Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Is this really high end?

High end sets continue to get more and more extreme as the years go by.  Back in the early 90s, Topps Finest, Upper Deck SP, and Fleer Flair were considered high end.  Today those sets would be considered low end as they focus on only base cards and a few parallels to chase after.  Today high end boxes start at roughly $75 per card (Panini National Treasures) and go up from there where a "box" can cost up to $26,000 for 205 cards (Topps Transcendent). 

Today I am going to look at a pair of high end Cutch cards I have had in my collection for a few years that I was able to get for under the price of a blaster.
The card on the left is from 2015 National Treasures.  We all know that Panini lacks the MLB licensing so there are no team logos on the cards.  The jersey is hidden so that isn't much of a problem, but it would have been nice to cut more of the helmet off so the lack of a team logo wasn't so apparent.  
Each National Treasures box contained 8 cards and had a MSRP of about $600 per box.  On average two of this kind of relic (numbered to 99 copies) could be obtained in a box opening.  For a high end product, I would be disappointed with a boring road grey jersey swatch if I were not a player collector.  The grey swatch does pop against the black jersey, but a spring training yellow, black alternative, or (gasp at the thought of) a prime patch would have worked really well there.

The card on the right features a very similar boring road grey jersey relic on another high end product.  This time it is a licensed Topps product from a set called 2017 Diamond Icons.  
Each box sold for just over $1K and had 10 cards per box.  This jersey relic is numbered to only 10 copies despite being just a plain swatch and that is because Diamond Icons produced only 1 relic per box.  The other 9 cards had autographs on them.  The nice thing about this swatch is that it matches the uniform the player is representing on the card, a road Pittsburgh grey uniform.  

Which plain jersey swatch card looks better? Are cards like this a waste in a high end set like National Treasures or Diamond Icons? Leave a comment below.


  1. Pretty bland jersey swatch for high end. For the $600 price tag, I'd always expect some sort of unique patch, at worst.

  2. I like the Topps Diamond Icons card better, because Cutch is zoomed out a little and there are logos. As for cards like these in highend products, it doesn't matter to me. I'll never buy a highend box. But if I did and I pulled a "hit" numbered to 10 and it only sells for the price of a blaster... I'd probably be bummed.