Today Topps released preview images for yet another 2011 debut release. Topps Monopoly will be the last set released for the calendar year, and is tentatively scheduled to be released in mid-December. Obviously, this set is a nod to both the classic Parker Brothers board game, and a tongue-in-cheek jab about Topps’ status as the only licensed producer of MLB trading cards.
This looks like it’s going to be a fairly high-end product, with a limited print run. Every single card in the set is a refractor, and they’re all serially numbered. The base set is complicated, as each of the addresses in the iconic board game are represented in card form, and work as a series of parallels. The more expensive and exclusive the property, the lower the numbering on the card will be.
Along with plenty of shine, collectors can also look forward to an impressive, although yet to be determined autograph checklist. All autographs with the exception of the 1/1 Free Parking parallels will only be available via redemption, and there’s also another catch… you won’t know who you have pulled an autograph card of until you redeem it online.
This is also the first ever set to feature game-used memorabilia from baseball’s barnstorming era, as all of the railroad cards feature exhibition game worn memorabilia of some of the game’s most iconic players including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Satchel Paige!
Topps got cute with the Water Works theme, and turned it into a relic set featuring game used home run balls from shots that splashed themselves into San Francisco’s famous McCovey Cove.
Each box of Topps Monopoly will include 4 packs of 4 cards, 3 of which will be base cards, and one game used, redemption card or 1/1 autograph. That’s 4 pretty nice hits per box, but from the looks of it, this set is too rich for my blood, especially since some of the redemption cards are actually for nothing at all. In fact, Topps is now flaunting the fact that some boxes will be shorted hits.
Along with these risky redemptions are some of the most beautiful, on-card 1/1 autographs I have seen in a long time. Topps didn’t mention the insert ratios for any of these cards yet, but if the set is only as large as the number of properties in the game, I can’t imagine these being more than one per 4 or 5 cases. I’m already drooling over this one, but there’s no way I’ll ever be able to afford it, and we all know I’m not gonna pull it.
What do you guys think? Does this set look like a winner? I think the idea, while being extremely arrogant, is also pretty cool. The cards look great, and who wouldn’t want that Ruth relic, even if it does look fake! Topps has already announced about 45 baseball sets this year, so why not add one more to their Diamond Anniversary for good measure?