Topps Brand Manager Talks 2011 Heritage

2011 Topps Heritage is generating a lot of buzz for hobby retailers and after market sales of singles have been especially strong on eBay.

The company pulls out all the stops in its Heritage line in trying to be true to the original brand, right down to the unintentional errors and variations that used to show up when the card manufacturing process was a little more prone to errors.  Companies used to correct some statistical errors and such that showed up in its cards.

In trying to be true to the throwback nature of the product, Topps used to put sticks of gum in Heritage.  Some liked it…but company research seemed to indicate most of it was getting thrown away.  Matt Perrone, the company’s baseball brand manager, told the company blog Monday that the cost-saving decision allowed Topps to add another card to the packs.

Perrone also said a lot of research and planning goes into the set.

Heritage Baseball Real One Auto Hank Aaron“We spend quite a bit of time digging into what was done 50 years ago—everything, warts and all—and create a master list of what went right and what went wrong,” he said.  “Then we do our best to recreate that experience for today’s collector with the players he follows. It’s a lot of fun and really gives us a chance to step back and take a more detached look, if you will, at what it is we do here. And that kind of research and thinking carries over into our work on other products and benefits us across the board, I think.”

In ’62, there were ‘green tinted’ color variations that eventually drove the early collecting pioneers a little batty.  Those return in the 2011 product along with the Babe Ruth Story inserts and other variations that mirror the original product.

“That’s the thing about Heritage; if you really know your stuff, there aren’t too many surprises,” said Perrone.  “If we’ve done our job well, you should be able to figure most of it out just by looking at the old set. It’s a lot of fun putting these new twists on old errors, and we hope collectors appreciate the sense of fun and homage in which they’re done.”