Saturday, November 24, 2012

Topps Numbered Cards

2010 brought back the monopoly in MLB licensed cards.  Topps then changed their regular Topps and Topps Update numbered cards from the typical gold stamped numbers to the ugly and often unreadable inked on numbers.  I know that there isn't much of a value difference between numbered and their base card counterparts, but often these numbers just make the card look cheap or even ugly.  Sometimes the numbers look as if they were done with a dot matrix printer and at times the numbers aren't aligned properly.  Then there are times where you have a team with colors like Colorado with purple boarders, mixed with black numbers and makes it almost unreadable.  If money is an issue of putting stamped numbers on cards, just do away with them.  Here are what the gold numbers looked in the previous years, although in the picture it maybe hard to read, they are very easily read.  They had usually their own area where the numbers were printed. 

2008 Topps Update Gold /2008
2009 Topps Gold /2009

2010 Topps Opening Day Blue /2010
In 2010 we seen Topps using the inked numbered cards, only on their lowest end products.  I have seen several cards where the numbers are faint, numbers aren't aligned right, or it looks like an old dot matrix printer inked it onto the cards.  Lets again remind people that it was 2010 that Topps gained sole possession in making MLB licensed cards, so they can now afford to play around with out true competition.  Again, it isn't a card that is much higher valued than the base card, it is the principle that Topps started to cut corners on their base products right after all other card companies went away.

2011 Topps Update Gold /2011
In 2011 Topps came back to the dot matrix look, but this time put them inside a designed box meant for the numbered cards.  Again these cards are plagued with number misalignment.

2012 Topps Gold /2012
It really wasn't till 2012 that the basic Topps cards started rubbing me the wrong way.  First I noticed that on many of the teams colors the black numbers just camouflage into the teams colors, as it does above.  If they no longer care about how the numbered cards look, don't even deface the cards by putting these ugly numbers on the cards.  Then just after opening my second pack of the 2012 Topps Series 1 I noticed what we all also noticed right away.  On about half of the Series 1 cards, the doubles were marked as triples.  So on the stat lines you have two stats of 3B.  I guess the QC department was too worked up on higher end products that they missed a rookie mistake of not proof reading, or even looking at their product to make sure it looked good, or made sense.

2012 Topps Base Card (notice 2b says 3b)
In the recent light of drama of Topps making an exclusive high end club, I just hope that Topps puts a little more effort making sure that their base brand is right!  Many of you may agree with this quote, "you are only as good as your base product".  If your base product sucks, it will bring down all your other products.  Think about this, if Sony had a terrible base television model, why would anyone gamble on an expensive model if they couldn't get a basic television right?  We in the blog world sound like we are nit pickers, or that we are never happy with anything, but if Topps wants to be the exclusive MLB card, they need to act like one!  We don't need exclusive clubs in hopes to bribe us to love your brand, we want quality because in our jobs our bosses expect quality.  I maybe spend about half my yearly budget on the Topps Series 1,2, and Update brands, and I hope they are able to get things back on track. I love many of the Topps products, but your one weakness is, please work on the QC on your base products!

* On a side note, thanks for all the well wishes for my wife.  Today the local police department caught the 18 year old who pulled a gun on her and two of our girls.  We had a great Thanksgiving and I am ready to get back into the swing of my day to day life in the card world.


  1. There have always been little errors pop up here and there on cards. I sometimes wonder how many go unnoticed. In this fast-paced world it's the little things that often get overlooked.

    Glad the family episode is over so you can enjoy the rest of the holidays !

  2. Good news on the home front. Glad they got the guy.

    I wish Topps would take a page from upper deck's playbook and name the set on the back. Especially for bowman releases and inserts.


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