Thursday, July 12, 2018
A Needlessly Analytical Blaster of 2018 Topps Big League
First, there was Topps Kids. Then, there was Bazooka. Then there was Opening Day. Then there was Topps Bunt.
Now, the newest kid-centric Topps set? BIG LEAGUE. The base set alone had intrigued me thus far, as well as the collectable, simple feel to it. I'd enjoyed Bunt, but I'd disliked its overblown quality, as well as its affiliation with the money-sucking app of the same name. So, I got this on a whim, as I was mildly amused by the sell-sheet.
There's 5 packs per box, including a 4-card blue parallel pack. 10 cards per pack. For 10 bucks, I could do a lot worse, but I could also do a lot better.
Let's get into it, then:
These are your base cards. Arguably a simpler design than we've got from Topps in years. Something like this could have been a base design around 2006 or 2008. The pop-out quality of some cards, including Moose, also is reminiscent of the 1990 Topps set.
Photo wise, it's not THRILLING, and some cards are scaled either too far back or too far forward.
More base. This set is reminding me a lot of two different, more maligned, sets.
1. 2011 Topps Lineage. Minimal base set, mix of legends and stars, elements of good ideas of past and future, but fundamentally flawed.
2. 1999 UD Choice. Dwarfed version of previous set, with wider, blander photography, minimalistic base design, copious subsets, and lack of originality.
This set does have A BIT more originality than those two, but the resemblance is making me a bit wary.
I do like that Adam Jones card, though.
1. Dominic Smith gets a RC emblem and Tsu-Wei Lin doesn't??
2. I like that Topps actually found pictures of Kemp, Cain, etc in new uniforms. Unless they got a Kemp photo from pre-2015?
3. A-Rod doesn't deserve 'legends' status. He doesn't. I say that as a Yankee fan, too.
I also dig that Profar photo, our gold parallel.
The Players Weekend subset is a great one, and I'm glad it exists, but...you've got to do better than "TONY". You should use this set to showcase the great nicknames in the sport, like "All Rise", "El Torito", "Big Sexy", "Bison", etc. Tony is just...half of his name. It's not really original.
Swanson and Ziegler's photos are also pretty good, though Ziegler doesn't look too pleased.
I'm even fine with a slightly-commonplace Thor photo, solely because it's Thor.
So, in summation....nothing much, but nothing horrible either. Amusing for kids, I guess. I don't know how much retail staying power it has, but it could be a low-key success this year.