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NFT: When Baseball Cards Become Pop Art: Topps 2020 Project

pjcas18 : 5/21/2020 8:30 am
Not sure how I found out about this - I think one of the Mets beat writers I follow on twitter posted about the Doc Gooden one.

The jist of this is, Topps has commissioned 20 artists to each create pop art versions of 20 of their most iconic cards for a variety of players. So, there will be 400 cards total, and I have to say some of these are great especially if like me you grew up collecting cards.

...There are street artists, tattoo artists, cubic artists and even jewelry designers involved. Baseball enthusiasts have jumped all over it, but the project has also appealed to fans of particular artists who can suddenly acquire their work for a modest price.....

And all of the print runs are limited, some more so than others, so the price for some has skyrocketed in a short period of time. For example, there is a Doc Gooden version that was done by artist Tyson Beck (incredible artist), and has a print run of around 1,000 or so. It was purchased via Topps website for $17 @retail while quantities lasted and is now selling on eBay for in some cases over $1,000.

They sell on the Topps website until the print run is depleted and then you can only get them on the secondary market.

It's gimmicky sure, but some of the cards are beautiful and I actually bought a Gooden (not the limited quantity one - I missed that - but a different one from Topps for $17).

just thought I'd share in case anyone else is interested in following it. Collecting all 400 cards would be expensive ($8,000 at least), but I want to try and collect all the Mets, so far I think there are 4 Dwight Gooden's and I have almost no shot of the Tyson Beck version because I'm not paying that price, and some Nolan Ryan's. I'm hopeful once the buzz dies down among collectors the eBay prices will drop.

Here are some examples:

link - ( New Window )
Here is the Tyson Beck version of the Dwight Gooden card  
pjcas18 : 5/21/2020 8:35 am : link

Also, a cool Jeter card from artist King Saladeen (an artist I hadn't heard of but also has a lot of cool stuff):

Very cool  
illmatic : 5/21/2020 9:00 am : link
I didn’t know this was a thing so thanks for posting. I’m one of those people who stopped collecting cards a long time ago but I’ve occasionally thought of buying some of the autographed cards that companies have made in recent years but never did. That Jeter one is currently on sale and looks awesome so I’m going to order it. It’ll be my first card purchase in years so Topps is onto something with this.
Thanks for sharing, just bought the Jeter one also.. wish i knew  
Mellowmood92 : 5/21/2020 10:02 am : link
sooner, i might have to buy a couple off the secondary market
Same here  
pjcas18 : 5/21/2020 10:13 am : link
I wish I knew sooner. I love that Gooden card above, but no chance in hell I'm spending what it costs right now on eBay.

I'm not trying to get the Mets players as an investment, I just think they're cool and they come in a plastic holder and would look good on the book shelf behind my desk in my office.

But if you are looking at them as an investment, this site linked below tells you the print runs for each card and obviously the cards with the lower print runs are more valuable. It takes a few days before Beckett learns the print runs and adds it to the cards. I believe the print runs are hidden during the initial sale, so from what I know you don't find out until after the card sells out and it gets published how many there were. But most of them since I've been following it do sell out and you can kind of tell based on how fast they sell out if it was a small run. I watched one though, a Mike Trout card and it sold out pretty quickly, but had over 16,000 in the print run, so player popularity does have an impact too on how quickly they sell.

And to the comment above - they absolutely knew their target audience. I haven't bought a sports card in probably 20 years, but I bought one of these and as I said I'm going to try and get all the Mets. It's cool too because I remember most of the original cards the artists are making their rendition of.

It's one of the better marketing/sales efforts in the industry and even though baseball cards always dominated the collectible market I see no reason why they can't do something similar with football, hockey, and basketball.

Topps 2020 Print run - ( New Window )
this is awesome...  
Italianju : 5/21/2020 10:20 am : link
thanks for posting.
One thing I'm not sure if I mentioned  
pjcas18 : 5/21/2020 12:57 pm : link
is that each day two new ones come out at noon ET.

today's were just released. A Frank Thomas and a Bob Gibson.

I don't find either to be too compelling, the Gibson is a cool take, and the Thomas is nice but I'm not a fan of either player and I'm definitely not trying to collect them all.

Today’s cards  
illmatic : 5/22/2020 12:31 pm : link

The Gooden card is pretty cool. Not a big fan of the Trout one though. I doubt I buy these or any other non Yankees unless they’re really cool or unique looking.
Definitely getting the Gooden one  
pjcas18 : 5/22/2020 12:34 pm : link
that artist (Ben Baller) has done well on all the cards IMO - his approach is really straightforward, just not "artsy" like the cartoonist or some of the others (who I also like sometimes).

the one card I really didn't like so far was a faceless Sandy Koufax. Most of the others are solid.

The interest  
pjcas18 : 5/26/2020 8:58 am : link
these cards have generated in the hobby is insane. Probably a fad and once the 400 cards are all out maybe the fervor dies down, but at least one artist (Ben Baller - a jeweler) believes it's new blood interested in the hobby and a crossover from "sneakerheads" and believes it likely stays.

For example, the highest print run so far is a Mike Trout card #51 in the project. It was for sale on the topps website for $17. It's now on ebay - selling for over $200. It was the first one I bought and I didn't find out about it until this card. link below.

Some of the ones from my OP are selling over $3,000.

So, I mentioned I DID NOT buy any of the ones I bought for investment purposes, if I bought a card for $17 and a month later it was selling for over $3000 I'd probably sell it.

Either way, I can't say enough how cool a project this is by Topps. Very smart marketing.

link - ( New Window )
today's cards  
pjcas18 : 5/26/2020 12:37 pm : link
I like both, the Koufax more, but not buying either of these.

There was a Griffey Jr Card  
pjcas18 : 5/28/2020 3:17 pm : link
from Monday, it had a print run of just under 100,000.

If people expect to buy and flip a card with that print run as an investment they will struggle IMO.

I don't even like the artwork.

Highest print run so far. I think the cat is out of the bag for good now. the low print runs of the top 50 will probably ensure they keep their value (for those who care about the value), but the remainder likely too many to stay valuable.

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