June 29, 2011

Hobby Box Break and Review: 2011 Topps Series 2

I know we already broke a case of the stuff and you have seen what is in the Jumbo boxes, but now you can take a look at what you can get inside a hobby box.

Each hobby box contains 36 packs per box, 10 cards per pack and is currently selling for around $50. I think $50 for this product is more than fair with the amount of cards in each box plus the Diamond Code cards and a hit.

Base cards: 280 total, zero doubles. Not bad if you are a set builder, not bad at all.

60th Anniversary cards

I get that there should be one card from each year commemorating 60 years, but seriously I think this would have been better left to just doing highlights from the years that are more scarce than doing it this way. I think I still have the Posey card on my desk somewhere not even put away yet.

1 original back 60th Anniversary card of Roy Halladay

9 Diamond Duos cards
6 Topps Town cards. Seriously, aren't we over these yet? I think this is one of those insert sets that Topps can kill next year. I almost don't even feel like they are inserts, almost like a promo card or checklist type of card that I just want to chuck in the pail. I know that sounds terrible but I just can't be bothered.

Topps 60, 9 cards. These are fun. I like them because they have players from all years on the same design. For me, this works much better than the 60 Years of Topps/Anniversary card set of re-prints. I have enough lame 1980's and 90's cards laying around. I like this set much better for the same purpose.

Before There Was Topps, 2 cards. Lame. Enough said.

4 gold cards
1 black card /60. This was nice to pull from a hobby box, most of the time it seems like you only see these in Jumbo boxes, or maybe that is just me.

Diamond Stars, 6 cards. Probably one of my favorite subsets of Series 2 just because it's something different and the background makes the player images really pop.

Diamond Anniversary Sparkle cards, 1o total. I think these were a fun parallel for this year being the anniversary but I wouldn't want to see them again unless they used this design for Chrome Xfractors.

Diamond Anniversary short print card of Jim Palmer

Kimball Champions mini cards. What else can I say about these cards? I love them, and I love mini cards. I think each year Topps flagship set should include a mini set, but each year make it different. Maybe some Turkey Red mini's next year? =) That would be AWESOME.

Ohhhh!!! Robbie Cano, don't ya know?! A-W-E-S-O-M-E.
Code cards


Report card.....

Design: A

I have to stick with my original opinion from Series 1 on the design aspect of the set. It's not like it changed or anything.

Value: A

The price point of roughly $50 per hobby box is on point for this product. You get a ton of base cards for set building or team collecting plus a great variety of inserts and parallels. You really can't go wrong for $50 give or take a few bucks.

Quality: A

There were no doubles, no damaged cards, and there were a ton of inserts in the box.

Overall: A

This is a great follow up set to Series 1 and includes some of the same sets that were inserts in series 1 and some new additions to the mix as well. I think Topps did a pretty good job with the 60th Anniversary stuff throughout series 1 and 2 this year.

P.S. Stay tuned to see what we are going to do with the cards from this break.

June 22, 2011

Next Case Break..... Dibs!

So.... I know I said I probably wasn't going to be doing another case break anytime soon after the headache of running two separate ones for Series 2 but I think I got a good price on an upcoming product and want to run it by you guys.

First, there is going to be a new way to go about this whole thing. This is how to claim a team: You leave a comment claiming your team. You will have 2 weeks (and ONLY 2 weeks) to pay for the team(s) you claim. If you do not pay within that time frame your team will be available for someone else to take. No exceptions. You MUST include your team name and address in the payment.

The break will be 2011 Topps Finest. I am eliminating the following teams: Royals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, A's, Marlins, Padres. If you want one of those teams, you can buy them but I don't feel like begging people for months to take one of those so we just won't even worry about them.

Teams will cost $40 per team including shipping. Release date is September 27, 2011.

The teams that are claimed are:

Yankees
Cardinals
Rangers
Red Sox
Cubs
Blue Jays
Mariners
Indians
Giants
Dodgers
Phillies
Braves
Orioles
Nationals


If enough interest is shown by the claiming of teams, I will order the case this week. Please leave a comment with your team choice.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Info:

Configuration: 8 boxes per case. 12 packs per box. 5 cards per pack.


CELEBRATE THE FINEST ON THE FIELD WITH HOBBY EXCLUSIVE 2011 TOPPS FINEST BASEBALL

ALL NEW!
AUTOGRAPHED ON-CARD ROOKIE CARDS
Autograph Rookie Dual Relic Cards
Rookie Jumbo Patch Cards
Finest Moments Autograph Relic Cards
Finest Moment Insert Cards
60th Anniversary On-Card Autograph Cards

EACH MASTER BOX CONTAINS
1 NUMBERED* AUTOGRAPHED ON-CARD ROOKIE CARD
1 Numbered* Autograph Rookie Dual Relic Card
2 Finest Moments Insert Cards
6 Numbered* Parallel Cards


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:

NEW! AUTOGRAPHED ON-CARD ROOKIE CARDS - ONE PER MASTER BOX! 1:2 MINI BOXES
19 Rookies personally sign each of these numbered* Refractor cards.
- Super-Fractor - 1/1!
- Printing Plate - 1/1!
- Purple - Numbered* to 5
- Die-Cut Mosaic - Numbered* to 10
- Red - Numbered* to 25
- Gold - Numbered* to 59
- Orange - Numbered* to 99
- Green - Numbered* to 199
- X-Fractor - Numbered* to 299
- Refractor - Numbered*


NEW! AUTOGRAPHED ROOKIE DUAL RELIC CARDS - ONE PER MASTER BOX! 1:2 MINI BOXES
26 Rookies are highlighted with their signature and 2 relic swatches.
- Super-Fractor - 1/1!
- Printing Plate - 104 1/1 plates!
- Purple - Numbered* to 5
- Die-Cut Mosaic - Numbered* to 10
- Red - Numbered* to 25
- Gold - Numbered* to 59
- Orange - Numbered* to 99
- Green - Numbered* to 149
- Refractor - Numbered*


NEW! JUMBO PATCH CARDS
26 Rookies featured with a JUMBO multi-colored patch.
- Super-Fractor - 1/1!
- Purple - Numbered* to 5
- Orange - Numbered* to 10


NEW! INSERT CARDS - TWO PER MASTER BOX! 1 PER MINI BOX!
Finest Freshmen: 17 of the most promising 2011 Rookies.
Finest Foundations: 15 MLB® Superstars.
Finest Moments: 18 current players each highlighted by a defining moment.
All Insert Cards Available in Orange and Purple Refractor Versions.


NEW! 60TH ANNIVERSARY AUTOGRAPHED CARDS
Three players sign their names directly to these cards along with an additional inscription commemorating Topps 60th Anniversary. Each card is numbered to 60.


FINEST MOMENTS AUTOGRAPH RELIC CARDS - One per CASE!
Detailing a moment from their careers, 18 Veterans appear on numbered* cards with an autograph and relic.
- Super-Fractor - 1/1!
- Purple - Numbered* to 5
- Orange - Numbered* to 20
- Refractor - Numbered*


BASE CARDS - 5 PER PACK!
- 100 top MLB® Veterans and Rookies.


Refractor Parallel Cards - 6 per Master Box! 3 per Mini Box!
- New! Canary Diamond - 1/1!
- Super-Fractor - 1/1!
- Framed Printing Plates - 1/1!
- Purple - Numbered* to 5
- New! Die-Cut Mosaic - Numbered to 10*
- Red - Numbered* to 25
- Gold - Numbered* to 50
- New! Orange - Numbered* to 99
- Green - Numbered* to 199
- New! X-Fractor - Numbered* to 299
- Refractor - Numbered*


P.S. If you would prefer to break a case of Lineage for a higher buy-in but for more cards please let us know that, too. Here is the link to that product info, I posted this a while back and got little to no response about it but we'll try again. I have to get a more recent quote on the Lineage but figure around $50 per team for this product.

June 19, 2011

Sunday Question

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there who read our blog!

In honor of the day our question of the week will involve your father. Typically in a family the father is the sports oriented parent who teaches you how to play ball, whatever the sport may be, or maybe just got you into watching sports or collecting cards. Maybe it wasn't your dad who did it, maybe it was your grandfather or an uncle.

My question is: What is your favorite memory with your dad growing up? Age isn't a big factor in the question so if it was later in life seeing a no hitter or a World Series game together, we would still love to hear it.

Drop us a note then go back to hanging with your kids, your dad, or both and enjoy your day. =)

June 17, 2011

2011 Topps Value boxes at Target: Yeah, I bought one

I want to say I went to Target simply to buy toilet paper and hand soap, but CVS is much closer and I get reward bucks there. Obviously, I had other reasons for going to Target.

I don't think I would have bought anything either. Really, I just like looking.

But I couldn't help myself when I saw a new packaged product on the shelf:

2011 Topps Value Box. $14.99. Sold.
- One of three exclusive chrome refractors (Either Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson or Babe Ruth)
- Five packs of Topps Series 1
- Two hobby packs of Heritage
- Two Diamond Anniversary giveaway cards

Here are some of the goodies from Heritage (I can never seem to pull my own guys).



And, lucky me, I got a double of this. I'm sure the dog would love a new chew toy.


Here are some of the cooler inserts from the Topps packs.




I've grown a new respect for these History of Topps cards. While they are not the prettiest of cards, I like the idea of Topps informing collectors on the history of baseball. In Series 2, it has Before They Were Topps inserts.

What's also fun about opening these packs is that even though they are Series 1 from this year, there are still some fun cards you can find.

Remember us?



The exclusive chrome refractors are very nice. I like the design a lot. Out of three, I also got the player I wanted most.


There was a nice little surprise in the box: A collector's guide for 2011 Topps products. I haven't read it yet, but I fully intend on going through this and reviewing the guide.

June 16, 2011

Topps Hobby Shop Promotion

Most of you have opened some 2011 Topps Series 2 by now, and seen that there are special anniversary cards floating around. If you haven't taken a minute to click over to eBay and see how many places are just trying to cash in on the HTA Diamond Anniversary cards rather than give them to kids, allow me to show you what they look like.

They are numbered HTA-# and there are 25 cards total in a set.

(Note: I have two
Jeter
cards, one for myself and one for Sooz.)

Unlike many hobby shops and or dealers, my local card shop actually hands them out to kids and customers who have the cards and they are FREE. This seems to be an issue with these give away cards each year, where dealers decide to sell them rather than give them away. Even when I worked in a sports memorabilia store, anything that came from Topps to give away, or box toppers all had to be sent back to corporate to be opened and priced to sell. Pretty lame.

The other big issue with the redemption cards like the Prime 9 seen in the 2011 Topps Series 2 packs promotion is that there are hardly any HTA hobby shops left to buy cards from and even if you find one, they might not "have" them a.k.a. they are on eBay. There is one card shop within 30 minutes of my house, everything else has closed over the years. My "local" card shop is a 30 minute ride from my house.

I did notice that on the back of the cards when you redeem the card you can enter a contest to win a trip to the World Series. Pretty awesome.

I think these kinds of promotions where you can get a harder to find/rare card of a player you collect are great for the hobby and great to draw people back to the shops where you pulled the redemption. I just wish there were more hobby shops for people to go to because the people that are stuck with retail only can't exactly walk into a Target and try and get the card of the week.

Maybe next year the back of the card can also be used both for a contest entry and to get your card mailed back to you if you don't live near an HTA shop.

Anyone get to redeem their card yet or were told that the shop doesn't have any left? Also, if you are wondering where to find a designated HTA shop you can go directly to Topps website to obtain a list of stores.

NOTE: This blog was edited after Stale Gum informed me that I had incorrect information on the post. The actual cards from the hobby shop are from something different that I am awaiting the correct information on. My apologies everyone.

June 15, 2011

Hobby Box Break and Review: 2011 Bowman

Every year there seems to be one product that I can never decide why I like it or why I go on a binge buying tons of it and every year it seems to be Bowman. Last year I was buying it anywhere I could find it just because I was the only person on the planet who didn't pull so much as a single base card much less anything else of Stephen Strasburg. This year, I was hell bent on pulling a Bryce Harper. Let's just say this is not the only box of Bowman Marie has opened this year.

That being said, I bet you are wondering how many Harper's I pulled since I have stopped buying it. I pulled exactly 2 regular base First Year cards, no chrome, no inserts, nothing fun. 2 base cards after many, many, many, many packs. Perhaps I will do another post of the auto's I have accumulated from this set and try and trade some of them.

So one hobby box of Bowman has been so many different prices over the last few months and currently it is selling for around $80 per hobby box. Each hobby box contains 24 packs, 10 cards per pack. Here is the break down of what was in the hobby box:

95 base cards. While the base cards are nothing fancy, they look better than last year to me. A little fresher, sleeker design but it's still basically the same cards when you put them side by side. This might be the one set that I expect to look the same every year, and it doesn't really phase me for some reason.



I scanned the rookie cards from the box as well.




24
Gold parallels
, 1 per pack.






3
International parallels




2
blue parallels
/500


48 Bowman
Base prospects
, no doubles. I like this years design much better than last year on these. The one problem with them is that if you look closely at some of the signatures they look very pixelated, like the signatures were scanned with a 10 year old scanner. The Bryce Harper cards don't look like that though, they are perfect. There was not a single Harper card in the box, otherwise that would have been the one I scanned.


42
Base Chrome prospects
, no doubles here either. It's amazing to have no pulled any doubles because in the jumbo boxes and blasters doubles are very easy to come by. Perhaps this was just a lucky hobby box in that respect. It should also be noted that some of the prospect cards are missing signatures.

1
blue refractor
Prospect /250 I have a soft spot for all blue refractors. They are my favorite parallels in nearly every set that has them. The blue just makes the card pop regardless of the uniform. Personally I think the blue are the nicest refractors out of all the colors.

1 autograph,
Adron Chambers



Bowman's Brightest



Topps of the Class



Topps 100


Finest Futures

Bowman's Best


Report Card Time.

Design: B

While the design is nice looking, it's just a refresh of every other year for the most part. The set has looked the exact same for years, black with white trim of some sort and a logo. Why not a lower grade? I guess because it is consistent and may be the only product that does that every year and we all have kind of come to expect it from Bowman.

Value: B-/C+

At the price point of $80 plus dollars, you get one autograph guaranteed per box and nothing more. To me this should be a $50 product again, but because of Harper your wallet will suffer if you like the product. In my opinion you get much more bang for the buck out of the Jumbo boxes of Bowman. I wish there were Bowman Chrome Jumbo's. That would be sick. Anyway, there are a ton of inserts which is great if you don't like to build sets. Otherwise you could spend a good amount of money opening boxes trying to finish around 5 or so subsets.

Quality: A

This grade is mostly based on the fact that the chrome cards do not get all bendy once you open the pack. They lay flat without having to leave them under a pile of textbooks for 3 years. Even the Bowman's Best inserts are on the same better quality chrome cardboard. While I think there are way too many inserts in this set, the ideas behind the sets were good but should have been spread out maybe one to each upcoming release or something like that.

Overall: B+

This is "the" product for rookie cards and prospects, whether it's the Bowman or any of the later versions of the set, this is the set prospectors want their autographs from. Topps Chrome could very well issue the same player autographs but they would be far less desirable than the Bowman Prospect autograph of the same player. Bowman delivers every year with the top prospects in baseball and this year was no different.