Wave 5 comes quickly on the heels of wave 4. During the early stages of the pandemic, Topps started following behind on the print on demand products such as this. Regular releases were halted completely, but these continued, with slower shipping. They’ve pledged to catch up in the next month or so, so we’ll see how that goes.
Production has dipped just a little bit from wave 4, down to 2865 packs. That previous wave was not error prone in the same way the previous releases had been. Will the quality control continue in wave 5? No. Three cards in this wave are misnumbered. Mike Moustakas is numbered 270 rather than 470, Trevor Williams is 371 rather than 471, and Rick Porcello is 375 rather than 475. All of these numbers are occupied by cards released in other waves, but as there is a single print run, these won’t be corrected.
Once again we see the standard format with a 100 card base set with three possible parallels, red, black, and gold. There are also possible inserts with a few autographs and a retired veteran Ted Williams. Each pack advertises 10 cards, with no guaranteed hits. Any parallels or inserts are additional cards in the pack.
This is the fourth wave of the release this year, and we’re seeing the lowest print run this year at 2935 packs. It’s still coming out during the uncertainty of the pandemic, as well as a lack of baseball being played, yet. Summer camps are just starting, so hopefully baseball will be returning soon.
The good news is it seems like many of the production problems have cleared up. There don’t seem to be as many obvious issues as there have been in previous waves. The checklist features some stars like Justin Verlander and Francisco Lindor, but it doesn’t have as many anticipated rookies, which may explain the lower print run.
The format is the same, with additional packed in red, black, and gold parallels. There are also a possible retired veteran and a few autographs scattered throughout the release. A pack advertises ten cards. Any parallel or hit is an additional card.
Topps is bringing back their tribute to the iconic T206 set from the early 1900s after a ten year hiatus. This time, the set is an online exclusive print on demand. Series 1 had a print run of 74,997 packs. Each wave is on sale for a four week window, with shipping advertised in a short period after that. The pandemic has delayed and spread out the shipping quite a bit, with some people receiving their shipment direct after the Series 2 order window had completed.
This release consists of mini cards, in the size of the original tobacco issue. It comes in small packs of ten in silver packaging within a box resembling a cigarette box. While there are some available autograph pack-ins, they are not in any advertised ratio. Two of the cards are Piedmont backs, leaving eight regular base cards, which do not feature any retro advertising on the back. Other backs are available, some with a limited print run and some at a certain pack ratio. Any additional parallels are in place of a normal base card.
This release comes at a strange time in 2020. Normally, the season has been rolling along for almost three months, and some new rookies have started to emerge. This year, due to the global pandemic, no regular season games have been played by the release date in late June. Summer training will begin the first week of July, with fan free games starting in late July at this point.
The pandemic has caused other problems within the hobby. Many releases such as this one have been delayed, and there seems to be some quality issues while trying to rush and catch up. This release is a continuation of series one, with another 350 card base set, the usual expected parallels, and many of the same insert sets duplicating numbers unfortunately.
This entry level product returns for another year, after a bit of a delay due to the global pandemic. It’s the same basic card set, but this time the complete base set has been reduced to 300 cards. The configuration of the box has also changed a bit. Instead of the standard 24 packs per box from years past, this year we see 18 packs of 10 cards. The price seems to have dropped a similar amount, so all is not lost.
There are possible hits in this product, but that’s not really what drives it. A hobby box does not contain any hits, but it does come with a few parallels and insert cards. Overall, it’s a fun little set to collect that won’t set you back nearly as much as most of the other regular releases.