Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Topps finally gets it right with 2011(1962) Heritage.
After producing Heritage sets for last (11) years, Topps has finally produced the feel of vintage cards in the modern day. I think they did it because the 1962 set is the first Topps baseball set that was design centric. This is not to say that some of the Topps sets from 1952 to 1961 did not have great designs but in 1962, I think Topps went out of its way to do something different. The two things they did different were never done before, the non white borders and the little photo flip on the bottom left side of the card.
From 1952 to 1961, all Topps sets had white borders and all were box/square/rectangle centric in design (except for the 1959 oval set). Even though the sets during that time period are iconic all had very simple designs. The 1959 set was the only time Topps went outside the box so to speak and they produced a very nice Heritage (2008) set and was the best Heritage set to date until 2011. But that set still just did not give you that 100 percent vintage feeling. It was close. For example, the 2010 Heritage (1961), to me just feels/looks like modern photos on a 1961 design. I think the problem was the design.
2011 Heritage gives you a more than ever vintage feel and it may be because the wood grain borders and the little flip give the photo's a grainer look making the cards look like they were from 1962.
Beginning in 1962, Topps began to put more effort into the designs of the cards (maybe it was a 60's thing). Lets take a look at what to expect that could top 2011 (1962) Heritage in the future.
2012 Heritage (1963 set) - This one could be the grand daddy of them all for Heritage sets, though it has a slight boxy feel, the circled second photo design was so awe inspring that Topps used it again (1983-too almost sweet perfection) and again (1984-poorly) and again (2003-one of the best Topps designs in 20 years).
2013 Heritage (1964 set) - Topps liked this design so much that it kind of used it again in 1971, 1972, 1975, 1977, 1986, 2004, 2005 and 2008 (all to a certain degree). This is a well thought out design on par with 1958 Topps and will make a great Heritage set.
2014 Heritage (1965 set) - If one set could top this years Heritage it could this set with its banner Team Names this would be one to look forward to. This was the last year of a 4 year great design period.
2015 Heritage (1966 set) - not really looking forward to this one at all. Too boxy with a rectangle stripe.
My comments on whether Topps should do Heritage sets for the following sets.
1967 - Yes, but less head shots and more shots like Dick Ricketts and please capture the grainy feel of the large photo.
1968 - Yes, but this dark border set feels less vintage than 1962.
1969 - Yes, but with more action footage or an all action photo set.
1970 - No, gray is dull.
1971 - Yes but Upper Deck already did this set
1972 - Heck Yeah, The last vintage set with a great design.
1973-1974 - No
1975 - Yes, but Upper Deck kind of did this set with 70s set
1976 - no
1977 - Yes
1978-1980 - Death knell of Topps designs
1981 - Maybe
1982 - no
1983 - maybe
1984 - no
1985 - maybe, gives ode to the 1965 set but with out the swerve
1986 - no
1987 - Yes, I want to see this design again on a Heritage set.
1988 - also a surprise maybe, over the years the 3-d effect has held its own
1989 on - no
I would also like to see Topps have its Heritage set take on the 1984 Fleer (does anyone own the licesne) set. I know it has a boxy/square rectangle feel but it works somehow.