A couple of weeks ago I suggested a new concept that I think would go over very well with Topps card enthusiasts: Topps PLUS+.
Topps PLUS+ is my idea of a new alternative for those who desire a better chance at higher quality (less quantity) inserts but don’t mind paying more per pack. My idea would feature the exact same base cards as found in regular Topps but have a totally different insert lineup that would result in zero overlap between hobby and hobby jumbos. There would be no sticker autographs and all relics would be certified MLB game used. With Topps PLUS+, there will be one insert set, one relic set, one autograph set, one interactive set, and one promotion.
Well, I received a lot of positive and negative feedback about my idea. I have taken those comments and began to mold Topps PLUS+ into something most people would enjoy. This is what I have now come up with and I would be very interested in what you would have to say – either good or bad.
Instead of having a “new” product which most people have frowned upon, I recommend that Topps should “replace” their existing hobby jumbo configuration for their flagship Topps brand with my concept of Topps PLUS+. Hobby jumbo packs have 50 cards and about 10 inserts in every pack. Currently, all of the inserts found in hobby jumbo packs can be found in regular hobby packs. Most collectors like to buy the jumbo packs because historically, although the price is higher at around $10 a pack, the odds are better to pull something of higher value than in a regular hobby pack. Also, hobby jumbo packs used to be the only place to find black parallels. It is my belief that Topps now includes black parallels in regular hobby packs so that more people will want to buy hobby. Hobby jumbo packs tend to sell faster than regular hobby packs and store owners will usually sell more hobby packs when their supply of hobby jumbos runs out.
My recommendation is to replace the current hobby jumbo configuration with my concept of Topps PLUS+. Instead of getting ten of the same inserts that can be found in regular hobby in every jumbo pack, I would like to suggest that hobby jumbo packs consist of the following cards that can ONLY be found in hobby jumbo packs (or what I like to call Topps PLUS+ packs):
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.
By replacing the current hobby jumbo configuration with my concept of Topps PLUS+, more people will buy regular hobby packs than before. This is because the inserts in both products would have zero overlap and people building master sets would want to collect both. Most people who buy lots of jumbo packs do not buy regular hobby packs. But with my recommendation, they would because there would be different inserts to collect.
Now I realize it is too late for Topps to do anything for 2014 Topps but don’t you think that this would be ideal for 2015? Please let me know if you think so or why this wouldn’t be. Thanks!