Hello gang, the other day I was sending a couple of tweets back and forth with Chris Olds, editor of Beckett Baseball Monthly, and thought about a new concept for the flagship of Topps baseball that I think there would be a market for. It seems there are collectors out there who love inserts, sticker autographs, and a ton of parallels. This is indicated by the strong sales of Topps baseball over the past several years. However, I believe that Topps could tap into another market. I believe there is a market for those collectors who desire to collect more quality inserts rather than a quantity of inserts. Currently, most of you are familiar with the configuration of Topps baseball hobby boxes:
Topps Hobby boxes – 10 cards per pack, 36 packs per box, and 12 boxes per case. SRP: $60 a box, $2 per pack
Topps Jumbo Hobby boxes – 50 cards per pack, 10 packs per box, and 6 boxes per case. SRP: $90 a box, $10 per pack
However, I would like to propose a new addition to this lineup (this isn't real -- just my thoughts of what I wish was real):
Topps PLUS+ -- a new alternative for those who desire a better chance at higher quality (less quantity) inserts but don’t mind paying a bit more per pack. This product will feature the exact same base cards as found in regular Topps but there is a totally different insert lineup. There will be zero stickers in the product and all relics are MLB game used. With Topps PLUS+, there is one insert set, one relic set, one autograph set, one interactive set, and one promotion.
- Topps PLUS+ Hobby boxes – 15 cards per pack, 36 packs per box, and 10 boxes per case. SRP: $90 a box, $3 a pack.
The insert sets are as follows:
Topps PLUS+ Boxtoppers (330) – 330 different cards in the set. These boxtoppers are an oversized parallel of every base card found one per box. 50 players have autographed ones randomly inserted and these are serially numbered to 100 copies each. Each non-autographed card has an area on the front of the card which would be perfect for taking to the ballpark to have autographed. These oversized cards make for a great display!
Topps PLUS+ Hall of Fame Inserts (297): These cards showcase every member of the Hall of Fame – 297 members to be exact – in chronological order as they were inducted. Each card front shows a picture taken from their HOF ceremony while the back of the card shows a picture of their HOF plaque celebrating their enshrinement. On average these cards can be found one per box.
Topps PLUS+ Jumbo Relic Inserts (200): 200 large relic pieces –guaranteed game used in an MLB game by the player showcased on the card. Each card has a print run of 100 with the exception of Hall of Fame players which are limited to 25. On average these cards can be found one per two boxes.
Topps PLUS+ Autograph Inserts (200): 200 cards featuring on-the-card autographs of star players from the past, present, and future. Each card has a print run of 100 with the exception of Hall of Fame players which are limited to 25. These cards will be numbered on the back 1-200 so that advanced set collectors will find it easier to put the set together. On average these cards can be found one per two boxes.
Topps PLUS+ Jumbo Relic Autograph Inserts (50): These are the most spectacular looking relic autographed cards ever made. There are 50 cards in the set and each card has a print run of just 25 cards each. These cards can be found one per case.
Topps PLUS+ Triple Crown Promotion (450): 450 cards – one per two boxes. If you end up with the six cards representing the player or players with the highest batting average, home runs, and RBI in each league during the 2014 season, you can turn those six cards into Topps for a special prize from Topps – an autographed full sized jersey from the team of your choice. There will be 75 cards from each category (75 AL HR leaders, 75 AL AVG leaders, 75 AL RBI leaders, 75 NL HR leaders, 75 NL AVG leaders, and 75 NL RBI leaders). You would need to collect all six cards to turn in for the autographed full sized jersey.
Topps PLUS+ Online Vintage Reveal Card Promotion (16,065) – Topps has created an awesome online promotion for those who find an online vintage reveal card. Inserted one per two boxes, each reveal card has a code on the back to be entered onto a special web site powered by Topps. The web site will then tell you what vintage card you have won. For a small shipping and handling fee, you can request your vintage card to be mailed to you. Every Topps base card from 1951 to 1979 is available for a total of 16,065 cards to be unlocked. Only one card of each is available which means that you have the same chance at a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle as you would any other card! You will also be able to see which cards have been redeemed and which cards are left to find. This game has no expiration date.
And there you have it – Topps PLUS+. One person I talked to about this idea thought that although it is a great idea, Topps wouldn’t be interested because it would take people away from buying hobby and hobby jumbo boxes. I don’t think Topps would be taking people away from buying those as there would be some Topps enthusiasts that would collect the inserts found in all product types.
I would like to hear your honest opinions on this as this is something that I would like to see happen. Would it work? Would it not work? Have any ideas to improve on this? What do you guys think? Let me know!! By the way, it would be AWESOME if a Topps representative contacted me further about ANY of my ideas mentioned here. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org