2014 Topps Heritage arrives on store shelves at the end of the week, and provided it ships on the originally announced date, we’ll similarly see 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen on or around April 9. Those are just the two sets I’m interested in collecting in their entirety — in addition to Phillies team sets. Over the next couple weeks, we can also expect to see 2013 Bowman Chrome Mini (actually supposed to be released today) 2014 Topps Museum Collection, and 2014 Topps Opening Day. As much as I enjoyed the last few Panini products, I’m rather thankful at the moment that they don’t appear to have any new releases on the immediate horizon.
As I wait on the new Gypsy Queen set, I can’t help but recall my thoughts on the original Gypsy Queen release back in 2011. As much as I love the brand, I would still love to see a more faithful reproduction of the original look and feel of the set. While Topps has done an admirable job of creating a unique photo treatment for the Gypsy Queen series, it still doesn’t feel right. By that, I mean that the set should use pictures similar to the posed, sepia-toned photos of the original set. Donruss — I should say, “Leaf” — did an amazing job of taking such photos, complete with retro uniforms, in the 1992 and 1993 Studio Heritage Series inserts. Unfortunately, instead of hiring their own photographers for such a purpose, Topps seems very happy just licensing photos from Getty Images. Hell, I doubt that Topps even has their own in-house photographers anymore, but that’s a subject of a future rant.
In the meantime, I’ll just accept Gypsy Queen for what it is. Which is a shame, because it really could be so much more interesting.
Featured Cards: 2011 Gypsy Queen #162, Cliff Lee; 1992 Studio Heritage Series #BC-13, Darren Daulton