The 2016 Topps Baseball Card release was highly anticipated by collectors due to Topps’ long history of including variations to chase after in their flagship baseball card sets. Topps did not disappoint in 2016 by including a wide array of variations across their multiple series and special products released that year.
One of the most coveted and valuable variations found in the base 2016 Topps Series 1 cards were the elusive Superfractors. Only 10 of these 1/1 parallel cards existed for each player featured. They had the same design as the base card but with a colorful “rainbow foil” backdrop making the image really pop. Finding a Superfractor instantly made a collector the envy of others. Some of the more notable Superfractors pulled included Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts and Noah Syndergaard. With their rarity, many of these cards fetched thousands of dollars online.
Another highly sought after parallel from the 2016 Topps Series 1 release were the Gold Label parallel cards, which were limited to only 10 copies per player as well. These had a gold foil overlay instead of the standard colorful design. Finding a Gold Label parallel brought similar excitement to collectors as pulling a Superfractor did. Topps also included Silver Label parallels, which were limited to only 50 copies each. Both the Gold and Silver Label parallels instantly increased the value of those cards significantly compared to the base versions.
Topps followed up the first Series with Series 2 which came with its own array of parallels and variations to discover. Among the highlights was a new 1/1 Parallel Superfractor design using a silver foil background instead of the colorful rainbow design from Series 1. Likewise, Gold and Silver Label parallels were again included in limited quantities of 10 and 50 copies per player respectively. The designs of these were tweaked slightly but maintained the valuable parallel structure collectors had come to expect.
Topps shocked collectors by including a prominent autograph parallel insert set spanning both Series 1 and 2 called Topps High Tek. Finding any autographed card is a thrill, but Topps took it a step further by creating extremely low print runs of only 5 copies each for hundreds of star players. Needless to say, pulling a Topps High Tek autograph parallel of someone like Clayton Kershaw or Bryce Harper instantly made a collector’s day and collection tremendously more valuable.
Various photo and autographed special parallel insert sets were also highlights throughout the different 2016 Topps series. Topps Finest featured refined action shots on foil card stock. Topps Gallery spotlighted unique and artistic photography. Topps Heritage Flashback focused on vintage-styled photos. And Topps Tribute honored retiring players with autographed career montages. Along with autographed rookie and star talent such as Corey Seager and Noah Syndergaard, these inserts provided some of the most coveted chase cards of the year.
Topps closed out their 2016 Baseball release with the prestigious Topps Chrome set, known for its refractors and parallels on chrome card stock. Like the base sets before it, 1/1 Superfractors and limited parallel variants including Gold Glass, Black Gold, and Atomic Refractors kept the hunt exciting. An Autograph Refractor parallel even offered serial numbered autographed versions of the Chrome designs. With retooled artwork and plenty of hits to discover, Topps Chrome was a fun conclusion to one of Topps’ top years for variations in flagship baseball.
From start to finish, the 2016 Topps Baseball release kept collectors on their toes with numerous parallels, refractors, short printed autograph variants, and 1/1 Superfractors across their Series, Chrome, Heritage, Gallery and Tribute offshoots. The bounty of creative variations and low print parallel designs brought both excitement to the hobby and considerable premium value increases to the chase cards found. It was a banner year showcasing Topps’ long history of innovation and why their products remain atop the baseball card world.