Ten months and 400 cards later, Topps Project 2020 has come to a close. The final three cards in the artist-driven series were released Wednesday morning and will close on Christmas Day. The last card in the series, #400, is Mister Cartoon’s take on the 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout.
The ambitious undertaking featured 20 different artists, each creating their own versions of the same 20 cards from Topps’ past. The cards were sold exclusively through Topps website, with new cards offered each weekday. The on-demand format meant a fairly wide swath of print runs, but in the end, the majority will have populations in the range of 1,500-3,500.
The concept was undoubtedly a success for Topps. The first 385 cards in the series sold a total of more than 2.4 million copies at $12.50 to $19.99 each, depending on the quantity purchased. Revenue from Project 2020 at an average of $15 per card would be over $36 million.
During a stretch in May which Project 2020 was receiving media attention and online forums touted increasing secondary market prices, orders skyrocketed and the large volume of orders during COVID-19 caused lengthy delays in shipments from Topps.
Those after-market prices for all but the rarest cards eventually took a tumble when it became apparent many buyers were simply hoping to take advantage of what was briefly a flip game as newcomers to the series tried to buy the cards they had missed out on. The highest print run in the series came during that period– 99,177 for Keith Shore’s Ken Griffey Jr. (card #88). Many of the higher print run cards can now be found online for well under cost.
The card that has the lowest production is Tyson Beck’s Dwight Gooden, which was the 12th card released in the series and sold 1,065 copies.
Many of the artists embraced the series and their newfound exposure, interacting with collectors via social media and creating new markets for the broader scope of their art.
I was kind of expecting the full set to come together form a giant mosaic portrait of Bo Jackson…
Happy last day of #project2020 !! 🎉🎉🎉
Here’s all 400 cards made by 20 artists! Thanks for bringing us all together this year @Topps 🙏 pic.twitter.com/P1d8oLWNMs
— Efdot ✍️ (@EfdotStudio) December 23, 2020
Artist Ben Baller sold the most cards of any of the Project 2020 artists at over 270,000. He later collaborated with Topps on a a Chrome product and a Dodgers World Series championship commemorative set.
You can see the entire print run for each Topps Project 2020 card in the Topps Project 2020 archive.