Over the last two years, Topps has offered miniature versions of their base set in Baseball as an online exclusive or via their booth at the national card show. These boxes, available at around 60 bucks have been received with mixed reviews, many citing the lack of true original content as a factor in buying boxes.
Some of the singles still sell well though:
This year, for the first time, Football will have its own mini version, available today on the Topps website. This is the same program for what we saw done for last year's release of Turkey Red, which sold out in under an hour. Each box has a relic or an auto, and is priced at 52.99 for 24 packs. The cards are basically the same as the base set, except for the fact that they are smaller in size. There are new autographs and relic cards specifically created for this set, although the design is exactly the same as it was in 2013 Topps Flagship. In baseball there were also a number of printing plates and a more limited parallel structure, which should be similar in this product as well.
Personally, I dont see this set as attractive to me, as I am not a set collector, and 99% of this set was already available in normal form. The chase element is there for player collectors, as there are more cards to collect in this product. Other than that, its not much that an autograph collector like me would like to get for the PC. With Topps Chrome on the horizon, this will be the second of three sets to use the flagship design, and Im not sure a hit focused sport like football is the place for this strategy. Granted, its a limited run, and its only available online, so you never know. Turkey Red was successful last year for that reason alone.
Ill be keeping an eye out for the first cards to show up, but I think this grouping of products is something that only appeals to a small group of collectors. Of course, that might be the reason why Topps is opting for the online exclusive release. I guess we will need to take a look at what is coming out of the boxes, because relic value in football is non-existent, and will likely kill value of anyone that doesnt pull the auto. Secondarily, the auto checklist looks pretty weak to begin with, so that isnt a good sign either.
To repeat what I said earlier, I think its one of those situations where we wait on the results.