The good folks over at Topps sent us a box of 2011 Topps Heritage to break and review. I was very excited to open the hobby box because I wasn't able to purchase one this year. Overall the box was kinda boring to me and I hate to say that about something I usually love each year, but from what I saw in this box and what I have seen on other blogs the boxes are either hit or miss (literally and figuratively speaking). I am fine with it because there were a ton of Yankees in the box as well as a Pujols base and the Managers Dream card with Pujols/Braun.
So lets break it down. Each box contains 24 packs with 9 cards per pack. Chrome cards are 1:11 packs, chrome refractors 1:37, relics 1:29, and the lowest tiered autos are at 1:303 (!). It goes without saying that I wasn't very optimistic about pulling an autograph.
The box topper was a Baseball Bucks five dollar bill. When I saw these on eBay they looked like they would be the size of the box topper cards, like 3 cards together kinda thing. They are actually smaller than monopoly money and depending on who is on yours, it may be worth as much as monopoly money- i.e. Billy Butler.
I scanned a couple of base cards for fun. I bet you are wondering why I included Matt LaPorta. Well, because he's hot. Seriously. Oh and I kinda sorta keep his cards... Yes, send me your hot, err, Matt LaPorta's.
This is card #211. I am not sure what is going on in this card, the picture is one way and the title is the other. Error card? No idea. But the back of the card when looking at it this way is upside down as well... Epic fail.
There were 2 Baseball Flashbacks in the box, Mickey Mantle and Whitey Ford. (1:12)
2 News Flashbacks, Dodger Stadium Opens Its Doors and U.S. Navy Seals Are Activated. (1:12)
Another annoying mistake. I know that the tops of these cards shouldn't be blank, so what happened here?
2 New Age Performers
1 Then & Now - Frank Robinson & Josh Hamilton
Babe Ruth Special cards
Paul Konerko Chrome
Roy Oswalt Chrome
N.L. Strikeout Leaders Chrome refractor
Gaby Sanchez game used bat card
There were also 8 SP's in the box which is exciting if you are a set builder. Overall, I think this set has been a little less consistent than in years past. In 2010 I opened 2 hobby boxes and got a TON of chrome in each box as well as an auto in one. I honestly think it may be a collation issue since I don't think everyone has had the same issue, but I have read enough to know that it is an issue. I also found the lack of shiny cards made this kind of boring.
Here is my 2011 Topps Heritage report card:
How could I not give it an A when it replicates the 1962 set right down to the baseball bucks (gong) box topper? Each year that is the one thing you are guaranteed is the design will be stellar with this product.
A hobby box with 3 chrome cards kills the value to me. Maybe if this box had an autograph I wouldn't be as disturbed by this, but I don't see where the value in the box is this year. Eight short prints is great for set builders, but for collectors who only collect a player or a team it doesn't really do anything for unless your player is an SP. Nine cards per pack is great for the price though.
Consistent year in and year out in the quality department with only the minor misprints that I noted. However, let it be noted that this year the chrome card stock in this set has improved ten fold. The chrome cards have absolutely no curl to them, and are a better quality than in years past. Kudos to Topps for finally correcting that issue.
You honestly can't go wrong with this set each year because it is for the most part very consistent. If you aren't a set builder I would probably advise against a hobby box for the reasons stated above. Player collectors- help the guys who bought cases or boxes and buy their singles and keep the world spinning. Trade for your players with those of us stuck with a boatload of singles.
You should definitely check out eBay and other blogs/message boards to see some of the cooler cards to come out of the Heritage like the coin cards, dual Then & Now patch cards and autographs. I promise there are cool things in the Heritage this year, they just weren't in this box.