2018 Topps Baseball Factory Set Rookie Variations Guide


2018 Topps Baseball Factory Set Rookie Variations offer yet another take on the flagship line for key standouts. As has been the case for several years, retail versions of the factory set come with a bonus pack of five Rookie Variations. But there’s a little bit more this year thanks to a couple of big-name call-ups.

2018 Topps Baseball Retail Fatory Set Rookie Variations 700 Shohei Ohtani

Ronald Acuna and Gleyber Torres are included in both hobby and retail sets. They debuted in 2018 Topps Series 2 as variation short prints. This time around they’re late-addition extras. And while they’re not going to be rare over the long run, they’re still variations of variations and worth noting.

2018 Topps Baseball Retail Fatory Set Rookie Variations 699 Gleyber Torres

The five 2018 Topps Baseball Retail Factory Set Rookie Variations do not replace the players’ regular cards. They’re merely an exclusive meant to offer a little added incentive for going to the set route. Four of the players represent some of the bigger Rookie Cards from 2018 Topps Series 1: Rhys Hoskins, Rafael Devers, Clint Frazier and Amed Rosario. Shohei Ohtani rounds out the checklist as the lone Series 2 variation.

For Acuna and Torres, they only have one card in the hobby and retail sets. Their SP cards found in Series 2 are not in the sets. Also, the original base cards of Ryan Sherriff and Drew Smyly are in the factory sets as well. They have not been removed.

There are a couple of precedents for base set short prints getting more attainable factory set variations, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.

2018 Topps Baseball Factory Set Rookie Variations Checklist

Here’s a quick 2018 Topps Baseball Factory Set Rookie Variations checklist highlighting both the retail-only players as well as the pair that are in both the retail and hobby sets.

If you’re looking for a specific card, click on the link to see what’s currently available on eBay.

Retail Factory Sets

7 Clint Frazier
18 Rafael Devers
63 Amed Rosario
259 Rhys Hoskins
700 Shohei Ohtani

All Factory Sets

698 Ronald Acuna
699 Gleyber Torres

2018 Topps Baseball Factory Set Rookie Variations Gallery

7 Clint Frazier, New York Yankees

Retail Factory Set Variation – bat in one hand, horizontal

Base – two hands on bat

18 Rafael Devers, Boston Red Sox

Retail Factory Set Variation – navy blue jersey, brown bat

Base – gray jersey, black bat

63 Amed Rosario, New York Mets

Retail Factory Set Variation – white pinstripe jersey

Base – blue jersey

259 Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies

Retail Factory Set Variation – looking up

Base – looking forward, logo fully visible on helmet

698 Ronald Acuna, Atlanta Braves

Factory Set Variation – bat pointing up

2018 Topps Series 2 Ronald Acuna

Series 2 SP Variation – bat pointing down, end of bat visible

699 Gleyber Torres, New York Yankees

Factory Set Variation – looking up, vertical

Series 2 SP Variation – catcher visible, horizontal

700 Shohei Ohtani, Los Angeles Angels

Retail Factory Set Variation – red jersey, horizontal

Base – white jersey, vertical


Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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  1. John Bateman 6 July, 2018 at 22:04

    Wait a second, there is a five card rookie variation set that includes Hoskins etc… That don’t replace there regular cards in the set. Right??.

    The Acuna and Torres cards are the variations from their short printed series 2 cards. Is this correct.

    The retail factory set includes 700 cards + 5 card variation set + the Acuna and Torres (i.e variation cards) = 707

    To clarify there are not 2 different photo of say Torres in the Factory set. Every Factory set will include the above Torres vertical card.

    This is very misleading to call Acuna and Torres cards (on the left) as variations. There are many ads on ebay offering these cards for near $30 each and calling them variations when they are mere common cards in a $50 retail set. The ads appear to suggest there are 2 possible cards to be had – as they label the mere common card as a photo variation.

    Hoskins has 2 cards in the retail factory set and one is a variation photo . Variation means = A change or slight difference in condition. Torres has only one card in the set so his card can’t be a variation because there is he has no other card in the set for a difference in condition. Torres retail short photo of card 699 is a variation of the regular 699 card (same as in the factory set).

    I believe the word variation in this context is being used to mislead collectors to believing the Acuna and Torres card on the left are variations (in the context of short prints) while they are mere common cards.

    • Ryan Cracknell 7 July, 2018 at 01:47

      @John — I guess it’s a semantics debate. The Acuna and Torres cards are variations when compared to the cards in packs that have the same design and card number. Whether something is a variation or not doesn’t always connect to value. In this article, it spells out pretty clearly that all of these variations are on the common side. It say’s specifically that they’re not rare.

      It also mentions the comparisons are with the Series 2 cards in multiple places including the captions in the gallery portion. That’s a big part of the reason I wrote it — so collectors can get an idea of 1) what the cards are when they see new things of players they collect and 2) a rough idea of rarity or lack thereof.

  2. Steve 26 July, 2018 at 13:52

    Ryan, it looks like the WalMart factory sets have an extra Chrome card in them, one of six different players (Hoskins, Ohtani, Robles, Devers, Rosario and Frazier). They are all different images, as far as I can tell, from any other 2018 Topps cards–and looking at the pictures of Devers and Rosario in the Chrome sell sheet, they are different images from Chrome set too.

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