by Chris Harris
After a successful debut earlier this year, Topps is bringing back their one-hit-per-pack, hobby- exclusive, UFC Knockout set. But perhaps the most unique addition to 2012 Topps UFC Knockout is a card that can’t be found in any pack.
Randomly inserted into sealed hobby boxes as a box loader, 2012 Topps UFC Knockout will include ten oversized “Fist-O-Graph” cards. What’s a Fist-O-Graph? Topps took the ink-covered clenched fists of ten UFC and Strikeforce fighters and then had the fighter press their fists onto an oversized card. While the ink-impression card is itself not entirely new (fans of the WWE and Benchwarmers sets should be familiar with “kiss” cards), this is the first time ink-impression cards have appeared in a sports card set. Each Fist-O-Graph, which will also bear an on-card autograph, will be serial-numbered to only five copies.
But fists are not the only punch UFC Knockout packs. Each five card pack will yield three cards from a 100-card base set, one card from a variety of serial-numbered parallels, and the advertised hit. Topps says that each eight-pack hobby box should be expected to yield four “relics,” two autographed cards and two additional autographs that also bear a relic – the same ratios as last year.
Among the hits collectors can find include the Dual Autographed Fight Mat Relics. These dual-fronted cards feature two pugilists who opposed each other in a recent fight – one fighter on each side – with a sticker autograph of each fighter and two pieces of the ring mat their bout was fought on. Only ten serial-numbered copies of each card will be produced.
The Triple Threads Autographed Relics should be familiar to fans of the baseball and football card set of the same name. Each card will have a sticker autograph and three relics arranged behind a die-cut “window” unique to each fighter and serial-numbered to 18 – with the usual slew of low-numbered parallels collectors can come to expect from Triple Threads. An un-autographed version numbered to 36 (with all the various parallels) will also be available.
One set that should get everyone’s attention are the Between Rounds Relics. Featuring the glamorous and sexy UFC Octagon Girls, each card will feature a piece of each Girl’s outfit, robe, and round marker card and will be limited to only 25 serial-numbered cards with an autographed version limited to only eight.
Finally, in a concept that can only happen in a product like this, redemption cards will be seeded into packs good for a glove autographed by a UFC combatant. 40 different fighters have signed a set of their gloves for this set.
Each box of 2012 Topps UFC Knockout will contain eight packs of five cards, and is expected to arrive at Hobby shops the week of January 23, 2012. Packs should set collectors back about $25 with boxes selling for around $200. See the slideshow below.
Long-time collector Chris Harris writes Stale Gum, a popular hobby blog.
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