Friday, December 28, 2012

2008 Topps Heritage

Set Size: base set: 500 (including 75 SPs), update High Number Series: 220 (including 35 SPs)

Design Notes: Copying the 1959 Topps design, the player's image appears in a circle; the remaining border is in one color. His name is at the top, with the team name and logo and his position at the bottom. Backs are horizontal with biographical stats, a highlight paragraph, a small cartoon, and complete MLB statistics.

Parallels and Similars: As mentioned, the set uses the 1959 design, and there are other issues that mimick the 1959 set. However, the copyright information on the back (and 2007 in the last line of statistics) makes this set easy to identify. Chrome, Chrome Refractor, Chrome Black Refractor, and black-ink backs are all partial parallels of this set.

Distribution: Hobby boxes contain 24 packs of 8 cards each. Most packs will contain an insert, and the High Number Series packs contain 2 flagship Updates & Highlights singles plus any inserts.

Thoughts: Topps Heritage is probably the favorite perennial issue for set builders. The 1959 design is colorful and fun, but I've always felt Heritage was missing a small bit of authenticity. In earlier issues, it was the use of photos instead of paintings - as many of the original 1950s sets used - and also the use of low-quality printing. I understand a desire to copy honor earlier issues but a step up in quality would make this set good enough in my book. I also wasn't around to collect any of the 1950s issues, so the design doesn't have much sentimental value with me. In about 30 years, when they get around to the late 1980s/early 1990s junk wax, I might be putting some sets together.

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