Wave Three of 2021 Topps 206 released in late July. It follows the same format as the first two waves. This time with a print run of 12425 packs, which is up slightly from the first last wave. For this series, Sovereign backs are being replaced by Polar Bear.
Once again, a box contains a single pack with ten mini cards, two of which are parallels. Last year, every pack had two Piedmont parallels, with any other parallels being a third in the pack, so this year, Piedmonts are not nearly as plentiful. There is no guarantee of any hits in this release, although some autographs are possible.
The second of ten waves from 2021 Topps 206 is here. Production is down significantly from Wave 1, to 11788 packs. That’s a little less than half the Wave 1 print run. These are open for order for three weeks, and print to order, so the demand seems to have softened a bit.
This wave features 50 cards. This time it substitutes American Beauty parallel backs in to replace the Old Mill parallels from Wave 1. Each box contains a single pack with ten cards, two of which are parallels.
Is the hobby starting to come back to normal? It’s starting to look that way. While Stadium Club isn’t just sitting around on store shelves, it has been much more available to this point. Yes, it has two autographs per box, but the release is more driven by the image quality. Maybe that doesn’t work as well for the hit driven hobby of today.
A box advertises 16 packs with 8 cards per pack. The set features current stars, as well as all time greats mixed in, with a variety of dynamic photographs. The base set contains 300 cards, so it’s a bit of a slog to build the set, but without any SPs as part of the set, it is attainable. There is a mix of SPs, but they are all variants, rather than base cards. There is a set of these features alternate photos, while others use the styling from 1991 and 1992 Stadium Club. We also see a few of the regular insert sets
Topps is following up their successful relaunch of the 206 brand with another set for 2021. Unlike the five series in 2020, they’re releasing ten series for 2021. That’s going to make it a rather large set, reminiscent of the original tobacco set from 1909. This set is once again print on demand, and solicits sale for three weeks. The first series is down quite a bit from the 2020 run, at only 26,844 packs. That’s lower than four of the five series from last year.
Topps recreates many of the advertisement backs for this release again. It looks like future series will change a bit of the configuration, with some special feature for each series. For now, each series is featuring 50 base cards, plus five possible autographs, although they are rare. Unlike last year, which advertised two Piedmont backs per pack, plus any additional variants, this year, each pack will contain ten cards, including a total of two parallels. In packs with rarer backs, you will only find one Piedmont back.
Once again, June brings us Series 2 of the Topps Flagship release. It picks up right where Series 1 left off, with cards 331-660. Many of the insert sets return from the first series, but some continue with numbering, while others reuse the same numbering. I still can’t see a good reason to do it that way, but they seem to keep it up year after year.
As things start to open up more and more, stadiums now allow full capacity, and people have other things to do with their money, it seems the card market is starting to cool a bit. There doesn’t seem to be a mad dash to throw everything in to cards. Will that make this release more accessible? It may be a while before we really know, especially with some retail outlets discontinuing cards in the stores for now.
A box advertises 10 packs with 46 cards per pack, including 1 autograph and 2 relic cards per jumbo box.