by Chris Harris
Although the first series will not hit the streets until next month, Topps is giving collectors a sneak peek at the second series of 2012 Topps Baseball. Series Two is tentatively scheduled for release in early June, and Hobbyists can expect another golden overdose.
The 330-card base set will include a heavy helping of players who have changed teams in the off-season (including one particular first baseman who signed for Anaheim), 30 rookies who made their respective club’s Opening Day roster, and a five card subset of 2011 Record Breakers that will also double as set checklists. Each of the cards will also be made available in the usual slew of parallels: Golden Moments, Black, Golden Silk, Platinum, Wood, and Printing Plates.
Most of the inserts are continuations of themes established in the first series. There will be another batch of 50 mini-sized cards done in the style of the 1987 Topps Baseball set; with another 50 Golden Moments, 25 Gold Standard, and 25 Gold Futures inserts. New for Series Two is A Cut Above, a 25-card all die-cut set; 15 Mound Dominance cards, and 25 Career Days. On average, collectors should expect to pull at least one insert in every pack.
The as-yet-to-go-live Golden Giveaway promotion will continue for 2012 Topps Baseball Series Two, with randomly seeded code cards that, when entered into a Topps-run website, can unlock special prizes including a special Golden Moments Die-Cut insert card (available only through this promotion) or one-of-one base set parallels stamped with real gold leaf. Unlike similar promotions in previous years however, collectors are not promised a buy-back vintage card with every code entered.
Each 36-pack Hobby box is expected to yield either an autograph or a Relic card, while every 10-pack HTA-exclusive jumbo box will have an autograph, a Relic, and a manufactured “Golden Relic” card containing either a piece of a pretend gold ring, an ersatz gold coin, or an embedded fake gold pin. One new wrinkle Topps is throwing into the mix over 500 letters taken from the backs of game-used jerseys. The “Own the Name” letter patches will be exclusive to Hobby wax and HTA jumbo packs. The vast majority of autographs and relics are de facto parallels of the inserts and/or continuations of Series One auto/Relic sets and produced to such limited numbers that most casual collectors should probably not expect to find most of them (especially the ones prominently displayed on the Topps sell sheet).
2012 Topps Baseball Series Two is scheduled for release the week of June 6. Each Hobby box will contain 36 packs with ten cards per pack and should retail for around $65 a box. HTA jumbo boxes are set to have ten packs of 50 cards and a box should run $100.