2016 Heritage:  So Who Needs Flagship?

I was performing some husbandly errands during my lunch hour yesterday, and when said errands had been completed, I found myself near a Target store. Naturally, I decided to see if I would be able to reward myself with some 2016 Heritage.

Lo and behold, they had some… So I bought a blaster.
2016 Topps Heritage Target Blaster
I ran out to my car and opened five of the eight packs.

Amazingly enough, with me at the time was a coupon worth $3 off a Heritage “value box”… This coupon came out of a booklet inside the 2016 Topps blaster I bought in January, and I rarely remember to use the things.

Here’s one of the packs from inside the blaster…
2016 Topps Heritage Blaster Pack

…And my first sight on opening the pack.
2016 Topps heritage First Glimpse

First card:
2016 Topps Heritage Jace Peterson

The cardstock doesn’t seem to be any thinner than last year’s, but it feels a little different.  Comparing the two, it has ever-so-slightly less gloss than last year’s.

I’ll also point out the barely-perceptible TM mark just to the right of the “S” in Braves.  Thank you, Topps and MLB.

First airbrushed card:
2016 Topps Heritage Jason Heyward

This next card made me think of something, let’s see if anybody gets the reference…
2016 Topps Heritage Jay Bruce
“Look at me!  I have a BIG head!  My head is HUGE!  What do you think, Zorak?”
“Big head!  Big head!  Big FAT head!”
“I have a BIG head!  I’m having a ‘Big Head’ day!  How’s *your* ‘Big Head’ day, kids?”
“Big fat head day!!”
“Shut up, bug.”

Another photoshopped card, this one of former Phils closer Ken Giles.  I share this because I wasn’t impressed by the photoshopping.
2016 Topps Heritage Ken Giles
Later in this post I’m going to do a comparison of the Heritage against the original cards, but I’ll point out that the originals generally had the position spelled out when there was room, at least in the first series… In later series the position was often abbreviated but there was also a dot between the name and position.  Ideally, this card should either say “KEN GILES PITCHER” or “KEN GILES • P” rather than “KEN GILES P”.

Here are two card backs which had the same cartoons.
2016 Topps Heritage Lackey Doolittle backs

Coco Crisp, fresh off his cameo in “Mad Max: Fury Road”.
2016 Topps Heritage Coco Crisp
Seriously, though… this is a scary-looking card.

First Oriole:
2016 Topps Heritage Darren O'Day
I’d share a “First Met” except I haven’t pulled one yet.

First insert:
2016 Topps Heritage New Age Performers Stephen Piscotty
This design is a little reminiscent of 1967 Topps Football;  I’m guessing that’s not an accident.

Speaking of inserts, when I saw that one of the inserts was a Target-exclusive “Stand-Up” set, I got a little excited because I was thinking of these…
1964 Topps Stand-ups Ron Hunt

..Forgetting that this Ron Hunt Stand-Up is from *1964*.  The stand-ups from 1967 are far less visually appealing, and the 2016 inserts are just as unappealing:
2016 Topps Heritage Stand Up Bryce Harper
I don’t like these inserts, so they’re probably going to end up on COMC (if they’re worth selling there, anyway).

And from what I can tell, there’s no attempt to duplicate the 1967 Topps Venezuelan “Retirado” subset. Pity. Looks like I’ll just have to do a custom version.

One other thing I want to point out… According to The Cardboard Connection you can no longer distinguish the variations by looking at the Product Code on the back… That means that we all have to be aware of what the variations are, which is a minor pain in the butt.  I’m not too happy about that, especially since I would like for Topps to make it *clearer* when you’ve pulled a variation, not harder.

To wrap things up, I figured I’d do a side-by-side comparison of 1967 and 2016 Heritage.  Since I’ve teased the back of John Lackey’s card twice in this post, I’m comparing his card to a 1967 Felix Mantilla.

A word of warning:  I’m gonna get nit-picky here…

So here are the fronts… The original has a slightly larger photo area, which doesn’t make sense when you think about it because 21st century technology should allow them to have narrower white borders, if anything.  You can also see that the player name is in a noticeably smaller font on the Heritage cards.

1967 vs 2016 Heritage Mantilla Lackey front

When looking at them side-by-side, you can see the team font and color is slightly different, but it’s not a difference worth getting indignant over.

My scanner doesn’t always scan true colors, so I’ll point out that the green on the back of the Heritage card is more of a “pea soup” green than it looks like here.

1967 vs 2016 Heritage Mantilla Lackey back

My only complaint, and it’s a minor kvetch, is that the Heritage card number is green instead of white.  I have an issue with it mainly because it’s harder to read.

Overall, I’m happy with the set.  There are a few things I wish they’d done differently, but it’s a lot nicer than the flagship set and I will be busting a fair amount of Heritage this year.

Now if we can only get Topps to create an additional “old school” set with an original design rather than one that pays homage to a past Topps design.

…And while I’m at it, I’ll wish for the ability to fly, for Yoenis Cespedes to give me his Alfa Romeo, and a Presidential candidate who I can vote for without holding my nose.

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10 thoughts on “2016 Heritage:  So Who Needs Flagship?

  1. I pulled a couple of Mets and I’d gladly swap you those (plus a healthy assortment of my Amazins trade stock) for the Heyward and the Lackey, if you’re interested? tonyburbs at gmail.com

    • I *do* appreciate that the Target exclusive isn’t just a red parallel, but I’m not sure that anyone other than team/player collectors will chase these… But that’s me, somebody feel free to prove me wrong and tell me your going for the full stand-up set.

  2. I’m pleased to see that the trademarks are less noticeable. Overall they look great. I just don’t understand why they don’t end up closer to the originals given all of today’s technology. Is it Topps’ choice to make small changes?

  3. I think–on the card stock and the lack of shiny–they went back to what they used for the ’64s (and the years immediately previous). Topps knew the ’65s had to be nigh on perfect or there would be hell to pay. I noted to a friend at the time that, for the ’65s, it looked like they fired up the old printing presses (which otherwise hadn’t been used for a very long time). That led to off-center cards and many with a machine “grab mark” indentation in the corner. I’m not sure about the ’66s, though they looked to me more like the ’65s than the ’64s (card stock wise). The old manual printing presses being what they are, I’d say they either broke down and weren’t worth fixing or (more likely) just weren’t as efficient from a business standpoint. One way you can see the difference between the Heritage ’65s and the ’67s is that the ’65s had a natural curl to them while the ’67s lay flat as an ironing board. I would have preferred they stuck with the process and/or machines they used for the ’65s. So so much better. Sigh. Sorry for the rant.

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