In completing almost 1000 trades, I wanted to share my impressions of relative value amongst the series that Topps has released. I think you can use this when trading but everyone has their own impressions. At the end of the day, is the card sold out? If so, how many were released? Are there coins available? Is it a key card in a chase series? Those are some of the questions I ask when deciding how valuable a card is.
1. Signature Series: Everybody wants them and when numbered less than 500, they are hard to get. They are like the gold standard in Bunt – the cards most likely to hold value.
2. Gypsy Queen: I think they will end up holding value like the Fired Up series, if they release similar numbers. Also like the choice of a Cano award card.
3. Fired Up Series: People don’t trade these cards away which tell me they hold value.
4. Mystery: Really small quantities and seem to be concentrated in the hands of the best collections.
5. Bowman Diamond: Like the Mystery, very small cards counts and you have to be a VIP to pull them… so values are high. The VIPs use them like currency to get cards like sigs and Gypsy Queens.
6. Editor’s Choice: They were really hot and I have a feeling they will be hot again when the next award comes. Not sure if they will hold value beyond the 2-3 most rare ones. They definitely don’t have as much value now as they did at the end of the chase, but they seem to be keeping the numbers lower than SNBs or FCs.
7. Bowman Draft: The numbers are more like sigs or Fired Up but for some reason, maybe because they were released at the same time as other chase series, people aren’t as engaged. Since all of the card counts are low, I predict they will hold some value. I think the blah-ness might also be related to the award card.
8. Player of the Week (POTW): They are planning an award at the end of June / early July. Since a lot of these are low production, they hold value. The higher production ones aren’t valuable but people chase the cards.
9. Golden Moments: Value is always high when a new GM is released. It drops a little once the coin reward is over but they’re generally low numbered, 750 and below. Hank Aaron’s card is highly desirable and with only 250 made, very valuable! I have been offered 3 sigs for mine (and rejected the offer).
10. Sunday Night Baseball: Hard to predict how many of each card they will release, which has hurt the value. Plus the award card wasn’t very appealing. I think they are better than Fan’s Choice but not something to trade a lot for.
11. Turkey Red: Blah look to the cards, released when lots of other stuff was happening, lots of cards needed to get the award… I think a subset of collectors want them and the award card is very nice, but lower value to most people.
12. Bowman Regular: the cards were all rare and the award card was great, but doesn’t seem like anyone seeks them out now. I have had luck getting value for them by trading to people trying to collect all of the cards for a certain team.
13. Cannon Series: Highly sought after when the set award was active. The low count ones can be traded for sigs but the more common ones are throw-ins for trades.
14. Future Is Now: Another one where the Super Rares are still desired but the more common ones are pretty much ignored.
15. Topps Illustrated: one more set like the Cannons and Future is now. Hard to assess value but the ones with less than 500 are good assets to have.
16. Saberstars: Saber cards like Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw still hold some value, but the rest for the mold of FiN, Illustrated, etc.
17. Throwback Thursday: Tend to come in large numbers. If they ever give an award for collecting, they will become more sought after.
18. Mascot Series. I am only including this in Tier 3 because they are limited availability. I don’t think they are that valuable to collectors.
18. Heritage Series: Aside from the Chase Utley (way more rare than the rest), not as much interest in these cards. The 2nd award card (Stanton) is good and because they surprised people with it, the numbers are low.
19. Fan’s Choice: they release a lot of these cards and unfortunately, the players included aren’t always appealing. It also takes forever to sell out. Most of the cards are pretty much the same value as a good gold SP.
20. League Leaders: These cards only hold value during the month they are active as a set. After that, except for the original series cards with low counts, almost no value.
21. 1974 Archive Series: This was the first set they released to make it easier for everyone to get win the chase. The Utley and Tulo (rarest) cards held value while the coins were available but now they have achieved throw-in level.
22. Opening Day: I sometimes get trade requests for the super rares but they are otherwise ignored by most people.
TIER 6 (BIG gap in value)
23. On Deck: giveaways in the beginning of the season (much like the new Men of Action series on Android), they have more copies than common cards.
Value not defined yet:
- Mayor Series – not clear yet if anyone wants these. Topps says they are “Advanced,” whatever that means. My gut says they will end up in Tier 4
- Goin Yard – I have a feeling these will end up in Tier 5, though the award card seems good (Chris Davis).