Wembanyama’s “Green Auto” Saga: How Topps Fumbled & Left a Collector High & Dry

by Liz Reagan // in News

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You know how we love the thrill of pulling a rare card from a pack. It's why we're in this game, right? But one collector's recent headache with Topps, the big kahuna in trading cards, is stirring up some drama and raising eyebrows about how they treat their fans.

Here's the Scoop

So, this guy in Wisconsin got lucky and snagged a Victor Wembanyama Green parallel autograph card from a Bowman hobby box. When he saw a tweet about it being Wemby's "first signed card," he decided to keep it, not sell it.

The collector was excited when he found out about a raffle event associated with the card and contacted Topps for more information. The event is to feature Wembanyama himself and the card would be given away on the Fanatics Live app.

Despite promises of further details, the collector says he faced silence from Topps, even after multiple follow-ups inquiring about the event.

Topps claimed on their website: "If you are unable to join us in person, you will still be eligible to receive the 2022-23 Bowman U Chrome Victor Green Parallel “1st Card I Ever Signed” Inscribed Auto as your redemption by participating virtually."

Ghosted, Then Booted

After no response from Topps for weeks, the collector calls customer service and gets told over the phone he's disqualified from the giveaway because he didn't answer their phone calls. Wait, what? He found some missed calls from a New Jersey number but no voicemails to say who it was or why they called. That's right—zero context.

He's able to find out that Topps isn't even running the event with Wembanyama, they've hired a media company to handle all the logistics.

The collector tries to solve the mystery by reaching out to this "media company" Topps mentioned. Turns out, they were only in charge of travel plans and had no say in who got into the event itself. When he circles back to Topps, they give him the cold shoulder again. No raffle, no virtual event, nothing.

What's the Real Deal?

Topps had previously announced that anyone redeeming the card by September 8th could attend the event in person or opt for a virtual option. Given the collector had redeemed his card months ago and made earnest attempts to contact Topps, his disqualification from both the in-person and virtual event appears inconsistent with these rules.

An email dated September 11 didn't imply there were extra steps to enter the Wembanyama raffle.

This whole debacle has got people asking questions. Topps, what's going on? Their shady communication and confusing rules have left fans scratching their heads. Especially when you consider that Topps themselves said anyone who redeemed their card by September 8 could join the event or take part virtually.

The Wisconsin collector redeemed his card months ago and tried his best to get in touch, getting the boot doesn't add up.

What's Next?

The live event is being held September 23, 2023 in San Antonio, Texas. Hopefully our collector friend is able to be entered into the virtual raffle in time!

About the author 

Liz Reagan

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