In an unusual year, we should have always expected an unusual Update set. Normally, this release will feature players traded during the season and mid year call ups. We often see unexpected rookies make their debut in this set, as well as cards featuring the current year’s All Stars. This year, that all changes.
With the condensed season, there wasn’t as much time for in season trades. There also wasn’t an All Star Game this season. That all leads to a unique Update Series. While normally reserved for special SPs, the base set incorporates a number of retired stars this time, showcasing their All Star and Home Run Derby appearances. We also see the continuation of many insert sets from series 1 and 2, including the 1985 design set.
There are still many rookies, but not many that draw the same excitement as recent years. A jumbo box contains ten packs with forty-six cards per pack. Each box advertises one autograph and two relic cards. In addition to that, there are three box topper packs. Two contain chrome versions of the 1985 insert set, and the other contains something a little bit different. It is a full size cloth patch printed with a normal card front. The players also seem raised on this card.
This release has long been delayed because of the pandemic. It was originally scheduled for July, I think, but many things from that period ended up being moved to later in the year. The end result of this delay is that a few of the people released back in April still find themselves in this release. It’s not that big a deal, but they do stand out a bit because of that.
This marks the return of this release after a five year hiatus. It hits a little bit different this year, as there wasn’t a planned “flagship” wrestling release to begin with. It doesn’t follow the previous format of using the baseball design for the cards this time. The design feels a little bit like Stadium Club to me, without the full bleed images.
This is my first time opening a box from Rittenhouse. I know they do a lot of these type of releases, but I’ve never paid close attention. It seems a little bit different from common releases I’m used to seeing.
This release encompasses the entire Game of Thrones series, including one base card per episode. As such, we see a 73 card base set, with a single gold parallel. There are a few insert sets as well, including a cast set containing 100 cards, along with a parallel release. That seems like a strange set up to have a larger insert set than base card set. It should also be noted, the boxes are individually numbered. This box was numbered 10464 of 11000.
The box advertises twenty-four packs of five cards each. This includes two autographs. The inserts fall at a pretty low rate. Given how rare some of these inserts are, I’m not sure how anyone is supposed to chase a set, but maybe that isn’t the intention anyway. It’s an interesting release, though.
This release brings to a close the 2020 Topps Total set with the ninth wave. The configuration continues on from the rest of the release, with red, black, and gold parallels, along with randomly inserted autographs and a retired veteran. The print run for this series is almost double every other wave, at 7638 packs. This appears largely because of the inclusion of highly touted rookie Luis Robert in this wave.
The increased print run means a tougher time getting any of the numbered parallels. There seems to be only one major flub in this wave, with a player name being reused on back to back cards. Each pack contains ten base cards, with any inserts or parallels being additional cards in the pack.
This series wraps up the 206 release for the year with a final 50 cards. Again, we have a lot of the normal advertising back variants, along with a “blank back” parallel #/10. Production is up from the previous series, to 29,341 packs, in part because of the presence of one of the hot rookies this year, Luis Robert.
This series feels a little more star heavy, and brings in some interesting names from the past, like Jose Canseco and Derek Jeter. It’s once again the same configuration as the previous releases. Each box contains ten cards, guaranteeing two Piedment back parallels. Any additional parallels or inserts come out of the base portion, unlike another on demand release like Topps Total.