Tomorrow, Topps releases its third base set of the year in 2012 Update, which follows both Series 1 and Series 2 to market. I am not and never will be a fan of real low end products like this, aimed at the set collectors in a hobby that are slowly dwindling away, even in baseball. Topps has done a lot over the last few years to add content for collectors more like me, aimed at more autographs, SSPs and other similar types of cards. I think this is absolutely necessary to continue producing a set like this, and to continue making money the way it has in the past.
The biggest focus of this product has been and will be the rookies that have come on strong in the latter half of the year, as well as the players that have switched teams. I fail to see how a base card of Jim Thome in an Orioles jersey is so important to baseball collectors, but alas, here it is a focus of the product. At least for some of the cards, Topps has limited production to make sure that they at least have some value, as well as adding photo variation for the all stars of 2012 to help bring the product even further.
Here are some that have already been up from the retail release:
Again, the redundancy present in a 3rd low end base set remains, and I think this has just gotten to be overkill in many cases. I get that Update has been around for a very long time, but with awesome products like Five Star making their debut this year, I am not sure we need a third installment. The addition of cards like the autographs of current team General Managers doesnt really make it all that more relevant, even if they are incremental hits above the normal content. I find them to be almost comical, similar to the scout autographs they did a few years ago in Bowman.
I think it would be that much cooler to have another attempt at a mid to high end product in place of this, maybe bringing in something like Topps Supreme or even something in the vein of tier one with more of a veteran presence. Baseball is gradually going to become more like football with draft picks flying through the minors, but there is no reason to speed that along by focusing so much energy on those cards.
Sets like Gypsy Queen and Allen and Ginter are cool because they are a set collector’s product with ridiculously high end premium content for chasers like me. This, offers little to no redeeming value for the big hit collectors, even though Topps has added a few extra things to at least make me consider it. Bottom line, this hobby has changed – for the better, in my opinion – and though Topps flagship deserves a seat at the table, im not sure 3 products are necessary.