2012 Topps Platinum Football Doing Well in Marketplace

by Rich Klein

The 2012 Topps Platinum Football product is one that fits into the Topps “mid-range” brand package. The price point is one that most collectors feel comfortable with. And, of course, that is one of the most interesting parts of collecting in that companies have to try to come up with products that will be successful at a certain price point, while delivering what collectors determine to be value.

At times, mitigating circumstances can cause products to tank well before release. A notable example of that was 2010 Bowman Chrome Baseball which collapsed when the heavily hyped rookie phenom, Stephen Strasburg, suffered the injury that led to Tommy John surgery and ended his 2011 season and cut this one short.   Don’t you think the Nationals would have liked to have Strasburg ready just for the ninth inning of game 5 versus the Cardinals?

However, in 2012, Topps is on quite the roll. When I asked my local card shop owner (Triple Cards, Plano TX) about Topps he said that almost everything they have done this year has exploded in price after he sells through his original stock. He attributes that to good group of baseball and football rookies (Darvish, Harper, Griffin, Luck, etc.) While I agree that good rookies help, I also believe that Topps has done a really good job figuring out what price points to release products at which keep them profitable and draw collectors to stores. Any combination of that is good for both short-term gain as well as long-term interest.

All of that leads to 2012 Platinum Football.

The cards are really pretty simple, with full-color glossy photos set against the platinum colored background. The team logo and the player’s name is at the bottom. The backs have biographical information, a brief blurb about the player’s accomplishments as well as seasonal and career statistics. The prices of these boxes are currently between $90-100 from on-line retailers while my local card store began this product at $105 and due to large sales and higher replacement costs is now $125 per box. A 3/5 Andrew Luck autographed card from this product sold for over $2,000 on eBay  this month.

With this year’s Platinum, Topps has promised collectors will find this in each pack:

  • Two autographed rookie cards (signed on card, not sticker)
  • One autographed rookie refractor patch card
  • One Black Refractor rookie parallel
  • One Platinum Die Cut Rookie

There aren’t a lot of veteran players in this year’s issue so unless you do well with your rookie pulls and second year guys, you’ll be hoping for a late bloomer.

So how did we do?

Base Set: 70 of 100:  With any luck all any collector will need is two boxes to complete a base set and it wouldn’t be expensive to buy the extras on the secondary market (or trade for them).

Ruby Parallel (Another term is thick parallel):  Jared Allen, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Victor Cruz, Matt Forte, Antonio Gates, Steven Jackson, Andre Johnson, Chris Johnson, Peyton Manning, Darren McFadden, Demarius Moore, Philip Rivers, Mark Sanchez, Michael Turner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Roddy White, Patrick Willis.

Rookie Cards: All are “refractors”.  We pulled Chris Givens, T.J. Graham, Marvin McNutt, DeVier Posey, Robert Turner.

Die-Cut Rookie Justin Blackmon

Rookie Autograph: Chris Givens

Rookie Autograph Purple Refractor (#d to 25):  Dwight Jones

Rookie Autograph Patch Green Refractor (#d to 90): A.J. Jenkins

No huge pulls here, but I think we got our money’s worth of hits from the box and as long as one understands that most of the “hits” in Platinum are going to be rookie based, then a collector can realize that there may be both some good short-term scores as well as long-term hits as these players develop.

Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]