This set faced a big delay due to the pandemic shut downs. Normally, this set would be released in July, but this year it finally hit stores in mid September. The great card rush is still going on, but it remains to be seen how that will affect this release. While this is a heavy hit product, with three per hobby box, there is a mix of baseball players past and present, and many other pop culture subjects. It’s not a set for everyone.
It can have wide spread appeal, because you can find some subjects that would normally not get cardboard treatment. That same feature can turn off baseball purists, though. It doesn’t get the same sort of attention as other releases, despite the large number of hits, because you primarily see a lot of lower end relics. The biggest current rookie prize is Luis Robert, and he has autographs in this product, but it doesn’t seem to be driving the treasure hunters like in other products.
The base set contains 300 cards, with an additional 50 short prints running 301-350. There are a few regular parallels, with most of the parallels in mini card form. We see a few baseball related inserts sets, but then also some random inserts such as “Where Monsters Live” and “Citadels & Strongholds”. Overall, it’s a fun set as a throwback to a late 1800s set.
A box contains 24 packs of 8 cards, and advertises 3 hits per box.
Series three of the Topps 206 release changes things up a little bit. In an homage to the original T206 cards, which included some minor league players, Topps includes a number of up and coming prospects in their set. This waves has a lower print run than the previous two, which isn’t really a surprise given the checklist. While there are some top prospects, there are also many who are not as familiar at this point. Maybe they will eventually make a name for themselves, but right now, they’re not really driving the print run.
At 28,225 packs, the print run is smaller. The still represents a lot of each card, however. It does make it a bit easier to find limited parallels. Each box contains a single pack of ten cards, which includes two Piedmont back parallels.
Wave 7 hits for Topps Total as the year’s release begins to wind down. Production is up slightly for this release with 3495 packs. That still represents a fairly small print run, so the cards are able to hold their value a little bit.
The standard configuration remains for this release. Each pack contains ten base cards. The odds of any inserts is not explicitly mentioned, but you could figure it out by looking at the release size. There are once again three parallels available – red, black, and gold. There are also a handful of autographs and a possible retired veteran card. For packs containing a parallel or insert, these cards are in addition to the ten base cards.
With Stadium Club we see another release during the summer of the hobby spike. Other releases this summer are almost immediately spiking in price, to the point that people are going around, cleaning out retail and immediately trying to resell for three times the price online. It’s not really clear what’s driving this excitement. Is it the rush for the hot new prospect? Maybe. It doesn’t feel like a huge influx of people trying to collect the cards, but that’s difficult to be sure in the middle of a release.
This isn’t normally a prospect heavy release, so despite high quality images on high quality cards, with on card autographs, for whatever reason, the release just isn’t as popular. The base set of 300 cards features many stars from today, as well as heroes from the past. There are the usual parallels involving different foil on the cards, as well as a subset with the cards in a chrome finish. You also have a few regular insert sets back again this year, but inserts are not really what drives this product.
Each box contains 16 packs of 8 cards and advertises 2 autographs per box.
We see another regular release during the great trading card boom. Recent releases seem to immediately shoot up in price. People are going to retail outlet and clearing the shelves to resell blaster boxes at three times the normal price online. Will that continue with Archives? That’s not clear, yet, but I suspect not. While Archives may contain some of the new rookies, the hits are primarily focused on retired players from years gone by.
It’s early, but so far, this release doesn’t seem to have the same bump. Is the bubble starting to slow down a bit? Or is this a one-off because it’s not rookie focused? Time will tell. It’s still difficult to find at retail, but that is often the case during the first week or release. Some people claim that no product being available is a great sign for the hobby, but I don’t think so. If you spend a few minutes online, it’s very clear that product is selling out because people are trying to resell it for an inflated price, rather than actually collect the product. That’s anything but good for the hobby. If product is not available, people are going to end up not buying any. After a few releases where someone can’t find any product to buy, why would they want to keep looking?