In football, there is no bigger favorite of mine than Topps Five Star. For the first time, Topps is offering a baseball version of the product, and auctions have started to slowly make their way onto eBay. Usually at this point, there are a slew of auctions that have been posted, but it seems as though early sellers are being forced into taking down their auctions, selling them quickly, or not risking the wrath of Topps until tomorrow. I could also be reading into this a bit more than I should, but it is VERY odd to not see more action this late in the day prior to release.
Here is what has been posted so far:
2012 Five Star 8 Player Auto Book – Harper, Trout, Darvish + More – Nice line-up, interested to see how much this goes for.
2012 Five Star Freddie Freeman Gold Auto – really cool looking!
Personally, I absolutely LOVE the design of this set, and have said that many times. From the previews on Topps’ twitter, this set definitely has the same DNA as its football sister set, including a few surprises. I think this has some huge potential to be one of the best baseball sets of the year, as there sure are a lot of amazing looking cards in the product.
As for listing early, I thrive on it, especially for a product like this. I know that there are a lot of people who have called for greater enforcement of the release date, but I fail to see the point for people like me. If I were a breaker, I can see how being second to list the cards does give you somewhat of a disadvantage, but I think the pulls are diverse enough to not make that much of a difference over the course of one day. I just hate waiting, as I am about as impatient as they come – especially when cards of my favorite players are involved. However, I do see that there are pros and cons for not holding up the release date.
One of the major concerns voiced by collectors so far, has to do with the condition of the cards out of the pack. There is chipping on edges and corners, which has brought about some pretty nasty feedback. I dont really think that everyone truly understands how much these cards are handled in the process of being signed. These cards are printed and sent to the players, and they are handled significantly during the signing process. In this situation, its clear that the players are not going to handle them with greatest of care. As I have said before, I would much rather have on card autos with chipping than perfect cards with stickers.
Bottom line, I think Five Star should redefine what high end is all about in baseball. A standalone Exquisite style product has never been produced in baseball until now, as far as I know. With guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper to carry the load of the chase cards, I think there is now more reason than ever to test the waters. Without guys that, its tough to find cheap enough ways to make it work.
EDIT: Looks like the auctions are starting to hit.