Somebody’s gotta do it, right?
Actually, I was curious about the stickers this time around, mainly for two reasons:
- None of this year’s sets have bowled me over, so I’m always looking to check out something else
- The stickers are standard sized this time around… or, as the wrapper actually says, “trading card sized”… and that means I can more easily use them in my “current rosters” and team binders.
While I’m showing the wrapper, I want to show you the back for a particular reason:
Notice what’s missing? Odds. There are no inserts, so there are no odds, just a legal notice that essentially says “We can’t promise that these will have any value down the road… They’re just stickers, bro.”
I don’t know about you, but I find the lack of odds to be very refreshing.
Oh, one other thing I want to say; I came very close to smashing my scanner during the process of creating this post. I think I’ve got it sorted out (after updating the scanner driver and the scanning software), but if some of the scans seem dark and/or muddy, remember that I was about to smash my scanner.
So I bought 5 packs, each of which cost a dollar and contains 4 stickers… a quarter a sticker is a shade pricey when you consider that you’re not paying for inserts, but they *are* stickers rather than cardboard, I suppose.
Here’s a base sticker.
Not bad, kinda fun, more or less what you’d expect from something like this. One thing about these… It’s not obvious that it’s a sticker. If I handed you one without telling you what it is, you’d think it was an oddball card on fairly thin cardstock. It’s not just a sticker on paper backing.
Before I get to the back, I’m going to share one of the sticker subsets:
There are mascot stickers, but they’re only a quarter of the size of the other stickers… Kind of interesting, and it also answered one question I had early on: “Which side is the sticker?” It sounds stupid, but when you look at the base stickers it’s not immediately obvious.
So here’s the back of the mascot sticker sheet:
Not the greatest design, but not bad. One thing I’d like to point out is that the numbers on the card back are the *sticker* numbers; You can tell by the fact that this back has three numbers for the three mascots (I guess the Topps sticker doesn’t have a space in the album). If you look at the Topps checklist, the sticker backs share a number with the front, but that means little when there’s multiple stickers to one back.
The second thing I like about having players on the sticker backs, and which makes them fun for the casual guy like me, is that I wasn’t sure how much I wanted the mascot stickers, but then I turned it over and – Bam! Instant trade bait! (Dime Box Nick, this one’s coming your way)
As I discovered, the sticker fronts and backs aren’t always unrelated… Here’s the Brandon Crawford sticker…
…And the back is the “other Brandon”, Brandon Belt. Kind of amusing to have the Two Brandons share a “card”.
There are a number of sticker subsets. I pulled this “Perennial All-Stars” sticker of Aaron Judge. Does two years (going on three) make him “Perennial”?
…And of course I pulled another Aaron Judge, this one from the Home Run Heroes subset. It seems that there are five Judge stickers plus the Judge sticker back…. because JUDGE!!! And YANKEES!!!
There are half-sized League Leaders stickers…
“Rookies And Rising Stars”
For purely aesthetic resaons, this Mookie Wilson is my favorite sticker from the five packs I bought. I think this is from the “Dual Panel” subset:
Look at how those colors pop off the sticker! Simple, yet very appealing. Never underestimate the power of primary colors.
From the frankly confusing checklist provided by Topps, there are also subsets for “Trophies”, “Stance Flashiest Feet” (Stance = the manufacturer of MLB On Field Authentic socks), “Franklins Grip It An Rip It” (which I presume has something to do with Franklin batting gloves), “Home Run Derby”, “Postseason and World Series Highlights”, “2018 All-Stars” (All eight of ’em), and “150 Years of Professional Baseball” (The usual cast of Topps legends).
If you’re interested in collecting players and/or team, and not in actually pasting stickers in the album, you should know that Mookie Betts (#1), Jose Altuve (#41), Ozzie Albies (#143) and Christian Yelich (#179) are base stickers which appear to come only as “free stickers” in the sticker album. I didn’t buy the album, but I flipped through it and those stickers come in a sheet and have a generic back that’s different than the other stickers. I can’t remember for certain, but I think they also had thinner, more “traditional” sticker backing stock.
One other bit of Topps inscrutability: The checklist shows two different sticker back lists: COLLECTIBLE CARD BACK I and COLLECTIBLE CARD BACK II. In the scan below, Eddie Rosario is “BACK I” and Carlos Rodon is “BACK II”.
So what’s the difference between “BACK I” and “BACK II”? Damned if I can figure it out. I thought maybe they were overlapping checklists that showed, for example, two different photos of Aaron Judge, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. The best I can figure out is that it seems like the base stickers have “BACK I” backs and the subset stickers have “BASE II” backs. In the words of Pee Wee Herman, “Why? What’s the significance? I DON’T KNOW!”
So these stickers are not the be-all, end-all of 2019 collectibles but they’re fun enough and the packs are cheap (even if the price per card isn’t particularly cheap). I’ve never been a stickers-in-an-album guy, so while I would buy more of these, it would be as a cheap pack bustin’ fix… assuming that they remain available. The two Target stores I’ve been in each had just one box of 50 packs. That might get replenished… or maybe not.
Is anybody going to collect the full album with stickers stuck as God (but not me) intended?