Non-Sport Update's Card Talk
2012 US Olympic Team & Olympic Hopefulls (Topps)

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July 10, 2012, 04:52 PM
2012 US Olympic Team & Olympic Hopefulls (Topps)
Two weeks ago on "Olympic Day" the Rockford BMX track where my son and husband race was handing out a free packs to all the kids who registered to race. I thought that was pretty cool. They were clear plastic wrapped like a preview set. I believe there were 5 or 7 cards.

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August 09, 2012, 08:20 PM
A little bump for this, since there's no discussion thread for the currently (about to conclude) Olympic Games in London.

Topps seems to have earned their own "Gold Medal" for their autograph selection for this set.

Not only is there a nice autograph set of past Olympics champions and 50 different 1/1 cut signatures from Olympic legends, but the 50 card base autograph set (with 4 levels of parallels including 1/1's for every card) boasts scores of Gold Medal winners, as it turns out.

Here are the ones I've seen:

Shawn Johnson Gymnastics (Beijing)
Mary Whipple Rowing
Natalie Coughlin Swimming (Beijing)
Brenda Villa Water Polo
Aly Raisman Gymnastics
Ryan Lochte Swimming
Sue Bird Basketball (not yet this time, but very soon)
Rebecca Soni Swimming
Sanya Richards-Ross Track & Field
Kim Rhode Shooting
Misty May-Treanor Beach Volleyball
Nastia Liukin Gymnastics (Beijing)
Hope Solo Soccer
Missy Franklin Swimming
Maya Moore Basketball (also soon)
Carmelita Jeter Track & Field
Allyson Felix Track & Field
Jordyn Wieber Gymnastics
Nathan Adrian Swimming
Alex Morgan Soccer
Abby Wambach Soccer
Michael Phelps Swimming

and maybe a couple more I've missed, but nearly half the set even if this is all of them. And besides those 20 or so, there's at least 10 more for from athletes who ended up with Silver or Bronze, certainly nothing to sneeze at.

Anyway, I bought a retail box well before the Olympics and was pleased with it, but didn't think of picking up a hobby box at that time.
I've really enjoyed watching the Games, like always, so I wanted to correct that mistake and I finally ordered one (although it cost a little more than it would've a few weeks ago!)

Still, I'm glad to get one finally, and will post results here shortly. Did anyone on the board pick up a hobby box of this yet? I noticed only retail box breakdowns above. Any hobby box breakdowns out there?

Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
August 10, 2012, 09:08 AM
The auto lineup is great and I was thinking about getting some until I saw pictures of the cards on Ebay.I am not a big fan of sticker autos but will buy if the card itself is well designed but these,and I stress this is only my personal opinion,are awful Frown .

I presume Topps did not want to stump up the cash to use actual photos but even so some of the pictures on these cards make some of the most physically fit people on the planet look ugly.
August 12, 2012, 03:09 PM
I've heard similar rumblings about the look of these on the cards. I think Topps is trying to get that old timey illustrated look (as on the old cigarrette baseball cards and Mars Attacks, etc.), but they don't want to pay for new illustrations, so they instead digitized the photographs to make them appear as though they were painted.

One effect of the that is that shadow lines in the images are darker, so with all of the muscle lines and smile/effort lines on the faces of the athletes, the cards are fairly dark, facial features distorted, etc. (If anyone knows these to be actual paintings and not manipulated photos, I welcome the correction).

Even so, I like the set as is. They probably should've just went with photographs, but getting 100 new paintings might have been cost prohibitive. For collecting purposes though, any cards that are illustrated (even faux illustration as seems to be the case here), I consider to be non-sport cards and to that point, there really is a story told in each of these cards.

Just imagine the YEARS of training and practice each of these people committed themsleves to that led to their even being pictured on these cards, especially considering that the vast majority of them will never be able to "go pro" in their sports to benefit from their labors in that way. The Olympic ideal still remains a beautifully unifying one for all of humanity to share and as a human being, I am so proud of the athletes who represent it with honor, without regard to the colors of what country they wear.

With that said, USA! USA! USA! What an incredible showing from the Americans, I couldn't be happier. China was fantastic as usual, Russia right on their heels, and the UK certainly did the home crowd proud, especially rowing and cycling. Mexico must be in a state of euphoria with their soccer Gold over mighty Brazil. Just so many great stories, I miss Bud Greenspan already, his documentary of this Olympics would have been one of his best ever. (sigh...)

Ahem, finally to my breakdown, my freshly opened hobby box yielded a Relic jersey Card from sprinter Carmelita Jeter (Gold, Silver, and Bronze medal winner in London) plus autographs from swimmmer Natalie Coughlin (double Gold Winner in Beijing) and an Olympic heroes ON CARD autograph from Gymnast Kerri Strug (she of the memorable 1996 Team Gold Medal clinching vault in Atlanta 1996). There was also a nice commemorative flag patch card featuring rower Carrie Johnson.

There was a complete 100 card base set in the box with a small stack of the Gold, Silver, Bronze parallel base cards plus a few of the venue and event inserts cards, all very nice, highly informative. The Gold Parallel base cards should have been tougher to pull than one per 3 packs, though, and serial numbered too, as that would've created a tough variation for set collectors. I don't think my box had one of the opening ceremonies cards (1:24 packs), but a small quibble, really.

I'm very grateful to Topps for this set,a fine commemorative of the 2012 Olympics, and for Team USA fans in particular. The controversial overall look of the base cards notwithstanding, the other stuff still makes it all worthwhile. And remember, there are 50 different 1/1 cut signatures from Olympic legends in these boxes to be had. I wonder if any of those have surfaced.

Here's hoping this set becomes a regular issue and there will be sets starting in 2014 for the Winter Olympics, too.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: chesspieceface,

Everywhere around this burg they're running out of verbs, adverbs, and adjectives. Everywhere around this town, they're running out of nouns.
September 11, 2012, 09:31 PM
Picked up a pack tonight for .60 cents and got a 2012 Olympic Games Commemorative Stamp CS-1 Canoe Slalom. Not bad since the stamp cards in Retail packs were 1:210.
September 11, 2012, 09:54 PM
Not bad at all!!! I opened a few hobby boxes and never pulled a stamp card.