Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reviewing the 2012 Topps Factory Set

2012 Topps #62
Happy New Year!

Mrs. Claus came through again this year with another Topps factory set under the tree.  This is becoming an annual Christmas tradition, and I spent the next several days after Christmas sorting through the cards and familiarizing myself with the base Topps cards that I overlooked during the year. I know this set has been picked apart and/or praised and equally celebrated or criticized throughout the blogosphere, so my observations are undoubtedly a little late.  But as I was looking through the 2012 Topps set and sorting it, a few random critical questions came to mind:
  • Why doesn't Topps group subsets any more?  I love postseason cards, in spite of card #264 celebrating the Cardinals victory over the Phillies in Game 5 of the 2011 N.L.D.S.  By my tally, there are 10 postseason cards scattered throughout the set, and the games featured on the cards aren't even in chronological order throughout the set.  Why not group these cards together to present the cohesive story of the 2011 postseason?
  • Same goes for the League Leaders cards, as these are scattered throughout the set too.  Why not just group them all together to present a snapshot of the leaders from the 2011 season?  And bring back the stolen base leaders and leading firemen cards while you're at it.
2012 Topps #29
  • Did we really need the Active League Leaders subset?  Instead of these cards, we could have had stand-alone highlights and record breakers cards, instead of making those subjects share card space with the set's checklists.  I doubt collectors were clamoring for the Active N.L. Wins Leaders card, featuring two former Phillies.  I certainly wasn't.
  • This is nit-picking, but were there really no better highlights or records broken in 2011 than Jose Valverde's franchise record 49 saves with the Tigers (#491) or Derek Jeter's most games played with the Yankees (#641)?
  • Finally, and for all I know Topps has been doing this for the past few years, why give the Rookie Cup winners two separate cards?  I only noticed this when I came across two separate cards for the Phillies new center fielder, Ben Revere.  He has a base card (with no Rookie Cup) and a second card (with a Rookie Cup).  That seems silly.
2012 Topps #292
All in all, it's a good set, but not a great set.  I whole-heartedly agree with the assessment of many bloggers that the photography in the set is spectacular.  That being said, I haven't deemed a Topps set binder-worthy since their 2009 offering and that was mostly because there were Phillies World Series highlight cards in the set.  After I put the 2012 Topps set in order, I'll leave it in its box and stack it on a shelf along with the boxed 2010 and 2011 sets.  Perhaps the 2013 Topps set will break the non-binder worthy streak that Topps currently has going.

1 comment:

Section 36 said...

I wonder if they skip number the subsets now in case they need a late addition? Easy to swap a player in if it's not in the middle of a subset run? Or, not.