EXCLUSIVE: Topps National Chicle

Although very little is known about Topps’ upcoming Chicle release, it has already fallen victim to negativity. I contacted acclaimed artist Brian Kong, who is one of the many artist who worked on Chicle and was able to get an exclusive look into some of the work he submitted to Topps.

These images are not final in any way but we’ve already seen a mock-up with the Dan Marino piece. While it’s certainly possible that Topps won’t use every one of these images, more than likely we’ll see the majority of them in Topps National Chicle when it is released later this year.

You can check out Brian’s awesome work in sports & comic art HERE.



  1. Leave it to Topps to beat an idea to death. First, the Chicle inserts were in Topps flagship FB. Ok, fine. Good idea for a low end product. Then they put it in the Chrome. WHY?? Complete waste of speace and unnecessary in a mid range product. Now they’re going to release it as a seperate set?

    C’mon already!! This is entirely too much Chicle. And for that matter, one more retro set that no one gives a damn about…

  2. I’m not sure what the sudden appeal is for paying homage to the legendary 1935 National Chicle set, but I sort of agree with Joe. While I really like the concept, they are really starting to beat it into the ground with the sudden an almost excessive exposure.

    That being said, I think these are some great images. I love the fact that Brian stayed true to the original Chicle set, especially with the backgrounds. Hopefully Topps simply adds the player’s name in a sans sarif font to the front and that’s it. We don’t need a logo. We don’t need a team name. And we sure as hell don’t need random jersey swatch windows. It would be great to see a full set that accurately pays tribute to the first ever nationally distributed football set.

  3. I understand what Topps was going for on this release, but the execution just isn’t there. This looks like something a high school AP art student would do.

  4. I think that this is just another symptom of a hobby that is for the most part bereft of good ideas right now. UD to some extent did the same thing with Sports Royalty….included it as a subset in three consecutive years of Goudey instead of making it a stand-alone set (i.e. what SportKings has done). Same reasons why cards of presidents and other non-sports items are being inserted into almost every product without rhyme or reason.

  5. Here’s my problem:

    When a set is going to be processed through a computer, before it gets printed, just do it on the computer. You can make the imagines look about 8 trillion times better just using a wacom tablet.

    However, i think that if these are pack inserted drawings.. that’s awesome.

    Some of the images look awesome, but they’d look a lot better if they were digitally drawn.

  6. Well, they’re VERY bright and colorul. Set people will have something like this that really stands out amongst anything you have.

  7. I think I would go to plaid racing away from this release. Ugh…

    (love the reference Mario! I had to really think for a second there to realize what Chris was trying to say. I had to get phonetically creative.)

  8. These seem to be geared more towards set collectors, and I’m not sure how many football collectors do sets.

  9. Not to scratch a surface, or jib a corner, but this is a very interesting release.

    If you are familiar with Brian’s work you know how pickey he can be when it comes to his work, and you bet your ass he’s aware how picky we can be as well. Not only is he a huge sports fan, but also a fellow collector who takes a lot of pride in his work.

    Everyone views art differently. Some of us lean towards digital with no name attached, and some of us lean towards creative art with a name attached. So to say this art is horrible is not only very ignorant, but very insulting as well.

    Don’t you morons ever have anything positive to say?

    I personally admire the creativity, and personal connection a hand drawn piece brings. The Mark Sanchez card would be a good example of this. There is no airbrush or digital computer behind these cards just a collector with a dream.

    To say this is the same old retro is absolutely ridiculous. In fact you may have to go back 25 years to find a base set that features an artist this popular among collectors.

    Hopefully Topps will choose a premium card stock for this set so they can feel as good as they look. Topps missed a HUGE opportunity by not choosing on card auto’s for this release, and Im sure Brian would agree as well.

    Great job Brian!

    The Mojo Hand

  10. Did you, moron (since we’re calling names now), even read my comment?

    I think Brian is a great artist. That Marino card, however, looks like a constipated neanderthal.

  11. “Don’t you morons ever have anything positive to say?”

    Sure, if I can find something positive. No dice here.

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