I'll admit that at the beginning of the year I was unsure of how the year in card releases would go. The flagship set looked terrible, and all in all it didn't seem like it was gonna be as good a year as last. My fears were realized once bloggers began trashing Series 1 and complaining of the gimmicks. It seemed 2012 was going to be another down year.
Then Heritage came out. It was a good set. Then Gyspy Queen came out. It was a good set. Then Bowman came out. Even Bowman was a good set. And now, just after Topps Archives has been applauded after its street release, 2012 is looking like a pretty good year for card releases.
Why hasn't anyone been talking about it?
You see, there are some people out there who criticize and blather on about how bad Topps sets are, and always point out the weaknesses rather than the strengths. And those people would have said how bland Bowman looked, or how ugly the Gypsy Queen base set looked, or how crappy the Bryce Harper gimmick was, were missing out on the good of the set. Gypsy Queen had better inserts than last year, and seemed like it improved in its sophomore season. Bowman put out its best set since the 1990's, and surprised most everyone with its success. Topps Archives, with the exception of the Harper gimmick, is probably what Lineage should have been last year, and is a really good nostalgia set.
And the bloggers aren't recognizing this. Most of them are going on about how they're only ripping one pack of things and then not collecting anything but the team set. And those people just don't see the upsides of these products. You can't have one little thing drag the whole product down. Design, gimmicks and inserts can be overplayed by the better qualities of the set. If you focus on those things, then you'll never really enjoy another Topps set.
So yeah, in my opinion, with the exception of the Flagship Set, 2012 is a banner year so far for Topps. Heritage, Gypsy Queen, Bowman and Archives are all tremendous products. Archives especially is quite awesome judging by what I've seen. It's so awesome, I should have thought of it myself.
Oh wait. I did. It's called Custom Cards.