Behind the Design: 2024 Topps Midnight UFC

Behind the Design of 2024 Topps Midnight UFC

Date: May 17, 2024
Author: Gerard Jones
Topics: 2024 Topps Midnight UFC, Behind the Design, Gerard Jones, UFC
Length: 868 Words
Reading Time: ~5 Minutes

Topps is back in the Octagon for the stunning debut of the Midnight Series, and now that the cage door is open, knuckles and packs are ready to be cracked, so we spoke to Product Brand Manager David Sharp to guide us through the inspiration behind the slick look and feel of 2024 Topps Midnight UFC, a black chrome masterpiece. “Chrome cards are arguably some of the most collectible cards on the market, so we felt like we had an opportunity to add another black chrome product since it’s not used often,” Sharp explained. “Black chrome technology gives off the Chrome feel however, it allows the parallels and substrates to really pop and give off a different look of Chrome in general.”

For the fans

UFC fans are no strangers to the late hours of the evening, watching the most exciting athletes in the world make history on Saturday nights with highlight reel knockouts, unforgettable submissions, and dramatic showings of athleticism that get their hands raised after 15 (or 25)  tough minutes. And that’s what’s so exciting about the Midnight series. It oozes a cool factor befitting these warriors, and the cards look appropriately phenomenal – if not totally unique for a typical UFC-branded card. In fact, Sharp and team are acutely aware that UFC fans know what they want:  

“In most cases, the UFC collectors are vastly different from the other sports. In our opinion and experience, the UFC collectors are more passionate about their sport and even more so about the fighters they follow. Designs should usually lean on the cleaner side of things where sometimes less is more. We also think it’s important to try and implement colors and patterns that make sense. Red and blue to signify the corners, gold to signify champions, etc.” 

The elevated simplicity of the Midnight series makes chasing desired inserts and autos extremely satisfying. In fact, the Midnight series was such a hit internally that the other brand teams hopped on the midnight train as soon as the concept was pitched. “The Coppell group collectively created this brand across UFC, Basketball, and Football. The soccer team liked it so much they decided to pick it up as soon as we pitched it,” Sharp explained. “We were the lucky ones that got Midnight UFC to the street first. Black Chrome is something that we felt as a group needed to exist across all sports, but at the same time, wanted to deliver a mid to high-end product.” 

The energy behind this drop from the team is infectious. When you open the box, you’ll see a fighter popping off the card, and it has a unique tactile feel in your hands that makes even the base cards worthy of a protective sleeve: “We love that even when it comes to the base cards, they truly stand out. It’s never easy to truly show off the look and feel of a brand through scans/images. This is a brand that will make a difference once it’s in your hands. These base cards are different from most brands and the refractor technology that gives them that “refractor shine” makes them pop! The added hue around the fighter allows the fighter to become the star of the card,” Sharp says.

Fighter Checklist

Speaking of the fighters, Midnight packs contain autos and inserts of must-collect stars and a collection of rookies that had the stars and moon align, so their first card and auto is right here in the Midnight release. It’s the perfect collecting opportunity, and Sharp and the team’s buzz is palpable: “You can only imagine the brand team’s excitement when we were able to improve the overall checklist with the new rookie additions. There are several great additions like Benoit Saint-Denis, Yazmin Jauregui, Brady Heistand, and many more. We think it’s important to try and deliver autographed rookies of tomorrow’s stars, when you create the fighter’s first cards, regardless of release. After all, they’re only a rookie once!” 

Inserts 

And chasing inserts has never been so enticing. Sharp revealed that Midnight inserts not only look more memorable, but the team consciously tried to deliver more value with inserts, making them far less common than some other programs. Inserts include, After Hours, Constellations, Dream Chasers and several more. As for parallels, variations in design will include PMS shifts (or color changes) to help identify the parallels. There are also substrate changes in some of the parallels to give them an added lift.

As UFC fans and Chrome enthusiasts, Sharp and team are honored to be the first to release the Midnight program to legions of card collectors. “As a product brand team, it’s always amazing to see your creations come to life. It’s even more special when you get the opportunity to create an entirely new brand, and that’s what we did here.” 


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