Friday, August 9, 2013

Looking ahead to what I'm not going to complete

The other day I visited Walmart. I took my usual detour through the card aisle and stared at the cards. I left without buying anything.

The next day, I found myself at Target. Again, I made a side trip to the card aisle. I left with nothing.

It's obvious that current cards have lost their hold on me. I do still buy them, but the "I'm in this godforsaken department store, I NEED some sort of reward" feeling has vanished. I still need to rip packs. But I don't need to rip them every week anymore.

So, giving me thoughts on the recent outbreak of 2014 Topps previews seems a little pointless to me. There's no chance of me trying to complete these sets. Can't you ask me what I think of 1982 Topps again?

But, OK, here are my thoughts on the future.

Heritage is up to the 1965 Topps design now. It is my (second) favorite design of the '60s. Lots of collectors like this design. Pennant flags, bright colors. Topps is serving up steak and apple pie here.

The colors, I like for the most part, although I have never enjoyed the purple-bordered cards in '65 Topps. I also like the blue backs -- the very best of '60s Topps. The updating of the team logos on the front doesn't bother me. This will be 2014, not 1965, we need current logos.

Under ideal conditions, this would be a set that I would try to complete. As you'll see later, design trumps almost all when it comes to me wanting to complete a set. Think 2008 and my attempt to finish Heritage that year.

But I still haven't finished it. And this is why I won't be attempting to finish next year's Heritage, despite my fondness for the design.

To me, Heritage is the largest cash suck that exists with regard to my collecting dollar. I'm not going to find or go looking for high-end cards, so their ability to remove me from my wallet is discounted. Heritage is readily available.

Except for the SPs, which are not.

If I were to add up how much money I spent trying to complete 2008 Heritage ... well, forget it, it's not going to happen because I don't want to know, my loved ones don't want to know, and the set's not complete.

And those are basically my thoughts: Nice design, but why should I care? I'm not going to finish it.

But you lucky Heritage completist, you've got these things to chase next year. Let's hope that Topps has worked on the likeness issues and it's not a repeat of one of the most defective sets of all-time.

Now let's move on to 2014 Topps base.

Topps also previewed its look for that set:

It's not going to make me drool all over everything and ditch my "I'm mad at Topps" principles like I did this past year.

It'd be nice to get a look without the return of the "Future Stars" logo which apparently is back after a couple-decade hiatus.

My first impression is there is a lot of letters wedged into places. The position designation above the team name reminds me of 1985 Topps. (You position nazis will note the position designation has returned after a two-year absence). But at least it is placed within a dark oval to separate it from the no-doubt foiled-up name.

But those two elements are wedged together and then the "team tab" on the right looks awfully squashed. It's difficult to read, too. (I do think this particular design element is where the Define the Design name is going to come from -- if not from this certain idea that's on the tip of my tongue).

Generally it seems disjointed with two edges straight and simple and two edges filled with wavy lines, sharp angles and lots of STUFF.

It's more 2012 Topps than 2013 Topps in my mind, which isn't good.

Unless you do something annoying like SP the hell out of the Heritage set, the way the cards look indicates how many packs I'm going to buy these days. With the exception of my return to modern-card collecting in 2006, when the cards could have looked like 1990 Bowman and I would have bought a crapton, that is the main deciding factor.

Here is the graph as proof:

(I suppose a better indicator would have been how many cards-plus-doubles I had accumulated, but who has time for that?)

This by itself gives you a good idea that I wasn't crazy about the circus circles of 2008 or the surfboard of 2012.

So what's that mean for 2014?

A less-than-impressive design, plus a decreased lack of interest in modern cards?

Let's see if I can break 200.

For both base and Heritage.


  1. 2014 Topps looks too much like the Upper Deck MVP card line.

  2. I can't help but think of it as the Half Bowman. And I just can't get excited about Bowman cards.

  3. 2014 might be the first time I just buy the factory set and skip building it. Looks like a hot mess to me. How the heck are they going to scrunch "Jarrod Saltalamacchia" under that ribbon thingy?

  4. I'm with BaseSetCalling. First thing I thought when I saw 2014 flagship was "Bowman." I don't hate it, but it's a step backward for sure.

  5. The previews for the 2014 set has me with an excitement level of about 3, on a scale of one to the weight of the sun. And if they package it with another crappy chase contest, I doubt I'll buy a single pack.

    Looks like just team sets for Heritage and flag ship in 2014.

  6. I'm thinking File Folder Set.
    Soon as I saw the positioning of team name, I thought of a filing cabinet full of these things. Maybe should of had the player name there so you could file them alphabetically and rifle through them like a real set of file folders!
    A very disappointing design after 2013, but can hardly wait to see what sparkly parallel there will be in the set. orange?

  7. The fact that the verlander Embossed insert actually half-way looks like him is a nice surprise. Not that I'll buy any or anything.

  8. i will be all over both of these sets. i can't wait.

  9. I think that the 2014 Topps base set reminds me of a door wall. It looks as if someone just opened the door to check out Puig.