Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Review: Minnesota Twins

Gypsy Queen is back!

This is one of the nicest products put out by Topps. This set has a old-school tobacco card feel to the design but it's full of a ton of mini cards, inserts, and some of the easiest pulls of autographs and relic cards.

The base set includes 300 cards of current and former stars. There are tough to find base set parallels. Short prints have been a staple of this product and there is a bigger 50-card set in this year's product. Also added to the packs are 50-cards with photo variations. Set collectors will have to spend some time hunting these down.

Mini cards make this set stand out from the crowd. There is one mini card per pack and every base card has a corresponding mini card. With only one mini short print card per box, these will be highly sought after items. To go along with the base mini cards, there are multiple variations including silver (#/199), red(#/50), black (#/5), printing plates (1/1), and graphite (1/1).

For Twins fans, let's dive into the set and see what players can be added to your collection.

42. Kennys Vargas
66. Joe Mauer
152. Rod Carew
172. Phil Hughes
251. Ervin Santana
287. Brian Dozier

Some of the standard inserts are back along with some new additions. Glove Stories have been a featured insert set since Gypsy Queen debuted. Aaron Hicks is the lone Twins player in the set making a sprawled out catch in the Target Field outfield. The Queens Throwbacks, a new insert set, has players wearing throwback uniforms similar to the Franchise Flashbacks set from Topps Opening Day. Joe Mauer gets the nod in this set.

The Kennys Vargas autograph market continues to grow as his signature has been used in many of the releases from Topps this year. Vargas can be found in the full sized and mini autograph sets. The full size autographs have multiple variations including Silver #/50, Gold #/25, Red #/5, Black 1/1.

Vargas isn't the only Twins autograph in Gypsy Queen. Joe Mauer is included in the Mini Autograph Patch Books Set but these cards are hard to a run of 25 so collectors will have to hunt them down. It might be easier for fans to find Mauer's relic insert cards. Besides the base model, there are also Gold #/25, Red Patch #/5, and Black Button 1/1.

The toughest Twins insert to find is an Original Art Patches of Rod Carew. This set includes a hand painted image and a piece of game worn jersey. There is only one of these cards available so the demand will be high among collectors.

One of the biggest critiques of this set has been the lack of statistics used on the cards. The back card design includes only words about the players. This has never really bothered me because it fits with the old-school design of the set. I was a little disappointed not to see a Harmon Killebrew card in the set for the first time in multiple years.

Ervin Santana gets his first Twins card but many fans likely won't be hunting this one down after his recent suspension. Vargas has gotten a lot of love from Topps to start the year so it will be interesting to see how the card market views his value throughout the season. In future sets, it would be nice to see autographs from some of the other core Twins players.

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