by Chris Harris
While now a staple of their baseball calendar, retro-themed football card sets have been hit-or-miss. Five Topps Heritage Football sets were produced in the last decade, to mixed results, along with two years (2008-09) of Mayo. Neither brand was able to stick with collectors.
In 2009, Topps released Magic football, a college-licensed product based on the design of the 1951 set of the same name. Magic was moderately successful, good enough for Topps to bring it back (with full NFL licensing) the following year.
After last year’s set, which was only available as a boxed set and exclusive to Topps’ e-commerce website, Topps is bringing back Magic for a fourth go-round for 2012, returning it back to the traditional pack form. The base set will consist of 275 cards – 55 of which will be short-printed and seeded at the rate of one in every third pack – all done in a faux-retro style. Each base card will be available in a one-per-pack mini parallel (in the same 2.075” X 2.905” size as the original Magic cards), a one-per-box Black mini , and a serial-numbered to 50 copies Pigskin parallel.
Most packs not containing a base set SP should yield an insert from one of five different insert sets.
- 20 Magical
- 40 Supernatural Stars
- 20 Rookie Enchantment
- 10 Charismatic Combos
- 20 ’48 Magic
Of course, for some collectors, the main draw to 2012 Topps Magic Football will be the three autographs that Topps promises will be in each Hobby box. The checklist has yet to be revealed, so collectors should beware before ordering. Each autograph, whomever they are, will be paralleled with a Black parallel, serial-numbered to five copies, and a mini-sized autograph numbered to ten. The usual multi-player low-numbered autographs that have become par-for-the-course in recent Topps offerings, will also be available. In addition, a ’48 Magic Autograph, all done in the style of the 1948 Magic set, serial-numbered to five, will be inserted.
Relics, which Topps advertises as “ADDITIONAL HITS!” will all be serial-numbered to 25 with a one-of-one Patch parallel. Wrapping up are two different, low-numbered Relic sets, each with a real embedded into the card. It should be noted that these coin Relics will feature a real coin and not a manufactured “relic.” In fact, 2012 Topps Magic Football appears to be the first low-to-medium-end Topps product in any sport released without manufactured relics.
2012 Topps Magic Football will be released in early January 2013. Each Hobby box will contain 24 packs of eight cards and retail for about $5/pack.