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)
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)