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Friday, Nov 24, 2017
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Collect call: 2016 Topps Museum football

Some of these cards definitely should be framed.

Framed cards are just part of the lure of the 2015 Topps Museum football set, a high-end product that gives collectors at least four hits per hobby box. It’s a pricey product for sure, with prices ranging in the $170 to $200 range depending on the retailer. But depending on the on-card autograph, relic or other special cards, the benefit might be worth the cost.

Each box in this hobby exclusive product contains four mini-boxes, with five cards in each one. The base set contains 100 cards with rookies, veterans and retired players. For those who enjoy chasing base sets, parallels include copper, sapphire (numbered to 99), 60th Anniversary (numbered to 60, of course), amethyst (25) and 1/1 emerald.

Granted, the design for the base cards is strikingly simple and elegant, with a nice dark frame, clean typography and sharp photography. But honestly, collectors will buy Museum for the autographs and relics. And I can’t say I’d blame them. Here’s what I pulled in the hobby box I opened:

The first mini-box had a four-player quad relic of wide receivers Devin Funchess (Panthers), Tyler Lockett (Seahawks), Jaelen Strong (Texans) and Chris Conley (Chiefs), numbered to 50. Plenty of copper foil, and the swatches provided a variety of colors and texture. The red swatch for Conley was particularly striking, and I enjoyed the ornate look. There also was a copper parallel of Dez Bryant.

The second mini-box produced a Hall of Fame caliber card: a Signature Swatches Triple Relic Autograph card of Tim Brown, who gained entry to Canton in 2015 after several years of waiting. The card was numbered to 250; all three swatches were white, but there were two different types of textures. The box also contained a sapphire parallel of Jimmy Graham.

The third mini-box held a Museum Jumbo Relic card of Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans, numbered to 50. This is another ornate card, and the swatch dominates the entire card. This box also contained a Canvas Collection Reproduction card of Bears Hall of Fame running back Gale Sayers. These are interesting cards and fall one per hobby box. Some collectors will pull 1/1 Canvas Collection Originals, which are the hand-painted versions of the insert. There also are 1/1 signature versions of the card. Rounding out this third mini-box was a copper parallel of Lions great Barry Sanders.

The fourth and final mini-box contained a Museum Collection Framed Autograph parallel card of Bengals running back Jeremy Hill, numbered to 15 and signed on-card in silver ink. The design is horizontal and the signature — OK, Hill’s initials, it looks like — is bold and distinctive. I would have preferred a full signature, but perhaps that’s the way Hill signs all of his cards. The metal frame gives the card some weight — suitable for framing, no doubt. The last mini-box also had a 60th anniversary parallel of quarterback Philip Rivers.

Topps Museum definitely has some nice cards, with generous swatches and bold autographs. Expensive? Yes. But for high-end collectors, it’s not a bad investment.

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