This is a new type of release for me. I have dabbled in some other Star Wars releases, but never Star Wars Galaxy. I wasn’t very familiar with the previous releases, but decided to take the plunge. Galaxy features contains cards of various artwork, rather than images directly from the source. While it gives you some fun re-imaginings, not every piece is a win. Overall, it’s a very fun release, though.
The first thing to really jump out at me is just the size of the box. It seems with modern releases, a sealed box is a fairly compact unit. This is not. Instead of a small footprint, this is a similar size to an 80s wax box. There’s a lot of air inside the box, but the packs are presented more than just packed in.
The release contains a number of parallels, plus a handful of insert sets, all featuring artwork. Each box contains 24 packs of 8 cards. It advertises 2 hits per box, including 1 autograph. The autograph checklist is rather large, so you may dig pretty deep with your hit.
This release comes as the post season is coming to a close. That’s rather fitting because while it is not the last release of the year, it does provide a bit of a wrap up for a lot of collectors. It features players making their debut during the season, as well as veteran all stars and other traded players.
It’s a very familiar set. Boxes contain 10 packs of 50 cards each. Every box advertises three hits, one of which is an autograph. We see the continuation of some insert sets, like the 1983 35th anniversary, but also includes some new insert sets such as international affair. As an added bonus, during the initial hobby shop release, each box also included two bonus packs, containing 4 special 1983 Chrome cards.
This is an interesting release this year. Archives normally comes out around late May, but as the summer started, there was talk about it being pushed back until August. That much isn’t particularly unusual. Releases get delayed frequently for any number of reasons. What is unusual, is what happened in August.
The cards hit retail in August, but hobby was nowhere to be seen. It
wasn’t really clear when hobby was coming, or why the delay, but hobby was eventually released on October 24th. There are a lot of rumors about why, but I’m curious to see what it does to the product. I feel like a lot of people had a chance to get their fill at retail long before hobby hit stores. It’s interesting to see how few of some autographs really hit the market from retail, though. It’s also apparent that some retail redemptions came back and were packed in live for hobby, which is a benefit, I guess.
Heritage High Numbers exists as essentially an update set for the regular Heritage release. It picks up where the first set ends, containing cards 501-725, of which the final 25 are SPs. The SPs are a much smaller portion of the set for High Numbers, so they are easier to complete.
This set has cards for some traded veterans, people left out of the first release, as well as hot rookies making their debut this year.
Once again, we have the return of short print variants with team color swaps, errors, traded, action, and others. There’s an extra wrinkle to those this year, which I think it long overdue. At least for this release, gone are the days of trying to read a tiny product code to be sure which variant you have. Instead, Topps includes a label below the card number telling you which variant you have. Hopefully this is a feature that sticks around in future releases.
Topps WWE Heritage follows a similar pattern to baseball, but it is not quite as constrained. While baseball follows year by year, 50 years in the past, baseball seems to skip around a little bit not. In recent years, we’ve seen 1985 style, leading to 1986 and 1987. This year, however, they skip 1988 and go right to 1989. They even add in a little surprise.
While it was in the middle of the junk wax era, the 1989 Topps design is still pretty popular for it’s clean layout. It really brings something to this release. The base contains 110 cards, plus an additional 9 updated roster cards, found only in retail. The original design for team leaders is including as an insert set consisting of tag teams and stables. We also see a small insert set for 2017 Rookies. Perhaps the best part is an insert set I didn’t expect. The set features legends on the Topps Big style from that period. It really adds something to the set, with a design that doesn’t feel as overused as a lot of the others.