Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Topps Opening Day Synapse

Last year I stopped by my LCS on a regular basis and picked up a couple of packs of Topps Opening Day a week until my set was complete.  This year, I threw caution to the wind and made an early attempt to knock the set out within two quick purchases: a box and a blaster.

I wanted to post about the 2013 Opening Day set on opening day, but I was too enamored with everything Cub.  Especially this guy after he hit a bomb that almost left PNC Park:
I mean, hey, the Cubs are in first place.  We all know that this is not "the year" and I might as well start waiting until 2014 or 2015 to get my hopes up.  But I'm going to enjoy our position atop the standings for as long as I can!  Heck yeah!
Enough about MLB's actual Opening Day, how about Topps version?

You've seen the flagship product, and this is pretty much the same thing minus the foil.  Foil doesn't photo/scan well and I figure it raises the prices of packs.  As a result, the lack of foil doesn't bother me one bit.

How about the inserts?  Well, there are five different insert subsets and they are all seeded at one per every five packs.  Three of the subsets are back, but two (Elite Skills and Fantasy Squad) have been replaced.

Allow me to show my favorite card pulled of each subset as I give a little breakdown of each.

Back for another year, the Mascots:

This was the only subset I finished last year.  I realize that Opening Day is trying to target the younger crowd, so I'm okay with the Mascots being featured each year.  What about some more action shots though, Topps?  Mascots are always using props and trying to get a laugh.  I'm sure there's tons of material out there.

For the record, I chose the Moose because he's the only MLB mascot that I've met in person. 

Also re-upping for another season, Superstar Celebrations:

I'm a huge fan of pitching and only two of twenty-five cards in the set are not hitters.  Hey, pitchers like to have fun, too!  It shouldn't take a no-hitter, or in this case a perfect game by King Felix, to be the focus of a celebration!  Perhaps a few closers sprinkled in?  They're an exuberant bunch!

To be honest, I'm ready for something new here.  Celebrations have been all the rage the past couple of years with the increased focus on walk-off hits.  I'll give Topps credit though, some of the shots they have are pretty cool.

Opening Day Stars makes another appearance as well:
 I love the 3D feel to these cards.  They remind me of Sportflics from back in the day, but the Opening Day version doesn't quite feature the animation that Sportflics used to produce.  Bryce Harper.  Nice.

New subset alert!  Play Hard:
I chose Starlin Castro because I'm a Cubs fan.  Starlin has been criticized more than a few times for "day dreaming" during a game, so I'm not sure it's deserved for him to be featured.  At least he gives more of an effort that the player featured on card PH-23.  I think this is a solid idea for a subset, and I give kudos to Topps for coming up with something different.  (Just be careful with who you choose to as the subjects!)

Another new subset!  Ballpark Fun:
Rookies getting shaving cream pies in the face?  Yes.  Thank you.  More. Please.
The set also features Aroldis Chapman doing a somersault and a card about David Price being razzed by his teammates for only having two career hits.  Baseball is a fun game and any subset that captures the fun aspects is okay in my book!

Last, but not least, also seeded to 1:5 packs, the Opening Day Blue Sparkle Parallels:

Most know I have an affinity for shiny and sparkly cardboard.  Did I mention that my favorite color is blue? 

Yep, these are AWESOME!  I'm pretty sure I made the same face as Mr. Trout when I pulled this card from pack.

For the record, the blue sparkle cards are numbered to 2013 and I have nine of these bad boys.  Collecting a blue sparkle set would be something that I would totally do . . . if I weren't on a card collecting budget.  They are that cool.

Overall, I couldn't be happier with the 2013 version of Topps Opening Day.  I get to rip packs and hand collate a set at a reasonable price.  Along the way I'm lucky enough to snag a few cool looking inserts and possibly help out a few in the blogosphere with their player collections.   This set definitely keeps the hobby fun for me.  Now I get to see and try if I can trade for the cards I'm missing.

Yep, that's right.  After a blaster and box I failed to complete the 220 card base set.  Check out my want list if you think you can help out!  Thanks!

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