|Patriots 30, Panthers 7: What we were watching for||Rusney Castillo signs with Red Sox for 7 years, $72.5 million||Connelly’s Top Ten: All-Star Starting Pitchers, Medal for Frates, Weekend||Video: Angels’ Garret Richards Blows Out Knee vs. Red Sox|
For the past ten years, trading card companies like Topps have relied heavily on vintage style card sets to help keep collectors interested in the hobby. Sets that feature card designs that have ranged anywhere from the 1960s all the way back to the early 1900s. This week Topps continues their annual look into the past with the late nineteenth century inspired Gypsy Queen set (fourth year of production), which is named and styled after the early tobacco cards.
A full hobby box can be a bit pricey, usually not coming in any lower than $90 and individual packs of Gypsy Queen will usually ring up at around $5.99. This is not a set for the casual collector at all. But, if you’re willing to pay the price, you will get a great product in return.
Basic inserts in this year’s massive 350 card Gypsy Queen set include: dealing aces, collisions at the plate, glove stories, all-star debuts and the brand new N174 set which features a late 1880s design.
Once again, Gypsy Queen guarantees one mini-card in each pack, plus each box comes with a 10 card bonus pack of minis. There are also parallel versions of mini cards as well. These are all low numbered and come in several variations including black, sepia, wood, leather, printing plates, clear and graphite. Printing plates, leather, clear and graphite minis are all numbered 1/1.
Of course, as with every trading card product on the market, the big-ticket items each year are the autographed cards. Gypsy Queen is using on-card signed autos (as they have done in previous years) and, of course, their usual color scheme of low numbered parallels where signers write their John Hancock in different colored ink, including red, gold, green and purple variations. There is also a twenty card subset of autographed relics, fifteen dual autos, ten triple autos and ten button relic/auto cards. The button relics are new to the set and come in both full-sized and mini card variation. There are also triple button cards-which are, as far as I know a first for the hobby.
Other inserts that will keep collectors ripping backs and trolling eBay for months to come include: 1/1 bat barrel cards, original sketch cards, hometown flag patch cards (which feature a manufactured patch replicating the design of the hometown, or country flag of a featured player), birth-year pennies (a card that has a penny embedded into it) and autographed “around the horn” pop-up book cards-limited to 25 copies.
24 packs per box
10 cards per pack
Each box guarantees one relic card, one mini-framed relic card and two autographed cards. Short print base cards also average in one out of every four packs.
Release date: 4/9/14
No checklist has been released to date.