Topps Increase Prices With Heritage 2022 Retail
Fanatics bought Topps in January 2022, causing a significant stir in the industry. Since then, Topps has released a few products, including the flagship Series 1 in hobby and retail formats. However, Fanatics was not particularly involved in streamlining these releases. That changed when the first retail products of 2022 Topps Heritage Baseball. As anyone buying retail can see, Topps increased prices with Heritage 2022 retail releases.
Not much has changed in Heritage this year. As always, it comes in a throwback design, this time a tribute to the classic 1973 Topps design. And, as always, it is more of a set-builder release than one filled with bangers.
But we have noticed one significant change. The price.
The New Prices Of 2022 Topps Heritage Baseball Blasters
On March 1, 2022, Blowout Forums user parkerj33, the owner of Parker Cards, reported the new prices. Here they are for your perusal:
- Blasters MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) up from $20 to $25.
- Fat Packs MSRP is the same at $6 per pack. 20 cards per.
- Hangers MSRP up from $10 to $12.
- 24 pack boxes MSRP up from $72 to $84 ($3.50 per pack).
Fanatics just put up Heritage Blasters at $29.99.
— The Breaks (@WatchTheBreaks) April 1, 2022
Consumers Complaints As Topps Increase Prices With Heritage 2022 Retail
Many collectors are unhappy with the 2022 Heritage Baseball release. Sure, everyone loves the fetching 1973 inspired design.
But the number of hits has steeply declined. The number of chrome cards found in the product has steeply declined. While ten years ago there were guaranteed chrome cards in every blaster, today there are 20 per case. Refractors have become increasingly hard to pull.
Finally, Heritage is a long-time favorite for master set builders. However, the addition of new SPs at lower odds has made completing a master set far more challenging than it used to be. Some would say, too challenging for most.
None of these are dealbreakers in and of themselves. However, with collectors less satisfied with the product in recent years, a price hike will not help.
What Has Changed?
Sports card shops are accustomed to getting Heritage blasters in the $14-$17. Indeed, retailers recently received the 2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball blasters at that price point. The lower end of that price is for the very large actors in the business like Walmart and Target.
However, now the prices have risen significantly. The lower end of wholesale pricing for the 2022 Topps Heritage Baseball blasters is $16. Meanwhile, local card shops pay distributors as much as $19 per blaster.
The increase is, naturally, passed on to the consumers. Blasters at both big retail chains are currently priced around $25, both in-person and online. That is a significant increase over last year’s prices. For example, 2021 Topps Heritage Baseball blasters initially sold for around $20 and can still be found for that price on the secondary market.
Why Did Topps Increase Prices With Heritage 2022 Retail ?
There are quite a few suspects for this rise in prices. First, the supply chain problems have long bedeviled the sports card industry. Panini and Upper Deck, in particular, have been hit by the crisis and were forced to delay key and even cancel critical releases.
In addition, the popularity of sports cards in recent years has seen the value of some cards increase exponentially. As a result, many boxes are released at inflated price points. After all, if collectors are willing to pay higher prices, why not sell for more?
However, these explanations do not seem to apply to the 2022 Topps Heritage Baseball product. Regarding chain problems and inflation, they play a role in all pricing nowadays. But these are not new problems. Indeed, the situation hasn’t improved much in terms of supply chains, but it has stabilized. Therefore, these factors do not explain the difference between pricing for the recently released 2022 Topps Series 1 Baseball and the Heritage blasters.
Similarly, demand for cards may be healthy but has not increased since its COVID-19 peak. Instead, there are some signs that the bubble is bursting. That is doubly true for base cards, and Heritage is undoubtedly heavy on those. In general, baseball (aside from Bowman releases) has lagged behind football and particularly basketball in growth. And Heritage has never been a high-end product, to put it mildly. Therefore, the explanation is different. Spoiler alert, it has to do with Fanatics.
The Fanatics Price Increase
The main difference between pricing for 2022 Topps Series 1 and its Heritage counterpart is the involvement of Fanatics. 2022 Topps Heritage Baseball is the first release that saw Fanatics become heavily involved.
A source told us that once these changes occurred, Topps offered the Heritage blasters wholesale for 15% more than the Series 1 blasters just a month ago. In other words, the price went from $17 to $19. Therefore, it is a small wonder that these blasters are selling for $25. There would be no profit at the previous price of $20 once you consider expenses and overhead.
What Does The Topps Increase Of Prices With Heritage 2022 Retail Mean?
The price points for lower-end Topps products will be going up. And most likely, they ain’t coming down. That will almost definitely apply to 2022 Topps Series 2 products (coming on June 8, 2022) as well. We can also expect similar pricing for Gypsy Queen and Allen & Ginter.
We also hear from sources that allocations for 2022 Topps Series 2 are being cut. Especially, for smaller suppliers, due to supply chain crunches and the price of the necessary resources. This element may also explain the staggered release of the various retail formats. Here are the dates of the retail product releases:
- Blasters – March 18
- Fat Packs – March 28
- Hangers – April 1
- 24 pack boxes – April 1
However, as problematic as supply problems are, that is not the main motive behind the current price changes. Instead, when asked, Topps distributors are implying that the price change is a Fanatics decision more than anything else.
Is There A Darker Reason Topps Increased Prices With Heritage 2022 Retail?
Finally, some smaller card retailers are concerned that Fanatics is trying to price them out of the hobby. The cuts in allocations may be related to this strategy as well.
There is no clear evidence of this strategy, and we hope it isn’t true. However, it is a believable scenario. Fanatics has an enviable distribution system, able to reach every corner of the earth with their merchandise. Anyone who has bought jerseys from them in the past knows what I’m referring to.
The multi-billion dollar company will be providing its trading cards through that independent network. We have recently covered their state-of-the-art sports card drop system, which seems fair and efficient. However, they may be uninterested in smaller allocations to card shops for products they can sell more efficiently through the Fanatics system.
However, we do not have confirmation of this point. Neither Topps nor Fanatics has responded, so far, to requests for comment. I will update the article if they do.
Topps Increase Prices With Heritage 2022 Retail: The Bottomline
We don’t know what motivated the Fanatics policy to raise the prices on lower-end products. However, we know for sure that prices have gone up and that many smaller sports card retailers are highly concerned. It remains to be seen if Fanatics value the long-standing working relationship between them and Topps. All we can say is that local card shops are the backbone of our hobby, and we hope that Fanatics takes them into account in terms of prices and allocations.