And so this past Saturday, at a cramped Days Inn ballroom in Lancaster, PA, I forked over $13 and bought 26 Hobby loosies of 2012 Topps Baseball Series One.
No, you are not seeing things. I bought 26 packs of 2012 Topps One for a fourth of their $1.99/pack MSRP. I suppose there wasn't enough "added value," huh? Or squirrels?
Anyway, as feared, the product ranges from mediocre (base set) at best, to bland and soulless (inserts) at worst. Take a look at the piss-poor design of these inserts.
You can tell that these cards are designed first as BIG MOJO HITZZZ!!!1!!, then retconned into inserts with a team logo and/or seal; and that big-ass logo/seal makes them look like shit.
And what's with all the "Gold" anyway? Gold Standard, Golden Moments, Gold Futures, Golden Greats? What's the point of having all these inserts anyway? Just about every pack I opened had two inserts in it. Does anyone at Topps seriously think that this "adds value?" Do they understand the concept of Diminishing Marginal Utility?
I did manage to pull this purely Lagniappe Michael Pineda letter patch which, unlike most letter patches, is not manufactured. It was cut out of the warm-up jersey he wore at the 2011 All-Star Game. Not a manu-relic, but not exactly "game used" either.
So there. It took me two years, but I've finally crossed over to the dark side and I feel a bit dirty for doing so. Now if you will excuse me, I need to look up the nearest Free Clinic.