The cards I am talking about are the Topps Target variation of the Topps base set.
In 2009, 2010 and 2011 Target and Wal-Mart offered their own variations of the Topps cards.
From 2009, the Wal-Mart version were much easier to notice, naturally, as it was the front of the card that was changed to a more dramatic black border, whereas Target went for the retro styling. They changed the logo on the front and produced the card on a heritage type stock and called it ‘retro’. Hence the back of the card showed the more noticeable difference.
I can find the Wal-Mart variations of Jacoby Ellsbury, they regularly appear on e-bay and COMC as the pictures below demonstrate. But can I find the Target version?
They don’t appear on e-bay or COMC. I know, because from 2009 I have checked regularly enough, even to the point of an ebay e-mail alert for anything vaguely describing the words, ‘Ellsbury’ and ‘Target’.
Why is this case?
I submit evidence for the brief using available Internet images.
2009 Topps Target #660 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 Topps Wal-Mart Black Border #660 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 Topps Update Target #UH15 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 Topps Update Wal-Mart Black Border #UH15 Jacoby Ellsbury
2010 Topps Target #569 Jacoby Ellsbury
2010 Topps Wal-Mart Black Border #569 Jacoby Ellsbury
2011 Topps Target #351 Jacoby Ellsbury
2011 Topps Wal-Mart Black Border #351 Jacoby Ellsbury
2011 Topps Update Target Red Border #278 Jacoby Ellsbury
2011 Topps Update Wal-Mart Blue Border #278 Jacoby Ellsbury
Were the Target variations produced in smaller print runs and are therefore rarer?
Is it something simpler. That being, the front of the card is less noticeably different and therefore collectors presume the card is an ordinary base card? So I'm guessing they just see the front and don't look at the back?
Or do the Target variations of the Jacoby Ellsbury cards in fact really exist at all?