This year, the holidays bring the final episode of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. That means another card set, as well. This was released the same day as the movie. As with other recent movie releases, the first series has many characters and some scenes, but it’s light on anything really resembling a spoiler.
This release is similar to other recent movies. You get a small base set, parallels, and a number of insert sets including stickers, illustrated character, and ships and vehicles. One unusual thing that stands out, however, is the base set. It’s 99 cards, rather than something round. I guess that’s not really good or bad, just surprising. It’s not clear why that change. Could it be so the set will fit in pages nicely?
A box advertises 24 packs with 8 cards per pack. This includes two hits per box, one of which is guaranteed to be an autograph or sketch card.
When the new television deal was announced for NXT, this set took on a little bit more meaning. Before now, NXT has been a brand exclusively on the WWE Network. It was well received, but perhaps didn’t have as large an audience. That has all changed, but will that mean a bigger market for the cards? Time will tell on that.
It feels like an unusual release. It has a similar configuration to other recent wrestling releases, included a set of matches and moments, as well as one of the roster. There are 100 matches and moments, and a separately numbered 50 roster cards. Only the matches and moments have parallels, which makes it seem the primary base set. There are no other “non-hit” inserts included in this release. It also seems a bit strange that, while included in the roster cards, the women are not featured in the matches and moments portion.
A box advertises 24 packs with 7 cards per pack. It also includes 2 autographs per box, although there have been reports of some boxes containing 5 autographs instead.
This release follows a popular Topps Chrome offering from earlier in the summer. It adds some new rookies, as well as All Star cards and others. It’s a Target exclusive and usually very popular, despite being a fairly stripped down set.
There are rumors that production has gone way up on these. That seems to be possible when looking at the configuration. This features a 100 base set (numbered 1-100, which will make it confusing when dealing with the original chrome cards. While there are a large number of parallels, they are conspicuously difficult to find. That suggests a higher print run, but that remains to be seen.
A box advertises 7 packs with 4 cards per pack. There are no guarantees for hits or anything else in this format.
This is a very popular release every year, in large part because of the focus on rookie autographs. These are not prospect autos like Bowman, but actually for rookies who have already played in the majors. Unfortunately, because of these hot autographs, it is really starting to draw in the lottery ticket collectors. This in turn, drives up the price with increased demand, which leads to more supply being printed. Is it sustainable at this point? I think that remains to be seen.
Chrome has always carried a premium price compared to many other releases, but the additional pressures make it seem less of a value. If you hit one of the key autographs, it’s worth it, but when you don’t, you’re left with little value compared to the price tag. Is the lottery ticket worth the odds?
We passed on hobby or jumbo boxes for this release, as the prices were through the roof. Retail is more available, but any chance at hits is greatly reduced. This blaster box advertises 7 packs of 4 cards plus one bonus pack with 4 Sepia Refractors.
This release comes at an interesting time. It’s new for Topps and focuses on one of the lesser pay per view brands. We’re used to see a Wrestlemania release, and this year also included a SummerSlam release. The event itself took place in May of this year, so this seems like a strange time see a release based on it.
While this set contains 90 base cards, the product feels much more hit driven. There are a handful of insert sets concentrating on previous events, but a set will be difficult to put together from packs. The pack out configuration consists of a master hobby box, containing two mini boxes. Each mini box has 6 packs with 5 cards per pack. There is no guarantee for each mini box, but the master box advertises 4 hits, with 3 guaranteed to be autographs. That’s nice, but for the price point, you need to see good autographs for it to be worth while.