Hello gang! It is that time of the year for me to write a preview of my favorite brand of Topps cards -- Topps Heritage. This year's Topps Heritage pays homage to the 1968 Topps design. 1968 Topps had one of the most polarizing designs of all time. Yes, some people love it and some people hate it. Some people like the fact that the design is simple and unique while others call it bland and compare it to the looks of a burlap sack.
In a 2017 Topps Heritage baseball box, collectors can expect to find one relic or autograph card on average. Major highlights of the set will include Real One Autographs, Flashback Autograph Relics, Clubhouse Collection Relics, and rare Topps 3D set cards. Collectors can begin ripping this product when it hits the shelves on March 1st. The base set will consist of 500 total cards just like it does every year as of late. What collectors need to know is that it might be a little harder to complete the SP set this year depending on how many SP cards can be found in a box. In past years, the SP set has had 75 cards in the set. This year, the SP set has 100 cards. Inside the 500 base cards collectors can find some pretty cool subset cards: League Leaders , World Series Highlights, Rookie Stars, Team Cards, Topps News All-Stars, and Combo Cards. Collectors also need to be on the hunt for special base card variations to be announced at a later date.
BASE CARD PARALLELS
The base cards in 2017 Topps Heritage also have parallel versions for collectors to chase after. The blue bordered versions will be limited to 50 cards each and can only be found in hobby packs. Bright yellow back cards will be serially numbered to 25 copies each. Grey backs will be very scarce at ten copies each and lastly Flip Stock parallels will only have five cards each and can only be found in hobby packs.
Another insert that is very popular among those Topps Heritage master set collectors are chrome cards. Since 2001, collectors have been collecting chrome sets and chrome cards of their favorite players. In 2017, collectors will continue to have options on what chrome cards to chase after. The base chrome card will most likely be serially numbered to 999 copies and there are 100 cards in the set.
For the advanced collector, putting together a chrome refractor set proves to be a big challenge. There are 100 cards in the set and each card will be serially numbered to only 568 cards each. For the first time since 2004, black refractors will no longer be found in Topps Heritage. Instead, for 2017, there will be blue bordered refractors. These will probably look pretty cool so I am sure collectors will be looking forward to these. Each one of the 100 different blue bordered refractors will be serially numbered to 68 copies each. Gold refractors will be making their return to the refractor lineup. Each gold refractor will be serially numbered to just five copies each and can only be found in hobby packs. Wouldn't it be cool if Topps Heritage had one of one SUPERFRACTORS? Well, you are in luck if you said yes. On the heels of last year, superfractors will be back in 2017. Very rare to find so consider yourself lucky should you get one in a box. Also, collectors should expect to find hot boxes containing purple refractors. One out of 12 hobby boxes will contain 24 purple refractors. These refractors provide added value as they are collected by master set collectors.
BASE INSERT SETS
Master set collectors know that there are usually the same four kinds of base insert sets to collect each year. Occasionally there will be a fifth set that to collect that mimics something from the year that Topps Heritage is showcasing. This year, there will be five insert sets to collect. They are: New Age Performers, Then and Now, Baseball Flashbacks, News Flashbacks, and 1968 Topps Game.
New Age Performers will consist of top current players whose performances have eclipsed the giants of the past. You will be able to find two of these cards in a box. Then and Now cards show the statistical comparisons of a 1968 player to a 2016 player. These cards are found one in twenty packs.
Baseball Flashbacks are insert cards that take a look back at highlights from the 1968 season. These cards are also found one in twenty packs.
One of the newer basic insert sets to the Heritage lineup are News Flashbacks. News Flashbacks inserts started in Topps Heritage back in 2008 and have been in it every year since. Some collectors like the fact that these cards show moments from world news of the past while baseball purists do not want these non-baseball cards in the product lineup. These cards can be found one per twenty packs.
New for 2017 Topps Heritage, 1968 Topps Game cards depict a recreation of the only insert in the 1968 Topps Baseball Set, showcasing the best players in the game. These cards can be found one in every ten packs on average.
Clubhouse Collection relic cards have been popular among collectors ever since the inception of Topps Heritage back in 2001. These cards feature game used uniform and bat relic pieces of active stars. There is also a gold color parallel that is serially numbered to 99 copies each. New for 2017 is a patch parallel that is hand numbered one of one! The patch parallel can only be found in hobby boxes.
Clubhouse Collection relic cards can be found with dual relics, triple relics, and quad relics. Dual relics have bat and/or uniform pieces featuring a player from 1968 matched with a current player from the same franchise. These cards are hand numbered to 68 copies each.
Triple relic cards feature bat and/or uniform pieces from three players from 1968 matched with a current player from the same franchise. These triple relics are hand numbered to just 25 copies each. The quad relic cards feature four players from 1968 matched with a current player from the same franchise. These cards are hand numbered to only ten copies each.
Each of the dual, triple, and quad relic cards have a patch parallel hand numbered one of one.
Autograph cards are one of the most popular types of cards to collect. With Topps Heritage, every card is signed on-the-card. There are no annoying sticker autographs in this product. This way you know that if you get an autograph card, it was touched by the player that signed it. Although the 2017 Topps Heritage Checklist has not been released as of yet, there are several types of autographs to look forward to: Real One Autographs, Real One Special Edition (also known as red ink autographs), Real One Dual Autographs, Real One Triple Autographs, and new for 2017 Topps Heritage 1968 Poster Box Loader Autographs.
Real one autographs feature autographs of retired and active players in blue ink. Select cards will feature players that appeared for the last time on a Topps card in 1968. There will also be Real One Special Edition autographs that will be hand numbered to 68 copies each and signed in red ink.
Fairly new to the Topps Heritage menu are Real One Dual Autograph cards and they are back in 2017. These cards feature a mixture of retired and active players who sign their autographs in blue ink. These cards will be hand numbered to low quantities and can only be found in hobby boxes.
Triple Real One Autograph cards have been very popular among the Heritage community. These cards feature autographs from three players on the same card. Signed in blue ink and hand numbered to very limited quantities, these cards can only be found in hobby boxes. Another type of autograph to find only in 2017 Topps Heritage hobby boxes are 1968 Poster Box Loader autographs. These posters are styled after the oversized 1968 Topps Posters, featuring an on-card autograph. Subjects will feature active baseball players and these posters will be hand numbered to low quantities.
AUTOGRAPHED RELIC CARDS
There are three types of autographed relic cards to find in 2017 Topps Heritage: Clubhouse Collection Autographed Relics, Clubhouse Collection Dual Autographed Relics, and Flashback Autographed Relics.
Clubhouse Collection Autographed Relics feature either a piece of uniform or bat of an active player and will be hand numbered to low quantities.
And if that isn't enough for you, there's more. Clubhouse Collection Dual Autograph Relics feature a mixture of retired and active players with a relic piece and an on-card autograph. Hand numbered to low quantities, these relics can only be found in hobby boxes.
Flashbacks Autographed Relics are cards with autographs from retired players and feature a relic and a highlight from their 1968 season. These cards will be hand numbered to limited quantities.'
All three types of autographed relic cards will feature something brand new for 2017 Topps Heritage. Each autographed relic card will have an autograph patch parallel. These cards are super rare to find! Only found in hobby boxes, these unique cards will be hand numbered one of one.
COIN, STAMP, AND CUT SIGNATURE CARDS
Coin cards make their return to 2017 Topps Heritage. These cards feature a 1968 coin embedded onto the card and feature either a retired great or current star. These cards can only be found in hobby boxes. Cards with a 1968 nickel on it will be numbered to 15, cards with a 1968 dime will be numbered to 10, 1968 quarter will be numbered to 5, and a 1968 half dollar will be numbered one of one.
Postage stamp cards are also highly collected by Topps Heritage fans. These cards feature a vintage photo of an event or player matched with a stamp from 1968. These cards are pretty scarce as there will only be fifty copies of each card made.
Cut signature cards are the scarcest type of cards to find in Topps Heritage. Each card is serially numbered one of one. There will be 1968 Baseball Cut Signatures featuring players from the 1968 Topps set. Also, there will be 1968 Celebrity Cut Signature cards. These cards feature celebrities and musicians that were popular back in 1968.
Box loaders are inserts laying on top of the packs as you open a sealed box of 2017 Topps Heritage. Most collectors consider these as an extra bonus when buying a sealed hobby box. There are some very nice things that collectors can get out of these box loaders. This year's box loaders consist of 1968 Ad Panels, 1968 Poster Box Loader, 1968 Topps 3D Set, and 1968 Topps Originals.
1968 Ad Panels feature a three card strip. These panels make great display pieces. 1968 Poster Box Loaders are styled after the oversized 1968 Topps Posters. These posters are limited to 50 copies each. 1968 Topps 3D Set is based on the 1968 Topps 3D set featuring today's best stars. And lastly, making its annual return are Topps Originals. These cards are original cards from 1968 with a special 50th Anniversary gold-foil stamp emblazoned on the front. Some collectors like the fact that these original cards are stamped. However, most collectors would prefer that the original cards would not be altered.
2017 Topps Heritage is set to release on March 1st. Please stay tuned to this blog for more updates and more images of cards as we get closer to launch day.