02 January 2017

Pack of the Day 152: One Box of 2016 Topps NXT (with a Bonus UFC NOW Rant!)

Topps has been pumping out more and more online exclusives recently, which I imagine is a pretty profitable arrangement for them compared to working through distributors and retailers. One of their most recent wrestling products is 2016 Topps NXT. This set focuses on the WWE's developmental league, although it includes a subset for wrestlers who have moved up to the main roster. I bought a box of it during one of Topps' many holiday sale to see what it's all about, but before I talk about that I have to address another Topps online exclusive that's been on my mind: UFC Topps NOW.

edit 03 JAN 2017: You can ignore this rant and skip down to the picture of the NXT box if you want. Topps got back to me on Twitter this afternoon and said they're working on getting UFC 207 Topps NOW cards out later today.

edit part two 03 JAN 2017: The cards released are Amanda Nunes, Cody Garbrandt, and TJ Dillashaw. I am excited to see what the print runs will be.

After UFC 206, I sent a Tweet to Topps asking whether there would be any Topps NOW cards produced for the event. They sent one back saying that Topps NOW would return for UFC 207. In reality, Topps already made one UFC 207 card, which was released when Ronda Rousey announced her return for the event.

I've been watching the site for pre-orders or regular orders to become available for UFC 207 cards, but nothing has populated. They posted up some Premier League soccer Topps NOW cards today, so I know there is someone working the desk at Topps. I sent out a Tweet this morning after I got the Topps marketing e-mail about the soccer cards, asking if UFC cards would follow. So far I haven't heard anything back. Tomorrow will be four days after the event, so I am guessing this means UFC Topps NOW is finished. Missing UFC 207 will mean that they've missed two events in a row, and the Nunes - Rousey and Cruz - Garbrandt fights involved three of the top five sellers so far in the UFC NOW program, so they missed out on about as much revenue potential as you're going to get if the Irishman isn't on the card.
  • Conor McGregor: 636, 474
  • Ronda Rousey: 331
  • Brock Lesnar: 320
  • Amanda Nunes: 214
  • Cody Garbrandt: 214
I guess the market for these things wasn't huge, but it seemed like it had some growth potential and they were selling as many of these as they were of other ongoing sets, like WWE NOW and Premier League. There is still a chance that these things get made for UFC 207, but each day that goes by reduces those odds. I will be disappointed to see them go, as this was one of my favorite products this year.

Now, on to the 2016 Topps NXT box.

Like I mentioned at the top, this was an online-exclusive product. You don't get a whole lot for your money, with five cards including an autograph. I think most of the autographs are on-card, but don't quote me on that. By comparison, the cheaper 2016 WWE Divas Revolution blasters come with a guaranteed hit and 46 more cards, but autographs are tougher to pull from that product. You're basically rolling the dice on an autograph with 2016 Topps NXT.

Here is the back of the box. There are a range of parallels for the base cards, as well as a smaller range of parallels for the autograph checklist. With three to four base cards per box, you're going to have a hard time completing the 50-card base set. The autograph checklist has 24 names on it.

Opening the box reveals a plain silver packet that is good at reflecting cell phones, hands, and faces, even when you try to lean out of the frame.

My base cards were a pretty successful bunch for me, with Japanese import Shinsuke Nakamura and Bayley being the highlights. You can see that Bayley's card is from the 'NXT Called Up' subset.

The backs have some pretty good write-ups. I thought it was pretty impressive that they had such extensive paragraphs on them. Someone in charge of this set must be a real fan. Of course, someone could pop up out of the woodwork in the comments and tell me these paragraphs are cut-and-pasted directly from Wikipedia.

I pulled a Silver parallel card of Aliyah (1:4 boxes) and a base autograph of some guy named Andrade "Cien" Almas. The parallel is numbered # 14 / 25 and the autograph is numbered # 43 / 99. A scan of eBay tells me that autograph is somewhat sought-after, so I might have to flip it and use the money toward a PC card from this set.

The back of the parallel is the same as the base cards, and the autograph contains the usual congratulatory message. That's it for the break. I was happy to pull a couple of base cards I liked, and the parallel and autograph weren't the worst ever, even if that Almas dude looks more like a boy band strongman than a wrestler. I wish you got 5-10 more base cards per box, so that building the base set could be done with 4-7 boxes rather than the 17+ you need currently.

Don't forget to enter my contest in yesterday's post. One prize is a relatively rare Ichiro card, and the other is a relatively rare Yu Darvish card with a cool card case.


  1. I had just read a story about Aliyah the other day and took a look to see what cards she has and right now it looks like she only has a couple of cards, this one and the one in Divas Revolution. And in classic Topps form, they used the same image in both cards.

    1. I do wish that the card companies would mix up the photos a little more. I know getting the rights to additional photos costs more, so we may just be stuck with repeat photos. With so many products coming out, it makes sense from a business perspective to reuse photos they already have the rights to, rather than going out and purchasing the rights to additional photos. It just sucks for the customer.

  2. I'm wondering if they took an extended break over the New Year....especially if they took yesterday off. Maybe today is the day Topps is back.

    1. I guess we'll see. I'm not holding out too much hope for that, though. They released other Topps NOW cards yesterday, so there was someone at the offices.

    2. I guess my lack of hope was misplaced. Topps got back to me this afternoon and said they'd be putting UFC 207 cards on the site soon.

  3. I was considering a box of this. Thanks for the great review. Sadly, I'm still on the fence.

    1. Me too. There are about 6 autographs that I'd like to pull from this set, basically a 25% chance of pulling one I really want. But you don't really get much else in the box, so it kinda comes down to whether or not you like the auto you pull. I'll probably try another box or two when/if they go on sale again.

  4. I didn't even know this product existed. Will have to try & work it into the budget when there's another sale and hope it's as good as your box. I quite like everyone you pulled.

    1. There is plenty of potential in this product, with a lot of popular names on the checklist. I flipped the autograph I pulled for $30, so I covered the price of the box with a card of a guy I didn't even recognize.