Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Mini Proposal

For the record, I dislike minis.  They are OVERRATED.  They are hard to see and read, they are a pain in the ass to store and protect, and those variations!  Guh!  People sometimes pay twice the amount of a card solely because it is a mini variation or a mini different-back variation.  Don’t give me the “base has variation too” crap… we all know people pay more a premium for a mini.  But why?  What’s the attraction?  Minis sucks, simple as that.


But, if done correctly, they can be awesome.  Case in point: this year’s Kimball Championship mini insert found in this year’s Topps flagship brand.  The cards featured a nicely-painted player on top of a picturesque baseball scene.  The art on these cards, especially the bottom, remind me of a simpler time, both in the sport and in art.  It’s a nice nostalgic looking baseball set, harkening back to the old 206s of last century.  In this case, I do like minis.

Here’s my theory, idea, whatever you would like to call it.  A complete set of baseball cards… made entirely out of minis.

Yeah, you have tobacco cards from years gone by, but who gives a crap?  They are old, torn apart, and out of a lot of collector’s price range.  Yeah, you have the 1975 Topps mini set, but that’s just the regular set in smaller form.  I’m talking full-blown here, something completely new and never seen before.  I want a complete set of cards, 300 to 500 cards, made entirely out of minis to highlight the best players in the game and the rising stars of tomorrow.  I want this set to be totally original artwork, no copying off another established set.  I want all the inserts made out of minis.  I want all the redemptions made out of minis.  I want the damn wrappers out of minis.  Minis, minis, minis!

I like the sound of that.

Now, if I, an established mini hater, would buy this set… who wouldn’t?  It would appeal to a huge group of people.  I think any retro collectors or fans of Allen and Ginter minis would absolutely love it.  I think any set builders would love it because of its size.  I think prospectors would like it because of the rookies and prospects thrown into the product.  I think any collector fed up with the same horse crap Topps feeds us every year and wants a change in the sets released would love it.

And then again, does Topps necessarily have to make this set?

Think about it.  It’s a painted set.  Upper Deck could easily do this without worrying about licensing.  Sure, you’d see a lot of players without hats, but the upside UD brings would outweigh miniscule things like that.  I can picture it now… Upper Deck, destined for redemption on Topps, comes out with a revolutionary set with awesome artwork, sick hits, and a marketing ploy that blows anything Topps offers out of the water.  Man… fan-tastic.

Now, with every brilliant idea, comes several disadvantages.  First off, the hits.  Sure, it could be possible… have the player hand sign on a bunch of mini cards and insert them into packs.  UD might do this if they want to make a big comeback, but you think Topps has the time and effort to do this when they can’t even get the biggest prospect in the past twenty years to sign cards in time for their retail release?  I don’t think so.

Now you obviously can’t stick framed relics and autographs into a specific-mini set, that would look stupid and create a nightmare for packaging.  So the issue is basically, the set would have to come with redemptions (mini redemptions though) or a hand-signed autograph might be inserted maybe every two to three boxes, depending on how many cards Topps or UD can get a player to sign.

Oh my goodness… no guaranteed auto in every box?!

Believe it or not people, at one time, not every set or box guaranteed a hit.

Now, I probably shouldn’t waste my breath.  The chances of this happening are slim to none.  This is just another collector ranting about a silly idea, nothing out of the ordinary about that.


But one can dream right?


  1. Sounds like 07 Goudey to me.

  2. Goudey was based off another set. I'm talking about a brand new set designed around the mini concept, inserts and everything. Everything original.

  3. I would love to see a new manufacturer come along and try some different stuff. TCMA was pretty interesting, with their smaller topical sets. No reason set ideas like those couldn't be made into minis. Of course, you probably want a complete set featuring modern players too, and there's no reason that can't be done. Simply because it would be all-painted is enough to interest me. I'm not a big fan of minis because to me they are just another parallel, but a full new set would be fine.

  4. It would have to be done by UD or someone else. If Topps did this there's no way a box would cost less than $150.