As most of you know by now, Topps has announced a release of one of its most popular brands – Topps Heritage. This one is different in that you can only order it through www.shoptopps.com and it comes in a boxed set format of just 100 cards plus one Real One autograph. The set is due to start shipping the week of November 6th. Originally to be released October 17th, Topps has told me that it needed more time to fulfill the autographs. Since the autographs are on-card, I do not mind waiting at all. One thing that Topps announced that has collectors talking is the price -- $99.95. That is $1 a card!! This sounds expensive for a brand that is considered lower end. Although initially the price had people furious, there was another announcement that went practically unnoticed that collectors need to be aware of. The announcement was that this set will be limited to only 1,000 sets. This announcement should make people want to second guess their stance on the price. Here are the reasons why:
1) This is the only place that you can find Heritage rookie cards of Yu Darvish and Bryce Harper.
2) The 1,000 card print run means that this will be the lowest print run rookie cards of Yu Darvish and Bryce Harper.
3) With only 1,000 sets, the Real One autographs should be extremely limited – even commons.
The autographs should prove to be very interesting. At this point, Topps has not released a complete checklist. When I asked Topps about a checklist, they told me to check shoptopps.com as it would be posted there first. I spoke with Nick on Twitter (you can follow him at @nrhinds) about the autographs and he provided some good insights. Here is some of our conversation that I would like to share:
Nick: “I can’t imagine the auto list being bigger than like 20 guys if that, that would mean 50 autos a player if even distribution. More likely auto list is lower than that but who knows, also wouldn’t be surprised if some sort of add on is in this at $100 a pop.”
Craig: “I would think that the auto list would have to be pretty low. If there are only 1,000 sets, print runs for the blue autos are not going to be 200 each unless there are only five autos. I would expect a 20 player checklist at a print run of 50 each. I hope that they don’t SP the Harper and Darvish.”
Nick: “If even distribution even if only 10 on auto list would make for blue autos to 90 and red autos to 10. If the auto list is 20 with even distribution blue autos would only be 40 copies and red autos to 10 that’s crazy. Yeah I’m hoping that all autos are even distribution.”
Craig: “Either way, with only 1,000 sets, one thing I for sure, the autos will be pricy even for commons due to the autograph set collectors out there.”
Nick: “Also have to wonder if some of the autos will be dual autos or if all will be single autos.”
Craig: “That would be a nice surprise but I doubt it. Topps had to hurry to get these autographed and I just don’t think they had time for dual autos.”
Nick: “True on that, but imagine a surprise has to be in store or auto list is crazy short at that price point.”
Craig: “How about this for speculation? 16 players with 50 blue autos each = 800 cards. Red autos numbered to 10 = 160 cards. And 40 dual autos! The 40 dual autos would be eight pairs numbered to five. Can you imagine what a Harper/Darvish dual auto numbered to five would sell for???”
Nick: “Or 20 subjects with 50 blue autos each plus 10 red autos each for a total of 1200 autos – every fifth box has two autos? I bet this set has a minimum of three different cards (non-autos) containing Harper – a base card, a team card, and a quad rookie card. I also don’t think that the packaging showed on shoptopps will be what the packaging looks like. Box is oddly shaped for a factory set and as you said the design is wrong, probably just an artistic rendering that won’t look much like it.”
Craig: “I like the two auto idea. Great point about the Nationals team card since there wasn’t one in the regular series. I would like a Harper quad “floating head” card. I hope the packaging is different – it just doesn’t make sense.”
Nick: “There will probably be a quad floating head of Harper / Darvish / Middlebrooks / Cespedes.”
Craig: “That would be cool!”
With all of this speculation, it will be interesting to see what becomes of this product and if we guessed correctly on anything. I seriously doubt that there will be dual autographs in this product or any other hidden surprises but it would be nice if they at least included one small unannounced bonus like Chrome cards or relics. We will find out the week of November 6th so stay tuned!
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Craig from Texas