Examining Rarity in 2010 Topps Football

Now that Topps is out, I think its time to go over a few observations I have had, especially in regards to the rarity of a few different cards. Topps notoriously sells well the first few weeks when all the set collectors bounce off the walls trying to complete a master set, but after that it’s a crap shoot. One part of the product’s slate that always sells well is the rare cards, and I think I have gained some insight with all the research I have done lately.

First, the crown jewel of every Topps Football release is the Rookie Premiere autos. This year we have a complete picture of the print runs thanks to the awesome addition of serial numbering, and I think it also gives us a clue to a few other things as well. In terms of the rarity, its pretty obvious that these cards are VERY rare. In a product with as many cards as this set has, a hard signed card numbered to 90 is going to be extremely valuable. More so than I think people expect. These cards not only hold their value through the entire card year, but there are more than a handful of collectors that chase them. That means for guys like Tebow, Bradford and Bryant, there is going to be a lot of competition. A Tebow Red Ink /10 is currently up for a TON of money, and to tell you the truth, it may actually be more correct in terms of current value than anyone would believe. In all reality, these cards are the first investment banks of 2010, and I have already started to acquire the ones I want as a result of the manufactured scarcity of this year’s product.

The numbering of this year’s RPAs are also a tell tale sign of the sheer number of fakes that are out there for previous years. There is a VERY good chance that previous year’s versions are available in COMPARABLE quantities, which means that there are definitely not 800 Peterson red inks from 2007. Although people in the know have balked at the fakes for the last year or two, many people still refuse to believe that they are fake. Hopefully this will slap some sense into their stupid heads.

As for the Rookie Red Zone signatures, they are even more rare than the RPAs, despite having higher numbering. What people don’t understand is that the 100 signed versions of these cards are available over the entire calendar of Topps products, so there is probably only 10-15 per player in this product. One forum member broke 10 cases of jumbos and only pulled 1 of these cards, and I think its safe to say that these are as big of a pull AT THIS POINT in the season as the Red Inks. Once the entire calendar is out, they will be more common, but that shouldn’t effect the value due to the way they are spread out for 2010.

There is also a short print variation of every rookie in the 2010 Premiere Class, and many of them are much better versions of the cards for players who got shafted on their pic. They are seeded at 1 per case right now, so the cost for the top guys should end up being about 20-30 bucks and the lesser guys at about 10-15. I love the idea of having these variations, and I think that many of the rookies will also have similar cards in Chrome, so we definitely have that to look forward to. Unlike last year, there doesn’t seem to be veteran variations yet, but it may still be too early to tell.

Lastly, the sketches (both artist and player) are interesting and cool additions to this product. The artist versions that have surfaced so far are incredibly well done, and they should bring very big numbers on eBay. As for the player done sketches, most of them are terrible, but that is why they are players and not artists. I think it was a good idea in concept, but I would have liked the signature on the front instead of the back, and maybe have just asked for a very cool inscription instead of a sketch. That’s my opinion, at least.

I didn’t get a chance to bust any yesterday because of lack of stock at the store I visit, but hopefully that will change coming up. Ill have a report on my luck when I get a chance to rip into some boxes.

My Initial Thoughts On 2010 Topps Football

When I first started to get into football cards, I could never understand why anyone would buy regular Topps when Chrome was SOOOOO much better. Well, Topps took this type of feeling to heart when they started to build on their flagship set, and this year is one of the most ridiculous Topps sets ever to be produced. Like with 2010 Allen and Ginter baseball, Topps incorporated well thought out high end concepts into their most popular product, and I must say, from what I have seen, its a touchdown and a two point conversion.

The first thing about this set that I need to comment on is the Rookie Premiere autos. For the last two years, this site has been at the forefront of battling the fakes that always show up with each of these sets, and this year, I can go on vacation. Topps, in partial response to the criticsm of people like me, has serially numbered ON THE FRONT OF THE CARD, each and every Rookie Premiere auto. The normal blue autos are numbered to 90, and the reds are numbered to 10. This is such an epic win for my interest in these cards, and I will not hesitate to congratulate Topps on a job well done. The hobby thanks you for taking a stand the RIGHT way.
Second, I commented a few days ago that a lot of the top rookies had TERRIBLE pictures for their Topps cards. After searching on eBay today, I saw that some of the rookies included in that group have some VERY cool variation cards. Clausen has a throwing one, Spiller has a catching one, and Bradford and Tebow also have theirs. Im hoping these cards have Chrome variations because they are a great addition to this set. Its really too bad that the close ups werent the variations, because the rarer ones are definitely 10000000% better.

Moving on to some of the other autographs in this product, I love the ones centered around the 75th NFL Draft. Rather than bordering the stickers like Topps loves to do, they have really done a great job hiding them in the design. For a low end set like this product, the autos are tremendous and should get a lot of money on the secondary market. I even have a slight draw to the Gridiron Lineage dual autos, even though the cards are done in typical Topps fashion. The difference between these cards and ones like in Topps Unique last year is that the borders actually work, and none of the players are covered up. The concept of the set features some good combos of players too, so the low numbered autos should get some nice coin if pulled.

I think another amazing addition to this set is the sketch cards that are randomly inserted, as these types of cards have become incredibly popular for good reason. This Montana sketch that showed up on ebay is so cool, that I may chase others if they look as good as this one does. How cool would it be to get a card like this autographed by the player at a show? I think it would make one of the coolest pieces ever.

Whether or not a box break lives up to everything that it can, the singles listed so far definitely live up to the billing and then some. Even venturing outside of the singles, into the addition of the Gridiron Giveaway, even more is put into this product. Like the Million Card giveaway in baseball, Football has a sister project, and the codes are inserted similarly to Topps baseball. Because football has down years, but nothing like 1987-1992 in baseball, the cards are probably going to be a little bit better in terms of what you can get. There wont be big pulls like the incredibly valuable vintage commons available in baseball, but there definitely will be some very nice cards that collectors can look forward to.

Lastly, Ill be heading to my local shop later today to break some of this product, hopefully with great results. I have had a pretty shitty week so far, and I am counting on a worthwhile and fun break to kick the blues away. Maybe ill get lucky, despite the fact that my wax prowess lately has shrunk to that of kitten. My want list is located here on Blowout, if you have any of the cards I need, count me among the buyers. Email me at the contact link up above, or PM me over there.

Topps Accomplishes More With Two Products Than Others Do In A Whole Year

I get criticized a lot for being overly negative, especially when it comes to upcoming products. However, with two of my favorite sets of the year on the horizon, I can tell you my level of excitement is unparalleled. With the two products that now compose the low end part of Topps’ football calendar, Chrome and Flagship, its like they are playing on a different level. Topps Flagship is being released next week, and I have a feeling that it may do enough to re-energize exactly what I am looking for in the 2010 card season. I mean, the crap that is coming out of Panini’s butt sure isnt doing it, so for these two sets, its make it or break it. Im sure most of you are wondering why these particular sets are my favorite, and I am more than happy to explain.


Most of the time, the base set design for the Topps products is solid. This year, it’s a little more than solid because I always am a fan of the use of the team word logo design. In all of sports, the NFL team word logos are some of the best looking, and it’s a shame they arent used more often in cards. Those logos are an integral part of the design this year, and the overall simplicity of it other wise, makes the stuff from sets like Rookies and Stars look like it may as well be a traffic jam. This year’s design will also translate VERY well into the chrome sets, and the colored refractors with the eye-popping border additions should look amazing. I will say, also, its one thing to use shitty foil board to produce an ENTIRE set, its something completely different to use the chrome tech. The quality of the base cards is THAT much better, and that quality leads to some of the only base unnumbered rookie cards that are worth any sort of money.


The fact that a box of Chrome costs 50 bucks for what you get is great. Because you don’t need the 2 dollar jersey cards to drive up cost and carry a box, the cards do the talking. Even though you only get one auto per box, there is usually enough other draw to busting that makes up for it. Flagship is very similar, especially for the jumbo boxes. When Topps added in the red-zone signatures to rake with the Rookie Premiere autos and the rare variation cards, this product got that much better. Also, much like Chrome, the box is one of the most fun rips around. You cant beat the amount of fun you get ripping into 50 card packs that actually have value in what you pull.


In Flagship, there once was very little content outside of the RPAs. That has since changed. The addition of a parallel structure that is more friendly to the collector, the variation cards, the red zone signatures, and the other inserts like Ring of Honor, make this set great even without the premiere cards. Yet, with a great design added in, even the base cards bring content. For Chrome, Topps sadly folded the Bowman Chrome line into the Topps Chrome brand, which is great for Topps Chrome, but not good for my love of the stand alone product. Because of the added Bowman content, as well as more red zone signatures, and retro autos, Topps Chrome is going to mash this year. Again, the great price point and great design add into the content rather than detract like Bowman Sterling, and that is always a huge plus.


When I heard Topps was out of football, I was pissed, despite my hatred of their high end brands. Their low end brands have been around for decades and my collection is stocked with past players in said products. Collectors associate the Topps base cards with the general happiness of collecting, and a year without them is like a year without football itself. Chrome has a similar legacy with collectors, especially those who loved the invention of premium brands as much as I did back in the day. Even though Chrome is no longer a premium brand, it has the feel of a well put together product each and every year. Like SP Authentic, collectors buy because they know they are not going to be short changed on the construction of the set, and that is something that Panini has lost in creating the crap they have churned out lately. Sets like Rookies and Stars and Certified have a lot to learn from the likes of Chrome and SPA, especially due to the way they look. You can line up the cards for Panini’s long running sets and see nothing but rehashes and staleness, where as the Topps and Upper Deck cards are reinvented visually each and every year. THAT is how you build a legacy.


I hate the fact that Parallels have been blown up like they have in high end Topps products and Panini products. Chrome and Flagship don’t fall into that category. The parallels are tastefully done and add a lot of value to the card itself in some cases. When you pull a rare parallel of a Topps card, you get exponentially more value out of that pull. The difference between a Triple Threads card to 299 and a Triple Threads card to 99 is negligable. That’s when you know there is a problem.

Because of the above and lack of options, I may be purchasing my first case of anything, ever. I opened so much of these products last year that I probably gave away three complete sets to the local kids at the shop. I can tell you all right now that spending 700 bucks on a case of Chrome will definitely be a better investment than buying box after box of the products that blur together on the slate of the other companies. If you are going to blow your money on wax, at least blow it on something worth busting.

2010 Bowman Sterling Is Cringeworthy, Golden Rule Still in Effect

Just when you think Topps has finally started to put the right foot forward, they take three steps back. I really don’t get what it is that Topps cannot see about their high end products, but the stuff is just horrible. I cant even tell you how tired I am of seeing the same stupid ideas product after product, year after year. Seriously, I am wondering if one group of people designs the low end stuff and another group of people designs the high end. Even outside of the continued stupidity regarding the way the stickers are used, the designs never look up to par with even the worst of their low end products.

First off, let me start with the box hits of this product, the rookie material signatures. These cards used to be a matter of taste because they were horizontally oriented and they always had the players with their helmets off. I hated the pictures, so I didn’t buy the cards. Now, the pictures are game style, but the vertical orientation forces Topps to cover up the player with the unnecessary swatch placement, and then it no longer becomes a question of taste when it comes to liking these cards. Its absolutely shocking to me that Topps’ design team is willing stamp their name on a finished product like that, especially when you also see that they cut out a place for the sticker AGAIN. Oddly enough, there is no sticker cutout space on Dez Bryant’s non-memorabilia signature, and it obviously looks THAT much better. Not that it even would make a difference when the player is just barely peaking over the stupidly placed relic, at least in this case.

Secondly, I have no clue why Topps needs booklet cards in every goddamn product. It wasn’t even that novel of an idea when it was first started, and now its getting worse than the Panini manupatch autos that they spread over 25 different products. When you count up the different elements that they factor in to each of the booklet cards, it makes you wonder what the purpose of the card is. Is the purpose to create a good looking card, or is the purpose to pack so much crap onto the front of a card that you actually need two front sides and two back sides to do it. Give me a break.

Lastly, the price point of this product is still one of the most ridiculous on the market. Based on what you get out of a box, this product is so completely overpriced that it makes Triple Threads look like a good deal. Even though you may get 10 or whatever autos per box, all but one or two is going to be a scrub. That means, that you have to count on one or two cards to make up for 250 dollars, and even the Mr. Golden Bronco cant live up to that. That puts the collector at even more of a disadvantage, especially when you consider how terrible these cards sell on the secondary market after the initial release.

Ill give it to Topps, the overall design looks better than last year, but that is like saying this year’s Chevy Aveo looks better than last year’s. In the end, its still looks like an Aveo, and that’s the problem.

Wait Wait Wait. Topps Prime Actually Looks Good?

The golden rule of Topps is that you don’t buy their products that cost more than 100 bucks a box. That’s bottom line, and I RARELY break that rule. The new Topps Prime cards fall just within reason, and to tell you all the truth, they don’t look that horrible. It looks like Topps may have finally pulled their designer’s heads out of their asses when creating new products, and this could be something that does for them what Topps Platinum TRIED to do last year.

First off, the Booklet cards are back, and so far they are in just about every Topps product this year. I hate booklet cards, especially the ones from Triple Threads, and these actually look like what Triple Threads should be trying to do. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, these booklet cards actually look okay. Big player pictures, no ridiculous die cut windows, just simple layout with the right components. The one problem is that these cards STILL feature stickers that are built into the design, and to that I call attention to what the cards would look like if Topps actually got off their asses and got them hard signed. Hell, even if these were just clear stickers on that blue background, the cards would be THAT much better. I really like that these cards seem to feature many different parts of the player’s uniform, though the event used football swatches are still lame as all fuck.

Secondly, the base card design makes me revel in its simplicity. I freaking love it. Hopefully all the cards look like this, and they don’t fuck it up with all sorts of riff raff that Topps usually utilizes. Im guessing the rookie autos will just be off shoots of these cards, which makes me happy, but they easily could turn out like the abomniations from 2008 Stadium Club. Hopefully they do these like Topps Chrome and not like anything else. HEAR ME TOPPS? Don’t screw this one up.

Lastly, the relic cards remind me of an old school movie reel, and I don’t really like the way they look. That will be a minimal part of this set, so im not really that concerned.

Overall, this looks pretty good, I am actually beyond surprised that it turned out like this. When I originally heard they were trying to pull this off a few months ago, all I could think about was “Uh oh, here comes Topps (not) Unique version 2.0.”