I'm very pleased with my two boxes of 2011 Topps Heritage. I love the design, which is based on the 1962 Topps design, wood-grain background and big bold yellow geometrical shapes. The pictures, however, remind me a bit of the misguided 2009 O-Pee-Chee, with some of them lower resolution and taken with strange-looking expressions on the faces of the players. Take these, for example:
Go figure. Maybe the pictures in 1962 were a bit suspect, as well, so they are being very true to the original design, although I would hope and expect to see improvements.
The inserts are nothing new, with the same four groups as last year, and the year before that. The relics are similar, and the autographs are of players I hardly recognize, except for the three biggies that Topps corralled this year: Aaron, Koufax and Gibson. Unfortunately, I didn't get an autograph of any of them. In fact, I didn't get any autograph at all! Two boxes, two relics. I must admit that one of them is probably a case hit, but it's kinda disappointing, anyways.
Much, much, much better than last year's Heritage or Topps Update. From two boxes, I have only 80 base to go, and I only got 73 doubles. No trips, either. That's a pretty good start on this set.
Same as last year, with 426 to 500 short printed. However, I did come across something unusual. There is a series of Babe Ruth cards from 136 to 144, chronicling his career. But then I pulled another 136, this one of Jackie Robinson:
It's some sort of short print, I believe. Don't you wish Topps would let us know about cards like this (Diamond star cards, anyone?) beforehand so that we don't start trading cards away without realizing it.
I could probably do without these, although if I were to pull a Pujols or Heyward or Freeman black chrome refractor, I wouldn't be complaining nearly as much. I got three per box, including one refractor of Ramon Hernandez. For comparison, there is a (funny-looking) Cliff Lee chrome.
Baseball Flashbacks, News Flashbacks, Then & Now, and New Age Performers. Short printed. I got seven per box.
What you were all waiting for . . . drumroll please . . . badadadadadadadadadada . . .
. . . WAAA! WAAA! WAAAAAAAAAAAA! (muted trumpet sound)
No Koufax autograph. No Aaron autograph. No Gibson autograph. No autograph! oh-fer-two!
I did get a nice Hamilton bat relic:
I also got this Hoyt Wilhelm flashback stadium relic from Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. (I think Baltimore is haunting me this year, as the only black-border parallel I got from base Topps is the Orioles team card.) If you look at the odds, though, it is 1:1175 packs. So I guess that is a case hit. A bit disappointing, but it should bring a nice card in trade.
I pulled one of the Baseball Bucks out of the first box. My shop owner was so excited to see these, then was terribly disappointed when he finally saw it:
It almost looks as if it was made on a copier! Maybe there are different ones, but this one was sure disappointing.
However, the second box made up for it, as I got two - yes, two! - box-toppers. First, a Padres team card ad panel. In addition, there was another pack with this in it:
That's right. A 1962 buyback of Ron Fairly. I think I remember him with the Expos, but that was in the 70's, I'm sure. Anyways, a nice addition to the collection, and it is in excellent condition. Check the back out (click on it for a larger view).
Overall Score: A-
I take off a point for the unimaginative insert sets and the lousy photography in some of the pictures. Other than that, and no auto, I absolutely love this set, better than the last few years of Heritage. This is a fine addition to the Heritage line. Keep up the good work, Topps, and don't be afraid to improve on a good product.
I have some big-name doubles, so if you need any, let me know. My wantlist is up-to-date with 2011 Heritage. I would also be looking for any Indians relics or refractors. Please DON"T leave comments here, as I probably won't see them soon. Send an email - the address is in the right column.
doubles: 1, 30, 31, 32, 33, 43, 46, 48, 50, 61, 62, 64, 71, 92, 96, 98, 102, 104, 108, 116, 117, 128, 131, 138, 143, 144, 152, 153, 156, 159, 165, 182, 185, 194, 199, 202, 206, 209, 213, 238, 239, 242, 247, 260, 269, 272, 273, 274, 286, 288, 290, 300, 305, 309, 313, 322, 324, 330, 333, 337, 344, 360, 361, 370, 384, 390, 392, 394, 395, 406, 408, 421, 417, CL1, CL5, CL6