eTopps was a line of cards produced by Topps from 2001 to 2011 that were sold exclusively online through their eTopps website. Collectors could buy cards and put them in their online portfolio, while Topps stored the physical copies in a climate controlled warehouse until the owner was ready to have them shipped.
Unfortunately, I left the hobby back in 2001, so I never really experienced eTopps until later in the decade when I started collecting again. By then I was too busy catching up with memorabilia cards, autographs, and rebuilding my player and team collections to focus on them.
By January 2012, Topps announced that they wouldn't be offering any new eTopps cards for collectors to purchase, but would maintain their eTopps website and allow collectors to request shipment of cards sitting in their portfolio. It seems like high shipping costs have prevented some collectors from ever having their portfolios shipped to them.
I've only purchased eTopps on the secondary market. My most recent purchase was this Albert Pujols rookie card:
2001 eTopps #143 (Print Run: 5,000)
This card is the most I've ever spent on a single eTopps card. It set me back $27.80 (+ $3.50 shipping), but I figured it was worth it. It's a great looking card that features a portrait and action shot on card stock that resembles Gold Label from the late 90's.
Topps didn't produce every eTopps card in equal amounts. Honestly, I'm not 100% sure how they decided the quantity, but I'm guessing some cards were printed with a specific number in mind, while others were printed to the number of preorders received (similar to Topps Now).
Topps printed 5,000 these Pujols, which is significantly higher than the majority of eTopps trading cards out there.
However the Ichiro rookie card owns the title of having the highest eTopps print run:
2001 eTopps #100 (Print Run: 10,000)
Topps produced 10,000 of these, which explains why they're so affordable. I purchased this copy off of COMC back in 2014 for $12.50. Five years later, they still only sell in the $12 to $20 range.
So if you're in the market for an attractive and affordable Ichiro rookie card, I'd highly recommend going out and picking up one of the 9,999 other copies floating around out there. And while you're at it, you might as well grab the other 2001 Rookie of the Year Award winner as well:
They look marvelous next to each other.
Next up is my Kurt Suzuki rookie card:
2007 eTopps #67 (Print Run: 749)
This card was an eBay purchase from a few years ago. Outside of one of his autographs or printing plates... it represents one of the most expensive Kurt Suzuki cards I've ever purchased. I spent $5.99 (free shipping) on this card. As much as I enjoy the overall look of this card, I probably wouldn't dish out more than a buck or two these days. Back then I was a little more aggressive in attempting to track down as many Kurt Suzuki's as I could find.
If Kurt is the worst eTopps bargain, I'll wrap this post up with my best eTopps bargain:
2005 eTopps #57 (Print Run: 1,200)
Based on my records, this might have been the first eTopps card I ever bought. I picked it up off of eBay back in early 2010 for $17.50 (+ $2.99 shipping). I wish I would have bought a few more, because these days they sell for upwards of $200.
There are a few more eTopps singles I'd eventually like to add to my collection, but the bargain hunter in me forces me to be patient. But that's okay. I pretty much waited until Topps stopped producing eTopps cards to start collecting them.
Who knows... maybe in ten or fifteen years I'll start chasing down a bunch of Topps Now cards.
What about you?
Did you ever buy into the whole eTopps thing? Do you actively chase down Topps Now or Living Set singles?
Well that's it for today. Happy Wednesday and sayonara!