One of the things that continues to draw another generation of folks in as collectors is nostalgia. Two key products that Topps puts together annually that helps collectors step back to another time are Heritage and Archives. Heritage takes us back to a prior year’s design and this year does not disappoint with the 1971 black border version. This one will have a premium on condition due to these borders that will easily wear. Still this black border design is a classic and it is always fun seeing the modern players within it. Other than any horizontal photos in the set, my favorite in the 1971 design has always been the Rookie Stars card featuring two players with head shots.
Heritage has the same dynamic as flagship as we all know going in that this the first part of the set with High Number to come later in the season. The checklist includes 400 cards in the base with another 100 Short Prints for a total of 500. There are many top stars available along with League Leaders, Playoff Highlights and World Series Highlights. Rookie Cards are fun to chase in this set with the Rookie Stars cards that feature two to three rookies. There are 26 of these led by the “heavy hitter” version with Yordan Alvarez and Aristides Aquino. Another featuring big names is Gavin Lux and Dustin May. Another one to chase is the A’s triumvirate of Jesus Lazardo, Seth Brown and A. J. Puk. Overall the checklist is solid.
Collectable – Topps Heritage – check! Heritage like Archives enables a collector to see current players in previous designs. This season features 1971 and its black borders. Heritage tends to be the next set for set builders after flagship. This year’s version due to the black borders is going to be a larger search for mint condition cards as wear can occur in packs, boxes, etc. Irregardless, Heritage will be a set that anyone in the hobby will get and hold.
Favorite Parallel/Insert Set:
From a Parallel perspective, Heritage does not have much to chase. There are White Border which feature 50 cards and Flip Stock that puts the stock of the card on the reverse side in a 5-card set. What Heritage has an abundance of is Variations including Action Image (25 cards), Error Variations, Missing Signature, Nickname (10 cards), Throwback Uniform (15 cards) and Silver Team Name (25 cards). The Inserts really give a feel of 1971 with many mirroring what was available then. Here is the list: Gigantic Seasons which is 20 cards featuring highlights of Willie Mays, Tattoos (30 cards), Bazooka Numbered Test (25 cards), Scratch-Offs (15 cards), Greatest Moments Boxloaders (55 cards), Flashbacks and News Flashbacks (15 cards), Super Boxloaders (15 cards), Chrome (200 cards with Parallels), Minis (132 cards), French (350 cards), New Age Performers (25 cards) and Then and Now (15 cards).
There are ten different sets of Autos in Heritage. Those include the following: Real One Autos (63 cards with Red Ink parallels), Real One Dual Autos (7 cards), Real One Triple Autos (5 cards), Senators Final Season Autos (9 cards), Super Baseball Boxloader Autos (5 cards), Baseball Cut Signatures (9 cards numbered 1/1), Celebrity Cut Signatures (10 cards numbered 1/1), Clubhouse Collection Auto Relics (13 cards), Clubhouse Collection Dual Auto Relics ( 5 cards) and Flashback Auto Relics (10 cards). Relics are plentiful in Heritage as well. Sets of those include: Clubhouse Collection Relics (66 cards with parallels), Clubhouse Collection Dual Relics (5 cards), Clubhouse Collection Triple Relics (5 cards), Clubhouse Collection Quad Relics (5 cards), Postage Stamp Relics (20 cards) and Mint Nickel Relics (50 cards).
Topps Heritage is a fun product for the nostalgia of a previous year’s design, another early release that gives people a chance to scratch the collecting and hit-chasing itch and it has a good mix of base, variations, parallels and inserts. It will be a challenge from a grading standpoint with the black borders, but it has magic each time I see it. Plus, look for release enhancements and now Chrome Mega Boxes are coming to WalMart with a Chrome component. Heritage is a great combination of nostalgia and modern hobby elements to reach everyone.
Overall Score 4.28/5.0