For its third installment of the Clearly Authentic product line, Topps had a few new tricks up its sleeve. Introduced in 2017, the Clearly Authentic product had a fairly simple approach in its first iteration: signed clear acetate cards in the current year’s flagship Topps design, sprinkled with some signed acetate reprints. Last year, Topps added a third category of cards, which were done in the style of 1993 Topps Finest. This year, Topps has done away with the reprints, but added a few new wrinkles. In addition to autographs in the design of 2019 base and insert cards, there are designs mimicking the 1952 Topps set, as well as the iconic T206 tobacco card set, which was not a Topps set. (That said, one could argue these use the 2002 Topps 206 design.)
Two things have stayed the same throughout the years. First, all cards are numbered to 99 copies or fewer. Second, every box contains just one card. That second point does keep the suggested retail price low, around $50. It’s a gamble that could pay off big time if you hit a low-numbered card, or an autograph of a superstar. Even if you don’t, however, you’ll get a beautiful low-numbered autograph to add to your collection.
Topps sent me a box of Clearly Authentic to review. Suspense is not an element here, because as soon as you open the box, you will see the card. There is no paper, foam, or wrapper to disguise it, and it sits right-side-up in the box. That said, there was certainly no disappointment on my end as I received T206 Kris Bryant blue parallel numbered to 15. I can’t emphasize how beautiful this card is! Keeping the dimensions of the original tobacco card, the card also has the white borders its originator is famous for. Impressively, the colors used on the image evoked the original set for me as well. The card looks great in the encasing.
At the low price point, I think you can’t go wrong opening some of this product if you love beautiful cards and if you love autographs. You may not get a huge hit, but with how attractive the cards are and how strong the checklist is, it’s a worthwhile gamble.