Topps has been doing this really cool line of limited-run cards all year called Project 2020. The idea is they’ve contracted with a wide variety of pop artists, fashion designers, graffiti/street artists, tattoo artists, graphic designers, etc., to create imaginative re-vamps of classic cards from the Topps lineup across the decades.
Each card is a work of art, in other words, and they offer each card on their site for 48 hours, and then however many people order it is how many are made — made to order, literally — and then they’re sent out to the people who were paying attention and jumped on during the window. Each window has a few cards by a few artists, each priced around $20, along with a very limited 20-piece proof run of each work, and those are about 10 times as much money.
At first, I’ll be honest, I didn’t see this as something I would be excited about. I don’t really see myself paying $20 for individual cards very often, so I wasn’t going to go all-in and start buying these up. Plus, though there’s no question these are some talented artists involved, a lot of the cards haven’t grabbed me. That said, a few of them have, and I’ve almost pulled the trigger a couple of times, and I’ve even looked on eBay for a few (I’ll probably still hunt down one of the cool Tony Gwynn cards at some point for my own collection).
Speaking of the artists, they contracted with 20 of them (go figure) to create these cards, and most of them have done quite a few. I didn’t know anything about any of them other than hearing a couple of their names (Mister Cartoon, Ermsy), but the more I read about them (people like EfDot, who is partially colorblind, and describes his work as “art for optimists”), the more I like them.
This is all a roundabout way to get to this week, really yesterday, when a helpful Facebook ad for Topps Project 2020 popped up in my feed to let me know Oldmanalan had created a Frank Thomas card for the set that looks just like a 1990s sports magazine, and yeah, it’s available now (for like 2 more hours as of this writing).
Again, I don’t know much about Oldmanalan, but I read this article and now I know more. His story, while cool, is kind of beside the point, which is: I bought this sucker, and now I have to wait several months for it to be produced and sent to me. I’m looking forward to it, whenever it arrives.