2002 Topps 206
Topps is a big fan of its history. It has flooded the market recently with cards using designs or themes from their past. It might be reprints, or new pictures on old designs, or new players on old designs. However they could do it, they’ve celebrated their past. And, they should. For one thing, they have the most history compared to the other companies out there. Second, it makes for some variety in their card sets…even if its variety through similarity.
But, even their vast history only goes back to 1951. If they want even more designs, they’ll have to go back farther and use other companies. They’ve done that quite well with several brands, including T-206.
Of course, T-206 isn’t so much a brand as a catalog designation. Which makes things a bit more challenging when compared to, say Heritage, where each year a new design is available to copy. With T-206, there’s really just the one design. So, if Topps wants to carry on the line for more than one ear, they have to get creative. They need to come up with designs in the style of T-206.
Thankfully, in this case, they were able to hold pretty true to the standard set by T-206, except for one thing. I hate the clouds.
Sure, I know that some T-206 cards had different backgrounds. But, I always picture the solid color behind the players. Maybe that’s because the care I see most often, Honus Wagner, has a simple solid color. (And, by “see” I mean “See pictures of.” I of course don’t mean “see when flipping through me binder.”) To me the addition of the clouds not only makes it seem like a cheap knock-off, but it somehow calls attention to the lack of quality in the Pedro image. It looks so fake and computerized. Definitely not what I’m looking for when I’m trying to replicate a set from almost 100 years earlier.
So, while this is a nice simple card of Pedro, it loses a lot of points for me by not holding true to the form of the original set.
If Topps wanted to make a modern version, they didn’t need to call it 206.