By Rich Klein
When I got my 2012 Topps Supreme Football box I started thinking about the word “supreme”. If you know me, you’re probably not surprised that what first came to my mind was the great Motown signing group which had hits for more than a decade and also catapulted Diana Ross to superstardom. When Diana left the group for a solo career, the group continued to have success on the singles chart with their first hit titled “Up the Ladder to the Roof” where, as the lyrics stated, they’ll be “closer to heaven”. Any collector who opens the Topps Supreme football is also trying to get an equivalent of the heavenly feeling of getting a big hit after opening a pack. Because of the cost of his high end issue, you need a heavenly hit to feel good.
We start the discussion of the product like that because the cost per card is very extravagant indeed. Each pack (actually a box) contains four cards of which three are base cards and one is either a relic or an autograph card.
The base cards have a player photo set against a solid background with the player’s name, team and position on the bottom. The Topps Supreme logo is on the upper left of the card. The back of the card has biographical information, seasonal and career stats as well as an informational blurb. My local card store (Triple Cards in Plano, TX) has sold, in his words, a “paltry” eight boxes at $100 per while leading on-line retailers are currently between $90-95 per box. That means each card will cost you at least $20-25. That’s enough to make you want to pray before you rip off the cellophane.
It didn’t take long to open…so how did we do?
Base Cards (#’d to 450): Justin Blackmon, Marshawn Lynch. There are 100 cards in a base set so with perfect distribution and an average of 2.5 base cards per pack a collector needs at least 40 packs/boxes to complete a set. Few collectors attempt such a feat.
Sepia Parallel (#’d to 40): Emmitt Smith
Rookie Quad Combo Relic (#d to 10): Brian Quick/Chris Givens/Isaiah Pead/Trent Richardson
(As an aside, I could swear that every time I turn around this year my hits out of boxes have been either Givens, Pead or Richardson. That is similar as to what I was getting last baseball season where I ran into Alex Avila just about every time. In Allen and Ginter, I actually pulled two different relic cards of Mr. Avila from the same box. I do hope that Avila plays toward his form of 2011 and not his injury plagued 2012 season). Coby Fleener is another guy everyone seems to pull in either autograph or relic form.
While many of the hits are nice in this product and all are relatively low numbered, the average value of the cards in a box has tended to be far below $100 according to my local shop owner. He was very disappointed not only with the slow sales of Supreme but also with the high number of redemption cards. He told me three of the eight major hits pulled from packs he opened were also exchange autographs.
Needless to say, he doesn’t think Topps produced a product in which there was a good chance of good value from each pack. As for me, well we are hoping better years for the 2012 rookie crop of running backs. And if two of the guys on that card numbered to 10 explode next year, then much like the Supremes post-Diana, I’ll be a little closer to heaven as a collector.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]