After having a minimal presence in the hobby for years, F1 releases seem to be everywhere. Topps F1 Lights Out is the newest release for the sport. How does it fare? Read our 2021 Topps F1 Lights Out review to find out.
In 2019, Formula 1 was plagued with a falling number of fans and a lack of appeal to a younger audience. So much so that there were rumors of Liberty Media selling and Red Bull publicly denied wanting to buy Formula 1. As Dr. Helmut Marko, Red Bull’s advisor, puts it, “That makes no sense for us.”
As a result, when Topps announced its multi-year formal licensing deal with Formula 1 in 2020, the reactions were mixed. While F1 fans who are collectors were excited at the chance to collect their favorite sport, collectors wondered at the value of cards with an ever-reducing fan base. That all changed in 2021.
The global TV audience per race increased by over 65% compared to 2019. In addition, there was a 99% increase in social media engagements across the biggest social media platforms (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Social media engagement is significant as it shows that the younger fans were finally showing interest.
While the renewed popularity of Formula 1 is a result of various marketing strategies, a huge chunk of it is thanks to two men. The Hamilton and Verstappen’s 2021 championship tussle is undoubtedly one of the most fabulous in F1 history. It had everything, fantastic racing, sensational overtaking, collisions, momentum swings, and fierce accusations!
The 2021 F1 season averaged 940,000 viewers per race, 54% above the 2020 season, and broke the previous season’s record average of 700,000 in 1995. Topps couldn’t have chosen a better time to introduce F1 to the hobby.
Topps formally unveiled their multi-year formal licensing deal with Formula 1 in 2020. In addition, the company signed an exclusive worldwide agreement to become the Official Sticker and Trading Card Licensee of Formula 1. As a result, the increasingly popular sport now had a strong permanent home.
Coincidentally, Topps intrusion into the race tracks marked Formula 1’s 70th anniversary season of delivering heart-stopping and exciting racing across the globe. To mark such a monumental milestone, Topps released two debut Formula 1 series – the 2020 Topps Dynasty Formula 1 and 2020 Topps Chrome Formula 1.
About a year after their release, both series have enjoyed immense success. Topps Chrome F1 is one of the hobby’s most popular trading cards, and Dynasty – its super high-end release – brought fans closer to the drivers they admired. It features genuine autographs and pieces of drivers’ work suits embedded in it! This popularity has been reflected in the value of these cards, and the good news for collectors is Formula 1 will only keep getting bigger.
Hobby boxes of the F1 Lights Out series were released on November 30, 2021
2021 Topps Formula 1 Lights Out – highlights all the drivers and fabulous cars from the 2021 Formula 1 season. This online exclusive release debuts Topps Lights Out series and embodies the appeal debut series regarding value. Unfortunately, this online-exclusive release sold out mere hours after its release, and hobby boxes are already tough to obtain.
Asides from its history, potential ROI, and impressive names on offer, the F1 Lights Out has a fantastic design. It utilizes a dark scheme with neon numbers/letters in the background. This unique design stands out and is appreciated in the hobby. Even non-collectors admit to being attracted by such impeccable design.
A glance at any Formula 1 collectors’ forum will show you hundreds of collectors complaining of just how fast these products are sold out a few minutes after going on sale. While this means the demand is massive, and the value will increase almost immediately, many collectors are left frustrated with the situation.
Only Hobby boxes of F1 Lights Out have been announced, and we’ve not had any confirmation of other formats. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and update this article as soon we get additional information.
5 cards per pack
5 packs per box
1 parallel card per box
Set Size 40 cards
The 2021 F1 Lights Out boxes sold out minutes after release on the official Topps store. Anyone looking to purchase a box would have to deal with retailers. Prices range from $249 on Steel City Collectibles to $214 on eBay.
The checklist includes 40 cards.
Lights out cards come in the following parallels:
Alpine F1 Team
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN
Alpine F1 Team
Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team
McLaren F1 Team
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
Red Bull Racing Honda
Uralkali Haas F1 Team
We don’t have any previous Lights Out releases compared with the current release. However, we did our best to feel the value using other recent F1 releases.
Let’s look at how well the unopened wax of the previous Topps F1 releases has held up.
|2020 Topps Formula 1Chrome||$2,499|
|2020 Topps Formula 1 Dynasty||$3,850|
|2021 Topps Formula 1 Chrome||$519|
The current value of all previous Topps releases bodes well for the value of the F1 Lights Out series. The 2020 Topps Formula 1 Chrome was presold for $236, and it currently goes for about $2,500. So there’s a reason for the “modest” price of the 2021 Topps Formula 1 Chrome. It’s a preorder price, and we expect that price to soar once it’s released.
While Max Verstappen might have been crowned the 2021 Formula 1 World Champion on the race track, the value of his cards is still below Hamilton’s cards. However, the good news is that his triumph caused a spike in the value of his cards. George Russell also had his first-ever podium finish, which has done wonders for the value of his cards. We’ll not restrict our list to these three drivers to show how well cards from other racers are. It’s easy to chase the cards of the top 2 racers. However, collectors might find better value in the cards of great promising drivers that have shown prospects on the track. With the right cards, you’re just a podium finish away from an incredible ROI.
All cards are 2020 Topps PSA 10 unless otherwise stated.
|Chrome F1 Racing Refractor Lewis Hamilton /58 AUTO||$32,000|
|Chrome 70th Anniversary Max Verstappen Red Refractor BGS 9.5||$15,000|
|Dynasty Valtteri Bottas Suit Zipper Relic Auto||$1,500|
|Chrome F1 Charles Leclerc Gold Refractor||$1,900|
|Chrome Lando Norris Gold Refractor Auto||$7,284|
|Dynasty Carlos Sainz Triple Logo Patch Auto||$3,008|
|Chrome F1 Max Verstappen Base Card #6||$1,250|
Without a doubt, these numbers are pretty impressive. The single cards currently sell for remarkable sums, especially those of the two top F1 racers. Collecting Formula 1 cards is unique as there is a limited set product compared to other types of sports.
This adds to just how high the ceiling on these cards will be as Formula 1 keeps expanding and the racers continue delivering on the racetrack. While it’s tempting to ignore other drivers and pay a premium for Verstappen and Hamilton’s cards, collectors with a lean budget can find better value elsewhere. Cards of talented drivers such as Perez and Bottas are underpriced, just as Verstappen’s were before his impressive 2021 season.
Formula 1 has experienced a massive surge in popularity, especially amongst the younger audience. As a result, its future is brighter than it has even been in its history, and this is the best time to invest in F1 cards if they’re your thing. Even if Formula 1 isn’t a sport you follow or particularly love, you cannot overlook the prospects of Formula 1 cards.