by Rich Klein
We recently received the 2011 Topps Tier 1 box and I was frankly excited to see this one arrive. Topps had sent out a press release detailing how they were going to improve the player selection in this product and after our experiences with Triple Threads and Marquee where our big hits were respectively, Tyler Colvin and Tyson Ross, we were hopeful for a much improved player list. To Topps’ credit, they realized when collectors are paying $10-15 per card, the player selection has to be top notch. A sure way to turn off future collectors from buying is for them to consistently pull cards that make them eel as if they didn’t get anything close to their money’s worth.
Topps generally does a great job with providing value in their base products but tweaks were needed to make sure their higher priced products are as good for collectors, especially with the release of 2012 Topps baseball just a couple of months away.
As for 2011 Topps Tier One, it’s sort of a mid-level product. In addition to the usual array of numbered parallels, subsets, relic cards and autos, the base cards are also numbered, and all autographs are on card, which is something most collectors tend to appreciate.
Each box consists of seven cards, with two autograph and one relic card per box. The boxes are available from leading on-line “retailers” in the $75-85 range while my very local store (Triple Cards in Plano, Texas) has sold approximately 40 boxes at the $100 price point. The owner mentioned sales started slow but after three Mickey Mantle relic cards numbered to 399 and a Ty Cobb relic card numbered to 99 came out, then the sales increased.
Here’s what we pulled from our box:
Base Cards (#d to 799): Jose Reyes, Lou Gehrig and Hank Aaron
Blue (#d to 199): Roy Campanella
On the Rise Autographs: Brandon Beachy (#d to 999), Madison Bumgartner (#d to 99)
The Mantle bat relic cards have been bringing $35-50 on eBay, while the Bumgarner autos are going for $15-25.
We always say that taking chances on higher end packs like this are not for the faint of heart, but if this is indicative of the future of higher-end Topps products, they’re back on track to matching the base product for collectability and value. With three hits per box, it’s a nice product to get us through the off-season…and potentially a good holiday seller. There are over 3,000 Topps Tier one cards and boxes on eBay. You can check current prices here.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]