Topps re-launched its website this week with a new look and a new section for selling vintage memorabilia from its archives. The move comes as the company continues pushing more of its products online like last season’s Heritage ‘High Number’ set and the soon to be released 2013 Turkey Red issue.
Selling new and recently produced sets and boxes direct to the public was an option on the old ShopTopps.com site (which now re-directs to the new portal), but Topps has now expanded its offerings and given the site a new visual and more interactive overhaul.
The new site offers checklists for some products as well as the chance to find a nearby hobby shop and write product reviews (whether they’ll be manually approved, we’re not sure).
The most interesting development, however, is the Memorabilia section, which will likely appeal to vintage card collectors. For more than ten years, Topps has utilized eBay to run its “Topps Vault Auctions” (and the company’s eBay store remains live) but now Topps is also offering a straight sale option for hundreds of items ranging from player contracts to photo transparencies used in the production of old card sets and related items.
Having watched the auction of thousands of pieces over the years, Topps’ Mike Jaspersen, who oversees the Vault, likely has a pretty good understanding of how collectors value even one-of-a-kind items from company storage.
A total of 249 items had been loaded onto the Topps site as of Thursday evening. Prices vary based on the item and anticipated popularity. Slides and transparencies were as cheap as $35. Contracts signed by well known players were higher as were older images of stars. The transparency used to make Stan Musial’s 1962 Topps In Action card, measuring 2 ¼” by 1 ½”, is priced at $500.
The contract signed by Tommy Lasorda for his rookie card is offered at $2,500. Interestingly, the contract calls for a $10 initial payment to the future Dodgers’ manager, and a $115 check once he either appears on a card or lands on a big league roster. Signed during spring training 1954, it’s obvious Topps thought a lot of the youngster as he appeared on the company’s cards for the first and only time that season.
Topps is also offering sports card storage supplies and various types of MLB apparel including vintage look T-shirts.