My Topps: Gallery Collection (Updated December 28th, 2021)
In 1997 Topps released a stunner called Topps: Gallery which still to this day holds the top spot for my "Favorite All-Time Sets". This 135-card set was the most stunning as far as looks go for any set that was made at that time and still beats many of the Premium titles all these years later. The base cards were nice, but the "Rookie" cards were even better. Most cards have "Fake" backgrounds, (See the 1997 Topps Gallery "Corey Dillon" RC #24 left), but they weren't "Fake - Bad", they were "Fake - Good". Put together well enough to make it memorable, in my opinion. It's just too bad the set is only worth around $35 bucks. It's well worth the money.
The insert sets that accompanied the initial '97 release were also quite stunning. From the "Critics Choice" insert set, (See the 1997 Topps Gallery "Jeff Blake" Critics Choice #CC2 right), to the "Peter Max Serigraphs", these insert sets only added to this already incredible release from Topps. The photography in the "critics Choice" insert set was truly amazing and the "Peter Max Serigraphs" was a real....work of art.
1997 Topps Gallery: “Corey Dillon” RC #24
1997 Topps Gallery: “Jeff Blake” Critics Choice #CC2
2001 Topps Gallery: “Bill Schroeder” #97
2000 Topps Gallery “Curtis Keaton” RC #155
For some unknown reason, Topps decided to forego releasing the '98 and '99 "Topps: Gallery" sets for these 2 years, (In my opinion, Topps wanted to release its "Bowman: Chrome" title and that put the "Topps: Gallery" title on hold.
That all changed in 2000. Topps reintroduced the hobby to the "Topps: Gallery" title and it did not disappoint. This time around it was a 175-card set with 5 insert sets. But again, it was the unique photography that set this release apart, (See the 2000 Topps Gallery "Curtis Keaton" RC #155 left). The rookie cards were quite unique and also made for some really memorable cards. So it may
Whatever Topps did right in previous years they undid in 2001. Now I'm not against having artists paint player portraits, but some of them look really bad. The 2001 "Topps: Gallery" release was just that; an entire release based on player portraits, (See the 2001 Topps Gallery "Bill Schroeder" #97 right). Now not all
of the portraits were bad and I actually thought the Bill Schroeder portrait was pretty damn good. But in reality, it's
not have had the same effect on me as the 1997 initial release, but the 2000 release is still a very nice set and it's also a bargain at $50 all these years later.
difficult to have all of them look good. I remember back in 1992, Proline released the 1992 Proline Profiles set where some of the portraits, (Card #5 in the 9-card set), were just plain awful, (See the 1992 Proline Profiles "Haywood Jeffires" #5 right). With releases like that, I don't think I'd ever try it again.
2001 Topps Gallery: “Richard Casey” Gallery Original Relics #GO-RC
The "Topps: Gallery" release also introduced their first memorabilia set; the Gallery Originals Relic set, (See the 2001 Topps Gallery "Richard Casey" Gallery Originals Relic #GO-RC left). I didn't think too highly of this set. Unlike
In closing, the "Topps: Gallery" started off with a bang, disappeared for a few years, came back with another solid set, and then had a major downer. It seems like the "Topps: Gallery" title has done it all. And they have. If you're a major Topps collector, then you probably already own this title. If you're not, then I would highly recommend it. Topps released solid sets for their "Topps: Gallery" title and while the 2001 set was the only downside, in my opinion, it still wasn't bad enough to avoid altogether.
1992 Proline Portraits: “Haywood Jeffries” Autograph #5
most of the junk Collector's Edge, I actually understood the jest behind the set, but I just didn't like it.
I have complete sets:
1) 1997 Topps Gallery Set
A) Critics Choice Insert
2) 2000 Topps Gallery Set
A) Exhibitions Insert
B) Gallery of Heroes Insert
C) Heritage Insert
D) Proof Positive Insert
E) Autographs Insert - Incomplete ( 6 / 7 )
3) 2001 Topps Gallery Set
A) Original Relics Insert
B) Star Gallery Insert
2000 Skybox Premium: “John Randle” #7