Hobby Musings: 2020 Topps Series 1 Starting Off Big With Million Card Rip Party

Hobby Musings: 2020 Topps Series 1 Starting Off Big With Million Card Rip PartyTopps Series I Baseball is annually one of the biggest trading card releases of the year. In a day and age where card releases are often dictated by high-end prices and flashy cards, it’s been refreshing to see that a relatively basic product like this has still been able to generate the fanfare that it does.

A big event for Topps itself each year, the company decided to usher in the first product of the decade with a special event. Hosting a million card rip party in early February, Topps has teamed up with breakers to help give Series I a big debut. To find out more about the company’s plans for the party, I had the chance to catch up with Emily Kless. The following interview was conducted via email.

Hobby Musings: 2020 Topps Series 1 Starting Off Big

KS: Emily, why did Topps decide to host a million card rip party for 2020 Series 1 Baseball?
EK: To ring in a new decade of Topps baseball cards, we wanted to make a splash for the release of our flagship product! There’s no better way to do so than ripping open one MILLION cards. Teaming up with breakers, which are the latest phenomena of card collecting, gave Topps a way to have as many consumers involved as possible in our unofficial start to the baseball season!

KS: How did you decided on it being a million cards and just how many cases have to be busted in order to make that happen?
EK: Because of the nature of Series 1 product – its vastness in both number of cards and variety of inserts – we decided one million would be an appropriate number to showcase this massive product. Breakers will collectively rip open 357 cases of jumbo packs, which will land us beyond one million cards.

KS: It’s being hosted at AT&T Stadium, which is a football stadium. Why decide to have it there instead a baseball stadium or other venue?
EK: While we would have loved to host the Million Card Rip Party at the new Texas Rangers ballpark, with final details getting ready for Opening Day, there were concerns that the stadium wouldn’t be event-ready by February 4th. With the magnitude of an event like this – one MILLION cards – we wanted a stadium with the same kind of presence to serve as the backdrop, yet still be in the vicinity of MLB’s newest ballpark, so we decided upon AT&T Stadium.

KS: Who are all the breakers involved in this and how were they selected?
EK: Topps selected a list of breakers from across the country that promotes and sells Topps products and who have avid collector bases and break via multiple platforms. The full list of participating Breakers will be available on Topps.com in the coming weeks! (Find the list HERE)

KS: There has been some controversy about the decision by some breakers to not ship base cards as part of their services. What is Topps’ response to that happening?
EK: We understand that breakers hold their group breaks in a variety of ways, so we did not want to dictate how breakers should conduct their breaks. If there are any cards left over that do not get shipped, Topps plans to make good use of them, whether that be through donating to charity or seeing these cards come to life at events like the MLB All-Star Fan Fest.

KS: Besides all of the breaking itself, what else is going into making this a special event for the company and the hobby in general?
EK: The Topps livestream will serve as the broadcast destination for all of the Million Card Rip Party action. On the livestream, which will be held on the Topps website, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, fans can expect to see interviews with breakers, Topps staff, and special guests (you guessed it – players!). Additionally, challenges will be held throughout the night for the breakers and those who are involved in a group break. (Think: Who pulls the first autograph card of a certain player, who completes the first team set, etc.) The first breaker to complete the given task will receive a prize. Some of these will be prizes for the breaker, some for a lucky customer of theirs, and some will be for both!

KS: Is this something Topps will try doing for other products in the future?
EK: Since this is the first event of its kind, we’re incredibly excited to host the Million Card Rip Party! We’re also eager to learn from the event so that we can hold similar ones in the future, whether that be for various products or make this event an annual one.

KS: One of the most important releases of the year, what are some of the highlights collectors should be looking out for with 2020 Topps Series I Baseball?
EK: There is such a variety of incredible cards included in Series 1 that no matter what type of collector you are, there is something for everyone! AL Rookie of the Year Yordan Alvarez will receive his first rookie card alongside other big names like Gavin Lux and Bo Bichette. We’ll also have a Celebration of the Decades ticket included, which invites you and a guest to a Topps Celebration of the Decades Party in Las Vegas! Fifty total tickets will be available with a portion in Series 1 and a portion in Series 2. Under the theme of celebrating the decades, there are also various insert sets highlighting the greats across the decades in which Topps has produced baseball cards. Fans even voted on their favorite card designs from each decade, which we’ve included as a part of the Series 1 inserts. From autographs to Home Run Challenge, there will be plenty to collect!

KS: A lot of notable players like Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon changed teams over the offseason. Will we see them and other players who changed teams in their new uniforms for Series 1?
EK: While the process of creating 2020 Topps Series 1 begins months in advance, the timing of when each player signs with a new team is dependent on their card featuring them in a new uniform.

KS: We’ve seen some incredible rookies make their debuts in the past few years. Which newcomers should collectors be keeping an eye on this year and why?
EK: As previously mentioned, Yordan Alvarez will be a highly sought-after rookie card, since he is the defending AL Rookie of the Year. Bo Bichette, Gavin Lux, Aristides Aquino and Nico Hoerner will also have rookie cards in 2020 Topps Series 1. It’s always fun to watch Bowman prospects turn in to rookie cards in Series 1!

KS: Aside from Series I, what are some other baseball products that Topps has coming out soon?
EK: 2020 Topps Heritage Baseball will follow suit to 2020 Topps Series 1, along with of course, Opening Day! We also have some exciting non-baseball releases coming, such as our new Women of Star Wars set and WWE Road to WrestleMania. Collectors can follow the @Topps social media channels to stay up to date on all the great products being released throughout the year!

For more Hobby Musings from Kelsey Schroyer, follow him on Twitter @KelSchroy75.

Hobby Musings: 2020 Topps Series 1 Starting Off Big With Million Card Rip Party
Kelsey Schroyer