First look: 2013 Topps Five Star baseball cards


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Five Star is back — and it’s going for an even-higher ranking.

The sophomore release of the most-expensive baseball card brand in Topps history was unveiled on Friday, with the $500-per-pack sequel including one base card, two autographs, one autographed patch one autographed book or silver-ink signature and one jumbo Relic in every pack.

A preliminary checklist was not disclosed for the product arriving on Dec. 4.

Each case will include just three boxes with Topps promising to “take it to the next level this year by offering a number of new cards that would be signature pieces in any collection.

Among the new inclusions? Soccer legend Pele.

The base set will include a mix of 100 active and retired baseball players with each card limited to just 60 copies. Each card also will have a Rainbow parallel limited to 10 and a Five Star 1/1 parallel as well.

For the autograph collectors, there will be active and retired players signing once again with standard autos as well as Rainbows (/25) and 1/1 Five Stars. Players also will have Quotable autos once again with an added saying written alongside the graph. These will be limited to 10 and paralleled by 1/1 Five Stars. Also new in this area will be Five Star Legends autographs, which is where Pele falls.

Also to be found are Five Star auto patches (active and retired players), which will be limited to just 35 copies apiece. They also will have Gold (/10), Rainbow (/5) and 1/1 parallels.

Silver Signings autographs will be signed in the appropriate metallic ink with six parallel versions — Blue (/25), Red (/20), Purple (/15), Gold (/10), Rainbow (/5) and a 1/1 Five Star special. This array is a new feature for the brand.

Autographed booklets will be present here as well with three-piece and four-piece auto Relic books, whole there also will be jumbo and dual signature books to be found. The three-piecers will be limited to 49 and also paralleled with Gold (/10) and 1/1 Rainbow patches. The same applies to the fours and the jumbos. Signature books will be limited to just 10, while dual auto patches are as well.

Also among the auto booklet offerings will be some high-end pairings — dual logoman autos limited to one copy, dual patches limited to 10 and 1/1 25-signature book cards, which should offer some serious attention-grabbing details.

Cut signatures will also have an extended place in the sophomore release with 1/1 cut sig cards, cut sig books that pair legends of the past (cuts) with those from the present and Greatest Lineups of All-time booklets that are multi-panel starting lineup cards.

On the Relics side, there will be jumbo jerseys, which will be limited to 35. These will have seven parallels (Blue, Red, Purple, Orange, Gold and Rainbow, each descending by five) and 1/1 jumbo patches. Also to be found are 1/1 letters. Dual and triple patch cards will be limited to five copies.

Legends also have a separate place here with Legends Relics limited to 25 and duals limited to 10.

On the deluxe end, there will be 1/1 bat knob and bat barrel cards to be found as well as batting glove cards that are limited to two copies apiece — presumably a righty and a lefty.  Also to be found aree quad patches and octo patches, each limited to five.

Five Star is back: Your thoughts?

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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.


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  1. Jay 19 April, 2013 at 19:05

    Are they going to fix the horrible chipping from last year’s product? For $500 a pack, that was unacceptable.

  2. Peter 19 April, 2013 at 19:52

    Did they say anything about what condition the cards would be in? Also wondering why Pele is included in this, why not in Five Star Football? And what is the point of having parallels numbered to 5, 10, 15, 20 AND 25?
    Sorry, just not a fan of the mega-high-end stuff.

  3. kris 19 April, 2013 at 20:23

    this stuff is big time looking, guess that is why its so much. like the biggio but its not game used. he never finished a game with a clean uniform.

  4. Richard 19 April, 2013 at 22:32

    I might the singles I like, but I’d never crack a box.
    If I could the Pele at a nice price that would be cool, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

  5. Andre 20 April, 2013 at 03:10

    LOL after seeing National Treasures… NO THANKS Topps :) You can keep your chipped scrubbed autos. I bought a case of this stuff last year and never ever ever again. Still waiting for 4 of my redemptions to be filled as well. Never ever ever ever again.

  6. Richard Gobis 20 April, 2013 at 07:38

    Chris do you know why Topps does not put these cards in a protective holder( will take care of this terrible chipping problem) at $500 a pack you would think that’s the least they can do?

  7. rick 20 April, 2013 at 09:58

    I would still rather have a high grade vintage card. Excuse me or mid grade…. Right Chris?

  8. Cameron 20 April, 2013 at 13:50

    I bought a box at the sun times show in chicago and did great. I pulled Brandon Phillips auto patch, the patch was not prime however. I had a Justin Upton base card, which looked very nice. I had two redemption cards one for a Joe Mauer auto which I have not received yet and a Ken Griffey Jr. silver signatures red parallel which I just received in the mail today. The Griffey card is excellent, it’s numbered 2/5 and has the gold ink variance, the signature is beautiful too. The best card I felt I pulled from the box, even though the Griffey is probably worth twice as much, was a Babe Ruth/ Mickey Mantle dual bat relic numbered 3/10. I will agree however that the cards corners, especially on the thicker relic cards do get pretty bad pretty quick. All in all, I am satisfied quite well at this product, but like any high end box I could have got stuck with a pull consisting of cards all in the same value range as my Brandon Phillips card with basic grey or white patches.

  9. ddizzal 20 April, 2013 at 16:18

    I’m sure they will raise the price this year since national treasures baseball did well and the 2012 five star football is doing good. Prob 600 srp

  10. Brad 20 April, 2013 at 19:00

    I bought many of these last year as singles mainly. NOT ONE was in good shape at all. The one box I bought had damage on every single card and Topps would do nothing about it! For $500 a pack every card should be graded first then put into packs. I may give it a try but if I get a PELE autograpg as a hit I will be upset.

  11. jd 21 April, 2013 at 15:01

    is anyone going to purchase it after last years worst product ever. every card was damaged and they did nothing about it

  12. Jay 21 April, 2013 at 21:12

    I’ll buy decent singles only. I bought a single box and not only were the cards chipped badly, total value of my box was a whopping $275. I realize not every box can be mind blowing or even great, but for $500, I’d expect a lot better. I’m also still waiting on a Joe Mauer redemption…

  13. Jason K 22 April, 2013 at 15:29

    Why does Topps INSIST on ruining their baseball products with non-baseball garbage. Don’t get the wrong idea, I know who Pele is, and respect for his talent, but when I buy baseball cards… GOSH DARNITT, I want BASEBALL cards. I don’t want cards of Axl Rose, or the bully from “Karate Kid”, or a wrestler, or a soccer player, or a politician, or anything other than a baseball player.

  14. Joey 22 April, 2013 at 18:54

    Last year bought a Koufax dual auto book and a longoria auto book and that it didn’t buy a box or case. I hope the corner are sharp and every thing else. The Pele is awesome. They should have a Quad auto of RUTH GEHRIG DiMaggio mantle. That would be cool. Maybe even the George bush topps card reprint it and have him sign it.

  15. Joey 22 April, 2013 at 19:04

    Aren’t the glove auto thing already in tribute why the same types of inserts on different sets. They should just do a bat knob set every year at like $500/box 1 card per box. Guaranteed knob in each box. Have guys auto them if they’re still alive as well. That would be cool.

  16. Mike 1 May, 2013 at 21:51

    Chris any mention of a coupon box topper for a free jar of dip to go along with all the chips?

    Just what the hobby needs, a $500 pack

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