Thursday, June 4, 2015

Trading Card Review: Gypsy Queen 2015 (Topps)

When I was a kid growing up, baseball cards all seemed to be so cut and dry: you a had series for Topps and that was it.    Now Topps itself has so many different series it can sometimes be hard to keep up with them all.   I will admittedly probably no longer buy the individual packs of the regular cards because trying to find my favorite players (or all of the Mets) just seems to be too much work and in the end, the idea of simply buying the complete set seems to be more practical than dropping the same amount of money on individual packs.   I do like the Heritage series that Topps has because it allows me to see current players in the form of cards I'd seen growing up, but that still comes to me more as a "pick and choose" variety, where as if I see a card of someone I really want I'll just go for it on eBay where it will likely be less than five dollars.

My favorite series of Topps cards out there right now is the Gypsy Queen.   It has been since I first saw it in stores and now I'm finally going to write about it.    I prefer to purchase the three packs bundle, which is $10 or so at Target, because it comes with three framed parallel cards as well and that just seems to be the best overall value-- to get those framed parallel cards as well as the three packs.    Each pack of Gypsy Queen cards contains a total of six cards, though it is worth noting that one of those cards is usually a smaller sized card or as I like to call it a "mini-card".    I'm not sure if this is standard for every pack or not, but in the three packs I got here each of them had five normal sized cards and one mini-card.   If you trace the history of baseball cards back to its roots you will find that cards were once this size (Or just watch the movie "Cop Out") and in some ways it also reminds me of the Cracker Jack cards that I indeed did have growing up as well.

The normal cards themselves (And even the mini-cards for that matter) seem to be printed on a thicker stock of cardboard.   Something happened to baseball cards in the mid to late 1990's where they just became this thinner paper feel and if you pick up a pack of the current Topps cards right now you will know what I mean.   And I'm talking 1987 Topps cardboard feel and the few years following that before they switched over and of course before that as well.    It's just a heavier card and thus truer to the roots of baseball cards I had growing up and such it makes me like it that much more.   There are at least two different versions of the standard sized cards as I've gotten two of the "Queen's Throwbacks" cards and as such you are thus not guaranteed one per pack.

So just by getting these three packs together I have already found four different types of card within the same series.   That means if you are collecting a certain player then you would be looking for four different versions of him, which might seem like a lot but I'm not sure they sell these by the complete sets so I'm just trying to pick them up when I can here and there and fill in any gaps on the secondhand market.    And it is also worth mentioning that someone you might want to call your favorite player might not have all four versions of cards available.   Mike Trout?  Most likely.  Random dude from Arizona Diamondbacks?  Maybe not.  (But if anyone can confirm that everyone has all four versions of cards, please do let me know)

As if all of this doesn't sound appealing enough- and, really, these are the best baseball cards going today for me- there are classic baseball stars thrown into the mix.   Ozzie Smith is on the individual packages but within this set of three packs I managed to find cards of both Yu Darvish and Nolan Ryan (both in Rangers gear)   How cool is that?  I think that- and obviously I couldn't have ever planned that- is one of the best ways to sum up this series for me.   The fact that packs out there with anyone from Jacob deGrom to Doc Gooden in them could be waiting for me makes me very happy.    Though I didn't get any Mets within these three packs, but it just gives me something to go back for again.

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