Modern Card Brands
The roots of this company can be traced back as far as 1890, then operating as the American Leaf Tobacco company. Topps took it's name in 1938 when it switched from tobacco to chewing gum. One of it's earliest products was Bazooka Bubble Gum. The first baseball set in 1951 had two variations, one with a blue back and one with a red back. Each variation contained 52 cards and was meant to play like a card game. Topps learned quickly and cameout with a 407 card set the next year.
From 1957 to 1990, very little changed in the design of the basic Topps card. The breakup of Topps monopoly on the baseball card market brought in fresh new ideas and innovation to the hobby. Stadium Club, introduced in 1991, was Topps first extra series it had ever made. Competition also inspired Topps to create the first parallel insert set in 1993 called Topps Gold. Each card in the regular set had a twin with gold foil lettering. Topps honored the passing of Mickey Mantle in 1996 by retiring card number 7. Each set from 1996-2005 does not have card number 7.
The greatest thing about Topps is that their base set is geared towards the whole baseball card collecting community. The packs are cheap enough for the beginner, but still have the inserts and wide variety of cards for the novice and pro.