by Chris Harris
Over the last couple of years, Topps’ base and premium-level baseball products have stuck to the same formula: Keep the structure of the product exactly the same as the previous year’s set, add something new to create “value,” and not subtract much, if anything. For the most part, this strategy has had mixed results.
Despite its brief two year life-span, Gypsy Queen has been a product line that has been able to establish itself both in The Hobby and with collectors. Unlike some of their other similarly-priced lines, Gypsy Queen is a product that’s working as is and is not in need of a major overhaul. That seems to be the philosophy behind 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball.
Like the last two editions, the base set will still consist of 350 cards (50 of which are short-printed) on a mock-19th Century design. Each 24-pack Hobby box will yield four “hits” (two autographs and two “Relics”) and ten mini-parallels packaged as a box topper. Speaking of which, once again, every pack will contain one mini-sized parallel from one of seven different sets – six of which will be serial-numbered. Standard-sized parallels will also be available in Blue, Silver (one-of-one), Printing Plates, and Hometown Currency (serial-numbered to five with a coin embedded into the card). Inserts include No-Hitters, Dealing Aces (of which there will be four versions – one for each suit), Sliding Stars, Collisions at the Plate and Glove Stories. Printing Plates for the inserts will be randomly seeded into Hobby packs.
As has been the case the last two years, each Hobby box will yield two “Relics,” one each in standard and framed-mini sizes, with Black parallels (Black standard-sized “Relics” serial-numbered to 25; mini Black “Relics” numbered to ten) also produced. Hobby boxes also promise two standard-sized on-card autographs, with mini-sized autographs randomly inserted into the ten-card mini box topper. The one-of-one Original Art Patch Cards which combine a swatch of patch material on a sketch card also return to Hobby packs, as do the multi-signed autographed and autographed “Relic” cards that have become standard issue in Topps baseball products.
The new additions to 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball include a series of one-of-one Bat Barrel cards, Mini Autograph Relic Books (featuring a piece of a “Relic” and a sticker autograph on a mini-sized “Book” card), and Mini Button Cards which have buttons taken off the player’s game-used jersey. The Mini Button Cards are exclusive to the mini box topper and will be serial-numbered to three each.
2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball is scheduled for release April 1, 2013. Each Hobby box will include 24 packs of ten cards and a special ten-card mini box topper. Hobby boxes should retail in the $125 range. Check out the preview images below and the 2013 Gypsy Queen Checklist.