Love-Hate relationship with Topps Tek

The late 1990s were a fun time in our hobby. That was when we saw a lot on innovation. We had already transitioned away from Cardboard baseball cards to other materials, and among them was acetate — a plastic that had been around for years but not in an abundant way.

Topps Tek was initially released in 1998 and at the time wasn’t exactly a product I targeted. I had put player collecting on hold and was targeting rookies at the time. But still I appreciated the different vibe the plastic cards and variations brought. Was it a bit of a gimmick? Yeah. But it was more than just gold or silver parallels.

A few years Topps revamped the line and brought it back. And while the company upped its game in terms of design and technology, it failed to label these cards in a proper fashion.

The first sets in the 1990s at least identified the cards as Pattern 1, Pattern 2, etc. but the latest versions don’t say anything.

This week I received three new Kershaw Topps Tek cards for my collection including the Pyroteknics insert serial numbered /99.

The base cards, however, are deceiving. While opening the package I was disappointed as I thought both Kershaw base were the same — both have same pattern and color. Alas they are different. One is plain and the other is some sort of parallel. It’d be really helpful if they were labeled.

For the record, I have no love for Bowman Tek and am glad they shelves that product for 2019.

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