09 December 2014

Breaking it Down 19: Topps High Tek Diamondbacks

I wanted to take a look in person at the new 2014 Topps High Tek set, but with prices approaching $70 (for 8 cards), I can't justify buying my own box. I bought into a random team break with my usual folks and wound up with the Diamondbacks. I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but you never know how a break is going to go.

The first autograph in the box was Paul Goldschmidt, so I didn't have to wait long for the break to pan out for me. The three Diamondbacks in the set are Goldschmidt, Chris Owings, and Randy Johnson. I really wanted some Randy Johnson love in the break, but it was not meant to be. In a 6-box break of this product there are only 48 cards to go around.

I managed to also get a base card of Goldschmidt, which is in the second-most common background pattern according to Cardboard Connection. They call this the Grid pattern. The background pattern on the autograph is the Spiral Brick pattern and is the most common background. Supposedly all of the colored parallels only have the base card background on them, so there aren't multiple parallels featuring each background. The AL and NL teams have their own sets of backgrounds, so you won't see these same patterns on AL teams. And in case you haven't heard, these cards are all made of transparent acetate, so you can see through the parts that aren't printed. Fancy!

One of the boxes in the break had an extra autograph stuck to the front of another autograph, so this 6-boxer had 13 total hits (autographs or numbered parallels). I was lucky enough to get two of them. In the middle of the break I got this Chris Owings Clouds Diffractor parallel numbered # 20 / 25. You can kind of see in the scans that there is a circular holographic pattern on all the printed areas of the card. Owings had a decent year with the Diamondbacks, playing in just over half of their games and playing a little above replacement level. With Didi Gregorius being traded to the Yankees, it looks like he might have a clear road to more playing time in 2015.

And that's about it. I got skunked on Randy Johnson cards, but I got a hit from each of the two other Diamondbacks in the checklist and a base card to boot. And most importantly, I got to hold a few High Tek cards in my hand and see what the hype is all about. They are certainly cool, but at this price point I really would have liked to see at least 30-40 base cards in a box. Eight cards is just too few. I would be much more likely to seek some of this out if it were configured in a 5-pack box that looked something like this:

I will probably be seeking out a few cards from this set for my collection, but it is getting a lot of heat lately and the prices keep rising, so I don't think I'll be picking any up on the cheap a few months from now. The cards look nice and are certainly a welcome departure from a lot of the same-old stuff Topps is releasing every year.


  1. Nice Goldschmidt auto. I'm liking the look of the set, but yeah, too pricey for me to mess with.

  2. Nice Goldy.
    It looks like Topps toned down the number of parallels/variations for this High Tek reboot. I think the original ones had so many that you needed like 16,000+ to complete the master set.

    1. There are only 6 design variations per card, so I guess you'd need 600 cards for a master set. Each card also has 8 numbered parallels plus 4 Printing Proofs, so to get a full rainbow of a player you'd need 18 different cards, with 5 of those being 1 / 1's. A complete master set of all variations would be effectively impossible to put together, but would require 'only' 1800 cards. Still a far cry from the 8100 cards you'd need for 1998 Topps Tek.