window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-12381093-3'); A Cardboard Problem: Sunday Question

August 14, 2011

Sunday Question

While at the National, Topps hosted a meet & greet type of event where collectors could attend and ask questions or voice comments. They did the same thing last year and some of the questions/concerns were directed at sets released in baseball and football. Many people wanted to know why a certain set was discontinued or way they let another run for too long, or just general problems with sets/cards.

If you could bring back one baseball set for a release next year what would it be and why?

For me it would be Turkey Red hands down. I loved this set because a great deal of the autographs were on card, the set was simple while having variety with different colors and it contained no subset mumbo jumbo. Chrome variants were enough to keep this set entertaining for me, but they weren't anything I chased after. This set is also where I pulled my Mariano Rivera on card autograph (even though it was a redemption).


  1. I would love to see them bring back Topps Retired Signature. The set was great for putting retired players on modern card designs (and not just the HOF players either, but stars and semi-stars from days of yore) and had chrome-y on-card autographs.

    Going back further to when I was a kid: Topps Kids. That's right--that set was sweet. Big photos of heads on cartoon bodies? Why, yes I will!

  2. Topps Total - we need a cheap set that's big enough to let middle relievers and bench players get a baseball card.

  3. Topps Total. Period. End of discussion. There is no other set. Topps could stop producing 12 other sets just to bring that one back.

    But they'll never do it even thought it's been the number one requested set since they stopped making it. why? Because Topps doesn't listen to their customers. Case in point, their website. There isn't a bigger abomination on the world wide web.

  4. Topps Gallery is my number one choice. I love painted sets and I want to see one done on a modern design. I don't think sets have to be retro to be popular, they just have to have a quality design and overall concept. They can use the same basic formula as a set like Turkey Red or Gypsy Queen with a few tweaks here and there.

    Stadium Club would be my second choice. There is no set now that focuses on high-quality photography. You could argue that the flagship brand is trying to go that way, but it's still not the same.

    I wouldn't mind seeing a set similar to All-Time Fan Favorites returning, and Opening Day becoming Topps Kids (it's almost there, it just needs a few design changes - keep the formula the same).

    Okay, you said one, I gave you four.

  5. Agree on Topps Total. I'd love a set that contains all/most players for around a buck per pack.

  6. 1. Topps Total
    2. Topps Gallery
    3. Topps Tek

    At the NSCC, I asked Topps specifically about Total and Stadium Club. They said '08 Stadium Club didn't sell well and it won't be back anytime soon. Total, was popular with some (set) collectors, but they didn't make as much profit on it than other products. Which is why it wasn't been back.

  7. Stadium Club. I was sorting out some boxes of cards the other day and ran into some and thought, I wish they would bring these back.I do miss the photography.

  8. Don't forget Topps can only produce 17 total releases. Once you subtract Topps 1, 2 & Update, Finest, Bowman, Bowman Draft, Bowman Chrome, Heritage, A&G and Chrome, there's only 7 releases left.

  9. Hey, Cap'n - I agree completely with bringing back Topps Total! As for abomination in sites, have you looked at eTopps!? UGH, what a mess. Actually, is is so PLAIN, it's a mess.

  10. All-Time Fan Favorites. Easily. There's nothing even close.

    It's basically the set that got me back into collecting current cards. I was in a Wal-Mart out of town one day and saw these and was hooked instantly. It's sad that it lasted only 3 years. Nothing has been as good as that set since.

  11. I was always a fan of Topps Kids growing up and would actually enjoy if that replaced Opening Day.

    I think Total, Tops Kids, or Bazooka would be a good swap for Opening Day for a year or 9.

  12. I really like the idea put forward by some of replacing opening day with Topps Kids, that set was super cool.

    But as for the one I would bring back I think something like Topps Retired (or at least a set with lots of retired semi-stars, like Grand Cards mentioned).

    Basically I just want to be able to pull Sal Bandos and Joe Rudis.

  13. First of all, I don't believe for a second that Opening Day is as big a money maker that Topps claims it is. No serious collector that I know of actually collects it.

    With that said, only the serious, hardcore, collectors actually liked Total.

    So, why not kill two birds with one stone by reintroducing OD AS Total? Keep the Opening Day name and the $0.99/pack price, but expand it to 792 cards and give it an original design. Win-Win for everyone!

    It makes so much sense; but given the current tin-eared regime in charge at Topps, it will never actually happen.

    I'd also like them to bring back Stadium Club. The SC of the mid-90s, that is.

  14. Stadium Club and Topps Total. Stadium Club was their first premium release so it would be nice to see it come back. Topps Total would also be nice so we can get cards of everyone given they waste so many cards in regular Topps on subsets.

  15. Topps Total! As some other collectors already stated I love the fact that even middle relievers and bench players got their cards, very nice for graphing. As a TTM enthusiast and in-person grapher I love the fact that Total was a no-prep, cheap card that almost always had the player I was trying to graph in the set. The only bugaboo about this set was the dual and triple card where two-three players were on the same card. I hated that but Total is an A+ in my book.

  16. Topps Total. For me, it's the challenge of building a large set (plus I like its completeness as it has most everyone who is on a MLB roster).

    I totally agree about using Total to replace "Opening Day" and I could see the set being 750 cards, comprised of one card per player on each team's 25-man Opening Day roster, and you would think Topps could have it ready to ship in late may unless they have a much more automated way to bring the elements of 750 cards together. I suppose you could add value by throwing in autos of AAAA level players that don't cost Topps much and the stickers might not get used anyway so you might be able to have one auto per box (such as season signatures was to UD Documentary) if you feel the product won't sell because there isn't a guaranteed hit per box.
    I personally didn't mind the one auto per 6 boxes or so of the old Topps Total as I was not in it to get a hit per box.

  17. Fan Favorites and Retired Sig would be nice, but you guys forget that the MLBPA basically prohibits those types of sets now...

  18. For the sake of variety, I'm going to both concur with a test suggested here, and offer a different one that hasn't been mentioned yet.

    For the same, I'd say Topps Total as well. There just really isn't that much fundamental difference between Opening Day and Total. All that the regular Topps set is today is Opening Day + foil lettering and highlights.

    Topps Total had the chintziest card stock imaginable (especially the checklists) - that has to compare favorably somehow to producing the equally-no-foil Opening Day, at least in terms of prep and materials.

    However, I would guess that Opening Day has a significant cost savings in the recycling of photos and design from the flagship set. Even if Total is cheaper in material cost, its very difference in design and content (no matter how bare bones) represents labor, and any labor in this industry is cost to be avoided.

    However, I agree that Topps *could* revamp Opening Day to be more Total-like, without adding much cost overall. They already have subsets and mascots that are unique to Opening Day. Expand the checklist to the 800+ cards that Total had to include all those marginal guys and hangers-on, and it will really represent rosters on Opening Day, and then some.

    Here's the part that I don't understand--Topps Total was one of the few sets, since it covered *everyone*, really represented a scoop opportunity for a rookie or a vet on a novel team. Why does Topps want to give up that competitive advantage? I may be the only one who cares, but where else could I get a Jerry Rice as a Bronco card, but in Topps Total?

    As for the different suggestion, I'd like to see something like Topps Rookie Cup (2005) come back. I loved that set--retired players in novel poses, vets, real rookies (like Tulo) and especially the "Original Relics" subset that had little metal reproductions of the Topps Rookie Trophy embedded in the card--way better than generic postage stamps, cards, or manu-patches.

    Here was a fakey relic that was Topps-specific, totally appropriate, and I *loved* them. Hard to find, too. Many of the Original Relics were redemptions, so who's to say how many of the Dickie Thon '84 Original Relics out of 5 made it into the wild? Very hard subset to get a real checklist for, much less to be able to complete. A fabulous challenge.

    If Topps revived Rookie Cup, but with on-card autos, that would be a dream come true.

  19. Whoops, I think I meant "Bill Doran" and not "Dickie Thon". I got my 1980s Astros infielders mixed up.

    Plus I got to say "Dickie" in a blog comment with a straight face.

  20. Bring back you're competition...Cowards..