2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes
Release Date: Now Available
Hits Per Box: 2
Hobby Configuration: 24 packs / 8 cards per pack
Price (Average): $60 / Hobby Box
2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes Review
The Good: 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes is easily the deepest, most comprehensive American-themed trading card set ever produced. It offers a fresh assortment of hits that breathe some much needed life into the concept of the memorabilia card. At only around $60 per hobby box, American Heroes features a lot of bang for the buck.
The Bad: An unavoidable consequence of the depth of the 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes checklist is that it includes many little known subjects who have little collecting appeal. The other main issue I have is with the design of American Heroes, which mimicks the forgettable designs featured in late 1980's Topps baseball products. Another, more minor, problem I had with the set its overabundance of Obama cards.
The Bottom Line: While not without its share of shortcomings, 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes is a deep and immersive product that has the potential to draw a whole new audience of would-be collectors into the hobby. American History buffs, as wells as sports collectors who like to occasionally dabble in non-sports trading card products and are looking for something new should give American Heroes a serious look.
2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes was created with us budget conscious collectors in mind. Each hobby box contains a random assortment of two hits. I ended up pulling two memorabilia cards from my box, which normally would've been a big disappointment. However, 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes features such a refreshing array of memorabilia cards that this ended up being a good thing.
In addition to its exciting checklist of potential hits, 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes sports a healthy assortment of inserts, as well as chrome and refractor parallels. Priced at around $60 per 192-card hobby box, American Heroes offers plenty of bang for the buck.
The checklist of subjects featured in 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes is deep, to stay the least. Never before has one trading card set brought together such a wide spectrum of American heroes. From famous historical figures, political icons and sports legends to the less heralded, but equally important, law enforcement, military and medical heroes, 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes leaves no stone of American History unturned.
While this is easily one of the sets greatest strengths, the sets diversity hurts its collectibility and mainstream appeal. While the set features many well-known names such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Larry Bird, Ty Cobb, Eliot Ness, and Wyatt Earp it also features an equal, if not greater, amount of little known names that the average person will not recognize.
To demonstrate my point I randomly selected a small stack of cards from the set and was greeted by Jimmie Foxx, J. Edgar Hoover, James Monroe, and John McCain, who were accompanied by the likes of John Flynn, Dean Acheson, John Finn, John Hay, Jimmy Stewart, Paul's Zoll, Emma Willard, and Norman Shumway. The reality is that most of these less known heroes are just as deserving, if not more deserving, then their better-known counterparts. Be that as it may most collectors tend to collect people they know and are familiar with, which could really spells trouble for this set. On the other hand, moderate to hard core American history buffs will welcome this challenge, as will many set collectors
Whether this enhances or takes away from the set is a matter of personal preference. The fact that I didn't recognize many of the names I came across in 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes wasn't a dealbreaker for me personally as it allowed me to learn about a number of individuals that I had previously not heard of. It would've been really nice to see a larger representation of sports stars in the set. Unlike Allen and Ginter sets, which are first and foremost baseball card sets, 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes is at its core a non-sports card set. With few exceptions the only athletes included in the set are those who appear in the Heroes of Sport insert set.
My final qualm with American Heroes is its excessive amount of Obama cards. As someone who is diametrically opposed to the vast majority of Obama's views, opinions, and policies, the last thing I want when I'm breaking a box of trading cards is to pull an Obama card. Now, I can deal with pulling an occasional Obama card or two, but I pulled a total of 6 Obama cards from my 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes review box. Considering Obama's sharply declining poll numbers and an approval rate just north of 40%, and the fact that Obama is such a polarizing figure, not to mention the excessive amount of Obama cards already on the market, I doubt I'm the only person who feels this way.
My box of 2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes yielded several cool and unexpected pulls. There are very few products that give collectors the opportunity to land a space flown material card and a POW uniform swatch in the same box. I netted both, along with a number of nice refractor parallels and base cards. Here are the highlights:
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2009 Topps Heritage American Heroes Product Details
Topps American Heritage, the surprise hit of 2008, returns with an all-new American Heroes Edition featuring the most courageous, valiant, progressive and enlightened American women and men in our nation's history!
- 2 Autograph, Cut Signature, Patch, Relic, Or Stamp Cards Per Box
- 150 Card Base Set On 16pt Stock
- 8 Chrome Parallel Cards Per Box
- 6 Insert Cards Per Box
BASE CARDS - 150 subjects - 8 PER PACK!
- 10 each per group: Military, Political, Civil Rights, Bravest, Finest, Groups and Movements, Humanitarian, Diplomatic, Writers...PLUS
- 25 Heroic American Events
- 25 Kindred Heroes
- Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama short prints inserted 1:4 pack
AUTOGRAPH CARDS - 20 total subjects
- Heroes of Sport (10)
- American Heroes (10)
CUT SIGNATURE CARDS - 95 subjects/91 total cards
- Heroes of Spaceflight (25) - One of one!
- Heroes of Sport (10) - One of one!
- American Heroes (25) - One of one!
- Dual (10 subj/5 cards) - One of one! Hobby Exclusive!
- Quad (12 subj/3 cards) - One of one! Hobby Exclusive!
- Signature Relics (3) - One of one! Hobby Exclusive!
PATCH CARDS - 28 total subjects
- Heroes of Spaceflight (28) - #'d to 61!
- Every Manned Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Mission is represented!
RELIC CARDS - 122 total subjects
- Heroes of Spaceflight (38)
- American Heroism (28)
- A Hero's Journey (1 subj/5 cards)
- American Heroes (10)
- Heroes of Sport (15)
- Dual (10 subj/5 cards) - #'d to 20
- Eight-Piece (16 subj/2 cards) - One of one! Hobby Exclusive!
STAMP CARDS - 1 subject/20 cards
- A Hero's Journey - (1 subject/20 cards) - #'d to 100
INSERT CARDS - 50 subjects - 31 PER BOX!
- Medal of Honor (25) 1:2
- Presidential Medal of Freedom (28) 1:4
- Heroes of Spaceflight (1 subject/15 cards) 1:6
- A Hero's Journey (25) 1:8
- Heroes of Sport 1:4
- Platinum (25) - #'d to 25
- Gold (25) - #'d to 199
CHROME PARALLEL CARDS - 200 subjects - 5 PER BOX!
- Chrome (100) - #'d to 1776
- Refractor (100) - #'d to 76