The $200 Topps Living Set Nick Markakis – Beckett Pricing Insider

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Topps Living Set is a new product for 2018. And it might just be the biggest debut of the year when it comes to baseball cards.

While it takes from some of the company’s other online products like Topps Now and Throwback Thursday, the Living Set has some major differences. It’s a multi-year product with no current end date set. There are three cards released each week and, unless a player changes teams, they will only get one card for the duration of the product.

Customers were somewhat hesitant at first. Print runs were solid, but not huge. Around Week 6, the popularity of the Living skyrocketed.

Because of the structure, secondary market pricing for the Living Set is different than what you see in most sets. With higher print runs, popular players like Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña and lower print runs for players like Nick Markakis and Nick Castellanos, you will see these common player cards’ have a higher resale value than stars.

Likely a big part of this is because more collectors are getting on board and building the set. That means short prints are commanding premiums.

Included in the Week 2, Nick Markakis is proving to be the cream of the crop. Because it was in one of the first sets, it has the lowest print run with with just 2,678 copies.

I don’t think that will change — at least not anytime soon. If you bought in early with these you hit big, as it was available on Topps from March 21-28 for $7.99 individually, with bulk discounts.

Until April 6, it was going for less than $20 on eBay. It then jumped to $40. By April 23, the Topps Living Set Nick Markakis had steadily climbed to $100. It jumped to $200 by the end of April and hasn’t showed much signs of slowing dow. At the start of July, five sales ranged between $195 and $215.

Secondary market aside, I can’t fail to mention the beautiful artwork by Mayumi Seto throughout the Living Set. The detail on everything from Markakis’ beard hairs to the wrinkles below his eyes is amazing. That level of technical and creative skill is common on all of the cards so far.

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Sam Zimmer

A University of Oregon grad and Oklahoma native, Sam is a diehard baseball fan who has been lucky enough to attend games at 25 current MLB stadiums, all alongside his dad. He collects mainly baseball cards but also dabbles in SGA bobbleheads and poker chips from various casinos. His collections revolve around the San Francisco Giants, the New York Giants, his Oregon Ducks and any of his fellow Oklahomans. You can reach him by email and on Twitter.

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8 comments

  1. Joseph 4 July, 2018 at 15:05

    This seems a little ridiculous when you consider that Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, and plenty of other huge stars have cards with serial numbers lower than 2,678 that routinely go for much less.

    • Ryan Cracknell 5 July, 2018 at 11:30

      @Joseph — And pretty much every Nick Markakis card — including 1/1s — can be found for much, much less. But it’s not the player audiences who are driving it. It’s likely set builders who either didn’t find out about the set until after or were hesitant. Sometimes things like this don’t “make sense” but they happen. To a lesser extent, look at Upper Deck Hockey’s Young Guns.

  2. Steve 5 July, 2018 at 14:55

    The $780 a year tab is why I didn’t start collecting it in the first place. The $200 price tag for just one card that I missed is why I am sticking with my decision. I have picked up a few along the way, both from Topps (one week when I wanted two of the three cards that week) and from eBay (there are sellers who sell them for under $5 a card with shipping if you buy during the week that they are available). I’m focusing just on the existing and likely HOFers and on my favorite team. It’s a nice-looking set, regardless.

  3. aaron 5 July, 2018 at 17:41

    How long is will this set run – the rest of the baseball season, then pick up again in the spring? or will it be year round?

    • Ryan Cracknell 5 July, 2018 at 19:37

      @aaron – From the sounds of it, it will likely run throughout the year.

  4. Paul 26 October, 2018 at 12:58

    Is Beckett going to be putting all the cards from the living set in the price guide they only have up to num 34 when the set is up too 99

  5. Floyd Haynes 2 May, 2019 at 06:44

    Good question , spending a lot not knowing value . My question why are recent releases such as Healy , Beckham and Choo with lower production numbers than Happ , Panic ,etc selling for much less than the early releases if less of them exist ?

    • Ryan Cracknell 2 May, 2019 at 18:56

      @Floyd – Could be a couple of factors. 1) Although some may have higher quantities, there could be less on the open market. 2) Those who may have come in a little late and are doing the set need to fill in some of the older gaps and have kept up with the newer stuff. 3) Sometimes normal logic is thrown out the window in the world of collecting.

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