First, and most importantly, the codes are not scratch offs. The code is there for you and the eBay seller you think you want to buy these cards from to see. I know it can be hard to believe, but not all people are honest, so it’s possible that, if you are shopping for these on eBay, that by the time the card reaches your mailbox the code on the back will be worthless.
In reality, though, most of the codes are probably worthless anyway. Here’s the deal with the actual giveaway. Topps is giving away one of each card it’s released since 1952, and I’m assuming this applies to baseball cards only, but I could be wrong. That, according to the Topps GM is around 38,000 cards, so some cards will have to be made available multiple times to get them up to the magic number of 1,000,000.
Figure around 26 copies of each card would be needed to reach a million. Then realize that Topps isn’t going to have 26 1953 Willie Mays to give away, which has to mean a lot more recent material to make up for it.
So while the potential is there for you to pull a nice ’52 Mantle, you are probably more likely to pull a 1987 Mark Huismann or a ’89 Expos team checklist card because those are cheaper and easier for Topps to find. For those of you still chasing down the overproduced sets of the 80’s and 90’s, it could be your lucky day. For those of you who have too many of these, well, it may be best just to turn up your nose and submit the code anyway (more on that in a minute). Topps has also said there will be autographs and relics given away as well.
Now, why would you enter the code for the chance at another Wayne Krenchicki? Well, there’s still the chance at ’54 Aaron rookie, and of course you can’t win if you don’t enter. And for each code you redeem you are entered into a drawing for a complete 1952 Topps set. That chance alone outweighs the addition of more Sal Buteras or John Pacellas to your collection if you ask me.
The insert cards will fall one in every six packs produced by Topps, which means that Topps will produce a total of six million packs of Series 1, 2 and Updates and Highlights. I’ve pulled two out of four packs, so your odds are now a little worse than 1:6, especially if you live in Southern California and shop at my local Target.
Here’s the back, in case you’re interested:
So, you’ll go to Toppsmillion.com and enter the code in the white box to see what great card you’ve won. Topps will hold that card for you as long as you want, and allow you to trade it with other winners if you so choose. So I could actually parlay this contest into my last 2008 Topps need or the final two cards on my ’86 Topps wantlist if I get Bipped. Once you’ve got what you want, you ask Topps to ship you your cards.
I’m almost certain that not all these cards will be mint condition. So your 1966 Jim Palmer card could have been bike spoked to death. Your ’82 Dan Driessen could have teeth marks. And there’s no word as to whether Topps will charge you for shipping and handling either, which would make winning a worthless card even worse.
Codes can be entered starting February 15th.
One last thing to note. You’ll see in the upper right on the back of the cards that these contest pieces are numbered as part of a set. That means they count as an insert and towards your X number of cards in the pack. Pretty shifty if you ask me.