2016 Topps Heritage is now out everywhere! There is a lot of information and swirling rumors about the product so I am going to break it down for you. Here is what you should know about the Hobby edition of 2016 Topps Heritage....
2016 Topps Heritage consists of 425 base cards in the set and are numbered from 1 through 425. These cards are patterned after the iconic 1967 Topps cards -- which were released in packs 50 years ago!
SHORT PRINT CARDS
Short print cards are a bit more challenging to complete as a set than regular base cards because they are harder to find in packs. One short print card can be found in every three packs on average. There are 75 cards in the short print set and are numbered 426 through 500.
NEW AGE PERFORMERS INSERTS
The New Age Performers insert set consists of 20 cards of the greatest young talents in baseball. Players include Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, and Kyle Schwarber. This is the hardest of the four basic insert sets to complete due to the size of the set. One can expect to find a New Age Performer insert card in every eight packs.
THEN AND NOW INSERTS
The Then and Now insert set has 10 cards in the set. Each card features a player from the past with a player from the past and the back of the card provides some statistical analysis of the two players. There are pairings such as Jim Bunning/Clayton Kershaw, Roberto Clemente/Miguel Cabrera, and Carl Yastrzemski/Nolan Arenado. One of these cards can be found in every ten packs on average.
NEWS FLASHBACKS INSERTS
The News Flashbacks insert set showcases events that occurred back in 1967. There are 10 cards in the set and you can expect to find two per box on average. Some of the cards in this set include Evel Knievel, Jimmy Hoffa, and Ronald Reagan.
BASEBALL FLASHBACKS INSERTS
There are 10 cards in the Baseball Flashback insert set. Just like with the News Flashbacks inserts, one can expect to find two of these in a box. These cards take us back to a baseball event that occurred in 1967. These cards include Bob Gibson, Rod Carew, and Tom Seaver.
CHROME BASE VARIATION
The Chrome Base Variation cards have been a fan favorite in Topps Heritage releases since 2001. This year's version is sequentially numbered to just 999 copies each. There are 100 cards in the set making it a real challenge to complete. Chromes can be found 1 in 25 packs. The player checklist is pretty strong and includes the following: Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Buster Posey.
CLUBHOUSE COLLECTION RELICS
Clubhouse Collection Relics are highly collected by game-used jersey card collectors, player and team collectors, and set collectors. Each card features an actual piece of fabric or piece of bat used in a MLB baseball game. There are 54 different cards in this year's set. These cards are seeded one on every 33 packs so if you are looking for a challenging set to complete, this would definitely be one. Players in this set include Kris Bryant, Buster Posey, and Ichiro.
CHROME BASE REFRACTOR VARIATIONS
The Chrome Base Refractor Variations are very similar to the Chrome Base Variations except they are sequentially numbered to 567 copies each and are a lot shinier due to the fact that they refract light. These cards are collected by master set collectors and always prove to be a real challenge. Just like the regular chromes, there are 100 cards in the set. Chrome Refractors can be found one in every 43 packs.
ACTION IMAGE VARIATIONS
Action Image Variation cards are back in this year's Heritage. These cards feature players "in action" whether they are stealing a base or swinging a bat. They are a little tougher to find in packs as a collector should expect to find approximately one per box on average. There are most likely 25 cards in the set and players include Billy Hamilton, Buster Posey, and Yasiel Puig.
GUM STAIN DAMAGE VARIATIONS
This insert is my least favorite but yet it is back for another year. These cards are simply base cards but the back have "gum stains" on them. You can actually smell bubble gum on the cards. To me it is no big deal and I do not collect them. But I do like to sell them because they do command more than they should in my opinion.
MINI BASE VARIATIONS
Mini cards are back in Topps Heritage again! These cards are smaller than their base counterparts. There are 100 cards in the set and each card is serially numbered to 100 copies each. The lineup is strong and includes the following players: Kris Bryant, Ichiro, Bryce Harper, and Mike Trout.
BANNER TEXT COLOR SWAP VARIATIONS
The Banner Text Color Swap Variation cards are back for collectors to collect. There are most likely 25 of these inserts. These variation cards are rather difficult to pull from packs. A collector can expect to find about two per case on average.
REAL ONE AUTOGRAPHS
This is my favorite insert to collect. These cards feature real signatures on the cards -- the way autographed cards should be. These cards can be found in one per 142 packs which is roughly two per case. There are 50 cards in the set and feature many rookies and two Hall of Famers -- Nolan Ryan and Al Kaline.
CHROME BASE BLACK REFRACTOR VARIATIONS
These Chrome Base Black Refractor Variations are the most popular Chromes over the years. Serially numbered to just 67 copies each, these cards are rare pulls from packs as a collector can expect to find one in 359 packs. That is more than a case! There are 100 black chrome refractors in the set and feature some big names: Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, and Bryce Harper just to name a few.
CLUBHOUSE COLLECTION GOLD RELIC
The Clubhouse Collection Gold Relic cards are just like the regular version except that the card features a gold bolder and the cards are serially numbered to just 99 copies each. These cards are tough to find in packs as one would have to open 405 packs on average to get one.
RED BACK BASE CARD VARIATIONS
These cards are ultra rare to find in packs! There are only 10 copies of each card. The backs of the card feature red ink instead of green and really stand out. These cards are best for player and team collectors. Not so much for set collectors as it would be practically impossible to collect all 500 of them since there are so few of them (1 per 481 packs) and command a premium.
REAL ONE RED INK AUTOGRAPHS
These autographed inserts are also referred to as Real One Special Editions. Each card is signed in red and numbered to 67 copies each. These cards are very difficult to find -- approximately one per 589 packs on average.
CHROME BASE GOLD REFRACTOR VARIATION
The gold refractors were introduced a couple of years ago and collectors really like them. They are similar to the black refractors except they are gold and they are serially numbered to just five copies each. This means that they are much harder to find in packs -- one per 1,618 packs on average.
1967 US POSTAL STAMP RELICS
These relic cards feature a baseball player along with a US postage stamp that was issued in 1967. There are 20 cards in the set and include greats such as Tom Seaver, Willie Mays, and Brooks Robinson. Each card is serially numbered to just 50 copies each and one can expect to open 2,404 packs on average before finding one.
1967 MINT COIN RELIC CARDS
The coin cards are back with 2016 Topps Heritage. Collectors can find the following coins at these rates:
Nickel - 1 per 2,698 packs on average
Dime - 1 per 5,396 packs on average
Half Dollar - 1 per 154,311 packs on average