A new product announcement from Topps is turning heads and opening wallets — really large wallets. Topps Portfolio, the most high-end product ever produced by the card company, is truly a one-of-a-kind release. The product is limited to just 20 boxes, with each box costing one million dollars.
Purchasing the product gives the consumer both cards as well as intangible goods. Each box comes with nine cards. Every card is serially numbered to a maximum of 5 copies and has real 24 karat gold integrated within the border. Three of the nine cards are autographs, with autograph subjects including stars like Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Kris Bryant, and Walker Buehler.
Realistically, however, the cards are not what people will be chasing in this product. That’s because in addition to the cards, each box comes with a .25% ownership stake in The Topps Company. With the company valued at around $400 million, the ownership stake itself is valued at the cost of the box, and the cards are just extra value added.
In an even bolder move, for the first time ever, Topps will only sell boxes directly to authorized breakers. Individuals will not be able to purchase boxes from Topps, and neither will hobby shops or online dealers.
Logistically speaking, this is probably a good move. It’s unlikely that the company would find 20 deep-pocketed collectors to buy the boxes individually. But if a breaker sells the ten spots (9 cards plus the ownership stake), someone can walk away from the break with a partial ownership in Topps for just $100,000. Others will still get a beautiful card with the embedded gold.
Following the purchase of a box, the company will send out a legal form to facilitate the ownership stake. The person receiving an ownership stake will need to consent to a background check. Topps will also conduct interviews with the winners to ensure they are good fits as partners for the company.
Once that process is complete, Topps will keep the identity of the winner hidden until all 20 winners have been finalized. Then the company will hold a press conference.
Ownership stakes will not be able to be transferred or sold until 12 months after the press conference. This is to protect the company from anyone who would sell the shares to quickly make their money back, thereby devaluing the company’s worth in the process.
“Luckily, the company expects the winners to be sports card enthusiasts who actually want to be a part of this company,” Topps spokeswoman April Fjools-Daye said.
“Should the company have any doubt about the winners, we would encourage folks to go back and read the first letter of each paragraph here,” she added.