Showing posts with label Box Break. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Box Break. Show all posts

Sunday, April 14, 2019

2019 Topps Inception Baseball | Checklist, Box Break, Autographs, Parallels, and Review

If you’re in search of an artistic take on the top prospects and young stars in Major League Baseball, look no further than 2019 Topps Inception Baseball. The 100-card base set features a design that splashes the players’ images into a canvas background, resembling a painting that fits compactly into their hands.

2019 Topps Inception Base Set and Checklist

The base set, while aesthetically pleasing, is a difficult task even for seasoned collectors. Each box of 2019 Topps Inception contains one seven-card pack, four of which are base; the other three are parallels, autographs, or autographed relics. While most will not break a case to go for the base set, patient collectors will benefit from the breakers who push aside those cards as they feverishly chase down the rare serial numbered inserts. Click here to view the entire 100-card checklist.

2019 Topps Inception Base Set / Topps

2019 Topps Inception Parallels

Topps splits the parallels over a rainbow of colors in traditional fashion for 2019 Inception. The solid color backgrounds make the artwork jump off the card, further increasing their desirability with collectors. The box provided for this review drew a Giancarlo Stanton Green parallel, and a Mookie Betts Blue parallel numbered to 25.

2019 Topps Inception Parallels / Topps

2019 Topps Inception Autographs and Relics

The serial numbered base Inception autographs feature an impressive lineup, including Ronald Acuña Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout. As with the base set, the autographs also come in rarer colored versions. Lucky fans will snag one of the two mystery player redemption cards (one of which is Eloy Jimenez), or a case hit silver autograph.

2019 Topps Inception Silver Signature / Topps

Signed patch cards are also part of the chase, with the real hook coming in the form of the autographed relic book cards. The book cards are either limited to one or two copies, making them a real treasure for prominent display in any collection.

2019 Topps Inception Book Relic / Topps

While we were not so fortunate to pull any of the super limited edition autographs or relics, Matt Chapman’s signature stands out boldly against the base design’s background.

2019 Topps Inception Matt Chapman Autograph / Topps

2019 Topps Inception Box Break and Final Take

As 2019 Topps Inception boxes sell within the $60-$70 range, they create an interesting choice for collectors this baseball season. With signatures that clearly distinguish themselves from a majority of Topps’ releases, and attractive base and parallel cards to further capture eyeballs, 2019 Topps Inception makes a ploy for value above many of Topps’ guaranteed hit offerings.



Saturday, March 16, 2019

2019 Topps Heritage Baseball | Checklist, Box Break, Inserts, Autographs, and Review

The metallic borders of 2019 Topps Heritage baseball cards rekindle visions of the concrete architectural designs that were popular in the 1970s. While some collectors passed on the 1970 Topps Baseball card set due to its cold feel, Topps attempts to accentuate its minimalist features in 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball.
2019 Topps Heritage / Topps

Base Set / Checklist / Short Prints / Parallels

Topps marks the 500-card base set with the presence of 100-card short prints that are sure to drive collectors on a season-long mission towards completion. Topps makes an interesting turn with the set checklist, leaving a load of stars within the 100 short prints, which means collectors will have to be either very lucky or pay up for the likes of Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, and Ronald Acuña Jr.

Long-time collectors will note Pat Neshek's tribute to Lowell Palmer's 1970 Topps card in the picture below.
2019 Topps Heritage Base Set / Topps

Base set parallels are difficult to come by, with hobby boxes offering black (#/50) and flip stock (#/5) versions, while Walmart Mega Boxes serve up a variety of serial numbered chrome cards.

Variations and Refractors

One of the Topps Heritage annual features that draw collectors towards the product is the nuanced variations that demand a detailed look at each card. This year’s twists include French-language OPC versions, image, name, error, and throwback variations, as well as a 100-card set of both chrome and silver metal cards.

The box provided for this review landed a Mike Trout image variation card, as well as an Alex Bregman serial numbered chrome refractor.

Mike Trout Image Variation & Alex Bregman Chrome Refractor / Topps

Inserts

Topps stays true to form with their inserts, honoring the time-tested Then and Now, Flashbacks, and New Age Performers series. Another tip of the cap to the 1970 set comes with the Scratch-Off insert set. All of these inserts are a strong complement to what collectors expect annually from Topps Heritage.

2019 Topps Heritage Then and Now Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps Heritage Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps Heritage 50th Anniversary Box Topper / Topps

Autographs and Relics

Each 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball box guarantees either a Real One autograph or a relic. The Real One autographs include two mystery players and red ink parallels that are numbered to 70 or less. Fortunate fans will be able to land coveted dual and triple Real One autographed cards, which are limited to 25 and 5 respectively.

The 1970 Milwaukee Brewers are in focus with a 10-card autographed set including Hall of Fame owner and Commissioner Bud Selig, as well as pitcher-turned-author Dave Baldwin.

Autographs also dominate the relic space, as Topps reserves star power for its Clubhouse Collection signed relics. These hand-numbered autographs of Aaron Judge, Kris Bryant, and Mike Trout exist in quantities of 25 or less. Topps links a further connection to the 1970 season with the Flashbacks autographed relics, celebrating the likes of Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Reggie Jackson, Bob Gibson, and Steve Carlton.

2019 Topps Jose Ramirez Clubhouse Collection Relic / Topps
While the box used for this review did not yield one of the spectacular aforementioned signatures, a neat relic of Cleveland Indians All-Star slugger Jose Ramirez rounded out the box.

Box Break Video

If you want to get a feel of the fresh excitement that 2019 Topps Heritage has brought to the 1970 Topps design, check out our entire box break in the video below. Click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future breaks and interviews.


Wrapping up 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball

Topps has created the 2019 Topps Heritage Baseball for the patient collector, starting with the old-school details, to the extended time needed to complete the entire run of short prints. The experience is an epic that starts well before the regular season that will keep playing out well through the All-Star break. As Major League Baseball attempts to write new rules to quicken the pace of play, 2019 Topps Heritage is a reminder that baseball cards collecting is not something that needs a time clock to get to the next release.





Friday, February 22, 2019

2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball | Checklist, Box Break, Inserts, Autographs, and Review

As baseball fans flock to 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball, it is another signal that spring training is in full swing. The flagship Topps product brings forth the abundant optimism and possibilities that come with the anticipation of the upcoming baseball season. A fresh design that has a slight nod to 1982 Topps makes 2019 Topps Series 1 an attractive treat for collectors.

2019 Topps Base Set / Topps

Base Set / Parallels / Checklist

The 350-card base set has Ronald Acuña Jr. in the leadoff spot, christening the 2018 National League Rookie of the Year with the coveted first card honors. The hobby box provided for this review came about 40 cards short of a complete base set.

2019 Topps 150th Anniversary Parallels / Topps
A few new twists include the 150th anniversary parallels and the hobby exclusive clear parallels for the first 100 cards. Click here for a complete set checklist.

2019 Topps Gold / Topps
Topps keeps collectors busy with a range of colored parallels that go beyond the Rainbow Foil inserts. For those wanting a serial numbered experience, 2019 Topps Series 1 delivers similarly to its 2018 predecessor.


Gold (#/2019), Vintage Stock (#/99), Independence Day (#/76), Black (#/67 - Hobby/Jumbo only), Mother's Day Pink (#/50), Father's Day Blue (#/50), Memorial Day Camo (#/25), Platinum (1/1), and Printing Plates (1/1)

2019 Topps Carlos Rodon SP Variation / Topps
In an effort to keep collectors on their toes, Topps has both SP and SSP image variations, with the latter including only retired legends. The SSP variations are difficult to track down and have made it very challenging to build a master set.

Inserts

The standout insert for 2019 Topps Series 1 is the 1984 35th anniversary set. The updated gloss finish with the white background makes today’s talent pop in the 1984 designs, while also giving Don Mattingly’s iconic rookie card a new look with different photos. Sticking with the nostalgic insert themes, the 150 Years of Professional Baseball, and Iconic Card reprints further serve to connect generations throughout the hobby.

2019 Topps 1984 35th Anniversary Inserts / Topps

2019 Topps 150 Years Insert Set / Topps
2019 Topps Inserts / Topps

Autographs / Relics

With almost 20 different autographed insert sets, Topps strives for diversity with this year’s offerings. They range from signed versions of the insert sets to highlights of the 2018 World Series Champion Red Sox, as well as 1/1 cut signatures from icons Cy Young, Roberto Clemente, Satchel Paige, Ty Cobb, and Ted Williams.

There is no shortage of relic variations many coming with serial numbered parallel versions. Topps guarantees each box will contain either relic or an autograph. The box provided for this review yielded a Miguel Cabrera Major League Material Relic.



Postgame

Opening 2019 Topps Series 1 Baseball is an annual bonding experience for fans, collectors, and families alike. Digging through these baseball cards is a ritual that celebrates the hope of a new baseball season.

Friday, January 25, 2019

2018 Bowman Draft Baseball | Checklist, Autographs, Inserts, Box Break, and Review

As the new year rushes in, baseball fans are at the crossroads of anticipation and despair while they wait for spring training to commence. Bowman seeks to pump excitement into that space by debuting this year's draftees in 2018 Bowman Draft.

Collectors annually salivate at the opportunity to get their hands on the first official cards and certified autographs of the freshest talent in minor league baseball. Judging by the early positive responses to 2018 Bowman Draft, collectors are flocking to the product to get ahead of the curve on 2019's breakout prospects.

2018 Bowman Draft Base Set

The 200-card base set features the top 2018 draftees including the first overall pick Casey Mize, Alec Bohm, and Jarred Kelenic. Mixed in with the new draftees are the crop of 2017 Bowman Draft's featured players that just finished their first full minor league campaign.

2018 Bowman Draft Base Cards / Bowman

The jumbo box provided for this review yielded a complete set with an additional 25 doubles, giving collectors a valuable opportunity to familiarize themselves with every player in the 2018 Bowman Draft. In traditional Bowman fashion, both the base and chrome set have a variety of parallels, including serial numbered colored versions that will further provoke player collectors to corner the market on their favorite upstart. Click here for a complete 2018 Bowman Draft checklist.

2018 Bowman Draft Parallels / Bowman

2018 Bowman Draft Inserts

Bowman taps into nostalgia with the 1998 20th anniversary inserts, fashioned with the distinct black bottom border and vertical signature on the side to force the attention to the on-card action shot. The Sterling inserts also tap into familiarity, taking a horizontal highlight of the top ten draft prospects in the set. While Bowman hits the mark with these two single-player inserts, the dual-player Franchise Futures and Recommended Viewing inserts are a bit crowded and do not give these newcomers their proper space to shine.

2018 Bowman Draft Inserts / Bowman

2018 Bowman Draft Autographs

Each jumbo box guarantees three autographs, allowing collectors a dice roll to land a low serial numbered autograph of a can't-miss prospect. With 2018 Bowman Draft offering the first official certified autographs in their franchise uniforms, these signatures have quickly become coveted commodities in the market. This box landed a Chrome autograph from Los Angeles Angels first-rounder Jordyn Adams, a Class of 2018 Brady Singer autograph #/250, and a Chrome refractor autograph of St. Louis Cardinals slugging third base prospect Nolan Gorman #/499.

2018 Bowman Draft Inserts / Bowman
As baseball fans wait with great anticipation for 2019 spring training and the new baseball cards that come with it, 2018 Bowman Draft is a satisfying treat for those looking for fresh faces until pitchers and catchers report.






Thursday, January 10, 2019

2018 Bowman's Best Baseball Review | Checklist, Autographs, and Box Break

Bowman made collectors wait until year’s end for 2018 Bowman’s Best to show that the baseball card manufacturer had one last ace up its sleeve. The high-quality chrome finished cards have a surprisingly soft finish that makes 2018 Bowman’s Best an attractive upgrade to 2017 Bowman’s Best en route to collectors’ must-have lists of the year.



2018 Bowman’s Best Base Set and Checklist


The 100-card base set consists of 70 current stars and rookies, as well as 30 top prospects. The prospects include Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Royce Lewis, Alec Bohm, and Eloy Jimenez, while the current MLB stars feature both Rookies of the Year in Ronald Acuña Jr. and Shohei Ohtani, as well as hobby mainstays Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw. The parallels include Bowman’s Best’s signature Atomic Refractor parallels which come one per master box. Click here to view the entire checklist.


2018 Bowman’s Best Inserts


Bowman’s Best tips their cap to the 1998 design with their Best Performers inserts, which highlight a blend of prospects, emerging stars, and veterans. Bowman’s Best dedicates their minor league focus to their Early Indicators subset, while collectors will also enjoy the Neophyte Sensations and Power Producers inserts. All have Atomic Refractor and gold parallels. Highlights for this box break included a Christian Pache Early Indicators Gold parallel numbered to 50.



2018 Bowman’s Best Autographs


Bowman’s Best set high expectations by guaranteeing four autographs per master box. The extra fortunate can score coveted dual autographed cards such as those of Derek Jeter and Aaron Judge or Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout; however, a majority of the offerings is of the prospect variety. Going into the 2019 season, Bowman’s Best allows collectors to score an attractive on-card autograph of the next Rookie of the Year before their stock doubles. This review box drew two prospect autographs of Noah Naylor and Nick Schnell, a MacKenzie Gore Early Indicators autograph, and an Estevan Florial Best Performers Gold autograph numbered to 50.




2018 Bowman’s Best Wrap Up


Bowman's Best cuts through the endless filler that flood 5,000 count boxes across basements everywhere to offer a focused and condensed collecting experience. With a focus on only the top major and minor league talents, 2018 Bowman's Best is a rich journey that is worth putting money aside for a post-holiday purchase.



Saturday, December 8, 2018

2018 Topps Triple Threads Baseball Review | Box Break, Parallels, Autographs and Relics

Topps has made tremendous strides to push 2018 Topps Triple Threads Baseball to stand out more than ever before. The baseball card giant has improved the base card finish while upping the ante on the autographs and relics to polish one of their best high-end releases.

2018 Topps Triple Threads Base Card Set and Design


The two mini-box configuration of 2018 Topps Triple Threads yields 14 cards – two autographs, two relics, four parallels, and six base cards. While most collectors are going to breeze past the base cards in search of the autographs and relics, I urge those opening a box to slow down and enjoy the base cards, which are far from ordinary. Upon closer inspection, one will find a nuanced design that features a gold embossed trim and an ultra smooth finish, all creating a card that looks and feels like no other on the market.

2018 Topps Triple Threads / Topps

2018 Topps Triple Threads Parallels


While one is busy admiring the fancy base card designs, 2018 Topps Triple Threads fashions colored parallels in the same mold. These cards are named after precious jewels, only serving to further the set's premium motif. Lucky collectors will feast on Amethyst (#/299), Emerald (#/259), Amber( #/199), Gold (#/99), Onyx (#/50), Sapphire (#/25), and Ruby (#1/1) toned parallels. The box provided for this review drew the following parallels as displayed below.

2018 Topps Triple Threads Parallels / Topps

2018 Topps Triple Threads Autographs and Relics


With a price tag of $200 per box, collectors opening 2018 Topps Triple Threads have good reason to anticipate the intricate relic and autographed cards. Just as Topps paid great attention to the set’s base cards, each master box’s four major hits are styled in a manner that commands a premium in both price and attention. This box's hits would surely excite Chicago Cubs fans, with a Ben Zobrist autographed relic, and an Anthony Rizzo jumbo relic card. Most fans would be quite content pulling those hits from any Topps product; however, those were only half of the excitement.


We were also treated to a two-toned Chris Sale “Locked In” jersey relic card, and the saving the best for last, we pulled a redemption card for a triple-autographed relic of Cleveland Indians Jim Thome, Corey Kluber, and Francisco Lindor.




2018 Topps Triple Threads Assessment


Topps Triple Threads comes right in time for a holiday treat. Topps’ adjustments to the card design and stock show that they are not willing to rest on the product’s premium hits to enhance the collecting experience. Whether it is for yourself or a special collector in your life, adding a box of 2018 Topps Triple Threads Baseball to your shopping list will deliver a thrill for the winter months.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

2018 Topps High Tek Baseball Review | Patterns, Box Break, Variations & More

Topps trots out the major league version of their acetate card series with 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball. The box highlights the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani, who is also the cover boy for 2018 Topps Update Baseball, and 2018 Topps Chrome Baseball. Capitalizing on his international appeal, Topps takes a large bet on his star driving interest towards the set’s futuristic design.

2018 Topps High Tek Baseball / Topps

2018 Topps High Tek Base Card Variations


Each box contains 40 cards, giving collectors one oversized pack to devour. High Tek’s signature has been its base card designs, each created in eight increasingly hard-to-find patterns. Topps has added to the chaos by creating separate designs for the American and National Leagues. Below are the four major patterns of the set with examples for both leagues.

Pattern 1 (10 Per Pack)
Pattern 2 (8 Per Pack)

Pattern 3 (6 Per Pack)
Pattern 4 (4 Per Pack)


2018 Topps High Tek Parallels


Topps brings color to the acetate designs with their parallel inserts. Topps' vivid palette makes the designs pop in an attractive way that plays in 2018 Topps High Tek's favor. Player collectors will have their hands full with 18 different variations to track down. The box provided for this review delivered five Rainbow Foil Parallels, ranging from the rarer Red (#/10) to the more common Blue (#/150). The amounts for each parallel card are listed below.

Rainbow Foil Parallels: Blue #/150, Green #/99, Black #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.
Magma Diffractor Parallels: Green #/99, Black #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.
Orbit Diffractor Parallels: Black #/50, Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.
Galactic Diffractor Parallels: Orange #/25, Red #/10, Gold 1/1.

2018 Topps High Tek Parallels / Topps

2018 Topps High Tek Autographs


Topps makes hefty promises with two on-card autographs in each box. There is a smooth blend of prospects, current and retired stars, and Hall of Famers available as signers for 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball. Staying in tune with the base card set, the autographs also come in six different numbered parallels. The box provided for this review yielded a Dwight Gooden base autograph and a blue Keon Broxton autographed (#/75).
2018 Topps High Tek Autographs / Topps
Opening a box of 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball is a wild rollercoaster ride, as it is an exciting, but confusing journey to figure out each variation’s place within the set. The lack of a readily available guide without the internet is a source of frustration, hence why you're here.

After sorting through the 40-card aftermath, I was left with little direction on what to do next. Pursue a set that you are miles away from? Track down a rainbow of your favorite player? At $100 per box, neither option seems palatable.

While the on-card autographs were a plus, collectors will have to weigh the time and energy needed to pursue 2018 Topps High Tek Baseball this off-season.




Sunday, November 18, 2018

2018 Topps Gold Label Review and Box Break - Topps hits gold with their framed autographs

Collectors looking to follow the postseason gold rush will set their next destination for the hobby-only 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball. The product's signature gold framed autographed and relic cards create a premium piece worth chasing.

2018 Topps Gold Label

2018 Topps Gold Label Base Set

The base set contains 300 cards, each 100-card series organized in a tiered system. The three tiers (Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3) are differentiated by their label and their image variety. The Class 1 cards are the most abundant and increase in scarcity as they ascend in the system.

2018 Topps Gold Label Base Cards / Topps
One box guarantees 35 cards, which puts set collectors far away from a base set. With the three different classes for the base set, collectors are going to have to think hard about whether pursuing a base set is a challenge they want this off-season.

2018 Topps Gold Label Parallels

Each series has four colored parallels (Black, Blue, Red, and Gold). These inserts become harder to find by class, with the odds sharply decreasing as between Class 1 and Class 3. The parallel odds are listed below.
2018 Topps Gold Label Parallels / Cardboard Connection
While the image variations and designs will attract collectors, the true gems in 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball are the framed autographs. They are guaranteed one per box and have limited edition parallels that add even more value to a desirable product.

2018 Topps Gold Label Chris Sale Red Parallel / Topps

2018 Topps Gold Label Autographs and Relics

Topps gives collectors a ready-made collectible by framing their autographed cards. The thick gold border creates a card that demands a display, not one destined for a binder like most traditional signed trading cards. The box provided for this review uncovered both a Scott Kingery rookie framed autograph and a Lewis Brinson blue parallel autograph redemption.


The relics are even harder to find, with their Golden Greats Autographed Relics and MLB Legends Relics all numbered to 75 or less. Lucky collectors will rejoice in finding a black (#/5) or gold (1/1) parallel.

After opening a box of 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball, it is apparent that the framed autographs will be the key driver of interest to this product. One question that collectors will have to answer is if they want to hold on to the base set. The images are crisp, and player collectors will enjoy the variations; however, the prospect of opening ten or more boxes to complete a set will send the average collector to the secondary market.

Despite the challenges of finishing the base set, 2018 Topps Gold Label Baseball ranks highly among Topps' guaranteed hit products and is worth checking out a box or two for the framed autographs alone.