by Rich Klein
Topps has played Back to the Future for awhile now with its Allen & Ginter and, more recently, the Gypsy Queen Brand. The two brands’ roots are in 19th century tobacco but the current products are decidedly modern. While Allen and Ginter tends to feature subjects from outside the world of baseball, Gypsy Queen tends to be baseball exclusive. The design is attractive with the brand name on top of the ornate borders, a full-color image of the player in the middle and the name and team at the bottom. The backs have the player’s name, a brief informational blurb as well as the team logo. The back is thankfully very easy to read.
Gypsy Queen comes in 24-pack boxes with 10 cards per pack and each box promises you’ll get two autographs and two relics. The price point is for today’s collectors fairly reasonable as my local card store (Triple Cards in Plano, TX) sold out of either seven or eight cases at $114 per box and is looking to restock while leading on-line retailers are current between $95-100 per box. Plus like most of the 2013 Topps products there are little hidden gems which make this product more popular.
One aspect I really liked was many of the retired superstar photos appeared as if they were the same photos as used on earlier Topps cards. The Catfish Hunter reminded me of his 1974 card while Bill Mazeroski’s card reminded me of his 1972 Topps issue. In this case the photo is different but I would wager it was taken at the same time as the one on the ’72 card.
There are parallels and minis galore and enough photo variations and short prints to keep you guessing.
So how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: 183 of 300 with no duplicates: That’s a tad more than 60 percent of the set and thus for a base set a minimum of two boxes is needed. Topps scores well here.
Short Prints: Bobby Doerr, Ian Kinsler, Bill Mazeroski, Stan Musial, Phil Rizzuto, Carlos Ruiz
Mini Parallels (One Per Pack): Brandon Beachy, Lou Brock, Bill Buckner, Allen Craig, Alcides Escobar,Bob Felller. Cole Hamels,Corey Hart, Derek Holland, Eric Hosmer, Catfish Hunter, Adam Jones, Matt Kemp, Miguel Montero, Phil Niekro, Salvador Perez Jeff Samardzija, Don Sutton, Dan Uggla, Robin Ventura, Justin Verlander, Jamile Weeks
Mini Black Parallel: (#d to 199): Paul Goldschmidt, Austin Jackson
Mini Green Parallel (#d to 99): Nick Marandone
Dealing Aces: Note that American League Aces have red colored borders and the National League Aces have a black colored border: Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Yu Davish, R.A. Dickey, Felix Hernandez, Matt Moore
Glove Stories: Gregor Blanco, Bryce Harper, Derek Jeter, Jayson Werth
No-Hitters: This time the AL have black colored borders and the NL uses red in the border design: Homer Bailey, Matt Cain (2X), Roy Halladay, Philip Humber, Kevin Millwood
Sliding Stars: Austin Jackson, Derek Jeter, Ozzie Smith, Mike Trout
Mini-Box Variations: These cards are only available in the “box-topper” mini-box with 10 cards: Yoenis Cespedes, Will Clark, Prince Fielder, Bob Gibson, Cole Hamels, Rickey Henderson, Manny Machado, Dustin Pedroia, Giancarlo Stanton
Relic Card: Tommy Hanson
Mini-Relic: Torii Hunter
Autographs: Mark Trumbo, Justin Upton (who has a very nice autograph)
That is a lot of good cards for a box in the $100 price point. With four hits and some star power in the subsets, this box again proves why collectors consistently purchase Gypsy Queen products each year. It’s got a nice mix of today’s and yesterday’s stars and plenty of hits to please both new and old school fans. Of course, getting two high quality players for our autograph cards helps!
Please note, we recently received a large package of fun boxes to open from Panini and the next few reviews will be on Panini products. More in our future reviews.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]