When looking at the general baseball landscape, Topps has four kinds of products that they put out every year. The first is obviously sets like Topps Flagship, which is designed to capture the loyal and casual collectors that buy Topps each yearwhich is designed to capture the loyal and casual collectors that buy Topps each year. The second group is the high end chasers, who love the autograph and relic cards that made products like Five Star so popular. The third group is the huge contingent of prospect sets that are some of the most popular of the year.The last are the retro sets, like Heritage, Ginter, and the resurrected 2013 Turkey Red.
Turkey red has been available in the past, and was very successful, before being phased out for sets like Gypsy Queen and the like.
These products are modernized versions of historic sets, and nostalgic collectors who love the vintage kitsch of these sets, gobble these up with reckless abandon. This year’s Turkey Red may be an online exclusive, but it is something that Topps is banking on to make some extra cash. It has some nice autograph content if you are into that sort of card, but you have to get lucky in most cases to pull a good one.
I was never someone that really bought into the whole retro collecting, as it is mostly geared to the ever dwindling set focused baseball crowd. When higher end autograph content is included in these products, my ears do perk up, though it is unlikely that I dive in without someone I collect somewhere on the checklist. As my baseball target list shrinks to fewer and fewer players each year, I have consistently become more withdrawn from the baseball population.
That being said, I think Topps is finally realizing that these types of products may not be best suited for a widespread release, especially now that more and more people have moved onto higher end collecting from the set building pedigree they were originally a part of. I like the look of these cards, with a painted style presentation, but I am just not a baseball collector enough to appreciate what Turkey Red can mean.
With 2013 Topps Heritage, Ginter and Archives on the horizon, I would guess that more of these products will become a fun aspect of the hobby.