Sunday, April 5, 2020

Building Up the Football Collection - 2004 Topps

I seem to be focusing a little more of my collecting time and budget towards football.  I think some of it is a result of the 49ers resurgence having my mind more on football.  The lack of baseball right now is playing into it as well, I am finding it harder to get excited about new baseball products with no games.  I am basically buying very few packs and just picking up my Giants.  One area of my football collection that I am working on is filling the gaps for a run of Topps base sets.

This week I picked up the full 385 card set of 2004 Topps of a seller on eBay.  It was one of 5 sets I needed to complete a run from 1978 to 2015.  The last 4 sets I need to fill this run are all from the 90s - 92, 93, 94 and 99.  All but the 94 set are currently at my LCS and I could pick them up (once it opens up again) for just over $100 combined.  It looks like the 94 set may be a challenge, there are only a couple on eBay and they push close to $100 shipped which will probably prevent me from pulling the trigger for a while.  Apparently the 94 set wasn't produced in factory form so it is more rare.

Here is a quick look of the full set in the box it arrived in:

This is a pretty solid set with a nice, crisp white design.  The team name is boldly across the top of the card in silver foil while the players name is in much smaller text at the bottom.  The bottom right corner of the cards has a little illustration that changes based on the position of the player.  As I went through the set, I found 5 variations.  WR and TEs share the same pic.  DE, LB and OL all have the same hands on knee pic.  Interestingly the Terrence Newman card is the only DB card in the entire set other than rookies, back in 2004 DBs were getting no love.

In addition to the base cards, there are quite a few Transactions cards scattered throughout the set and show the player, their old team and new team.  I think I would have preferred these to be consecutive in the set.  There is a consecutive subset from cards 291-310 with each card highlighting a star from a certain week of the NFL season titled 2003 Weekly Wrap-Up. 

The final group of cards, from 311-385 feature rookies from the year before, I like that they are all in their team unis, seems the last few years prior to them losing their license, Topps included players in workout or practice gear quite frequently.  This set features a pretty solid QB class.

I am happy to have added another Topps set to my football collection.  In addition to filling in the gaps on this run, I am also working on the 71, 72 and 77 sets.  I may go for a full run since my birth year (71) however if you think the 72 Topps baseball high numbers are tough, you should check out the high numbers for 72 Topps football.


  1. Interesting to compare this to 2004 Baseball. It's very close but has been tweaked to look more football-like (especially with the fonts). They also didn't match the little icon with the photo like they did on baseball.

  2. Nice pickup! I'm down to just two cards (Big Ben and Sean Taylor) for this set myself. The 1994 set is definitely a challenge, and a disaster to get out of packs now. I bought a box of Series 1 a few years ago, and could only salvage maybe half of the cards due to bricking from the gloss.