs. But I have no control over that, and I wholeheartedly back collectors buying whatever they want.

Third, I threw down a few less-than-cost bucks for cards I would've found eventually because of that whole dog-bacon thing.

So don't think that just because you see these cards here, that I'll be trying to complete 2013 Heritage or any other Topps set next year. Nope. Still mad at ya, Topps.

Can't say the cards I got are softening me up much either:

There's a fine collection of contributors, eh? Every time I think about a Juan Uribe card costing anyone $1, I consider how much I'd go into debt starting up my own card company.

But aside from the whole less-than-stellar group of players there is the greater question of presentation.

The images are just brutal. What's with all the space above the heads of Capuano, Jansen and Lilly? It looks like someone jerked the camera (not crazy about the cement wall backdrop behind Capuano either).

And then there's the card stock, which I think is a significant gesture of apathy on Topps' part. Heritage is almost completely about the cardboard. The stock used with Heritage is and always has been terrific. It evokes memories of true cardboard cards gone by, and really is THE reason that a lot of people collect Heritage.

But the stock with these cards is thinner and slicker, bordering on what Archives was printed on earlier this year.

That ain't good. For a buck a card? One hundred dollars a set?

If you're going to sell something for that price, there has to be a bigger selling point than "limited availability" or an autograph of Garrett Jones. Quality is important.

Isn't that obvious? Why am I even mentioning it?

At any rate, staring at these cards, just reinforced what I said before. No modern cards for me in 2013, outside of trying out a random pack or two.

Here are a few more cards that Rod sent:

Just some samplings from 2012.

You know, the last year that I tried to complete a modern Topps set.



  1. The high numbers photography is absolutely brutal. Maybe they were trying to capture the romance of baseball prior to modern photography. If so, they failed. High Numbers is an insult to collectors.

  2. At least there were multiple Dodgers in the set for you. Only 1 Phillie in the set, and according to Wrigley Wax, there was only 1 Cub and 1 Rockie as well. I don't expect equal distribution across all teams, but Topps really could have managed at least a couple cards per team.

  3. There's always an "other side of the coin" to that argument, namely:

    "Thank goodness I don't have to chase any of my team in that horrible set."

  4. I enjoyed the hashtag and thats exactly what I'm doing at the next card show I go to.. 50's, 60's and 70's Phillies cards

  5. Even though I bought the hi numbers I do wish they hadn't come out with them. That said - I think the value from the autograph had potential there. I made money on the purchase - I sold my Pettitte auto for 140 bucks. That certainly won't happen for everyone, but between Harper Cespedes and some others, you do stand a good chance to make out ok.

    The biggest thing that bugs me is stupid things like misnumbering the set and packaging it with the colors from last year's heritage.

    Selling a product at a higher price point and via online - that's a business decision*. But the other two things are just poor quality laziness.

    * - one thate that maybe will backfire on them (and a lot of collector's have complained - I hope they don't just say "hey we sold out", because it could also impact future years sales of .