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Inside the Pack: 2019 Topps Luminaries Review

This review is brought to you by the number one.

That’s because one is the number of cards you receive in each box of Topps Luminaries. Luminaries is an ultra-high-end release that joined the ranks of the Topps product line in 2017. Now in its third year of release, it’s as popular as ever, with the high-risk-high-reward collectors and case breakers flocking to the product. Each box contains one card — that’s it. You won’t find a base set to collect, either. Every card is autographed, and every card is numbered to 15 or less.

Just because every card shares those two features doesn’t mean the cards are all standardized; no, far from it. Hits range from the fairly standard single autograph to auto/jersey or auto/patch cards to the ultimate autograph books, seeded 1 in every 7,112 boxes, which is safe to assume is the entire product run. (Of note: one of these books, a 50-signature behemoth of a booklet, was pulled during a live break. If you haven’t seen this yet, do yourself a favor and check it out here.)

I generally shy away from these all-or-nothing type products because I’m not a huge risk-taker, and, let’s face it, I love common cards and insert sets. But when Topps sent me a box of Luminaries to review, I was still incredibly nervous as I ripped into the plastic overwrap. The box itself is sturdy and attractive, and I’ve kept it because I suspect that one day I’ll find another way to put it to use. Inside the box is a piece of foam that covers the card.

Sliding the foam away, I saw that my card was numbered to 10. That was exciting, since the most common cards are numbered to 15. I beat the odds out of the gate! I was pretty stoked when I saw Cal Ripken, Jr.’s face. He’s one of those “inner circle” Hall of Famers that almost no one will debate you about.

 

Cal’s signature on the card was bold and beautiful. The card design, while exciting and interesting, was also simple enough to let the signature be the focal point. Unfortunately for me, there were no relics on this card, but there was no disappointment on my end.

I’ve seen some incredible pulls from this product online, and I do have to say that the thrill of a single high-end card was a feeling I won’t soon forget. If you like to gamble a little and, in the worst case scenario, end up with a low-numbered on-card autograph of a huge star or Hall of Famer, then Luminaries is a must for you.

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