Showing posts with label Topps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Topps. Show all posts

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.

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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Top 5 Reasons Why 2018 Topps Update Is the Only Set You Need This Year

The release of 2018 Topps Update Baseball completes Topps’ annual flagship set trifecta. With post-season attention squared on Rookies of the Year Ronald Acuña and Shohei Ohtani, Topps doubles down on their star power with this set. This strong 300-card collection makes a robust case for Topps’ best 2018 issue for these five reasons.
2018 Topps Update / Topps

5) Stellar Photography

It is obvious after reviewing all of this year's Topps products that 2018 Topps Update contains some of Topps’ highest quality action shots. The photography rivals Topps Stadium Club, which is known for its hallmark landscapes.

2018 Topps Update / Topps

4) Mother’s Day / Father’s Day Parallels

What a better way to celebrate Topps’ place in the family with a special nod to all of the parents out there. Limited edition parallels numbered to 50 exist in both Mother’s Day Hot Pink and Father’s Day Powder Blue. The box provided for this review sided with the matriarchs, producing this Javier Baez Home Run Derby Mother’s Day Hot Pink Parallel.

2018 Topps Update Javier Baez Mother's Day Parallel / Topps

3) Crisply Designed Inserts

This 1983 Topps 35th anniversary and Topps Salute series lead the way for 2018 Topps Update’s inserts, continuing the tradition of Topps Series 1 and 2 releases earlier this year. The International Affair and Storybook Endings inserts are new to this release, both providing interesting facts on foreign-born players, as well as those who had a fond farewell in their final MLB season.

2018 Topps Update Inserts / Topps

2) Guaranteed Autographs and Relics (One Per Box)

With 17 different signature series and 7 patch / relic variations, 2018 Topps Update has a boastful assortment of signatures and relics that will keep collectors ripping open packs in search of the next big hit. This review box yielded an attractive Gleyber Torres All-Star Stitches relic.

2018 Topps Update Gleyber Torres Relic / Topps

1) A Coveted Rookie Lineup

This set has all of the top 2018 rookies together minted in the traditional Topps flagship design. Rookie cards of award winners Acuña and Ohtani, as well as Juan Soto and Gleyber Torres, populate the set. These four upstarts are featured twice, once with their rookie cards, and again on their MLB debut cards.

2018 Topps Update Rookies / Topps

As if these five reasons aren’t enough incentive to get on the bandwagon, an entire hobby box delivered a complete base set among the myriad of inserts and parallels. With prices hovering around $60, Topps creates both an exceptional value and experience for 2018 Topps Update Baseball.

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.



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.

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.





Monday, September 3, 2018

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Review | How Allen and Ginter pushes forward a diverse collecting tradition

Since the advent of Topps issuing the Allen and Ginter series, the legendary baseball card manufacturer has used Allen and Ginter to push the boundaries of a traditional baseball card set. With the release of 2018 Allen and Ginter, Topps continues in that tradition by highlighting not only top baseball players, but also actors, rappers, writers, and even a card dedicated to Bitcoin cryptocurrency.
2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Box / Topps
The diversity that Topps strives for with Allen and Ginter is what also makes it one of the company’s most annually polarizing issues. If you are of the “hip hop” generation, the inclusion of Biz Markie and Method Man will capture your attention, as well as seeing the cardboard debut of actor Michael Rapaport who cut his teeth in the landmark film Higher Learning alongside Ice Cube. Other non-playing personnel include HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky, 2017 J.G Taylor Spink Award winner Claire Smith, and sabermetrics pioneer Bill James.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Base Set / Topps
Some collectors will openly welcome the opportunity to land an autograph of one of these luminaries, or a grab a card celebrating the cryptocurrency craze in between the likes of Ronald Acuña Jr., Aaron Judge, and Mike Trout. For other consumers who are diametrically opposed to these trading-card curiosities creeping into their pack ripping adventures, I encourage them to check out the myriad of other Topps releases, many of which have been profiled on this website.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Hits / Topps
Putting the merits of the base set contents aside, one will find that each box offers the opportunity to score three hits, which come in the form of autographs, booklets, buybacks, relics, or rip cards. The box provided for this review offered up two framed mini cards, an autograph of Oakland Athletics slugger Khris Davis, and a wood bat mini of San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey. The third hit was a relic card of newly minted Los Angeles Dodger, Manny Machado.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Mini Cards / Topps
When it comes to inserts, here is where Allen and Ginter gets creative. The mini cards celebrate baseball superstitions, such as the “No Talking About a No-Hitter,” card pulled in this box, as well as a Crazy Horse Indigenous Heroes tribute card. The standard sized inserts show off the evolution of baseball equipment over time with the "Baseball Equipment of the Ages" subset, highlight the heavens with a “Magnificent Moons” series, and spotlight all-time leaders in their respective statistical categories through the "Fantasy Goldmine" cards. The entire release is designed with an artistic flair that should put to rest whatever qualms one has about the makeup of the base set.

2018 Topps Allen and Ginter Inserts / Topps
With a well-established legacy amongst collectors, Topps Allen and Ginter continues to drive forward the reach of card collecting through its intriguing design and subject selection. If you are on the fence about Allen and Ginter because of the non-sport cards within in the set, after seeing your favorite baseball players in the crisp 2018 Topps Allen and Ginter design, you will remember just why you proudly keep your baseball cards on display for all to admire.





Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2018 Topps Clearly Authentic Review - How Topps made the right choice with Ronald Acuña Jr.

Join us as we dig into one of Topps' highly anticipated guaranteed hit products, 2018 Topps Clearly Authentic Baseball. Topps takes the traditional autographed card one step farther with their custom made acetate cards, which sets each signature distinctly apart from their traditional counterparts.

2018 Topps Clearly Authentic Baseball / Topps
Atlanta Braves rookie phenom Ronald Acuña Jr. is prominently featured on the box, as Topps looks to capitalize on his new fame. With Acuña leading the charge for National League Rookie of the Year, it looks like Topps made the right choice for him to be the face of this product.

The video below reveals the autographed acetate card for the 2018 Topps Clearly Authentic box provided for this review. (Hint - It is an Atlanta Braves rookie superstar.) To find out which one it is, check out the box break video.

Click here to subscribe to the Examinebaseball YouTube channel.



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.