It has been a few weeks since 2017 Gypsy Queen dropped and having time to get used to this years offering of the only set I build every year, I came with up some thoughts on what was a very different product from past years.
- The autographs are always gorgeous and this year they really shine with a slightly different, and in my view better design than the base cards. As with the base set, the parallels are pretty meh, but overall I am a huge fan of the autos and the checklist has a nice mix of current and retired players.
- The base card design has grown on me, it's not my favorite GQ design, but it is fine. I really dislike the top with the team name, if it was more like the auto design I would be a bigger fan. I love the card backs, the number in middle was a complaint of some, but after sorting two boxes worth of base I had no issues with it.
- The high end cards look great, booklets, auto patches and Leather and Laces all look good, but way to high end for me, for a retro style set Gypsy Queen does high end very well.
- The inserts were fine, but a little boring, I liked Fortune Tellers more than I thought I would. In the past we had photo-centric sets like Play at the Plate, Glove Stories and Sticky Fingers. Nothing like that this year. I really miss Glove Stories, there were some great cards in those sets.
- The parallels were a big "meh" for me, if you read this blog (or care to go back to Top Parallels posts One & Two) I like parallels that give something different and usually flashy. Leaving a players name off, taking the black out, or making the photo Black & White doesn't add anything, in fact it literally takes things away.
- The short prints going from 6 per box to 2. Less cards to chase, but less chance of pulling one, again leading to me not wanting to buy more packs.
- I think 2017 Gypsy Queen will be remembered more for what it didn't have than what it did.
1. Minis and all the mini parallels - This one really bugged me, for me in the past it has added value in pc cards and trade bait. I would pick up the odd pack hoping for a cool mini, no chance of that now. I feel very certain I won't rip another pack of Gypsy Queen this year.
2. Framed parallels - These have been around since the start in 2011, and they wouldn't have been such a huge loss other than the fact this was the only set that did them, and if they were replaced by something worthwhile, but they were not.
3. Base and mini framed relics - I don't collect relics so this didn't bother me personally, removing them takes some value out of a box, but with the price drop, it's a wash.
4. Printing Plates - Did these get scrapped as well? I have seen none, just more value removed by Topps.
Summary: Overall, I am very disappointed in this years offering. I just feel Topps took a lot of the fun out of this set, comparing my wantlist to other years, I really don't care that much about anything other than the base set. I will admit, my two boxes sucked and if I had pulled a big card I might feel a but different, but if I knew this years product was so boring, I would have just bought a base set off ebay and chased the short prints. Topps if you are reading this, please, bring back mini's at least, come up with some good parallels, the mini retail foils last year were great, how about full size foil parallels, how about some acetate, even take the price back up, just please, do something interesting with it in 2018.