There are a few themes we have used over the years. One of those themes is certain releases are not for the faint of heart and 2014 Topps Supreme baseball became one of those products. The concept is real simple: two cards in a pack, both autographed. All numbered to 50 or less. That’s it. At least a collector is guaranteed two autographs, and yes with plenty of better players and retired superstars on the checklist plus plenty of parallels, one can hope for a nice pull or pair of “big hits” from their pack.
After a Japan-only release, Supreme is back in the U.S. this year, having been released in late October.
When I stopped in Triple Cards in Plano, TX, he reported a sellout of his two case allotment at between $95-100 per pack. By the time I looked at leading on-line retailers these two-card pack/boxes had dropped to $55-65. And if you see what we pulled, you would understand why the price dropped so precipitously. We seem to be saying this on almost every recent Topps baseball issue but we do feel a bit sorry for the retailers who don’t sell out quickly as the last several releases have all dropped to levels way under retail pricing and pretty rapidly. There is a concept of value and it almost appears that collectors instinctively understand value and that ends up being reflected in the current pricing.
The Supreme design is OK, but nothing exceptional. Autographs are on stickers, which sometimes hurts higher-end products. Another aspect is there was not really a super hot 2014 rookie. I know Jose Abreu had a great year but I do not think any collector has ever even asked me for a card of his when I’ve set up at shows. Meanwhile, Yankees pitcher MasahiroTanaka got hurt in mid-season and thus his momentum slowed down considerably. And there really was not any big National League rookie so there has not been the mania we have seen over the past few years for uber prospects such as Stephen Strasberg, Bryce Harper or Yasiel Puig. The lack of a hobby dominant rookie I think has also hurt the late 2014 Topps releases and that is something they have no control over.
It didn’t take long to open the box we received from Topps. Our two cards were:
Autograph (#d to 45): Matt Adams
Supreme Styling Autograph (#d to 45): Daisuke Matsuzaka
Now, in what seems like a lifetime ago, had we pulled a Dice-K signed card in 2007, we would have had a major hit while now we have a nice card and a memory of a star who never made it quite as big as we thought he would. And Matt Adams is a nice player, but let’s face facts, those two cards are not going to make anyone wealthy who opts to try to re-sell.
At the current online level, it’s an OK gamble I suppose but I would be extremely disappointed had I bought at the retail level. Triple Cards indicated their customers were satisfied with Topps Supreme but did not remember any big hits either. Such is the way with higher-end products but the pain would be softened if there were at least a couple more cards—relics or low numbered base—included.
With this product, it’s probably best to buy what you like on the secondary market. You can see what’s currently listed on eBay here.