Andy’s early take on 2010 Topps (with blaster break and images!)

So I’m seeing the early results of this year’s Topps breaks and, like most people, I have mixed feelings. The last time I bought a pack of Topps, it was like 1996 or 1997 and they had these ridiculous inserts of some guy’s Etch-A-Sketch drawings. That’s when I realized that the insert craze (which had begun just a few years previous) had reached hilarious proportions. I didn’t buy another baseball card until 2001 when Topps Gold cards became numbered (numbered cards seemed like a big deal back then… back off). And even then the love was short-lived.

But this year, since we’ve started a blog and all, I thought I’d take that $20 bullet and grab a blaster at the local Target… the last one there, in fact (a surprise to me).  Oh sweet baby Jesus that’s a lot of useless inserts.

Patch: MCP-26 (Gary Carter)

Turkey Red: TR4 (Pujols) x2, TR41 (Longoria)

Gold: 295 – Youkilis

Peak Performance: PP-39 (Chipper), PP-35 (Cabrera)

Tales of the Game: TOG-22 (Pesky)

When They Were Young: WTWY CS (Sammons)
History of the Game: HOTG2, HOTG4
Legendary Lineage: LL5 (Cobb/Granderson), LL19 (Ford/Sabathia), LL26 (Eckersley/Rivera)

Cards Your Mom Threw Away: (F. Robinson original), CMT-26 (R. Jackson), CMT-30 (Murray), CMT-45 (Ripken… ’96? WTF?!), CMT-38 (Sheffield)

ToppsTown (I don’t get these): TTT2 (Wright), TTT3 (H. Ramirez) x2, TTT11 (McCann), TTT14 (Pujols), TTT21 (Dunn), TTT22 (McCutchen), FCTTT23 (Sabathia… why the FC?), TTT24 (Braun) x2

Throwbacks: 4, 79, 109, 112, 129, 160, 172, 243, 261, 330

Seriously? That many inserts? And that doesn’t include my entry code card for the Million Card Giveaway. In my opinion, the insert-o-rama approach is bound to alienate more people than it pleases. I didn’t get any of the old-timer SPs (unless you count John Smoltz… ZING!), which add another layer of utter uncollectability to the set. And then there are the retail exclusives which are 1. Confusing and 2. Annoying, especiallyl for people with no access to, say, Wal-Mart (which we don’t here in Chicago).

I can see the allure of putting a ton of inserts in your flagship product- it gives people some sense that the packs are “loaded” and maybe some thrills for kids and whatnot. But by oversaturating your set with inserts, you’ve essentially destroyed the secondary market value of them as there’s virtually no scarcity. In my 10 packs, I got 1 numbered card. That means the “unlimted” inserts are seeded 28:1 in these blasters. Yipes stripes! That’s a lot of worthless inserts. I know no one buys Topps for its resale value or for its “investment opportunity.” But who does that leave as your market? Set collectors? Good luck putting together a master set of this without getting a couple cases of blasters from both Target and Wal-Mart plus a case or two of the hobby AND a case or two of the hobby jumbos (since I think the letter patches are exclusives… correct me if I’m wrong)! This set just seems to try too hard to please everyone and misses the mark for everyone.

Someone convince me to collect basic Topps again, please… I really want to love it. Oh, and tell me what ToppsTown is. It sounds like somewhere I would’ve wanted to go in 1988! In the meantime, this is all for sale or trade (once I get my Heritage want lists up). Drop us a line!

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