I don't think I need to explain much when it comes to Topps Heritage.
Current guys on old designs, closely-cropped head shots, etc., you probably know the drill by now.
I always look forward to Heritage, no matter what the design. But I'd be lying if I said that this year's edition isn't hurt by the fact that 2014 Heritage was so terrific. Anything that honors my all-time favorite set is bound to be memorable.
Couple that with the fact that '66 Topps isn't one of my favorite designs, and, well, the cards are already stacked against 2015 Heritage before pack one. Sadly, this is the beginning of a Heritage snoozefest until at least 2020, as I'm not big on any of the Topps sets from 1966-70. I'll have to wait until 2020 Heritage for another design I really like.
Still, like I said, I have to get me some Heritage whenever a new edition hits the shelves. Dad and I picked up a couple 36-card hanger boxes last week during a trip to Target.
Because apparently Heritage comes in hanger boxes now.
Again, Heritage is pretty consistent with the photos.
One thing I do like is the presence of authentic old-time posed shots, as seen with the Granderson and a few others on this page. You won't find those anywhere else but Heritage these days.
I also like the off-kilter color combos, like green and yellow for the Rangers. Those definitely stay true to the originals.
In the end, though, I really can't bring myself to get too excited over a design I'm not crazy about in the first place. That's not so much a knock against the people working at Topps here in 2015.
I mean, you can't blame a mediocre 49-year-old design on a current Topps employee, can you?
The backs remain one of my favorite things about Heritage.
I get the feeling that Topps doesn't think people care about the flip sides of cards anymore. And maybe that's true on the aggregate. But, despite what the hobby high rollers would have you believe, there are still people who want to see good backs.
Heritage harkens back to the days where the backs were every bit as important as the fronts.
A few base cards in particular grabbed my eye from these hanger boxes.
Without his Bobby Thomson moment, there's no way a middling bench guy like Travis Ishikawa would've sniffed the 2015 Heritage checklist. It's good to see that his dinger is getting him some recognition around the cardboard universe.
Heritage is usually one of the first brands (if not the first) to print updated cards that reflect the offseason's trades/free agent signings. Even if they are blatant photoshop jobs, I still enjoy them.
But I'll never get used to the sight of Jimmy Rollins as a Dodger.
I ignored these Heritage "combo" cards for a long time, and I regret every minute of it.
These do a great job of honoring the originals (aside from the horridly huge trademark), and this Pirates trio is especially fantastic.
Heritage is the last hope for managers.
They're not in Flagship anymore, so this is the only time you'll see skippers like Buck Showalter in a Topps checklist.
That makes me sad, because manager cards rule.
I'd love it if the Heritage brand was nothing but base cards.
I mean, that would be the biggest tribute to the originals, wouldn't it? (That, and making the packs a nickel each like they were in '66.)
But, as we all know, that ain't gonna happen. Topps has to turn a profit somehow. Instead, we get tough-to-find short-prints and New Age Performers and error variation SPs and color swap SPs and action SPs and a bunch of other gimmicks.
None of those sound very authentic to me.
Neither do chrome parallels.
I just don't get these. Chrome wasn't a glimmer in anyone's eye in 1966. So what the heck are they doing in Heritage? It doesn't seem like anyone froths at the mouths for these, so I don't get why Topps brought them back in 2015 after a year-long hiatus.
Prince here is numbered to 999 copies, and, although he's all chromey, I really don't see what any of this has to do with 1966 Topps.
Same goes for these.
But at least they're shiny.
From what I can gather, these parallels are new to 2015 Heritage and exclusive to retail hanger boxes. They don't pancake as much as the chromes and aren't numbered. I think each of my hangers contained five of these. (Stop following me, Prince!)
It's hard to dislike anything shiny, but, all things considered, I think I'd rather have the five extra base cards from my hangers.
I think most Heritage fans would agree with me there.
We don't need the endless supply of SPs or chrome parallels to enjoy this brand. True Heritage fans don't want those.
What we want are more cards like this Kennys Vargas. I don't know much about this Vargas fellow, but I can tell he's a fun-loving dude from this shot alone. It's one of the greatest cards Heritage has ever produced.
I guess the one piece of advice I'd give to the people in charge of Heritage is to stop trying to make the brand into something it isn't. I understand that the gimmicky SPs help drive up sales. I may be a low-end guy, but I'm not naive.
All I'm saying is that a little more focus on the actual base cards would probably bring a new fan base to Heritage. The fan base of the everyday collectors. It seems like a lot of bloggers just buy a pack or two of the stuff and then leave it alone. I doubt I'll be buying anymore this year. (Although I will be open to trading for the remaining base cards I need.)
Let's focus on the base cards a little more, Topps.
That's all I ask.