Wednesday 4 April 2018

Why I Didn't Buy Two Gypsy Queen Boxes

There are only a few sets I have actively built since returning to collecting, with Gypsy Queen from 2011-2017 being the only ones that were current that year. I don’t buy many boxes because; 
1) They are expensive (I am cheap), 
2) Topps does very few things I am actually interested in (more on this later) and  
3) I save my card budget for two boxes of Gypsy Queen every year. 2011 is the only year that I did not pre-order two boxes as that pre-dated my return to the hobby by a few months. If you follow this blog you will see three things ad nauseam, Rockies, Redskins and Gypsy Queen. The point being, I like Gypsy Queen. Or I liked Gypsy Queen.

That brings us to 2018. They really lost me with 2017, there just seemed like there was less in the box, and 2018 is repeat of that. No minis is really a huge issue with me, I was really slow to warm up to the little tobacco sized cards, but I learned to love them, and love the added value they brought to a box break, and this is not value in terms in making money, but value in getting enjoyment out of opening a box, hoping for something cool, then sorting and having trade bait, that is what was missing in 2017, and that is what is missing in 2018.

The card design has grown on me other than one thing, the stupid feathered edges on the photo. From 2011 thru 2016 Gypsy Queen always had a hard border which allowed for the framed parallels. The feathered edge looked garbage in 2017, and it looks even worse here with the feathering extending past the right hand border into the middle of the card.

I honestly think that Gypsy Queen is a very important part of Topps’ line-up. Archives and Heritage use pre-existing retro designs. Ginter uses a very similar design every year with almost no in-game action photos. Gypsy Queen is the most interesting retro-style set and that is one of the reasons I am so passionate about it.

Going back to less content, look at 2013 Gypsy Queen non-hit inserts:

1. Collisions at the Plate were awesome, although this was the only year for them
2. Dealing Aces were ok with the playing card theme
3. Glove Stories were awesome every year they did them
4. No Hitters with another cool moment in time card
5. Sliding Stars were also nice with good action photos

2018 gives you:

6. Fortune Teller "Minis" which have no action photos
7. Tarot of the Diamond which are kind of cool and fit the Gypsy Theme

But that is it, two non-hit insert sets to collect, add that to no minis and no printing plates for the last two years and that equals way less content.

Here was have three of the parallel sets, Black & White, Blackless and Missing Team Name. What do they all have in common, they add nothing to the card, in fact, they literally take away from the base card. Remember when a parallel was more desirable than the base card, when it popped out of the pack and was the best looking card not the worst?

After 2017 Gypsy Queen, I said I wished I would have saved my money and just bought a set online. I think I am even past that point. I will buy a few packs, trade for what I can, maybe pick up some cheap short prints, but no boxes. Probably no boxes of baseball at all. Maybe it's hobby fatigue, maybe I am burned out, but I have had a hard time caring about baseball releases this year. Maybe Archives, but that has yet to even been announced.

Truth be told, I had way more fun opening the couple boxes of Revolution and Clear Vision basketball that I bought in the fall. Topps won't miss my two boxes, after Judge last year they have Ohtani to move boxes, as well as the case-breakers, prospectors and the license to print money that is Topps Now. Wake me up when Heritage gets to 1971.


  1. Seems like most bloggers are down on GQ this year. I get your disappointment but if you're anything like me you can always find something else collecting-wise to do with your money,

  2. This years design is just odd to me-- It just doesn't sit right. The price really crept up last year due to Judge and unfortunately, it will stay there unless the get desperate. If it was under $50 a box (guaranteed to NOT have autos), I would grab a few. Not this year.

  3. One pack this year was enough for me to realize that I'd probably be unable to collate the set without the help of a magnifying glass. The writing of the card # seems only slightly larger than the copyright boilerplate.

  4. Does that Fisk stay in your collection as part of the sps? Or does it need to find a new home?

  5. I'm one of the few people in the hobby who actually likes the high number of parallels in this day and age, and even I don't like those. I have a few older Gypsy Queen cards, mostly cast-offs from Gavin's duplicate dumping, and they are neat cards. This year...not so much.

  6. You hit the nail on the head. First and foremost you should always be able to notice right away when a card is a parallel/variation. Instead you have to search for codes or examine the card like the Zapruder film. Let's take the nameplate away...lets take the team name away...etc. At least with Bowman Chrome things are different colors. It may be too many, but you know when you have one.

  7. I still enjoy Gypsy Queen's on-card autographs... but that's pretty much it. It's a shame they don't make framed parallels anymore. That was my 2nd favorite thing about the product line.

  8. I'm still finishing the blue frames and the black minis from 2012. That would be impossible with this year's set.

    The design doesn't even look retro any more. I'd call it Gallery Queen. It's artsy, but not exciting.

  9. You make some excellent points, and I agree 100% about the bland parallels and lack of inserts. I might be experiencing Hobby fatigue as well, but maybe it's just that Topps is out of ideas and I prefer Panini brands (but not Panini prices or logoless cards)