Topps Premier League 2017 v Topps Bundesliga 2017

#1
Having been disappointed with Topps (Merlin's) Premier League 2017 (and I have mentioned this in various threads on here), I was apprehensive about purchasing a complete set of Topps Bundesliga 2017. This was due to by disappointment in the Premier League album and various factors including quality, pages, and number of stickers etc. I felt that they had really let me down as a collector (not to mention their Champions League albums) and since completing the album at the beginning of the year, I haven't even got it back out of the box to look at it. That was until now, as I have both albums fully completed side by side, and I can give a balanced comparison of the two to see whether the German edition was as much of a let down as the English album.

After all, both albums are from Topps and they can't be doing a bad job everywhere? Or can they?

Front Cover

The front cover of Premier League is fresh and new, and was a complete change from previous editions. I guess that this was mainly due to the fact the the Premier League had had a complete rebranding of their franchise and in doing so Topps had to do the same. It has a photo of five of the stars from the league and there is a nice golden logo to say that the Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

The front cover of Bundesliga is identical to all their previous covers since their 2011 edition. What you see is what you get if you have all their previous albums. As with the Premier League album, there are six of the stars from the league on the front cover, also all of the team crests are on the bottom of the cover.

On balance the Premier League front cover is better, this is due to the fact that it's a complete change from the previous albums, and this gives an optimistic fresh look for any collector like myself.

Premier League 1 - 0 Bundesliga

Topps English Cover.jpg
Topps German Cover.jpg



Contents & Introduction

The Premier League album has all of the teams listed and their pages. The final date for compiling the album was 13th August 2016.
The introduction on Page 1 is from the Tottenham striker Harry Kane. There is also two shiny stickers each for the Premier League trophy, and the Premier League Logo. Nice start, looking good so far.

The Bundesliga album is pretty much the same with the index, and pages for each team. The final date for compiling the album was 1st November 2016.
The introduction on Page 1 is from the Borussia Moenchengladbach striker Raffael. Only one sticker each for the trophy and Bundesliga logo.

What you see is what you get with both albums, both pretty much the same. They both are nice and bright and appealing to the collector.

Premier League 2 - 1 Bundesliga

Topps English First Page.jpg Topps German First Page.jpg



The Team Pages

The Premier League Edition sticks to the new layout and format nicely with every team getting two pages each. There is a shiny sticker for the team crest, and two stickers for the squad photo, also a shiny sticker for the team's superstar. No sticker for the manager or the kits this year, which is a disappointment. The teams' all-time Premier League record is shown, also with club contact information.
There are 12 player stickers for each team. Under each player, there are a couple of stats and what their squad number and position is.

The Bundesliga Edition also sticks to their known layout and format, but every team gets four pages each. There is a shiny sticker for the team crest, and a larger sticker for the team photo. There are also two stickers for the team captain - one normal sticker, and one large player action sticker with their signature printed on it. There is also a shiny action sticker for the teams' star player with their 2015-16 stats detailed. As opposed to the Premier League, Bundesliga has home and away kit stickers as well. The team trainer is shown on the pages, with stats and a quote from them. The full squad list is also shown.
There are 16 player stickers for each team. Under each player, there are a couple of stats detailed.
Also on the player pages, the team's 2016/17 fixture is shown, with results printed up to 5th November 2016.

The Bundesliga edition is by far and away much better than the Premier League counterpart. There is so much more information, more pages, and more stickers. Also a lot more information to go through when the album is complete to read through and learn about each team.

Premier League 2 - 2 Bundesliga

Topps English First Team.jpg Topps German First Team 1.jpg Topps German First Team 2.jpg


Centre Page Section

The Premier League edition proudly celebrates 25 years over 4 pages, with some player photos from years gone by. There are 19 stickers in this section, all time goalscorers, appearances, fastest hat-tricks. It's a nice section to look at and read if you wanted to learn about the past 25 years of The Premier League.
Two more pages after this profile 4 young stars of the Premier League - disappointingly, no stickers for this section.

The Bundesliga section has 4 pages detailing some of their International Stars. There are 18 action stickers to collect. There are also appearances records, number of players per countries listed, and 3 stats per player sticker.
After the main team pages in the Bundesliga album, there are also two extra pages showing Stars From Around The World In The Bundesliga. Two extra action stickers here with some player photos, with some stats and players being mentioned in the 53 years of the Bundesliga in it's current form. There is also a little section with a shiny sticker for the ball that is used in the Bundesliga too.

Considering the Premier League album proudly announced that they were celebrating 25 years, they could've done so much more than what they did. Not enough pages, or stickers - almost like Topps just wanted to appeal to the masses and cover it to justify their licence. The Bundesliga album is interesting in their sections, many more player stats and information to digest. Based on the disappointment of the Premier League album, I feel that the Bundesliga version is better.

Premier League 2 - 3 Bundesliga

Topps English Centre 1.jpg Topps English Centre 2.jpg Topps German Centre.jpg Topps German Centre 2.jpg


Extras

On the back page of the Premier League album, there is a section that can be filled in to create your own dream team. You can fill in your own team name and design your own kit and team crest. This would appeal to the younger collector I am sure.

The Bundesliga album have pages for the teams in the second tier. Every team is detailed with a normal sticker for the team crest, and stickers for the home and away kits. The squad list and trainer is listed here, with a snippet of information shown for each team.

As The Premier League and the English Football League act as two separate franchises, it would not be possible for Topps to have any teams from the lower leagues in their albums. Something that Panini used to be able to do when they had the licence for English football back in the 1980's. Its not their fault, it has just been the case since the top tier of football broke away in 1992. As German football does not have this issue, Topps Germany are able to to what their English counterparts are not.

Premier League 2 - 4 Bundesliga

Topps English Back Page.jpg Topps 2 Bundesliga.jpg


Overall look and feel of the album

The Premier League album looks and feels nice, and once again the new logo has meant a fresh look to a well known product. As I have detailed previously, it probably appeals more to the younger collector. There are 344 stickers to collect over 47 pages, but once the album is filled, it feels no more heavier than what it was when it was empty.

The Bundesliga album sticks to the previously used format and logo. I would say the the album appeals a lot more to an older collector like myself with loads of information for the teams and players.
There are 437 stickers to collect over 88 pages, and it feels good to look at and hold once completed.

I fell that the Bundesliga album is much better than the Premier League album, so much more information to look at. I think that Topps England have fallen far short of what I expect as a collector, I think that they may have been restricted by the Premier League in what they wanted to publish. Having said that, they have been producing the Premier League album since 1994, so they have a large archive of players and teams that they could've called upon. Whilst the German edition has only been produced by Topps since 2007, it is still a fantastic album to collect and they have done a good job once again.

Premier League 2 - 5 Bundesliga

So to finish, the Bundesliga edition is much better than the Premier League edition and wins quite comfortably. As an ardent collector, I will still collect both albums every year as Topps have in the past done a great job for both Leagues. I just hope the Premier League edition could just improve a lot and I would enjoy the experience of collecting the stickers once more.
 
Last edited:

Helios

Well-Known Member
Contributor
#2
Again a nice job , Jamie.
I have a slightly different look at both collections.
I really like the new look of the PL album.It sucks big time though to reduce the teams to 1 double page and only 12 players - this is ridiculous concerning the most clubs have 30 or more player squads.
Topps could have justified it with a 20 pages strong Premier League history section with lots of more stickers to collect - but they didn't.
Besides my middle page also got loose after only a few days in use..that seems to be serial poor manufacturing.

Still I can not praise the German album like you did. I'm still sad that Panini has lost the license.Since Topps was takin over I felt the albums have become more replaceable and are lacking innovations.
Last edition had a very welcome history section for every club, but it was all printed probably because of license issues.
The international player section is nice indeed, but the 2nd part again only features 3 stickers -one of them the official ball.
Just pointing out the 2nd division club section.Every year I hope this section will be expanded for team photo sticker/star player(s)/stadiums for example..
But in the end we have to be glad Topps is still producing a sticker album at all. Their main interest clearly is on producing a wide range of trading cards products.
For me both products are not satisfying my needs.

Cheers !
 
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