Every now and then, I come across a more peculiar release from a well known company. In this case, it’s 1995 Topps D3 Baseball Series 1. I collected during the time of this products release and I completely missed this issue. It’s weird at best when you’re so involved with something but certain information still seems to find itself masterfully disguised among view. Among the rich real estate that robustly filled the shelves in those shops all those years ago was this little gem. Some products share a healthy and vibrant lifespan growing years within the lives of collections everywhere. Sometimes however, much like pilot programs taken for rides on television's most prominent networks, there are products that are temporarily tested for degree of market acceptance. Some pilots fly, others crash and even so, some never leave the ground. This is one of those products that I’d like to consider enjoyed a pleasant ride even if for only a very short time. As I walked through with my eyes on the sale rack, I saw this pack sitting there, dusted with the test of time and the lack of love. This pack sat unopened for 17 years and on this day, said goodbye to the sale rack and hello to a more appreciated atmosphere. This was my first experience opening a pack of 1995 Topps D3 and I found the contents to be very forward and necessary for its time. The sportflix-ish technology that goes into this type of product always has my attention. There’s something very pleasant about the way an appearance changes with the manipulation of an angle from a light source. The D3 release showcases a less dramatic manipulation but it’s there. The cards are about twice as thick as your standard baseball card and as such are much sturdier.
Flashy is a word that comes to mind. The off-yellow, red and black combination brings to mind the memories of long-forgotten composition books used in school. In a time when many packs featured contents in the double-digits, this particular release showcased only 3 cards per pack. I used to associate fewer cards with a higher degree of quality but as I’ve grown, I’ve learned that correlation doesn’t always mean causation. There is something else that I enjoy about the packaging here. It’s that of the tag line, 3D So Real, It’s Unreal. This sort of writing is such a staple of the ’90’s. It reminds me of various slogans found on adverts for a number of early ’90’s products and numerous video games from that time. Entertaining to say the least.
- 3 cards per pack
- Complete set: 59 cards
- D-Zone insert: 1:6 packs
This means that 6 packs will yield only 17 base cards. The 18th card being the D-Zone insert. Further calculations put us at a total of 21 packs to complete this set. That is of course assuming zero probability of doubles. Given the unlikelihood of that scenario, let’s assume a 25-pack total yield requirement to ensure any meaningful probability of completing the full 59-card set. Gone are the days of only one chase program. I can respect this type of simplicity.
The Base Design:
Another classic ’90’s mid-summer feeling. This release is unlike any other Topps product for its time. The sportflix-esque technology happening here always appeals to the interested eye. I am a fan even if for only the remembrance of where I was in my life at the time of this products release. This product features really nice border-less action photos. I like the logo they designed for the D3 product. What you have here is a colorful but simple roman numeral 3 inside a ‘D’ with the first numeral making up the neck of the ‘D.’ I thought that was clever.
The backs feature beautiful orange tones with a called-for player portrait. The block design happening in the background is a snapshot of a good idea for the time. This sort of thing is very unlikely to be implemented by designers of modern products. Don’t quote me on that, it’s just a hunch. There’s just a lot going on here, some might even say that it looks kinda busy. Notice however, that although the backs don’t feature the same technology as the fronts, the theme still remains the same. Everything on the back has the same 3D feeling. The blocks in the background, the TV box looking design that features the player stats and photo, even the text below the photo all feature the same 3D approach. Much like Cal Ripken’s legendary work ethic, the design is consistent.
With a release unlike the rest, 1995 Topps D3 is a product that takes us back to a time when the hobby possessed much more simplicity. With just 3 cards per pack featuring a sportflix-type technology, D3 reminds us of a marketable design from years ago. However unique and perhaps even considered by some to be kitschy, 1995 Topps D3 Baseball is a stand alone product that can be acknowledged as nostalgic.