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The checklist of 2015 WWE Heritage that Topps revealed earlier this week includes the most buzz-worthy autograph selection and deepest relic selection in quite some time. The new product is scheduled to be released by Friday.
Collectibles Column Review
2015 Topps WWE Heritage Hobby Box
Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 9 (Cards with a relic may contain fewer cards)
Hits per box: 2 (Autographs, Relics, or Press Plates)
Total cards per box: 212
Heritage is a throwback brand in baseball, football, and wrestling that focuses on athletes past and present, with a look and feel based on older Topps products. For 2015 WWE Heritage, Topps went back to the classic look of its 1985 baseball set. That particular product is best known for the rookie card of disgraced slugger Mark McGwire.
The new WWE product includes 13 basic autographs, almost all of which are collector favorites. First-time signers for 2015 WWE Heritage are Alundra Blayze, Finn Balor, Hideo Itami, Neville, Pat Patterson, and Sasha Banks. Other popular signers include Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose (who has possibly the worst signature in wrestling history), John Cena, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dolph Ziggler. The only real dud in the line-up is Eva Marie, and even she has her fans.
There’s a focus on the New World Order in 2015 WWE Heritage, including 10 cards in the cross-product NWO tribute set: Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, the Giant, Syxx, Miss Elizabeth, Mr. Wallstreet, Big Bubba Rogers, Curt Hennig, Bret Hart, and Stevie Ray. The other cards in the tribute set will be released in future Topps WWE products.
There’s also a seven-card NWO Autographs Set, but the choice of wrestlers is somewhat disappointing. Included in this set are signatures from Shawn Michaels and Booker T, two men whose only involvement with the NWO lasted for a few weeks during the awful revival in WWE in 2002. Also included in the set are Big Show, Hart, Nash, Lex Luger, and X-Pac. Collectors are speculating that other NWO autographs will be included in future products, such as 2015 Topps WWE Undisputed later this month.
The swatch relics set includes mostly wrestler-worn t-shirt cards – 49 of them, to be exact. The standouts in this set include Bayley, Becky Lynch, Charlotte, Balor, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, and Samoa Joe. There’s also a short-printed memorabilia card that includes a piece of a bandana worn by Luke Harper.
Unfortunately, Topps is once again including Mat Relics, this time featuring a piece of the ring canvas from the 2015 Money in the Bank event. The set includes cards of 21 wrestlers who competed at that event. Mat relics usually carry little to no secondary market value, but Topps continues to churn them out in order to fill out their products.
The 30-card Rookie of the Year insert set features one of the more ridiculous line-ups in wrestling trading card history. Each card apparently honors the top WWF/WWE “rookie” for each year from 1983 to 2014. Most of those wrestlers on the cards competed in pro wrestling for years (sometimes decades) – and many of them had previous stints in the WWF! For example, IRS is the 1991 Rookie of the Year, despite competing at the first WrestleMania six years earlier. Kama is the 1994 Rookie of the Year, even though he was headlining WWF house shows two years earlier as Papa Shango.
Quirkiness of the insert sets aside, this is an especially strong product from a company that regularly delivers strong WWE products. Most wrestling collectors buy boxes and cases for the hits (autographs and relics), and 2015 Topps WWE Heritage looks like it will really deliver.
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.