2011 Lineage – Target blaster, and a retail and jumbo pack

31 08 2011

In addition to the group breaks and the two hobby boxes I bought, I picked up some retail goodies.  I got a “value pack” – otherwise known as a jumbo pack from Target and a retail pack.  Basically just to see what the difference is.  Of note, I got a ’75 mini and a Seaver Reds diamond parallel that I’ll be keeping.

I also got a blaster from Target.  First up was the relic that comes one per box:

One thing I noticed looking at the odds on the back – there is only one difference between the retail packs that come from the “gravity feeders” and those in the blaster – no 75 relics inserted in the blasters.  Since you get a 75 mini relic in the bonus pack to the blaster, I guess they didn’t insert those into the regular blaster packs. Below are the inserts I picked up.  The Pujols is a double that’s up for trade, as are any of the non-1975 mini parallels.

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2011 Lineage – results from Group breaks

30 08 2011

I got into 2 group breaks from Topps Lineage.  The first was a 2-box break put on by Chris from Nachos Grande.  I picked up the Red Sox and Phillies – Chris is a Reds fan, so I’m never going to get my favorite team if I want to do one of his breaks.  But there seemed to be a good chance of some nice pulls from those 2 teams, and they were available – so I went for it.  I didn’t get any hits from the 2 boxes, but I did get a hit (Chase Utley relic) from the Upper Deck box that Chris added to the pot.  I also come away with some inserts that I can use toward my collection of this product.  As always, it was fun seeing what I might get as Chris posted each pack.

Here’s the Upper Deck portion of this.  I actually am collecting the heroes set, but this Papelbon was a card I pulled in the 2010 Upper Deck box I bought last year.  This was a cool add-in that Chris did – and I got the Utley Jersey out of it!

Next up, here’s the Lineage cards.  The (larger) Lee is a Venezuelan insert.  The Speaker is a Topps Cloth.  Both Lee cards and the Speaker were cards I needed – though the Youkilis is actually a dupe.  Anyways, I didn’t do real great with this part of the break – but I certainly had fun watching for the results a few packs a day on Chris’s website.

I also bid on (and won) the Reds in another 2-box break on ebay – and did very well for this break.  I picked up, among some other inserts to cross off the want list, 2 hits!  First, I got a Johnny Gomes ’52 auto.  He’s no longer a Red, but the card doesn’t say so!  After that, in the 2nd box I got a Jay Bruce relic.  Both were cards I would have purchased otherwise – so this was a great buy for me.  On a side note, if I had bid on the Phillies for this break – I would have been even more rewarded, as the seller pulled a Halladay 1/1 printing plate.

I also got some other inserts toward my collection.  The Votto and Bench are cloth stickers.





2011 Lineage box break #2

29 08 2011

My second box break of Lineage produced similar results as the first one.  Without further ado – here’s the scans – first up are the minis.

Here are the other parallels – got to love when I get a couple of Reds that I’m collecting.  This set was surprisingly heavy on Redlegs.  All 3 Big Red Machine Hall-of-Famers are in the set and Bench has a 2nd card (Morgan does, too – but he’s an Astro in it), plus the 2 prospects (Chapman, Alonso), and quite a few more.

After that, here’s the inserts.

Finally – here’s the hits.  Another Red!  The redemption is a Reds player – hopefully that’s really what I get back from Topps.  Also, I have a thing for pulling Josh Johnson relics.

I also pulled a Pujols box topper (not the relic kind) – but forgot to scan it in.

Below are the “stats” for the box.

24 packs per box * 8 cards per pack + 2 checklists + 1 box topper – 3 adjust for relics = 192 cards

156 of the 200 card base set (78% set completion)

2 checklistS

1 Topps Giants (Pujols)

6 1975 Mini Parallels

6 Diamond Anniversary Parallels

6 Platinum Diamond Parallels (sparklies)

4 Topps Rookies

2 Cloth Stickers

2 Topps Stand-ups

2 Topps 3-D

2 Topps Venezuelan

1 Aut0graph Reprint (Perkowski redemption)

1 ’52 Style Autograph (Motte)

1 1975 Mini Relic (Johnson)

Including the first box:

194/ 200 of the base cards (97%)





2011 Lineage box break #1

28 08 2011

I pre-ordered two boxes of Lineage, and have got in a couple of team themed box breaks.  As with each of the retro sets, I do like a lot of things about this set.  Maybe since I’ve only been back in collecting for a couple of years – I’m just not “retro’d out” like a number of other collectors.  Is this product perfect?  Certainly not – some of the things they did were a little lazy.  I’ll give a couple of suggestions later on – but let me just say overall I like the product.  The base cards get about a D-minus; the cardstock seems pretty low quality, and the backs of the cards are awful.  But the inserts are great, and I will be collecting every single insert (except maybe Topps Venezuelan – we’ll see).  Topps Giants as a box-topper: excellent idea.  Topps cloths stickers – great insert – I wish I could get more than 2 per box!  Topps 3-D?  My favorite insert… except for… the 1975 mini parallel.  Yes – a mini set that isn’t the tobacco size!  I’m going to collect the parallel set, and I have no idea how I’ll store it – but who cares – it is awesome!  I can’t wait until 12.5 years from now when they create 2024 Topps Heritage in homage to the 1975 set!

My biggest suggestions:

  • Topps Venezuelan – they should have made the card stock out of the gray cardboard feel – similar to what Topps does for the Target variations of their flagship set.  The difference between these 25 cards and the base just isn’t there, and this change would actually be in line with the older sets – they weren’t printed on cardstock as good as the American counterparts.
  • Topps 1975 mini – this is my favorite part of this set, and from what I can tell from the blogosphere, that’s true for many other collectors out there.  These cards have the exact same backs as the regular set, though – and they would have been even better if they had stats on the back in the same format as the 1975 Topps set.  I’d also have cut out the refractor-esque diamond parallel, and just made the 1975 minis and the “sparkly” diamond parallels a little more common to pull.
  • The cloth stickers are supposed to pay tribute to the 1972 test cards.  Well, it would have been cool if they made this set with the ’72 “Arch” design – instead of the boring Lineage base design.
  • Inserts – overall, I love the inserts they included.  I wouldn’t change much about them.  The number of inserts is right for this product – where the inserts really are the tip of the cap to old oddball Topps products – though I’d make them easier to pull.  For the Topps flagship set I’d say the opposite, but this product is really geared toward the inserts. For example, it’s going to be really difficult to collect the entire 50-card cloth stickers set, which only come 2 per box.  For a base set that’s 200 cards and very blah – this is one of the few products where there aren’t any inserts where “I’d rather just have a base card”.
First up – here’s the box topper – I’ll call this the Ryan Braun box.

Next up, here’s the 1975 mini parallels – the best part of this whole product.  I’m going to be collecting this set.

After that – here are the other parallels.  I wish they’d eliminate these and just have more of the ’75 minis.  The sparklies are cool, but the refractor-like diamond parallels are kind of cool looking – but these are just too many parallels.

Following that – here’s some of the regular inserts.  I like all of these except I’d say the Venezuelan – there isn’t anything different but the Spanish writing.  But the cloth stickers are cool (maybe they could have done those in the actual 1972 design or something just to differentiate), the 3-D cards are really nice compared to other 3-D cards I’ve seen.

Finally, here’s the hits.  Bob Friend – someone I’ve heard of.  It’s amazing they were able to get some of the guys from the ’52 set.  50 years ago, these guys were playing major league baseball!

Then they have some ’52 Topps look-alikes.

And finally – like I said, this is a Ryan Braun box!  These relic cards are pretty thick – that mixed with the miniature size is pretty cool.

Below are the “stats” for the box.

24 packs per box * 8 cards per pack + 1 checklist + 1 box topper – 3 adjust for relics = 191 cards

153 of the 200 card base set (76.5% set completion)

3 doubles

1 checklist

1 Topps Giants (R. Braun)

6 1975 Mini Parallels

7 Diamond Anniversary Parallels

5 Platinum Diamond Parallels (“sparklies”)

4 Topps Rookies

2 Cloth Stickers

2 Topps Stand-ups

2 Topps 3-D

2 Topps Venezuelan

1 Aut0graph Reprint (B. Friend)

1 ’52 Style Autograph (I. Davis)

1 1975 Mini Relic (R. Braun)





2011 Topps Lineage overview

27 08 2011

This should be my last set in what has now become a season-long break from my Lifetime Topps project.  Lineage is the last retro-themed set that I know of coming out in 2011, and it’s the first set since March (Heritage) that is a tribute to the “gum-card” era as opposed to the “tobacco-card” era (Gypsy Queen, Goodwin, Allen & Ginter). I covered each of the older sets in the posts before this one – this covers the actual 2011 product.  As always, any odds below are for hobby packs.  By the way, if you extrapolate it, Topps produced 3,085 10-pack hobby cases.

200 cards in the set.  The set itself has its own design, but the inserts are where the “lineage” to older Topps products comes in.  This product pays tribute to a number of older Topps ideas – from “Topps 3D” in the 60’s to the Rookies jumbo pack inserts from the late 80’s.  I have hyperlinks below to the posts where I covered those older Topps products.

  • Subsets: Topps All-Rookie Cup (#191-200).  The last 10-cards of the set are a best of the Topps All-Star Rookie team.
  • Set Design: The card design is pretty simplistic.  Topps went with a white border with a colored line inside that border on the top, left and bottom side.  The player name is at the bottom, with the team logo in the bottom left.  The Topps Lineage logo is in the top right or left corner of the photo.
  • Packs: Cards are available in 8-card hobby packs ($4.99) that come 24 to a box, 8-card retail packs ($2.99), and 14-card retail jumbo packs ($4.99).  In addition to being purchased “loose”, retail packs can be found in 7-pack blasters ($19.99) which also feature a game-used relic card inside.  Joe Mauer is featured on the front of retail packs, Mickey Mantle is on the front of hobby packs.
  • Rookies: Freddie Freeman and Michael Pineda have rookie cards from this set.
  • Hall of Fame:There are 43 Hall of Famers in this set:
    • Sandy Koufax, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Jim Palmer, Cal Ripken Jr., Walter Johnson, Whitey Ford, George Sisler, Tony Perez, Stan Musial, Jackie Robinson, Carlton Fisk, Lou Gehrig, Andre Dawson, Mike Schmidt, Nolan Ryan, Willie McCovey, Duke Snider, Reggie Jackson, Joe Morgan, Brooks Robinson, Roberto Alomar, Al Kaline, Eddie Murray, Tris Speaker, Johnny Mize, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Cy Young, Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Ozzie Smith, Roy Campanella, Fergie Jenkins, Bob Gibson, Monte Irvin, Luis Aparicio, Tom Seaver, Ryne Sandberg, Frank Robinson, Mel Ott, Bert Blyleven

The hobby box has a tan background with the navy and red Topps Lineage logo.  Mickey Mantle is featured alongside Joe Mauer.  The box touts the fact that Topps is celebrating 60 years of collecting and the 1 relic and 2 autographs per box.

Parallel Sets

There are 5 full, 200-card parallel sets and one partial, 25-card parallel.

  • 1975 Minis – 200 cards (1:4).  The same size and design as the 1975 mini set, which was the original miniature parallel set from Topps.
  • Platinum Diamond – 200 cards (1:4).  Just like the flagship Topps set, these cards come with the sparklies on the background.
  • Canary Diamond – 200 cards (1:3,702, #/1 – Hobby only).  Unique Gold sparklies, also just like what you’d find in the 2011 flagship set.
  • Diamond Anniversary – 200 cards (1:4).  A refractor-ized version of the base set.
  • Printing Plates – 200 cards (1:925 – 4 versions, #/1 – Hobby only)
  • Topps Venezuelan – 25 cards (1:12).  Spanish versions of selected base cards, in tribute to the 1960’s when Topps often issued the first few series in the South American market.

Insert sets

Topps has a number of inserts that pay tribute to various oddball sets from the company’s history.

  • Topps 3D – 25 cards (1:12)
    • This set is in honor of the 1968 3-D set, which was a 12-card test set that were printed by the same company that came out with the Kellogg’s 3-D sets of the 1970’s – Visual Panagraphics.  The backs are blank.
  • Topps 3D Black Back Lineagraph – 25 cards (1:446)
  • Topps 3D Red Back Lineagraph – 25 cards (1:30,873)
    • The 3D cards have 2 parallel versions that play off the proof cards for the original set.  The cards have the words “This is an experimental LINEAGRAPH not intended to for release.  To be Returned to: The Topps Company 1 Whitehall St. New York, NY 1004”.  The player name and position are not included on the front of these cards.
  • Cloth Stickers – 50 cards (1:12)
  • Topps Rookies – 19 cards (1:6)
    • Carries the same design as the Rookies inserts that came 1 per jumbo pack in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.
  • Topps Stand Ups 25 cards (1:12)

Box Topper

Each hobby box comes with a box-topper – most likely to be a Topps Giants card, measuring 3-1/8″ by 5-1/4″ – in the same design and size as the 1964 set.

  • Topps Giants – 20 cards  (23 out of 24 Hobby boxes)
  • Topps Giants Relics – 20 cards (1:24 Hobby boxes, #/64)
    • In honor of the 60-card 1964 Topps Giants set.   There are just under 1,500 of the regular Topps Giants cards.

Relics and Autographs

  • 1975 Mini Relic – 99 cards (1:24 overall, 1:28 to 1:6,500)
  • 1975 Mini Relic Canary Diamond – 99 cards (1:747, #/10 – Hobby only)
  • Autographed Reprints – 74 cards (1:24 overall, 1:38 to 1:1,810)
  • 1952 Autographs – 22 cards (1:24 overall, 1:38 to 1:397)
  • Autographed Reprints Canary Diamond – 74 cards, &  1952 Autographs Canary Diamond – 22 cards.  (In total the Canary Diamond autograph versions have the same odds – 1:771, #/10 – Hobby only)
  • 60th Anniversary Autograph – 3 cards (1:4,115 #/60 – Hobby only)
  • 60th Anniversary Jumbo Relics – 25 cards (1:1,190, #/25 – Hobby only)
  • 60th Anniversary Jumbo Relics Patch – 25 cards (1:5,923, #/5 – Hobby only)
Diamond Ring Redemption. Topps also issued a redemption card for a 60th anniversary ring that could be found in 1:74,405 hobby packs.  That means there are ten of these redemptions.




A look back at 1968 Topps 3D

25 08 2011

This is the last “look-back” for an older card set which has been re-created as part of the Topps Lineage product.  I’m skipping over any regular Topps sets as Lineage does have autographed reprints of older flagship Topps set cards and 1952-style cards of current players.  But that’s not really in line with the other inserts, which are of the oddball variety.  My last one is my second favorite of these oddballs – behind the 75 minis – Topps 3-D.

This was a 12-card test set issued in 1968.  Again, I have to direct anyone with more detailed interest in these cards to the “Topps Archives” blog – there is a ton of interesting info that really does more justice to these sets than I do below.  In short, these cards were produced by a company named Visual Panographics, which later produced the Kellogg’s sets of the 1970’s.  I’m not positive, but they may have then become or started the company Optigraphics, who released the Sportflics cards of the mid-late 1980’s.  They eventually created the Score and Pinnacle products under the name Pinnacle Brands.

  • Set Design: The cards measure 2-1/4″ x 3-1/2″ – just a little bit smaller than standard size – with rounded corners.  The cards were printed using a technique called lenticular printing that creates a 3D / movement type effect with the player’s interaction with the background.  The player name is in colorful block letters at the top, above a circle containing the player’s position and team.  Most cards come with blank backs.
  • Packs: Topps issued the set in 2-card test packs (5¢) that came 12 to a box.  Each pack came with an easel that could be folded up to display the cards.  The picture below is from an auction last year – this may be the only known box of these remaining.
  • Hall of Fame: There are 2 Hall of Famers in this set – Roberto Clemente and Tony Perez. (See below for the Brooks Robinson proof)
  • Last Active player: Perez played his last game on October 5, 1986 – some 18 years after this test set was issued.
  • Variations: Some cards come with a stamp on the back in either Red or Black.  The stamp says: “This is an experimental XOGRAPH card produced as a limited edition. Not for public circulation or distribution. Not for resale. To be returned to: Visual Panographics, Inc. 488 Madison Avenue New York, New York.”  There are also some small variations in the pictures used on the front.

The box has the Topps logo with an ad for “3-D Baseball Picture Cards”.  Next to that is a picture of one of the cards and the 5 cent pack price – and apparently these came with gum.  The box advertises that the cards are “Real 3-D without glasses”.

Promo cards

  • A proof card of Brooks Robinson has been found that is similar in design to the 1967 set.  The only wording is “Orioles” at the top of the card.
  • There have also been 3 unissued cards turn up in uncut sheets with the 1968 design – these are Rick Monday, John O’Donoghue and Tommy Davis.
  • There have also been some findings of square cornered proofs as well




A look back at 1972 Topps Cloth Stickers test

24 08 2011

The next set I’ll look at with ties to 2011 Topps Lineage is from the 1970’s – specifically the 1972 Topps cloth sticker set. 

After doing a little research, I’m surprised they singled out the 1972 set – as Topps has had a number of test sets called Topps cloth stickers.  Here’s a list of the sets – I’ll do 1972 last because that’s what Topps says they modeled the Lineage set after:

1970 Cloth Stickers Test

These are apparently very rare, and appear to have been material tests that Topps intended to send to the scrap heap.  Every sticker that’s been found (less than 44, including some that are only partials) corresponds to the 2nd series of Topps cards from t(#133-263).  Here’s a couple of posts on this issue from the blog “Topps Archives”.

1976 Cloth Stickers Prototype

Another materials test – there were only 2 cards printed for this test issue – Duff Dyer (Pirates) and Bob Apodaca (Mets).  Topps was likely testing for the full-blown set they would release in 1977 – these cloth stickers can be found in a couple of different versions.  I’ve seen a couple of lots for these on eBay from time to time.

1977 Cloth Stickers

This set consisted of 55 players and was issued in packs along with 18 other cards that formed 2 9-piece puzzles.  When you put the puzzles together, they form a photo of each All-Star squad.  Here’s a write-up of this set on sports collector’s daily.

1972 Cloth Stickers Test

33 cards in the set – usually coming in 33-card or 132-card sheets.

  • Subsets: As the sticker set is essentially a sheet of cards from the ’72 set in sticker form, some of the same subsets are represented that are in the 1972 Topps flagship set.  There are 3 “In Action” cards, a “Boyhood Photo” card of Jim Fregosi, the Red Sox team card, and even a checklist.
  • Set Design: Exactly the same as the recognizable arch design from 1972, these was one of the more unique designs in Topps history.  Like all the other sets above, these cards have blank, stickered backs.  If you see a single card – that means it was hand-cut.
  • Hall of Fame: There are 4 Hall of Famers in this set.
    • Hank Aaron, Luis Aparicio (IA), Roberto Clemente (IA), Willie McCovey
  • Last Active player: Dave Concepcion, who played his final game in September of 1988.