Hobby boxes still have one pack, but this year there will be 40 cards in a pack instead of the eight in the 2016 set. Autographs will double in 2017, with two on-card signatures included among those 40 cards.
The price will be more, too, in the $95 to $105 range depending on the retailer. In 2016, hobby boxes ranged from the mid-$50s to the mid-$60s. The product is scheduled to be released in early November.
High Tek is noted for its diverse patterns, parallel lines, swirls and maze-like backgrounds, with foil and acetate blended in for effect. Topps is promising even more this year in the fourth version of the product’s new incarnation, touting that there will be “an extensive variety” of pattern variations. There will be five guaranteed pattern parallel cards, and three or more numbered base or insert cards.
In addition to the five Blackout parallels, this year’s High Tek set will offer parallels such as Tidal Diffractor, Green Rainbow (numbered to 99), Blue Rainbow (50), Orange Magma Diffractor (25), Red Orbit Diffractor (10) and Gold Galactic Diffractor (1/1).
The history of Tek goes back nearly two decades. It returned in 2014 after a 16-year absence, and fans of the original 1998 set were dazzled — and challenged — by a 90-card base set that had 90 different background patterns per card. Plus, each card had a parallel that was printed with diffraction foil.
There will be three new insert subsets in the 2017 High Tek set, along with image variations numbered to 50. Rookie Tek, which will celebrate this year’s top rookies, will be numbered to 50 and will be featured on Magna Diffractor foil. Jubilation, also numbered to 50, will showcase the walk-off moments and celebrations of the game’s biggest stars. TwiliTEK will feature stars and rookies against a backdrop reminiscent of a twilight scene; these cards also will be numbered to 50.
The autographs will be hard-signed and will include High Tek, Rookie Tek and Tek Buyback subsets. The buybacks will feature cards from the original Tek run, which lasted from 1998 to 2000, and will be numbered to 10.
The High Tek and Rookie Tek cards will have parallel signature cards in Green Rainbow, Blackout (making its debut this year), Blue Rainbow (numbered to 50), Orange Magma Diffractor (25), Red Orbit Diffractor (10) and Gold Galactic Diffractor (1/1).