An ambitious effort to meld classic baseball cards with modern art attracted plenty of media attention, even in a season without any Major League Baseball games taking place. Topps Project 2020 involved securing the services of 20 different artists and having each re-imagine 20 of Topps’ most popular baseball cards throughout the company’s long history.
Sold via on-demand platform where print runs are based on how many cards are ordered, Topps Project 2020 has been just different enough to make it interesting to collectors of cards, art and pop culture.
They’re also attracting a decent amount of media coverage.
Two cards are released at around noon Eastern time each Monday-Friday. The cards are only available for 48 hours on Topps’ website so much of the buying and selling has come in the days and weeks that follow. Some who are just finding out about the platform go to eBay to buy cards for which the sales window has passed while others are investing or opting to find cards of a favorite player.
Many of the serial numbered artists proofs are sold out before some collectors can snare them directly from Topps, with flippers hoping to turn a profit. Whatever the case, it reveals a fairly vibrant market. Artist Ben Baller’s Mike Trout rookie card creation sold nearly 35,000 copies. Most of the first 80 cards didn’t come near that, but some cards have been big enough sellers to have generated a significant amount of revenue for Topps.
Thirty-two cards, all among the earliest releases, have print runs of fewer than 2,000 cards and those are usually the most sought after cards on the secondary market. Those low print runs aren’t coming back as more collectors discover the set and the eye-popping results on eBay. Many cards originally purchased on Topps’ website for under $20 are now selling for over $1,000. The cards have proven to be one of the year’s best investments for collectors who bought directly from Topps at those levels.
Project 2020 will until December when all 400 cards have been produced and sold.
Check out a live list of the 50 ‘most watched’ Topps Project 2020 auctions on eBay below. To see all of them for sale on the site, click here.