While America waits for the players and owners to sort out the remaining hurdles and agree on a new agreement that will put pro football back on the field, Topps is pushing full steam ahead with its football card plans. The company has unveiled its latest product, 2011 Topps Gridiron Legends, set for release this coming October.
The mid-level issue is "celebrating the past, present and future stars of the NFL", according to a news release. Topps is mixing in on-card autographs of some former NFL stars with signed sticker autographs of this year's rookie class and some veteran players it considers future Hall of Famers.
Plans seem to mirror the formula of other non-flagship products, with a 165-card base set made up of 80 veterans, 55 rookies and 30 "legends". Each card will have a parallel version, ranging from 1/1 black to 1/299 bronze. There will be one blue parallel per pack.
There will be 55 different rookie autographs spread among the cards inserted into packs. Each card also has a colored variation, ranging from 1-1 black parallels to 1/99 bronze.
The autograph checklists include Legends Auto Relics of Terry Bradshaw, Earl Campbell, Steve Young, Gale Sayers and Franco Harris, among others. Autograph Legends cards will be throwbacks like Len Dawson, Ken Stabler, Ronnie Lott, Howie Long and Eric Dickerson while the Canton Hopefuls autographs feature players such as Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning and Maurice Jones-Drew.
In addition there will be 1956 reprint autograph cards featuring players like Tittle who appeared on Topps' first major NFL set 55 years ago and have signed on card.
Relic cards include Legendary Combos such as the Montana-Rice jersey swatch pairing seen at left (click all photos to enlarge). 2011 Topps Gridiron Legends is set to release October 10.