2018 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Series 2 Oh, The Horror-ible! Hobby Box Break & Review

Now this is a change of pace.  I’ll admit, I have never opened a box of Garbage Pail Kids stickers before.  Why not give it a try?

Garbage Pail Kids have been a pop-culture sensation since they debuted back in 1985.  They’re a parody of those Cabbage Patch Kids dolls that had crazy parents fighting with each other in the malls.  Since then, these parodies have gone on to parody other people, places, and things in pop-culture.  Nothing is off the table when it comes to these little guys and gals poking fun at someone or something.  The artwork is incredibly entertaining to look at, and I love the whole idea about taking something so innocent and making it vile and disgusting.  That’s it’s selling point.  They’re the anti-Cabbage Patch Kids.

Just in time for Halloween, we have 2018 Topps Garbage Pail Kids Series 2 – Oh, The Horror-ible!  If there is any genre that Garbage Pail Kids connect to the strongest, its horror.  These dudes are cute and horrifying all at the same time.

The main set consists of (200) sticker cards.  (100) characters each having an a and b version.  The categories covered include ’80s Horror, ’80s Sci-Fi, Modern Horror, Modern Sci-Fi, Classic Film Monsters, Retro Horror, Retro Sci-Fi, and Folklore Monsters.

Outside of hobby boxes, you have retail options and Collector’s Boxes.  A Collector’s Box is the only place you’re guaranteed a hit.  Hits can be Printing Plates, Manufactured Patches, Artist Autographs, and Sketch Cards.

Parallels:

  • Bruised (1 per Collector’s Box pack)
  • Jelly (1 per Fat Pack)
  • Phlegm (retail)
  • Puke (1 per retail/hobby pack)
  • Spit #’ed/99 (Collector’s Box)
  • Bloody Nose #’ed/75 (Collector’s Box)
  • Fool’s Gold #’ed/50
  • Printing Plates #’ed 1/1

With Halloween right around the corner this made for a fun break.  Very refreshing from what I’m use to opening.  Sketch Cards and Printing Plates seem to be the biggest hits.  Even parallels where the subject matter is a parody of a popular movie or television franchise like Friday The 13th or Halloween get quite the attention.

Here is what I pulled:

Parallels

  • Elimi Nate Fool’s Gold #’ed/50
  • Jaded Joel Puke
  • Hairy Mary Puke
  • Mucky Michael Puke
  • Prince Prints Puke
  • Lepre Shaun Puke
  • Askew Lou Puke
  • Jawin’ Jimmy Puke
  • Sicko Sissy Puke
  • Amy T. Ville Puke
  • Morphing Murphy Puke
  • Vaporized Vincent Puke
  • Hollow Dean Puke
  • King Ghid-Dora Puke
  • Dale From The Crypt Puke
  • Twilight Tone Puke
  • Predatory Penny Puke
  • Joyless Jason Puke
  • Pickin’ Peter Puke
  • Inva-Shawn Puke
  • Alien Alan Puke
  • Moth Manuel Puke
  • Living Ed Puke
  • Gianna Squid Puke

Other Favorites

  • Full Moon Boone
  • Gassy Gaston
  • Boogey Manny
  • Bathroom Boris
  • Kris Krampus
  • Handed-Over Hannibal
  • Insomni Zach
  • Robin’s Egg
  • Dexter Terrestial
  • Wrapped Ron
  • Brain Freeze Brian
  • Splittin’ Sigourney

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2018 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Holy smokes!  What a box!  This is by far the best Heritage High Number Baseball box that I’ve opened!!!

The original 1969 Topps Baseball set brings two cards to my mind.  The first is Reggie Jackson’s rookie card #260.  Coming in second would be Mickey Mantle’s final card as an active player #500.  Given that its a vintage set, non-rookies of popular players in mint condition can fetch quite the price.  Its definitely worth a look if you’re wanting to put together a vintage set.

Between HeritageHeritage High Number, and Heritage Minor League Baseball, collectors have gotten their fill of the 1969 Topps Baseball design this year.  In 2019, the 1970 design will be used.  Its going to be interesting how they handle 1971 with all of those black borders.

2018 Topps Heritage High Number picks up right where the regular Heritage set left off.  It consists of (225) cards (#501-#725).  The last (25) cards (#701-#725) are short prints and fall 1:3 packs.  The main set has four parallels – Black Border (50 copies, hobby), 100th Anniversary (25 copies), Magenta Backs (10 copies), Flip Stock (5 copies, hobby).  Of those four, the Flip Stock would be the one that could easily be skipped over.  I pulled one of these in the past and almost missed it.  When it comes to these, the fronts are rough with the backs being smooth.

(50) players have Chrome cards.  Parallels include Hot Box Refractors, Refractors #’ed/569, Black Refractors #’ed/69, Gold Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed 1/1.  (50) players also have mini parallels #’ed/100.

You wouldn’t be wrong to make the observation that many products today feature photo variations.  The ones found in the Heritage lines seem to garner the most attention.  CMP codes can help.

  • Base – #575
  • Short Prints – #585
  • Nickname – #601
  • Team Color Swap – #600
  • Action – #599
  • Throwback – #598
  • Error – #597
  • Trade – #477

The folks at Topps made it even easier to spot these variations without having to look at the CMP codes.  Beneath the card number it will state what type of variation it is.  That helps a bunch.

Every hobby box comes with (1) relic or autograph.  For the most part, you’re going to pull a Clubhouse Collection Relic.  At least that’s what I’m use to pulling.  I’ve always appreciated the high-end autographs and patches that come out of this product.  I think it has a lot to do with the retro designs and on-card signatures.  Gotta love that Wendy’s Founder Dave Thomas has a cut signature in here.  Wendy’s was founded in 1969.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Shohei Ohtani Real One RC Auto

Parallel

  • Daniel Palka RC Black Border

Photo Variation

  • Matt Kemp Action

Short Prints

  • Jake Arrieta
  • Lewis Brinson
  • Yonder Alonso
  • Alex Cobb
  • Randal Grichuk
  • Arodys Vizcaino
  • Eric Hosmer
  • Stephen Piscotty

Inserts

  • Shohei Ohtani/Mike Trout Combo Cards
  • Nolan Ryan Miracle Of ’69
  • Reggie Jackson Highlights 1967
  • Shohei Ohtani 1969 Deckle Edge
  • Christian Yelich 1969 Deckle Edge
  • Joey Lucchesi Rookie Performers
  • Amed Rosario Rookie Performers
  • Shohei Ohtani Rookie Performers
  • Bryce Harper Now & Then
  • Didi Gregorius Now & Then
  • James Paxton Now & Then
  • George Springer Award Winners
  • Aaron Judge Award Winners
  • Jose Altuve Award Winners
  • Shohei Ohtani 1969 Bazooka Baseball Extra Ad Panel Box Topper #7

Notable Rookies

  • Shohei Ohtani
  • Juan Soto
  • Gleyber Torres
  • Ronald Acuña Jr.

2018 Bowman Chrome Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

The regular season has officially come to an end.  No more Phillies games this year.  My Phillies ended with a record of 80-82.  Much better when compared to 2017 where they finished 66-96.  Although they improved quite a bit, its disappointing to know that at the All-Star break they jumped into first only to lose it a month later.  They completely fell apart.  At one time they were (15) games above .500 and 2.5 games ahead of the Braves.  It’ll be interesting to see what moves they make in the off season.  Their first regular game of the 2019 season takes place on March 28 at 3:05 p.m. at home against Atlanta.

Just because your team didn’t make it to the playoffs doesn’t mean the box ripping has to stop.  In fact, with the release of 2018 Bowman Chrome you might pickup some new prospects that one day could help your team win the Fall Classic.

Bowman Chrome is the second wave of big prospect-based products released by Topps.  The first is Bowman and the third is Bowman Draft.  There are two ways you can enjoy Bowman Chrome this year.  A hobby box comes with (2) mini-boxes.  Packed inside each mini-box are (6) packs and (1) autograph.  For those looking for a quick-thrill and willing to spend a little more, there is the HTA option.  An HTA box contains (1) pack with (3) encased autographs.  I like the HTA option as it gets straight to the hits, and you don’t have the leftover base cards.  But if you’re someone who wants a lot of base, hobby boxes are there too.

(100) veterans and rookies make up the base set.  An additional (100) prospects can be found as well.  The inclusion of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is cool.  He was drafted by the Rockies in 2010, and even has cards in Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects and Topps Pro Debut.  Despite his main job playing professional football, he’s played in some minor league/spring training games.  He was last seen in a Yankees uniform back in March pinch-hitting for Aaron Judge.

(15) players have photo variations.  These are easy to spot as the CMP codes differ.  The base card CMP code ends in #370, whereas photo variations end in #393.  (13) photo variations have autograph counterparts #’ed/25.  Superfractor autograph photo variations are in there too.

Among all of the autographs, relics, and parallels there are (4) types of inserts.  These are 2017 AFL Fall Stars2017 AFL Fall Stars MVP2018 Bowman Sterling Continuity, and Peaks Of Potential.  I like the 2018 Bowman Sterling Continuity cards.  They make me wish that brand still existed as a standalone product.  I use to buy a lot of that.

While opening my box, I did come across something a little odd.  The Purple Shimmer Refractors are #’ed/655.  Usually basic refractors are the highest serial numbered parallels you’ll pull.  This time around they’re #’ed/499.  Its unusual to see something like a Purple Shimmer Refractor numbered higher.  You’ed think it would be the other way around.

Bowman Chrome is a prospector’s paradise.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • James Nelson
  • Jorge Guzman

Parallels

  • Luiz Gohara RC Blue Refractor #’ed/150
  • Darwinzon Hernandez Refractor #’ed/499
  • Taylor Trammell Purple Shimmer Refractor #’ed/655

Inserts

  • Estevan Florial 2018 Bowman Sterling Continuity
  • Sandy Alcantara 2017 AFL Fall Stars
  • Adbert Alzolay 2017 AFL Fall Stars
  • Aramis Ademan Peaks Of Potential
  • Keibert Ruiz Peaks Of Potential
  • Andres Gimenez Peaks Of Potential
  • Luis Robert Peaks Of Potential

2018 Bowman High Tek Baseball Box Break & Review

Within the last week some big cards have been on the auction block.  First off, the Shohei Ohtani 2018 Bowman Chrome RC Auto Superfractor #’ed 1/1 sold for an outstanding $184,000.  That’s an incredible amount of money for a modern day card of a rookie.  Especially one who’s future is up in the air upon hearing that it’s recommended he should have Tommy John surgery.  Who knows what he’ll be like after that happens.  Considering all of the unknown factors, I believe it was a good idea to sell it.

Another big card to popup recently is the Juan Soto 2016 Bowman Chrome Auto Superfractor #’ed 1/1.  This one has some controversy behind it.  At one time this card was graded by BGS a 9 with a 9 autograph grade.  Sometime after that it was removed from it’s BGS holder, had the autograph altered, and then submitted to PSA which gave it a Gem Mint 10 grade.  No card in my book should get a 10 grade after the autograph has been altered.  There’s also talk of it being trimmed too.  PSA really dropped the ball on this one.  I don’t see how anyone could do this to a Superfractor.

Speaking of rookies and prospects, 2018 Bowman High Tek recently came out.  Its loaded with lots of good stuff.  I know rookies and prospects that come from products like BowmanBowman Chrome, and Bowman Draft tend to garner more attention.  But I enjoy how products like Bowman Tek are configured.  One box, one pack, and four autographs.  It gets right to business.

Tek has and always will be known for it’s acetate card stock and crazy background patterns.  Just as it was when it debuted in the late 90’s.  There are (56) cards to the base set.  All a mix of prospects and rookies.  (10) different patterns can be found.  The base pattern (Pattern #1) has the following parallels: Purple Rainbow #’ed/191, Green Rainbow #’ed/99, Ocean Blue Tidal #’ed/75, Gold Rainbow #’ed/50, Orange Magma Diffractor #’ed/25, Red Orbit Diffractor #’ed/10, Black Galactic Diffractor #’ed 1/1, and Printing Proofs #’ed 1/1.  Patterns #2-8 do not have parallels.  Pattern #9 are SpecTEKular Diffractors #’ed 1/1.  The tenth pattern only comes in Black Galactic Diffractor form also #’ed 1/1.

As I mentioned before, (4) autographs come per box.  When it comes to the base autographs, Pattern #1 is all you’ll find along with it’s accompanying parallels.  Having autographs cover all ten patterns would be too much.

Three inserts are available – 1st Bowman Tek, PyroTEKnics, and Tides of Youth.  Each has their own set of parallels and autographs.  Of those three, I like the 1st Bowman Tek inserts the most.

If you’re into rookies and prospects, but don’t want tons of base cards, Bowman High Tek would be an excellent product to open.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Jo Adell Green Rainbow Parallel Redemption #’ed/99
  • Shane Baz
  • Jesus Sanchez
  • Tristen Lutz

Parallel

  • Ronny Mauricio Pattern #1 Purple Rainbow #’ed/191

Base

  • Shed Long Pattern #3
  • Michel Baez Pattern #4
  • Evan White Pattern #2
  • Corbin Burnes Pattern #2
  • Corbin Burnes Pattern #1

2018 Topps Luminaries Baseball Box Break & Review

Luminaries is a fairly new high-end product produced by Topps which got released for the first time last year.  When I opened that first box in November my jaw dropped.  Waiting inside was a redemption for a Frank Thomas Autographed Letter Book Card #’ed 1/1.  I did something I usually don’t do with cards that come in encased holders like this.  I broke the seal.  I had to do it in order to access the redemption code.  About a month later it arrived.  Zero problems.  No complaints.  I’ve never had an issue when it comes to Topps and their redemption process.

The 2018 edition of Luminaries is very similar to it’s 2017 counterpart.  Housed inside every box is (1) encased autograph or autographed relic.  Whatever is awaiting you, it’s guaranteed to be numbered to (15) or less.  At almost $200 per box, Luminaries is targeted towards those breakers willing to take a risk.  If you feel that’s too expensive, the secondary market is probably your best option for singles.

Notable rookies, current stars, and retired/Hall of Famers are at the core of the Luminaries checklist.  No minor league prospects here.  The main categories this product focuses on are Hit KingsHome Run Kings, and Masters of the Mound.

When it comes to just the autographs, each of these categories has Red #’ed/10, Blue #’ed/5, and Black #’ed 1/1 parallels.  Hit KingsHome Run Kings, and Masters of the Mound autographed relics all have patch versions with parallels as well.

Luminaries is a quick thrill.  I like the on-card autographs and booklets.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Ozzie Smith Hit Kings #HK-OSM Auto #’ed/15

This is the first Ozzie Smith autograph I’ve pulled.  He has a nice signature that you can actually read.  Back in August he was the Grand Marshal of the 2018 Little League World Series Grand Slam Parade.  His rookie card can be found in the 1979 Topps Baseball set.  Card #116 to be exact.

2018 Topps Fire Baseball Collector’s Box Break & Review

During the 90’s, we saw some of the most innovative and creative card designs.  Today’s hobby really focuses in on nostalgia.  Classic sets are making a comeback all the time.  Topps Fire never existed in the 90’s, but it looks and feels as if it should have.  That especially goes for the inserts.

Like last year, 2018 Topps Fire is a Target-exclusive set.  Graphic designer and digital artist Tyson Beck is back with all of his fiery creations.  There are three ways to enjoy Topps Fire – Collector’s Box, Value Box Blasters, and Fat Packs.  A Collector’s Box is the closest thing to a traditional hobby box as it guarantees (1) autograph and an additional hit.

A total of (200) cards make up the base set.  Parallels include Blue Chip (Fat Packs), Gold Minted (Value Box Blasters), Flame, Orange #’ed/299, Green #’ed/199, Purple #’ed/99, Magenta #’ed/25, Onyx SSP (Collector’s Box), and Inferno #’ed 1/1 (Collector’s Box).

As I mentioned before, a Collector’s Box is your best bet at pulling any hits.  You can find hits in Value Box Blasters and Fat Packs, but nothing is guaranteed.  You can find single, dual, and triple autographs.  Single autographs have Green #’ed/75, Purple #’ed/50, Magenta #’ed/25, and Inferno #’ed 1/1 (Collector’s Box) parallels.

Your standard relics have the same parallels as the single autographs.  Autograph patches are a difficult pull at 1:518 packs.  These have Blue #’ed/15, Magenta #’ed/10, and Inferno #’ed 1/1 (Collector’s Box) parallels too.

Where this product truly shines the brightest is with it’s inserts.  Topps and Tyson Beck really hit one out of the park here.  Inserts include Cannons, Fired Up, Flamethrowers, Hot Starts, Power Producers, and Speed Demons.  Each has Blue Chip (Fat Packs) and Gold Minted (Value Box Blasters) parallels.

2018 Topps Fire, specifically the inserts, come off as a modern interpretation of what a new 90’s product would look like.  That’s exactly how I would describe it.

Looking for a checklist?

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Harrison Bader RC Auto

Relic

  • Kyle Schwarber Relic

Parallels

  • Ronald Acuña Jr. RC Purple #’ed/99
  • Jake Arrieta Green #’ed/199
  • Mike Moustakas Orange #’ed/299
  • Gleyber Torres RC Orange #’ed/299
  • Garrett Cooper RC Flame
  • Wil Myers Flame
  • Chance Sisco RC Flame
  • Hunter Pence Flame

Inserts

  • Carlos Correa Fired Up
  • Marcell Ozuna Power Producers
  • Miguel Sano Power Producers
  • Tucker Barnhart Cannons
  • Ichiro Cannons
  • Starling Marte Speed Demons
  • Trea Turner Speed Demons
  • Kenley Jansen Flamethrowers
  • Robbie Ray Flamethrowers
  • Jarlin Garcia Hot Starts
  • Jed Lowrie Hot Starts

2018 Topps Chrome Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

From a visual standpoint both 2018 Stadium Club and Topps Chrome take the cake.  Just like Stadium ClubTopps Chrome offers lots to look for and your (2) autographs guaranteed per hobby box don’t have to be the main attraction.  They certainly can be, but with all of the refractors/photo variations you’re bound to pull something in order to help balance things out.

Topps Chrome is a (200) card set that pulls top rookies and veterans featured in Series 1 and Series 2.  If you’re a soccer fan, earlier this year we got to see what the 2018 Topps flagship design looked like on chrome stock with 2017/18 Topps Chrome UEFA Champions League.  I think it translates well, and is always something that needs to be thought about when designing a flagship set.

You can find 2018 Topps Chrome in a few different formats – Hobby boxes, Jumbo boxes, Mega boxes, Blasters, and Value Packs.  Parallels include: Refractor, X-Fractor (Mega Box), Prism, Sepia (Blaster), Pink (Value Packs), Negative, Purple #’ed/299, Blue #’ed/150, Green #’ed/99, Green Wave #’ed/99 (Hobby/Jumbo), Blue Wave #’ed/75 (Hobby/Jumbo), Gold #’ed/50, Gold Wave #’ed/50 (Hobby/Jumbo), Orange #’ed/25 (Hobby), Red #’ed/5, Red Wave #’ed/5 (Hobby/Jumbo), Superfractor #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.

In addition to the autographs and refractors, photo variations offer another element to chase.  These are fairly easy to identify as the photos used are drastically different.  As usual, I check the CMP code on the backside of the cards.  Base end in #161, whereas the photo variations end in #195.  The one of Aaron Judge is cool because you can clearly see a fan handing him Topps cards to sign.  These too have parallels – Green #’ed/99, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/5, and Superfractor #’ed 1/1.

Inserts come in the form of 1983 ToppsFreshman FlashFuture Stars, Rookie Debut Medallion, and Superstar Sensations.  Each has their own set of parallels and autographs.

Hobby boxes come with (2) on-card autographs.  Jumbos have (5).

2018 Topps Chrome was released right in time for the National this year.  It was wildly popular.  I remember seeing collectors lined up at the Topps booth early in the morning with cases.  For the last three years, specially made Bowman Chrome cards were used with their wrapper redemption program.  Given that Topps Chrome tends to come out around the time of the National, it would be nice to see exclusive refractors for that set.  That might be cutting it a little too close though.  Topps Chrome could get delayed, and then they’ed be handing out promos for a product that hasn’t been released yet.  All well.  I’m sure collectors wouldn’t mind.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Brian Anderson RC
  • Jacob Barnes RC Refractor #’ed/499

Parallels

  • Adrian Beltre Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Garrett Cooper RC Negative
  • Aaron Altherr Prism
  • Alex Reyes Prism
  • Noah Syndergaard Prism
  • Matt Chapman Prism
  • Gregory Polanco Refractor
  • Jose Berrios Refractor
  • Edwin Diaz Refractor
  • Chris Sale Refractor
  • Brian Dozier Refractor
  • Jon Gray Refractor

Inserts

  • George Springer Superstar Sensations
  • Cody Bellinger Future Stars
  • Keon Broxton Future Stars
  • Trey Mancini Future Stars
  • Manny Machado 1983 Topps
  • Kris Bryant 1983 Topps
  • Clint Frazier RC 1983 Topps
  • Rafael Devers RC 1983 Topps
  • Rafael Devers RC Freshman Flash
  • Harrison Bader RC Freshman Flash