Friday, February 16, 2024

Welcome to the dark side (a box of 2024 Topps)

Baseball cards have made me do weird things over the years.

There's been many a Topps release day where I've traveled far and wide across suburbia, scouring the Targets and Wal-Marts for any trace of the new cards. I've been to parts of town I didn't know existed in search of these tiny pieces of cardboard. It gets to be an obsession that really brings out the darker side of my collecting personality.

I don't do the retail tour anymore - when did I have the time or energy? - but that doesn't mean the prospect of new cards doesn't still trigger the obsessive in me. One of the benefits of having a card shop open up down the block is knowing that the newest stuff will be there if I'm willing to plunk down a bit of cash for a box.

I didn't plan on buying a whole box of 2024 Topps - I didn't last year, either - but alas, here I am, getting ready to unleash the spoils of the box that I so ravenously tore into last night.

I'll join the chorus right away and say that 2024 Topps is awesome - there's just no better way to put it.

It's a colorful shot in the arm to a Flagship run that sorely needed it. I haven't necessarily disliked the designs over the last few years, but they're not wildly distinct and have already started to kinda bleed together in my head. The neon theme reminds me of a '50s diner in the wee hours of the morning, and the borders do actually glow a bit in-hand if you shine them up against a light.

The player selection is the usual crop of stars, rookies (so...many...rookies), and other personal delights like Jose Quintana who for some reason got the shaft from Topps last year (best I can tell, his only 2023 card was a Heritage SP). And they all shine on a wonderful design.

It's simply something we've never seen from Flagship before, and immediately goes right up there on the best Topps looks of my lifetime (easily my favorite one since 2015).

The backs are different enough to warrant mention - I've accepted the fact that Topps has long been phoning these in, but the thicker bar between the team/stat lines is a good touch.

As usual, the inserts aren't anything to write home about - I forget what that Tatis insert set is called, but it's ghastly.

And it looks like '89 is the retro insert honoree this year, not a horrible thing since Topps hasn't crammed that design down our collective throats yet.

The only thing better than a great design is a great photo on a great design.

(Editor's note: Detmers and his stellar Angels throwback was the first card of 2024 to crack the Dime Box Frankenset!)

Really the only bone I have to pick with this year's set is the proliferation of City Connect uniforms - seriously, it seemed like I pulled one or two of these things from every pack.

Listen: I actually like the City Connect idea, and welcomed cards that featured them last year. They're not a universal win - the jerseys range from excellence (Marlins), to indifference (Rangers), to vehemence (Pirates) - but it was different enough to make me pay attention.

Maybe this is a case of MLB taking this idea too far, but I kinda think the whole City Connect thing has run its course at this point. 

It seems like the last few Topps designs have catered to horizontals, and 2024 is no exception (always nice to see personal favorite Anthony Rizzo get a great card).

All in all, I'm genuinely excited to see more of this design across Series 2 and Update, which hasn't happened in a while - a tip of the cap to Topps for a job well done.

If any set could make me return to those odd days of dashing to three Targets and two Wal-Marts across the greater Chicago area, this is it.


Johnnys Trading Spot said...

Ahh young skywalker, patience. I have yet to to even look around to obtain what I know I already like, including the card backs, seems like a larger font and that is always a good thing for us aging bloggers. I'll scoop up a box full in the coming weeks over in Ormond the next trip I take.

Mike said...

I like the look,and I hope there's a few in the couple packs I got you today that you need!

night owl said...

It could be Monday before I even look for this and I really like what I've seen online. There just ain't no time and I live in the boondocks.

Brett Alan said...

You're right about Quintana. It bugged me that I didn't have a card of him as a Met yet. Hopefully I can pick one up at the show I'm going to Sunday.

Mark Zentkovich said...


Michael D said...

I like it. I think you did a great joh describing it. I will be posting my thoughts and what I got soon.

RJ Sahl said...

Rod Carew in the Baby Blue uniform? One of my favorite players in one of my favorite uniforms!

bbcardz said...

I busted a couple of hobby boxes of this Tuesday night/Wednesday afternoon and was quite impresses with the "Neon Sign" design. One of my hobby boxes was extra good and I posted the goods on the TCDb forums:

Whoever created the '24 base card design has got to be really proud!

Anonymous said...

Funny., from what I've seen "ghastly" is right up your alley.

BaseSetCalling said...

Nice to see Miggy gets a base Hat Tip sunset card, thanks for posting that one. Votto has one but is the Image Variation SP. A little bet hedging by Topps perhaps.

spelling boo-boo there previously

Laurens said...

Would love to hear about an update to your frankenset with Detmers added.

Fuji said...

At this point, this is probably the 9th or 10th blog post featuring 2024 Topps... but the first to show off that Miguel Cabrera sunset card. Very cool.

I went to Target yesterday and they didn't have any blasters of this stuff on the shelves. Not complaining though, because I like this set so much... I'll definitely just buy a factory set eventually.

Jafronius said...

Thanks for showing off the cards!

Riko said...

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