Well folks, here it is. 2010 Topps Heritage. I was able to pick up 6 boxes today and I will share with you what I pulled and give my opinions on the product. Heritage is now in its 10th year. Started in 2001, topps has modeled their heritage set with a vintage set. They have gone in order starting with the landmark 1952 set (2001 Heritage). 2010 takes us to that magical year 1961. Obviously a big year for baseball. There are plenty of Ruth, Maris and Mantle to keep you collecting for a long time. Here are the results of my 6 boxes:
Short Prints: (1:3) Expected: 48 Pulled: 51
Base Card Dice Game Var. (1:72) Expected: 1 Pulled: 1 Adam Jones
Base Card Chase '61 (1:435) Expected: 0 Pulled: 1 Babe Ruth
Framed Topps Stamps (1:193) Expected: 0 Pulled: 2
Base Chrome (1:5) Expected: 28 Pulled: 27
Base Chrome Refractors (1:18) Expected: 8 Pulled: 6
Base Chrome Black Refractor (1:167) Expected: 0 Pulled: 1 Aaron Hill
New Age Performer (1:15) Expected: 10 Pulled: 7
Then & Now (1:15) Expected 10 Pulled 8
Flashbacks (1:12) (1:12) Expected: 24 Pulled 25
Clubhouse Relic (1:29) Expected 5 Pulled: 4
Real One Autograph (1:357) Expected: 0 Pulled: 0
Real One Autograph Red Ink (1:586) Expected: 0 Pulled: 1 Raul Ibanez
The Base Cards:
The base set is what always drives topps heritage. This is a set builders set and that means all the cards must look great. I think the cards for the most part are beautiful. The pictures are mostly portrait shots but that is keeping close to the original set. The colors are a bit washed out but I think topps did a great job recreating that old look. Almost all the big name free agents are pictured with their new teams. The card backs list the players complete stats NICE.
The Short Prints
The short prints are once again easy to pick out as they have lighter backs. These fall usually as the last card in the pack. There are also two variation sets that we know of, the first base cards of Mantle, Maris and Ruth (see above). The second is a dice game variation. These cards also have light backs and have the dice game on the back. They will be inserted not as the last card in the pack but further in. At 1:3 packs you have a lot of work to do on the base short prints. Collation was very poor. Triples of some cards.
Once again 4 insert sets make their familiar appearance in Topps Heritage. The New Age performer set will prove to be the toughest at 15 cards. Also the popular Then and Now set and two flashback sets.The player selection is excellent, even though
Whitey Ford makes an appearance on all the Then & Now cards which feature pitchers.
Always a popular set, the chromes are back. This time the base cards have a white border, so it will be much easier to distinguish them from the refractor. The black chromes are once again drop dead gorgeous. Odds for the chromes have been improved over the past few years even though it didn't appear that way in my break. Refractors should fall 3 per every two boxes, but I received 1 per box only.
At 6 boxes I did not expect to pull ink, but I did just 30 packs into the rip. It was a beautiful Raul Ibanez card. This is a curious card, it appeared in the 2009 update set but was a redemption and topps has said that Ibanez didn't sign, yet here he is in 2010 as a live autograph. You have to wonder why topps isn't honoring those 2009 redemptions. The one thing lacking initially, is that topps gave no autograph checklist. It appears that Musial and Yaz did not make the set...disappointing, but other surprises have been ink from Frank Robinson and Juan Marichal. Autographs are on card and beautiful, you can't ask for anything more....well better names would help, but this is MUCH improved over 2009.
There are extras, those cards that pull tougher than the box odds. Topps has thrown in a stamp set. These are cards that feature two stamps of current players in them. These are framed and are numbered to just 50. It appears initially that the set is very big even though they are hard to pull. There are also box topper panels that use the stamp theme. These can be pulled one in every other box next to the more familiar ad panels. Original cards can also be pulled as box toppers. I pulled 2 of them. They are again stamped. Topps has also put in those rarer cards, dual autographs and multi game used cards. Expect big money if you pull those. These extras make heritage a fun rip for the high roller. They are supposed to come in addition to the one Gu or Auto per box, even though one of my boxes didn't have a hit in it (but that box contained a black refractor and a stamp card in it).
UPDATE: Early box rips have shown that some boxes will not contain the GU/Auto while other boxes will have multiple.
Those disappointed with the effort topps gave last year will be happy to know that 2010 topps heritage is a much improved product. It is still not as good as the hey day of heritage 01-03, but there is plenty to collect in this stuff. I have not looked through all my cards for variations, but there are bound to be a few. The 61 chase variations are easy to spot as they are lighter backed. These are the first and maybe only cards of Ruth and Maris and the only base heritage card of Mantle. Expect those to be hot hot hot.
Check back often here for more information regarding 2010 Heritage. It is certainly worth a buy!