Schedule Release Date: December 14, 2011
Box Configuration: 8 cards/pack, 24 packs/box
1 Topps Buyback card
8 Parallel cards
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:
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
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.