The word “inception” is not an unusual word among those who claim English as their language, but it is also a word that is often misused or confused with its sound-alike word, conception. For the record, the dictionary provides the following definition for inception:
1. beginning; start; commencement.
a. the act of graduating or earning a university degree, usually a master's or doctor's degree, especially at Cambridge University.
b. the graduation ceremony; commencement.
3. (in science fiction) the act of instilling an idea into someone's mind by entering his or her dreams.
Certainly the Topps Company did not have all of that definition in mind when it created the Inception brand of football cards a few years ago, but the main denotation is a definite fit as the major card company intends for 2014 Inception to be the first high-end NFL product that arrived at the National Sports Collectors Convention last week and will hit hobby shops this week.
This high-end product will again come in a one pack per box, seven cards per pack configuration. It will certainly come at the inception of the 2014 NFL campaign, and like most products of this sort it will bear the kind of cards that make for dreams — or nightmares — depending on who is pulled.
Once again Topps will include three hits in every box with at least two of those being an autograph or autographed relic card. The third hit will be either a Jumbo Jersey or Patch Relic Card. Rounding out the product in each box will be two veteran base cards and two veteran parallel cards.
Those base cards will form the set which will consist of 100 NFL veterans. In addition, there will be 10 short-print variations featuring veterans in images from their rookie season. The short-printed variation will not have parallels, but the actual base cards will, indeed, have several parallel levels including Green (which will fall 1 per pack), Purple (#’d/99), Magenta (#’d/75), Red (#’d/50), Blue (1/1), and Framed Printing Plates (also 1/1). The Topps breakdown is that each box will include two base cards, one Green parallel and one additional non-green parallel.
Rookies will also be a part of this first-of-the-season product. The Rookie Autographs will be players from the NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere with on-card signatures. Because this has not yet transpired, Topps has released mock-ups of the cards in nondescript uniforms with the assurance that the players will appear in their NFL uniforms when the cards are released. These autographed rookies will also have a variety of parallels: Green, Purple, Magenta (#’d/50), Red (#’d/25) and Blue (1/1).
Beyond these cards are several unique inserts that cause one to wonder if Topps took into account the more obscure meaning of the title of this set. As seen earlier, inception has also been used regarding “the act of instilling an idea into someone's mind by entering his or her dreams.” Seeing the suggested designs and variety of hits in 2014 Inception once cannot help but think that some collectors have had cards like these enter into their dreaming from time to time. The pre-sell information from Topps touts the following inserts:
- Inception Silver Signings: NFL Players Association Rookie Premiere players featuring on-card autographs in silver ink on a black card design that will be sequentially numbered. Parallels will include:
- Quad Rookie Autograph cards will feature four on-card signatures from NFPLA Rookie Premier subjects and will be numbered to 25.
- QB Inception Autographs will feature all quarterbacks invited to the Premiere, and provide on-card signatures #’d/20.
Autograph relics will feature Inception Autographed Jumbo Patches (with the rainbow of parallels), Inception Autograph Patch Book Cards (including Inception Autograph Laundry Tag Book Cards which will be sequentially numbered to 5), and Inception Autograph Letters Book and NFL Shield Logo Patch Books made up of 1/1s.
Regular relic cards are planned to come in two forms with Rookie Patches and Rookie Jumbo Relics. They will have Green, Purple, Magenta, Red, and Blue (Team Logo Patch) parallels. The Jumbo Relics will also have a Black (Nike Swoosh) 1/1 parallel.
You can see 2014 Topps Inception football singles, break spots, cases, boxes and more on eBay here. Watch for Rich Klein's review of the product on Sept. 2.