When I was young, Stadium Club was seriously the best set that you could buy. Although Finest eventually introduced Chrome technology into the hobby, I lived for 1991 Stadium Club. In the years after, it was still one of my favorite packs to buy with my saved allowance, and I was rarely disappointed. Topps is trying to go back to those roots a bit with the look of this year’s set.
Here are some of the cards up so far:
To see that Topps has brought back the brand after a few years off, I am in favor. The last time around, the idea wasnt executed even close to the way it should have been, but this time looks better. Adding in on card autographs, and other cool inserts makes it better, although redemptions and checklist strength may make autographs less of a focus.
My favorite cards in this set are the Beam Team cards, which were some of my favorite inserts growing up. Although the cards are awfully busy and shiny foil like, I cant help but feel the nostalgia tugging at my interest. As rarer case hits, and seeing the way people react to them, im pretty sure these will end up being the reason the product makes it back next year too.
The addition of signed buybacks from 1991 and other stadium club sets is huge, and I think that though rare, are some of the bigger chase cards of the product. The checklist looks pretty good on these cards from my favorite Stadium Club set, and I already know a few people chasing them like mad.
Here is the main thing with these sets – you have to give collectors a reason to recall that nostalgia, or it cant be successful. The interesting photography and die cut interest provide some of that element, but the addition of some of the other content really does a good job of bringing it home. Bottom line, the set looks REALLY good. If you cant make it look good, then everything will fall flat.
Topps has tried their hand at resurrecting older designs, especially in sets like Archives and the like. Most of the time they have been extremely successful in doing so. History is the one advantage that no other existing company can compete with Topps, and they need to figure out a way to use it more often.
Retro is big, not only in cards but in every aspect of retail life, and Stadium Club is a great way to capture that feeling. Scary to think that this is now considered “Retro,” but I digress. I really like the design, as it focuses its main content around the photos, which has always been a strength of this brand. There are some really incredible images in the base set, and I expect that it might make up for some of the lesser names on the auto checklist.
I also hope Stadium Club does well enough that it can inspire and motivate Topps to go this direction more often.