Although I have a great appreciation for card backs and their designs, my rankings will be based purely on the front designs.
Obviously every collector has their own likes and dislikes, so I encourage you to share your rankings in the comment section below.
Okay... let's get it started. I figured I go with worst to first...
#7: 1998 Topps
1988 Topps #1
This was kind of a surprise. For years, I've always thought that 1988 Topps was my least favorite Topps design. But after looking at all of these designs side by side, I've revised my opinion.
I have mentioned it on here before, but in case you missed it... I'm not a big fan of gold. This card is filled with it. Gold borders. Gold foil. Gold Topps logo. It's boring. It's drab. It's my least favorite of the 8's.
With that being said, I've gotta admit that the backs are really nice.
#6: 1988 Topps
1988 Topps #361
I have never liked this design. Simplicity is usually a positive trait for me when it comes to card designs, but on these it's their biggest flaw. It's just so blah. Plus this product haunts me everywhere I look. It's one of the most overproduced card sets of all-time and I can't dig through a dime box or walk around a flea market without stumbling across at least one of these.
The other thing it has going against it is the fact that it was released the year after one of my favorite card designs of all-time: 1987 Topps.
#5: 1968 Topps
1968 Topps #20
We're now entering the zone of indifferent designs. The 1968 Topps design is like chocolate ice cream. I never crave it, but I don't think I've ever turned it down either.
The burlap sack borders are kind of boring, but they don't bother me as much as some collectors. And I actually like the circle located in the lower right that houses the player's position and team. Personally, it helps break up the border.
#4: 1978 Topps
1978 Topps #60
This design barely squeaked by the 1968 design, which means overall I consider it one of those middle of the pack designs in regards to these rankings.
The cursive team names add a little pizzazz to the design and the thin colored line complements the plain white borders. And the little baseball containing the player's position is also a nice touch.
I just wish Topps had used the team colors for the lettering and the lines.
#3: 2018 Topps
2018 Topps #69
1992 Fleer Ultra #119
Despite the fact that I prefer my flagship Topps designs to have borders, I actually kind of like this design. It definitely reminds of the 1992 Fleer Ultra baseball card design, but that's a good thing because I loved that product. The water slide effect isn't really my style, but the giant team logo balances the design out.
I have no intention of going out and purchasing this product, but it mainly has to do with the lack of complete career statistics on the back and the fact that they've been replaced by Twitter and Instagram information. That's cardfoolery!
#2: 1958 Topps
1958 Topps #240
I've got mixed emotions on 1958 Topps baseball. It's definitely ranks higher than the 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2018 designs. But I wouldn't call it one of my favorite designs either. I feel like it's on the cusp of stardom... but it's not quite ready to hang with the big boys.
The thing that makes this card design stand out are the diecut players being superimposed on the brightly colored backgrounds, which seemed like a standard for the 50's. I also really like the inclusion of the team logos, especially since most have evolved into something completely different over the past six decades.
#1: 2008 Topps
2008 Topps #320
When I returned to the hobby back in 2008, this was one of the first card designs I saw and it was love at first sight. The way Topps spelled out the team names in the team colored balls is the identifying feature with this design and the reason I love it. I'm not exactly sure why, but I feel like this set design belongs in a different era. Maybe the late 60's or early 70's?
Although this doesn't impact my vote on The Greatest Eight Debate, this set is also memorable because Topps used it for their basketball and football products as well. Plus it'll always be a reminder of when I started collecting again.
So that's how I'd rank the Topps flagship set designs for the years ending in eight. What about you?
Based on the card fronts, how would you rank them?
Happy Tuesday and sayonara!