You may remember I wrote a series about Topps file sets a few months ago. Well, in their August 2023 auction, Huggins and Scott Auction offered a 1970 Topps Super baseball file copy complete set in its original binder with 42 of 42 fronts and 40 of 42 backs, so I thought I’d bid on it to try and add my first Topps Vault File Copy Set to the hobby library. Well, my bid was absolutely annihilated as the 1970 Topps Super file copy set sold for a whopping $4080. I felt so surprised at the time because just a few months earlier, Robert Edward Auctions sold a 1958 Topps baseball file copy set (cards 199-286) for just $990. After doing some research, though, the bid action on the Topps Super file copy set makes sense. The 1970 Topps Super set is incredibly popular, high-grade cards sell for a lot, and competition on PSA’s Set Registry is fierce – so if you have $10k to drop on a 1970 Topps Super #28 Reggie Jackson graded PSA 10, you probably have $4k to buy a unique file set, too. In this article, I’ll share some introductory info about the 1970 Topps Super baseball card set and data about how popular they are to show why the file copy set ended up being one of the priciest file binder sales.
1970 Topps Super Baseball 101
I’ll do a deeper dive in the future about the 1969, 1970, and 1971 Topps Super baseball card sets, but the 1970 set, in particular, consists of 42 3-1/8’’ x 5-1/4’’ cards. Topps loaded the set with stars, and 17 of the 42 players are now Hall of Famers. Some say they are enlargements of the 1970 Topps regular series set, but they offer a different photo of the player than the one from the base 1970 Topps set.
The backs, however, are very similar.
The cards were released late in the season, and eight of the cards are considered to be short prints. The Topps Archives covers the short print situation well (including an analysis of uncut sheets), but Boog Powell has always been considered one of the key short print cards in the set.
PSA has graded just over 6k cards from the set, including 59 10s, 1271 9s, and 1893 8s, so they’re not THAT hard to find in high grade.
1970 Topps Super Baseball Popularity
When determining a set’s popularity, I like looking at the PSA Set Registry to see how many people are completing and competing for top sets. Well, the 1970 Topps Super cards competition on the registry is “big time”. There are 16 complete sets, many of which even have hidden details to keep folks from seeing the key cards they have or are missing.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that a few ultra high-grade cards have sold for so much; for example, this PSA 10 Reggie Jackson card sold for $11700 in December 2021.
For comparison, here is the 1970 Topps base set’s Reggie Jackson card.
Unopened material is also in demand. Lelands sold a 24-count BBCE-wrapped wax box in March 2018 for almost $9k, and REA sold a BBCE-wrapped wax pack (each pack has three cards) for $600 in December 2021. So, products related to the 1970 Topps Super set are also in high demand.
1970 Topps Super Baseball File Set
Huggins described the set as a “one-of-a-kind 1970 Topps Super Baseball ‘Topps Vault’ file copy complete set in its original binder. Topps is known to have meticulously preserved examples of their products by affixing two high-grade cards of each player into three-hole binder pages, with one showing the obverse and the other the reverse. This package features (11) double-side pages with four players per.” Only two cards were missing, those showing the backs of #1 and #2 for completion. Presumably, the glue dried out, and the cards eventually fell out. Here are all the photos of the file copy set Huggins shared online:
With so many people fighting with big money on the PSA Set Registry for top placement and a lot of interest in unopened 1970 Topps Super material, it’s no longer surprising that the file copy set sold for so much. A couple of thousand dollars fits the narrative for a 1970 Topps Super Master collector. A file copy set would present really well with a complete PSA-graded set and an unopened box. That said, I have no idea if one of the registry competitors picked up this item!
- If you’re interested in ‘Super’ cards, check out the 1970 Topps Super Football set on the Unopened archive.
- And if you’re a fan of oddballs, Topps issued a series of four popular test issues in 1974 that I covered in Newsletter #9.
- I also wrote about why Topps released the 1955 Doubleheader set (an early supplemental) in November 2021.
Happy Collecting! And don’t forget to subscribe to The Post War Cards Newsletter.