Mini-Break: 2012 Topps Series I Jumbo Packs

So I went to this card shop yesterday with the intent on getting some free hockey cards for National Hockey Card Day and it turned out he had none. I know it wasn’t the “official” day but he wasn’t open on the official day so I showed up an hour after he opened yesterday to find he had none.

Now I’ve never been a fan of his card shop because he never has any product at all and today was no different. However, he did have 5 Jumbo packs left from a box of 2012 Topps Series I baseball and I hadn’t been able to open that product yet, so I grabbed them and some needed supplies. As with other mini-breaks, it’s not a full box so I’m not fully reviewing the product but I will add some thoughts and pictures in.

Overall, I wasn’t a fan of the design when I saw the mock ups but they do look better in person. The insert design is average at best for Topps but it is filled with way too many Yankees…and way too many doubles. Collation was a huge problem in my 5 Jumbo packs and that’s something I hate.

I was able to pull the mandatory 1 Golden Giveaway card per jumbo pack as well as Week #3 and #8 of the Topps Prime 9 promotion. So overall, not bad for the price he gave me per Jumbo ($10).

I still don’t like the shop though.

Here are the highlights…

Review: 2011 Panini Donruss Elite Extra Edition Baseball

Elite Extra Edition baseball has been coming out for a number of years from both Donruss and Panini. It is a product loaded with enough potential talent to make even the smallest prospector take notice. With a ton of a first round autographs and some great looking hard signed cards, baseball card collectors don’t seem to care if they don’t use the logos. The prospects are hot and collectors want them.

Here’s what we pulled:

Design:

Well I have to stay consistent. This is the same base design as it was in 2011 Elite Football so I must be true to my word. The base design is okay. At least they didn’t go horizontal on us like they did in the football release and for that, I thank you. The lettering is nice, but the background is just kinda bland and shiny. Some sort of design in the shiny area would be nice. Even if it’s just shapes. But besides that, as always, I love the design of Panini’s inserts. The Yearbook and Elite Series cards look fantastic. While the Building Blocks reminds me of 2005 Donruss designs, it’s just average. I also thank you for not making a big white box for the autographs and fading the images.

Checklist:

The checklist is fantastic for a prospecting product. The inclusion of 25 MLB players is a nice touch and let’s you see some of the game’s top players mixed with some top prospects. Speaking of top prospects, almost the entire 2011 first round is in this product with autographs. Those players are some of the most sought after prospect autographs so it’s good to see Panini grabbing all those players for this product. Nicely done.

Value:

While to me $100 for this product might feel a little high, you can’t complain with the content. 6 autographs in a box and a few paralleled inserts that add a decent amount of value as well, especially when you’re lucky like me and pull a first rounder on a popular team numbered to just 10. One thing I didn’t really like was the doubles of the MLB talent, so maybe they should play with the checklist a little bit next time and include more MLB talent of less packs per box. I don’t like getting doubles, but it happens.

Overall:

Overall, this is a solid product put together by Panini for their first venture with a MLBPA license. While the base design leaves a little bit to be desired, the inserts look fantastic and I don’t mind the Status or Aspirations die-cuts as much the second time around with this design. The checklist is full of first rounders and heavy favorite prospects as you will see more of in a moment. The sheer number of autographs in a box is great along with the parallels that usually add some pretty good value if you get the right players. Definitely a solid pick up for prospectors out there.

And just for you prospectors out there, I have put together a little cheat sheet on the prospect autographs I pulled, courtesy of Top Prospect Alert.

Check out some prospect ratings on 4 of the player autographs I pulled from this box break.

Want your chance at an autograph from this review? Tell me what you think about this product and if you’re feeling like you got a good idea of prospects, tell me who you are most excited about. I will hold the drawing on Saturday.

Review: 2011 Topps Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Baseball

I know I haven’t reviewed many Topps products out there, but I thought I would pick up a box of Topps’ newest offering, 2011 Topps Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects baseball. Basically, this is a mix of Bowman and Bowman Chrome but with only the draft picks and prospects with either their first Bowman card or their rookie logo card. This whole RC logo thing confuses me now so I won’t get into it, but that is what is going on now. Anyway, here’s what I pulled.

Base:

Parallels:

Autograph:

Design:

This is kind of a review on all of the products combined to make this product. I actually really like the Chrome base design. It’s clean, has nice borders, nice photography, and the white box where the autograph goes matches the rest of the card and doesn’t look out of place. The rookie logo cards also look really solid, but my real issue is with the first bowman base cards. The black border on those cards just looks out of place. I would of much preferred a white border and I think it would of looked a little better. But I think overall it’s solid.

Checklist:

Checklists in a prospect set are hard to judge, especially for a non-prospector like myself. But there are a few names I recognize and I know some prospectors love a lot of the names on the checklist. I also know people who say there are some glaring omissions from this product as well. As a non-prospector, it’s hard to comment, but I’ve taken many prospectors comments for my rating.

Value:

Value is another hard one with a prospector product. With prospects, you won’t know much about how the cards turn out until a few years down the road. So you have to look more closely at the checklist and the value of what’s in there now. And with the checklist being decent, that’s a good start. However, this product is all about the rookies. With the rookies being paralleled to all infinity, it decreases a lot of the value of the product itself, unless you hit a very low numbered rookie or rookie autograph in it’s paralleled form. I just don’t think it has the value that it once had.

Overall:

Overall, the design is solid overall. Most of the cards are color coordinated and clean all around so it’s pretty visually appealing. The checklist is tough to gauge, but taking input from others, I’ve determined it’s a decent checklist, but it could use a little work with some of the glaring omissions. Maybe it’s Topps saving some value for next year’s installment? Speaking of value, it’s another tough call in a product like this. But with all the parallels, it decreases the value of the base rookie and even some of the higher parallels. Include the autographs in there too and you may only get lucky to get some real good value out of a box. But at a lower price point, a prospector may want to have some fun and see what they can pull. You’ll find all the major league talent in the world, just no major leaguers (except for those who were called up later in the season), which makes this definitely a prospecting product.

I need to do some video editing as this video is a little too long, but I had a lot of fun with some comments on the product and it will be up when I grab a chance.

Review: 2011 Topps MLB Sticker Collection

I went to the store the other day for some bubble mailers and I saw some of these 2011 Topps MLB Sticker Collection packs and the sticker book that comes with it and thought, why not? For $1 per pack and $2 for the sticker book it was a cheap thrill that lasted longer then opening most boxes because I had to peel the sticker and find the spot for it to go.

Then I was thinking, hey, it’s a sports card product right? Why not review it? So I brought out my trusty camera, took out my sticker book, and snapped some photos for those who may be interested in trying to put this set together whether you 8 or 50 years old. Just don’t stick a card in the wrong spot in the sticker book, so you have to know your numbers to be able to do this correctly. Or those who can’t put stickers inside the lines like I apparently can’t in the photos below. It’s my big hands! I swear it to you!

Base:

Teams:

Legends:

Design:

While the sticker design looks average at best, the foils looked great. The team and legends stickers are foil cards and not only look better, they feel like better quality stickers when you peel them and place them in your sticker book. And speaking of the sticker book, I actually really like the design of that myself. The interior pages are colorful and provide a great color photograph of a star on your favorite team.

Checklist:

Now this is a big checklist, but is it too big for a sticker book? It contains all the stars of your favorite players at 9 per team, all the team logo stickers, and 9 legend stickers. As this product is mainly focused towards children, will they be trying to complete the set this size? Either way, it’s great for low end set collectors as it provides a challenge to put together or great for kids.

Value:

How can you not give this value a 5 stars? $1 per pack of stickers gives you a ton of stickers and $2 just for the book itself isn’t bad either. There isn’t any frills or anything with this product like other sticker products, but it doesn’t really need it for what the product is and who the target audience is. It may be harder to get the older crowd involved in stickers, but sometimes you gotta go back and just do something for the kids and this does a great job of bringing kids back into collecting.

Overall:

Is it just me or do you feel kind of weird walking into a store and grabbing packs of stickers and a sticker book at 25 years old? This product is definitely designed for kids, but I can see adults picking up this product as a fun set to put together whether they stick the stickers in the book or just collect the stickers. At $1 per pack and $2 for the book you aren’t going to break the bank putting this set together and the foils really stand out, although they are harder to get. I would of liked to see maybe a foil variation of the base card to mix things up a bit, but overall, a solid product.

Poor Pedroia, he has no Red Sox to be stuck on him.

Review: 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter

It’s hard to believe but this is my first baseball card review. I love baseball cards and I love baseball. The first cards I ever collected were baseball cards. The first boxes of cards that got me back into the hobby in 2005 were baseball cards. I own more baseball cards then anything else. But I’m happy that 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter is my first baseball review because I have always loved Allen & Ginter since Topps brought it back from the dead in 2006.

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter has brought back the success of previous years in one of the most interesting and beloved sets of the year. From baseball players to famous beards and ships, Allen & Ginter is your source of both America’s past time and oddball cards that you can’t find anywhere else. With tons of minis and different types of short prints, it is a set collectors dream. With a large checklist of both sports and non-sports it is just a sports fan’s dream as well.

Base:

Inserts:

Relics:

Rip Card!!!

Design:

Sometimes practically the same design year after year is a good thing. When you’re going for the nostalgic, old school type set and basing your cards off that set, you still have to pay homage to the past. The sketches of the player with the splash of color in the background is what it has always been and that is classic. No frills or anything fancy here, just solid art work on these cards all around. I’ve always loved what they do with the relics as well and that is to put them in a larger frame that usually has like palm trees or something on it in nice colors. Every autographed card is hard signed and rip cards are fun and easy to rip. Nothing new, but sometimes new isn’t always better. Oh, and the Ascent of Man inserts are absolutely GORGEOUS.

Checklist:

I find this product extremely hard to review as far as the checklist goes. You have all the baseball players you need in this product. There are a number of SPs which is great and Ginter backs and Bazooka backs and black parallels. It’s fun to pull the parallels. The famous beards cards was pretty funny and I love the old school famous ships. Some of the people they chose from the world of entertainment, especially in the autographs area is the hard part though. There are some huge name on there, but also names which make you scratch your head. I might as well sign some cards for Topps if they are letting people like Chuck Woolery or the King of Cornhole. Which begs me to ask Topps to let me have some autographs in Ginter next year. I bet my cards would sell better on the secondary market then Jo Frost because I know what collectors like. My inscriptions would be epic. Just saying. Think Olbermann and Hayhurst combined.

Value:

The autograph ratio compared to relics this year is crazy and collation was terrible. If you are going to decrease the number of autographs then drop the price of the box as that is where things get expensive. The relics while nice, are just the same thing as every other product in baseball and Allen & Ginter in the past. Small relics that won’t fetch much on secondary market unless it’s a top celebrity like Shawn Michaels or Manny Pacquiao. The insert ratio of the major hits inside rip cards has been terrible as well. The product has been out a week and no one has seen a mini autograph or really any wood parallels or sketches yet. I know they are 1/1s and the reds are numbered very low but where are they? Maybe people just aren’t ripping the rip cards?

Overall:

Again, it’s hard to review something so beloved and at the same time such a wide range of different types of cards you can pull. The design is nothing new, but keeping it old is what the product is and you can’t change that for anything. The checklist is both jaw dropping and head scratching at the same time. Again, I’m going to make my play into the market next year as an Allen & Ginter signer because I think mine would be more interesting then half of the people chosen to sign this year. Not many people would know who I am, but I would make it collectible. Seriously, who wants Jo Frost or even knew who Jo Frost was and collected sports cards? Not really the target market. The collation problems and the lack of autographs while maintaining a higher price is kind of a disappointment as well. But there is nothing we can do about that. This product is often sold by the case because of how much people love it.

So here’s a pretty video of me opening my box of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter and you can see my reactions as I pull cards. This box will also be used for my 2011 Gint-A-Cuffs submission and hopefully I beat a couple other bloggers out there. But I will post more about my score when the scoring rubric is released.

Videos coming up shortly, uploading to the YouTube. You get to see me try and pronounce Penultimacy with my slight stutter. Not a pretty sight.