So now that we've had a couple of days to digest it all, most of us can agree that 2012 Topps Baseball isn't exactly the "game changer" we were all led to believe. Based on what I've read on the internet, I've yet to see a single positive response or comment to 2012 Topps. The near-universal reaction to 2012 Topps is: "More of the same" is not "game changing."
(In the interest of full disclosure, I was the one who asked Clay Luraschi about 2012 Topps Baseball at their National meet-n-greet, to which he responded that it would be a "game changer." So you can all blame me.)
The comments posted to Beckett's website, and elsewhere, should be a wake-up call to the Honks at One Whitehall. Giving collectors what they want and giving them what they think they want are not one-in-the-same, and it's clear that the current Topps regime fails to understand this.
Based on what's been said by the collectors, here are a few points for Topps to ponder.
* We want our Topps Baseball back. We never really liked the glossy coating and foil on each card, but we learned to accept it. If you're looking for something that truly is "game-changing," how about getting rid of the foil and gloss?
* We'd also want a base set that's larger than 330 cards. If you're going to continue with two series, then each should have 400 cards, minimum.
* We like the design of the one-of-one wood parallel more than we do the base set. Here's a suggestion: Why not swap the two? Give collectors the wood-grained, foil-free, base set they want, and turn the white-bordered, foil-stamped card into the one-of-one.
* We're sick and tired of pointless inserts. Remember when card sets had meaningful inserts like "All-Stars," "Award Winners," "League Leaders," "Super Rookies," et al. What's the purpose of any of the Topps insert sets? What does "Gold Standard" mean? How does one become a "Golden Great?" "Gold Futures?" What the fuck does that mean?
* And does every insert set have to be 50 cards deep? The six inserts that have been announced have a combined 265 cards between them. That includes the 50-card 1987 Topps and Golden Moments inserts, and the 75-card Golden Greats. Keep in mind, that Topps has yet to announce the retailer-exclusive (i.e. Target and Wal-Mart) and pack-type exclusive inserts. So we can pretty much assume that, once again, the number of non-parallel, non-Hit inserts will exceed the 330-card base set.
* What's the deal with the "Gold" fetish anyway? We get it. 2011 was your 60th Anniversary, and you went all out with the Diamonds. Topps Baseball does NOT require an annual "theme." What's next for 2013? Silver? Copper? Bronze? Lead? At this rate 2020 Topps will be the "Plastic" set.
* 1987 Topps Minis? Really Topps? Yet another rehash of a forgotten set. You're not even trying anymore, are you?
* Does the Topps Flagship actually require a hit in every box? Seriously. We aren't buying Topps Baseball for the hits -- most of which are junk, anyway -- except for that one guy who buys 500 cases of everything, then flips the "hits" onto eBay.
I know one thing, unless there are major changes, 2012 will be the first year I will not collect the Topps flagship.
The good news for Topps is that they have five-and-a-half months to deliver the "game changer" they promised. Will they actually listen this time and give us the product we want? Or will they continue to dictate to collectors what they think we want? Time will tell.