I’ll start with good. These cards look amazing. I don’t care if Ichiro is in a throwback Brewers uniform, they got the city right and I like it. If the bulk of the set looks as good as the Robinson card, we may have a product of the year contender.
Now with the not so good.
At first glance I thought these cards were flat out flugly. The more I see of them the more I’m starting to understand their place in the set. First and for most it’s an art set based on a retro theme. I like that idea better than just mailing in another retro themed set, see T206 if you want to know what I mean. I hated the Ruth card at first but it got me thinking, what would players from the golden age of baseball look like with modern jerseys and equipment. The ideas floating in my head look cool and I hope the artists pull through and do a better job than the Ruth card. I think the mistake here was making Ruth look so much like Chippah. Maybe that was the idea, but the idea did not transfer so well. It’s still better than say, a Honus Wagner donning the 1970’s Pirates get-up.
The Thomas card, or Beckham card which ever it is, is kind of cool. I really hope it’s Beckham, because if it’s not, the artist needs to go back to the supply store and buy some new colors for skin tone. The concept behind this could be a cool one too. Take today’s rookies and stars and place them in older iconic cards. How about a Mauer in place of Puckett on a ’85 Topps design or David Wright on Strawberry’s rookie card. I like the idea and concept behind these cards. If it’s not the idea, then yes, it is a horrible painting of Frank Thomas.
I’m going to wait until I see more images from the set before I make my final verdict. For now I’m excited to see 100% of the autos will be on card. That is a definite step in the right direction. I’m also glad to see a few new concepts included into a set. We as collectors can’t complain about the same boring rehashes of retro sets and at the same time slam Topps for trying something new. I guess at the end of the day I’d rather see the Babe in a Brave’s jersey with eye black and batting gloves than see the same tired image of him in the same old boring pin stripes. Maybe this set should have been called “Unique” and not “National Chicle”.
By the way, I completely stole these images from Beckett. Thanks Beckett!