Wednesday, July 26, 2017

When the back outshines the front

Having purchased probably a dozen or so Topps NOW cards this year, a pattern I'm seeing is that the back of the card tends to outshine the front.

I'm not just talking about the refractor-like shine on the backs that I previously wrote about.

I mean the actual photos on the back tend to be a lot more fun and playful, while the fronts are often very similar to previous issues.

Most of my Aaron Judge cards look the same. Here's an example of four from this year.
By and large, not a ton of differences, right? All taken from 1B side facing him. All swinging. Most cropped around the knees.

Yet, here is the back of one of the images (the Judge on the upper right, if you're wondering):
Hmmm. That would have looked pretty cool on the front of the card.

Yesterday, I received my second Topps NOW Clint Frazier card. Here is the first.
And here is the second.
Again, fairly similar. Not 100% the same - road uniform vs home uniform, night vs day, but overall, not drastically different. Yet, here is the back of the second card, which celebrates Frazier's first career walk-off homer.
Now that's pretty awesome. (and I'm impressed with the cool way that the refractor shine scanned)

I'd be totally fine if more of these moments, often which are moments of celebration, were featured on the card versus the actual swing or follow through. In some instances, it's entirely appropriate. In others, give the card some more personality.

This is in no way a jab at Topps. I really like Topps NOW and think it's been a fun addition to the hobby over the last two years. I just wish they'd take the creative license to step outside the box a little more, as I certainly remember Frazier's joyous celebration more than than the actual swing itself.


  1. I've never bought any of the Topps Now cards. My Braves have 42 so far this year too.

  2. Haven't really dove into the Topps Now craze... so I never really noticed the Judge cards practically look the same. I don't really have the right to judge since I don't chase or buy these, but I wonder if Topps Now collectors are tired of the same exact shot.

  3. The Pirates have only gotten a few of those cool backings. I agree that when they do place them they are often better.

  4. I've only ordered two Topps Now cards this year, and they both just have text on the back.

  5. All the Cutch Now cards have generic writing on back. I like the Frazier and Judge backs you showed though.