Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 Topps Baseball Series 1, An All About Cards Review

To see our video box break of these cards on YouTube, use this link.

Most of us come to collecting cards at an early age.  It usually starts with set building, chasing down the complete base set by trading, playing games, like pack wars or for the old timers, flips or colors, to win new cards and busting as many packs as you can buy with your allowance.  With the trend towards Mega Sick Hit cards like Auto Jumbo Patch Booklets this important aspect of collecting can be overlooked.  The 2011 Topps Baseball Series 1 release serves the set builder well while providing enough for Hit Chasers.  Now in its sixtieth year, Topps has issued a set worthy of its history and is a must buy for anyone considering themselves a true collector.

This set falls under our classification of trading cards because of its reasonable price point and base/insert card foundation.  While hits can be found even in single retail packs, those who’s primary purpose is pulling hits from this product will most likely be looking to increase their odds with purchases that are hobby exclusives, some with multiple box orders or even by the case.

So far we’ve busted a blaster on the first day of release, a few rack packs and most recently a hobby box of these cards.  We were really happy with the results.   Here's a look at some of the cards.
These are some base cards.  The photography is exceptional, something we’ve come to expect from Topps.   Design is classic and appealing.

Another often-overlooked aspect is the back of the  cards.   This has everything you could want and more.

League Leader cards are just as smart looking and there are some great choices for the team cards.

For anyone who collected last year’s version of these cards, the inserts are going to feel very familiar.   Lets take a look at the cards we pulled from the hobby box.

These 60 Years of Topps replace last year's Cards Your Mom Threw Out.

They also come in Lost Card and Original Back versions

Topps 60 cards replace last year’s Peak Performance cards

 Diamond Duos replace Legendary Lineage cards.

 Topps Diamond Giveaway replaces Million Card Giveaway

and Toppstown returns.

Two new looks for this year are

 Reproduction cards and

these Kimball Champions Mini cards which look great.

Out of the Hobby Box we also pulled

these awesome Platinum Diamond Cards,

 these Gold Cards number to 2011,

 this David Aardsma Black card numbered to 60,

 this short print Legends card of Lou Gehrig,

and our big hit, a Goose Gossage Topps 60 relic card.  On the left side of the material is a red pinstripe.  Best guess is this is from an early 1970’s White Sox uniform.

Overall Look
Love the design, love the photography.  A classic look with a modern twist and a bit of shiny, always a good thing.  Informative backs which is really important and an often overlooked aspect of design.  Great color scheme and vintage inserts that feel... well... vintage.

Quality and Variety of Players and Subsets.
Series 1 and 2 cover every MLB player.  There are designations for rookie cards, second year players who excelled in their rookie season and fabulous League Leader and Award winners treatments.  Kimball Champions are a great addition to this set.  For those of you that picked up last year's cards, with most of the inserts ebing very close to the look and feel of last year’s inserts you might think this set is 2010 version 2.0.  But as a stand alone, on their own merit, these insert cards are solid.  For the constant collector, perhaps Topps will need to throw us a curve ball or change up for the 2012 set just to keep things evolving and prevent the set from becoming too predictable, but for now, it’s still a great set.

Do the hits hold up?
The common hits are solid and the rarer hits like the In The Name cards, Jumbo relics, World Series Champion Autos Relics and 60th Anniversary Reprint Auto Relics are on par with most premium card releases.

Will you want to collect them all? 
For 60 Years, Topps Baseball Cards have been THE cards to collect and that sill holds true.   With short prints of Legends and Sparkles, various levels of numbered cards, shiny diamond cards and other goodies like the Wrapper Redemption good for 1952 Black Diamond Cards and the Diamond Giveaway, this is as good as it gets for a set builder.

 4 1/2 out of 5

2011 Topps Baseball Series 1 is a release worthy of a celebration.  They work well for both beginning and seasoned collectors.  Your collection is incomplete without them.

Review box provided by Topps


  1. How does Joe Mauer's 2009 Topps card become a "classic" in two years? He's not the best player now, not the best Twin ever, not the greatest catcher, current or all-time. He is a bating title winner, and an All-Star, so I can see throwing his RC in, but a base card in his, what, 7th year? Am I the only one that finds this strange/retarded?

  2. I like 2011 Topps. It has to many inserts, but I like the Diamond Parallels. The photography and design are good too.