Every year for as long as I can remember I have always looked forward to the February release of the Topps flagship.  Mainly because I always wanted to see the new design.  I wanted to see who the Cup Rookies are and new players in new uniforms.

I finally got my hands on 2011 Topps Baseball and I couldn’t be more disappointed.  For the third straight year, Topps has ceased to be creative with their designs.  Why they can’t bring in some solid graphic artists is beyond me.  Maybe if they did they wouldn’t have to rely on older designs like Ginter and Gypsy Queen.

I mean even the circus design of 2008 was money compared to the latest offerings.  The subsets have no point other than the Topps history cards.  The diamond cards are just painful to look at, Topps seriously could have done something awesome with the diamond parallel.  Instead they chip up chrome stock and call it diamond.  They to top it all off, the best card I saw in the packs I bought were the Kimball mini cards.  However, when I thought about it the mini set has no purpose.  At least if it was a mini parallel I could understand it, this set was worthless.

This was Topps chance to come out and blow us away.  To save the baseball card industry and in my mind the lest a steaming pile of poo.  About the only thing I liked in the set was the jumbo swatches, but again they screwed that up too by not putting a picture of the player anywhere on the front of the card.  Also, Cards Your Mom Threw Out is the new Yankee Stadium legacy.  Want to put a new spin on it?  Insert the REAL DAMN CARDS!!!  Also while I’m at it, leave the fantasy cards to the custom card makers, yet another idea they stole from the blog world.

Am I being too tough on Topps? Maybe I am but this was supposed to be Topps big year, the Diamond Anniversary.  This set should have been fantastic, it should have been the set that told the hobby world, baseball is our sport and we own it.  I’ve seen more creativity from In The Game baseball.  Topps you are going to have to spend more time on products other than 5 Star football.  I hope baseball gives the contract to someone else next year, cause this was a giant disappointment.

Who threw up chrome slivers on these cards?

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7 responses »

  1. Nathan says:

    Interesting point of view. It seems that you have the opposite opinion of most of the blog reviews that I’ve read so far.

    Most people like the base set, you dislike it.
    Most people like the diamond cards, you dislike them.
    Most people hate the jumbo patches, you like them.
    Most people dislike the history of Topps inserts, you like them.
    Most people love Kimballs, you dislike them.

    I’m not being critical in anyway, it’s just interesting to read a blog with such an interesting viewpoint. At least no one can accuse you of following the crowd :).

    And looking on the bright side, I’m sure you’ll have no problem unloading diamond parallels in exchange for Topps history cards 🙂

    • chemgod says:

      Like I said if you are doing a subset it should have a purpose. The only subset that had a purpose in my opinion was the history of Topps. I actually used to diamond parallel to create a custom card.

  2. JBob says:

    Frankly I love the Diamond parallel cards! They look like that Score Platinum set that you had to send away for awhile ago.

  3. Dennis says:

    I’m with you 100%–I get more and more disappointed with this set every year. I really like the Yankee Stadium Legacy analogy, although at least CYMTO isn’t 100% Yankees (which is a shock since we’re talking about Topps). The base set is unimaginative, there’s 5,000 superfluous inserts, the Diamond cards are ugly and those stamped leather cards that don’t represent anything are horrendous. If this was a $30-$40 product it wouldn’t matter, but collectors are going loopy for this crap for 3x that because they have to. I’m glad some people enjoy it because I wouldn’t want to take that away from them, but I really hope more people vote with their wallets and stay away so Topps stops mailing it in.

  4. Eggrocket says:

    Wow. To each his own, I guess. My big debate with Topps base this year was deciding if it was one of my favorites of all time or my absolute favorite of all time. I love it.

    Inserts are pretty worthless, though. I’ll agree.

  5. todduncommon says:

    Topps is bearing the brunt of criticism, because, well, they are the only ones with an MLB license currently. I think what feels so disappointing is that Topps has been dipping into their (and others’) well of history for so long, that there’s nothing un-tired about reprinty or heritage-y design. It was cool and novel 13 years ago, but they basically wasted their opportunity to make a 60th anniversary notable, when they basically have been celebrating that non-stop for the last 10 years, at least.

    I agree with you–it would have been nice to include the vintage cards in the packs, but I can see how that’s unfeasible. You’ve got creepy pack-feelers in retail, and potential for unscrupulous pack weighers with hobby / dealer packs. Blasters, sealed boxes, and blister packs do mitigate that somewhat, though.

    I do find the base set design a little ‘blah’, especially since the re-instituted a pet peeve–repeating the same photo on the front for the inset on the back. Duh, I have the front photo already. I don’t need it again.

  6. Jeff says:

    Let’s start with the insert sets. To me, they are a continuation of the sets that were done last year. Yea, Topps is celebrating their history, but they should have made it special for this year only. CYMTO is the same. Instead of the history of the game, we have history of Topps. Same goes for Legendary Lineage, vintage players on modern cards, etc. The only items I found unique to this year is the Diamond Parallels, and the 60 Diamond Sparkle sp cards. They may be ugly and hokey, but I’ll give them credit for tying it into the 60th anniversary theme.
    For the base set, I don’t really mind them that much design wise. Based upon what I have seen from Topps over the years, they could have been worse. My pet peeves for the base set are the foil names which make it hard to read (yes, I do sometimes need glasses), and the player selection. You think that with a total base set of over 600 cards plus an update set that more players would have a card.

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