by Rich Klein
2011 Topps Tribute is the first of the high-end products released by the company. Originally issued in the years 2001-04 and then brought back into the fold as a Topps product in 2009, this has always been one of the most desired Topps products. The cards being thicker with the big hit in each pack has always made this a popular brand among higher-end collectors.
The packs have been selling in the $60-85 range just five cards. Collectors seem to crave high-end Topps products and 2011 Tribute has generated some strong sales. Full boxes, which contain six packs, are only for those with some disposable income. Each pack contains three base cards, plus one autograph or relic card and one parallel. The big prizes include original 2001 Albert Pujols rookie autograph card redemptions and Sandy Koufax autographs. This year’s Tribute offering relies a little heavier on Hall of Famers and former stars.
We recently received two packs of Tribute to review, and while it is fairer on the whole to review a whole box because you get a better overall idea of the value, the two packs we did receive gave us an sample, albeit not complete, of what a collector would receive out of a box.
Both of the five-card packs had very similar pack structures. The first three cards were all base cards with the pack hit being the fourth card and the blue parallel (#d to 199) being the fifth and final card from the pack.
All autograph and relic cards and numbered to 99 or less and it appears as if the actual print run is less that what the sell sheets listed earlier this year.
Here’s what we pulled from our two packs:
Base Cards: Bob Gibson, Nolan Ryan, Robin Roberts. Hit: Tony Gwynn Autograph Relics Gold (#d to 20); Duke Snider Blue Parallel.
Sandy Koufax, Johnny Bench, Miguel Cabrera: Hit: Roberto Alomar Dual Relic (#d to 99) and Warren Spahn Blue Parallel.
Thus, since autographs always drive value, we did get OK out of the first pack, and did not fare quite as well on the second pack. So while it's hard to appraise the overall value of a full box, out of our sample size it appeared to be about a 50-50 proposition that is probably a fair representation of what collectors and gamblers can expect from 2011 Topps Tribute packs.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]