Yesterday I got home and found a bubble mailer from Topps. Not sure if there could have been a better place to get a bubble mailer from than them, well except if a blogger or friend sent a Cano autograph or Pujols autograph.
I opened the envelope and there they were, 2 packs of 2011 Topps Tribute for the ripping. I was able to hold out til after dinner but that was it. I wanted to do a live break but it would have taken me longer to clean my desk than it would have to open the packs, so I decided to keep living in a mess.
Here is what I got:
Yonder Alonso auto
Catfish Hunter blue /199 (The upper left corner was pack damaged, the top layer of the card is lifted.)
Roberto Alomar dual game used jersey
Roy Halladay gold /50
Honestly, I am not too sure how to review a product based on a small sample from a hobby box. Don't misunderstand me here, I am grateful that Topps sent the packs to me to open but to be able to create a proper review I feel like this isn't what it should be based on.
Tribute comes 6 packs to a box, 5 cards to a pack and a price tag of $439 +/- a few bucks. I have seen some amazing cards from this set on eBay so I know they are out there. But these two packs, at least to me, were a pretty poor example of what you can pull from the product. If I spent around $90 on a pack of these cards and pulled a Yonder Alonso card as the hit, I may have bent it in half out of frustration. I honestly would have rather set fire to $90.
I will give you my review solely based on the sample provided.
It gets an A for design simply because when you hold these cards, they are thick card stock, the backs are glossed and the card looks like it came out of a $90 pack of cards. In that respect you get what you pay for in terms of these cards looking like a very high end product. Is the design anything spectacular? Not at all, but I think the goal here is for simple elegance.
I can't give 2 packs an A for what I got here, I'm sorry. There is nothing here that is worth what it would cost to buy these two packs. Again, I know in the scheme of things a complete box would have yielded a better outcome but these two packs do not offer me close to $200 worth of baseball goodness.
The Catfish card was pack damaged, so they lose points there. I don't really care how the card got damaged because the bottom line in a pack with 5 cards and a $90 price tag... "It doesn't matter!" (the Rock) Also, I know this may be nit-picking a wee bit but each card is a different size. Some are taller, some are wider, but they are all different. I am kind of OCD so that could be why it irritates me.
I know that doesn't exactly average out based on the individual grades but I have to seriously weigh the price into the overall package here. While the design meets the "luxury"/ "elegance" of a $439 box of cards, the sample of players and hits doesn't add up to $439. Maybe if each base card was serial numbered to 500 or something it would, but honestly I have no interest in an autograph of a guy I have barely heard anything about (Alonso) in a product this pricey. If he is in the product, why isn't a guy like Russell Martin? He at least has an established career.
The product is nice, just for the current retail value I don't see that value in the box. That isn't Topps fault because they didn't set out to make a $500 box of cards here.
What do you guys think? Am I being too harsh? Do you think these packs are worth what they would cost to buy?