Discussion: 2010 Topps Million Card Giveaway

Topps Million Card Giveaway Homepage

A snapshot of my homepage
A snapshot of my homepage

Its all in the Details!!!!

In this year's 2010 Topps baseball card packs, collectors will find redemption cards for real cards that Topps has "bought" from the secondary market and stored in a warehouse. Topps has stated that EVERY card from their base set library is available in this giveaway. The redemption cards can be found approximately 1:6 hobby packs and 1 in each Jumbo pack (Jumbo packs are a Hobby-only product). I don't think these have been inserted into retail packs of any kind though I haven't confirmed that yet.

The Good....

Well, this really is a cool redemption program and it will make vintage cards accessible to all collectors. The Basic Topps card library I believe is about 36,000 different cards. This means that only cards from Topps basic sets that are offered each year are available. There are no cards from Stadium Club or any of the myriad brands that Topps has released over the years. Since Topps is giving away a million cards, there are obviously lots of duplication here. The program allows for collectors to trade cards they have redeemed (You can see I have 19 cards at the moment) or have them shipped for a fee (fee depends on the shipping method you choose) - that service will be available on March 15, 2010.

The Bad....

Well, like I said, there are over 36,000 cards in the library, many duplicates will be available, and quite frankly, 85 percent of the cards available aren't worth the shipping price you would spend to have them delivered. While this "Giveaway" idea sounds awesome on the surface, the simple fact is a great many of the cards available simply aren't worth the trouble. Buying back a million cards from the secondary market sounds great - but you needn't buy anything from say 1980 to the present. I, and MANY other collectors, have millions of those cards sitting in our attics, basements and closets and we don't know what to do with what we already have. I personally, give huge boxes of commons to local hospitals for the kids to have fun with - at least the cards are entertaining for them. But these cards aren't really all that valuable and offerring them as prizes is really very bad form.

Why? - you might ask...

Because many newspapers have caught ahold of this story and now everybody who has ever collected a baseball card is buying packs. This is GREAT for TOPPS - not you!!. It's terrible for the real collector because the hobby and Jumbo box prices are starting to skyrocket - because people are jumping into the hobby only for this giveaway. (the same thing happened a few years ago with the Derek Jeter/Mickey Mantle/George Bush card)  These very same people will jump off the bandwagon as soon as they go into the site, redeem a card - say a 1993 Topps Chito Martinez, which isn't worth the paper it's printed on, and realize that they are wasting their money (yes I have a Chito Martinez redeeemed already).

The Ugly....

The 1993 Chito Martinez in My Collection. It's worth maybe a nickel - to Chito's mother. You will never have this shipped to you if you have to pay for it. And there are MANY more cards in the library like this one. I actually redeemed 6 cards in one night after cracking a hobby box. I got 6 commons from the 1980's - that I already have many multiples of. I also get many trade requests from people for the one really nice card I redeemed, 1969 Topps Jim Palmer which is worth about $30 if it's in nr-mint condition (I won't know until I get it delivered). This was a nice pull but I constantly get people offering me cards like the Chito Martinez for it.

My Suggestions to You...

This really is a fun product to break and if you are a real collector, you'll enjoy this redemption program but please try to dissuade any people you know who are just buying it because they think every card redeemed is a 1952 Mantle. The reality is this is a very cool idea - but since an enormous amount of the cards being giving away are trash (sorry to be a bit harsh here) - it doesn't really have the impact to the hobby it should have. And if I were you, comparison shop for the best prices on hobby and Jumbo packs. Stores in my area all of a sudden want $75 per Hobby box and $15 per Jumbo pack. In a pure value discussion - you will not get proper value at those prices so let the market cool down a little before you go looking for those redemption cards.

Until next time - have fun collecting!!!

David Blyn

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Comments 8 comments

stellarbowler 6 years ago

Good commentary. People are suckers for this, especially those who will spend $4 a piece for redemption cards on eBay. Wow! $4 for a common! As for me, of my 69 redeemed cards, only four were pre-1970, and even those were commons, the most "valuable" being about $8 (IF it's in 8-ish condition). Most of them were post-1980 garbage. I calculated the odds of getting any card worth AT LEAST $50 at roughly 2,200 to 1, assuming that nothing post-1970 is worthwhile, and further assuming (and a generous assumption at that) that of the remaining years 1952-1970, there are about 100 really collectible cards from each year, putting the total number of worthwhile cards around 2,200, give or take a few hundred. Not good odds AT ALL. This is a sucker's game.

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I agree completely. Very long odds on actually getting something worthwhile but people are stillbeing pulled in. I like that people are buying the product, but the odd rush on it by people not really into collecting is annoying at best.

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

Today, I saw the Hobby box price jump to $100!! I couldn't believe it. People, there is nothing in the box worth that and the redmption program is very hit or miss. Be VERY caeful bying this product...

masaryu 6 years ago

I just redeemed a card today and got a 1955 Wally Moon which seems pretty decent compared to what other people are getting. I'm just hoping it's in good condition by the time I get it.

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

That is a very nice card and definitely what Topps should have been striving for when they came up with this concept. It's not an extremely valuable card - but it is a very interesting card and a good addition to any collection. I wish all of the cards redemmed could be described as such..

stellarbowler 6 years ago

I got my 1953 Marion Fricano a few weeks ago and promptly traded it and several other garbage redemptions for some new stuff at my local card shop, but not before checking on FeeBay for what it might have been worth IF it were in decent shape (which it was definitely NOT): at most, $20 or so. A whole lotta hype for nothing. Sorry, Topps. I'm not buying anymore.

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

I stopped when the pack prices were going upwards of $2.50 - $3.00 a pack which is just way too high for a base product. Especially when the price is reflecting a big speculative jump that isn't warranted. I think this is a very cool promotion that has just been handled wrong. I'm waiting for Series 2 at this point..

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dblyn 6 years ago from Staten Island, NY Author

SOmeone pulling the Mantle Code is great news - someone had a good day!! This is a cool interactive idea from Topps that wasn't administered all that well on the baseball side. Hopefully they have learned a little bit and they make the football version the great program it should be

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