Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sign of the Gypsy Queen

Reading about these cards all week really didn't get me pumped up for the release of Gypsy Queen.  I may be one of the few people on the planet who didn't purchase one pack of Gypsy Queen in 2011.  While the cards that I have received via trades from fellow bloggers were cool to look at, they didn't spur me to want to collect the set.  I think that is largely due to the fact that I really didn't get back into serious collecting until a few months after GQ hit the shelves, thus the product was pretty much dried up by the time I would have gotten involved.

No matter.  This is a new year.  I bought my first pack today (rack), and what I wonder is this:

Why does Topps feel the need to increase the number of past legends that they include in sets like this?  Are today's players really that boring?  Out of the 12 base cards I pulled from the rack pack, I received an Andre Dawson, a Ralph Kiner and a Lou Brock.  Now I haven't looked at a checklist for the entire set yet, but if the current ratio of 1 retired player for every 4 players in the set holds true, then in my opinion it's overkill.  (Thanks to the Trading Card Database Checklist found here, I found by a rough count 53 retired players in the set, 17.7%)

Here's another case in point:  The rack pack comes with a cello pack of 3 'framed' cards, and all 3 were retired greats. 

Nice looking cards for sure.  I'd like to see more current players though.  Maybe my luck is just crappy.

Something else to confuse me as well:

Justin Upton, 2 cards, same card number, different images.  Which is the variation, and how do I know?  There is nothing on the card to identify the variation that I can see. 

Now I likely won't go cold turkey on buying packs like the Night Owl stated he would, but I can't for the life of me be excited about the Gypsy Queen set. 

Maybe it's the cheap bastard in me.  For a rack pack of Gypsy Queen, 3 packs plus the 3 framed cards cost $9.49 + tax.  Close to $10 for 21 cards, or almost 50 cents a card.  At that price, I'd rather have a president and a guy nicknamed "ducky"

The more I see of this years products, the more I am starting to fall in line with the 'older' bloggers in that I am preferring to purchase older stuff rather than 2012 products.  It's less confusing, historic, and obtaining them is more about the hunt than ripping packs. 

I've already stopped buying Heritage, and will not buy too much more Gypsy Queen, what else do you have for me to reject Topps??  (lol)

Oh, and by the way, if you didn't recognize the song name in the title of my post, shame on you

Thanks for reading, Robert


  1. Hi Robert, the left Upton is the SP, no clue how one recognizes them but there are some sites listing all the SPs. If the Upton is up for trade let me know !

  2. Ha, I was wondering if the title was an April Wine reference...

  3. Those are photo variations, and it's actually done to pay homage to the original 1887 set, which would have 3 to 4 different photo variations of the same player. I don't hate the concept of them per se. But I like how they did it last year better.

    Last year they did photo variations for the first 100 cards - but for Minis only. And you got 1 photo variations per the 10-card mini pack that came per the hobby box. This was the only place they were circulated. The circulation and the fact it was only the first 100 cards made it easy to check. When you were an opening packs - there was no chance that a photo variation would be in there. It was pretty easy to figure out which one was the variation in the hobby mini-pack, because you could compare the 7 cards in that pack to your base cards. Even if you screwed up and mixed them together - it still wasn't that hard because you just had to look at regular mini cards from #1-100 to figure out.

    But in 2012, it's much harder. There are 50 regular base variations, and there are the same 50 variations as minis plus 41 more. So 91 total mini variations. And which cards are variations are dispersed randomly throughout. So, it's more than just a little bit confusing.

    All in all, I like the concept to a certain level, because I like things that tribute to the old set. I just think what they did last year was a lot better. And there has to be some way they could mark it discreetly so you can tell. We're not all Allen & Ginter code masters.