For this segment of The Best Topps Set Countdown, I want to talk about the helpfulness of time. By that I mean sometimes when a set comes out our first impression is that is an awesome set or that set is awful. Sometimes, that first impression will stick with us and be an accurate representation. However, there are some sets that get either better or worse with age. This segment will give us a look at three representatives that have either moved up the list, down the list, or are literally still under the first impression. Let's take a look at the next five entrants onto the Best Topps Set Countdown.
PLUSES - I like that the photo is cut into the shape of a plate, well somewhat anyway. All relevant information is put on the front. This is the first Topps set with a large color picture on the back.
MINUSES -The large color picture on the back does smash the stats into a very small and hard to read font. Overall, just kind of boring set from a year that is full of weak offerings from every manufacturer.
PLUSES - This is one of the better card backs of the 70s and 80s. I like that they went away from the usual baseball as the card number and went with the plate. The flags on the front seem baseball-specific and fit with the times.
MINUSES - Very few action shots in the set. I still don't like facsimile autos on the front. The team colors are seemingly random, which works in theory but not in this case.
PLUSES - The bubble letters are very memorable. I really like the baseball diamond on the "name bump" on the back. The set gets better with age.
MINUSES -The bump on the front is very intrusive on many of the photos. The player name would have been better in primary team color to give balance on the front. I don't that the bubbles are reversed color on the back. They would have been better as identical.
PLUSES - I like the most distinctive aspect of the set, the script team name. The baseball position is also fairly nice, if a bit cliche. The "Play Ball" on the back is a good idea and was probably fun for kids at the time.
MINUSES - Team colors are not stuck with in general. Brown for the Blue Jays? Blue is in the name, how hard is that? I don't like the major information (name, team, position) being at the bottom on the back. The orange back is not all that appealing either, but not horrible.
PLUSES - Very good photography in most cases. I like the "surfboard" being used on the back as well. No picture on the back is actually kind of nice after several years of crowding one in. Generally a very appealing card back.
MINUSES -The black bar on the front makes the last name very hard to read. Once again foil is the main culprit. Several of the photos are too zoomed in, such as the above card with half the shadow cut off.
In case you were curious 2008 was the set that moved up in my mind, 1978 was the set that moved down, and 2012 was the first impression of course. When I initially set up the outline of this complete list, I had 2008 at #6 overall. After reexamining, I believe I put it in a more deserving spot at #33. Three years ago, 2008 would have been in my bottom 10 at best, but time does seem to change things. I also thought 1978 was the best set of the 70's for the longest time as a kid, obviously that has changed. It's not a bad set, but is kind of middling which is why it is set up in the middle I suppose. The set I put in as the exact average set is also the newest. Will time cause this years Topps set to move up or down? Who knows? All I know is that in 10 years my list will probably be a bit different than it is today.
Are there any sets that you changed your mind about in either direction after a few years passed? I am really curious to see some comments on this one.