April 3, 2011

2011 Topps Opening Day Hobby Break

We received a box of
2011 Topps Opening Day
from Topps to break and review and I must say that it was quite fun to open. Normally I am not particularly a fan of Opening Day because it usually comes across as a set meant for kids to start on collecting. This year was definitely an exception to that theory.

The 2011 set consists of a couple of pretty cool subsets that really make this product worthwhile to break a box of instead of just grabbing a few packs. If you are a set builder one box plus a few packs or singles online will get you a complete set.

Each hobby box contains 36 packs, 7 cards per pack. I will give you the break down of how each subset was collated into this box.

I will show you what the box contained and then give you a breakdown on what the totals were as well as what I liked and didn't like about the product. Take a look at the goods:

Opening Day Stars

Stadium Lights

This subset is a special kind of awesome. The background of the card is not glossy, but the player, the lights on the card and the players name are glossed with glow in the dark stuff so when you shut the lights you can still see them. This is fun for me and I am well over 12 years old. If you didn't get any of these yet, you are seriously missing out on the fun.

Spot The Error 6/10

Topps Town

Presidential First Pitch

Not sure I could find these less entertaining. I am not a fan of non baseball cards in a baseball set even if they are patriotic. Most kids aren't going to give a hoot about getting a "baseball card" of a president that can barely put a sentence together in correct grammar (G.W.B).

Superstar Celebrations

Blue parallels

One for me and one for Sooz =)


The box ended up collating into almost a complete set. There were 200/220 base cards with no doubles which is nice if you are a set builder. The base cards are the same photos as the Series 1 cards which is why I skipped scanning the base cards.

The one thing I loved about Opening Day this year were the inserts. The Stadium Lights subset is an awesome idea and I think it would do very well as an insert set in a bigger set and possibly as a bigger subset (maybe 50 cards). For a low end product there were a bunch of nice looking subsets that make this product appealing to a broader range of collectors and not just kids.

The Superstar Celebrations and Opening Day Stars are nice additions to the base set as well. It's always nice to get a different looking card of the player you collect.

The one card I don't really care for in the set (aside from boring Topps Town) are the Spot the Error cards. I know I complain that they need to come up with new themes/designs but this one does nothing for me but annoy me. Which side is the front? Which side is supposed to be facing forward in my binder? This requires more thinking than I am willing to put into a baseball card. Luckily Albert and Robbie do not have one.

Here are the final grades on the Opening Day report card:

Design: B

Simple and consistent with the idea of having the same design as Series 1 each year. Nothing different that makes it stand out from years past but I suppose that is the idea- consistency.

Value: A

This years set provides collectors with the opportunity to get a bunch of really nice inserts that are visually appealing and nicely designed for a product that is supposed to be simple. For an inexpensive box to yield almost a complete base set plus 1/3 to 1/2 of all cards in each subset, I don't think you can get much more value out of a box than that.

Quality: A

For the price you are definitely given your money's worth and then some in this product. The cards are just about the same as Topps Series One and the inserts are top notch and more than deserving of being in Series 1 or 2.

Overall: A

For those of you who have been reading the blog the last few years, you would know how hard it is for me to give this product and A for an overall grade. This year has actually impressed me which has never happened with Opening Day before. I think this was probably the most fun I had opening a box this year so far. If you aren't looking for autographs or game used cards and just want some nice inserts and parallels of your favorite players than you should definitely pick up a box for fun.


  1. Never put much thought into Opening Day beyond team sets and players I collect. However, I find myself leaning towards getting a box.
    Your post has me leaning further towards that. Looks like a fun break.

  2. "Nothing different that makes it stand out from years past but I suppose that is the idea- consistency."

    Did you not notice the new Opening Day logo and the fact the borders are white and not a different color as in years past?

  3. Tried to get my hands on a box, but none of the LCSs in my area have any!! "Oh, those don't do well for us, so we don't carry them..."

  4. Great write up!

    do not underestimate the long term collectibility of the blue parallels

  5. Super write-up! Man, I think I am going to poke around and see if I can find a box of these to break!

  6. I am trying for a master set this year. Are the OD Stars or any of the blue parallels for trade?

  7. If you're willing, please save the blue parallel Furcal for me.

    As you know, I think Opening Day is cool this year just for the Stadium Lights cards.

  8. Hitman,

    I did notice that but to me it really wasn't that significant of a change. The overall design each year has been identical with the exception of that.

    I just really like this years set.

  9. I find that more often then not I prefer the Opening Day set to the regular set. I usually pick up a team set (although I haven't for 2011 yet) and find them to be perfectly nice. In particular the limited number of inserts sets, all of which are somewhat unique and creative (The Stadium Lights set looks phenomenal) are vastly superior to the infinite number of inserts in the regular set.

    Opening Day is what flagship Topps should be, (except for it's size). They should just take the OD set template and release it over 4-5 series throughout the year.

  10. Would you be in working out a trade or something for the Topps Town cards? I believe I am the only collector wanting to collect all Topps Town from this year. You can reach me at steelertim12276@hotmail.com, and put in subject something like Topps Town. Thanks..Tim

  11. I'd be willing to take the President cards off your hands :)
    I think I'm going to try to get those, the mascots, and the stadium lights cards.

  12. I like the Stadium Lights set too, I know it is a gimmick but still very cool. Score did a glow-in-the-dark set a number of years ago (in 1996) with the Franchise insert. Definitly one of my most favorite cards in my personal Griffey collection.