I’m not sure there is another release that receives the same type of attention as Donruss. It’s not always positive, mostly due to the licensing with Major League Baseball. Topps has recently extended their exclusive license agreement which allows them to be the only baseball card company licensed by Major League Baseball. This limits what other companies are able to do.
Donruss still puts out a few baseball releases featuring current and former players, but due to this license, are unable to show team names or logos. That’s a shame because it really limits the appeal for some collectors. A lot of people are missing out on what has become a fun release every year. The base design is one of my favorites in recent years, and the tributes to 1985 Donruss really stand out.
While it is one of the first releases of the year, I suspect Heritage is also one of the most anticipated. It doesn’t hurt that 1970 is one of my favorite sets from the era. It’s a pretty well known format by now.
This release follows a well established format at this point. The base set consists of 400 cards, with an additional 100 Short Prints , rounding out the 500 card set. There are also a number of base variants, including action photos, errors, traded, and color swap. We also see Baseball and News Flashbacks to the year.
I’ve long avoided this release. It’s just never seemed to appeal to me. I decided to give it a shot this year, and it does end up being roughly what I expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it just may not be for me. The set contains 100 base cards featuring various events related to Raw, SmackDown Live, or 205 Live. Each of those comes in an assortment of parallels.
Alongside the events is a 50 card set with the WrestleMania roster. I noticed a distinct lack of women in the events portion, but they’re fully represented in the roster set. The only other inserts that seem to be in the hobby release are the Ronda Rousey spotlight set. The rest on the checklist appear to be from the different retail releases.
The box advertises 24 packs with 7 cards per pack. There are two hits per box, which includes one autograph.
As a follow up to the A New Hope release from 2018, Topps releases a new set featuring The Empire Strikes Back. When it first showed up last year, I wasn’t sure what to really think of it, but over time the release grew on me. The black & white photos bring a less familiar feel to the thirty-six year old images.
It follows the same format as last year, with a 150 card base set, parallels, and a few insert sets. There is nothing really surprising, but this is more about the images than anything else. This is going to be a tough set to put together from packs, however. A box contains 7 packs with 8 cards in each. Each box also advertises one autograph or sketch card.
There’s a bit of a lull right now for baseball releases, so it’s a good time to step back in time and open an older release. The lucky winner is 1994 Topps Series 2.
This is just as cards were getting a little more modern. Gone were the plain cardboard backs, and in were the glossies finish cards, with full pictures on the back as well. This wasn’t the first year of a glossier finish, but it was still relatively new, and a big step up from the 80s releases. While it was impressive at the time, it causes problems almost 25 years later.
While it is certainly not a unique problem to this release, many of the cards were stuck together inside the packs. There are numerous tutorials online suggesting ways to solve this problem, and we tried a couple of different methods. None of them were 100% effective. That’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning to open these releases. There’s no real high dollar card in this release, but I can’t imagine it would be very fun to pull a great card, only to find it damaged inside a mint pack.