by Rich Klein
As I mentioned in our review of 2013 Topps Opening Day, the package I recently received from Topps put me into a time warp with the Opening Day and a Topps Stickers box in the same package. Please understand that as a collector I have never warmed up to the concept of stickers although I did complete a 1981 Sticker set during the baseball strike (the first edition) and I do understand that there are plenty of collectors both young and old who do appreciate products such as this.
Stickers are designed to be a low-cost product and you can grab a box for around $35-40. Starter kits, designed for kids, are also available.
The stickers themselves are very attractive with white borders surrounding a full-color player photo. The player’s name is in the lower right while the team logo is in the lower half. The back has the sticker number as well as a promo for the sticker album. I will also say these stickers are reasonably thick as when there is an unopened pack, the stickers do appear to be reasonably thick. The stickers come 50 packs to a box with eight stickers per pack meaning with absolutely perfect distribution a collector could complete a set in one box. While we did not get a ton of duplicates we did not get the perfect collation to finish the set.
The player mix is actally pretty decent with a good selection of active players mixing with yesterday’s superstars. There was kind of a neat feeling to see players such as Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig with attractive color photos in the sticker set as well as more recent retired superstars such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Johnny Bench. Although my local card store did not stock this product leading on-line hobby retailers are currently selling this product between $40-45 per box.
And how did we do:
Base Stickers: There are no variations. Let’s say we received 360 of the 400 stickers or 90 percent of the set. If I were really interested I would start a trade thread but finishing this set is not a major concern of mine right now. Please note that perhaps just to goose up some interest in the hobby, Topps could create some photo variations as they do for many of their products today.
The only other option which might be possible would be to make today’s stickers more like those Topps/OPC sticker backs of the late 1980’s which had a card-like element on one side to go with stickers on the reverse. Here is an example of a Don Mattingly showing what I mean.
Of course, soccer stickers sell quite well for Topps in Europe so they are probably fine with how stickers do here in North America. As for me, while I will not be purchasing more stickers, if you like affordable sets of Topps products, these are fun and if you really want to be truly old school, you can even put these stickers in the 2013 album.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]