Here are just a few examples from the past year.
3-D cards. 3-D is everywhere these days. It’s like the 1950s all over again. Movies are trying to compete with 80 inch HDTV home theater systems. Cards…well, cards are just trying to bring back stuff from years past since they know we don’t like most of the newer innovations.
Back in our Donruss Basketball box break video I said I was going to show side by side comparisons of this set to the 1992 USA set from Skybox. Here you are, kiddies! Both have very similar picture attributes and both exhibit a full-bleed and minimalist design.
If you couldn’t tell, the card on the left is the 2011 60 Years of Topps insert. The card on the right is the original 1988 Topps card. There are some subtle differences between the two, besides the glossy finish on the front. Namely, both fonts. The “CUBS” on the top isn’t as spread out as it was before and the outline isn’t as bold. On Greg’s name, they just straight up use a different font and, again scrunch it. Most people would chalk this up to laziness on Topps’ part, but I wonder if this is intentional. What if the issue wasn’t that they couldn’t match the font or style, but they actually wanted differences? Maybe it was intentional so that educated collectors could have a way to tell the original apart from the reprint without looking at the date on the back. I’m not saying this is the case, or that there’s a good reason for doing it that way, but I’m just throwing it out there as a possibility.
Left: we all know. Right: 1993 Topps Micro Prism exclusive to the factory set. You mean to be telling me they’ve been sitting on this technology for nearly 20 years and are just now gracing us with its presence again? What the hell?
So, what does all of this tell us? Nothing we don’t already know. Retro is key to the hobby and retro is usually good. Not always good, but paying homage to the past or just staying within the collectors’ comfort zones can work well. I know there are tons of other examples I could have thrown in here, but really I just wanted to find a clever way to shoehorn a couple cards from my Maddux collection into a post. Thanks for humoring me.