After cutting back from six cards to two in 2015, Topps returns with the same formula for its 2016 Five Star baseball product — two cards per pack, and one pack per hobby box.
Five Star baseball is not cheap — it’ll likely start at $110-$120 per hobby box, depending on the retailer — but Topps said it is guaranteeing two 0n-card autographs in every pack. The exception — when a 1/1 cut signature is substituted.
The product is scheduled for release during the week of October 5.
2016 Topps Five Star Autographed Content
If there is such a thing as a “base” set of autographs, then Five Star Autographs fill the bill. As noted, these are on-card signatures and will feature rookies, veterans and retired players. In addition to the base autographs, there will be parallels in gold (numbered to 50), rainbow (25), emerald (5) and a 1/1 Five Star.
Other auto cards include Silver Signatures and Golden Graphs. These cards will feature approximately 25 different players, with signatures in silver or gold. There are plenty of parallels, beginning with purple (numbered to 25), blue (20), green (15), gold (10), orange (5) and red (1/1).
Five Star Autographed Jumbo Patches will feature, as might be expected from the name, a jumbo jersey patch with an on-card autograph on each card. No card will be numbered higher than 25. Parallels will be in gold (10), rainbow (5) and Five Star (1/1).
In addition to the 1/1 cut parallel cards, 2016 Topps Five Star will have another subset with these one-of-a-kind cards. Five Star Silhouetted Batter Logo Patch Autographs is a mouthful to say, but there is a lot of stuff on the card—an on-card signature and a silhouetted Major League Baseball batter logo patch.
A final feature is the Heart of a Champion, which makes its debut this year. These hard-signed cards pay tribute to players who have excelled in the playoffs and World Series. The cards will be numbered to 25 or less, with 1/1 Inscription parallels also are a possible pull.
The biggest knock on Five Star in the past, particularly when the box size shrunk from six to two (and back when there were six cards, a hobby box easily topped $300 in cost), was that the checklist was weak. For every Nolan Ryan in the set, a Roberto Osuna was just as likely to be pulled. Or a collector could pull a Rick Porcello card and not a Hank Aaron. But hey, Porcello is 4-0 so far this year, so perhaps he wasn’t a bad choice for the checklist after all. But you get the idea.
You can see 2016 Topps Five Star on eBay here.