Monday, August 20, 2018

The Sandlot!

As just about everyone in the hobby who doesn't live under a rock is already aware, Topps included inserts in this year's Archives set to pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of the movie The Sandlot.

Like many, I was intrigued, although I do know quite a few collectors who aren't interested in these whatsoever.  I think it comes down to your age maybe.  I was 10 years old when this movie came out, just about the perfect age to really enjoy it.

The thing is, outside of these inserts I don't really have any interest in 2018 Topps Archives.  The solution was obvious.  For about the price of a single retail blaster of Archives, I just picked up the complete 11-card The Sandlot set from eBay!  They hit my mailbox earlier today, let's check 'em out...

I'll try to keep the commentary to a minimum and just let the cards do the talking.  These are done in the 1962 Topps design, an obvious choice given that the movie is set in the summer of '62.

The backs do have a unique write-up for each character, and a generic congratulatory message below the cartoon.

With 11 cards on the checklist, you're getting all nine players from the Sandlot squad plus two bonus cards.

These are fun for a fan of the movie like myself, but if I could offer a criticism on the back it would be that unique cartoons would have really put these over the top.  It's great that the write-ups are unique, but the same exact cartoon and Congratulations message taking up half of the back does get repetitive.

As for the fronts, maybe it's me but it seems like the photograph quality leaves a bit to be desired.  I'm not sure if Topps just made poor selections, or if they used some digital effect to try to "age" these, but either way it seems like there must have been a better picture of Bertram Grover Weeks available if you ask me.

Here's one of the two non-player cards, featuring the "ferocious" canine from over the outfield wall, Hercules.

Hamilton Porter has always been one of the more adored characters from the film, based largely on the fact that his character provided a lot of comic relief.  I'd say he ended up with one of the better looking cards in this set as well, calling his shot.

As far as other negatives, the card stock is a bit glossy.  It's not awful, but it's certainly a long way from the card stock used on the original '62s.  I'd already read that before picking up my set, and it didn't stop me from doing so, but vintage stock would have been nice.

I can't decide how I feel about the large foil "The Sandlot" scribble in the lower left of each card.  It seems to me they could have gotten by without it.  In fact, I wonder if they'd look a bit better without it.  But that's just me.

Here's the main character of the film, new-to-the-neighborhood Scotty Smalls.

Timmy Timmons' card is another case where the photograph just doesn't seem all that clear/focused to me.

Tommy Timmons looks a bit better.

Closing out the checklist is the other non-player in the set, dream lifeguard of 10-year-olds everywhere, Wendy Peffercorn.

Well, this set is a unique addition to my collection for sure.  Obviously not perfectly executed in the opinion of this blogger, but I don't find myself wanting my $20 back either.  I don't think these cards will change any opinions, chances are if you enjoyed the movie you'll enjoy the cards.  Conversely, if the film wasn't your thing, then I doubt you'll be clamoring for these.

How about you?  Did you enjoy The Sandlot?  Any plans to chase the cards?  I'd love to pick up a couple of autographs, but not at the prices they're selling for at the moment, that's for sure.


Hackenbush said...

I've never seen the movie but I can understand the appeal of the set. I'd be in on a "Field of Dreams" set.

JediJeff said...

She knows exactly what she's doing.

defgav said...

I'm planning on going after a base master set; in other words, the base cards and base autos (maybe even the base coins.. ugh), but not bother with any parallels. Hopefully the prices on the autos calm down after a while. I did just grab a Bertram for relatively cheap. I kinda wish they would have included the adults from the cast, like Art LaFleur, Karen Allen, Denis Leary, and James Earl Jones. (Knowing me, I'll probably make some supplemental customs.)

shoeboxlegends said...

Great point on the adults missing from the checklist Gavin. I’d meant to include the small checklist as a critique. Even that snobby kid who was the head of the “rich team” bike gang would’ve been amusing, plus the four you touched on. If you make customs I want a copy!

Nick said...

Seeing the whole set in one place makes me rather tempted to just buy the whole thing rather than building it card by card, as I've decided to do (for now). You're killin' me, Smalls!

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