by Rich Klein
Just as its base product is the one just about every collector looks forward to in terms of keeping the long-term collecting habit going, the "base" 2011 Topps Football product is similar in that this kicks off the collecting season. With the lockout coming to an end, the timing couldn’t have been better for Topps to roll out its long-running set. Topps has been making football cards now for 56 years.
The design of 2011 Topps football is very similar to the baseball product and as usual, each box contains 36 packs with 10 cards per pack. Topps promises one autograph or relic card in each box. In addition, the hobby boxes contain a nice mix of parallel cards and other inserts to make the busting fun for collectors not just of newer cards but also of those who collect memories of past greats. However, some now say there are too many insert cards that makes putting a master set together very costly, time consuming and challenging.
The online component returns in the form of the Super Bowl Legends redemption cards that offer various prizes, including a Joe Namath autograph.
Topps 2011 eally emphasized the Super Bowl theme, offering cards that feature legends of the first 45 Super Bowl games, some of them autographed. Also new this year are some replicas of the 1950 Bowman issue, In the Name Rookie Letter patch cards and Face of the Franchise featuring well known players from each club.
A few weeks after release of this product, the prices from on-line retailers are averaging $45-50 per box while my local store, Triple Cards and Collectibles in Plano, TX is currently at $61.25 per box. The owner did mention sales have been decent at that level but the only drawback was that jersey cards were coming out of boxes far more frequently than autograph cards.
Of course one of the best aspects of the basic Topps products is that the average cost per card is so reasonable. If one pays $54 delivered for a box, that comes out to 15 cents per card on average which is a pretty good cost per card ratio in today's collecting world.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: 303 out of 440 with 5 duplicates. A nice start to the set.
Gold Parallel Cards (#s to 2011): Akeem Ayersm Quinton Carter, Brandon Harris and Jake Locker, Interesting in that all four of are Gold cards were those of rookies.
Faces of the Franchise: Dez Bryant/Jason WittenSam Bradford/Steven Jackson, Matt Forte/Greg Olsen, Josh Freeman/Mike Williams, Blaine Gabbert/Maurice Jones-Drew Peyton Manning/Reggie Waynel Adrian Peterson/Percy Harvin, Matt Ryan/Roddy White, Roddy White/Julio Jones
1950 Bowman: Kenny Britt, Marcell Darius, Antonio Gates, A.J. Hawkm Jake Long, LsSean McCoy, Patrick Peterson, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Ricky Stanzi, Benjamin Watson
Topps Town: Dwayne Bowe, Blaine Gabbert, Julio Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Peyton Manning, Jason Witten.
Super Bowl Legends: Fred Biletnikoff, Terry Bradshaw, Deion Branch. Larry Brown, Richard Dent, Joe Namath
Super Bowl Legends "Contest Cards”: Six cards; no big winners.
Game Day Autograph: Colt McCoy
After hearing what Al said at Triple Cards earlier, the McCoy autograph was appreciated. He looked good in the pre-season and it’ll be a nice bonus if he develops into a star. 2011 Topps football is pretty much what you'd expect. A lot of base cards for set builders, some new insert themes and the contest. You're either a base brand guy or you're not and I'm traditional enough to like that Topps will be there with an affordable, long-running product as we get set to kick off for real.
Share your thoughts on 2011 Topps football in the comments section below.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]