For the last five or six years, Topps has really put a focus on adding on card autographs to their baseball products as the preferred way of building their sets. Its actually been quite refreshing to see how many products they get done, including ones that are on the lower end of the scale. Tier One was one of the first new products when that movement started, and has been a staple since. It mixes the normal autograph content with some really high end hits, and 2016 is no different.
Here are some of the bigger hits up so far:
In terms of the look of the set this year, the cards continue to look very very good. All hard signed, save a few multi autograph cards, and a lot of interesting chase content like the ever popular Bat Knobs. I really like the overall design this year, as the theme features some nice action photos and a large space for the players to autograph.
There was an issue with one subset, as the design has a dark area for the players to sign and the pattern makes it very difficult to see the autograph. Other than that, most of the cards are some of the better looking single autograph cards around, and that has been what Tier One has been all about since its inception.
Bat knobs and bat barrel cards have been the featured chase element of the product for the last few years, and with the inclusion of Josh Gibson this year, things have gotten quite a bit more lucrative. Because bats arent exactly in short supply for the players of the modern era, the cards arent as big of a deal to me unless they are autographed. A lot of people really like them, and they are unique examples.
New this year are autographed cards that contain a piece of the pen used during the signing, which I find a bit “out there” in terms of relics. People seem to like them a lot, but I really think this is taking things a bit too far. Either way, there are 1/1s for a few top names, and they seem to be selling well.
From what I have seen from people ripping cases of this stuff, it is about as big a crap shoot as any of the one pack products that are out there. You get two autographs and a relic in each pack, but unless you hit a bigger name, its going to be tough making back any real fraction of your money. Tier one is great for group breaks, but picking up boxes here and there probably isnt the best approach.
If you want nice looking hard signed cards, you cant go wrong with Tier One. The stuff just looks great. I think its more of a singles paradise than anything to be honest, and that’s where things get a bit more comparable to this day and age.