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.
With Spring Training right around the corner, we get the first new signs of spring. After a very cold few days, any sign is welcome. It’s a fairly standard release, but it seems to have a few unwanted surprises this year. It seems the production has greatly increased once again. As a result, the chances at many of the number parallels are much more difficult than recent years.
Another unfortunate surprise is the apparent reconfiguration of the Jumbo box release. Aside from the more difficult odds for parallels, it seems many possible cards are either completely unavailable in Jumbo boxes or are on much steeper odds than the regular hobby release. In particular, the alternative image SPs and legends SSPs seem to be much more available in regular hobby box.
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.