A busted box of Topps Magic Football has been sitting on my stack of cards for some time now just waiting to get judged, and now is the time.
Magic was something that i got into (cards, not tricks) a couple of years ago on a whim at Target during a deodorant shopping event. I saw a blaster box just sitting there and thought it would be a cool purchase and was hooked from that point on. I loved the retro look and the college unis on simple borders. Loved it so much so that i ended up buy a few more boxes from Target but never completing the set or buying any hobby packs. The following year, 2010 i wanted to pick up a hobby box to see if i still had a crush on these pieces of cardboard and sure enough, the love was there. I loved the photography and simple borders as well as the card stock. Although i do love shiny cards, i am a sucker for matte finish stuff that is done well. Again, i bought a bunch of cards, but couldn’t be bothered with completing the set…just wanted the few Redskins and any hits i could pull. Now, in 2011, it got a little tricky…and extremely annoying. Magic had become a set that i was tuned in to on when it would be dropping and where i could pick up some good packs. BUT, as Topps likes to do sometimes, they changed the rules, moved the goal posts and upset this collector. The only way to get a box of Magic was to purchase them from their online store and pay their exorbitant shipping fees, which was about the same price as the box itself if i remember correctly. SCREW THAT, no thanks. I was able to pick up a few singles from COMC and ebay but no packs, since they weren’t really issuing those this year. I never really found out why Topps decided this was a good idea, but would love to hear the reasoning if someone can help?
After the previous years experience, i had pretty much forgotten about the Magic cards and moved on with my life as we do with Topps at times. Until, i saw they were going to be releasing a new set and boxes that you can purchase at a store…holy crap! You mean i can buy cards from a store and not online only? Normally i wouldn’t be so snotty about this, as i am totally cool with purchasing online, i just don’t want my only options to be online purchases. Takes away from the fun of busting packs on a Wednesday afternoon after work.
So here is my take on the 2012 version of Topps Magic.
Card Design: 4 of 5
In keeping with the simple style, Topps has again followed through with the same KISS theme. Minimal information is on the front, but you get the basics; name, position, conference, team helmet, and a whole bunch of stars that make no sense to me. The banners blends in nicely with the border and unfolds to reveal the critical information like a scroll with an oversized shield.
The backs are nice and include some fun little facts with the Magical Memoranda. You don’t get your typical stats, but they tend to highlight some important information and single game stats for your FYI. As usual, nice card stock and the lovely matte finish. The matte finish is nice in a world of glossy cards. They have become the rarity in the hobby for the most part, save for the vintage inspired sets.
Photography: 5 of 5
The thing that i am most drawn to this set about is the photography. They have HDR’d the crap out of the photos and really over processed them, but i think it works well for these and tends to give the players a greater level of detail and grit. My wife is a photographer and she tends to stay away from over processing as it always looks…you guessed it, over processed. When you are doing family portraits or architectural photography it can become a distraction, but for professional athletes it works well.
Look at the intensity in those eyes!
Hits: 4 of 5
The hits with this brand are minimal, which is fine with me. I believe collectors get too hot and heavy about the hits. If that is your thing, this set isn’t for you. If you are OK with getting a nice auto or two than you may be happy with Magic. I ended up pulling 2 autographs and a redemption card. So, it’s not just Panini that is slapping me with redemption cards, Topps does it too. I’ve stated my thoughts on the redemption card here before and thought about it a little more. Still don’t like it, but maybe it’s not that bad…assuming you actually get the card. There have been times when i forgot about my redemption cards and come home to a manilla envelope. It’s like a little slice of cardboard heaven when you get one you weren’t really expecting.
There are a couple of subsets in the cards as well. Nothing to exciting. As a matter of fact, i must say that the Charismatic Combos is not only a weak insert, but a terrible name. Charismatic Combos, christ that’s terrible.
The ultra mini cards are cool, but a little too mini for my man hands. If i don’t get these in some penny sleeves quick they will have rounded corners.
There are also the Supernatural Stars, which are not that existential or starry either galactically or professionally.
Magic also has the Magical Moments inserts which makes sense, because it’s Magic. Drew Brees is on a 3 Mile Island. Cute.
I do like the Enchantment cards, especially the one that i pulled…big smiley face for the RG3.
There were also these other good looking young running backs that have some nice upside to their careers.
One of the autos i pulled was a Kaepernick. The HDR affect does his tats some serious justice although his auto is crazy sloppy. An odd thing about this card is the photoshop flub with his hands. It looks like the photo editor cloned his left hand over the football…kind of a crappy job for a big time player. Let’s try harder next time Mr. Topps Photoshop editor.
Overall, i do like these cards a lot. They are simple and clean and the photos are nice. It’s a basic card and the price point isn’t too excessive for what you get. I haven’t decided if i am going to build the set, i did manage to get quite a bit of unique cards and minimal doubles, so i will see how i feel about it. I do hope that Topps issues these cards again next year and does not do the online only thing.
Here are a couple of the Redskins cards i pulled from the box. Funny that they decided to include Jabar Gaffney since he wasn’t on the team this year and he is wearing RG3’s number. Technically, there are two Redskin cards with a player wearing number 10.
Topps Magic, I like you.