When I returned to collecting, one of my biggest surprises while catching up was the return of Topps Tek, a brand from the late 90s that I was never too fond of. After watching about 20 box breaks on YouTube and even purchasing two cards from the set, I began to appreciate Tek’s return a little more. It wasn’t until I discovered the INSANE autograph checklist that I jumped on the Tek bandwagon.
I was fortunate enough to receive a review box from Topps. As has always been the case with Wax Heaven sponsored product, 100% of this box break will be given away to a collector. To be entered for the 2014 Topps High Tek contest, please tell us about your favorite Tek card of all time, from any of the years it was produced. I will start with my own in the comments section.
As for a Wax Heaven review, here we go!
Below is a base card from Topps High Tek. As you can imagine, these cards have an “out of this world” feel and look to them. If you’re an “old school” set collector or feel like all cards should look like 1989 Topps and have sticks of gum inside packs, you may not enjoy Tek’s design. Some of these cards look really great but I can’t help feel that some older players feel out of place in High Tek, such as Hank Aaron and Willie Mays.
The Diffractors are nice and I love that they come just one per box, as it brings back memories of 1993 Finest and that there was just one Refractor per box. It instantly gives the parallel you pull a little more value, in my opinion. I must say, though … for such an over the top product like High Tek, the Diffractors seem somewhat subdued this year.
This is a touchy subject here. I busted a box of Stadium Club last month and had an absolute blast looking through all the inserts, parallels, and autographs. It was the most fun I’ve had busting wax in a long time. While going through HIgh Tek’s box with just a single pack and 8 cards, I felt like an addict as I went through each card hoping somehow the break wouldn’t end. Unfortunately, it did.
For around $80 dollars online, you can buy boxes of High Tek. You can also find boxes of Finest for the same price with three autographs and tons of Refractors. I guess in the end it depends on the checklist. I didn’t know half of the players I pulled from Finest, as it’s been five years since I followed baseball but High Tek was full of big names and nothing but big names, past and present.
In the end, I personally prefer a product like Tek with a small number of cards and high possibility of a big hit I can make money back on over a product like Finest where I will end up with a lot of cards I don’t necessarily need or want. Every collector is different, though. Also, at $80 per box, I can safely buy more than a box at a time but that may not be an option for collectors on a budget.
With just 8 cards per box, you can’t expect much. After all, High Tek is low to mid-level high-end. In the box, provided by Topps, I pulled a Mike Napoli DIffractor #’d to 50 and a Brandon Phillips on-card autograph, which despite featuring great penmanship, isn’t worth a whole lot. That’s one problem some collectors may encounter with Tek, despite it’s brilliant auto checklist.
After watching countless breaks, I have noticed that unless you pull a big name autograph, chances of making your money back are pretty low. If you’re a box breaker, you know the risks involved. If you only open 1-2 products a year, a brand like Stadium Club is better suited for a return on investment, card wise. Heck, I’d even pick Stadium Club over my first Topps love, Finest.
In my opinion, a product like 2014 High Tek is best enjoyed by busting multiple boxes or even an entire case. Not only do your odds of pulling a big card improve but you won’t be left hoping and wishing there were more cards per box the way I did. In 1998, Tek offered 80 cards per box. I would love for Topps to meet collectors somewhere in the middle.
I absolutely loved High Tek’s return thanks to one of the greatest autograph checklists of all time, not to mention on-card autos and fun parallels. Personally, I am reeping the benefits of collectors who busted tons of Tek by adding cards of my player, Jose Canseco, for next to nothing. I won a Canseco base for less than a dollar and a beautiful on-card autograph for just $13.
2014 High Tek is one product I would absolutely buy in case form only because one pack just doesn’t cut it for me. As much as I didn’t enjoy Tek’s original run, I do miss pulling 80 cards per box. Yes, these new cards are light years ahead in looks than the original Tek but I wouldn’t mind curbing a guaranteed autograph for an extra 2-3 packs.
Then again, Tek’s debut didn’t even offer certified autographs.