2010 is finally here as you have been waiting all winter. Through the sleet, snow, rain, and freezing cold you have been anticipating the first Topps release of the year. For many collectors, the release of Topps Baseball isn’t only the crack at the first product of the New Year; it also signals that the new season is right around the corner. With Spring Training only a few weeks away, 2010 Topps allows hobby enthusiasts to pick up the first cards of the year.
First of all, let me say that Topps did a fairly decent job as the first recent exclusive manufacturer of MLB licensed trading cards. This year doesn’t disappoint as Topps put out another appealing edition for the set collectors. This set should be another joyful addition to all of those collectors who feel that completing a set is their number one goal. As you rip into this product, you will see many of the staples that have made the Topps product a hit with collectors over the years. You will notice that each pack has a multitude of insert cards such as “Legendary Lineage”, “Peak Performance”, “Topps Town”, and “Turkey Red”. The new thing for this year is the “History of the Game” insert set that features some of the greatest moments in the history of the National Pastime. Players in this set include Babe Ruth, Frank Robinson and Lou Gehrig. Topps also produces a “When They Were Young” set, that highlights some of today’s players on cards with photos of them as kids. Whereas these may not be big money cards, they are a favorite of the player collectors since they were first introduced in 1993 triple play. Additionally, there is a “Tales of the Game” insert set that highlights some of the odder stories in the history of the game. Examples of these include the dumping of the high number 1952 cards into the Hudson River in order to free up storage space (all of those Mickey Mantle rookies gone to waste)! This is a nice set that will definitely keep collectors on their toes and asking plenty of questions.
For those of you are old enough (like myself) to remember the horror of coming home (maybe 20 years later) to find your mother telling you that she had cleaned your room and finding out that all of your precious collection had left via the curbside earlier that morning (or 20 years before), Topps has stepped in to help recoup some of your heroes from years gone by. They have created an insert set called “Cards Your Mom Threw Out”, which highlight some of the cards that feature the same front design as the originals but feature the new enhanced design on the back. These cards include Derek Jeter, Jackie Robinson and Nolan Ryan.
As an added bonus, Topps has also created the “Million Card Giveaway”, this redemption includes one million buyback cards that have been distributed over the life of the Topps corporation. These redemption cards will be seeded across several products, so be on the lookout for the rest of the year. In this set they are seeded one per six packs (on average). They are also giving away a 52 Mantle to a random participant. Visit http://www.toppscards.com/ for more details. When you pull these cards you will find a redemption code on the back that will allow you to add the code into your portfolio and receive an original Topps card. You can keep the cards in your online portfolio or trade them amongst your friends. If you decide to retrieve the cards, Topps will ship them to you for a small fee (fee is unknown at this point). Keep on the lookout for buyback autographed and memorabilia cards as well.
The memorabilia and autographed issues in this year’s offering are nice as well. They include players such as Manny Ramirez, arod or CC Sabathia. The most common cards found will be the “Peak Performance” autographed/game used cards. This set also highlights a lower print run of patches which will add to the chase. The cards are not noted as patches but there are definitely a few scattered amongst the players that have jersey cards. This is a fun chase, but unfortunately will likely be a big target amongst the patch fakers. You will also find HOF’er game used memorabilia cards in this set such as Mickey Mantle, Albert Pujols and Ryan Howard.
So what does 2010 Topps bring to the table?
Let us take a look at the break down.
36 packs per box.
10 cards per pack.
Topps Gold–gold versions of the base set cards serial #’d to 2010
Topps Black--black versions of the base set cards serial #’d to 59
Topps Silk–Framed mini silk versions of the base set cards and serial #’d to 50
Printing Plates–1 of 1 press plates used in the production of 2010 Topps cards
Sketch cards–original 1 of 1 sketches of players done by some of the brightest, most talented artists in the world.
The “Legendary Lineage” set features duel relics as well. Here are some of the other relic sets found in this year’s stated offerings
“In the Name Relics”–nameplate letters from the backs of All Star Event used jerseys of the hottest players
“MLB Silhoutted Batter Logo cards”–features a <bold>manufactured</bold> MLB logo patch of players like Ruth, Pujols, and more.
“Peak Performance jumbo relics”–authentic jumbo swatches of game used material
“World Champions Autographs and Autograph Relics”–highlight some of the Fall Classic heroes that won this past year
“Baseball Legends Cut Signatures”–cut autographs of the all-time greats
“Manufactured Hat Logo Patches“–featuring the hat logos of the time when these players suited up
“Mickey Mantle Reprint Relics”–reprint cards featuring a relic from Yankee legend Mickey Mantle!
Overall Topps has put out another stellar product.
My thoughts: The base design is a little busy this year but it uses really nice photography. I really like the fact that each pack has some sort of insert, whether a “Peak Performance”, “Turkey Red” or “Cards Your Mom Threw Out (CYMTO)” Flashback cards. I LOVE what Topps has done with the Million Card Giveaway redemptions. While many will be disappointed with a Luis Sojo 96 Topps, there will be likely limited success stories such as someone landing an original Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays card.
The game used cards and autographs are a tad weak but Topps has to include some second and third tier stars for their base release. Not everyone can expect a Ruth, Mantle, or Pujols relic/autograph but they are still in there for the chase. The manufactured “MLB batter logo” or “Manufactured Hat Logo” cards aren’t really great for everyone but the player collectors should have a fun time chasing them.
Overall, there is something for every collector, young and old. It is nice to be able to get your hands on some and hope to get your favorite players as you prepare for the upcoming 2010 season! Not bad Topps. Not bad at all.