by Rich Klein
Each year I go to the National, something always really catches my eye at the Topps booth. Last year it was the Lineage product. I was enthralled immediately (of course I was one of the few) but one of the aspects of this issue was the tribute to the 1987 Topps mini set. For a few years in the 1980’s Topps was producing all sorts of “side” sets to keep the hobby and retail outlets moving. One of those sets was the Topps mini set. Of course, Topps also did its complete 1975 set in mini version, releasing packs to an extremely limited geographic area. If you’re under 45 though, you probably don’t remember them!
Now, as we stated, reaction to the Lineage product was mixed but the usage of the mini cards was reasonably successful. With all that as background, the shoptopps.com area is also looking for new ways to reach out to their customers. One of the ways for 2012 is the introduction of a complete “mini” parallel product. The cards measure 2 1/2″ x 3 1/8″.
Topps brought a nice supply of these wax boxes to the 2012 National and according to Mike Jaspersen, the entire allotment of 2012 Topps Mini boxes sold out at the $50 per box level during the show.
One of the major strengths of this mini product is that being a complete parallel, one can see the cards for each series. Since many collectors just purchase series 1 packs/boxes, this may be a way for those collectors to see cards they might never see otherwise.
2012 Topps Minis come in 24 pack boxes with 10 cards to a pack. The $50 per box range is fairly accurate and a cost of approximately $2 per pack keeps this product reasonable to all collectors. The set is 661 cards. There are 31 different player autographs inserted–all on stickers–and 50 different players make up the relic checklist. You should get either an auto or relic in your box. Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Yu Darvish are all among the signers.
Here’s what came out of our box:
Gold Parallels: (#d to 61): Elvis Andrus, Matt Downs, Johnny Peralta, Glen Perkins, Jose Tabata
Golden Moments: Ryan Braun, Cole Hamels, Reggie Jackson, Dustin Pedroia, Albert Pujols, Giancarlo Stanton (this set is exclusive to the mini product)
Relic Card: Ricky Romero
No autograph, but it’s not really a bad deal for $50 with a relic card and a few parallels with a low print run. With a few tweaks, this Topps “retail” product might end becoming a long-term retail success and the hobby seems to like it as well. Nothing wrong with anything that helps us as a hobby get to a wider audience.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]