Football card collections, especially Topps ones, are a clear break with the past. They are not created to be completed, unless one is satisfied or unless one goes after the many parallel exits. Panini is doing the same, it will be the trend, if they do it it’s because the market demands this.
Sometimes we ask ourselves how many are left with the goal of a complete album, whether this concept resists in stickers (for how long?), in cards, especially sports cards, the path taken is now another.
The collection of the Champions League + Europa League + Conference League could not however be defined as complete starting from the concept that it does not present all the clubs, unlikely given the total number of teams, but for example Juventus is also present which does not compete in the cups for the reasons that we all know. If it is true that the collection was probably prepared several months ago, at least in the Italian edition it was possible to avoid putting Pogba on the starter pack. Not only that, considering that Inter, Roma and Fiorentina were finalists in their respective cups, wouldn’t it have made more logical sense to include Lautaro Martinez or Dybala?!? Among other things, we believe that Pogba was an excellent footballer but at the moment, for some time, he has not been considered a point of reference even by Juventus fans.
A collection perhaps interesting for fans of English football, partly Spanish and German, with the top clubs having 18 basic cards, the Italians only 9 cards, with the absence of Napoli, but it is nothing new.
For card fans, a valid album in terms of graphics, Topps is still more than a step ahead of Panini, but it remains a collection, especially for the Italian fan market, of little appeal. Find all the cards? Aside from the autographed ones and the Zen card, which is expensive but not impossible, you just need to follow the various (many) related releases, including the Advent Calendar.
In search of the most loved footballers, for the first time, after many years, without Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi. Haaland? The special card is in the packages on sale in the Display Boxes of newsstands, one every 500 packets… good luck!
Booster Tin – 42 cards + 2 cards limited Mega Tin – 66 cards + 4 cards limited Mega Multipack – 48 cards + 2 cards limited Eco Pack – 36 cards + 1 card limited Countdown Calendar 4 Update Multipack Cards limited available only on Topps website
Good luck also with Topps’ missing stickers service, active for this collection from June 2024 (i.e. 9 months after release), hoping it works better than in the past.
Match Attax is back, the collection on the top of European football, rather than referring to a single competition, it presents teams that play mainly in the Champions League but also in the Europa League and the new Conference League. So similar to Fifa365 (which however does not come out in Italy)? In part, but Topps is light years ahead of Panini on the cards and any confrontation would be won from the start.
The best of European football or perhaps even more the best of the teams from the main European leagues, in fact there are few countries represented: with 7 clubs England and Spain, with 6 clubs Italy, with 3 clubs Germany and Portugal, just 1 for the Netherlands and France.
Collection that is affected by the release in September, therefore with the closing of the press in July, consequently we see many players who in the meantime have changed clubs, the very recent Cristiano Ronaldo but also Messi and Lukaku, just to name the most striking cases . Even the same shirts are affected by this summer release, players wear those of last year. Details that could not have been otherwise, or else we had to wait until the end of September and consequently send everything to print in order to have it around November. Too late.
Seeing the inside of the packaging it is clear that the delivery to print had however different times, for sure the feeling that something was happening was in the air, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are very few present in the various pages, perhaps for the first time since 15 years, first Match Attax release.
The difference is all not only in the quality of the cards but above all in their characteristics. From this point of view, Topps wins across the board in Europe. In Europe, precisely, because in the US there are collections that are even more refined and cared for, although almost impossible to complete.
Even this collection, however, is not easy to complete, unless someone is satisfied with the basic set, however very large and rich. We invite you to purchase the starter pack to also have a complete overview of all the releases, both on newsstands and exclusively on the Topps website. Furthermore, the starter pack is necessary to have the complete set of the four tactical cards and the limited ones of Greenwood and above all Kanté, a sublime player to say the least.
Among the more than 200 special cards we would like to highlight some really special and interesting: . 13 autographed metallic cards . 21 metallic rainbow master & apprentice cards with 2 players per card . 16 chrome pro cards . 4 gem cards and 4 power cards Above average, the 20 authentic autographed cards and the 20 memorabilia sweaters cards, with a piece of real fabric from the sweaters themselves, to be collected alone. A type of card that has been present for years in the US but new for Europe or at least for Italy. Special mention also for the Fire cards on sale during the season only on the Topps Italia website, ultra rare to the point of being able to buy only one at a time.
Speaking of Italy, Panini’s exclusivity on the Italian league and many clubs (Inter, Juventus, etc.) has certainly made the presence of our home clubs less important than other nations. Probably in England, for example, they have a different agreement. In the basic set the players are only 9 against 18 of the top English, Spanish and German clubs. There are very few in the specials.
A multitude of releases connected to the collections: . booster box with 31 cards including a limited edition . 4 mini tin box gems where to find the Gemma exclusive cards (one different for different box) . 4 mega tin box power where to find the exclusive Power cards (one different for different box) . multipack with 31 cards including a gold limited edition . mega multipack with 63 cards including 3 gold limited editions . collector pack with 50 cards including 1 gold limited edition and 1 gem card . advent calendar (from about mid-November) with an exclusive limited edition card
The collection, for card fans, is still absolutely above average. If we think, for example, of Panini’s embarrassing Instant Cards, we really want to thank Topps for being there (often the opposite happens when we talk about sticker albums, as if to say, everyone has their role!)
F1 TURBO ATTAX 2021 (Topps Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 199
album: F1 TURBO ATTAX 2021 (Topps)
cards: 259 (1-254 + 5 limited edition)
starter pack: binder + LE Alonso + 20 cards 8,99€
packets: 2,00€ with 10 cards (box of 24 packets)
multipack: LE Hamilton + 25 cards 4,99€
value box: LE Sainz + 25 cards 4,99€
mini tin: LE Norris + 30 cards 7,99€
mega tin: LE Vettel + 55 cards 12, 99€
card XXL: 5, available only on website Topps
Those who follow us have now understood that we are rather vintage, more linked to stickers than cards, this also involves a certain difficulty in reviewing the collections. Honestly, we are sure that we are lacking in notions and details that probably do not happen to us with the classic stickers. However, when a product is of quality we notice it all right and this Turbo Attax collection seems very beautiful to us!
First of all, the distribution in Italy was excellent news, last year only stickers arrived. Probably the great success convinced Topps to also present the cards. Speaking of stickers, the release for September has already been announced, perhaps a little later in time, but it is important that they come out. Among other things, if last year’s good intentions and excellent prices are confirmed (remember? € 1 for 10 stickers), we could have a possible candidate for final victory as the best sports album of 2021.
This collection of cards is very varied, the quality of the paper and images is superior to the competition, even the setting leaves its mark. First page to scream, 9 cards to form a single image with all the drivers. Promised that when we find them all we will add the photo in this review, it’s worth it!
From card 10 to 99, the basic set of Formula 1, divided by team, each has its own page, excellent idea that there are no distinctions, all the drivers have the same dedicated space, alone or in pairs with the teammate. Of course we start with the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, world champion. In particular, the three-card puzzle cars are beautiful, to give even more emphasis to the joy of watching these dominatrixes of engines.
From cards 100 to 132 there is ample space for Formula 2, immediately after the champions of the major series, as if it were an album of footballers. Moreover, it is often among these new generation that we will find the great drivers of tomorrow, with the increasingly overflowing fashion of rookies, one day among these 32 cards we could find a card coveted by many fans.
Could they miss the Grand Prix? Of course not, from card 133 to card 159 here are the engines in action, retracing the most intense moments of the last racing season. Topps’ choice to grant space, here too, to many drivers, not only the winners but also those who, in the rear, made their mark, bringing great personal or team satisfaction.
From card 160 to 180 many specials and details that retrace not only the last year but also the previous ones, in particular the Flashbacks (from 170 to 180) with photos from the first seasons of the drivers, starting from 2001 of Alonso and Raikkonen, 20 years on the F1 tracks!
Special mention for cards 181 to 193. The first three celebrate the first season of future possible great champions, including Mick, son of the unforgettable Michael Schumacher. The next ones introduce us to the team managers, a fundamental role for the success of a race and the entire season.
Cards 194 to 203 are very useful for the game connected to Turbo Attax, strategy cards necessary to achieve victory. The following cards, from 204 to 239, are celebrating the drivers, the first of course is from Hamilton for the 2020 world championship. The latest cards, from 243 to 254, focus the spotlight on the characteristics of the various drivers, their strengths, from experience, speed, overtaking.
Very good collection, if you wanted you could add the circuits or some vintage memories of F1 with the great drivers of the past. Even the stickers seem to have no material of this last type, perhaps a marketing choice, perhaps a limitation linked to the agreements on image rights. Let’s hope we can have something more in 2022!
MATCH ATTAX 2021 (Topps Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 148 album: MATCH ATTAX 2021 (Topps) cards: 574 starter pack: binder + 1 LE packet + 2 standard packets € 6.99 multipack: 5 packets + 1 limited packet € 5.99 tin box: Goal Scorers, Wildcards, Icons, Matchwinners € 11.99 each standard envelope: € 1.00 (6 cards)
Always challenging to complete Topps’ Match Attax album, this year even more space is given to the teams in the Europa League. Just as Fifa365 is mainly a collection linked to the clubs of the most important nations. Of the 29 present we have 7 Italian, 6 English, 3 Spanish, 4 German. The collection is closed by 7 clubs from other countries, well done having included the two Glasgow teams (Celtic and Rangers), note of color the presence of Istanbul Basaksehir. Not exactly the best known Turkish team .. This is the formula of the Italian edition, certainly some foreign ones have different settings and there are certainly no 7 representatives of the “Bel Paese”.
Not all clubs have the same number of cards, on average between 16 and 18 but then down to 10 or 12 until 5 (.. sigh ..) of the Turkish team. The teams are not update (for example we find Candreva still at Inter). The quality is good, it does not differ much from what has already been seen in recent years, even the setting seems quite similar to us. A separate mention for the badges, really beautiful, at least that of Marseille, the only one we have found at the moment. The top point (but also the flaw) is the multitude of extra cards. To complete the collection you have to make a lot of purchases.
The specials, which are found in the standard packets, bear the classic names (Man of the Match, Hat Trick Heroes, 100 Club, Rising Stars, Star Players). For the others don’t loose the various release: . starter pack (12 cards SS Superstar) . tin box Golden Goalscorers (15 cards GG) . tin box WIld Cards (15 cards WC) . tin box International Icons (15 cards II) . tin box Match Winners (15 cards MW)
For the limited editions (although even the above in some way are ..) this is the plan of the 31 already announced: . starter pack (1G Firmino) . upcoming mini tin box (2G 2S 2B Messi) . multi-pack (3G 3S 3B Rashford) . upcoming collector pack (7B Lewandowski) . tin box Golden Goal Scorers (4G Neymar) . tin box Wild Cards (5G Joao Felix) . tin box International Icons (6G Hazard) . tin box Match Winners (7G Lewandowski) . on the Topps.com website, 19 of the 31 total (1S 1B Firmino, 4S 4B Neymar, 5S 5B Joao Felix, 6S 6B Hazard, 7S Lewandowski, 8G 8S 8B Mbappe, 9G 9S 9B Haaland, 10G 10S 10B Kante, 11 Werner)
An important detail is the total lack of Italian football, except for the basic cards, no specials; seems that Panini (holder of the rights) has not given the concession for these extra items. From here we could explain why Italian teams have 17 images instead of 18. Not so bad if you only collect Italian football or thematic of a single club, you just need to look for them all in the basic packets. Huge savings!
For a collection of almost 600 cards Topps continues to provide an absolutely unsuitable binder. As a result, people buy the Panini binder by Adrenalyn also for the Topps collection. It is time for Topps to make the leap in quality on this front too. Another aspect is the approximation in detail. The check list on the binder is different with the small guide attached to the starter pack, the teams are not in the same order, in one after the Italians there are the English, in the other the Spanish. We refer to the one in the binder.
Of course it is a collection strongly influenced by the Anglo-Saxon world, being us old and more traditional it does not make us jump for joy. Make way for young people and have fun with the new Match Attax 🙂
comment: later than the rest of Europe, the 101 collection, the third production for this year dedicated to the Champions League and Europa League, is also released in Italy. The name already explains the intentions, a collection dedicated to the 101 most important players of the season in the two European club competitions.
Despite this, the collection is very rich with over 240 cards, honestly reading the check list I would not be able to say if the players are exactly 101 or someone more. Of course, to release three albums on the same theme is not customary, Topps tries to derive the greatest result from the only salable football product on which he has the rights, after losing the Premier League and destroying the Bundesliga, with albums, especially of stickers , not at the height for the important German market.
The most intriguing novelty is the mix between cards and stickers, in fact in the starter pack we have not only the binder but also a mini album for the 40 stickers, where we find page by page the best footballers on the continent and some celebrating the last edition of the Champions League.
As already seen in the Trolls World Tour album (our review https://figurineforever.com/en/2020/04/17/trolls-world-tour-topps-2/), Topps introduces the formula of adhesive stickers above the cards. Difficulty for those who collect the sets apart, but no problem for us of the old school who follow the rule “the stickers must always be attached”. How to recognize cards with stickers on them? Simple, they have a black outline. Stickers and card are related to the same player (see photo below)
This aspect is certainly the most interesting and original. There are also several limited edition cards, on sale in the tin box, in special packages and some that can only be purchased on the internet on the Topps website.
In general, perhaps not a fundamental album, cards similar to the previous collections, but in this lean period it can still be a fun pastime, although the concomitance with the Panini Adrenalyn Euro 2020 (splendid collection) does not help
MATCH ATTAX EXTRA (Topps)
EDICOLA NEWS: REVIEWS nr. 105
cards: 293 (287 + 6 limited edition)
starter pack: binder + power play packet € 5.99 + 1 card limited edition
tin box pack: tin box + special packet 15 cards € 14.90 + 1 card limited edition
comment: when it comes to Topps there are always conflicting thoughts. If the stickers are a disaster, Topps honestly has a higher gear with the cards. After all, they have been making them for years more than the competition, they are beautiful and rich. But.. perhaps marrying too much the American line where the sets are not completed but only specific athletes or teams are sought, the collection is in some way a mess.
The same checklist inside the binder is limited compared to the many cards made, one thinks that (as several collectors have already pointed out on some forums) the extra packages are used to complete the set.
The writer admits all its limitations in this case, who is part of the old school is faithful to the classic version: there is an album with a tot of stickers to complete it, that’s all. Applies to both stickers and cards, the addition of limited and extra editions is something out of the ordinary, but acceptable.
So this review is absolutely atypical, it does not present the album and its peculiarities but it is a more articulated reasoning almost as if to give advice to two multinationals. To Topps to give a decisive change to its presentation policies and product creations, because in the face of very nice cards, they are often chaos. To Panini, to put more effort into making the card products, the Adrenalyn Calciatori are static images and far less captivating than those created by Topps. They know how to do it, the cards of Spiderman, Harry Potter and other collections are splendid, just to give some examples.
By the way: Topps Match Attax Extra 6 cards packet for 1 euro, Panini Euro 2020 8 cards packet for 2 euro. The brand is always UEFA, can there be all this difference in price?
Final judgment: 7/10 (8/10 for the quality of the cards, 6/10 for the setting of the collection)
P.S. all the cards purchased by the Association for this collection will be made available for exchanges at our office and during the events we take part in. At the end of the season they will be donated to our international campaign STICKER RAISING FOR MADAGASCAR, in order to raise funds for long distance adoptions
MATCH ATTAX 2020 (Topps Italy)
EDICOLA NEWS: THE REVIEWS nr. 76
card: 467 (including 14 limited editions, 60 exclusive cards in Tin Boxes)
packets: € 1.00 (5 card) + various tin boxes (see comment)
comment: Topps Match Attax collection is back, this year dedicated not only to the Champions League but also to the Europa League. The choice is very clear, instead of presenting a large number of teams, it is mainly preferred to focus the collection on clubs from the major european championships.
In the Italian edition we have 7 italian teams (Juventus, Napoli, Inter, Atalanta, Roma, Lazio, Torino), 4 spanish (Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid, Valencia), 4 german (Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen), 4 english (Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham), 2 french (Paris SG, Lille) plus Benifica and Genk
In the English edition there were 7 home teams (in addition to Arsenal, Manchester United, Wolverhampton), the italians apart from Inter, a few cards from Roma and the only Cristiano Ronaldo to represent Juventus, with Olympique Lyon instead of Lille, plus a few cards of Galatasaray and Zenit St. Petersburg instead of the Genk.
Honestly it almost seems similar of Panini’s Fifa365 and a half Premier League album for the british market; prepared in advance and not knowing how the play-offs would have gone we find ourselves in the italian edition Torino, that actually did not qualify. Topps could at least avoid putting Zaza on the cover, perhaps replaced by a player from Inter or Napoli.
Having said that the cards are very good, after all at least in the Topps cards it is a guarantee, with a lot of information on the player, useful for the game. The value in euro that we find in the cards is clearly not the real one, but for the Match Attax fantamarket.
Not found any numbering or name check list, we will wait to take reference from the one that will publish Last Sticker. Not all clubs have the same card number.
There are also four different tin boxes, each with a price of 12.00 euro, they contain 60 cards each, they are 4 different and must be purchased all:
GAME CHANGERS tin
box (includes 15 card “game changers” and the Limited Edition of
STRIKERS tin box
(includes 15 card “strikers” and the Limited Edition of Mbappè)
SUPERSTARS tin box
(includes 15 “superstars” cards and the Limited Edition of Cristiano
WONDERKIDS tin box (includes 15 “wondekids” cards and Sancho’s Limited Edition)
There will then be other special releases for the next 10 Limited Editions to complete the collection.
Of the cards we have said, the price is in line with that of the market, above all the starter pack is very good, if it were not that the binder itself is the small standard one that does not allow to insert in each sheet a single card, to make them all stand you have to put them both in front and behind (32 sheets for 9 cards are 288 .. the suggestion is to put front and back the base and the other single ones, but it is just a personal reasoning).
excellent quality, it’s a pity that the official collection of the Champions
League can be defined, for that it is better to turn to the classic stickers,
always printed by Topps.