Gem Mint - tales of cards & players

Posts tagged Topps Gypsy Queen

You know the saying, “The third time is a charm”?
Well, with Gypsy queen, it may be “The third time is the last”..
After a great rookie season and a not so great encore, the third installment of this product has not struck any cords with me, and the 2 boxes I have recently opened were pretty much disappointing.

Design (2.5 out of 5)

Nothing new here, you can make the case that they changed just the number of the year from 2012, the cards are almost identical. Oh, wait, the backs are yellow.. and they changed the decoration of the border..

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Inserts/parallels (3.5 out of 5)

The highlight of the product, but not as good as the 2 previous releases. "Collisions at the plate" is in my opinion the best insert, and "No hitters" is good, too. There is only one blue framed parallel, limited to 499, per box.. seriously, Topps, how many cases of this product you made to limit these cards to one per box?…
The white framed cards are much better, but can only be found in retail packs. Then you have the classical minis, with 2 black parallels numbered to 199 and a green parallel numbered to 99. Angel Pagan and Chase Headley were my 2 greens.

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We are 2 weeks away from the launch of the third installment of Gypsy Queen, the vintage set focused on baseball that was a huge success in its first release and a little less exciting last year.
This year, Topps decided to make it more desirable even to big hits chasers, hoping to expand its base, and with this effort very few lucky collectors will get their hands on truly unique cards that are generally found in more expensive products.
The new highlights are buttons and barrels:

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Buttons will be found inside hobby exclusive mini boxes and will be numbered to only 3, while bat barrels are true one of one cards.

In the big hits department we have also mini autograph relic cards, numbered to only 5:

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So, while many of us will find the usual, not so exciting guaranteed 2 autographs and 2 relics, some will feast on these beauties.

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Just did a break of 2 boxes of Gypsy Queen, with a nice highlight.
First of all, I must say it was fun, the product is worth its price and the basic cards are really nice, maybe better than last year’s.

Normal size relics are better than framed relics, in my opinion, while I must say, when you have them in hand, inserts are not so good as I first thought, while framed paper, in blue this year, are really a highlight.

I found Maris, Gooden, Ellsbury and Cruz inside the two boxes.
Lincecum and Youkilis were my regular size relics:

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Gypsy queen is officially out tomorrow, but as usually some retail sellers have already gotten the first cases and are putting their breaks on ebay, so we are already able to see what’s inside. These are my first impressions, with the very good, the good and the not so good.

What’s great

I love one particular insert set, and it’s Sliding stars. The focus is on base stealers:

The design is a great retake on last year’s insert The great ones, I am glad the guys at Topps didn’t retouch it too much.
Also hitting the target is Glove Stories, a set focused on great defensive plays:

Really neat design, here.

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With the new Gypsy queen a mere days away, I got the last cards I needed to complete another insert set from last year’s product, “The great ones”.
These are 30 cards dedicated to 27 great players of the past (Babe Ruth, Nolan Ryan and Frank Robinson have 2 cards), each celebrated with a statistic in which they excelled in a given year.

This set is in my opinion the best looking of the product, the photos have been digitally manipulated to look like old portraits from the beginning of last century, and the frame completes the retro effect nicely.

I made this set completely through checkoutmycards.com, a website I can’t thank enough for giving me the chance to get so many singles at affordable prices.

And now, ready to roll with this year’s inserts..


Easily the best new product of 2011, Gypsy Queen is about to start its second campaign and I am looking forward to opening 2 full boxes of it.
A well balanced mix of two great hits by Topps, Heritage and Allen and Ginter, Gypsy Queen was an unexpected hit, last year, and since the production was way under the requests, boxes were sold out in a few weeks.
These inconveniences shouldn’t happen this year, so many of us will be able to open a ton of boxes of the product. To find what? Let’s see..

Base Set

One of the best parts of Gypsy Queen 2011 was the neat, well designed base set, with a nice retro effect applied to the pictures of the players. There were many greats from the past in the checklist, and it was just right, given the collection was so oriented on a heritage theme. The base set of this year looks nice, too, maybe not so much as last year’s, but anyway very nice. 350 players are on the checklist, the last 50 being short printed.

The first 100 cards of the base set are paralleled in a blue frame, numbered to 599, while last year there was a bronze parallel set numbered to 999.

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