April 15, 2020

A Thing That Happened While I Was Writing My Next Post

My originally intended next post was going to be a write up about my progress on the 2001 Fleer Tradition Stitches in Time set. However, research and writing has been taking me longer than expected. So, today I decided to take a break so I could offer up some thoughts on a recent collecting trend.

I'm sure that many of you have heard/read about the new on-demand offeriring, Topps Project 2020. The concept here didn't initially grab my interest. The description from the website: 'a year-long collection on Topps.com that visually reimagines the baseball cards that have defined generations, ushering in a new era of seminal artwork. Topps is collaborating with a cast of 20 artists from around the globe, ranging from famed streetwear designers, tattoo and graffiti artists, and one of the premiere jewelry designers on the planet. Each Artist will recreate all 20 cards.' The first thought that came to my mind when I heard about this was 'just what we need, more reprints...' Since I wasn't thrilled with the concept, I hadn't been keeping up with the releases, but I would see them show up in my various social media feeds anyway. The majority of the images I'd seen were quite underwhelming, and there was a lot of chatter about their excessive cost. Each individual card is $19.99 and a bundle of both daily issues can be had for $34.99. There is a bulk discount offer much like there is for Topps Now cards, but no matter how you look at it, that's a steep price tag. I figured that I'd be skipping out on this entire concept. That was until I got the email about yesterday's release...

It was The Captain! His card wasn't on the original list published on the website(only19 out of the 20 cards chosen for the project were listed). Heck, the design isn't completely hideous either. It's actually one of the more attractive designs to drop thus far, at least to my eye. I went ahead and put in my order while I was on lunch break yesterday to ensure that I won't have to try to pick one up at some crazy, secondary market price.

As far as on demand cards go, these backs are pretty decent. I like that it lists the original card and that it has a brief write-up about the artist behind the new design. I halfway expected them to just have an image of the original on there and call it good.

Now that I've taken the plunge, I suppose I'll keep a little closer eye on future releases. I don't expect to buy very many more, but they are reimagining Mariano Rivera's '92 Bowman, Mattingly's '84 Topps, Ichiro's 2001 Topps, and Rickey Henderson's '80 Topps so who knows? I already missed out on pretty cool Rickey and Ichiro designs, and with 18 or 19 more designs left to come for everyone, I guess the odds are in favor of finding a few more designs that I like. Time will tell. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this concept. Have there been any designs you've really liked? Any you picked up yet? Thanks for reading.


  1. I was initially turned off by this project as well, $20 is steep for a single card, but thinking of it like a print of an artist's original work makes it make a little more sense.
    I also thought that they didn't lead with the best options. The first few didn't really capture my attention. One of the artists style was to basically take a sharpie and trace over the original design. I'm hoping that their other cards work better, but the ones I've seen so far look phoned in. I'm sure that wasn't the intent, and I'm sure there was thought and effort put into those sharpie marks, it's just what it looks like...
    But I do think that the concept is a solid one - there is bound to be something to appeal to almost everyone out of the 400 variations. The Jeter doesn't do it for me, but I think that's also the point. I feel some sympathy towards Yankees collectors, they have a tough time with so many cards to choose from. Most people will probably have a small handful that will stand out to them, player collectors may have some tough decisions to make.
    I also am pretty sure that Topps is making a killing on these, so I expect there will be something like this again next year.
    I did buy one already, but I will save it for a future post.

  2. I like the idea and if they were a decent price I’d buy them. But at $20 a pop for cards with a print run of 1200 plus I decided against starting as I’d feel that I’m missing on a set if I didn’t have all 20 brett cards. I already planned to stop buying yet another Brett reprint so the price made it easy.

  3. The idea is solid and some of the cards are crazy-looking, which is interesting. Still I'm not paying that kind of money for those. I do understand the price is because the artist needs to be paid, but it's just out of my budget range.

  4. This is one of those things that I wouldn't really care about, but now I just hope none of my player collection guys are in there....

  5. Wow. I checked out the cards at Topps. I personally don't care for them. I found the Gwynn colorful, very 70s. Even for my PCs, I don't think these would be necessary for me.