Hobby Musings: 2019 Baseball Cards Season Still Going For Topps – Even though baseball season may be over, that doesn’t mean 2019’s trading card releases are finished yet. With several hot products in the books, Topps still has more than a few intriguing releases that will hit stores before this year is up. To find out more about how 2019 went and what is still to come for Topps, I had the chance to catch up with brand manager Jeremy Fullerton. The following interview was conducted via email.
KS: How did the 2019 baseball season go from a trading card standpoint for Topps?
JF: 2019 was another great year for baseball and Topps trading cards. Lots of great performances by the established stars and a huge influx of young new players that collectors were eager to get first cards of.
KS: Which baseball products performed the best for you this season?
JF: As I mentioned above, 2019 was a really super year for baseball and Topps, with almost all of our products performing well. Some standouts have got to be Bowman and Bowman Chrome, Topps Series 2, Diamond Icons, and Topps Definitive Collection.
KS: Was there a product that surprised you with a positive performance this year?
JF: Surprised might be the wrong word, but we were excited to see the collector reaction to the 2019 Topps Holiday cards. We decided to have a little bit of fun with this release adding holiday hat relics, and short prints that had holiday items photoshopped into the base card images. We have been hearing that collectors are having a lot of fun opening these packs and seeking out the hidden items in the short printed variations.
KS: From a baseball card standpoint, who was the MVP this season?
JF: It’s hard (and kind of unfair) to single out one player here. It has really been the explosion of young talent in pro baseball. These young players are coming in and making an immediate impact, and drawing eyes to baseball, and in turn card collecting. In addition to the great 2019 rookie class, there were players like Acuña Jr, Ohtani, Albies, Torres, Bellinger and Judge.
KS: Who was the baseball Rookie of the Year in cards?
JF: Vlad Jr was the most anticipated potential rookie when 2019 started and I feel the excitement for his cards continued throughout the season. But there were several other players that really captured the attention of collectors as well in Alonso, Tatis, Hiura, Senzel, etc.
KS: So with baseball season over, what is coming up for Topps in baseball card releases for the rest of 2019?
JF: Rounding out the 2019 year are Topps Gallery, Topps Holiday, Transcendent, and two Bowman releases; Bowman Draft and Bowman’s Best.
KS: What differences are there with releasing products during the offseason as opposed to the regular season?
JF: Our release calendar focuses many of our products to come out while baseball is still in “full swing” (pardon the pun), but the few that come out after the season is completed tend to focus on either the brand new talent joining the professional ranks (Bowman Draft and Bowman’s Best) or the rich history of baseball past and present (Dynasty and Transcendent). But the same amount of attention, creativity, and care go into these as those which release “in season.” With our own internal production schedules, it’s always baseball season in the Topps office though.
KS: Beyond baseball, what other upcoming products do you have releasing soon?
JF: We have products for several of our other brands just hitting store shelves or releasing soon. Our Star Wars team has two releases coming soon in Masterwork, which features collectible autograph and relic cards from characters across the galaxy, and in Rise of Skywalker: Series 1, which will focus on the anticipated next and final chapter in the Skywalker saga.
2019 WWE NXT focuses on the young talent competing in the NXT division and its most notable alumni. 2019 UFC Museum Collection highlights the most collectible names in MMA on high-end cards. Rounding out our non-baseball portfolio for the year is Stranger Things: Welcome to the Upside Down, which recaps the occurrences in the Upside Down in seasons 1 and 2.
KS: It’s still months away, but when can we expect 2020 Topps Baseball Series I to release?
JF: 2020 Topps Series 1 is set to release February 5th, 2020. We treat this as the unofficial start to the 2020 MLB season and expect to see a lot of excitement surrounding this date and product.
KS: Is there any chance we’ll see any new baseball products come out next year?
JF: YES! We are excited to announce some of the new (and returning) products, but everyone will have to stay tuned to our website and social media channels for these announcements.
For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.