Topps took an unconventional route when it launched Fire football last season. Staid, conservative designs were tossed aside in favor of bolder color backgrounds and intriguing layouts. Australian digital artist Tyson Beck, a basketball junkie who was doing freelance artwork for the Los Angeles Lakers as a 17-year-old, was found by Topps through Instagram.
Topps told Beck, now in his mid-20s, to be different.
“(They said …) we don’t want this to look like standard cards,” Beck explained on a podcast last November. “They wanted to throw in more of a ‘wow’ factor.”
After finishing “the biggest project I’ve ever worked on” with Topps in 2014, Beck returns for 2015 Topps Fire Football, which will be released February 3. Once again, the base set will consist of 100 veteran or retired players, plus 50 rookies.
2015 Topps Fire Details
Every hobby box of 2015 Topps Fire will include two autograph or auto relic cards, five Into the Wild inserts, two Fire Forces of Nature inserts, four Transcendent Touchdown inserts, one Fired Up insert and five Flame parallel base cards.
A hobby box will contain 20 packs, with six cards. On the average, a pack will have four base cards, plus a rookie and a silver parallel. Price range for a hobby box should average in the low to mid-$60s.
A White Hot box (one per case) will add an autograph or auto relic, plus an Onyx parallel that is making its debut for the 2015 set.
In addition to the Onyx and Silver parallels, Topps will offer orange, gold, green, blue (numbered to 99), purple (50), magenta (25) and a hobby exclusive 1/1 Inferno.
Autograph will include up to 75 subjects with signatures on their Fire base cards. There also will be dual and triple autograph cards.
Parallels will be in blue (numbered to 75), purple (50), magenta (25) and a hobby exclusive Inferno, a 1/1 like the parallel card.
Topps Fire Rookie Autograph Patches
One set of cards collectors will definitely notice in 2015 Topps Fire Football is the Fire Rookie Autographed Patches. These cards feature all of the top NFL rookies from the past season, including Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Amari Cooper, Melvin Gordon, Todd Gurley, Devin Funchess and more.
Each player in the Fire Rookie Autographed Patches set includes three one-of-a-kind cards with the patch piece being replaced by an NFL Shield Laundry Tag, NFLPA Laundry Tag or NFL Laundry Tag Swoosh.
The parallels are all hobby exclusive cards, with blue numbered to 75, purple (50) and magenta (25). Topps is dangling three 1/1 parallels with laundry tags in this subset — NFL Shield, NFLPA logo, and an NFL Swoosh logo.
Harder to find will be Fire Dual Autographs (numbered to 10), with 10 subjects featuring combinations of two veteran, retired or rookie players. A Dual Autographed Team Logo Patch will combined autograph and logo patch pieces; these also will 1/1, hobby-only cards.
Inserts will draw heavily on Beck’s designing talents, which he introduced through Posterizes, an international design collective he organized that creates digital art for the NBA.
Into the Wild will be a 30-card subset of players that focuses on the strength, power and speed of their team’s animal spirit. This insert will fall one in every four packs.
Fire Forces of Nature is a new 30-card insert set, with a posterized design inspired by the energy and might of the natural world. Those will fall every 10 packs. Transcendent Touchdowns will be a 25-card set that keys on big-play scores in NFL history. These cards will be seeded one per five packs.
Parallels are new and will be in blue (numbered to 99), purple (50), magenta (25) and Inferno (1/1).
The Fired Up parallel is what you might expect — a card depicting raw emotion and passion from the NFL’s top players. This hobby exclusive will fall one to a box.
Beck said he collected cards as a youth “for the look of it, not the player in it.” For Topps Fire, he steps away from that mind-set and drops players into vivid, imaginative types of backgrounds.
You can see Beck’s creations for 2014 Fire listed on eBay here.
2015 Topps Fire Football Checklist