2009 Updates & Highlights Review

There has been a vicious battle between Topps & Upper Deck that’s been going on since 1989. That year a new company brought “high-end” to collecting and shook up the establishment.

Since my return to collecting in 2007, I have given the “Best of the Flagship” award to Upper Deck two years in a row. I’m afraid to say that despite another strong effort by Upper Deck, this year Topps is truly the king.

From a strong and classy design to the best inserts hand down (Turkey Red), Topps took charge and even featured better photography than the usually reliable Upper Deck.

This year’s Updates & Highlights was an improvement over the 2008 edition but clearly Topps phoned it in this time around, especially in the photography department. The inserts are still brilliant (Propaganda, etc.) but this set is not quite as impressive as the first two rounds.

If you’re a Topps completist, this is a must-have release for the 2009 calendar year. If you’re into great baseball cards and your brand of choice is Topps, skip Updates & Highlights and pick up a box of Topps Chrome instead.


Current eBay price – $35+ for Hobby, $70+ for Jumbo

Guarantees – 1 relic or auto per Hobby, 3 relics or autos per Jumbo

Look for – Printing plates, Jumbo patches

The Good:

Turkey Red inserts best of 2009

Updates rosters and lots of new players

The Bad:

Topps took a step back with photography


Autograph – Mat Gamel

Final Grade: C+



  1. Let’s review the wrappers because I bought a hobby box and can only figure out 2, maybe 3 of the 4 wrapper variations. I see Ryan Howard and Tim Lincecum wrappers. I assume Ty Cobb is the Tigers wrapper and is it Lou Gehrig on the Yankees wrapper?

  2. Does anyone know if Topps will issue the Updated set in Factory set boxes like they did for 2005 through 2007? I really liked the look of the Factory set box. Plus, I like to get a Factory set of the regular set each year. 2005 through 2007 was nice to have both sets in Factory set boxes, but last year well…Factory set and a hand collated one…not quite as nice.

  3. I bought 4 jumbo packs at my hobby shop and spent $42. I pulled all 3 hits from the box including a pujols all star event jersey that I sold for $35 thus paying for my products pretty much. But I agree the propaganda and TR inserts are AMAZING. I will be collecting all of those insert sets and will be first in line for a competition for that Ruth TR and Pujols propaganda

  4. Chris, I believe I saw on the sell sheet that the Update set is only found in pack form, no factory set.

    Whether or not that is something to encourage dealers to buy boxes rather than wait for factory sets that might be announced in the future if Topps goes that route, I don’t know.

  5. I opened a blaster this weekend and have a so so reaction.
    I am glad Topps continued the veteran/greats SPs. I just wish Kirby Puckett would have gotten the nod. Paul Moliter is great, but I would guess most Twins would rather have Puckett, Oliva or Carrew on an as SP card.

    Mario, that Matt Gamel is sweet, are you planning on giving it away?

  6. My daugher pulled a Rickey Henderson gold foil sp varitation, any one now the print run on these. She pulled it from wal mart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s