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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

2009 Topps Target retro

Scott at Hand Collated sent me a few of the Target 'retro style' cards from their #12 blasters (remember to check the bar code, kids!) in that package with the Mayo Chipper Jones. I haven't gotten a blaster so this is the first I've seen of them. Take a gander at Brian McCann:

As you can see from the very dark logo and nigh-invisible name at the bottom, that Topps kept the foil on the retro cards for some reason. I'm not entirely sure what foil has to do with retro card (unless you're talking about 1965 Topps embossed inserts) but you have to have foil nowadays for some reason. The front of the card is quite slick and glossy. They remind me a bit of the 2001-2002 Topps Archive sets, although those were so glossy they were practically varnished. These are definitely glossy though, but more like the All-Star rack pack inserts of the '80s.

I was more surprised at the backs to be honest. When I first heard about the retro styles I thought they might be printed on really retro stock. Like 1991 Topps dark cardboard stock with the big curve in the card from coming off the roll of cardboard that Topps got leftover from a cereal box manufacturer. Of course that would never fly in today's market, so I shouldn't be disappointed. I can hear the Target executive now: "Wal-Mart got neon cosmic bowling cards and we got... leftover crap??" Nah. you won't get '80s cardstock in an '00s product ever again (well, usually). This stuff is a lot sturdier, you can see three layers of cardboard sandwiched in there. Two white sheets on the outside and a layer of brown cardboard inside. As a result, these are some sturdy card, thicker than this year's Heritage. As much as I wanted to see that old brown cardboard ont he back, with this design it would have been a very bad idea. There's way too much tiny text on these backs, on a brown background they would be almost unreadable. The slightly off-white gives a bright enough background to read the card while maintaning the retro feel.

Overall I think it's a neat idea for Topps. the Wal-Mart black borders are really cool looking but these will probably appeal to collectors looking for a more solid version of the Topps set. The base set cardstock does seem a little flimsy, these cards have some heft to them. Here are the others Scott included in the package:

Casey Kotchman

Omar Infante

James Parr

Good stuff and nowI can say I've seen the target Retro cards. Thanks again Scott!


Jeffrey Wolfe said...

I was hesitant to buy these because nobody could give me a clear answer on whether it was real cardboard or just Heritage-style cardboard, so I stayed away. Still I think this is an excellent idea and if Topps ever uses real cardboard again without foil and super gloss I will be lined up front and center with my wallet.

night owl said...

Yes, I totally agree: the glossiness and foil undermine the throwback feel.

Now that I've gotten all the throwback Dodgers, I don't see myself getting anymore of these cards until Series 2. I can't collect both the regular set and the throwback set.

Bay Rat North West said...

Be careful buying blasters. I bought 6 last week to get a set and wound up with 3 boxes being the same almost card for card. When I pull 5 Dusty's it just makes me want to junk punch him even more.
The cards feel good but it is a little weird being so glossy on one side like that and cardboard on the other.

GCA said...

I like this year's Topps designs, but I'm going blind reading the black card numbers against the dark blue and red backgrounds. CONTRAST, Topps, PLEASE!

The Baseball Card Snob said...

Topps card stock has been thin for the past several years.

Always liked Fleer/Tradition card stock, little heavier. Wouldn't ding a corner just looking at it, like you can with Topps.

UD's stock is pretty good also.