I'm woefully behind on the new releases. Topps Heritage and Donruss have released and I'm just now talking about 2017 flagship. Oh well, someday I'll be caught up with the newest trends. Anyway, I bought 10 packs of Series 1 when I visited Magic City Sports Cards during a family trip to Akron in mid-February. I could have spent the same $20 on a blaster at Target but to me it's more fun buying hobby packs as each pack is a mystery. Let's see what I pulled
The honor of first new card of the year goes to Matt Strahm, who isn't exactly a household name in my neck of the woods. However, looking up his stats, he's pretty impressive. Last year he was 2-2 with a 1.23 ERA in 21 appearances. He's also the #1 rated prospect for the Royals. Not bad for a guy who until I pulled this card, I had no knowledge of at all.
Everyone and their brother by now has shown what the cards look like so I'll just give my general thoughts. My first impression is that these are much cleaner looking and nicer than the 2016 release. The pictures on these are bright, there are no smoke effects, and it just doesn't have a general feeling of darkness and doom.
The backs are also bright and cheery. The colors match up with the team colors and all the basic stuff you'd find on the back of a Topps card is there. This is definitely a win.
The horizontal cards are even nicer this year. Although the graphic seems like its a little stretched out, these have a Stadium Club-ish feel to them. My absolute favorites of this batch are the Jesse Hahn and the Tyler Naquin.
Obligatory Reds cards. Brandon Finnegan proved himself to be more than serviceable last year and was one of the bright spots in an otherwise dismal rotation at points. Bailey was bitten by the injury bug (again!) right before camp opened as he had bone spurs removed from his elbow and will start the season on the 60-day DL more than likely.
I'm really digging these 1987 style insert cards, complete with the rainbow "Future Stars" logo. They also have vintage stock which gives them a bonus point.
These are the "Topps Salutes" inserts. I really like the design of these first off but I'm not sure what the point of them is. I guess it's to salute special holidays, legends, and rookies. Regardless, I'm not disappointed at all. Overall these, plus the 1987 style cards, are leaps and bounds better than last years Perspectives (which I honestly didn't get at all) and Berger's Best reprints.
Buybacks are back and while they're not from the 70s, these will help boost the buyback mini-collection. I know there are different levels of these things and I think the silver one (Palmerio) is better that the bronze (Scurry) but I'm not too sure.
The remainder of the inserts and parallels I pulled. I love me some First Pitch cards but there's only a handful of them that I'm actually interested in this year (Goodman, Shatner, and Joan Jett) but I'll take one of Victoria Justice, even though I'm not exactly sure who she is. The pull of my 10-pack batch though was the black Yoan Moncada #'d to 66. I had to look up exactly what it was called but I'll take it nonetheless.
Overall, I'm definitely a fan of Topps flagship this year, the inserts are range from decent (Salute cards) to really cool (87 Topps style). I'm definitely going to be buying more of this when I hit up the card shop.