I don’t expect much from Topps Company. As a lifelong collector of baseball cards, I have come to accept that it’s their Monopoly and us collectors are just forced to play along. Even Topps’ worst in baseball is still miles ahead of efforts by Leaf and Panini. In 2007, Topps Company was interested in generating good P/R and providing great customer service because they had their eyes on ruling baseball again. Now, with their MLB exclusive agreement renewed and their final competitor, Upper Deck, forced to produce cards of cats and obscure indie films, Topps can pretty much get away with anything.
On January 8th, the day my 7-day Twitter suspension came to an end, Topps announced a huge “Million Card Rip Party”. This event, which will be held on February 2nd at AT&T Stadium, will feature many top breakers going through hundreds of cases of 2020 Topps Series 1 Baseball. While officially, this event isn’t being hosted by Topps, it has their greedy fingerprints all over it. I’ve been writing for years that Topps is flooding the market by overproducing cards similar to the “Junk Wax” era and this is perhaps the most irrefutable proof I’ve seen yet.
Series 1 drops on February 4th and right off the bat, 1,000,000 cards will be opened. A MILLION on day 1. What about the allotment for breakers NOT involved in this event, the few remaining card shops in the nation, and retail outlets? Just how much 2020 Topps Series 1 has been printed and/or is still being printed as I write this? Some will argue that print runs mean nothing if collectors still purchase everything but when will the bubble burst? Is 2020 Topps the final nail in the coffin? Will collectors twenty years from now be unloading case after case of 2020 at garage sales?
Perhaps even more egregious … several of the breakers from this event will NOT be shipping out base cards. Read that one again, slowly. If you buy into one of the Topps sponsored breakers, there is a very good chance your base cards will not be shipped to you. It’s been a while since I’ve touched any Topps flagship but last I recall, the product is 97% base cards. You’re lucky to walk away with a single, serial numbered parallel and a bland game-used relic and/or manufactured patch. If you pull an autograph, trust me, you’ve beaten all odds.
Furthermore, the Topps flagship has always been a set builders product. This isn’t a hit-heavy brand like Bowman’s Best that’s almost all parallels and autographs. This also isn’t a thousand dollar per box product that’s all hits and no filler. The Topps flagship is a product that features beautiful photography and this year particularly, has a great design. If you don’t care about your base cards, fine, so be it. However, if you are a breaker who is saving money on not shipping base cards just to turn around and grade/sell them, you are a horrible person and should leave this hobby.
I’ve been defending breakers for a long time but this is the first time I will recommend that collectors go out and purchase a Hobby box for yourself. Although it’s not my bag, Topps’ flagship should be enjoyed by YOURSELF, not through anyone else. If you have no choice but to break online, do it with a company that will ship you every card that belongs to you, no ANDS, IFS, or BUTS. Don’t allow breakers or anyone else to rip you off. This hobby has been polluted by Gary V.-types looking to flip everything but TRUE collectors collect everything, including base cards.
As expected, the usual #TheHobby sycophants went to Twitter to defend the actions of breakers by stating that most will ship base and those who choose not to have lower prices per slots. Another flipper pointed out that all rookie cards, while technically considered base cards, would ship. That’s also great but you know what would be MUCH better? Shipping every single card that a collector is owed. If you’re trying to save money OR trying to keep base cards to grade and make profit from, or sell locally, you are a scumbag and that’s the bottom line.
Don’t be a Fuck Face, #ShipTheBase
6 thoughts on “Don’t be a Fuck Face, #ShipTheBase”
“Series 1 drops on February 4th and right off the bat, 1,000,000 cards will be opened. A MILLION on day 1.”
Nope. Not a bubble– Not at all. Move along, please.
“Perhaps even more egregious … several of the breakers from this event will NOT be shipping out base cards.”
I have been helping a breaker sort since 2015 and this is actually pretty common practice. There are a lot of buyers who just want the “better” hits shipped to them. A lot of the big breakers skip this product all together as it is a hard sell since it only yields 1 to 3 “hits”. After the first box opens, it pretty boring to watch someone open base cards. After the dust clears, the base usually is donated. If someone is pulling and grading cards to re-sell, then they have a ton of time on their hands.
I myself would like to receive my base, but I understand. It’s time consuming as all hell. It’s also why I don’t mess with breaks anymore and just buy a hobby box for myself.
That said, you are 100%, this is not a breaker product. So it’s odd that Topps is holding this event to watch each breaker open 30+ cases of… base.
Excellent article as usual!
I f****** hate breaks, but at the end of the day, it’s a way to celebrate the release of their flagship product and it hits a certain audience. That being said, if they ditched all other releases except Bowman, Heritage, and Chrome, I’d be happy.
But f*** breaks man!
good article but grading topps base veterans. i little bit of stretch. But again love the read
The only way I’d ever buy into a group break of 2020 Topps Series One without the base cards is if it were dirt cheap. I mean dirt dirt dirt cheap. Like I could get the Oakland A’s for $5 in a 20 box case break. And if 1,000,000 cards of this stuff is going to be broken at one event… I’m scared to hear how many cards Topps actually produces in the entire run of the Series 1 flagship.
As a person who attempts to put together Flagship every year from boxes (like a moron, I know) things like this irk me. There are so many other avenues you could go with this product to launch. A mass break at a football stadium where the majority of the cards are just going to end up in flux ranks just above lighting them all on fire at the end to set a Guinness World Record in terms of bad ideas.
The dictatorship continues.
YOU MUST COLLECT ROOKIES
MOJO IS ALL THAT’S IMPORTANT
BASE CARDS ARE IRRELEVANT
STARS ARE IRRELEVANT
ROOKIES & HITS
ROOKIES & HITS
ROOKIES & HITS
YOU WILL COMPLY.
Ugh. Make it stop. Set builders unite! Stop the oppression of base cards.