Collecting the 2016 High Tek baseball set, Topps notes, “is not for the faint of heart.”
There is a lot of truth to that. This is not your father’s (or grandfather’s) simple design, 1967-era Topps set, which is featured in this year’s version of Heritage. Topps High Tek does not specialize in the traditional looks. Swirling patterns, parallel lines and maze-like backgrounds all return in the third version of High Tek, which was originally slated for an early November release but has been pushed back to November 23. A full checklist is available below.
Tek returned in 2014 after a 16-year absence, but fans of the original 1998 set will recall that the 90-card base set had 90 different background patterns per card. That made for a “not for the faint of heart” 8,100-card monster master set for collectors who wanted to chase every variation — plus, each card also had a parallel that was printed with diffraction foil. Sheer heart attack.
2016 Topps High Tek Basics
The parallels again will be a diverse group, with Tek’s Pattern 1 cards containing Tidal Diffractors, Green Rainbow, a hobby exclusive Orange Magma Diffractor numbered to 25, and 1/1 versions of Black Rainbow, Black Galactic Diffractor and printing proof cards.
Inserts and Autographs
There will be three types of insert cards. Home Uniform short prints will feature players in their home uniforms — a different look from the base cards — and will be numbered and (obviously) short-printed. Bright Horizons will feature horizontal designs, with a player in action against a backdrop of a city skyline, which will be in foil. A new insert this year, Highlights, will pay tribute to career achievements of baseball’s top veteran stars and retired players.
The key signature cards will be the High Tek autograph subset. These cards will feature top rookies, veteran stars and retired legends. There will be a good selection of parallels, too — Gold Rainbow, Orange Magma Diffractors numbered to 25, Red Orbit Diffractors numbered to 5, and 1/1 Black Galactic and printing proofs.
Tek Buybacks of diffractor parallels from the original 1998-2000 era will be numbered and feature on-card autographs.
If bold patterns that remind you of geometry make you tingle, then the 2016 Topps High Tek set will be on your want list.