Behind the Scenes with 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Since its debut in 2001, the Topps Heritage line has bridged the old and the new, showcasing current stars with old designs. Staying somewhat faithful to the original sets, "errors" and variations are often recreated as well as pop culture nods from back in the day. One of the most widely collected brands each year, Heritage has been particularly embraced by set collectors. 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball sticks largely with the formula that's worked in the past. Here and there, collectors are going to find tweaks and changes, but, overall, it's still a nod to the past.
In this instance, it's 1964. Beatlemania was sweeping the world, Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize and America was still coming to grips with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. With the first wave of Baby Boomers starting to graduate high school, the social climate in America was changing and baseball was an escape.
How does that carry over to 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball? We asked Topps Brand Manager Jeff Heckman via email, who is heading up a Heritage Baseball set for the first time.
Cardboard Connection: What should collectors expect with 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Jeff Heckman: I think collectors will greatly enjoy 2013 Topps Heritage. We have captured all of the core elements of what has made Heritage a staple for baseball collectors each year along with a number of exciting additions from 1964. Collectors will also be pleased that we have inserted more autographs this year.
CC: What are some of the new or improved aspects of the line that you're most excited about?
JH: Here are the features I am most excited about: more autographs, Venezuelan parallel, Mini Parallel, 1964 Bazooka design, 1964 Topps Tatoos Buybacks, 1964 Bazooka Stamps Buybacks, Beatles Buybacks 1964 Giants Box Loaders.
CC: Why do you think the brand remains so popular with collectors after all these years?
JH: I think it remains popular because it showcases current and former MLB stars on an iconic design from Topps history. It is also a great product for set builders with all of the variations, inserts, short prints, and errors.
CC: What sort of work goes in to keeping it fresh each year?
JH: Similar to all releases, we take a close look at what collectors liked and didn’t like about the past year’s product. For Heritage, we look to see if there are unique features that Topps produced in that year that we can feature in the product as well as any newsworthy or cultural significant events.
CC: Are there any retail exclusives collectors should be looking for?
JH: Yes, we will have the blue-bordered cards in Walmart and the red-bordered cards available in Target. Additionally, we have a 1964 Bazooka insert available in all retail chains
CC: Have there been any preliminary talks to have another Heritage High Number set? If so, do you think it will stick with the online exclusive format?
JH: Yes, we have discussed offering another Heritage High Number set this year, but no final decisions have been made yet.
CC: Is there any one card in this year's set you're most excited about?
JH: I am most excited about the Beatles buyback cards. It was a huge moment in Topps' history to sign a deal to offer Beatles trading cards. I am also a music fan and it is very cool to see the Beatles captured in various poses from 1964. I think this insert will generate a lot of interest from Topps collectors and Beatles fans.
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball releases officially on March 4.
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