Preview: 2012 Topps Five-Star Baseball

I’ve been saving this preview for quite sometime. I’m not exactly sure why, perhaps it is because of the pure epicness of the product. Or perhaps I was waiting for the most amount of information possible. Either way, this product hits stores on November 14, 2012, and the baseball collecting world is pumped up.

Well maybe not ALL of the baseball collecting world. A box of this product does cost around $500. That is big time money, for hopefully, a complete big time product.

Each box contains 5 cards, that breaks down to $100 per card, with all 5 cards being hits. This includes 1 active player autograph, 1 retired player autograph, 1 autographed relic, 1 autographed booklet or an additional autograph, and 1 jumbo jersey/patch, bat plate, or bat knob. This product is loaded with some of collectors favorite hits on the market.

Did I mention every autograph in the product is signed on card? No stickers here.

Some other highlights include special inscription cards, 8-autograph booklets, and quad patch cards. But there is also one highlight that is missed out, the 5-Star Club. The Topps Five Star Club is reserved for those who spend the big bucks with the company, including big products like this. The Club gets you access you can’t get anywhere else. A personalized membership card, exclusive Five Star baseball and football cards, VIP status at events with Topps, and quarterly calls with Topps employees. The perks are pretty good I would say.

The product already looks to be a winner amongst those who have seen the previews. It’s pricey, but it looks like one of the best high end baseball products of all time. But that’s on paper. November 14, 2012, we will find out for sure.

Check out more information on this product by visiting Cardboard Connection.

You can purchase this product online at Dave and Adam’s Card World, my preferred online retailer. Or find group breaks online at Mojo Break.

Preview: 2012 Topps Tier One Baseball

In a little less than a week Topps is set to continue their game changers for this season with 2012 Topps Tier One baseball. The one pack product that features a few hits is back and upgraded from last year’s somewhat disappointing first season. A lot of collectors had high expectations last year, but it looks like things have been remedied just enough.

Every pack guarantees one Crowd Pleaser autograph, one On the Rise autograph, and one relic numbered to 399 or less. Plus 1:4 boxes contains an extra relic as well. I’m happy to see the guaranteed two autographs in this product because the checklist is pretty solid.

Even the relic checklist is pretty solid. If you are a frequent reader of the blog you might remember our checklist of bat knobs that are included in this product. Over 100 1/1 bat knobs are distributed in this product.

But one of my favorites is the acetate autograph rookie reprint cards. Autographs on clear cards needs to come back and I know Topps and Panini are doing what they can to make that happen. All spear headed by me! (Well I like to think so!)

And of course, there are some pretty autograph relics included as well. The product looks much better than it did last year and I can’t wait to see some breaks of the product. I also can’t wait to see some of these bat knobs. With 100 bat knobs from 100 different players, those are sure to be a hit.

Look out on June 20, 2012, for this product at around $90.

Topps Unveils Bryce Harper “Rookie Card”

Yesterday on Twitter, Topps posted a picture of the newly debuted Bryce Harper’s rookie card. Let’s take a look:

Oh wait. That was Bryce Harper’s first card from Topps…from last year. Let’s take a look at the new Bryce Harper “rookie” card.

Topps is ready to insert Bryce’s “rookie” into Topps Series II coming out in a couple weeks, and I’m sure several others including the Golden Giveaway and whatever else they have planned for the “phenom”.

Personally, Bryce’s rookie card is 2011 Bowman. I don’t care about the MLB rookie logo, it’s not the first licensed card of Bryce made by Topps as that was made last year and most collectors would agree. The only way this new rookie will be worth anywhere close to the Bowman rookies is if Topps decided to short print this rookie…which might just happen.

Update: Topps has confirmed that Bryce Harper’s Topps Series II rookie will indeed be short printed.

Bryce will also be featured with autographs in Bowman, Allen & Ginter, Tier One, Archives, and the rest of Topps products throughout the 2012 season.

Review: 2011 Topps Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Baseball

I know I haven’t reviewed many Topps products out there, but I thought I would pick up a box of Topps’ newest offering, 2011 Topps Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball. Basically, this is a mix of Bowman and Bowman Chrome but with only the draft picks and prospects with either their first Bowman card or their rookie logo card. This whole RC logo thing confuses me now so I won’t get into it, but that is what is going on now. Anyway, here’s what I pulled.

Base:

Parallels:

Autograph:

Design:

This is kind of a review on all of the products combined to make this product. I actually really like the Chrome base design. It’s clean, has nice borders, nice photography, and the white box where the autograph goes matches the rest of the card and doesn’t look out of place. The rookie logo cards also look really solid, but my real issue is with the first bowman base cards. The black border on those cards just looks out of place. I would of much preferred a white border and I think it would of looked a little better. But I think overall it’s solid.

Checklist:

Checklists in a prospect set are hard to judge, especially for a non-prospector like myself. But there are a few names I recognize and I know some prospectors love a lot of the names on the checklist. I also know people who say there are some glaring omissions from this product as well. As a non-prospector, it’s hard to comment, but I’ve taken many prospectors comments for my rating.

Value:

Value is another hard one with a prospector product. With prospects, you won’t know much about how the cards turn out until a few years down the road. So you have to look more closely at the checklist and the value of what’s in there now. And with the checklist being decent, that’s a good start. However, this product is all about the rookies. With the rookies being paralleled to all infinity, it decreases a lot of the value of the product itself, unless you hit a very low numbered rookie or rookie autograph in it’s paralleled form. I just don’t think it has the value that it once had.

Overall:

Overall, the design is solid overall. Most of the cards are color coordinated and clean all around so it’s pretty visually appealing. The checklist is tough to gauge, but taking input from others, I’ve determined it’s a decent checklist, but it could use a little work with some of the glaring omissions. Maybe it’s Topps saving some value for next year’s installment? Speaking of value, it’s another tough call in a product like this. But with all the parallels, it decreases the value of the base rookie and even some of the higher parallels. Include the autographs in there too and you may only get lucky to get some real good value out of a box. But at a lower price point, a prospector may want to have some fun and see what they can pull. You’ll find all the major league talent in the world, just no major leaguers (except for those who were called up later in the season), which makes this definitely a prospecting product.

I need to do some video editing as this video is a little too long, but I had a lot of fun with some comments on the product and it will be up when I grab a chance.

Preview: 2011 Topps Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects

November 23rd is only a week away which means we are only a week away from 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball which gives you another chance to pull a Bryce Harper rookie autograph. Of course, Bryce Harper is obviously the main attraction but there will be 30 other rookie autographs for you to chase along with the several parallels and the addition of autographed Futures Game relics as well.

Each pack of this 24 packs per box product will feature 2 Bowman cards, two Chromes, one parallel, and two Futures Game stars or Team USA cards. You will also find at least one Chrome autograph and maybe a bonus hit of an autograph from a player on Team USA. The autographs will be paralleled quite a bit with regular refactors, blue, gold, orange, purple, red, printing plates, and of course, the highly collectible superfractor 1 of 1.

The regular base set will only have 3 parallels with blue refractors numbered to 499, reds numbered to 1, and printing plates. But the Chromes will have all their standard refractor goodness with regular refractors, blue, gold, orange, red, printing plates, superfractors, and the Canary Diamond 1 of 1s celebrating Topps 60th birthday.

Finally, the new addition is the inclusion of Futures Game jerseys with regular jerseys, jumbo patches, regular patches, and even some Logoman 1 of 1s. Imagine pulling the first Bryce Harper logoman or other hot rookies like Mike Trout or Paul Goldschmidt.

While I am not a prospector, I know what kind of value Bowman and Bowman Chrome brought this year so I am expecting a success from this product as well.

Here is the preliminary checklist which probably changed a little bit.

Better yet, just got a hold of the 2011 Bowman Draft & Prospects Final checklist!!