Showing posts with label Baseball Cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Baseball Cards. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition Box Break and Review

2018 Topps Archives Signatures Series Retired Player Edition Baseball offers fans the opportunity to score a guaranteed autograph from a potent lineup that includes over 30 Hall of Famers. Each box contains one encased serial numbered autographed baseball card with the Topps 2018 postseason logo.

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition / Topps
Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, and Tom Seaver lead the list of signers for 2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition. In addition to the 77 different retired player Topps recruited for this year’s release, there are also 38 special autographs from deceased legends such as Ted Williams, Pee Wee Reese, and Don Drysdale.

In the video below, we reveal the autograph that came in the review box that Topps provided.



This box delivered an encased Andres Galarraga 1993 Topps autograph, highlighting his lone season with the St. Louis Cardinals. While Galarraga is going to need a ticket to get into the Hall of Fame, the “Big Cat” enjoyed an esteemed career that included five All-Star appearances, two Gold Gloves, and the 1993 National League batting title.

With current retail prices below $40, this guaranteed hit product is an attractive fit for collectors looking to get their hands on some Hall of Fame ink. Click here to get your chance to crack open a box of 2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Retired Player Edition Baseball.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

2018 Bowman High Tek Box Break | Review, Patterns, Autographs & More

The sophomore season is one for making adjustments, and Bowman has done just that with 2018 Bowman High Tek Baseball. Following up last year’s debut, Bowman has upgraded the design of the multi-patterned acetate cards for a more palatable user experience.

2018 Bowman High Tek / Bowman
The series focuses on top rookie and prospects, keeping in stride with Bowman’s reputation for highlighting the next wave of talent in the baseball pipeline. Each box contains ten cards, four of which are on-card autographs, an appealing proposal for those in search of adding to their prospect stash.
2018 Bowman High Tek Patterns / Bowman
One thing that sets 2018 Bowman High Tek apart from its more traditional trading card counterparts, are its ten, that’s right, ten different base card parallel variations. (Click here for detailed guide of each pattern.) Compared to last year’s release, Bowman increased the size of the player’s name and team in a way that further accents the photo and make the player easily identifiable. While the box provided for this review did not yield any of the rare patterns, it did feature a Jake Burger Orange Magma Diffractor numbered to 25.

2018 Bowman High Tek Serial Numbered Parallels and Inserts / Bowman
The tipping point for Bowman High Tek is the four guaranteed autographs in each box. This year’s signers list is strong, featuring over 45 different prospects, including Ronald Acuña Jr., Gleyber Torres, Rhys Hoskins, and Royce Lewis. Noticeably absent is Washington Nationals upstart Juan Soto; however, with an abundance of top tier talent, fans are rather likely to catch at least one rising star, if not more.



Cincinnati Reds power prospect Ibandel Isabel (pictured with the Dodgers) and Chicago Cubs pitching phenom Adbert Alzolay led the way for the four autographs in this box. Aside from Isabel’s penmanship, the other three players who signed cards for this box could use a lesson in cursive, as their signatures amounted to undecipherable scribbles, a seemingly growing trend in the minor league ranks.
2018 Bowman High Tek Autographs / Bowman
With boxes settling in under $100, collectors are primed to take a chance at the four autographs 2018 Bowman High Tek offers, with any of the rare base card patterns serving as the icing on top of an already heavily layered cake. Click here to get a hold of a box of 2018 Bowman High Tek.





Friday, September 21, 2018

2018 Topps Luminaries Box Break and Review

Topps returns one of their fancier guaranteed hit products with 2018 Topps Luminaries Baseball. Each box advertises one single signed card numbered to 15 or less, in the form of a traditional encased autographed card or autographed relic card.
2018 Topps Luminaries Masters of the Mound Relic / Topps
2018 Topps Luminaries Dual Auto Book Relic / Topps
Checking in at $200 per box, it is an expensive proposition; however, the lure of scoring a one-of-one book card containing up to 50 different signatures is tempting for those with deeper wallets. Check out the video below for the results of our box break and click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel.



Monday, September 10, 2018

2018 Topps Fire Review - How 2018 Topps Fire has ignited the spirits of card collectors

It is time to add 2018 Topps Fire Baseball to the list of things that you need to pick up when making your next Target run. Topps returns its flame-driven baseball issue exclusively to Target stores in 2018 with the intent of igniting the baseball card collecting community’s senses.

2018 Topps Fire Ronald Acuña Jr. / Topps
Driven by artist Tyson Beck’s flair for the dramatic, 2018 Topps Fire Baseball pushes the creative boundaries of set design. The action images are embedded in an energetic background that makes each one thrust off the center of the card. These lively constructions serve to truly separate Topps Fire from the rest of the brand’s more subdued standard releases.

2018 Topps Fire Box / Topps
The 200-card base set is a mixture of today’s stars with those of yesteryear, putting rookie standouts Ronald Acuña Jr., Gleyber Torres, and Miguel Andujar alongside Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Bob Feller, and Pedro Martinez. In an effort to diversify the ranks even further, Topps reached to wider depths of the Hall of Fame roster to include the likes of Lou Boudreau, Eddie Mathews, and Phil Rizzuto.
2018 Topps Fire Retired Stars / Topps
When it comes to the inserts, they are simple and manageable, a step that Topps should follow with its future releases. In addition to the variety of colored parallels that mirror 2018 Topps Fire’s base set, the six inserts sets – Power Producers, Speed Demons, Cannons, Hot Stars, Flame Throwers, and Fired Up, all support the Topps Fire’s temperature producing theme.

2018 Topps Fire Inserts / Topps

2018 Topps Fire Parallels / Topps
Each box promises two hits, one being an autographed card. Due to the dark backgrounds on the cards, it is understandable that Topps uses sticker autographs for this issue. Hits come in the form of relics, autographed relics, and autographed base cards, with the ultra-lucky scoring dual or triple signed cards. The Fire autographs and relic cards also come in low-numbered colored parallel versions akin to the base card set. The box provided for this review uncovered a Joe Musgrove autographed relic, as well as an Austin Hays signed card.

2018 Topps Fire Joe Musgrove Autographed Patch Relic Card / Topps
Sorting through the aftermath of the $70 retail 2018 Topps Fire box, I was halfway to a complete set with two autographs and an exciting selection of inserts and parallels that exceeded the expectations for what I originally believed to be a gimmicky set. Topps took a risk creating Fire in a non-standard design, knowing that traditionalists might take a pass on buying it. However, after experiencing an entire box, I recommend that collectors buy at least a $20 blaster, if not a whole box, as it ranks amongst the most entertaining Topps releases of 2018.





Wednesday, August 15, 2018

2018 Topps Big League Baseball Review - Topps steps up to the plate with wide eyed dreams

Seeking to draw younger collectors back into the game, Topps has rolled out a low-cost, kid friendly set with 2018 Topps Big League Baseball. Set to grab eyes with a fresh design that strays from the usual gimmicks of a released aimed at the elementary school crowd, 2018 Topps Big League Baseball shows that it can easily play both sides of the fence.
2018 Topps Big League Baseball / Topps

The expansive 400 base card set is loaded with top prospects, roster mainstays, all-time legends, and ballpark landmarks that are appealing to a wide breadth of collectors. Topps’ efforts to bridge the past and the present make this a set that a family can open up together and share the rich history of baseball.


The base set parallels come with a gold version in every pack, and lucky collectors can score numbered rainbow foil, black and white, and red foil cards. Taking a page out of Donruss’ bag from earlier this season, every three packs yields a weekend nickname variation, highlighting the monikers of Josh Donaldson’s “The Bringer of Rain,” Gary Sanchez’s “Kraken,” and Francisco Lindor’s, “Mr. Smile.”




Running 2018 Topps Big League with a focus on simplicity, the narrow insert sets will keep fans with their eyes squared on completing the base set. Inserts include the Ministers of Mash and Star Caricature Reproductions cards, and one in three boxes will yield an autograph. The box provided for this review scored a Nicky Delmonico Rookie Republic autograph.


Sitting at an attractive $50 for a 24-pack box, 2018 Topps Big League is a rare value in a market that often leaves consumers feeling as if they are chancing their riches at the poker table. With a wave of attention thrown at Topps’ guaranteed hit products and starry eye Chrome releases, collectors of all ages would benefit from taking a crack at opening a box of 2018 Topps Big League Baseball. Get started on the fun that is 2018 Topps Big League Baseball by clicking here.

Monday, August 6, 2018

2018 Topps Museum Collection Baseball Review - The true centerpiece of a modern collection

Topps opens the doors to beauty of baseball card collecting with the release of 2018 Topps Museum Collection Baseball. This product furthers last year’s motif of creating cards that are worthy of the centerpiece display of any modern collection.

2018 Topps Museum Collection / Topps
For those unfamiliar with Topps’ Museum Collection line, Topps has cleverly packaged each box with four mini-boxes, with every one containing a guaranteed hit in the form of either a relic or autographed card. The high-gloss finish and thick card stock provide collectors with an upgraded feel that signals one is holding a truly premium piece of memorabilia.

2018 Topps Museum Collection Base / Topps
The 100-card base set features a mix of active stars, rookie, and all-time greats, expertly framed within a silver border that preserves the ballplayers in their professional glory. Each base card has multiple colored parallels (Copper, Sapphire, Amethyst, Ruby, and Emerald) that keep collectors on their toes as they dig through each pack. The box provided for this review produced notable parallels including a Copper Shohei Ohtani and an Amethyst (/99) Sandy Koufax.

2018 Topps Museum Collection Parallels / Topps
Even though the base set is certainly attention worthy, 2018 Topps Museum Collection Baseball will draw its primary attention due to its autograph selection. The Archival Autographs are set in a horizontal design with a circular shaped opening that gives each signature plenty of room to breathe on the card. Those who are lucky enough to score a case hit of a framed autographed are treated to a striking silver or gold signature set in a metal framed card.

2018 Topps Museum Collection Autographs / Topps
Those who want even more color with their autographs will enjoy the signed relic cards. The most common are the single-player dual and triple relic autographed cards, each of which have lowered numbered Copper, Gold, and Emerald parallels. Rarer relics emerge in the form of Momentous Material Jumbo Patch autograph cards (minted to quantities of 15 or less), and the 1/1 Museum Framed Autographed Patches, which contain game-used relics.

2018 Topps Museum Collection Relics / Topps
One slight disappointment with this set is the patterns on the relic cards, especially ones containing two or more relic pieces. The outlines circular relic shapes created a distracting gear shaped effect that makes the card look too futuristic compared to the rest of the set. Topps should consider changing the shape and outlay of the relic designs in future years to maintain a consistent look throughout the Museum Collection series.

2018 Topps Museum Collection Canvas Collection Reprint / Topps
Topps has managed to make enough tweaks to Museum Collection to keep it fresh for 2018. Subtly adding a silver theme to the base set and carrying it over to their autographed cards was just the tweak that Topps needed to draw eyeballs back to the product.

If you are searching for a premium collectable that offers a quality mix of sleek base cards and fancy autograph and relic parallels, then click here to jump right into 2018 Topps Museum Collection.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2018 Topps Stadium Club Review - Is it time for Topps to make Stadium Club their flagship product?

With the release of 2018 Topps Stadium Club Baseball, the iconic baseball card manufacturer has made a contender for their new flagship product. With a focus on premium images, the action shots bring the photography to the forefront of baseball card collecting.


Upon its debut, collectors raved about the quality look and feel of 2018 Topps Stadium Club. They immediately hailed it as the release of the year, as the crisp image selection far surpassed the standard Topps issue. Immediately, aficionados questioned whether Topps would be served better by making Stadium Club their annual focal point.



Imagine the anticipation for the first series of baseball cards for the year if they were in the striking mold of Topps Stadium Club. The high quality photography alone would draw interest from a young generation looking for something exciting to grab on to for the upcoming season.

Experienced enthusiasts will swiftly recall Topps Stadium Club’s early 1990s debut and its immediate ascent to the top of the sports card ranks. The glossy UV coated cards were well unlike their cardboard predecessors, as we marveled at the full bleed photos and made them the centerpieces of our collections. Twenty-five years later amongst the sea of Topps releases, Stadium Club remains a coveted force many of the same reasons.


One upgrade Topps made to the base set in recent years is the addition of retired Hall of Famers and legends to its ledgers. Looking at the likes of Jackie Robinson and classic black and white photography or Bo Jackson memorialized in a photo similar to his 1987 Topps card, Stadium Club has went to great lengths to captured the essence of both the past and the present in its set.


The inserts are bountiful in this release, as each box guarantees two on-card autographs, only further adding to the appeal of 2018 Topps Stadium Club. The Members Only subset returns, serving as a nod to their 90s counterparts, and the Chrome inserts (1 per box) are a slept on bonus for those who purchase an entire box.


Should collectors chase after 2018 Topps Stadium Club amongst the robust palate of Topps releases this summer? Absolutely. With a heavy focus on top-notch photography, 2018 Topps Stadium Club is all about the experience, a vivid one that puts fans nose-to-nose with the action. What are you waiting for, jump right in here.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition Review - A chance at a modern day marvel

Topps opens the door for collectors to have a chance to get up close and personal with today's superstars via the release of 2018 Topps Archives Signature Series (Active Player Edition). Each box features one on-card autographed buyback from over 65 different active MLB players, including the likes of Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Mike Trout.

2018 Topps Archives Signature Series / Topps
As the recent netting regulations at MLB parks have made it even more difficult to obtain an autograph before a game, Topps Archives Signature Series gives fans and collectors a guaranteed chance at a signed card from an active player without having to wade through packs of base set cards. This quick hit will attract many who don't want the hassle of sifting through boxes or spending hundred of dollars at a stadium hoping they can slide a baseball card through a slit in the netting during batting practice.

The full review of the box as well as the ensuing hit are featured in the video below. For more baseball card reviews and interviews, subscribe via YouTube at - http://www.youtube.com/Examinebaseball


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

2018 Baseball Treasure Review - A diversion from the typical baseball card collectible

When it comes to sports memorabilia, copper, silver, and gold are usually associated with colored parallels in a Topps’ baseball card products; however, 2018 Baseball Treasure provides collectors with an opportunity to score a MLBPA licensed coin minted in a precious metal. Thirty of the top MLB players are included in this heavy-duty set.

2018 Baseball Treasure Packs
The coins come encased in a thick card that has the player’s name, team, and jersey number on the front, with similar info on the back, which allows the minted design to jump to the forefront. Each pack contains one of these cards, with the majority being of the copper variety. A deeper dive into the product could yield one of the .999 pure silver coins (1:432 packs) or an ultra rare gold Aaron Judge coin (52 in total).

Baseball Treasure gives different entry points that allow a wide range of fans to get their hands on the coins. On their website, coins are available in quantities as small as three packs, and options go all the way up to a 432-pack case, pretty much guaranteeing one of the silver coins at those levels.

2018 Baseball Treasure Coins
The three packs opened for this review drew copper coins of Justin Bour, Paul Goldschmidt, and Yoan Moncada. Each coin presented well in their cards and look like they would make a perfect display for a work or home office desk in a proper holder.

Baseball coins are not a new product, and while collectors looking to get into 2018 Baseball Treasure as an investment are probably better served putting their money into a mutual fund, a few packs would give most aficionados an interesting conversation piece that is a diversion from traditional baseball cards.

Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 Topps Inception Baseball Review - A striking shift for Topps baseball

For baseball card collectors who are looking for an intrigue filled chase have to go no farther than 2018 Topps Inception. The single-pack boxes serve collectors with a dynamite design and impressive looking autographed cards that are far distinguished from many of Topps’ previous releases.

2018 Topps Inception / Topps
Opening the dark colored boxes, one immediately gets the vibe of the charcoal marbled motif of the base set, which creates a mysterious, yet attractive backdrop for each card. The 100-card base set features a mix that tilts towards the top rookies in Major League Baseball. Each base card is thicker than your typical Topps release, further signaling the enhanced quality of this product.



The box provided for this review also yielded two parallels, which range in typical Topps fashion in both color and quantity. The varying colors in the backgrounds of both parallel cards in this pack enhanced the eye appeal of the cards in this series.


While the base cards and their parallels make up the majority of the seven-card pack in each box, the true champion of each box was the autographed card. The autographed relic card that came in this box just popped in a variety of exciting ways. The red (/25) parallel of this card made the sticker autograph on the card stand out due to the stark contrast from the background. While I am normally not a fan of sticker autographs, in this case, the combination worked to perfection. When you add in the multi-colored relic, and the throwback uniform in the photo, the signed card in this box was truly a gem.

2018 Topps Inception Anthony Banda Autographed Relic / Topps
With 2018 Topps Inception, the storied baseball card manufacturer attempts to present collectors with an option that goes beyond your typical single hit product. The combined attention to detail on the base cards with the striking autographed insert cards pushes Inception to the forefront of this segment of the baseball card market.

Monday, July 9, 2018

2018 Topps Finest Review | Checklist, Odds, Variations & More

Serving collectors with a mix of simplicity coupled with a high-end finish, 2018 Topps Finest looks to satisfy hobbyists’ urges to have a product that delivers in both price and presentation. The set's chrome cards shine and glisten in a field where appeal is at a premium. Topps has cleverly packaged 2018 Topps Finest master boxes with two six-pack mini boxes, each with five cards per pack.

2018 Topps Finest - Topps

2018 Topps Finest Base Set, Short Prints, Parallels, and Checklist

The 100-card base set provides a sampling of stars from around the league with about 20 rookies sprinkled in, including Shohei Ohtani. While Topps made sure that the cream of the league is accounted for, fans of the smaller market teams will find that only one of their players made the cut, or in the case of the Miami Marlins, none at all. Despite Miami’s absence from the set, collectors will still be satisfied with the starry design that has become the hallmark of Topps Finest.

The base set is also designed in Topps' classic colored parallels (Purple #/250, Blue #/150, Green #/99, Gold #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/5, SuperFractor 1/1), allowing collectors to corner the market on their favorite players. This box yielded a Maikel Franco Blue Parallel #/150.

2018 Topps Finest / Topps
Further adding to the chase in 2018 Topps Finest are 25 short printed cards, which includes Atlanta Braves sensation Ozzie Albies. Coming in at a rate of 1:28 packs, their scarcity will undoubtedly make Albies’ rookie from this set one on collectors’ checklists for the rest of the season. Click here to download the entire checklist, which includes all of the base set, short prints, and inserts.

2018 Topps Finest Autographs

2018 Topps Finest Rhys Hoskins Finest Hour / Topps
Each master 12-pack master hobby box advertises two autographs. The box provided for this review drew a spectacular looking Rhys Hoskins Finest Hour Refractor autograph (1:156 packs) and a Dustin Fowler base autograph, both on-card signatures. Rarer signed inserts include a Cal Ripken Die-Cut Finest Careers subset that are serial numbered to 10, and the Sitting Red autograph series (1:544 packs) that includes the likes of Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Manny Machado, and Mike Trout.

2018 Topps Finest Inserts

For 2018’s iteration of Topps Finest, it appears that Topps has placed an increased focus on the base set and autographs, narrowing the inserts to only a handful of subsets: Cornerstones, Sitting Red, Finest Firsts, and the Cal Ripken Finest Die Cut Careers. Topps extends the life of both the inserts and the base set in the form of different colored serial numbered parallels. One hopes that Topps will keep this theme throughout their future 2018 products, making their insert sets easier to digest and track down.

2018 Topps Finest Sitting Red Inserts / Topps
2018 Topps Finest Inserts / Topps
Sorting through the bevy of Topps’ annual baseball card issues, it is easy to overlook Topps Finest, as it comes right before the hyped releases of 2018 Topps Series 2 and 2018 Topps Stadium Club; however, this should not be an excuse to take a pass on it. Enthusiasts who take the dive into 2018 Topps Finest will find a product that supplies fine looking cards that create a spectacular backdrop for their autographed versions.

Monday, July 2, 2018

2018 Topps Pro Debut Baseball Review - A set right on time for summer travels

With school out and temperatures heating up, families are heading on road trips throughout the summer. Along their journeys will be stops at minor league stadiums across the country, filled with the hopes of cheap entertainment and a glimpse at the next major league superstar. Topps helps fans traverse the bush leagues with their release of 2018 Topps Pro Debut, saving a trip for those who cannot get to the reaches of Fort Wayne, Indiana; Everett, Washington; or Biloxi, Mississippi.
2018 Topps Pro Debut / Topps
The 200-card base set features a wide representation of the top prospects across all levels of the minor leagues. Ronald Acuña, Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, and Gleyber Torrres are some of the more notable players in the set, and Topps adds a nice wrinkle by leaving card number 200 for the former Heisman Trophy winner turned New York Mets outfield hopeful, Tim Tebow. Also of note within the base set is a card dedicated to Derby, the late bat-retrieving dog from the Trenton Thunder.


After spending some time handling the set, the striking design is more evident upon further handling. When holding the cards at an angle to the sunlight, the action photos are set so that the image isolates from the background, giving the appearing of the action jumping off the card. This effect gives collectors a premium looking card without the price tag of a chrome issue.


The insert sets include those that you would expect from the oddities of attending a minor league baseball game. Topps dedicates one set to the travels of minor league baseball writer Benjamin Hill, who chronicles the culture for MiLB.com. Another set highlights the various tribute night uniforms worn across the leagues that serve to drive attendance and apparel revenue.



Following the lead of their major league releases, 2018 Topps Pro Debut keeps collectors on their toes with base image variations and parallels. This box yielded one image variation (1:100 packs) and two green parallels.


In an effort to drive collectors towards 2018 Pro Debut, Topps advertises two relic cards and two autographed cards per box. The box provided for this review was a bonus of sorts, as it drew three relic cards (two of Tim Tebow), as well as two base autographs of Kevin Maitan and Ryan Vilade. The real treat of the autographed inserts is the Splash of the Future set, which are serial numbered signed cards that feature a distinct mostly black and white image that sets it apart from the base set.


As minor league stadiums across the country begin to fill up and they play out their own midsummer classics, fans will be in search of Topps branded cards of their newly discovered future stars to collect and chase autographs. With a box of 2018 Topps Pro Debut clocking in at $70, the recipe is right for a fun-filled summer at the ballpark.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

2018 Bowman Baseball Review – How 2018 Bowman is setting a fever pitch in the industry

Immediately following the release of 2018 Bowman Baseball, prominent sports card dealers were placing five-figure bounties on the coveted Shohei Ohtani Superfractor card. As of this writing, Blowout Cards has ignited the offer to $100,000; therefore, it is of little surprise that collectors nationwide are posting photos of empty retail shelves in their quest to hit the big time.



While Ohtani has provided the necessary mania to give the sports card industry a shot in the arm, Bowman shows that their 2018 release can stand well on its own despite the hype surrounding one vaunted card. With a clean design and attractive inserts, 2018 Bowman Baseball furnishes a product that has staying power for years to come.


The 100-card base set features the aforementioned Japanese phenom, as well as a keen mixture of rookies and veterans. Ronald Acuña, Hunter Greene, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all lead the charge of the 150-card prospect set, with their chrome cards serving as sought after treats for those lucky enough to get their hands on an entire box.


Digging into the parallels and inserts, traditional serial numbered colored parallels will keep fans busy tracking down their favorite player’s rainbow, while the new Bowman #Trending and Bowman Birthdays insert sets give a new flavor for collectors to dine upon. Equally pleasing are the Bowman Sterling, ROY Favorites, Scouts Top 100 and Talent Pipeline inserts, with each providing another nuance for consumers to pour into while digging for their golden ticket.


Even though this box did not add six figures to my annual income, it did yield a complete base set, a host of inserts, three numbered parallels, and a refractor autograph of New York Mets prospect Andres Gimenez. Just going through each pack was exhilarating, as there was tremendous excitement on social watching many post stories of their frantic searches for the product.


With box prices trending near $150 due to the increasing reward placed on the Ohtani Superfractor, 2018 Bowman Baseball is still worth diving into just for the exciting ride that could end with a life-changing hit.