First look: 2014 Topps High Tek baseball cards



By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Topps Tek officially is back.

After several years on the bench, a brand that was ahead of its time back from 1998-2000 is back as Topps officially revealed the basics on the product it had teased at the recent Industry Summit.

This time around, though, it’s 2014 Topps High Tek and it includes autographs as well as buybacks and new cards with the complicated acetate aesthetic that some collectors have come to love over the years.

It will include just eight cards per pack/box — six base cards one parallel limited to 99 or fewer copies and one autograph — when it arrives on Nov. 5. There will be 12 packs per case with each case guaranteeing a buyback autograph or a “re-created design Diffractor.”


High Tek will be a hobby-only release with up to 12 different parallels — background patterns — per card. The base set will consist of 100 cards with nine other parallels per card. While serial-numbering was not announced for most versions, their names were. Collectors can look for Gold Diffractors, Ice Diffractors, Disco Diffractors, Clouds Diffractors, Black and White image parallels (/15), Red Storm Diffractors (/10), Blue Dots Diffractors (/5) and 1/1 Charcoal Galactic Diffractors and printing proofs.

The autographs will all be signed on-card with Disco, Clouds, Black and White, Red Storm, Blue Dots, Charcoal Galactic and printing proof versions. The quantities were not announced for Disco and Clouds, while the others will match their base cards.

Autographed buybacks also will be among the offerings with original cards from the previous three-year run among those to be found. A preliminary checklist was not released.

Among the insert cards in this one will be 1999 Teknicians Diffractors for 25 players in the past style with 10 of those players signing parallels limited to just 10. Also to be had are 2000 TEKtonics Diffractors  also with signed parallels as well as Low Tek Diffractors, Those auto parallels will be limited to 15 copies.

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


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  1. Joe 2 May, 2014 at 01:26

    WOW, 8 cards/box. Just the hobby needs another CRAPPY, UGLY A$$ high end product. And boy these cards are F-U-G-L-Y. But hey, to each his on.

  2. Mike 2 May, 2014 at 06:30

    Cards look amazing, just too bad topps changed the pack out from original announcement.

    Now it’s just ANOTHER $40-50 PACK of cards, something the hobby doesn’t need.

  3. Nathan Crandell 2 May, 2014 at 08:53

    Lets just hope the price tag is affordable, because I really love this product and will buy one if possible.

  4. 85GoCards 2 May, 2014 at 10:11

    I was REALLY hoping Topps would go back to an “old school” 18 or 24 pack box with 4-6 cards per pack. Making these so high end is going to make it almost impossible to complete a player run, let alone a master set. I think including autos was a terrible idea and basically takes the focus away from the core demographic for this product (set/player collectors).

    IMO, a really, really bad move by Topps.

  5. Ryan 2 May, 2014 at 11:17

    Hey Look! More high end Russian Roulette! Wonder how many redemptions that will take years to fill will be in here. Pass.

  6. Jason K 2 May, 2014 at 15:53

    I don’t hate it, but I don’t feel the need to start putting aside money so I can get a box (pack).

  7. Ora 2 May, 2014 at 18:54

    I loved the Topps TEK cards when they were live back in 1998-2000. I will say that the 90 card set with 90 variations in 1998 were a bit much but they improved it by degrees in the following two years. I was truly impressed with the variety of designs the developers came up with then and hope that it continues with the revival of the set. When do you think we can view the checklist for the 2014 set?
    Thanks, Ora

  8. Mike 2 May, 2014 at 20:51

    What an utter utter disappointment!!

    So it look like the Srp is $75 for ONE PACK!

    How is this helping expand the hobby? How does this bring in New collectors and kids?

    Speaking of which, here’s what topps had to say in ’09 when they got the exclusiveBy making the deal, MLB is expressing optimism in Topps’ ability to appeal to a new generation of young collectors under the watch of Michael Eisner, the former president of the Angels, who acquired the cardmaker in 2007.

    “Generations of baseball fans have grown more connected to the game through collecting baseball cards,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “We look forward to partnering with Topps to restore baseball cards as the game’s premier collectable.”

    The exclusive arrangement ends MLB’s 30-year relationship with Upper Deck, the other main player in the market — which retains licensing rights from the MLB Players Association. That enables Upper Deck to continue producing cards with players’ images — but team logos and such are out.

    Eisner hailed the deal with MLB, earlier telling The New York Times, “This is redirecting the entire category toward kids. Topps has been making cards for 60 years, the last 30 in a nonexclusive world that has caused confusion to the kid who walks into a … hobby store. It’s also been difficult to promote cards as unique and original.

    “We’re going to be very aggressive in letting retailers, kids and hobbyists know that we are the card that represents it all.”

    “There is a greater chance of organizing the marketplace with a singular partner,” said Tim Brosnan, MLB’s executive vice president for business. “It’s a business that’s critically important to our mission, to make players icons to kids.”

    Sadly, all lies.

  9. CHARLES HENN 5 May, 2014 at 15:10


  10. David Blyn 5 May, 2014 at 18:05

    What a disaster!

    I was really looking forward to this product since I loved it during it’s original run from 1998-2000. However, I agree with everything said here, there was absolutely no reason to make yet another high end product that I can’t buy boxes of. This didn’t need autographs – this needed a classic configuration and touch and a price that made some sense. The Russion roulette comment above is spot on. Completely not necessary as there are enough products in the market that allow high-end collectors to gamble away their money.

    This looks like a really nicely designed product with a very poorly conceivedbreakdown and price point. We don’t need more of this, we need a whole lot less.

  11. phillies_joe 6 May, 2014 at 12:30

    Very nice looking cards but price point defines set collecting or not for me. This is def a buy singles product. This should be an insert set of another high end offering.

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