After an interesting 2020 for the hobby, Topps Series 1 represents the first major release of the new year. Last year was plagued with releases being hard to come by and immediately shooting up in price. In many cases, Topps took advantage of this by raising their prices, to get a bigger piece of that pie. The price for this release, before reaching the secondary market is up significantly. Is it worth it?
I supposed that really depends on your collecting goals. If you’re collecting only a certain player or team, you’re probably better off buying singles or team sets. More and more, sealed packs are becoming expensive lottery tickets, chasing the big hits rather than collecting the cards within. Will you get your money’s worth out of a box? Probably not.
This release features a 330 card base set, along with a number of parallels and inserts. There are a lot of short print variations available, as well. Following on recent trends, this year Topps is printing an insert series in the style of their 1986 release. It comes in both regular inserts, as well as the “silver pack” bonus cards in the top of the box. In addition to this extra cards, there is also another Box Topper included, in the style of a 1951 MLB All Star. A box contains 10 packs of 46 cards each, while advertising 1 autograph and 2 relic cards.
In an unusual year, we should have always expected an unusual Update set. Normally, this release will feature players traded during the season and mid year call ups. We often see unexpected rookies make their debut in this set, as well as cards featuring the current year’s All Stars. This year, that all changes.
With the condensed season, there wasn’t as much time for in season trades. There also wasn’t an All Star Game this season. That all leads to a unique Update Series. While normally reserved for special SPs, the base set incorporates a number of retired stars this time, showcasing their All Star and Home Run Derby appearances. We also see the continuation of many insert sets from series 1 and 2, including the 1985 design set.
There are still many rookies, but not many that draw the same excitement as recent years. A jumbo box contains ten packs with forty-six cards per pack. Each box advertises one autograph and two relic cards. In addition to that, there are three box topper packs. Two contain chrome versions of the 1985 insert set, and the other contains something a little bit different. It is a full size cloth patch printed with a normal card front. The players also seem raised on this card.
This release comes at a strange time in 2020. Normally, the season has been rolling along for almost three months, and some new rookies have started to emerge. This year, due to the global pandemic, no regular season games have been played by the release date in late June. Summer training will begin the first week of July, with fan free games starting in late July at this point.
The pandemic has caused other problems within the hobby. Many releases such as this one have been delayed, and there seems to be some quality issues while trying to rush and catch up. This release is a continuation of series one, with another 350 card base set, the usual expected parallels, and many of the same insert sets duplicating numbers unfortunately.
The first major baseball release of the year tells us the new baseball season is around the corner. This year, it comes out just following the Super Bowl, giving a clean break between sports. It’s that time of year where the new season is filled with hope, for all the teams not located in Detroit.
This year, it’s pretty apparent the production numbers continue to rise. Is that indicative of an increase in collectors? Or something else? It may take some time for us to be sure. The format of the release is the same as recent years. The base set features 350 cards, with a number of insert sets, as well as a set using the design from 1985 Topps. There is also a bit of controversy surrounding this release. In a 350 card base set, there is one single Texas Ranger. That might be understandable in a 100 card base set, but in the Flagship release?
A box advertises 10 packs with 46 cards per pack. It also includes 1 autograph and 2 relic cards. It also comes prepacked with two silver packs containing 1985 Topps Chrome variants, and an oversized Turkey Red card.
This year, the holidays bring the final episode of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. That means another card set, as well. This was released the same day as the movie. As with other recent movie releases, the first series has many characters and some scenes, but it’s light on anything really resembling a spoiler.
This release is similar to other recent movies. You get a small base set, parallels, and a number of insert sets including stickers, illustrated character, and ships and vehicles. One unusual thing that stands out, however, is the base set. It’s 99 cards, rather than something round. I guess that’s not really good or bad, just surprising. It’s not clear why that change. Could it be so the set will fit in pages nicely?
A box advertises 24 packs with 8 cards per pack. This includes two hits per box, one of which is guaranteed to be an autograph or sketch card.