Yesterday, after some prodding by Heritage enthusiasts including myself, Topps released the final checklist for 2013 Topps Heritage. The product is set to be released on March 6th and looks to be one of the most anticipated Heritage releases since the early 2000’s. The checklist contains 425 base cards and 75 shortprints just like in recent years. The shortprints will be easy to spot because they are all numbered 426-500. One thing that I have noticed is that the shortprints are loaded with young superstars such as Mike Trout, Andrew McCutchen, and Bryce Harper.
If you are a case breaker, you may need to pay close attention here. Especially if you are pre-selling Topps Heritage Master sets! Normally, there are four base insert sets that comprise a master set. This year there are a couple more – Memorable Moments and 1964 Bazookas. Of the four base insert sets, historically, the New Age Performers is the toughest to put together because the odds to find a New Age Performer are generally one per 15 packs and there are 15 cards in the set. However, not this year! Case breakers need to BEWARE! This year there are 30 New Age Performers in the set. This means that if Topps keeps the odds at one per 15 packs, it will be twice as difficult to complete! This will make set completing even more of a challenge than it has been in the past so if you are a case breaker you may need to think twice about your strategy if you plan on pre-selling master sets.
People who collect the Chrome cards will be pleased to know that the set is loaded with stars and rookies. I have been disappointed in past offerings of Chrome because of a very weak lineup. This is not the case in 2013 thank goodness! Another thing that collectors need to know is that in addition to Chrome Refractors and Black Chrome Refractors, Topps is producing Gold Chrome Refractors serially numbered to just five copies each! I can’t wait to see these cards as I bet they are very nice!
It seems that a lot of products have mini cards because, well, collectors have simply asked for them. Topps delivers with Heritage this year by adding mini cards to the mix. There are 100 skip-numbered mini cards that can be found. I am not sure if these will be serially numbered. It would be nice if they were serially numbered to 50 – similar to the Silk Collection cards found in Topps. We will find out more about these cards on March 6th or sooner if Topps decides to share more information about them.
Retail inserts seem to be here to stay. Although I don’t collect retail inserts, some collectors do not believe their master set is truly a master set unless it contains the border variations that can be found at Walmart and Target. The Walmart variations, known as the Full Color Blue Border Variations, have 25 cards in the set. The Target variations have 25 cards in the set as well and are known as, you guessed it, Full Color Red Border Variations.
Action Image Variations and Color Variations are back again after debuting last year. There are 25 different cards in each set. Last year, the Color Variations were the toughest to pull. I received one Color Variation per case on average.
It looks like there will be ten super shortprints. These cards are very tough to pull in packs and I will speculate they will fall one per ten cases on average. Topps originally planned on having Colt .45 cards in this product but was unable to secure the rights to produce them so they decided to replace those with Washington Senator variations. A nice move since the Senator variation includes a Bryce Harper.
Autographs are back and can be found at twice the rate as they were found last year. Topps has announced it's largest Real One Autograph offering at 63 cards. They should have added one more in keeping with the '64 theme. These cards will probably fall at a rate of one per 140 packs or so. It is not known at this time if there will be red ink variations or not as I heard they might not do that this year.
One thing that is new to Heritage are Triple Play autographed cards. There are five different cards with three autographs on each card. These cards will be very popular and this is the ONLY place to find a Johnny Bench Real One autograph.
With all this talk about Heritage, please check out my sealed boxes. Currently, these prices are very cheap and I'm afraid they might sell for less than I intended so please bid!
Well, that's it for now. There's a lot more to cover and I'll be sharing more of my thoughts in the next few days.
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