(2) 2021 Topps Finest Basketball Hobby Box Break

The Topps 582 Montgomery Club was never advertised as a way for flippers to make money. I think a lot of members need to be reminded of that. Early on Topps underestimated the demand for some of the pre-sale items offered to members first, and didn’t price them accordingly. This led to a side effect where you could flip products on a regular basis, and make good money doing so. Overtime Topps has kept an eye on what some of these products sell for on the secondary market, and have priced them closer to what it looks like the public is willing to pay. With that being said, its still possible to flip some of these pre-sales. 2022 Topps Series 1 1st Edition Baseball being a good example.

I took a chance on a few 2021 Topps Finest Basketball boxes offered to members a few weeks ago. Images of this product began to popup on social media last summer, but we weren’t too sure what they were going to be used for. Its the first Finest Basketball product issued since the 2007-08 NBA season. Given that Topps currently does not have an NBA license you won’t find team names and/or logos on these cards. All cards picture the subjects in street clothes.

After a few failed attempts at flipping these boxes (they don’t sell for much more than what they cost) I decided to bust them open. A demand for these cards exists because its the first Finest Basketball cards made in over a decade. The demand would be stronger if they were pictured in their NBA uniforms.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos:

  • Toni Kukoč
  • Vince Carter

Parallels:

  • Dan Majerle Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • James Worthy Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Horace Grant Pink Refractor #’ed/75
  • Shawn Kemp Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Isiah Thomas Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Kurt Rambis Speckle Refractor #’ed/199
  • Kurt Rambis Purple Refractor #’ed/250
  • Tim Hardaway Atomic Refractor #’ed/299
  • Detlef Schrempf Refractor
  • Steve Kerr Refractor
  • Scott Burrell Refractor
  • Steve Smith Refractor
  • Earl Boykins Refractor
  • James Worthy Refractor

Card of the Day: Isiah Thomas 2021 Topps Finest Basketball #11

Q&A – What Happened To The 2019-20 Topps Chrome Basketball Product?

Question: What ever happened to the 2019-20 Topps Chrome basketball product?

Answer: In May of 2019, Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyler Herro shared a picture on social media showing off some basketball cards he recently signed. What got collectors so flustered was the fact that they were Topps Chrome cards.

Prior to this picture surfacing, the last basketball product Topps released came in 2009-10. It got many people wondering if Topps was going to release some type of unlicensed basketball set. Topps usually doesn’t release unlicensed products, but with all of the hype around Zion Williamson you can’t help but wonder if perhaps they were thinking about giving it a shot.

Even though Topps doesn’t have an NBA and/or CLC license, its very possible they could’ve signed someone like Zion Williamson to an exclusive autograph deal. Upper Deck has a similar setup with Michael Jordan and Ben Simmons. This would have really messed with Panini who is the only manufacturer right now with an NBA and CLC license.

Many months went by without hearing anything. During the 2020 Topps Industry Conference this product’s fate was officially confirmed. According to Topps GM David Leiner, the product doesn’t exist anymore.

It certainly gets the imagination going. What do you think a Zion Williamson Topps Chrome card would sell for? Especially when you see what Panini’s diet products go for. Can you imagine how the hobby would react to an online-exclusive Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition basketball product?

I truly believe an unlicensed Zion Williamson card made by Topps could give a licensed card from Panini a run for it’s money.

Card of the Day: Christie Brinkley 2005-06 Topps Chrome Basketball #216

Card of the Day: Carmen Electra 2005-06 Topps Basketball 1st Edition #252

Pin Highlight: 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four Press Pin

Whether its pure laziness or just an effort to pinch pennies, pins handed out to the press for specific sporting events many times look quite similar to the ones you’d purchase at the souvenir stands.  This can result in mass-produced pins being sold as their much harder to come by press pin counterparts.  A good example of this can be seen when it comes to the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four pin.

Press pin

Mass-produced pin

At a quick glance you can see how someone might mistake one version for another.  The NCAA logo on the mass-produced pin has silver coloring around the letters “NCAA”.  The press pin does not have this, just white lettering.  A solid silver-colored ring also circles the entire blue NCAA logo on the mass-produced pin.  The silver-colored ring fades out near the top of the circle on the pin issued to the press.  Looking at the font used for “2015” and “INDIANAPOLIS” you’ll see some major differences.  The mass-produced pin’s is thicker and plain white whereas the press pin font is thinner and a shiny metal color.  Those spikes on the left-side are a bit sharper on the mass-produced pin as well.

When it comes to press pins its important to know what you’re buying.  The price difference can be significant.

Fleer’s 3D Acrylic Basketball Cards Are Junk Wax Era Gems

1991-92 Fleer Basketball isn’t much to talk about.  The set consists of (400) cards which were distributed between two series.  It does have it’s share of rookies such as Kenny Anderson, Steve Smith, and Dikembe Mutombo.  But these cards are so overproduced their value is next to nothing.  It doesn’t seem to matter how overproduced a product may be, there almost always is some type of scarce version.  That holds true for this set.

Throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, card manufacturers weren’t afraid to make what they call 3D cards.  99.9% of the time this involved using lenticular technology.  That’s the stuff that makes a high-pitched sound when you run your fingers over it.  This noise is the perfect sound that would make your dog do that head tilt thing.

On the backside of these packs you’ll see a special offer from Fleer.  For the price of $4.99, plus shipping and handling, and (3) pack wrappers, you could’ve gotten yourself a 3D parallel of any card from the base set.  Unlike other 3D cards at the time, these do not use lenticular printing.  They’re made up of multiple layers of an acrylic, acetate-like material.  Fleer even included a display stand for each card.  The images really do jump out at you, and live up to the 3D name.  In order to get the full experience, you need to see one in person.  Scans aren’t always the best.

Like I said before, many overproduced sets have some sort of scarce parallel.  These 3D cards are it for 1991-92 Fleer Basketball.  Apparently not a lot of people took part in this wrapper redemption program.  The collectors who did, found out these cards are very condition sensitive.  Regular base cards are barely worth a thing, but 3D versions reach into the hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Fleer could have made up 3D versions of every base card.  Whether or not each card was requested at least once is a mystery.  Top players like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, Larry Bird, and John Stockton were popular requests.  Fleer could have easily destroyed whatever they had leftover once the promotion ended.  A 3D parallel may have been made for each base card, but I can guarantee you not every one has surfaced.  A print run for the cards that were distributed would massively help.  If that info ever existed it is long gone.

Another possibility is that Fleer had these 3D parallels made as they were requested.  If a player wasn’t requested, there may have never been a 3D parallel.

Basketball collectors definitely had the better mail-in offer from Fleer in 1991.  Football collectors had the opportunity to get a pin, while baseball collectors could’ve gotten (10) heavy-duty top loading album pages.

True gems from the junk wax era.

Is Topps Returning To Basketball? – Sure Looks Like It

Athletes and celebrities showing off cards on social media that they recently signed for upcoming products isn’t anything new.  But one image has been floating around the internet this week which has a lot of collectors talking.

Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Tyler Herro posted a video which shows three stacks of cards he signed.  What has people all in a buzz is that they seem to be Topps cards.  Topps Chrome to be exact.

Topps hasn’t produced a basketball product since 2009-10.  Panini currently has an exclusive NBA and CLC license.  These cards obviously don’t have any licensed team names and/or logos.

By the looks of it, Topps is working on an unlicensed basketball draft picks Topps Chrome set that features autographs.  With all of the hype around Zion Williamson, Topps seems to have decided to get back into the basketball card business.

Its very possible that a company like Topps could sign Zion Williamson to an exclusive autograph agreement even though they currently don’t have an NBA and/or CLC license.  Upper Deck has done this with Ben Simmons and Michael Jordan in the past.

When the Topps Industry Conference was held earlier this year, rumors were flying around that Panini is deathly afraid that something like this might happen with Zion Williamson.  It doesn’t look good when the exclusive NBA licensed card manufacturer (Panini) can’t strike a deal with the #1 draft pick.

We don’t have any specific details yet.  These cards could be distributed in a number of ways.

COME TO TOPPS ZION!!!

Michael Jordan’s Hanes Basketball Card Commercial

Its great to see sports cards included in a nationwide television commercial.  I’m betting many people have thrown these packs out not realizing they have a small chance at a Michael Jordan autograph.  I saw this on T.V. for the first time yesterday.

’12 Leaf Basketball Auto Contest Winner Announced

Congrats to Grant Lee on being the lucky winner of the Miles Plumlee 2012 Leaf Basketball Auto.  Once Grant Lee sends me his mailing address, I will ship this card ASAP.  Thanks!