by Rich Klein
In some ways, Topps second series baseball is the hardest product for them to create. The biggest problem Topps II has is frankly it is not Topps 1. There is always so much anticipation for Topps 1 among the vast legion of collectors who buy a box of Topps 1 out of muscle memory. The conversation goes something like this I suspect: The collector asks about the new Topps set, the store owner mentions yes he (or she) has received the new product and the collector then says: Well I’ve been buying this product since 19XX and let me see what the new Topps set looks like. The other problem Topps has with this set is that this series is the hardest of the three in which to include rookie card. One would figure most of the better rookies called up in September would be in Series 1 and unless a rookie is hyped in spring training the lead time makes putting in a rookie card very difficult.
By the time Topps second series comes out, there is no longer the anticipation for the first product of the new year and thus the more hard-core hobbyists are generally the ones buying. Although my local store (Triple Cards in Plano. TX) sold a decent amount of jumbo cases he had only sold about three cases worth of hobby boxes at $61.25 per when I asked him about how it was doing.
Since Series One was well received, there was a bit of a buzz when packs in hobby shops earlier this month.
To encourage more sales, Topps quickly spread the word about its Wrapper Redemption Program for Series Two as soon as boxes were released. Of course, the short printed #661 Bryce Harper is another draw, although you’ll need to be very lucky to find one.
One of my local LCS’ customers, Joe Bob Isbell, who I have mentioned in the past as an active collector who played for the Dallas Cowboys in the early 1960’s was lucky enough to pull from his boxes both the Bryce Harper SP as well as the David Freese squirrel card. As an FYI, in the one jumbo Series One box I purchased at Triple Cards I did pull the Skip Schumacher squirrel card.
The design of these cards are obviously the same as series one and I did recognize some of the photos from the Opening Day product.
Most of the insert sets from Series One are back with new subjects, including the Minis, featuring past and present players in the wood-grain style of the 1987 Topps version.
Leading hobby retailers are between $55-60 currently on this product. While checking the prices I noticed that one was marking Series One boxes under $40 and with the recent past history of Series II boxes, I would not be surprised to see them dip to about the same price range. Just like series 1, each box has 36 packs with 10 cards per pack and one autograph or relic card per box.
Base Cards: 290 different with 2 duplicates. A second box should put any collector in a position to easily complete the 330 card set
Gold Parallel: Endy Chavez, Daniel Delcalso, Matt Downs, Kyle Farnsworth, Todd Helton, Lyle Overbay, Salvador Perez, Drew Stubbs, Jacob Turner
Minis: Jose Bautista, Adrian Beltre, Johnny Bench, Carlos Gonzalez, Jon Lester, Michael Pineda (as a Yankees fan, I said ouch), David Price, Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes
Golden Giveaways Redemption Cards: Well I got some coins but no cards when I went to the website and frankly do not care about this promotion. While I think the vintage “Cards Your Mother Threw Out” type of promotion probably needs a couple of years off, the current program is just not my cup of tea. Personally. I’d just rather have the chance for some older cards like I have received the last two years. The National is coming up and I think it would be nice for Topps to find some reasonable dealers and stock up on those old singles so they can return the vintage card giveaway program in 2013 or 14.
Career Day: Ryan Braun, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt
A Cut Above: Johnny Bench, Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, Tim Lincecum, Nolan Ryan, Justin Verlander
Golden Moments: Jose Bautista, Johnny Bench, Wade Boggs, Joe Mauer, David Ortiz, Cal Ripken Jr, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, David Wright
Gold Futures: Domonic Brown, Desmond Jennings, Drew Pomeranz, Carlos Santana, Jacob Turner, Jemile Weeks
Gold Standard: Hank Aaron, Joe DiMaggio, Chipper Jones, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Mike Schmidt
Silk Collection (#d to 50) J. J. Hardy
Golden Moments Relic: Ryan Braun
Just as with series one, the mix of cards one receives from a base hobby box is a nice mix of current players in the base set to go with retried players featured in the insert sets. This gives the long-time collector some chances to jog his or her memory while ensuring the primary focus is on today’s players. For what the product is, Topps II baseball is a nice mid-season fit into the baseball card product mix. Click here to check out the current listings on eBay.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]