After an interesting 2020 for the hobby, Topps Series 1 represents the first major release of the new year. Last year was plagued with releases being hard to come by and immediately shooting up in price. In many cases, Topps took advantage of this by raising their prices, to get a bigger piece of that pie. The price for this release, before reaching the secondary market is up significantly. Is it worth it?
I supposed that really depends on your collecting goals. If you’re collecting only a certain player or team, you’re probably better off buying singles or team sets. More and more, sealed packs are becoming expensive lottery tickets, chasing the big hits rather than collecting the cards within. Will you get your money’s worth out of a box? Probably not.
This release features a 330 card base set, along with a number of parallels and inserts. There are a lot of short print variations available, as well. Following on recent trends, this year Topps is printing an insert series in the style of their 1986 release. It comes in both regular inserts, as well as the “silver pack” bonus cards in the top of the box. In addition to this extra cards, there is also another Box Topper included, in the style of a 1951 MLB All Star. A box contains 10 packs of 46 cards each, while advertising 1 autograph and 2 relic cards.
This long awaited release makes it out just under the wire to be released in 2020. This follow up to the base Heritage release from early in the year featuring designs from the 1971 Topps design, picks up where the first release left off, with cards numbered 501-725, the last 25 of which are Short Prints. We get the expected insert sets, like Award Winners and Rookie Performers, as well as some new ones like the Let’s Play 2(528) set featuring Ernie Banks.
This release caps a unique year in trading cards, and it’s hard to see things getting back to normal anytime soon. Will more 2020 releases be coming in the new year? These boxes advertise 24 packs of 9 trading cards, with one Real One Autograph or relic card in every box.
This is an interesting release, as it was delayed greatly from the original target date over the summer to December 30, just barely making it out during 2020. It took a bumpy route toward the end, too. A few weeks before release, Topps canceled the previous configuration, and opened up a new round of orders, for the final configuration.
When the release was first announced, it was going to be boxes of 24 packs with 7 cards per pack, as it has been in years past. This year, that was changed only a few weeks before release. While hobby boxes remained at the same price point with two autographs per box, they now included only 2 packs with 25 cards per pack. While it is nice not having as many packs to open, it feels like a lot of content is missing with so few cards in a box.
This is a release we were going to skip, but after seeing some of them, we decided to take the plunge. It comes fairly close to the Topps WWE Chrome release, and soon before WWE NXT. The base set features 100 Chrome cards of WWE superstars across Raw, Smackdown, NXT, and NXT UK. These also come in a variety of parallels, as well.
It’s a tough set to put together, given the configuration of the release. Each master box contains two boxes, which each containing six packs of five cards. In addition to parallels, there are also a handful of inserts set, along with one autograph per mini-box.
In an unusual year, we should have always expected an unusual Update set. Normally, this release will feature players traded during the season and mid year call ups. We often see unexpected rookies make their debut in this set, as well as cards featuring the current year’s All Stars. This year, that all changes.
With the condensed season, there wasn’t as much time for in season trades. There also wasn’t an All Star Game this season. That all leads to a unique Update Series. While normally reserved for special SPs, the base set incorporates a number of retired stars this time, showcasing their All Star and Home Run Derby appearances. We also see the continuation of many insert sets from series 1 and 2, including the 1985 design set.
There are still many rookies, but not many that draw the same excitement as recent years. A jumbo box contains ten packs with forty-six cards per pack. Each box advertises one autograph and two relic cards. In addition to that, there are three box topper packs. Two contain chrome versions of the 1985 insert set, and the other contains something a little bit different. It is a full size cloth patch printed with a normal card front. The players also seem raised on this card.