Monday, January 28, 2019

2018 - Topps Living Set

I mostly think that, with a few exceptions (Heritage), the whole reusing past designs on current product phase has been played out. I enjoy the older designs. They are classics for a reason. The more I see them being mined, especially the same few designs, the more the concept seems tired and old hat.

What do I think is exciting? Finding more obscure sets to borrow designs from or if you have to use a tried and true classic design, have a great concept around it. That is one of the reasons why I don't mind the Topps Heritage sets. One year. One design. One clear purpose. I've softened of Topps Archives over the years, but it still drives me a bit batty.

Spawning as a hybrid of Topps Now and Topps Heritage is the Topps Living Set. It should be everything I dislike, but against all odds, it has made a favorable impression on me.

I shouldn't like the use of the 1953 design, but it seems like an inspired choice for a set like this. It's classic and recognizable, but not used to death. The style of the 1953 set almost seems tailor made for this venture.

I shouldn't like the limited/on demand nature of the release structure, but it works for this type of set. I appreciate that only three cards are released each week. I also like that the cards appear frequently on the secondary market shortly after the window of availability. If I missed a card that I want, it's not going to be a huge hassle acquiring it. The cards still retain their limited numbers because of the on demand nature of release. It's simplistically brilliant.

The last point may be broken down the road, but I hope Topps resists the temptation to do so. At my perusal, I have not discovered any player that repeats. That is refreshing! I am sick of seeing multiple cards of superstar players in the same set. I get why companies do that, but that simple act diminishes the joy of pulling a star player. The Alex Rodriguez Road To 500 set comes to mind. (2007 me: Hey, I pulled Alex Rodriguez! Hey, I pulled him out of that pack too. Wow. He's here too. So, let's see. 12 A-Rod cards, 10 Mickey Mantle cards, 5 Ryan Howard, 4 Nick Swisher and 3 David Wright cards out of 14 packs. Hey look! 14 cards from the actual set I'm trying to collect!) Sometimes I wonder if a card company will come out with packs of just insert cards. No actual set. Just inserts.

The White Sox have so far in this ongoing set...

26 - Yoan Moncada
78 - Avisail Garcia
113 - Daniel Palka

133 - Frank Thomas
159 - Jose Abreu
167 - Eloy Jimenez
213 - Tim Anderson
218 - Harold Baines

This set is designed to infuriate me, but ends up impressing the hell out of me. As a White Sox collector, it's not too bad on the pocketbook. Although, that may change in the next season or two with all the changes and call-ups. I look forward to seeing this set move forward. Hopefully Topps resists all of it's usual tendencies and maintains the status quo.


JediJeff said...

I have one card - Moncada, that someone sent me. I am not driven to collect these cards. If I have one - great. If they release one that is a PC, I might pick it up. But the cost doesn't justify the need to own.

John Sharp said...

I'm a fan of this set, and was excited when my favorite Tigers pitcher, Matt Boyd, was issued...a huge surprise to many. I look forward to Cobb, Kaline, Trammell cards, and, hey, maybe there will be a Bill Melton ChiSox card one day.

Good job!

Once a Cub said...

There's been one repeat so far, Manny Machado on the Orioles and then when he changed teams to the Dodgers. Allegedly, that's the only way they're supposed to repeat, a player changing teams.

Steve Gierman said...

Didn't catch the Machado repeat, but I am OK with that if players change teams. I just am not looking for multiple Aaron Judge Yankee cards or multiple Cal Ripken Jr. Oriole cards, for example.

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