I'll be honest, this has been a pretty solid year of cardboard so far. Topps flagship and Heritage which both were really good, solid upgrades from last year. I haven't had a ton of qualms about specific products. However...I'm going to be honest...I opened a blaster of Gypsy Queen today, and I wasn't thrilled.
Look, I'm actually one of the people that was a fan of the set even in its more dormant years, from 2013-2016, when nobody really cared about it. I really enjoyed the inserts, the degree of Spring Training shots, the detail packed into making the cards look vintage but distinct. Not a ton of that is still left in the 2017 edition, sad to say.
The main problem is Topps is trying to make Gypsy Queen into a cousin of Allen and Ginter, by sprucing up the backs and the card stock, giving it a classier, more artful feel that the set didn't especially need.
I'll present the blaster as is, but I wasn't the biggest fan of this set:
226- Eric Hosmer.
297- Adam Lind, looking very tired on this card.
73- Brett Gardner. Okay, at least I pulled a Yankee.
162- AJ Pollock, in one of those newfangled, weirdly okay Diamondbacks uniforms.
264- Adrian Beltre, future Hall of Famer and...sadly currently on the DL.
246- Kole Calhoun
2- Edwin Diaz.
200- Mike Trout. Again, I'll give Topps credit that I could actually pull a Mike Trout card without it being an SSSSP.
285- Kirby Yates. But...a knock against Topps for including a middle-reliever in a photoshopped uniform that didn't especially need to be here.
199- Jose Quintana
49- Kevin Gausman, one of two young O's pitchers who've FINALLY begun pitching well.
44- Kirk Nieuwenhuis. We...didn't especially need a card of him either...
87- Jake Lamb, who should have another nice season this year, if the D-Backs platooning allows him to.
56- Yasmani Grandal
3- Marcus Semien, a surprisingly potent addition for the A's.
Fortune Teller insert of Ivan Rodriguez. Okay, to be fair, these mini-inserts are cool, but I prefer the Glove Stories/Sticky Fingers/Sliding Stars variety that we'd become used to.
269- Brian Dozier, Twins hero.
182- Sam Dyson.
239- Asdrubal Cabrera
165- JA Happ. Glad to see he's reentering the spotlight.
282- Andrew Benintendi RC. If what I saw in Florida holds ground in the regular season...he's for real.
145- Zack Cozart
141- Adonis Garcia...only this is a Blackplateless- variation, so it's a lighter version of the card without black ink, and without a position. Weird, but cool.
206- Dustin Pedroia. Hate the team, respect the player.
50- Anthony Rizzo. One of my favorites.
245- DJ LeMahieu, probably up for another big season in 2017.
125- Francisco Cervelli. Again, I'm glad people are rooting for him.
Hand-Drawn Reproduction of...Roger Clemens. Good enough idea, I just wish I would have gotten someone else.
80- Scooter Gennett. Now with the Reds.
103- Mitch Moreland.
267- Zack Davies, who's become an apparent ace in a squad without many.
244- Ian Desmond. I'll admit that the photoshopping this year is a ton better, as Desmond does indeed look like he's wearing a Rockies uniform.
81- Starling Marte
299- Orlando Arcia
149- MATT HOLLIDAY IN A YANKEE UNIFORM...AND...Purple Parallel, #'d to 250. Again, I'm not loving this set, but this was pretty nice of Topps to throw this in, as if they knew. 'Yeah, he's not digging the set, maybe throw a Yankee parallel his way'.
210- Adam Jones. Baltimore hero.
51- Kevin Kiermaier. Still fantastic, will probably be holding up the Rays this year.
82- Brad Ziegler
247- Charlie Blackmon
315- Rod Carew SHORT PRINT. Hey, this is a pretty nice one to pull, too.
75- Clayton Kershaw. Best in the game.
69- Randal Grichuk
255- Matt Wisler
191- Marcell Ozuna, who should be back on the right track
184- Austin Hedges. ...Okay, Topps. If I don't know who someone is, they SHOULDN'T BE IN GYPSY QUEEN...
78- Robert Gsellman rookie.
284- Tommy Joseph. Jim Thome Part Deux.
111- Freddie Freeman.
Yeah, not a ton to talk about with this set. Just underwhelming, and not as good as previous issues.