For roughly a year now, Topps has been issuing 5″ x 7″ sets (usually serial-numbered to 99) to coincide with each of their Wall Art releases. Ever since they came out with the 60th Anniversary Team Sets, I’ve been trying to keep up with them and add each to the Phillies Database as Topps adds them to its website. However, Topps also removes them from the website as soon as they sell out, and though I try to check the site regularly, I’m certain that I’ve missed a few over the past year. Unfortunately, Beckett has done a rather poor job of documenting them in its online checklists. So, if I didn’t see it on Topps’s site, then chances are pretty good that I don’t have the card listed (I have caught a few on eBay, after the fact.) As for acquiring the cards themselves, thankfully, there are dealers who are buying the 5″ x 7″ sets and breaking them up for team and player collectors. Otherwise, I know I would own rather few of the Phillies from these sets as I don’t have the money, time, or patience to buy each offering and then attempt to sell all the unwanted singles on eBay.
For those of you who are interested, Topps just issued another series of online exclusive team set that is very reminiscent of last year’s 60th Anniversary offering. The ’52 Tribute Team Sets are $19.99 and though the print run is still 99, they increased the set size to nine cards from five. Proving that Topps just can’t help themselves when it comes to parallel creep, they’ve also issued a Gold version that’s serial-numbered to just 49 and costs an extra $10. However, they did at least have the decency to include an extra card, Schmidt, in the Gold version. Because of the nature of my obsessive-compulsive disorder regarding my collection, I splurged and purchased the Gold, but I wasn’t very happy about it. Quite frankly, I didn’t see why Topps had to resort to the extra card gimmickry — the Gold version already differs in that the background for each player is yellow/gold, rather than green, blue or red as is the case with the regular set (which doesn’t use yellow/gold at all.) Both sets should have had the Schmidt card. Since I just submitted my order a couple days ago, I haven’t received my set yet. However, looking at the scans of the cards on Topps’s website, I’m already seeing lots of things to nitpick about. I’d list them, but honestly, what’s the point? Topps doesn’t clearly doesn’t care about the small details the way I do.
Nonetheless, I am still looking forward to the set for no other reason than I get to update the 1952 Topps design virtual pages I previously created. I’ll post a copy of the PDF once I have that completed.
In the meantime, I’ll continue to add the 5″ x 7″ versions of the Wall Art that I like whenever I can — and some of them have been great. In particular, I loved the Past, Present, and Future card that Topps recently issued, as well as last year’s Call-Ups Postcards of Maikel Franco, which used the ’59 design. I was considerably less impressed with their Schmidt ’80s Throwback Thursday Postcard. I suppose Topps deserve credit for trying to make the card look like it was an ’80s issue, but the design looks like a reject for one of the 44-card box sets endemic to the era and they have used that particular photo so much that it should now be considered part of the public domain.
Finally, just because it gives me a way to tie this neatly end this post, Topps has also issued a 5″ x 7″ Series One team set. I assume they’ll do the same after releasing Series Two, but I won’t care if they decide not to. I just view them as oversized parallels and have no interest in them.