This release comes at a strange time in 2020. Normally, the season has been rolling along for almost three months, and some new rookies have started to emerge. This year, due to the global pandemic, no regular season games have been played by the release date in late June. Summer training will begin the first week of July, with fan free games starting in late July at this point.
The pandemic has caused other problems within the hobby. Many releases such as this one have been delayed, and there seems to be some quality issues while trying to rush and catch up. This release is a continuation of series one, with another 350 card base set, the usual expected parallels, and many of the same insert sets duplicating numbers unfortunately.
After about a two month delay due to the world wide pandemic, Topps brings us the second series of The Rise of Skywalker. There is quite the backup of releases right now, and it seems Topps is pushing to clear that backlog quickly. Unfortunately, that has led to some quality issues.
There have been reports of poor collation and missing hits. We didn’t see that here, but it seems to be a common complaint right now. We did see pack sizes vary between 18 cards and 3 in some cases in non-hit packs. Given the quality issues for recent releases like Topps Total, these seem entirely plausible.
This series features a 100 card base set, with a number of parallels, as well as inserts also coming in parallel versions. The box contains 24 packs with 8 cards per pack. A box advertises two hits per box, including one guaranteed autograph.
This entry level product returns for another year, after a bit of a delay due to the global pandemic. It’s the same basic card set, but this time the complete base set has been reduced to 300 cards. The configuration of the box has also changed a bit. Instead of the standard 24 packs per box from years past, this year we see 18 packs of 10 cards. The price seems to have dropped a similar amount, so all is not lost.
There are possible hits in this product, but that’s not really what drives it. A hobby box does not contain any hits, but it does come with a few parallels and insert cards. Overall, it’s a fun little set to collect that won’t set you back nearly as much as most of the other regular releases.
Wave 2 of Topps Total was a bit of a mess, so even with a few errors, this one is an improvement. Two players have a number different from the checklist, resulting in two numbers doubling up. The parallels are continuing without the letters used in wave 1.
With a print run of 3702, this wave sees a bit more than the previous wave, but still well below the first wave. This wave includes stars such as Clayton Kershaw and Paul Goldschmidt, while featuring Bo Bichette as top rookie. Again, the release has a base set, with red, black, and gold possible parallels. There are also a limited number of autographs as well as a retired legend as available inserts. Each pack is advertised to have ten cards. Any inserts or parallels are an additional card in the pack.
New releases have started reaching ridiculous levels, so we’re going to look at an old release that has been sitting around for a while. This Topps release covered the World Wrestling Federation, back before it was known as World Wrestling Entertainment. This came out after Wrestlemania 3 from the Silverdome in Pontiac Michigan, featuring the clash between Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant.
This release comes before the time that hits were the central focus of a product. It is also before inserts really became standard, although it does include a sticker subset. The base set contains 75 cards, showing superstars, highlights, as well as some action captions. There is also an insert subset of 22 different stickers.
There is a danger built in to these older products, and it goes beyond chewing thirty-three year old gum. These packs were wax, and the sealing process often stained the bottom card. The amount of wax varies, and is sometimes not very noticeable, but it’s something to consider. Also, is a problem related to the gum. These packs weren’t really designed to stay sealed for decades. After years sealed in a pack, along with pressure, the gum often ends up almost leaking on to the cards. Every pack had one card severely damaged by the gum. Keep these things in mind if you look at old wax era packs.