Wednesday 24 January 2018

The Condition Sensitive Best of the Hobby 2017 Awards

    Something I have been meaning to do before everyone gets caught up in 2018 Topps baseball is highlight was I thought were the best things I saw this past year card-wise. I failed horribly at a catchy title so here it is. A mild disclaimer, there was a lot of products and cards I didn't see this year so this is the best of what I saw. I probably missed some obvious things, so comments are welcome.

Baseball Set - Diamond Kings
2017 was the year I became very disinterested in what Topps is doing, so this was a difficult selection, and probably a controversial pick. Diamond Kings was an early release set that most people have probably forgot about, or didn't care about to begin with because of no MLB logos, but I feel it captured the "Modern-vintage" set more than Gypsy Queen or Ginter. The checklist is strong with a good mix of Current and retired players. Where else are you going to get a Moose Skowron base card in 2017?

Honorable Mentions:
Fire gets a mention here for Topps trying something different, I have been very bored with what they are doing with baseball and this set is far from boring. Some days I love it, some days it is totally gross and the whole set looks like stylized vaginas.

Also there is something I really like about Bowman/Bowman Chrome, Bowman is usually a set I write off as boring, but I like the design and the photograph is strong, If I had to build a base set from Topps for 2017, it Would be Bowman Chrome. If I had to pick a non-Andrew Albers base card of the year, it might be the above Arenado.

Football Set - XR
 A new set for Panini, XR is nothing groundbreaking or amazing, but I feel like it is a really strong design and the one that really stood out in the mass of Panini football releases this year. Added bonus with the parallels being nice and more than just a different colored border.

Honorable Mentions:
Panini Playoff get a mention for in-game photos of rookies instead of the standard training camp shots as well as a clean design and strong photograph choices.

Unparalleled is crazy and over the top just like last year, and gets a mention for the checklist full of players getting their first card. There seems to be very little difference in football checklists and this set gets high marks for going outside that. Maybe not every collector needs a Richie Incognito rookie card, but I fell like I do.

Basketball Set
Threads gets my vote here largely on the variety of the base set including Wood and Leather rookies, as well as some nice parallels. It doesn't have the value of Prizm or Select, but I am not factoring that in here.

Honorable Mentions:
Revolution gets a mention for being a weird and crazy product, my current favorite, but it loses out to the Threads based on the above mentioned variety as well as checklist size.

Select for the on-card autos and strong design (and shiny).

Autograph Set:
The one thing Gypsy Queen does well is the on-card autos, all on-card, all the time. Bonus points for current players and retired guys and for the auto-card having a nicer look design-wise that the regular base.

Honorable Mentions
I am not usually a die-cut fan, but I am a fan of Preffered Penmanship with bonus points for on-card, Museum Collection framed autos are awesome as always, for basketball Select always looks good and has I think the first on-card rookie autos.

Biggest Disappointment
Gypsy Queen, I have written about it before, and will again, but 2017 Gypsy Queen really let me down, disjointed design, no minis, no Printing Plates, no more framed parallels, really bad looking parallels, ugly feathered edges on the photos. Only took one year to go from my favorite set, totally passing "meh" and going straight to "bleh". 2018 sadly doesn't look any better.

Honorable Mentions
Topps/Bowman High Tek - Surprising as I am an acetate fan, but I really have had a hard time getting into the revival of Tek, and adding another line with Bowman really does nothing for me, I have enough Brendon Rodgers cards already, thanks though.

Worst Set
Flagship/Update. Mostly Update, but I am lumping flagship in because they share the same ugly design. 2017 Flagship is ugly, the parallels are ugly and by extension Chrome is ugly as well. 2017 Update is ugly and the checklist really sucks, very few guys with new teams, No Lucroy or Neshek with the Rockies, no Darvish with the Dodgers. I came to terms with Series 2 just being Series 1 Part 2 and not updating anything, but when a set called Update doesn't update anything, what is the point? Update is usually in my top 3 baseball set, but this year, it wins a big brown turd.

1 comment:

  1. We should compare Redskins dupes (again?) sometime, especially the newer ones.