You all know Atlanta Sports Cards as that site where you can get cheap boxes, but I know them as the shop that puts boxtoppers in the 50 cent bin. On a recent trip there I snagged some of the new Heritage strip toppers.
Topps has put these in their Heritage hobby boxes since 2008. It is basically a strip of three random cards uncut so it is impossible to safely store. As far as I can tell they aren't terribly popular, probably because of their clunkiness and because even obsessive team collectors don't have much use for them. What Cardinal collector would want a dirty Cub on their LaRussa card? Carlos Quentin won't even acknowledge the inferior team from his city to his right. Dempster feels like the guy in the middle seat on an airplane with two with Kevin Smith on one side and, well, me on the other.
The backs have ads for 2010 Heritage on them. Because, you, know, you might really want to learn about this new product you just bought 5 minutes earlier. Strips like these were given out as premiums to shop owners to get them to stock Topps cards back in the late 50's. That's what I heard at least, there isn't a whole lot of information out there on them. One thing I regret about today's collecting culture is that people won't automatically cut these strips up into three separate cards anymore. Maybe in 5 or 10 years from now eBay crooks will do so in order to market them as SUPER RAER 1/1 SOOPER SHORT PRNIT!!! Actually, I could cut this one up and have two of them traded off in a half a second. That would leave me with a Cub though... ew. No thanks.
Topps switched things up this year and added a second box topper. This one features two of their depressingly impossible to find stamp insert set from one team on a strip. The stamps aren't real, but are printed on the card. So Topps' #1 priority is to market to kids, and instead of making the stamps a cheap one per pack insert and including a stamp album as a box topper, they make it a 1 in a hundred something packs framed insert numbered to 50 each and throw these at us instead. Yep, marketing to kids right there... kids eat that shit right up.
For adults this isn't a bad insert set at all, especially for team collectors. The front features a couple of stars from one team and the back is chock full of team info. Why don't Topps add these strips to blasters? Back in the day, dang near every blaster had a jumbo sized insert in it. I guess now that they have no competition, they will be able to do such innovative things. Right?