Every year in the past I used to rail against the first baseball release of the year, Topps baseball flagship brand. I had hated what seemed like very lazy designs. Plain white boarders, no imagination, too many pointless inserts, plus I always hated the set being broken down into three mini sets. Now though, I have new respect for the flagship set. I like the mega set now. When Inception was released, the 5 star, I was impressed. Great designs, very nice sets, amazing insets, it was everything I wanted in a set. I couldn’t afford it and I’m not really into box breaks. I would end up buying singles on eBay and I was sucked back into the hobby.
However the release I loved has always been the flagship release. I wanted to love the set again like I did in the 70s and 80s, even parts of the 90’s and 00’s. Then I saw the prototypes for this year’s set. Is that a color boarder? Did they take the designs from 5 star and Inception? Dear god, I think they have been reborn! From a design perspective I love this set! Yes, the sparkle variation (seen to the left) is very dumb, but whatever, I’ve never gone after those variations anyway. It’s like a throwback to the Donruss and Score days. Color on the boarder! Some kind of funky art design! Don’t hate this release, embrace it. Take it for what it is a beautifully large set to chase.
That’s just the base set, there are some great subsets (as there always are in the flagship) to chase as well. Am I going to buy a box of this? Hell no! But I am going to buy a complete set of each series and probably some of the subsets. For instance, the Future Stars subset featuring Hamilton, Springer and Polanco. As a baseball history fan, I am going to chase the free agent 40, archetypes, baseball history, gallery of greats, highlight of the year, Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson stories,
There are a lot of people out there really hating on this set. Too many variations, too many cards, not worth anything. I’ve got news for you, if you are in this as an investment, just bail now. These cards very rarely go up. The days of buy ing low selling high are over. Just appreciate these cards for what they are. A great set to chase (1050 base cards), a great design and great subsets. My hats off to Topps for finally coming up with a flagship that’s great to look at and collect.