Wednesday, January 11, 2012

eTopps kills card-making operation

Topps' "IPO" program, called eTopps, will cease the release of any new cards, according to a press release and info posted on Beckett (

I missed the first year of eTopps because I was collecting CyberAction CyberCards at the time, and the eTopps program APPEARED to be a digital card program.  I was wrong.  In the fine print of the day, eTopps let its users know that they could get the cards in-hand if they paid for shipping and handling.  So, in 2002, I jumped in.  I wasted, er spent, TONS of money in the program.  I owned the complete 2002 set among nearly full sets of most latter years.  Cards from 2001 rose in price beyond what any cards featuring those players should be worth. I bought football, baseball, basketball. I did not buy wrestling or racing or any other "sport" they came up with.

I actually liked the first generation of eTopps better than any other.  Those early cards had a metal signet that was glued on the card, truly separating the cards from any other being made. eTopps lets its users buy, sell, and trade cards that are stored in a warehouse until the final owner requests to move the card from the "portfolio" to in-hand.  eTopps cards "in-hand" arrived slabbed in a sturdy plastic holder.  Those in-hand cards tended to sell for more on eBay than the ones still held in the warehouse ("in portfolio," as they were called).

I ended up selling much of my portfolio in bits and pieces, as I recall.  I had all the Indians I owned sent to my house, along with several other cards.  The other cards were then included in various giveaways, random packs, etc.

Though I haven't actively participated in eTopps over the past couple of years, I am sad to see the program disappear.  eTopps cards, for me anyway, were a much better quality card - thick stock, shiny coating, unique items.  I'll miss eTopps cards.  That reminds me - I need to head online and check the prices for Indians eTopps cards from the past couple years. I need them for my Tribecards collection.


  1. I can't say that I'm surprised that the program has ended, but I too will miss it. And for the record I spent WAY too much on these cards as well...but didn't we all?

  2. I think there was probably only one or two cards I even wanted in the past 10 years, so I never investigated the system too closely. However, "killed" seems to be the correct term here as they have not only stopped issuing new cards, but they seem to have placed the shipping costs at a level to discourage collectors from having their cards delivered. I suspect, unless there is a lawsuit or a major lowering of S&H charges, we'll start seeing "abandoned" eTopps cards as "buybacks" or redemptions in future products or listings in the Topps Vault store. At which point, Topps would be distributing stolen property and liable for criminal charges. This should be interesting!