by Rich Klein
One of the great "secrets" of the sports card hobby’s growth was how simple collecting used to be. In retrospect, almost all of the sets issued before 1995 were reasonably easy to understand and can be completed without a lot of trouble. In many ways 2012 Topps Prime Football is a return to those days. Although there are a lot of parallel and insert cards as is usually the case today, the base set is 150 cards without any short prints.
Anytime the basic set is easy to understand and complete, the whole product improves as collectors feel they can accomplish a complete set. With many of today’s non-base products, though, it’ll take some doing. The focus is still on the hits when you're paying more than $60 or $70 per box.
Issued earlier this month and back for the third year in the Topps football card stable, rime is a very attractive set with full color photos on a borderless design. The team logo and the player's name are printed in smallish font on the bottom. The backs have biographical information, a brief write-up and seasonal and career statistics.
Printed on thicker card stock, these come in a box with have 10 packs per box and six cards per pack. Topps promises two relic cards in each box along with one autographed card and one autographed relic card.
The only "downside" I have seen is when I checked with the owner of my local card shop owner who said this product was too much like last year's. I will say that some continuity with a product is in many cases a good aspect as collectors can build up brand loyalty.
2012 Topps Prime Football boxes are selling for $80-90 online from leading hobby retailers and my aforementioned LCS has these boxes out for $100. He reported decent but not overwhelming sales at those prices.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: 45 of 150. That is 30 percent of the set. With perfect distribution one needs four boxes to finish the base set
Copper Parallel (#d to 350): Chandler Harnish
Gold Parallel #d to 250): Lamar Miller
PrimeTimers: DeMarco Murray, Greg Jennings
Primed Rookies: Brock Osweiler
Relic Card (#d to 266) LaMichael James
Quad Combo (#d to 610): Andrew Luck/Robert Griffin III/Trent Richardson/Justin Blackmon
Autographed Rookie (#d to 266): Robert Turbin
Prime V Autographed Relic: Chris Rainey (Redemption)
Level 1 Autographed Book Card (#d to 10) Isaiah Pead
Well getting the book card was a real treat, of course, that card would be even better is Mr. Pead got off special teams and was able to start running the ball. After his first four games he has actually one catch and no rushing attempts.
The quad combo card featuring the first four draft picks isn’t limited, but it is unique and these have been bringing $20-30 each on eBay. It could be a nice long term keeper, however, considering the fast starts of the two QBs.
The rest of the material from the box was not bad either. We cannot complain about this product for what an average box returns for investment.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]