I recently broke a box of 2008 Upper Deck Documentary, which I’ll post in the near future (a month or so from now). In reading other people’s comments on this set, it’s clear people weren’t too wild about this product. The fact that I will feature it as a 2008 product that is readily available for $20 a box is a testament to the complete flop of this product. Regardless, I think this set has some great elements, and Topps should go after a documentary-type product in 2012.
Link the new set to 1952 Topps and look back on the 1952 season. Call it Rewind or Retrospective or something like that. Each card corresponds to a single game. The winner of the game determines what is on the front – none of this two cards per game, winner/loser nonsense as with 2008 Documentary. Better teams have more cards than worse teams. In 1952, there were 1,239 regular season games. This is far more manageable than Documentary’s 4,890 cards for 2,400 or so games.
The back of the card should be the box score. Very easy to put together. I don’t know what the best thing for the front would be. Images of each game might be tough, but newspaper archives might be a solution. The resulting images might be grainy, but it’s supposed to look vintage. If you can’t find an action shot, then surely some posed newspaper pictures would be available. I admit that I have no idea how hard it is to get old newspaper photographs. If it’s tough or expensive, this set could be a mess to put together. The Hall of Fame might be willing to help out with some of its archived pictures.
Don’t do a full parallel. A parallel on a 1,239-card set is too much. Possibilities for inserts include league or team stat leaders, league or team award winners, season highlights, World Series games, all-stars, and the all-star game. Do insert parallels to your heart’s content. Relics could include the standard game-used fare from 1952 or simpler items like 1952 game program cutouts. Autographs from players who were around in 1952 could finish out the set. Use the artwork from the 1952 Topps cards for all cards that feature individuals – leaders, all-stars, and award winners.
If this set has any appeal to collectors, Topps has a set concept in place for as many years as it wants to put it out there. Topps doesn’t have an NFL product, so release this during the NFL season to stick it to Upper Deck a bit. I think collectors would go for it.