With all the changes in the WWE releases this year, it’s nice to have a familiar release come out. It has a fairly well known pattern with the base set consisting of 60 roster cards, along with 40 card for specific events. Of course, there are multiple layers of parallels. These cards feature wrestlers from all the different brands, including NXT UK.
There are a few insert sets, but not as many as a lot of the other releases these days have. One feature I’m not a fan of, is that some of these insert sets are retail exclusives. A hobby box may get you close to a base set, but you will be completely shut out of some of the inserts. I wish that wasn’t the case, as I’m not interested in chasing these at multiple stores.
We’re reaching back in time a bit today, to take a look at the beginning of Topps Heritage. It’s turned in to a fan favorite over the years, but in the beginning, was anyone really sure what to expect? This release used the same design as the 1952 Topps release.
In a way, it was a simpler time, before new releases of the hot rookie selling for $30k. While hits existed, it was before the time where hits really drove the product. Many of the now regular inserts were around for this first release, but they were not nearly as plentiful as today. These packs advertise autographs with odds of 1:142 and even Clubhouse Collection Relics at 1:592 packs. This is not the box to chase after hits.
It’s always nice to see an alternative to the monopoly on baseball cards from Topps. For the last few years, Panini has been releasing an alternative set, even if it is not MLB licensed. They’ve done a good job of downplaying the fact that team names can not be used.
The set features 195 cards, including 30 SP Diamond Kings and 15 SP Rated Rookies, along with a slew of parallels, and inserts with parallels. The set contains mainly current stars along side older former players. A few favorite insert sets return again this year, with The Elite Series, Dominators, The Rookies, The Prospects, and many more. We also see a retor variation set, paying tribute to players on the 1983 Donruss design.
The box gives you pretty good value, with low count parallels, while advertising three autograph or memorabilia cards per box on average. This box even came in slightly above average.
The long time favorite Topps Heritage set is back for another release. This time around, there are some significant changes, though, and I’m not sure they’re all for the better. This year, it parallels the 1968 Topps set, and includes some tributes to errors from that set. Returning are the some of the standard insert sets, including baseball flashbacks, news flashbacks, as well as relics and autographs. These all appear to be much rarer than in past years. Does that mean they will hold more value? Or just be harder to complete a set?
Perhaps the most significant change this year is to the base set SPs. For the past many years, the base set was 1-425, with the SPs being 426-500. This year, the SPs have expanded to 401-500. They still fall one in every three packs. With 100 SPs, though, this means a full case of cards would not have enough SPs, with perfect collation, to complete the set. Is that an improvement?
While there seem to be fewer overall inserts, there are a lot more buybacks. This set features the same line of “Rediscover Topps” buybacks as Series 1, with many included per box.
Heritage has been a regular release for Topps baseball for almost two decades now, but its treatment of Wrestling has been pretty spotty. In baseball, they use the style of set from about 50 years before, but for this wrestling release, they go back 30 years. It’s a nice change of pace, and a design you don’t really see featured that often. The base 110 card set features legends, current roster members, as well as some from NXT. You also have some insert sets featuring NXT callups, Rookies of the Year, and others. It’s a fun change of pace set.
The box advertises 24 packs of 9 cards, including 2 hits per box.