An In-Depth Look Into 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Odds & Print Runs And Why Jumbo Boxes Are King

February 17, 2023

Flagship products tend to be overprinted, which is one of the main factors behind the low value of base cards in recent years.

By far, the most analyzed release in this regard is the Topps Baseball flagship one. As the MacDaddy of sports card releases, coming out every year without fail since the early 1950s, it is the ummm, flagship of the hobby.

But this year, hobby watchers have noticed some very significant changes in the 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds and print run. It appears that Fanatics are changing the concept of the release and emphasizing hobby products at the expense of retail. Read on for the full story.

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Comparing 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds and print runs for hobby boxes from previous years

It is far easier to calculate the print runs for Topps Series 1 hobby boxes than for the other release formats. The reason is simple. Hobby boxes come with exclusive cards and clear odds per pack. So Scottie, from the Scottie B Cards channel, uses the acetate hobby exclusive cards as the basis for his calculations.

It is easy to figure out how many clear cards are in the release. The hobby box specifications for both 2022 and 2023 include the following numbers:

  • Clear Variation – #’d to 10 (100 subjects) Hobby Only

Therefore, it is easy to calculate how many clear cards are available for all hobby boxes. You only have 10 of each card, and there are 100 players with these cards. So, even my fourth-grade level math skills allow me to calculate, and there are 1000 clear variations in all the hobby boxes. Luckily, that number remains constant in the 2022 and 2023 releases. Allowing for a relatively effortless comparison.

Armed with this simple logic, you can use the odds to establish how many base cards you would need to wade through to get a clear acetate card. Simple! You can see how this is done in this video from his channel:

See prices for 2023 Topps Hobby Boxes on eBay

What was the print run for 2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball hobby boxes?

The final calculation, according to these numbers:

  • There were 34,888,000 base cards in all 2022 Series 1 Hobby Boxes.
  • Divide that number by the base cards on the checklist.
  • That translates to 105,722 of each base card in the 2022 Series 1 Hobby Boxes.

The actual number may be a bit lower than the estimates Scottie B provides here because this is based on each card being a base one. But of course, there are some parallels in there as well. But it gives you a good ballpark.

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What is the print run for 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball hobby boxes?

The number of acetate clear cards is exactly the same in this product. However, the odds are notably longer, suggesting a more extensive print run. Using the same formula, we get the following numbers:

  • There are 50,260,000 base cards in all 2023 Series 1 Hobby Boxes.
  • That translates to 152,303 of each base card in the 2022 Series 1 Hobby Boxes.

That means, at least in hobby boxes, we are looking at a walloping 30% print run increase. But is that an accurate assessment of the overall numbers? Not necessarily.

See prices for 2023 Topps Hobby Boxes on eBay

2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds and print runs vs. 2022 Series 1

The odds for some of the parallels have shifted quite a bit over the last few years. Let’s look at the gold variations, for example:

  • 2021 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds of hitting a gold parallel in a hobby box: /27
  • 2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds of hitting a gold parallel in a hobby box: /38
  • 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds of hitting a gold parallel in a hobby box: /33

So, since 2021 it has become harder to hit the gold parallel. And that is not an outlier. It has become harder to hit most parallels. The only real outlier is those clear acetate cards we discussed earlier and the black parallels.

Here are all the parallels that have become harder to hit in 2023 Series 1 Hobby Boxes:

  • Gold: down 13%
  • Green Rainbow: down 11%
  • Orange Rainbow: down 11%
  • Red Rainbow: down 11%
  • Vintage Stock: down 11%
  • Independence Day: down 11%
  • Pink: down 11%
  • Blue: down 11%
  • Camo: down 11%
  • Platinum: down 12%

2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Jumbo box odds

Ok, so we are getting some odd numbers out of the standard hobby boxes. What about the data on its jumbo box equivalent? It is clear that Fanatics has decided to change the concept of its jumbo boxes completely and make parallels far easier to hit than last year. Here is a chart of the differences:

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Parallel Type2022 Series 1 Jumbo Box Odds2023 Series 1 Jumbo Box Odds
Green Rainbow1:471:14
Orange Rainbow1:791:22
Red Rainbow1:1191:33
Vintage Stock1:2411:70
Independence D1:3051:180

These aren’t insignificant changes of odds. Topps is reconfiguring its hobby box concept into a clear-tier system. The Jumbo Boxes are now a bonanza of hits on an entirely different level from the standard hobby boxes.

You can follow the numbers Scottie B is running here:

The confusion regarding 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds and print runs

The last time I got mixed messages like this was while swiping on Tinder. However, we get a muddied picture regarding the regular hobby boxes. The clear card numbers appear to indicate a considerable increase in the print run. Meanwhile, everything else (aside from the black parallels, which are up over 30%) shows a smaller print run than last year.

The numbers indicate that hobby boxes are up by about 30% this year. But there is a good chance that jumbo production is down while loading each box. But unfortunately, since there are no parallel cards exclusive to jumbo boxes, we cannot know for sure.

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Load up on 2023 Series 1 Baseball jumbo boxes

If so, there are a lot of question marks regarding production numbers this year. But one thing is sure: 2023 Series 1 Jumbo Boxes are absolute bangers. You are far more likely to hit remarkable parallels this year than in 2022.

And the best news: the prices are similar, so you are getting more bang for your buck. Here are the current prices for Series 1 Jumbo boxes from recent years:

The prices have thankfully remained the same. The movement you see is mainly related to the crop of rookies. But not to the quality of the parallels. So, getting a jumbo box is, without a doubt, a better deal this year.

And we all know why Topps is taking this route. In previous years, you could buy a bunch of hangers for the same price as a Jumbo Box and usually do better. Sure, you weren’t guaranteed an auto, but most of them are mediocre anyway. But the upside was that you would pull far more worthwhile autos.

Shop for 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Jumbo boxes on eBay

What is not clear from these numbers is whether the overall number of Jumbo Boxes releases will be higher this year. But regardless, the value is excellent.

Avoid 2023 Series 1 Baseball Hobby boxes

As we already said, Fanatics is printing more hobby boxes for this release. But even though there will be more of them, they will be nowhere near as rewarding as the Jumbo Boxes.

However, there is good news for hobby box enthusiasts. We have seen how hobby box pulls rates have decreased from 2021. But in comparison to last year, the boxes will be somewhat richer in pulls.

Let’s take a look at recent prices for hobby boxes:

The prices are about the same for a box that will be somewhat watered down. Now, we are not saying that is a bad deal. The rookie class for 2023 is pretty looks pretty impressive.

Catcher Adley Rutschman, a former #1 prospect, looks like the real deal. Meanwhile,  Michael Harris II is already a legit star. And there are a few other substantial rookies in the mix. But I am saying you are better off buying one Jumbo than two hobby boxes.

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What do the 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball print run numbers mean for retail releases?

The short answer is we don’t know. The focus on banger Jumbo Boxes seems to indicate a move towards rewarding higher-end purchasers. And that may be a bad sign for retail fans. It could indicate that the odds for the retail releases will be lower this year.

Some have speculated that Topps may cut some key retail releases. But we are happy to report that the large online sports card retailers are advertising the usual retail product for 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball.

Here are the retail products available for pre-orders as of now:

  • Packs
  • Fat packs
  • Blasters
  • Hangers

So, if you were concerned about retail availability, they will be out there in all the usual formats. But will the odds be any good?

View prices of 2023 Topps Series 1 baseball retail products on eBay

Are 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hangers still bangers?

One of the best ways to clean up on flagship releases in the past was to buy a bunch of hangers and watch the hits roll in. Is that still a thing? We looked at the pack odds for you and compared them to 2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball. Here are the results:

ParallelOdds in 2022 Series 1 HangersOdds in 2023 Series 1 Hangers
Rainbow Foil1:21:2
Royal Blue1:31:3
Green Foil1:321:61
Orange Foil1:541:102
Red Foil1:821:154
Vintage Stock1:1651:312
Independence Day1:2091:395
Father’s Day Blue1:3181:600
Mother’s Day Hot Pink1:3181:600
Memorial Day Camouflage1:6361:1,200
Printing Plates1:3,9871:7,468
Advanced Stats1:59N/A
Home Run Challenge Code Cards1:101:10

Breaking down the 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Odds and print runs for hangers

Overall, the hangers are giving us much worse odds in 2023 than they did in 2022. Sure, some things are the same. For example, the Home Run Challenge Code Cards, Rainbow Foil, and Rainbow Blue. And thank goodness for that.

But the typical parallel will require twice as many hangers (give or take) to land. The Gold, Green Foil, Orange Foil, Red Foil, Vintage Stock, Independence Day parallel, and others fall into this large category. Meanwhile, Platinum has become particularly difficult to land. It takes about five times as many hangers to get a hold of one.

The picture that emerges is quite clear. Hangers are no longer bangers. Instead, Topps intentionally makes it less worthwhile to buy retail and a better investment to sink money into Jumbo Boxes. This change relegates our beloved hangers into dispensers of base cards, with a rare worthwhile hit mixed in.

What about the price? Let’s compare the prices for Topps Series 1 Baseball hangers over recent years:

The price for hangers has not changed, despite the less valuable content in the 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball version. Unfortunately, that makes the hangers a far less worthwhile purchase than they were in the past.

View prices of 2023 Topps Series 1 Hanger boxes on eBay

2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Odds and print runs for blaster boxes

Ok, so hangers are no longer bangers. But what about good old reliable blasters? What can we expect there? Apparently, not much:

ParallelOdds in 2022 Series 1 Blaster BoxesOdds in 2023 Series 1 Blaster Boxes
Vintage Stock1:7891:2,087
Mother’s Day1:1,5191:4,024
Father’s Day1:1,5191:4,024

The odds for most of these parallels are double or triple what they were last year. So much harder to get. In the case of platinum cards, the chances (never significant to begin with) have been utterly obliterated. But once again, the most significant changes are to gold. After all, we are used to pulling them relatively often, and they are among the main reasons we (used to) love flagship retail.

View prices of 2023 Topps Series 1 blaster boxes on eBay

What are the implications of the Topps print run changes?

Once these facts and figures started appearing, some pretty dramatic pronouncements appeared. For example, the Grip N’ Rip Sports Cards YouTube channel has announced that “this is the, pretty much, death of retail sports cards. It’s done and over with.”

But it is nothing that dramatic. After all, many people buy retail to complete sets or for their kids. And now that these numbers are out, retail product prices will drop. Maybe not in the next few months, but eventually. And the low retail prices will make set completion far easier. And as a set guy, that is a good prospect for me.

But it does mean that buying a bunch of retail to get valuable parallels or stash away (which honestly has never been much of a strategy with this product) will no longer be a way to make any cash.

What does this mean for the 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball retail print run?

Some people have also been speculating about the print run in retail. They have assumed that because the cards are often three times as hard to pull, the print run will be three times as big. But there is no reason to think that will be the case.

Look, Fanatics didn’t make all that money by being stupid. They are well aware that reducing the odds of pulling in blasters and hangers will render retail products less popular and valuable. So, the last thing they will want to do is massively overprint these products.

They know it will sit on the shelves and bring the value and prestige of the entire release down. Therefore, my best guess is that the print run will shrink somewhat as Topps seeks out profits from the Jumbo Boxes. But we will keep an eye out for clues about the overall print run.

View prices of 2023 Topps Series 1 baseball retail products on eBay

The final word on 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball odds and print runs

Topps is changing its strategy for 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball. They are lowering the odds in all retail products and making them more base-heavy. The hobby boxes remain about the same and may be marginally better.

The core of the new concept is the Jumbo Boxes. They have turned into absolute bangers. Everyone is finding this out right now, so they will become increasingly expensive and scarce. So if you want to buy into this product, load up on those babies now. There is no reason to chase retail because people cannot give those boxes away.

As for the more dramatic pronouncements about the death of retail: I doubt it. First, people buy retail for a cheap rip, and there will still be a (more limited) market for that. But second, this is an experiment for Fanatics. They are new to the game.

My guess is they will see that they went too far in shunting retail this time and will try to balance it a bit more in the future. Perhaps this is a middle finger to the big retailers, and we will see Fanatics push its own retail products (direct to the buyer) products with better odds.

That would cut the middleman out and keep the dough rolling in. Either way, this release is not the final word. Fanatics will be tweaking their formula.

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