Sweet! Tim from Cardpocalypse held some weekly Cardpocalypse contests during the month of May and I won a very nice relic card from his last “Anything Goes” contest. Tim also sent a dozen way cool Topps inserts that went a long way towards satisfying my craving for Topps flagship inserts. I’ll show the insert cards first and save the dessert (relic card) for last. First up is a couple of nice 2018 Topps inserts.
Here are four cards from one of the best insert card designs Topps has put out in recent years. The photos are fairly fresh (to me at least) but maybe a little bit overprocessed. This design is really eye-catching and works well in the overall borderless design.
But as much as I like this Decades’ Best insert set, something still looks off to me. It’s not readily apparent on the Fergie Jenkins card but if you look closely at the other three cards, you can see a dark gray drop shadow imposed just to the left of the player’s body. That is a little bit disconcerting to me but not a dealbreaker. Perhaps some may think it enhances the photo’s impact but I think it’s unnecessary and takes away slightly from the essence of the decade being evoked. But like I said, it’s not a dealbreaker.
More 2020 Topps insert goodness! I’m really surprised Tim included some Home Run Challenge cards in the envelope. These cards have the potential to win you some nice additional cards from Topps that are fairly rare. As you may know, it’s easy to enter this Topps online contest. After registering with Topps and entering the card’s code, you predict a date that the player pictured will hit a home run. If your player comes through for you, then you win a special serial-numbered version of the card. Last year I had only two of these HRC cards but I did win a special serial-numbered Gary Sanchez card, so that was nice.
Needless to say, this year will be different. There will be much fewer (if any) MLB games in which to predict a home run. I wouldn’t be surprised then if special 2020 HRC cards are awarded, then they will be more highly sought after than those of other years.
The Topps Decade’s Next insert set may be a bit bland to some, considering that the design’s main colors are black, white and gold foil. But in my opinion it is still pretty distinctive and doesn’t seem to copy any previous Topps flagship design. The use of gold foil and it’s texture are big plusses for this set. As I mentioned in my review of 2020 Topps, Pleasure and Pain (A Review of 2020 Topps Series 1), I think Topps should try using this gold foil on the Topps Gold cards (which are serial-numbered to 2020).
And last but not least is the 2019 Topps Update All-Start Stitches Whit Merrifield card I won from Tim’s contest. Topps usually does a really good job with the design of these All-Star Stitches sets. The 2004 and 2016 designs immediately come to mind. The 2020 All-Stitches design is definitely right up there with them.
Topps got a nice head start on this design with MLB’s 2019 All-Star logo which incorporates a guitar (given that the 2019 All-Star game was held in Cleveland–home of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame). Topps added a guitar neck and a stylized silhouette of the Cleveland skyline for the nameplate. It all adds up to a very pleasing look for this traditional relic set.
Rather surprisingly, Topps has announced in May that there will be a 2020 Topps Update product. Much like the 2020 MLB season, it remains to be seen if it will actually happen.
A rousing Stadium Fantasium standing ovation goes out to Tim and his Cardpocalypse blog for sending these great cards over to the Stadium Fantasium collection–thanks Tim!
Contest plug: As of this writing, thirteen players are still needed to sign up for the Big Fun Game at Johnny’s Trading Spot. Check it out if you haven’t played before.
Question of the Day:
Seeing as the 2020 MLB All-Star game at Dodger Stadium has been cancelled, do you think Topps will still somehow manage to put an All-Star Stitches relic set in 2020 Topps Update?