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Wrestling collectors always want something new, typically in the form of an autograph from a new star, retired legend or rare signer. With Topps cranking out more than half a dozen WWE products a year, that can sometimes be challenging.
But Topps’ newest WWE offering, 2018 WWE Then Now Forever, should appease many collectors looking for something new.
Then Now Forever is a second series to the basic 2018 Topps WWE product released earlier this year. There are 100 cards in the base set, beginning with card number 101 of Ronda Rousey. The set includes the first WWE trading cards of several top young stars, including Ricochet, EC3, Hanson, Rowe, Drake Maverick, Mark Andrews and more. There are plenty of wrestlers from Raw, Smackdown, NXT and 205 Live in the set, along with 13 WWE legends like Bret Hart, Andre the Giant, Steve Austin, Randy Savage and more.
Then Now Forever also includes about 25 image variation cards, where the regular picture on a base card has been swapped out for a different (and often more appealing) image of the wrestler. Image variations have been a popular part of Topps baseball cards for several years, and were an immediate hit with collectors when Topps introduced them into WWE products last year.
But as always, wrestling trading cards are driven by autographs, and that’s where 2018 Then Now Forever is really going to capture collectors’ attention. The set includes first-time autographs of Ricochet, EC3, Hanson and Rowe; given how recently all three men debuted for NXT, Topps deserves kudos for getting these cards turned around so quickly. Most of WWE’s top stars are included in the autograph set, including Alexa Bliss, Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch and “Woken” Matt Hardy. Ronda Rousey is not included in the autograph checklist.
There are also rare Triple Autograph, Autograph Kiss and Autograph Relic cards inserted randomly, among other hits. Three of the Triple Autographs will probably be instantly hot with collectors: Paige/Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville, Ruby Riott/Liv Morgan/Sarah Logan and AJ Styles/Luke Gallows/Karl Anderson.
Topps WWE Then Now Forever is scheduled to be released to hobby and retail stores in the usual formats on November 14. Hobby boxes deliver two hits, including one guaranteed autograph, while retail blaster boxes deliver one hit.
A full checklist is available at cardboardconnection.com.
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PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.