When the 2012 Olympic box came out we discussed how tricky this specific type of release can be. The first edition from Topps was on the Summer Olympics which meant Michael Phelps, the US gymnasts and other notable names. However, in the less “shared experience” present time, winter sports are not covered to the same extent they were even 20 or so years ago. Nowadays, the only time we will hear of 99 percent of the athletes featured in this set is during the 2-3 weeks of network coverage. When I discussed this product on a general level with the owner of my local card shop he agreed this is one to hold through the early 2014 months.
The 2014 Topps Olympic and Paralympic Team and Hopefuls box consists of 24 packs per box with eight cards per pack. Each box says there is one autograph and two relic or commemorative relic cards in each box. Like the 2012 edition, the base cards feature drawings of the athletes with their name and sport on the bottom. The backs have biographical information.
There are parallels and several different insert sets along with the autograph. Topps did score contracts with some past and present stars for autographs including Mike Eruzione, Bonnie Blair, Kristi Yamaguchi (who has a very nice signature), Nancy Kerrigan, Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn.
Leading on-line retailers are currently in the $60-70 range per box. Triple Cards was $74.25 per box when I dropped in and he reiterated that he will hold until the Winter Olympics but is fine with how this box is performing now. Please note we did agree because of the sports and the athletes involved that perhaps a second autograph per box would have made this box just a tad better for the price. I wish Topps had pulled that off.
So how did we do from our box?
Base Cards: We pulled 140 base cards out of the box and with only 100 cards in the base set any collector should be able to complete a base set out of one hobby box. That’s always a nice bonus
Bronze Parallels: Jamie Anderson, Lowell Bailey, Nick Baumgartner, Maddie Bowman, Heath Calhoun, Emily Cook, Meryl Davis, Susan Dunklee, Katie Eberling, Kaitlyn Farrington, Pete Fenson, Lana Gehring. Nick Goepper, Julia Mancuso, Chris Mazozer, Andy Newell, Noelle Pikus-Price, Rico Roman, Jessica Schultz, Alex Shibutani, Jessica Smith, Louie Vito, Charlie White, David Wise
Silver Parallels: Eddy Alvarez, Erika Brown, Simon Dumont, Bryan Fletcher, Gracie Gold, Keri Herman, Lolo Jones, Monique Lamoureux, Justin Reiter, Bree Schaaf, Lindsay Van, Seth Wescott
Gold Parallels: Rico Roman, Jessica Smith, Leanne Smith, Charlie White
Games of the Olympic: Shani Davis, Ted Ligety, Jessica Smith
Olympic Heritage: Nagano Japan 1998
Relics: Ted Ligety
Autographs Copper: Pete Fenson (curling) # to 50 (yes, it’s a sticker autograph)
With the three hits per box to go with the 40 parallels and a few other insert cards there is good value in the Olympic boxes and if you are able to get a major hit to sell during the period when most Americans will be paying attention to those sports there might be a good profit to be made in the Olympic break. They should also be popular on a broader international scale, especially those of past American greats.
You can see what’s been listed on eBay here.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]aol.com