Friday, February 4, 2011

2011 Topps Review and 2 Jumbo Box break

Hey did you know Topps Series 1 is out?  Yeah I know it's a little over due and I'm probably the 1,000,000th post on the subject but screw it.  This post is going to get heavy.  But it'll have lots of pictures so bare with me.  I was going to post the results of my two Jumbo boxes and do a fairly painful analysis of this years product and put it out as two separate posts but screw it.  I'll get to the hits eventually but first some insights, comparisons, and thoughts about this year's Topps set verses the last couple.

First lets check ou this years design.  I like it.  I really do.  Nothing too fancy.  I was kinda hoping for less foil, but this actually works pretty well.   The players names are large enough to read. Nice logo, position is out of the way, and out of the 800 or so base cards I got, I only noticed one foil defect, and it wasn't that bad.  I also had no damaged cards in any of the packs, so I'm pretty happy about that as well. And lots of throwback jersey's this year too.  Like the one Mr. Braun is sporting.

Speaking of the logo, Colbey over at Cardboard Collections mention this a few days ago but the logo has a 3D effect going on.

It's probably hard to see from a scan, but in hand it's noticeable.  It's not Avatar eye popping 3D, but the shading and graphics due lend to a nice optical illusion, and yes Colbey I think Topps planned it that way.

On to the back.  Nice symmetry, a cute little photo in the left hand corner, and a nice BIG number in the right hand circle.  This is a big point of contention with me.  I hate it when Topps makes it's card numbering small and hard to see.

This is what I'm talking about.  This is 2009's backs.  That number is teeny tiny and for a set collector collating a set a pain in the ass.

2011's back also put the numbering space right in the middle of the back of the card, as opposed to the last few years that had the space in the bottom left hand corner.  See above.  I still wish they hadn't gone to the printed numbers I miss the gold stamped numbers, classier.

All in all I really like the look of the base cards.  Now on to the inserts.  Oh boy.

This has been the biggest complaint I've seen around the blogsphere about the set.  Mainly that this years inserts are pretty much carbon copies of last years.  Unfortunately, that's pretty much true.  But there are a few nice inserts.

First I'll start with the Topps 60 reprints.  This is pretty much a carbon copy of the Yo momma cards or Cards your mother threw out from last year.
Here we have my first 2011 Yount card.  A reprint of his 1976 sophmore card.
Here's what the back's look like.

There are also Topps: The Lost Cards that look just like this set with almost identical backs.  I got a few of those too.  But didn't scan any. Sorry. Imagine an old baseball card that didn't exist. 

There are also original backs with these inserts, like the Yo Momma cards. I got 3 out of 20 jumbo packs so I hit about 1:7 packs or so.

Here's a look at those.

Pretty much the same as last year.  And to be honest I'm tired of all the reprint cards.  I will not be putting this set together, but if anyone has an original back Yount,  I'd be willing to trade for it.

There's also another reprint set this year and this one I do kinda like.  It's the vintage reprint set.
I got 11 out of 20 packs.  These are kinda neat. I think I like them more because the have a cardboard back.

I'm not sure what the CMGR prefix means, maybe Cards Your Grandma Threw out?  No that doens't work who knows? Looking at the selling info I see this listed as Reproduction cards.  OK, that doens't help either.

Now we get to my favorite insert in the series.  The Kimball Champions.  I love mini's and I love the retro insert.  I loved the Turkey Red inserts from the last two years as well.  These cards are pretty nice.

Just to show a nice grouping off.  I'll be collecting this set for sure. Everything else probably not.

I'll have a want list up pretty soon so if you have some you'd like to trade for let me know.

Next up probably the most hated of all inserts Ticket to Topps Town.

I'll be honest I don't hate theses cards.  I haven't hated Topps Town cards at all since they started putting players on the cards.  Do you remember when Topps Town came out in 2008 what the cards looked like.  No player just ToppsTown on one side and the code on the back.  I couldn't find one to scan and I couldn't find one on the Internet to post sorry.  Every year these cards get a little better.  This year they look like Panini make them with the shiny foil board.  I didn't see any gold variations in my packs and I'm not sure if they have one this year, anybody?

Let's take a quick look back at ToppsTown over the years.


See they keep getting a little better.  At least with a player on the front they are somewhat collectible.

I think my least favorite set this year are these pointless cards

Diamond Duos.  And there parents the Legendary Lineage cards from last year were very unpopular with me.  OK, the Boggs/Youkilis card I can see, but the Maddux/Hellickson?  Really what do these two have in common.  Hmmmm maybe it'll tell me on the back.

Oh Hellickson watch Maddux play. Dumb.  Pointless.  Most of these are like this with very thin association with the duo, even with players that played on the same team. Oh and there not numbered there lettered. Topps this is terrible, now I need a checklist, do you have one up at your website?  No, nothing from most of last year either?  Great.

Next we get to a insert that seems to get a lot of hate, but not by me.  I get why this insert is here and it ain't that bad. And with only 10 card in the set it's small and fairly hard to hit. 

Why it's the history of Topps!!.  20 jumbo packs 5 History of Topps cards.  At least Topps didn't put out 3 history sets this year. Remember last year with the History of the World Series, History of the Game, and Tales of the Game.  Jeez, talk about redundancy.  I get why these are here though.  Topps is celebrating 60 years so why not a Topps Retrospect.  I think I like the look of the backs better though.

They've got a comic book feel.

Lastly we get to the Topps 60th anniversary cards.

Here's a trio of Yanks for you.
I kinda like these cards they have a nice look. I'm not jumping up and down with glee for them but they're not terrible.

I think that wraps up all the regular inserts.  Now we get down to my Jumbo break.  All the above 2011 cards were part of that break plus many, many more.  I'm just showing samples of the inserts you don't need to see all 20 Kimball's or Topps 60, Reprints, ect.

But lets start with the parallels.  This year we have quite a few  if you count the ultra rare platinum cards, printing plates and canary diamonds, which I didn't get any of, and of course the new unnumbered diamond parallels.

DIAMONDSSSSSSS!  Now imagine I'm Mumm-ra from Thundercats saying that.  Very, very shiny.  I think Topps could have done away with the gold parallels and just numbered these bad boys.  Sorry the scan cut off the bottom it's hard to fit 20 cards even on a large format scanner.

The golds.  All numbered to 2011.
And one black numbered to 60.

It seems I got the Orioles box, three of my hits were Orioles and yes I consider this black parallel a hit.  One out of 20 packs.

I also got one variation.  Yastrazemski!!! Nice.

On to the relics. Each Jumbo boasts1 auto and 2 relics, but they consider the manufactured glove cards relics as well, even though they are not, I digress.

Nice, an Express relic.  I have no problem getting a jersey or pants piece,  kinda looks like a pants piece, from a pitching legend.  Nothing better than to watch a Rangers game and see Nolan dozing off now a days.

My one Brewer's relic.  The fat veggie himself  Prince Fielder.  I'm glad he's coming back for at least one more year.  I'll probably end up getting one of these from A Cardboard Problems group break but I don't care.

On to the autos.

The second of my Orioles hits.  Tillwho? 

Hey I know who this guy is.  Sweet.

Hey it's another Orioles pitcher who I don't know.  And the third Orioles hit between the two boxes.  But I do believe this is a case hit. I really like the silks it's a cool insert and being numbered to 50 doesn't hurt. Oddly enough this card was in the same box as another "case" hit.
The gloves.
These cards have been getting a little heat.  I guess rightly so.  I mean these cards aren't even numbered.  Last year all the hat patch cards and bat barrels were all numbered no higher than 99.  This year the Manuglove leather brown nameplates aren't even numbered.  I actually like the look of these though, I sure Topps had these mass produced over in China for pennies.  I'll agree the stitching seems silly.  I would have rather had the leather stamped or even better had the names burned in.  Now that would have been cool.

I do like the black parallels with the white stitching.  This worked well for the bat barrels in last year's Update Series and it works pretty good here.  It's a nice contrast.  Plus these are numbered.  I guess there's a super rare Gold nameplate version.  I'll have to look around ebay later to see if any of these have hit.
I'm pretty happy that both my glove cards were well known players.

All in all I'm pretty happy with what I got outta these boxes.  I got the black Price glove in the same box as the silk so that was a pretty sweet box.  I'm not opposed to trading for any of the cards here, but I do plan on putting most of this on ebay once the initial flood ebbs in a week or so. So if you have something kickass to offer make it quick and please don't ask me what I want for them, make an offer that's how trading works.  The gold and diamonds I'd love to trade for gold and diamond Brewers cards and I'm looking for Kimballs as well, I'll have the list up tonight.

There are also Twinkle variations as seen from postings around the web.  I spent a good portion of last night looking through my base cards and didn't come up with a one.  I would assume they would be inserted in the middle with all the other inserts and parallels, like the Yaz variation was. 

Over all not a bad flagship offering this year.  I like the base and some of the inserts.  Others not so much.  I'll give it a B for what I pulled.  We'll have to see if I can make any money back on the hits to help offset the high price of the boxes.  I think I got a fairly good price at least on release day.  I'm sure if I waited a month or so prices might come down but with Blowout selling boxes for about 135 a pop my LCS did all right by me. 

I haven't collated my set yet. I'm sure I've got at least one complete from the two jumbos maybe close to two.  There seems to be a lot of players in Series one with multiple cards in the base.  Like Strasburg, Holliday, and Rodriguez to name a few.

I'm going to give this a cynicalbuddha rating of .....

Level 3 Whaaaaa baby,  there's some good stuff in here, worth a few packs and the holy grail for set collectors so buy a box.  Maybe wait till the newness and crazy prices come down, but a nice set design and some cool stuff inside, it would have been awesome to pull a 60th personalized auto card or 1/1 but I'm not Beckett.

Comments always welcome. Did you hit anything good? 


  1. I haven't purchased any 2011 Topps, so I can't offer you anything Brewers from that. But I'd love to trade for those diamond-y Kershaw and Carlos Santana cards, and I do have an A.J. Hawk jersey relic that might (?) interest you.

    E-mail me!

  2. Greg there yours. I might even have a few other Dodgers to throw in.

  3. I've also got three Monsters of the Mesozoic minis you need.

    And I just saw your comment right before I was going to post this. Sweet!

  4. For some reason I have a hard time with the contraction they're, I meant they're yours. I'll email you. Sweet. I'd have to go back through the inserts and see what other boys in blue I have from the break.

  5. And Spankee I went and corrected the spelling of Mumm-ra too.

  6. Glad Greg got to Kershaw first. I don't have anything for it, and I'm kind of one of those "what do you want for them" traders. Or let's say I don't mind it when people say that.

  7. Will you trade off the Red Sox? Especially the diamonds.

    I haven't sent cards to Alaska yet....

  8. I surely would Adam. Send me an offer.

  9. I'd love to have any of the diamond parallels that are left over...if they are up for grabs. I second the Thundercats Mumm-Ra reference! Hoooo!

  10. Meow Night owl :) Are all you Dodgers fans named Greg? Did that traders comment sound mean? I just meant I don't have a good comeback for someone who goes to me "What'll it take to get that nifty bat card" I don't know, whatta you got? I guess it did sound kinda pompous. Apologies feel free to ask me what I want.

  11. I'm glad I got to it first as well Night Greg. I think I might just call you Night Greg from now on. Cause it sounds pretty badass.

    And yes Mark, all Dodgers fans are named Greg. At least the awesome ones are haha.

  12. Buddha, can we trade for the Cano glove and the Cano sparkly card? I will see what I have that you might want. Let me know.