Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 Topps inserts are needless worthless and just plain boring

Except for the 1987 design mini's. However, the real question to ask is why do they do it. One reason is to get old timers on baseball cards. Topps, I think a few years ago bought the rights to use their images on baseball cards. So if you bought the rights to use Babe Ruth's image then why not put him on baseball cards. However, that still does not explain why Topps feels it has to six or seven inserts.

I think you can really trace the beginning of the insert set craze to Fleer in 1991 and 1992. They began putting inserts sets in their Football, Baseball and Basketball sets. These usally came 2-4 inserts per 36 pack box. Prior to this Donruss (Elite), Pro Set (Lombardi Trophy) and Upper Deck (Reggie Jackson autographs) had some super rare inserts (rare at the time). By 1995 Fleer started to put out 6-7 inserts sets and even had what they called were Hot Packs where all the cards in the packs were inserts.  

Why does Topps have so many inserts. The first and major reason: They think or know that it makes them more profitable. They had to have done some sort or marketing or profit loss analysis to determine how they could get optimal sales out of their product. Instead of having  more cards of relief pitchers and backup infielders they give us cards of Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. That makes some sort of sense. With 25 men rosters over 30 teams, 750  major league players can be spread out over 3 - 330 card series. Most teams will get 20-25 different players in all 3 Topps series (1, 2 and update.) .

But do the insert cards have any value for the collector.  No and it makes putting together complete sets by collectors that much harder. The second reason why Topps has some many inserts sets. Exclusiveness. In the middle of the decade, Topps had very few insert sets. They started increasing the number around 2008 (as maybe Topps were beginning to eye an exclusive contract  with Major League Baseball).

The reason is inserts are so boring, is how could they not be, when you try to have six or seven every year, creativity goes out the window.


  1. I get most of what you say but what do you mean by "But do the insert cards have any value for the collector."? A lot of what I read by collectors is that they're not enthused about the base set but may collect some of the inserts. Or do you mean no value to "set collectors"? Maybe I'm missing something.

  2. I guess he meant is it worth it to have them in the packs, maybe? I only want the '87 minis. I will probably picke up some cubs and white sox cards from the set but that's it.

  3. I guess I was thinking about it on these lines. It does take set collectors more packs to complete a set. It floods the market with more needless cards of a Mickey Mantle or Hank Aaron. I think very few collectors buy boxes of Topps cards to collect the inserts. For the most part the insert sets in the last few years are forgetable and boring looking. When collectors pay almost $100 to bust a jumbo box that might yield a complete Series 1 base set that will be worth about $15-20 dollars with a lot of worthless inserts, value goes out the window for the collector and Topps, I am assuming makes a profit.

  4. Creativity went out the window, up the street, and into the sewer this year. Topps seems to have subcontracted the Panini football design team to make their inserts. They're all made for autos and relics and they don't tweak the design to fill in the empty spaces for the regular cards.
    Craziest part is, I'll probably go after all of them except the Walkoffs. Those are just too lame.