Topps, as well as every card company both large and small, continues to look for new products for their collectors. Some are fine sticking with the basic and/or well-known releases, but there’s a large group of collectors who not only want but need to have new items to maintain their interest. Thus comes the inaugural edition of Topps Fire NFL 2014.
Johnny Manziel was a hot commodity when Topps opted to put him on the front of the box, but obviously he was not when the product began arriving in stores and online at the tail end of the season. Most collectors, though, are focused on what’s inside.
Designed by a young Australian artist and in the Valor/Inception mode, the border-less fronts and the backs feature the same color design. The fronts make it appear the player is stepping into view and the position and team logo is in the upper right corner while the player name is in the lower left corner. The “Fire” logo is located at the bottom of the card. The backs have biographical information as well as seasonal and career statistics and a shining career moment.
Each hobby box contains 20 packs with six cards per pack. In addition, each box promised four hits with two autographs (stickers) as well as two relic cards for a current online price of $65-70 per box.
Here’s what was in the box we received from Topps:
Base Cards: 78 of 150 or slightly more than half the set. We did not notice any duplicates.
Flame Parallel: Dez Bryant, Reggie Bush, Derek Carr, Eric Dickerson, Calvin Johnson, Juilo Jones, Jarvis Landry, Eli Manning, Ryan Matthews, A.J. McCarron, DeMarco Murray, Cam Newton, Troy Niklas, Jason Pierre-Paul, Troy Polamalu, Allen Robinson, Tony Romo, Tom Savage. Charles Sims, Wes Welker
Purple Parallel (#d to 499): Pierre Garcon
Blue Parallel (#d to 299); Jason Witten
Onyx Parallel (#d to 25): Devonta Freemen
Out of This World Rookies: Blake Bortles; Derek Carr, Eric Ebron, Jordan Matthews
Ring of Fire: Brett Favre
Relics: Kelvin Benjamin
Autographs: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Rookie Autographed Patches (#d to 500): Dri Archer
While we did not pull any huge hits, the player selection is decent and the number of hits at the current box price isn’t bad, if you don’t mind sticker autographs. At the current on-line pricing, hits average about $16-17 each and you’re also getting a couple of decent parallels and some fairly solid inserts. There’s plenty of Odell Beckham in the product, which gave it a boost on the secondary market for those lucky enough to pull one.
Fire might have done a little better if it had been kept to a truly in-season release, but December was already flooded.
Fire has a decent mix of past and present players on the checklist and it’ll be interesting to see how this product develops next year, if it does return to the Topps calendar.
Over 7,000 listings for 2014 Topps Fire including hobby and blaster boxes, singles, sets, break spots and lots are currently on eBay. See them here.