New releases have started reaching ridiculous levels, so we’re going to look at an old release that has been sitting around for a while. This Topps release covered the World Wrestling Federation, back before it was known as World Wrestling Entertainment. This came out after Wrestlemania 3 from the Silverdome in Pontiac Michigan, featuring the clash between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.
This release comes before the time that hits were the central focus of a product. It is also before inserts really became standard, although it does include a sticker subset. The base set contains 75 cards, showing superstars, highlights, as well as some action captions. There is also an insert subset of 22 different stickers.
There is a danger built in to these older products, and it goes beyond chewing thirty-three year old gum. These packs were wax, and the sealing process often stained the bottom card. The amount of wax varies, and is sometimes not very noticeable, but it’s something to consider. Also, is a problem related to the gum. These packs weren’t really designed to stay sealed for decades. After years sealed in a pack, along with pressure, the gum often ends up almost leaking on to the cards. Every pack had one card severely damaged by the gum. Keep these things in mind if you look at old wax era packs.
The print run is down significantly from wave 1, with only 3289 packs this time. With headliners like Anthony Rizzo, Albert Pujols, and Gavin Lux, this wave actually stands out for other reasons.
This release is filled with, let’s call them irregularities. This pack contained two that stood out, and there are others where the player named does not match the player pictured or the team labeled. This pack contained one player with the wrong team logo, and another card mis-numbered as part of wave one. That’s not all, though. Last year, as well as wave one this year, featured a different numbering scheme for all the parallels, including different letters for each type. Those are all gone for parallels in wave two.
This is an interesting release. There was a lot of confusion regarding this release. and the released checklists don’t really seem to address the questions very well. The box mentions 237 stickers to collect, and that’s true, but also a bit misleading.
The majority of stickers are full card sized, with a player card on the back. Some, such as those featuring trophies, have two stickers on one card, while the mascot stickers are one quarter of the size of the card. The original checklist also has four numbers not listed. It turns out these four stickers are included in the sticker album, and not available in packs. There are no hits or other inserts in this set. It’s a basic level set, that can be collected for the stickers in the album or for the cards on the back. It appears that a given sticker always has the same card back, but the numbers do not match.
A box advertises 50 packs with 4 stickers per pack. If they’re going to advertise the set as 237 stickers, that is pretty misleading. A pack contains 4 cards with up to 4 stickers on each card.
The global pandemic has delayed a lot of things, including many trading card releases. For me, this release wasn’t delayed, but the local store was shut down preventing me from picking it up. So this will be a little bit late, but the release looks worth the wait!
This wasn’t a surprising release from Topps, given their success with WWE Women’s Division cards, but it’s something new for Star Wars. I initially wondered how they were going to fill out a set, not realizing the cartoons were included so there was a very wide range of characters available.
The release features a 100 card base set, along with a few insert sets. Each has its own array of parallels. A box contains 7 packs with 8 cards per pack. One autograph is guaranteed per box, with possible sketch cards being an addition to these. It’s a fun release and can provide a lot of hits you don’t often find in other products.
The first wave of 2020 Topps Total had a print run of 4812 packs. It’s not a cheap set, but by now, I think most people should be familiar with it. This wave features hot rookies like Yordan Alvarez and Aristides Aquino along with stars such as Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.
The configuration is basically the same as last year, with three parallels, numbered /10, /5, and /1. There are also a few possible autographs, although there is no guarantee. New this time is an insert of retired legends, featuring Ken Griffey Jr.