Monday, April 13, 2015

Factory Sealed - Factory Fresh

The 2015 edition of the factory team sets have hit the shelves!

This is a release that always grabs my attention, even if it is often heavily made up of re-hashings of the Series One cards without foil.  But, there's more to it.

First, it includes a few preview cards that let us know what we should expect in Series Two.

Second, it usually features the first (or very nearly so) cards of off-season acquisitions in their new threads; albeit, with heavy photoshopping.  Seeing as my ultimate goal is to have a Cubs card of every player who has been on the team, I went out a got myself a set.

Do I feel guilty about breaking it up?  Maybe a little, but there are bigger problems in the world.

This year's editions of Heritage and Spring Fever actually beat out the factory set to a few of the new guys; but, yesterday's big hero still needed some attention:

The photoshopper left the piping on the middle of what used to be an Astros uniform. This makes it look like he's wearing a mish mash of the Cubs' new-ish alt road jersey that people seem to loathe and the regular one.

But, I'm over that.  Dexter and his memorabilia can do no wrong with me for now, thanks to this epic moment:

Yea, crushing a home run to give the Cubs the lead when they were down to their last strike is going to earn you some brownie points.  Bonus points for knocking it out of the park on LaTroy Hawkins - long overdue karma for the saves he blew down the stretch for us back in 2004.

But, back to the cards:

Here we have a couple of the other big-name additions from this offseason.  While, I already was able to pick up a copy of Lester's card from the Spring Fever promotion, this card of Miggy is the first of him as a Cub in my collection.  Both of these guys made it into Heritage in Cubbie blue too.

On the left, we have another photoshopping faux pas.  While the uniform design was actually done pretty much perfectly, there was still a glaring error.  Wrigley Wax discussed this very problem earlier today, so I'll let him explain it to you.

I really like that Topps chose to use a picture of Jon from his introductory press conference.  It was an authentic moment that actually happened in real life, not the altered history presented to us on the previous two cards.  Plus, it's a unique snapshot from an event that doesn't often get documented on cardboard.

Jason here was the last of the new guys to show up in the set.  However, since he was also a new guy last year, before his trade to the Athletics, all Topps had to do was pull up a photograph from before July 31st.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

As for the rest of the cards that were not included in Series One and serve as a preview of what's to come in Series Two:

Only Hendricks was new to my CATRC, but the rest of these guys are pretty neat too.

As far as photography goes, the pic used on the Coghlan card is beautiful - what's better than seeing a web-gem develop before your very eyes in front of a lush, ivy background?  Plus, as a child of the 90's, I have to show some love for the "Cuba" throwback jersey being sported by Wada.

Are we really to the point where we can call the 90's throwback?  Yikes.

As far as star-power goes, Arrieta is the man and Rondon is the best (and only) time a Rule 5 pick has worked out for the Cubs in my lifetime.  He's also the most lock-down closer of my lifetime; after having to sit through heart-attack inducing ninth inning's from Marmol, Hawkins, Borowski, Beck, etc. etc., his quick and efficient frames are greatly appreciated!

That's it for the new stuff though, the rest of the cards from the factory were already found in Series One:

Most of these were obvious selections.  Most of them

Topps doesn't seem to have caught on to the fact the Lake has shaped up to be nothing more than a spare part - I'm surprised he made the first series.  I'm less caught off guard by the inclusion of the Miner Forty-Niner lost in time, otherwise known as Brian Schlitter.  After all, he saw a lot of action in 2014 and was due some recognition.

Also part of the set was my favorite piece from Series One, Arismendy Alcantara; but, I must have been distracted by it's awesomeness because I forgot to include him.

All in all, this was a pretty nice offering from Topps.  There was plenty of new stuff to be found and for a reasonable price too; it was five bucks well spent!

However, I'm curious as to how these sets break down for other teams.  Do some teams have less or even more new material than others in these sets?  Even more hack-job photoshopping monstrosities? Perhaps some photo variations?  Hopefully some more of these sets pop in reviews across the blogosphere!

1 comment:

  1. I used to feel a little bad about breaking up complete sets, but not so much anymore. I really hope Topps sticks with that press conference shot of Lester for Series 2.