The latest card release news is that Topps has resurrected its Total brand from around the turn of the century but has turned it into an online product that is distributed in stages, so they can hook collectors throughout the year.
I am steering very clear of this reboot because even though 2019 Total contains the same vast checklist and a comprehensive view of each team, the cost aspect that helped make Total Total is not there. It appears that the new version will cost you a buck a card.
That's too much for me for this set. Honestly, the look of Total has always been a drawback for me and it's enough to ignore it. Many collectors who bought packs of Total during its first appearances (when I was not collecting at all), pine for the days of Total and the very appearance of Total's dull, dull, dull, dull, duuuullll design throws them into fits of nostalgia.
I appreciate the original Total's mission and its low cost, but, I am superficial when it comes to cards. I need them to look nice. I need them to be attractive. The best thing anyone can say about Total's design is that it is "functional." But functional is not enough for this superficial hobbyist to collect those cards. I want my cards in sun dresses with bows in their hair and bracelets on their wrists. It's one the few places in life where I can judge something by the way it looks and get away with it. If you're talking an all-inclusive baseball card set, I think the old Upper Deck 40man sets were much more appealing.
So, anyway, boring old Total is back with lots and lots of cards that are kind of snooze-inducing and too much money.
I shall pass and instead accumulate old Total cards sent to me by fellow collectors.
These are 2003 Total needs that I received from Johnny's Trading Spot. The Troy Brohawn card at the top is also a need. The most appealing part of Total, of course, is being able to collect a Troy Brohawn card. No other brand is going to waste their time on players like that.
Total tried to do parallels back then but they were the simplest kind of parallel ever. Gray borders. Woo! Rein it in a little, Total!
In 2002, Total was glossy and apparently someone thought that was way over the top, too, as it dispensed with it the following year.
Johnny also sent me some more puzzling cards from around the same time period. Every time I get stuff like this I am grateful I did not collect at this time.
"Throw a stamp on it and you've got an instant parallel!" Such bizarre thinking during this era. These are the "Home Team Advantage" parallels from the 2000 Topps set. I accept such things because team collectors must. but guess what goes in the garbage first if someone decides I must downsize my collection?
"Hey, night owl, you just showed those!" No, no I didn't. Don't you see Darren Dreifort up in the top right corner? He wasn't there in the previous scan. No, these are the "Limited Edition" parallels from the 2000 set with the foil-stamped words over the player's name. Really dumb, but Johnny was right, I did not have these.
Of course, Topps continues to perpetuate the "foil stamp means it's a new card" falsehood with buybacks. They just can't let go.
Johnny also sent some more recent Dodgers. I enjoy these cards more than the Total cards because of the colorful and flashy designs. Go superficiality! Of course, the Panini card fails because the pinkness is on the back and that's so inept I still don't know how Panini manages to create cards and distribute them.
Various 2018 Dodgers needs. You can tell I dropped out of collecting 2018 needs. I didn't generate a want list for half of this stuff.
The last cards I'm showing are good, old, sensible 1970s cards. I have all three of these cards already, but the bottom two are upgrades while I will accept as many versions of Walter Alston's final solo card that people want to send me.
Perhaps the most welcome item in the envelope was a Dodgers pocket schedule from 1988. You remember what happened in 1988, don't you?
That's very cool.
Obviously, people may collect anything they want and if they want to accumulate boring, old Total or throw money at the Total reboot, I'm happy they've found what they like.
However, I will continue to track down cards that contain both substance and appeal. See? I'm really not superficial. I just like the whole package.