Shame on me, but I don't have the patience to build sets. I need the instant gratification. So while I enjoy reading your tales of opening boxes and blaster as you build your sets, I sit on the sidelines and wait for Topps to do all the work for me. For the past two years, I have ordered the factory set, Cubs edition, and yesterday my 2009 set came.
The Cubs edition includes the 660 cards from Series 1 and 2, plus an extra five Cubs cards, available only with the factory set. Last year, the five cards were of players added to the team in the spring (Reed Johnson) or players not "good" enough to make the base set (Daryle Ward, Ronny Cedeno, Henry Blanco, and Carlos Marmol). It was like getting the Update set early. I really liked that.
But this year, the five extra cards are Kosuke Fukudome, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Alfonso Soriano, and Geovany Soto. These are five big names who all had cards in the base set! Why did Topps think they needed another card? At least the pictures were different, though the backs are identical except for the numbering.
Here are the five cards
And this is an example of the identical backs:
I'm not sure what I'll do next year. The Cubs set was a little cheaper than the regular factory set (which comes with 10 rookie card variations, something that doesn't interest me at all), so that is a plus. But I could pick up a set that is hand collated off of ebay that is cheaper than the Cubs set and have it much earlier than mid-August. Well, I've got 11 months to work that out!