The first major baseball release of the year tells us the new baseball season is around the corner. This year, it comes out just following the Super Bowl, giving a clean break between sports. It’s that time of year where the new season is filled with hope, for all the teams not located in Detroit.
This year, it’s pretty apparent the production numbers continue to rise. Is that indicative of an increase in collectors? Or something else? It may take some time for us to be sure. The format of the release is the same as recent years. The base set features 350 cards, with a number of insert sets, as well as a set using the design from 1985 Topps. There is also a bit of controversy surrounding this release. In a 350 card base set, there is one single Texas Ranger. That might be understandable in a 100 card base set, but in the Flagship release?
A box advertises 10 packs with 46 cards per pack. It also includes 1 autograph and 2 relic cards. It also comes prepacked with two silver packs containing 1985 Topps Chrome variants, and an oversized Turkey Red card.
This has become a yearly release I look forward to. There’s no real surprise to it, but it’s still a nice release. As we’ve seen in the last two years, we see a base set focusing on scenes from Return of the Jedi, along with familiar insert sets like Behind the Scenes, Concept Art, Posters, and Iconic Characters.
I’ve noticed something that seems a bit odd to me, too. For the original Black & White A New Hope release, the base set had 140 cards. The Empire Strikes Back had 150. This one, however, has 133. I’m a bit surprised it jumps around so much, but I guess it really isn’t a big deal. A box advertises 7 packs with 8 cards per pack, with 1 autograph or sketch card per box.
This year, the holidays bring the final episode of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. That means another card set, as well. This was released the same day as the movie. As with other recent movie releases, the first series has many characters and some scenes, but it’s light on anything really resembling a spoiler.
This release is similar to other recent movies. You get a small base set, parallels, and a number of insert sets including stickers, illustrated character, and ships and vehicles. One unusual thing that stands out, however, is the base set. It’s 99 cards, rather than something round. I guess that’s not really good or bad, just surprising. It’s not clear why that change. Could it be so the set will fit in pages nicely?
A box advertises 24 packs with 8 cards per pack. This includes two hits per box, one of which is guaranteed to be an autograph or sketch card.
When the new television deal was announced for NXT, this set took on a little bit more meaning. Before now, NXT has been a brand exclusively on the WWE Network. It was well received, but perhaps didn’t have as large an audience. That has all changed, but will that mean a bigger market for the cards? Time will tell on that.
It feels like an unusual release. It has a similar configuration to other recent wrestling releases, included a set of matches and moments, as well as one of the roster. There are 100 matches and moments, and a separately numbered 50 roster cards. Only the matches and moments have parallels, which makes it seem the primary base set. There are no other “non-hit” inserts included in this release. It also seems a bit strange that, while included in the roster cards, the women are not featured in the matches and moments portion.
A box advertises 24 packs with 7 cards per pack. It also includes 2 autographs per box, although there have been reports of some boxes containing 5 autographs instead.
This release follows a popular Topps Chrome offering from earlier in the summer. It adds some new rookies, as well as All Star cards and others. It’s a Target exclusive and usually very popular, despite being a fairly stripped down set.
There are rumors that production has gone way up on these. That seems to be possible when looking at the configuration. This features a 100 base set (numbered 1-100, which will make it confusing when dealing with the original chrome cards. While there are a large number of parallels, they are conspicuously difficult to find. That suggests a higher print run, but that remains to be seen.
A box advertises 7 packs with 4 cards per pack. There are no guarantees for hits or anything else in this format.