Topps Tribute has been a successful high end line for the company nearly every year. From its debut at the turn of this century to today, Tribute has always been a major high end product that’s heavy on relics, autographs—and price. The card stock is always of high quality (although its often susceptible to damage) and the player selection is generally good. Some of collectors’ biggest pulls have come from Tribute, which returned to hobby stores and online dealers late last month.
This year’s version promises that each pack has either an autograph or a relic card numbered to 99 or less. The autograph count of four per box is one better than last year, which is always a plus.
Considering even with the reduced on-line prices (as compared to my local card shop) the average cost per card is still $13 per, there is a need to ensure collectors they will see some value come out of the packs. It can be hit or miss. While the relic themes got a bit of an overhaul, Tribute won’t be a lot different than last year if you dig into a box.
The base cards are a player photo set against a shimmering silver background while the backs have four bullet points of career highlights. This year, the Tribute boxes consist of six packs with three cards per pack of which is guaranteed to be a hit.
My local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX) reported selling three cases (one by the box Tuesday morning) at $280 per box while leading online retailers are currently between $235-245 per box. There was a Babe Ruth relic card pulled out of the LCS, which generated a little buzz.
Here’s what we pulled:
Base Cards: Miguel Cabrera, Yu Darvish, Joe DiMaggio, Paul Goldschmidt, Cole Hamels, Reggie Jackson, Adam Jones, Juan Marichal, David Price, Mike Trout ,Joey Votto
Blue Parallel (#d to 99): Joe DiMaggio
Titans Relics (#d to 99): Gerrit Cole
Tribute to the Throne Relic Green (#d to 25): Tony Gwynn
Autograph (#d to 99): Matt Moore
Autograph Sepia (#d to 30): Adrian Gonzalez
Tribute to the Pastime Autograph Blue (#d to 50): Matt Williams
Yellow Autograph Parallel: Carlton Fisk (this is a redemption)
Well, no Babe Ruth relic card for us but overall a pretty nice grouping. The local card store did report his case breaker got only one redemption out of the eight boxes he opened today so that’s a good sign. Of course, everyone wishes there were no redemptions, especially with retired players, but compared to a lot of products lately, there’s not much negative to say. We did get two Hall of Famers in six packs for our hits so that is a nice percentage as well. Tribute does have a little something for set builders but it’s a hit-oriented product, of course, and with the on card autographs, Topps does score well with 2014 Tribute.
Click here to see what’s being offered on eBay.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]