One of the great joys of opening new product is to see what card companies do, whether it may be a completely new concept or a way of refining an old concept and adapting that concept to card collecting in 2011. The new Topps Magic football product is a product that harkens back to the original but with with some of what collectors expect in a modern day product.
Magic, of course, is based on the Topps Magic football set which was originally issued in 1951.
The fronts of the current set are designed significantly different from the original but the backs are very similar to what a young lad would have seen 60 years ago. As a nod to how collectors treat cards sixty years later, the answers to the trivia questions are not meant to be "scratched" off but were printed on the cards without any need to deface part of the back.
The player selection is a nice mix of rookies, veterans and retired greats. There are also the inserts and the parallels. The key inserts are the three autographs that are promised in each 24-pack box. There are eight cards per pack. Boxes are currently trading on line for $70-80 a box and at my local card store, Triple Cards in Plano, Tx., at $90. Considering Topps has packed those three signed cards per box, it's a pretty good value regardless of what else comes out.
Of course, the biggest question is how did we do from our box. Here is the breakdown.
Base Cards: 153 of the 248 in the set—all different--with 34 rookie cards
Mini's: John Abraham, Jared Allen, Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Cooley, Brian Cushing, Marcus Easley, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Gates, Felix Jones, Mike Kafka, Donovan McNabb, Greg Olsen, Tony Pike, Mark Sanchez, Mike Sims-Walker, John Skelton, Darren Sproles, Wes Welker, Ricky Williams
Mini Black: Quan Cosby, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Golden Tate
Rookie Stars: Rolando McClain, Joe McKnight, C.J. Spiller, Ndamukong Suh
History's Best: Paul Hornung, Dan Marino
Magical Moments: Brett Favre, Fred Jackson, Andre Johnson, Brandon Marshall, Tony Romo, Ladainian Tomlinson
Autographs: Ramses Barden, Ahmad Bradshaw
The design is eye-catching with a solid number of cards in a box. Getting an autographed card of a Hall of Fame quarterback serial numbered to 10 was certainly the cherry on top and showed that a simple Topps box can produce some "magic" for the collector.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]