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.
There’s not much new to say about the Topps Update release. It provides a nice end to the year of collecting during the playoffs. I know Topps releases products year round, but starting with series one of the flagship all the way through update provides a nice bookend for the season.
Maybe I just haven’t paid as close attention before, but the set does feel much more rookie heavy than I remember. That’s not a bad thing, but it seems a lot of them have barely been in the league. The base set contains 300 cards with the usual assortment of SPs, SSPs, and parallels. There are also a number of inserts sets, many of which are along the same line as those from previous releases. Unfortunately, the numbers start over again.
The Topps flagship release is one of their most well known and widely loved releases. It feels pretty basic compared to other releases, but it’s really not. It comes with a an assortment of insert sets, along with a large number of parallels and hits.
As this is a continuation of the earlier series 1 release, many of the inserts sets also continue from that release. We see an insert set modeled after the 1984 release, but this time featuring rookies and All Stars. We also get more sets celebrating the 150 years of professional baseball. The release is not without controversy, however. One insert set features a polarizing figure in the hobby, in Gary Vee. He has definitely brought some fresh eyes to the hobby, but it’s not clear to all collectors whether that’s good or not.
The base set features 350 cards, with 76 SP or SSPs variations, including a SP for hot rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. A box contains 10 packs with 46 cards each. There are two relic cards and one autograph advertised in each box.