How Many 2016 GPK Apple Pie Cards Were Produced? Part 1

This is Part 1 of a two part series on the production of 2016 Garbage Pail Kids Apple Pie. Part 2 can be found here.

wrapperThe 30th Anniversary Garbage Pail Kids set was highly anticipated from collectors. Topps saw the demand and produced a healthy amount of cards to go around. With the release of the 2016 GPK Apple Pie set would Topps follow suit, or change things around? We already know some of this information. Topps, while deciding to keep the large base set, completely changed the way parallels are done. They even started putting production numbers on many of the parallel sets. However, there is still a lot of information we can get by looking at sell sheet data, and pack odds.

First my disclaimer! Production numbers are never an exact science, and Topps makes it tough on us. In order to attempt to solve this riddle we need to look very closely at the clues in both the odds and the sell sheets. Some things to keep in mind for this post. 1) Topps doesn’t want the public to know exactly how much of each card was made. Why? No idea really, I think its dumb, but historically Topps only provides enough information to get close. 2) We need to make some assumptions. Those assumptions will be based on the clues we have, but still some guessing has to happen. 3) The odds never quite seem to come out completely equal. However we can round and get pretty close to how much was produced. 4) Topps changes what is printed from what the sell sheet says all the time. This will throw off all our numbers. 5) Keep in mind Topps historically holds back 5% of the print run to cover missing hits, damaged cards, and their No Purchase Necessary program. These numbers would include that 5%. With all that in mind let’s get started…(Warning lots of math coming up. If you don’t want to hear about the process, skip to the bottom for the answer sheet!)

File Jan 19, 11 33 22 PMFirst we need to figure out how many packs were made for the entire print run. In order to do that we can only use a card type where the odds are exactly the same in Hobby, Collector, and Retail packs. This year there is only one type of card where that is the case, Gold Dust borders, at 1:44. In the past Topps would also keep Printing Plate odds the same throughout production, but they threw a bone to Collector packs this set, more on that in Part 2. Here’s what we know, there are 220 cards in the set. Gold Dust cards are numbered on the back this year to /50. Therefore, 220 cards X 50 number of golds per card = 11,000 total Gold Dust cards X 44 Odds = 484,000 total packs made for the release. Here’s our first point where things could go wrong. There is only 1 type of card where the odds are the same throughout all pack types, so there isn’t another way to double check our numbers. Topps could have held more Gold borders back, or maybe the odds were printed wrong. As I mentioned above, we have to use what we have available. After completely going through the numbers I’m confident this is a good starting point and has to be close to what was produced.

Now let’s try to figure out how many of each pack type was created for this release. Collector packs are always the easiest to figure out because they always contain cards that are exclusively made for the set. There are three inserts that are exclusive to Collector boxes; Artist Relics, Patches, and Duel Artist Sketch Cards.

  • Artist Relics – 6 cards in set X 99 made per card = 594 total relics X 61 odds = 36,234 Collector packs made
  • Patch Cards – 10 cards in set X 50 made per card = 500 total patches X 73 odds = 36,500 Collector packs made
  • Duel Artist Sketches – 100 total sketches X 362 odds = 36,200 Collector packs made

As you can see really close numbers. Why don’t they match? Well, who knows really? Like I mentioned, the odds are never all exact, could be some rounding on Topps part. But the fact that all three are less than 300 packs apart, I think we have a good idea how many Collector packs were made. I’m going to go with the 36,500 number for our purpose throughout the rest of the post.

hobbychecklistNow lets move onto Hobby packs. We can figure out how many Hobby packs were made by looking at something that only Collector and Hobby packs have in common. We can use Die-cut sketches to figure out Hobby packs.

  • So 36,500 Collector packs / 144 odds = 253 Die cut sketches in Collector packs.
  • 500 total die-cut sketches – 253 = 247 die-cut sketches in Hobby packs
  • 247 X 158 odds = 39,026 total Hobby packs produced

Let’s call that an even 39,000 for Hobby packs. Now that we’ve figured out Hobby/Collector production, let’s work on retail. Previously we determined there were 484,000 total packs produced. So we could simply go 484,000 total packs – 36,500 Collector packs – 39,000 Hobby packs = 408,500 total Retail packs produces. We can check our math by using another card type that is in both Hobby/Collector and Retail, the Artist Autographs. How many autos are there? 110 cards in set X 25 autos per card = 2750 total autos. Let’s see how the individual odds break that down with our pack totals we previously figured out.

  • 36,500 Collector packs / 65 Odds = 561 autos in Collector packs
  • 39,000 Hobby packs / 200 Odds = 195 autos in Hobby packs
  • 2750 total autos – 561 Collector autos – 195 Hobby autos = 1994 autos in Retail packs
  • 1994 Retail autos X 200 odds = 398,800 Total retail packs.

398,800 and 408,500 are pretty close considering the large number of packs. This is one of the reasons why I’m confident we are on the right track with the production numbers for the set. I’m going to go with 408,500 total Retail packs as the number we use going forward.

File Jan 15, 6 06 04 PMUsually I’d be happy just getting these numbers. In the past its been impossible to figure out how many different types of retail packs; gravity, retail, blaster, jumbo, blister, etc. Topps produces. However, this time Topps did something interesting. They added a different type of sketch into Blaster boxes, and Jumbo packs. Therefore, we are able to determine for the first time how many Jumbo and Blaster packs were produced.

100 total Panoramic Sketches X 401 odds = 40,100 total Jumbo packs produced.
250 total Loaded Sketches x 68 odds = 17,000 total Blaster boxes X 4 packs per box = 68,000 total Blaster packs produced.

That’s going to leave us with…

408,500 total retail packs – 80,200 Jumbo pack equivalent (Topps considers Jumbo packs as 2 packs in the odds, so we need to double this number as the total retail pack numbers represents total 10 card packs.) = 328,300 – 68,000 Blaster packs = 260,300 Retail packs left. Unfortunately, we can’t breakdown the retail packs any further. The 260,300 represents Gravity feed, Regular Retail, and Blister packs. There is just not enough information in the odds or sell sheets to go any further.

Here’s the bottom line. I’m pretty confident that these numbers are close. Here is what I believe to be the production for each type of pack:

  • Total Production – 484,000 Packs
  • Hobby – 39,000 Hobby Packs or 1625 Hobby boxes or 203 Hobby Cases
  • Collector – 36,500 Collector Packs or 1520 Hobby Boxes or 190 Collector Cases
  • Retail – 408,500 Retail Packs
    • Jumbo Retail – 40,100 Jumbo Packs
    • Blaster Boxes – 68,000 Blaster Packs or 17,000 Blaster Boxes

(Once again my numbers could be off. We had to make some assumptions and trust the sell sheets and odds. But I’m confident these numbers are really close.)

So what does this all mean? What stands out to me as surprising or interesting after running the numbers? First off, WOW!, they print a whole lot of retail product. There is almost the same number of Blaster packs as Hobby and Collector combined! More Jumbo packs than either Hobby or Collector packs. There is going to be retail on store shelves for months.

The other thing that stood out to me right away is production is down compared to the 30th set. In fact its down quite a bit. Let’s compare the two looking back at the numbers we figured out for the 30th set:

Total Pack Production: 30th – 669,000 packs \ Apple Pie – 484,000 packs (27.7% decrease in production)
Hobby Pack Production: 30th – 51,000 packs \ Apple Pie – 39,000 packs (23.5% decrease in production)
Collector Pack Production: 30th – 41,000 packs \ Apple Pie – 36,500 packs (11.0% decrease in production)
Retail Pack Production: 30th 577,000 packs \ Apple Pie – 408,500 packs (29.2% decrease in production)

Topps prints to order their product. Which means based on distributor pre-orders Topps decides how much product to produce. Its obvious the demand isn’t the same for the new set compared to the 30th set. This gives you a good idea how much, almost a 30% decline in production. Something interesting however, Collector production only fell by 11%, its clear collectors enjoy busting collector packs. Its also clear collectors don’t want Hobby boxes. Since the debut of Collector boxes, Topps has made Hobby box odds almost similar to Retail odds, and collectors are responding. One other thing to wonder, did the large decrease in retail orders cause Topps to increase the inserts and hits in retail product this year?

All fun stuff to think about as you bust into those new packs! Let me know your thoughts on the numbers in the comments!

This is Part 1 of a two part series on the production of 2016 Garbage Pail Kids Apple Pie. In Part 2 we will look at production numbers for all parallel and insert sets. Part 2 can be found here.

 

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How Many 30th GPK Cards Were Produced?

So how many cards did Topps produce on the 30th Anniversary set? That question is never easy or straight forward to solve. In order to attempt to solve this riddle we need to look very closely at the clues in both the odds and the sell sheet. Some things to keep in mind for this post. 1) Topps doesn’t want the public to know exactly how much of each card was made. Why? No idea really, I think its dumb, but historically Topps only provides enough information to get close. 2) We need to make some assumptions. Those assumptions will be based on the clues we have, but still some guessing has to happen. 3) The odds never quite seem to come out completely equal. However we can round and get pretty close to how much was produced. 4) Topps changes what is printed from what the sell sheet says all the time. This will throw off all our numbers. 5) Keep in mind Topps historically holds back 5% of the print run to cover missing hits, damaged cards, and their No Purchase Necessary program. These numbers would include that 5%. With all that in mind let’s get started…(Warning lots of math coming up. If you don’t want to hear about the process skip to the bottom for the answer sheet!)

collectoroddsThe first bit of info I want to know is how many cases/boxes/packs did Topps create for Hobby/Collector/Retail. We need to figure out how many packs Topps made for the entire print run. The only want to determine that is to look at the odds that all 3 pack types share that are the same. There are only two; Printing Plates 1:1516 and Gold Borders 1:72. We know there are 880 total Printing Plates in the set, 220 base cards X 4 Plates per card. (Or do we? The sell sheet is very confusing on this. It states “more than 540” plates which makes no sense unless they held a bunch of plates back. The sell sheet also alludes to the plates being from the “base set + inserts”. In that case there could be 980 plates, Base plus the 3 regular insert sets, but how about the other insert sets? There could be a ton of plates in this set depending on what Topps decided to do. Until other plates show up I’m going with 880 plates as our first assumption! You’ll see why in a bit.)

So if we go with 880 plates we have 880 X 758 = 667,040 Total Packs in the print run.

Wait a minute you say, “why did you use 758 when the odds are 1:1516.” Because the odds aren’t right, that’s why! (Assumption #2. Topps not only decided to confuse us on the numbering of the base set, but also on the odds. I believe the odds for the parallels are doubled from what is actual, here’s why. In looking at the pack odds closely is says “Base Sticker Parallels (A OR B):” Notice the “:” then goes on the have black, silver, gold, printing plate separated by “,”. Then there is a “;” before going on with the rest of the odds. I believe Topps is saying the odds of getting a Black Border are 1:4 for A OR B. Which really means 1:2 overall A AND B combined. This has to be true because all the parallels are falling at exactly half the pack odds in Retail, Hobby, and Collectors. Therefore I believe true printing plate odds are 1:758.

Let’s look at Gold Borders next. The odds on those is 1:72 across all three. We know there are 85 Gold Borders of each card made. (Assumption #3 here. I’m going to assume there are Gold Borders of only the base set. This is how Topps has been doing it for the last few series, and seems reasonable.)

So 220 Base Cards X 85 Each = 18,700 Total Gold cards in the run X 36 = 673,200 total packs in the print run. Pretty darn close to the plate pack numbers. That’s why I’m comfortable going with 880 printing plates made. (Now this whole thing can be royally screwed up if Printing Plates and/or Gold cards of something other than Base cards shows up. If that happens, just ignore this whole article.)

So we are going to go with 670,000 total packs in the print run. That’s in between the number above. Now let’s try to figure out how many packs from each Retail/Hobby/Collectors. Collector’s is the easiest to find out. We just need to look at the odds for things that are only found in Collector Boxes. Let’s start with Duel Autos. According to the sell sheet there are 40 total, with odds of 1:1017.

So 40 X 1017 = 40680 Total Collectors Packs.

Let’s check with some other Collector only items.

15 Total Triple Autos X 2712 Odds = 40680 Total Collectors Packs. Look at that a match!
450 Total Medallions x 92 Odds – 41400 Total Collectors Packs. Ugh that’s close but off.
384 Total Italian Stamps X 115 Odds = 44160 Total Collectors Packs. Even more off.
19 Total Pen Relics X 2543 Odds = 48317 Total Collectors Packs. Getting Colder…

So why don’t the numbers add up? Who knows? As I mentioned above the odds seldom add up exact. Topps could have changed the amount of cards made for the items above from what they said on the sell sheet. It happens all the time, and by the looks of things they may have removed “C” names this time. I’m going to go with 41,000 Total Collectors Packs.

Now let’s move to Hobby packs. We can figure out Hobby packs by looking at something only Hobby and Collector packs have, Die-Cut Sketches. The Sell Sheet says there are 500 total Die-Cut Sketches inserted in Hobby/Collectors boxes.

So 41000 Collector Packs / 144 Odds = 285 Total Die-Cut Sketches in Collector Boxes
500 – 285 = 215 Total Die-Cut Sketches in Hobby Packs
215 X 237 Hobby Odds = 50955 Total Hobby Packs, let’s just call that 51,000.

Moving onto Retail. The only other thing that Retail shares with Hobby/Collector packs that we know how many total cards is autographs. The sell sheet says there are 3000 total autographs.

41000 Collector Packs / 96 Odds = 427 Total Autos in Collector Packs
51000 Hobby Packs / 244 Odds = 209 Total Autos in Hobby Packs
3000 – 427 – 209 = 2364 Total Autos in Retail Packs
2364 X 244 Retail Odds = 576816 Total Retail Packs (This number means total 10 card packs. Which won’t be correct because some retail will be made of Jumbo packs, but the total number of autos in Retail would remain the same.

So we have 577,000 Retail Packs + 51,000 Hobby Packs + 41,000 Collector Packs = 669,000 Packs. That is darn close to what we came up when using Plate and Gold odds.

Here is what I believe to be the pack/box/case numbers for Hobby and Collector.

Hobby – 51,000 Hobby Packs or 2125 Hobby Boxes or 265 Hobby Cases
Collector – 41,000 Collector Packs or 1708 Collector Boxes or 231 Collector Cases

(Again I could be way off, lots of assumptions I mentioned above coupled with my minimal math skills, could mean bad news for my numbers. But I think these are a pretty good guess.)

What’s interesting about these numbers? I don’t think very much Hobby/Collector was printed. These could dry up within a few months. Retail? They printed a ton of it! It will be on store shelves for years.

Let me know what you think in the comments section.

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