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Topps – How To Start Card Collecting!

Time to get your cards out people! Topps have written an excellent, in-depth article on how budding collectors can go about getting into card collecting – an informative beginner’s guide of sorts! You can check out the full, original article here but for those who may be unfamiliar with Topps‘ card collecting, we’ve elaborated on some of the key points down below.

How To Start Collecting

Starting a trading card collection may feel like a daunting task. What cards should you collect? Where should you get them from? Can you find and collect them all?

Luckily, a sports card collection is one of the simplest hobbies to start and this unique past time can make for great fun for you and the rest of the family!

Topps currently offer a large range of various different trading cards and the ways to collect are endless. Significantly, whilst Topps offer a large range of baseball-focussed trading cards, it is worth pointing out that they also offer many other trading cards for other genres and sports also!

Card collectors, typically, tend to be ‘set’ collectors, ‘team’ collectors or ‘player’ collectors. Often budding card collectors and card players come up with their own unique method of collecting. A collector could for instance, collect one of every player born in his or her hometown. Alternatively, a collector could collect one card of every player who hit a home run on his or her birthday. Overall, part of the fun in the hobby, is that the choice is entirely up to you!

Collection Methodology

Set Collecting

If you’re somewhat of a completionist and you just have to have the whole lot, then ‘Set Collecting’ may just be the right type of collecting for you!

The number of different trading card sets available has grown exponentially over the years and so often it can be hard to know where to start!

Luckily, Topps are here to help and they suggest that one of the best places to start is by going with one of their most popular sets – The Topps’ Flagship Baseball Card Set.*

Ever since 1952, Topps has put out a set of baseball cards. The cards have featured the rookie cards of Ernie Banks, Roberto Clemente, Reggie Jackson, Cal Ripken Jr., Derek Jeter and thousands of others.

*Currently, this vintage flagship set does not seem to be available, sadly, however Topps do have a fantastic new 2017 complete set –  the 2017 Topps Baseball Complete Set – All Star Edition which is currently available via the Topps online store here.

Topps Complete Sets –  a great way to collect

Team Collecting

With other types of card collecting, you will likely at some point end up with a card of one of your team’s rivals! *Nooooo! Shock horror!*

Well, fear not fearless collector! To alleviate this potentially hazardous situation many budding collectors prefer to simply collect cards from just their favourite team!

Should you decide to choose this method of collecting, you will be able to collect the rookie cards of all your favourite players and the types of cards you can collect is still limitless – from base cards to inserts, or even autographs and relics!

Topps – Team Collecting

Player Collecting

Another great way to collect, is simply with ‘Player Collecting.’ If you’re the type that loves certain specific players and you already have their jerseys, figurines and other memorabilia, then this type of collecting may just be right for you!

Some players have collected thousands of cards, where as others may just have a few dozen. Regardless of how far you want to take the hobby, there is always a great sense of accomplishment in tracking down and finally managing to collect that illusive little card that just kept slipping through your fingers!

Topps – Player Collecting

Collect Anything!

Whilst some collectors prefer to collect complete sets of cards and others prefer to go for the team set collecting approach, there is always the perfectly great and often overlooked option of collecting any cards you want!

Some collectors have very personal reasons to own the cards they do. One collector, for instance, has picked up all pink-bordered parallel cards to honour family members fighting breast cancer and another collector has chased after a specific number print run because it’s their birthday!

With the Topps trading cards, the possibilities for collecting anything you want, is virtually endless!

Topps – collect how you want!


Types Of Cards

Base Cards

Base cards are the most common, yet by far no means less precious cards in a product release! These cards are usually the easiest cards to find in packs and they usually have a number on their back indicating their place on a checklist.

Topps – Base Cards


Parallels are essentially variations of a card. The cards use a different colour scheme such as a different colour border or a different use of foil.

A set like the ‘2015 Topps baseball’ has a number of base parallels including Gold-, Pink-, and Black-bordered cards!

Topps – Parallels


Insert cards are not part of the regular numbering system and are inserted randomly into packs. The cards usually have a unique design which is separate from the base set, and thus, they are distinguishable immediately.

Topps – Inserts


Ah yes, the precious Relics! These cards include pieces of player-worn or player-used memorabilia. The relic pieces can include jerseys, bats, gloves and more. Often Relics are high on many a collector’s wanted list and they make for an excellent, valued collectable.

Topps – Relics


The precious Autograph cards are often even more sought after by budding and veteran collectors alike!

The cards feature an actual signature from one (or more) players and so these cards are often of great sentimental (and often monetary) value to collectors everywhere!

Topps – Autographs

Autograph Relics

If you think that Relics or Autograph cards were hard-sought after, then Autograph Relics are a vintage, collector’s dream!

Autograph Relics combine Autographs and Relics into one card and that often makes a superbly valuable, chase-worthy card!

Topps – Autograph Relics


Whilst Oddball cards aren’t as prevalent as they used to be, there is still a relatively strong market for collectors. Historically, these cards were available through food products and retail outlets.

During Topps‘ long and illustrious history as a retail brand, Topps have released a number of different types of products that avid collectors have enthusiastically pursued over the years. Such products include pins, tattoos, coins, felts, Magic Photos and more!

Topps – Oddballs!

In summary, we hope that these collection tips and suggestions serve to give you some help should you fancy getting into collecting the fantastically collectable Topps trading cards!

PS – You can check out more of Topps‘ baseball-specific trading cards here, or alternatively, you can check out the full range of other sporting Topps cards and other products over at the Topps website via the button below!

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