- Card Design:
Guess what? If you like Topps Series One and Two flagship design this year, then you will like Update. If not, well…… Update is designed as an extension of flagship and fills two molds that have been around for years: players that were traded during the season get a new card with their new team and rookies that were called up during the season so they can have a card represented in the set. The latter brings in those who prospect where the former is for those team/player super-collectors. If you are a set builder like me, you want them all.
- Checklist Review:
This is one of the biggest “extensions” of a product in the hobby. 300 base cards on top of Series One and Series Two. But it is a lot because it is a credit to Topps as they use Update to cover almost everything missing from the previous two releases. 78 of these cards are Rookie Cards led by Vlad Guerrero’s card, although Yordan Alvarez has been controversially left out. I think it is not fair to collectors when a business decision of saving him for 2020 supersedes the season he made his debut. Then add cards for each member of both All-Star teams, the Home Run Derby participants and cards celebrating the Rookie Debut of players. Then add it all of the parallels that match those from Series One and Series Two that you have seen before: Rainbow Foil, Gold (numbered to 2019), Black (numbered to 67), Powder Blue for Father’s Day (numbered to 50), Hot Pink for Mother’s Day (numbered to 50), Clear (numbered to 10), Platinum (1 of 1), Printing Plates (1 of 1 with versions in Black, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow) plus 150th Anniversary, Advanced Stats (numbered to 150), Vintage Stock (numbered to 99), Independence Day (numbered to 76) and Camo for Memorial Day (numbered to 25).
There is a given here: if it’s related to Topps flagship, it’s collectable. Traditional collectors want it because they collect Topps every year. Completists like me want the set and every bit of it. Prospectors like all of the rookies who didn’t make the flagship set during the year. And break buyers like it because it has its broad selection of hits. It is always one of the most talked about products of the year.
- Favorite Parallel/Insert Set:
Inserts abound in Update this year. If you like celebrating the 150th anniversary of baseball, then there are many chances to do so. The regular insert set has 100 cards with parallels celebrating achievements in the game. I’ll talk about other 150th sets in the Auto/Relic section. 1984 versions of today’s players are back in Update with 50 cards and parallels. 1984 is also available in the Oversized Box Toppers with 50 cards and those are available 1 card per hobby box. Bryce Harper has a 20-card highlight set in Wal-Mart packs while Shohei Ohtani has his set in the Target version. A cool set is The Family Business featuring players with multiple family members in the game. Est. 1869 is a really cool set celebrating baseball’s first team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Perennial All-Stars focuses on 50 of the top players, past and present. But my favorite insert set is the 50-card Iconic Card Reprints that showcases past iconic Topps issues.
I mentioned there were multiple 150th Anniversary sets. Look for the Manufactured Patches set and the Anniversary Medallions set, both in 50 cards. All-Stars are another common theme with four sets: All-Star Jumbo Patch (50 cards), All-Star Stitches (60 cards), All-Star Stitches Dual (10 cards) and All-Star Stitches Triple (10 cards). Major League Material has 40 cards. My favorite is Own the Name Relics which has 60 cards of players with a full card letter patch. There are autos all over the previously mentioned sets: 150 Years of Professional Baseball with 51 cards, 150th Anniversary Manufactured Patches with 25 cards and 150th Anniversary Medallions with 24 cards. Go back to 1984 design with 56 cards, All-Star Jumbo Patch (10 cards), All-Star Stitches (18 cards), All-Star Stitches Dual (8 cards), Bryce Harper and Shohei Ohtani Highlights (20 cards), Reverance Auto Patch (14 cards), Legacy of Baseball (45 cards), Iconic Card Reprints (14 cards), The Family Business (9 cards), Est. 1869 (8 cards) and Cut Signatures (10 cards). All of these also have parallels.
Topps Update stays in its lane year after year with a solid full base set and plenty of parallels, inserts, relics and autos to be had. It is another quintessential product that meets the needs of all collectors and the like. There has been some inflation of the pricing lately in anticipation of the release but that should subside, and it can be found prominently for all to dig in.
Overall Score 4.25/5.0