Preview gallery: 2012 Topps Five Star baseball

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By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps‘ foray into the ultra-high-end baseball card market officially arrives tomorrow with 2012 Topps Five Star. 

While there will be all kinds of outrageous inclusions inside, only one pack’s worth of the cards (minus a jumbo Relic) have arrived on the eBay auction block early … so far.

The thick stock appears that it might be chipping prone based on the un-cropped photos on just a few cards from the $500 packs, but we’ll have to wait and see for more to arrive on the block.

For now, check out a gallery of actual card images — which we’ll add to throughout the week — after the jump.

Five Star: Yes or no (so far)?

View Results

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Let us know what  you think in our poll and in the comments below as we add more to the selection.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.



  1. Dan
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Seriously? $500 and they can’t come up with some original pictures of retired players?

  2. rick
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Again looks great, but at 500+ a pack is to much. A nice mantle late 60’s high grade anyone?

  3. chrisolds
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    High grade? That’d be more than $500

  4. chrisolds
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Dan: You’d be surprised how limited photo selections can be from even the biggest photo libraries.

  5. rick
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Chris do you always have to have a smart remark for everything. I didnt’ mean a 9 or ten. I guess I should have said exactly maybe an 8 or 7. Don’t be so rude.

  6. chrisolds
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Merely making the point that high grades for him on cards during his career are pricey. That is all.

  7. Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Not a chance. The only card of the whole bunch that would interest me is that Koufax double auto, and the chances of pulling that are far lower than the odds of getting a Freddie Freeman jersey card. Yay Freddie.

    This $500 a pack business is just absolute robbery.

  8. Ted
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The Pujols & Eithier autos look to much like Upper Deck Masterpiece. Not even close to be worth paying $500.00 a pack

  9. Kingbudd
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I bought a box, only paid $419 shipped. It’s not that much more then Tribute or a few other high end releases; especially considering next years price increase for Tribute ($350). My only complaint I wish they were encapsulated like Tribute to avoid chips on the exterior.

  10. bobby chalermsopone
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Permalink


  11. Joey
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I agree with mr. $4000 it’s just too much and if it’s a $500 dollar box the serial numbering should be much lower and it should. Only have the top stars and hof ers slash retired players. I don’t even think that Ruth cut auto will be pulled. And the f’n cards should be encapsulated and taped RIDICULOUS. Even tier one was over the top this year with only 3 cards per pack I think I’m am starting to realize why I stopped collecting cards years ago. Because. I am older and should be putting my money in smarter and wiser purchases. Probably am going to stop collecting sooner than later. Panini has joke boxes too like national treasures 2011 prime cuts a bust in my eyes.
    BOTTOM line TOO many sets are being produced. THey have to cut back.

  12. Joey
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Everyone should wait a few months and then buy the boxes or cases they usually go down after a few months let the dealers sweat a little bit and have to sit on the cards also wait for what’s selling on eBay. You can buy what you want and don’t have to take the gamble on the $500 box. The cheapes I’ve seen 5 star for is $1250 from gcx cards.

  13. thomas
    Posted November 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    The patches and koufax are sick however the design of the card is just bad looking. Looks cheap not from a 500 dollar box.

  14. Dan
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Chris: I can go onto eBay right now and find a number of high quality slides/photos of retired players (especially those who played in the 80’s and 90’s) that have never been used on cards before. I don’t know, maybe Topps has something in their contract with MLB that forces them to use photographs from specific agencies, but it doesn’t seem like they are trying very hard. Give me a quality original photograph, and keep the “game used” splinter.

  15. chrisolds
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Dan: Just because the slides are on eBay doesn’t mean the rights to use them in a commercial situation come with them.

  16. Nathan Crandell
    Posted November 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I cant afford $500 to blow, but I can afford 10-30 for a team shot. I just bought an Indian Ticket on a team box break for 3 boxes for $2.50. Now not guaranteed to get a hit, but I will waste 2.50 instead of 500.

  17. Dan
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Chris: I’m just saying original photos do exist, and at $500 a pop, it seems to me that Topps could try a little bit harder than to keep recycling the same tired photos over and over and over.

  18. chrisolds
    Posted November 15, 2012 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Dan: What would you rather Topps spend its time and money on … more photos (rights would not be cheap) or autographs? Photo services charge per image download/use and a commercial use such as cards will have a higher rate. Beckett does the same thing via its provider.

  19. Dan
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Honestly Chris, I’d take quality original photos over the autos. But then again, I’m a photographer, so I’m probably in the minotiry on this.

  20. Chris Olds
    Posted November 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Indeed. My reply was going to be that most people would prefer money to be spent on autos they can pull and sell than a unique image on a card.

  21. Nick
    Posted December 7, 2012 at 4:04 am | Permalink

    People can’t blame nobody but them for what they are doing to five star. If you had a BRAIN you would be buying them up!! FIVE STAR IS A $500 PACK!! EXQUISIT IS A $700 PACK & A 03-04 LEBRON JAMES EXQUISITE AUTO ROOKIE PATCH #/99 <<== 99!!! NOV 11, 2012 SOLD FOR $13.299.99 NOT GRADED!! TOPPS FIVE STAR IS RARE IF YOU UNDER PRICE CARDS PEOPLE WILL THINK THERE IS NO VALUE IF YOU SELL A CARD #/109 FOR $50 & PAID $500 FOR A PACK. SHOW SOME VALUE TO WHAT YOU REALLY HAVE IT BRINGS NEW PEOPLE INTO THE HOBBY! some cards are only #/5 & going for $50-$75 BUY THEM UP. you don't see EXQUISIT triple patch cards #/5 with supper STARS going for $50 -$75 If you control the market print run you control the VALUE!! People don't think like this no more I have been doing this for 20 years & AM PROUD to buy FIVE STAR & as long as people keep under $$$$ them ill keep buying them UP. Im ONE card away from all 5 of a Triple Patch with MEGA STARS ON IT. Don't under sell just because it's OFF SEASON!!

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