Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Preview: 2011 Topps American Pie

Schedule Release Date: December 14, 2011
Box Configuration: 8 cards/pack, 24 packs/box
SRP: $80/box

Box Break:
3 Hits
1 Topps Buyback card
8 Parallel cards
16 Inserts

My Thoughts:
It has been 10 years (well 9 years) since the last American Pie release but Topps has decided to revive the line with a major change, no sports. American Pie used to be a baseball release with pop culture inserts but now they have dropped the baseball connection all together and went solely pop culture to counter Panini’s Americana release and Leaf’s Pop Century release.

This 200-card base set is completely a novelty set, a gimmick. Topps continues to bloat its products with inserts and parallels, a sad trend that they seem to have championed, and you will pull an insert or parallel from every pack. The auto checklist seems to be loaded with “celebs” that are just in need of a paycheck and this is not something that collectors will latch on to and bust.

To add to the parallels and inserts you will also pull 3 hits which can be any combination of autographs, relics, cut signatures, autographed relics, manufactured patches, stamps or coins. Besides a handful of true celebrities (Bob Costas, Henry Winkler, Charlie Sheen) the autograph checklist is a list of has-beens, B-Listers and a handful of people known simply for being “famous”… I am looking at you Kato Kaelin. A sampling:

Justin Willman
Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Tom Arnold
Chynna Phillips
Gilbert Gottfried
Joey Fatone

Does anyone want to really pay $80 and pull a Billy Baldwin autograph; a Sean Astin manufactured Hollywood patch and a Wilmer Valderama penny relic card?

Now there are some decent pulls, I am sure that anyone would be thrilled to pull the Charlie Sheen “Winning” 60th Anniversary autograph or a Jimi Hendrix relic. Admittedly I would love to get the Tony Randall/Jack Klugman dual-cut signatures; I was raised on Odd Couple re-runs. But these are the exceptions not the rule to the hits.

It is almost like Topps is raising their middle finger to collectors saying “You will buy our shit simply because we put it out

Topps, we know you can do better, please make something memorable of the American Pie set next year if you decide to continue with the product.

A handful of decent celebrities

American Pieces relics seems like a decent idea

Many irrelevant celebrities on the auto checklist

Sticker autographs

Manufactured patches

Relics that are not really relics (Manu-patches, stamps and coins)

Lots and lots of inserts and parallels per box


Honestly this release is maybe a 2 out of 5 and that is only because there are a couple of highlights in this product but I think most collectors will stay away from it only buying the one or two cards that draw their interest on the secondary market.

1 comment:

  1. The Americana release has an impressive list of relic subjects, but most of the autograph signers are of the same caliber as you see here. They got a little "lucky" on this release when some of their signers passed away. Pop Century is more modern in nature, but suffers from the same problem of a list that lacks quality signers. I'm hoping the base set and some of the inserts will interest me, but Bob Costas is the only signer I know of I'm interested in. But several of the announced names were at least somewhat popular in their time, Kato Kaelin excluded. Charlie Sheen is a has-been too.

    As I said, I hope the base set and inserts are of higher quality than the Americana offering. They have more promise than just another photo of a B-level celeb on a different design.