August 13, 2011

Hobby Box Break and Review: 2011 Topps Lineage

This year Topps introduced a new set in baseball cards which features reprints of older Topps cards as inserts, autographed versions and game used versions. The Topps Lineage base set is it's own design and to me, looks a little like a cross between Bowman base and old school Topps Total cards.

Each box contains, on average, one game used relic card and two autographs including one on card autograph. The price per hobby box is around $70-$75 which isn't too bad for three hits.



While I honestly don't care for the back of the cards, I like the front. I like how the team logos are appropriate for the time the player played. If you can get past the fact that the back of the cards look like either promotional cards from cereal boxes, or an unfinished product you probably will enjoy this base set just fine. Personally, I wouldn't have made the back of these cards all different colors like a crayon box.



The back of the cards also have Venezuelan variants, which you can see here.



Clearly the Spanish back cards are not just reserved for those players who speak that as their first language because something tells me Braun 'no habla espanol'.

Each box comes with a box topper which could be a game used relic, however that was not the case here. I kind of like the jumbo card, it's a novelty type card without being a gimmick.



There were three variations of the base cards in this set, the Diamond Anniversary cards much like the ones from Topps Series 1 & 2, Diamond Platinum, and cloth type sticker versions of the base cards.

Diamond Platinum

Diamond Anniversary

Stickers


Next, we have probably my favorite insert set out of this product. I might even try to complete this 20 card set because it was a favorite of mine as a kid. I always tried to trade for these cards when I was younger and was always excited when I saw them pop out of one of my packs.



There are plenty of cool subsets in this product, and if you liked one particular year of Topps cards that are in this newer set it gives you something to chase until the next release. Here are the other inserts that were in the hobby box.

3D cards (which are totally blank on the back...)

Stand Up cards, which I really like. I have a great idea of what to do with that stupid Youk card if I can scrounge up some Yankee stand ups....

Mini '75 cards


Finally, we have the 3 hits from the box which were exactly as promised on the box.





The on card auto is Fausto Carmona. My scanner for some reason won't recognize the top of the card.


Now for the Report Card....

Design: C

This grade is solely based on the base cards that are original and unique to this set. While I love the front of the cards, the back of the cards looks like they just had better things to do than come up with something or finish what they intended to do. A base set should be uniform in color and this set lacks that, along with anything that could be considered aesthetically pleasing. I think Topps dropped the ball on turning this into a big hit just based on that fact.

Value: B+

Currently the market price for this product is a little bit high for what I got out of the box. There were 157 base cards, and 2 Venezuelan inserts total. So 157/200 in the base set isn't bad for one hobby box. After seeing the sell sheet for this product I thought there would be much more in terms of reprints of older sets than I saw. The upside to the value is that you get a nice variety of inserts, with a chance to pull a couple of cards of your favorite team or player.

Quality: B

The base set card stock is on the same level as the flagship set/Opening Day cards except for much more money. The inserts are what save the quality for me because they are fun and seem to be well received by most collectors. The stand up cards are awesome as well as the 3D cards. I like the mini cards however if you like to store your cards in an album these will be a little tricky to find Ultra Pro sheets in that exact size.

Overall: B

While I have outlined some of the issues I have with this set, I think it has potential to be much more successful in it's second year should Topps decide to put it out there again. I think this would be a better if they put more of an effort into the back of the cards, as well as incorporating more of the vintage themed cards that were on the sell sheet. Maybe even bring back a Bazooka subset of relics or auto's? I was a sucker for the Bazooka sets even if they looked just like Topps Total. The inserts make this set worthwhile as well as the fact that you get two autographs per box. If you are looking for just a fun break without caring about building a set, you will enjoy the break.

5 comments:

  1. I like the pop-ups too. They look to be very faithful to the 1964 originals. How many people will actually stand them up?

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  2. The Large cards are based on the 1964 Topps Giant cards seen here:

    http://morethancardboard.blogspot.com/2010/04/legendary-ebay-purchase-bob-gibson.html

    I haven't had time (or the money) to get my hands on these cards yet, but I am salivating at the mouth for them!

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  3. The inserts are cool - I would have wanted to buy a box or two if each pack was say 3 1975 minis, a stand-up, a 3D card, a sticker & a Rookie All-Star.

    $75 for ~150 base cards I don't like, a handful of inserts I do like and 3 random & likely useless autographs & game-used cards? I'll pass.

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  4. It seems like every break I see, someone pulls a Carmona auto. LOL

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  5. I bought a blaster of this and got quite a few cards which were very badly cut. A bunch were cut off just above the top border (all in the same pack) and a bunch more cut just below the bottom border (also in the same pack). I'd give a C at best for quality.

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