Friday, January 18, 2013

Color correction

This is another one of those posts that falls under the category of "only interesting to me." I won't apologize for that. Consider it your warning.

But on the good side ... hey, all you Beckett-bible-latest-and-greatest-I-can't-talk-about-anything-in-the-hobby-unless-it's-four-seconds-old people, NIGHT OWL IS TALKING ABOUT MODERN STUFF!!!!!!

Enjoy it before I slip back into the vintage deep freeze.

So, yesterday on Twitter, Topps was teasing collectors -- something it does constantly -- with images of this year's 2013 base set. The set is supposed be out in a mere 12 days, so even someone like me is in a panty-bunching-yank about the cards. But the thing that made every last collector take notice is that Topps was showing one card from each team. Those sly, sly marketing people. By the end of the evening, everyone was wiping drool off the keyboard.

I've already mentioned that I love this year's Topps design. It's better than last year by far. It's better than 2011 and 2010. It's probably better than 2009, although I could go either way on that. And it's definitely better than '08 and '07 and '06. But that's me yammering again.

I'm much more succinct on Twitter:

Yup, I can be a Topps fan boy. For a day anyway.

But in going back to review the first time I got all doe-eyed over the 2013 design, I noticed something.

Here is an image that was provided by Topps back when it first unveiled the 2013 design last summer:

And here is the image of the Tigers card that Topps tweeted yesterday:

OK. Other than the fact that the scene behind Raburn looks like a beer commercial and can't possibly be real, what else do you notice?


The border color is different. It's lighter.

In fact, that dark blue color that you saw on Fielder's card doesn't appear to exist in 2013 Topps. At least not according to the images that Topps tweeted.

There are only seven separate colors used for the borders in 2013 Topps, according to those images from yesterday.

Blue. For the Dodgers, Tigers, Braves, Yankees, Twins, Royals, Rays, Rangers, Padres, Cubs, Brewers and Blue Jays.

Red. For the Cardinals, Angels, Nationals, Reds, Diamondbacks, Indians, Red Sox and Phillies.

Orange. For the Mets, Astros, Marlins, Giants and (I assume) Orioles (Topps did not tweet an image for the Orioles, mistakenly tweeting a card of the Angels' Mike Trout twice. As of this point, it was still working on an image for the Orioles).

Green. For the Mariners and A's.

Yellow. For the Pirates.

Purple. For the Rockies.

Gray. For the White Sox.

To see images of the other teams, go to @toppscards.

For each color, the same shade is used, so there is no dark blue, unless Topps is planning something funky.

In fact, when Beckett announced the 2013 Topps checklist on Wednesday, it used the 2013 Topps image of Bryce Harper from several months ago.

It looks like thus:

And here is the 2013 Topps image of Harper that Topps tweeted yesterday:

Yes, the rookie cup has been added. But the color border is brighter, too (as well as the logo filled in).

I suppose there's always the possibility that the cards will look different in hand, or the tint was off on the scanner mechanism at Topps publicity, but I doubt it. Twelve days from street date, I think this is what you'll get.

Personally, I like the lightened color. It has a mid-1980s Miami Vice/Ocean Pacific/south Florida feel. The green borders, especially, make me want to put on a Flock of Seagulls or the Miami Sound Machine. The colors, I would say, are "neon" and you know how I love bright stuff like neon.

So, awesome touch there, if that's what we're going to see.

And the photos look great, too. I don't want people to think all I see is design.

And I know what you're thinking again, too.


I'm not collecting it.



  1. Yellow for the Pirates? Thats GOLD!

  2. Call it whatever shade you want. It's basically "yellow."

  3. For whatever reason, I REALLY like the green ones. Looks like color is really going to stand out in Flagship this year.

    The set definitely looks like a good one. I looked through all the "preview" images Topps released after I noticed you talking about them on your Twitter account.

    Color aside, I absolutely love that Raburn one.

  4. Not thrilled with the lighter color. But the photography, WOW.

  5. This is the first I've seen some of the other team cards. Damn these beautiful!

    Something about that McCann is pretty much flawless.... Or something out of a Super Mario game.

    You must have a very strong mind sensei...

    I'm not sure how one could simply "not" collect it.

    I know you have your reasons...but did you see those cards!!!!

    I still would like to send some Dodger extras your way.

  6. Semi serious challenge accepted!

    Here is the link to the Getty image of the Raburn photo used:

  7. This looks like one of the better Topps base sets in years. Your gonna buy some retail packs of this product,Night Owl. Stop fooling yourself.

  8. @Once a Cub ~ Well done. I see Topps cropped out the dude with the really weird face.

    @Spiegel83 ~ I'm not fooling myself. I'll buy a few packs. I've said that already. But ain't no way I'm collecting the set.

  9. My disdain for topps is growing daily but damn they are gorgeous, lets hope the quality is there!

  10. I keep thinking of the pictures of cards on the old Million Card Giveaway site where you entered codes. Everything seemed lighter and more fluorescent when you looked at Topps's images versus how the cards actually looked.

    I'm still not a fan of this design overall, but damn, I am really happy that they used that photo for the Jon Jay card. The original photo was my Windows background for awhile. I love it.

  11. As a collector who only finds out about new stuff when it shows up on a Target shelf, is there a link to where Topps posted images for all the teams?


  12. The only link I have is in the post. If you click on @toppscards, you can go through their twitter timeline and find each of their tweets on each team. That's the only thing I know of for what you're asking.

  13. Nice to see the killer photography continues. Unfortunately, so does the silver foil on white.