They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
I’m sorry, but the 2011 Topps Attax cards, and this Aroldis Chapman card in particular, just doesn’t cut it for me.
Believe me, it’s all been done before.
Wizards of the Coast, riding the success of its uber-juggernaut series, Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, released MLB Showdown, a collectible card game, in 2000. It was kind of like the old Strat-O-Matic card game, only with cooler cards, and distinctly different gaming mechanics. It lasted until 2005, when WoC pulled the plug.
‘Fess up. Admit it. You actually played MLB Showdown with a friend when it first started hitting the shelves, or you reluctantly started collecting the cards. Ruben Rivera here was part of that early MLB Showdown release.
I remember playing in an actual league with eight other duffers (pun intended), at one of our local gaming shops (I think I finished fifth). Our league manager actually travelled to Minneapolis to compete in a regional tournament. He came home with second place and a decent amount of cash and goodies.
Ok, enough tripping down memory lane.
What once began as a simple insert set in last year’s Topps cards, has now evolved into yet another full-fledged collectible card game. Again, as a collectible card game, I give Topps Attax about a three-year run before it goes belly up (MLB Showdown enjoyed a five-year run).
1) The cards themselves are not that nice looking. While I have to admit, the 2000 and 2001 MLB Showdown cards left a lot to be desired, they at least featured almost full-length player shots that weren’t blocked out by a box of stats and gaming mechanics. Of course the later sets, such as this Tony Gwynn were pretty sharp looking cards, especially with that big team logo in the background. Plus, check out his sweet hitting numbers via a 20-sided dice.
2) It seems to me that me Topps Attax is geared more toward the younger player/gamers, with it’s cheaper price and number of cards. However, you have to determine whether you’re actually a player or collector; you can’t be both. Where MLB Showdown was printed on playing card stock with rounded corners, Topps Attax, is printed on matte paper with square corners. It won’t take much before you begin dinging the corners, even in a plastic sleeve.
3) One of the issues in playing MLB Showdown was the fact you couldn't just take a team like the San Diego Padres and play a game - there weren't enough Padres players included to make up a team. Even if they did, there was no way they could compete against a team like the Yankees at that time. I haven't seen the checklist for Topps Attax yet, so I don't kow if they have that same problem or not.
4) It’s all about the cards – threfore no dice and strategy cards, making the game fairly simple – that’s why Topps is offering Attax to be purchased as a separate entity, rather than as an insert set.
I may add the Padres from this set to my collection, but I'm not going to go out and buy any packs of this product. In the meantime, I thnk I'm going to go home and break out my MLB Showdown sets for old-times sake.
(Blogger note: I hope you like this particular blog. It's part of Nacho Grande's Blogger Bracket Challenge. He'll post up a card and you and a fellow blogger are supposed to write a post that somehow ties into the card posted by Nachos Grande. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. Stay tuned to see how it turns out.).