Like many people, I did not collect very much after 1999. I bought a hobby box here or there until 2002 and then practically nothing except a few packs from 2003-2005. Then, I saw the story about the Alex Gordon rookie card. Who is Alex Gordon? The second pick in the draft from the previous year. I like rookie cards. What is this card really? A gimmick, an released, "un-released" card that can only be found in Wal-mart packs. Since when did they stock cards at Wal-mart?
So I went on ebay and found 3 blaster boxes of 2006 Topps (30 packs) for $30. Alas, I did not find a Gordon. But I did discover that I liked what I saw about 2006 Topps. Unfortunately, even with a wantlist, I will never complete this set.
My favorite part was the backs of the cards with cartoons.
I also enjoyed the design of the front. The foil was a little difficult to read in direct light (foil cards are descended from vampires), but the colors were striking, and the variety of color made the cards really easy to sort through.
There were pitching poses in Spring Training. How long did he have to stand like that?
And also some non-standard shots like the squinting Dan Johnson. Dan, flip down those sunglasses! Who doesn't like a rookie cup on a card?
The worst parts of opening the packs was the inclusion of the Barry Bonds Home Run History cards (1:4 packs, though I liked getting HR 661, it at least had a different foil color) and the Mickey Mantle Home Run History card. Did you know in 2006 Topps Series 1, they only inserted HR #1 at a rate of 1:6 packs? So, I received 6 of the same insert card without any difference. What a waste.
This is the other reason I will not complete this set; I do not want to buy any more packs to grow the pile of Mickey Mantle HR#1 cards.
So gimmicks do get attention and can bring back collectors, but they sure are frustrating when you can never get them without spending all that money. (Still...no Gordon for me, not even the blank version)