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.