Let me start off by saying that I have never collected Opening Day cards before this week. But I figured that a set containing only 220 cards would be an easy, simple way to pass the time until Topps Series 2 came out.
I wish I wouldn't have even bothered, and it's not even a bad product!
I have always been under the impression that the Opening Day cards were a product geared towards kids and I think that's great. The amount of money I have spent on an almost complete 2007 Topps set is enough to make grown men cry. So any set geared towards kids is fine by me.
Well I opened my first pack and wow! The bright red border jumps right out at you! Holy cow, these circus poster dots are gone too! And it's a rare occasion that you can actually read the gold foil on the card! These might actually be cooler than Topps regular issue.
Which of course, starts me to wondering. Why are these geared for kids?
You get 6 cards to a pack that costs a dollar. I think Topps regular issue is something like 8-10 cards in a pack that costs two dollars. Fair enough then, per card they are cheaper.
Which of course, makes me continue to wonder. Why are they cheaper?
These cards are printed on the same stock as regular Topps. Having a printing background, I'd absolutely say these cards are more expensive to print than regular Topps, with the solid red ink coverage as well as the gold foil in two locations instead of one.
I have come to the conclusion that Topps is screwing us on the regular issue cards. I came to it years ago though, so just chalk this up as another mark on my big list of all the shitty business practices Topps employees.
Oh well, on to the set.
At first glance it looks like a decent set for kids. At 220 cards it's not overwhelming. The player selection is nice for a set this size. There are a fair amount of rookie cards. (Although as per Topps style, most of these are miscut...)
I pulled cards of every Tiger in the set. Here's the list:
4 Placido Polanco
6 Ivan Rodriguez
32 Curtis Granderson
48 Gary Sheffield
71 Magglio Ordoñez
126 Edgar Renteria
149 Justin Verlander
But as you probably figured out, there are a few things I didn't like.
The absolute biggest of which is the collation. I spent $60 buying these packs. Out of a total of 349 cards bought, with a 220 base cards set, I am still 17 cards short of a set! 112 doubles, and I'm still missing almost 10% of the set! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WHY? HOW MUCH MORE WILL I HAVE TO SPEND TO FINISH THIS SET? Christ almighty Topps, just once I'd like to spend a reasonable amount and get ALL the cards in a set! I threw away 60 David Wright ad cards. WHY? WHY? WHY?
I took a brief break, had a beer, and I'm moving on.
The only other thing I was disappointed in was the selection of Tigers. Although Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis are included in the set, both of them are pictured as Marlins. Which I don't understand. Topps Series 1 came out three months ago, and both are pictured as Tigers. Well after looking through the set I see that there would have only been like two Marlins cards without them, so it's not the end of the world.
Now to the insert cards.
As an aspiring adult, I'd say the insert cards are lame. If I were a kid, I'd probably say the same. There are 28 puzzle pieces that form what might look like a cool collage of the games young players, except that there is no way to fit a 7 card by 4 card puzzle into pages that are 3 cards by 3 cards. Besides, being that this is Topps it would take you hundreds of dollars to open enough packs to get all 28 cards.
There are also stick on tattoos! Yay! (Well not really, as they consist of mostly mascots and some random teams logos. I did get a White Sox one, which should fetch me a couple hundred bucks on the South Side...) The only saving grace for me was that I got one of Paws, the Tigers' mascot. Ok, they're a little cool.
Then there is something I can't even begin to describe called a Flapper. The front opens up one way..... the back opens up a different way..... it feels like the thing is going to fall apart....yippie.... At least there are a cool selection of these. I got two Mickey Mantles, Griffey Jr., Jeter, Manny, and Ortiz.
SO IN CONCLUSION, I have spent worse afternoons opening packs and sorting cards. This was mostly just to cure my jones until Series 2 arrives, when I'm sure I'll be REALLY upset...