Monday, February 6, 2012

Piling On!

This is at LEAST the 2012th post about 2012 Topps Series, at the risk of making my one reader (thanks, Dad!) look like this:

Is this dude: (a) reading this post, (b) watching American Idol or (c) a Tebow fan?

Of course I'll double down!   Here we go, my take on 2012 Topps.  

I seriously debated picking up any of this release.   I am a set builder by nature and last year was my first year back in the hobby after about 20 years.   Part of my annual goals will be to collect at least one set for my son.   This sounded easy enough, but I floundered for a few months with all of the various releases.   I eventually began to tread water when I decided what I liked.   The winners for me?   I was really impressed by and am still having a lot of fun putting together the Gypsy Queen and Heritage sets.   You can check out my progress on those sets on my NEEDS page.   I am definitely looking forward to those same releases this year....

So what about the flagship?   It would be very easy (and WAY more financially efficient) to just pick up a factory set of Series 1 & 2 at the end of the year for the price of a couple of blasters.   Who needs inserts anyways?

Meh.   What fun is that?

A blaster and a hanger box literally tackled me at Wally Mart.   It was my first exciting "Release Day" experience that also coincided with the writing of this blog's first (and now, no longer ONLY!) post.   I couldn't NOT pick up some, right?   Would I taste defeat and suffer with regret?   For a good day of wax, I always hope for some of my Yanks, some of my Braves and a minimal stack of duplicates.    Here goes nothing!

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4 base Yankees.   Not too bad!   I am hoping that Nova can carry over his success from last year and that Big Mo can put together another season of magic while mentoring Mr. Robertson.   Teixeira had some pop but needs more consistent production and Burnett......well, we'll see which A.J. reports in FL.

Some Yankee inserts.   AH, the Captain!   Not only that but a card of Jeter commemorating the first shared baseball memory for my son and me.   He'll have to hear about that moment for the rest of my life.   I think we both teared up a little but I swear the weird smell was coming from him!

I've never been so excited to pull a Mariner since the Kid!

The NEW guy!   Sure wish Cashman had been a bit quicker so these cards had a shot at some good 'ol fashioned Topps Airbrushing.....but that's okay.   You were traded for Jesus, Michael.   No pressure!   Good luck, kid.

A nice haul of some Bombers.   I shall spare you the various League Leader cards I pulled.   Blah - not a fan.   On to the Bravos....

I look just like Craig after I hoist the family Christmas tree into position!

Oh how sweet!   I was rooting for Kimbrel every time he took the mound last year.   I went back and forth between him and David Robertson for the title of Ryan's favorite hurler.   Rookie of the Year and the rookie season saves record - top notch.   Plus, you can't look any cooler as you stare down the hitter looking like THAT.   Good job, Topps.   I hear that Atlanta hitting coaches have worked with Jason for a couple of months.   His injuries caused him to change his swing and this required a total deconstruction so that they could build him back up.   Did it work?   And finally - Smoltzy and Kimbrel together.   This design has run its course but these are two great players (and commentator and golfer).

Here's some gold goodness:

Better GOLD than last year's?
I'm pretty happy at this point.   A good spread amongst my favorites.   I am also impressed by the photography this year.   Here are some of my favorite shots:

R.A. Baracus says: "I PITY THE FOOL!"
  Yeah, R.A. is probably going to catch some ribbing for this one.   But check out the fancy yard art left behind the mound by the grounds keeping crew at Shea Stadium  Citi Field!   The Blanks card is hauntingly biblical - clear proof that baseball is a favorite up in the clouds, yeah?   I am sure Dan Brown is on the case.   A couple more:

Beautiful follow-through
I tried to recreate this pose myself.   I failed.
I neared the end of my packs and saw this emerge:

Is dinner served for Uncle Eddie?
No, of course it's not THE card.  No short-print squirrel (a good name for a band?).   Just 'ol Skip!

But, more card...could it be?   YES!
Goofy, awkward, short print-y awesomness
Great way to end it - Fabulous High Fivin' Freddie Freeman!   Freddie had a rough beginning in 2011 but eventually found his groove and produced a quality rookie campaign that had him close behind his teammate, Mr. Kimbrel, on the NL ROY ballot.   I am hopeful that Freeman picks up where he left off and can contribute to the Braves' avenging of last year's SEPTEMBER implosion.   

If you're still reading - here's my overall take:

I like the set but the design is average and blends in quickly with those of the previous couple of years.   The photography saves the day - well done, Topps.   The inserts are hit or miss.   As many have already pointed out, several of them are too reverse-engineered for the potential relic/auto varieties (none of which I managed to pull).   

I will be chasing the base card set and collecting the Gold Standard, '87 Mini's (homage to the year I started collecting!) and Golden Moments insert subsets.   Feel free to check my 2012 Topps NEEDS/FOR TRADE lists to see if there's anything you'd like to swap! 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Keep piling on...Heritage will be here soon.

  2. Hey Ryan- I have a stack I will happily donate. Send me your mailing address and I will hook you up!

  3. Ahhhh, no airbrushing for Mr. Pineda. It would just be one more lousy sp I would need for my Yankee team set.