Monday, February 5, 2018

First Impressions - 2018 Topps Baseball

Like everyone else, I got my hands on the latest product from Topps. Now that I have some in front of me, here's my thoughts:



2018 Tops #180 Ryan Braun

  • I like the graphic design on front. I still hope Topps eventually comes back to borders, but this design has has some personality to it, unlike the past two sets. I've dubbed this the "Slip 'N Slide" set!
  • I may be wrong here, but the photo quality seems sharper than in years past. The photo selection seem improved too.
  • The color on the backs are bright and really look good. I especially like the teal on the back of the Mariner cards
2018 Topps #220 Nelson Cruz (back)



  • The graphic design isn't without it's fault. The first letter in the name is truncated, which make absolutely no sense.
  • Only partial career stats on the back. That didn't bother me in the 80's when Donruss did it, but I expect better with Topps.
  • Anyone who doesn't know Topp's Twitter handle by now? Anyone?
  • Blurring the backgrounds just diminishes the fantastic photography. I want to see the crowd, the field, the teammates in the background! 

2018 Topps #42 Cody Bellinger (FS, ASR)

  • 15 different parallels is overkill. Over 100 inserts (which include parallels of the inserts for Pete's sake!) is so mindbogglingly excessive I really don't know what Topps is thinking here. There shouldn't be more inserts than base cards. They should just come out with a separate set called "the inserts" and give people a reasonable chance at completing insert sets without the base cards. 
  • I didn't have a problem with last year's set dedicated to Jeter. Two year's in a row however? It makes me think Jeter bought into the company. (That being said, this year's set looks much nicer than last year's reprint set.)



Favorite subset: The few team cards I've seen have had some of the better photographs.

2018 Topps #135 Atlanta Braves (TC)

Least Favorite subset: If you're going to do a League Leaders subset, I prefer the days when the Top 3 guys were listed. If Topps is going to insist on a single player, they need to do better with matching players with stats. When I first saw Chris Sale had a League Leader card, I would have assumed it'd be for leading the majors in strikeouts. Nope, he gets ERA, where he placed 2nd...

2018 Topps #129 Chris Sale (LL)

Favorite Insert: Those 1983 tributes look great, and they have complete career stats!

Least Favorite: The Top 10 Topps Now cards are just over-glorified advertisements for Topps Now. The only thing worse is the eerie feeling they show up a a foiled Topps Buyback 15 years from now....

Base Card I'll Be Chasing: Rafael Devers rookie card.

2018 Topps #18 Rafael Devers (RC, ASR)

Insert Cards I'll Be Chasing: The 6 Red Sox cards in the 1983 Topps set.

Overall, I like this set, and I think it's the best looking set since 2015. I might actually try to complete this one...

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