Here is the box label I made. This is a set that begs to be put in a binder and easily displayed. Unfortunately for me space is at a premium in my man cave so sets get stored in boxes.
Over all I like this years design. I like the framed parallels. I like that there are retail and hobby only inserts and parallels. I love mini's. I love that Rollie Fingers has a base card in this set and there for has a slew of parallels and mini's for me to chase. I love that Robin Yount has a relic cards in this set, so I have new Younts to chase and add to the collection. I like the on card autos. I like that the base 300 set is not SP'd and should be fairly easy to put together. I like that you get a crap ton of stuff in a box. Here lets have a look at the odds first.
If it's hard to read click on the odds. I scanned them big.
After looking at the odds and what I pulled. It was exactly on. At least for anything 1:24.
Interestingly is the odds and groups for the autographs. The "base auto" Group D has an insertion rate of 1:16 that should mean that you wouldn't get 2 per box as advertised. And if anyone knows which autos are in which groups that would be helpful, because Topps is not. I think we can assume that Group A autos that are 1:2,310 are probably vintage HOF stars like Koufax, Aaron and Kaline.
Let's check out the cards. I'm sure by now you've seen a lot of stuff on blogs and eBay, but I'm going to do a full run through.
First we have the base cards
A very Art Deco design. I suppose you either love it or hate it. I think that the base color could have been a little more colorful. Grey is kind of boring.
And the mini parallels.
There are quite a few mini parallels this year from backs to borders.
We have the red Gypsy Queen backs....
and the Straight Cut Backs
I pulled 4 of each.
The Straight cut backs
The Gypsy Queen red backs.
I also noticed something interesting while sorting through the mini's
The higher numbered mini's in the 200's seem to have darker backs than the lower numbered mini's.
You can see it here on this scan the Dave Winfield back looks much darker, almost black, compared to the Uggla brown back. I'm not sure if this is just a printing issue or if it's some other oddity Topps has thrown in.
There are also the Black and Green borders and Sepia, I'll get to those in a minute when I show you what I pulled.
Lets look at the hobby inserts. There are also two retail only inserts this year, Future Stars and Hallmark Heroes.
First up Moon Shots (20 cards in set)
Moonshots are seeded 1:3 and out of 24 packs I got 8. Right on the money.
Here's what a back looks like.
Next up what was originally called Slide Show, but the cards are printed as Sliding Stars. I remember years ago Leaf/Donruss had a Slideshow insert, so maybe that's why they had to change it. (15 cards in set)
Again these are seeded 1:3 and I got 8 like expected.
I really like the look of these cards. And I got both Brewers in the set so that made me happy.
Next up is Glove stories. This is one of the rarer inserts. Being seeded 1:6 or twice as rare as the last two inserts. And hitting the odds on the head again I pulled 4. (10 cards in set)
I also pulled 6 Photo variations. At least from comparing it to the visual checklists now out at Cardboard Connection and All About Cards.
I did do better than the odds in a couple areas. First is in the Gypsy Kings inserts. Being seeded 1:48 or basically every other box, I was lucky enough to pull one.
Love that mustache!!
I also bet the odds by pulling 2 Blue Framed parallel cards. Being seeded 1:15 packs means I probably should hit two per box, but I might not. Well I did and here they are.
I could think of a lot worse blue borders to pull.
And of course buying a full hobby box has the advantage of also getting the mini box too. Last year one the hobby shops was selling these for 10 bucks a pop. I'm not sure how much they'll go for this year, with all 7 of the base mini's being SP variations and 3 insert mini's only found in the box. Plus there might also be a super rare mini auto card in there. I've heard on the message boards of multiple cases being broken and not pulling a mini auto. Spoiler: I didn't get an auto.
Here are the 7 mini SP variations
I think if I can find mini boxes for 10 bucks I'm going to take them.
How for the mini hits...
Black border mini parallels are seeded 1:12 and I got my two.
Green bordered cards have harder odds than the sepia which are numbered! At 1:24 you should expect one per box.
At 1:20 there is the possibility to snag two of these per box.
I also only pulled one high numbered SP mini from the box. So those could be insanely rare and of course there are no odds on the wrapper for them.
I got #303...
Now for the 4 big hits..
Up first is the base relic. All the relics and autos have Groups. With Group A being the rarest and Group C being the most common for relics, Autos go to a Group D. Who's in which group? I have no idea.
Mo!!!! Not a bad hit. Interestingly the odds for these are slightly higher than the framed relics. 1:27.
I also pulled a framed mini relic..
Mr.David Wright. Another decent relic pull and I love the vivid blue swatch. These are 1:27 in the lowest group.
A Brandon Belt on card auto!!
and the biggy, which I really would like to know if this is at least group C or maybe even B, but it's still a hell of a nice auto.
My god that man's got a great signature!!! Hey Brandon that's how you sign a baseball card!!
And there you go.
I hate to be a dick here, but all the hits are going up on ebay to help take some of the sting from the box, which wasn't cheap, but I'd be willing to trade some of the inserts and mini's except the SP's, Green and Sepia, to those you might be interested.