Its the warm and fuzzy feeling of biting into that juicy stick of bubble-gum tucked ever so neatly in between ten mysterious 2 ½ x 3 ½ pieces of cardboard emblazoned with crisp photos of todays diamond heroes.
Or, perhaps its an opportunity for 30-something collectors, like me, to experience what it must have been like to rip through a pack, or a box, of 1957 Topps cards 49 years ago. I believe it was Bon Jovi who once said its all the same, only the names have changed
In essence, while 50 years ago you might have thumbed through Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Whitey Ford and Eddie Mathews, today the same excitement is garnered from the likes of Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Johan Santana, and Alex Rodriguez.
Whatever it is that keeps your hobby fire burning, there is nothing like reliving a time when all was good with the world and when your favorite players card wasnt destined for a top-loader or a Lucite holder.
For me thats what Topps Heritage baseball brings to the table, and Im a better collector for it.
So this year, Topps brought back the 1957 design and really did a great job with it. As per usual, the product has its fair share of short-prints and variations. Its also got the recurring chrome parallel, refractor and black refractor parallel-parallels.
Topps Heritage 2006 also features a bold collection of Real One autographs and a number of relic inserts including a nifty Stadium Seat relic of Mickey Mantle.
Speaking of Mantle, thanks to the new exclusive relationship between Topps and the Mantle estate, Heritage boasts a nice variety of Mantle cards including a number of cut signature 1 of 1s.
Also incorporated in this years Heritage are rookie cards of players now considered to be rookie card eligible according to the new rookie card rules established by Major League Baseball, including Hanley Ramirez, Anderson Hernandez, Jonathan Papelbon and Matt Cain, just to name a few.
What I really enjoyed, though, was the authentically-vintage feel that this product exuded. From the throwback card design to the airbrushing of new uniforms on recently transacted players to the cartoons on the backs of the cards Topps Heritage is truly a walk through a time gone by.
This set offers something for everyone whether you are a set collector, a relic-buff, an autograph hound or a refractor geek.
And the best part is that this product is extremely affordable at $2.99 SRP per pack. Most retail outlets (e.g. Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc.) have $19.99 blaster boxes or retail packages available for purchase. If you are strictly a hobby-only customer, your local shop should be stacked.
Either way, you cant go wrong with Topps Heritage.