The Topps flagship release is one of their most well known and widely loved releases. It feels pretty basic compared to other releases, but it’s really not. It comes with a an assortment of insert sets, along with a large number of parallels and hits.
As this is a continuation of the earlier series 1 release, many of the inserts sets also continue from that release. We see an insert set modeled after the 1984 release, but this time featuring rookies and All Stars. We also get more sets celebrating the 150 years of professional baseball. The release is not without controversy, however. One insert set features a polarizing figure in the hobby, in Gary Vee. He has definitely brought some fresh eyes to the hobby, but it’s not clear to all collectors whether that’s good or not.
The base set features 350 cards, with 76 SP or SSPs variations, including a SP for hot rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. A box contains 10 packs with 46 cards each. There are two relic cards and one autograph advertised in each box.
Topps is bringing back and old release with Topps Total. This seems to be a call back in name, but not necessarily in spirit. This release is going to feature 9 waves of 100 cards per wave. There will be a limited number of parallels, as well as a previously unannounced autograph insert set.
This is set to be an online only “print on demand” set. That makes sense so far. Where it seems to go off the rails is at the price. This will be released in packs of ten cards for $10 per pack. At $1 per card, this will turn in to a very expensive set for anyone hoping to put together the full 900 card run. Will people stick around the whole way?
The second year of Topps Big League is very much like the first. It presents a large base set, without a ton of bells and whistles. It’s a fun set, and this really comes through with some of the picture selections, as well. This isn’t the release you want if you’re looking for the big hits.
There is an added wrinkle in the release this year. We see the return of Players’ Weekend cards, but as an insert set. We also see some SP cards featuring new rookies from 2019. These cards share the numbers of one in the regular set, so they’re a an alternate card for the set, without making you feel like the set is lacking something without them.
The complete base set contains 400, so you will need multiple boxes to even come close. A hobby box advertises 24 packs with 10 cards per pack. There are no hits guaranteed, but they are possible. The published odds for autographs show they will fall one in more than five boxes.
Ah Bowman. I’m not sure there is another product in the hobby today that leans in to the lottery ticket aspect of collecting quite like Bowman. There aren’t many products upon release where base autographs can sell for many hundreds of dollars. The box prices end up reflecting this, however. While the suggested price is somewhere around $240, the boxes have been seen closer to $350.
Is it worth that price? Well, that’s where the lottery aspect comes in. If you hit a big prospect, it would be worth that much and plenty more. Most people will not hit the big prospect, however, and end up losing out. If you like the gamble of the prospect game, this is one of the best products for you. If you don’t, it’s probably better to just pick up what you like on the secondary market.
A jumbo box includes 12 packs of 32 cards, and advertises three autograph cards per box.
While I guess this is technically a new release, it seems to really be splitting how the long time flagship release worked. In years past, the main wrestling release featured all the current brands on cards using the same style as the flagship baseball release. It gave the wrestling release a big time feel, to be sure.
Those days are now gone. Rather than include all the brands, as in previous years, this set focuses on the Raw roster, along with 205 Live. It also uses a different design from the flagship baseball. This, coupled with the lack of some big names seems to hurt this release. We’ll see if it grows on me over time, but right now, it feels like a disappointing set.
The box contains 24 packs of 7 cards. Each box advertises 2 hits, with one of those guaranteed to be an autograph.