2017 Topps UFC Chrome Box Break & Review

A new product walked into the octagon this year in the form of 2017 Topps UFC Chrome.  Never before have UFC cards received the Topps Chrome treatment, and man do these cards look great.  Lets see what I found inside.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the 100-card base set features the 2017 Topps Baseball flagship design.  Topps made sure to include a good mix of rookie and veteran fighters.  If you’re a fan of parallels, this product is perfect for you.  I pulled a ton!  Parallels of the base set include Refractors, X-Fractors, Diamond Refractors (Hot Box), Green Refractors #’ed/99, Blue Wave Refractors #’ed/75, Gold Refractors #’ed/50, Orange Refractors #’ed/25, Black Refractors #’ed/10, Red Refractors #’ed/5, SuperFractors #’ed/1, and Printing Plates #’ed/1.

Each 24-pack box comes with (2) autographs.  (3) if its a Hot Box.  A large chunk of the autographs are signed on-card, but you will come across some stickers.  As I’m sure you already know, Topps loves their photo variations.  This product has them, but they only pertain to eight fighters, are all autographed, and are serial numbered to (10) copies.  SuperFractor parallels are also available.  Its safe to say these photo variations aren’t difficult to spot.  Easy to identify, but hard to pull.

Inserts offer a glimpse as to what certain products would look like if they were printed on chrome stock.  FireMuseum CollectionTop of the Class, and Tier 1 all got chromed.  I think Fire looks the best.  All come with their good share of parallels and autographs.  Perhaps one day we’ll see a standalone Fire Chrome set.

I’d say that it was an enjoyable break.  With the refractors, Topps Chrome always gives you something to look forward to.  Hobby-exclusive boxes are selling for $70.  Low-numbered parallels and autographs of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are big sellers.  A McGregor/Mayweather dual on-card autograph would have been totally sick to see.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Tony Ferguson
  • Stipe Miocic Green Refractor #’ed/99

Parallels

  • Dustin Poirier Orange Refractor #’ed/25
  • Cris Justino Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Kelvin Gastelum Blue Wave Refractor #’ed/75
  • Chuck Liddell Tier 1 Refractor #’ed/99
  • Paige VanZant Top of the Class Refractor #’ed/99
  • Lyoto Machida Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov Green Refractor #’ed/99
  • Raphael Assuncao X-Fractor
  • Amanda Nunes Refractor
  • Jimmie Rivera RC Refractor
  • Cris Justino Refractor
  • Stephen Thompson Refractor
  • Dominick Cruz Refractor
  • Thiago Alves Refractor
  • Wilson Reis Refractor
  • Tony Ferguson Refractor

Inserts

  • Demetrious Johnson Tier 1
  • Luke Rockhold Tier 1
  • Ronda Rousey Tier 1
  • Amanda Nunes Tier 1
  • Fabricio Werdum Museum Collection
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk Museum Collection
  • Michelle Waterson Museum Collection
  • Jose Aldo Museum Collection
  • Daniel Cormier Top of the Class
  • BJ Penn Top of the Class
  • Amanda Nunes Top of the Class
  • Anderson Silva Top of the Class
  • Arianny Celeste Fire
  • TJ Dillashaw Fire
  • Michelle Waterson Fire
  • Anderson Silva Fire

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2017 Topps Fire Baseball Collector’s Box Break & Review

An artistic electric blaze is a perfect way to describe 2017 Topps Fire Baseball.  Artist Tyson Beck once again shows off his talents with this wildly designed Target-exclusive set.

Topps has had a lot of success with these retail only products.  Even if you have a Target nearby, there is no guarantee what you’re looking for will be there.  Keeping them in stock has been difficult.  Having a rookie class like 2017 has seen drives up the demand even more.  Especially when two of those rookies (Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger) continue to play further into the post season.

If you’re lucky enough to live near a Target store that still has some 2017 Fire on the shelves there are three possible formats that you can find this product in – Collector’s Box, Value Box, and Fat Pack.  To obtain the pinnacle Fire experience, a Collector’s Box would be the best way to go.  They retail for $70, but right now on the secondary market they seem to be going for around $80-$100.  People are willing to spend a little more online if their own Target is sold out or they don’t have one at all.

2017 Topps Fire has a base set that consists of (200) cards.  Parallels include Red Flame, Gold Minted (Value Only), Blue Chip (Fat Pack Only), Orange #’ed/299, Green #’ed/199, Purple #’ed/99, Magenta #’ed/25, Onyx (1 per Collector’s Box case), and Inferno #’ed/1.  The Onyx parallels aren’t serial numbered, but given that only (1) comes per Collector’s Box case I’d say that each one is limited to 5-10 copies.  Inserts are plentiful and all look fairly awesome.  You’ve got Flame Throwers, Fired Up, Golden Grabs, Monikers, and Walk It Off.

I’ve heard some collectors complain that the parallels are a little difficult to identify.  This certainly wasn’t the case with my box.  Each one of my inserts, parallels, and autographs came out of the pack backwards.  That made them very easy to spot.

A Collector’s Box guarantees at least (2) “hits”.  One of them should be an autograph.  For a retail-exclusive product, it shouldn’t be a surprise that all of the autographs are on stickers.  The checklist for the autographs is very strong.  Lots of top names.  Dual and Triple autographs can also be found.  Relics and Autographed Relics are in here too.

Overall, I believe Topps did a great job with this set.  Fire finally got it’s own standalone baseball product.  The designs are refreshing, checklist is deep, and the inserts really stand out.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Steven Matz #’ed/200
  • Noah Syndergaard Green #’ed/75

Parallels

  • Larry Doby Purple #’ed/99
  • Johnny Damon Green #’ed/199
  • Lorenzo Cain Green #’ed/199
  • Seung-Hwan Oh Orange #’ed/299
  • Ryne Sandberg Orange #’ed/299
  • Cal Ripken Jr. Red Flame
  • Dansby Swanson RC Red Flame
  • Billy Hamilton Red Flame
  • Bryce Harper Red Flame
  • Tyler Glasnow RC Red Flame

Inserts

  • Noah Syndergaard Fired Up
  • Noah Syndergaard Flame Throwers
  • Curtis Granderson Golden Grabs
  • Byron Buxton Golden Grabs
  • Mark Trumbo Walk It Off
  • Adrian Beltre Walk It Off
  • Brooks Robinson Monikers
  • Ryne Sandberg Monikers
  • Miguel Cabrera Monikers
  • Babe Ruth Monikers

Notable Rookies

  • Cody Bellinger
  • Ian Happ
  • Alex Bregman
  • Matt Olson

2017 Topps Triple Threads Baseball Box Break & Review

What can be said about Triple Threads that hasn’t been said already?  Its a polarizing product that hasn’t gone through many changes since it became an annual release over a decade ago.  I can still remember opening a pack of this stuff during the 2007 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland, OH.  Pulling that Tom Seaver/Dwight Gooden/Roger Clemens Triple Relic Auto #’ed/1 was a huge deal to me.  Back then packs and boxes came in that odd triangle shape.

Triple Threads has and will always be about the “hits”.  Yes.  There is a base set.  The 2017 set consists of (100) cards with parallels that include Amethyst #’ed/340, Emerald #’ed/250, Amber #’ed/150, Gold #’ed/99, Onyx #’ed/50, Sapphire #’ed/25, Ruby #’ed/1, and Printing Plates #’ed/1.  It is entirely made up of veterans, retired stars, and Hall of Famers.  All rookies in this product will have to come in some sort of “hit” form.

Autographs, jerseys, patches, bats, booklets, Topps throws everything into Triple Threads.  You’ll even find Theo Epstein and Floyd Mayweather in here.  Whenever Topps comes out with a new baseball product, I like to check the checklist for which Phillies made it in.  There usually is a regular group of guys, but for 2017 Triple Threads Jim Thome got some cards in a Phillies uniform.  Its been awhile since I’ve seen him in any new sets.  I’d say he’s my favorite addition this year.  Other collectors seem to agree as they’re spending hundreds on his new cards.

Triple Threads isn’t for the collector who’s on a tight budget.  A master box can cost almost $200.  Inside each mini-box you’ll find (2) “hits”.  That’s (4) “hits” per master box.  If you’ve been a fan of Triple Threads, I think you’ll have fun with the 2017 set.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto/Relics

  • Aledmys Diaz Unity Auto Jumbo Relic Silver #’ed/75
  • Eric Thames Auto Relic #’ed/18

Relics

  • Masahiro Tanaka Relic Gold #’ed/9
  • Evan Longoria Single Jumbo Unity Relic Emerald #’ed/18

Parallels

  • Greg Maddux Amethyst #’ed/340
  • Jacob deGrom Emerald #’ed/250
  • Zack Greinke Emerald #’ed/250
  • Robinson Cano Sapphire #’ed/25

2017 Topps Heritage High Number Baseball Box Break & Review

Burlap was the style in 1968.  Topps plastered that stuff on everything.  Pitchers Jerry Koosman and Ron Tompkins may not have had Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame worthy careers, but will forever be known as those “other guys” pictured with Nolan Ryan and Johnny Bench on their 1968 Topps rookie cards.

You’ll find that Heritage High Number continues where regular Heritage stopped.  The set consists of (225) cards #501-725.  #701-725 are short prints.  Although they aren’t serial numbered, parallels of the main set include Blue Border #’ed/50, Bright Yellow Backs #’ed/25, Gray Backs #’ed/10, and Flip Stock #’ed/5.

(50) players have Chrome cards #’ed/999.  Refractors that can be found include Purple Hot Box Refractors, Refractors #’ed/568, Blue Refractors #’ed/68, Gold Refractors #’ed/5, and Superfractors #’ed/1.  Chrome versions of classic Topps designs look so cool!  (50) players also have mini parallels too.

It wouldn’t be a Heritage product without a good chunk of variations.  Checking the CMP code on the card backs can really help you in identifying them.

  • Base – ends in #23
  • Short Prints – ends in #33
  • Chrome – ends in #38
  • Error – ends in #45
  • Trade – ends in #46
  • Throwback Uniform – ends in #47
  • Action Image – ends in #48
  • Team Color Swap – ends in #49

I know the Heritage line isn’t the only set to feature variations, but it seems like collectors are willing to spend more for the Heritage ones.  Given that this product is targeted towards set builders, some people will spend a lot for a single variation just because its rare.  In some cases, these variations can be a player’s most valuable card.

Like I previously mentioned, this product is a set collector’s dream.  Most likely your “hit” will be a regular relic, but the high-end “hits” are so nice looking.  Everything from the on-card autographs to multi-colored patches are superb.  Even the low-numbered plain relics get more attention from this product when compared to others.  I think that fascinates me more than anything.  The type of product, players involved, and numbering make all the difference.

Overall, my break fell in line with what you’d normally pull.  Topps should consider trying some on-card Chrome autographs for Heritage.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Aroldis Chapman Clubhouse Collection Relic

Parallels

  • Eric Thames Blue Border #’ed/50
  • Bradley Zimmer Chrome Refractor #’ed/568
  • Aroldis Chapman Chrome #’ed/999

Photo Variation

  • Brandon Phillips Action Image

Short Prints

  • Steven Matz
  • Dylan Bundy
  • Michael Pineda
  • Kelvin Herrera
  • Jared Hughes
  • Trevor Cahill
  • Taijuan Walker
  • Alex Cobb

Inserts

  • Jim Wynn 1968 Topps Buyback Box Loader
  • Nolan Ryan Highlights #5
  • Marcell Ozuna/Giancarlo Stanton Classic Combos
  • Ryan Zimmerman Now And Then
  • Mike Trout Now And Then
  • Eric Thames Now And Then
  • Ben Zobrist Award Winners
  • Kris Bryant Award Winners
  • Eric Hosmer Award Winners
  • Bradley Zimmer Rookie Performers
  • Luke Weaver Rookie Performers
  • Dansby Swanson Rookie Performers

Notable Rookies

  • Cody Bellinger
  • Ian Happ
  • Matt Olson

2017 Topps WWE Women’s Division Blaster Box Break & Review

It has been a long time since I’ve opened a box of wrestling cards.  One of those TNA Knockouts boxes from TRISTAR is probably the last wrestling box I tackled.  New from my friends at Topps and exclusive only to Walmart is 2017 WWE Women’s Division Wrestling.

Like I said, this product can only be found at Walmart.  It comes in three different formats – Blasters, Hangers, and Fat Packs.  Blasters are most likely going to be the popular choice as each box comes with (1) “hit”.  Along with your “hit” you’ll find (80) other cards.  (40) of them will be from Matches and Moments and the remaining (40) come from the Roster portion of the base set.  Roster cards borrow the 2017 Major League Soccer design, whereas Matches and Moments uses the design from Road to WrestleMania.  Despite not guaranteeing a “hit”, Hangers and Fat Packs are the only places you can find special inserts.  The overall base set consists of (100) cards, so a few boxes should yield a complete set.  Parallels include Silver #’ed/50, Blue #’ed/25, Gold #’ed/10, and Red #’ed/1.  Unlike the Roster parallels, the Matches and Moments parallels are serial numbered on the back.  I highly recommend checking those backs as you could easily miss them while shuffling through that card brick.

The checklist is solid.  Especially when it comes to the autographs.  Topps included a wide variety of past and present wrestlers.  Blasters cost about $30.  In today’s hobby its a breath of fresh air to see an entirely female-based set.  Wrestling fans should enjoy, and for the price of a blaster its not much of a risk.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Charlotte Flair Survivor Series Mat Relic #’ed/199

2017 Topps Clearly Authentic Box Break & Review

I’m a risk taker.  Boxes with one card inside don’t frighten me.  In fact, this type of configuration is what I prefer.  If you’re a baseball collector and enjoy quick thrill products, 2017 Topps Clearly Authentic is probably right for you.

Once again Topps has tapped into their flagship brand design.  This time it comes with a massive twist.  Every card is printed on clear acetate.  On-card autographs are a big draw too.  When opening a box you have a few different options of cards that can be pulled.

(82) cards make up the main set and feature the 2017 Topps flagship look.  Photos of the players have been changed compared to the flagship set.  The base autographs aren’t serial numbered, but the parallels certainly are.  Parallels include Green #’ed/99, Red #’ed/50, Blue #’ed/25, and Gold #’ed/1.

Outside of the base set and it’s corresponding parallels, the only other type of card you can pull are the reprint autographs.  These are AWESOME!!!  You’ll find them 1:10 boxes which means two come per case.  The reprint autographs showcase classic Topps designs printed on acetate.  For the most part, this portion of the set is for retired stars and Hall of Famers.  But a few current players have been thrown in.  This is by far my favorite part of this product, especially when it comes to the rookie reprints.  All of the base versions of these cards have serial numbering that varies.  They also have Gold parallels #’ed/1.  Its entertaining to see how much more collectors are willing to spend on an acetate reprint autograph.  Rarer cards from other products in some cases don’t even come close to the price level of these cards.  That just goes to show you how important the design of a card really is.  Although it might not be as rare as another card, people will spend more for something that looks really cool.

Box prices are under $60.  I personally don’t have a problem with that.  Whenever you have a product with that type of pricing and there is a guaranteed autograph per box, you’re bound to find many common autographs.  That’s just how it goes.  Every single autograph looks great.  You can’t go wrong with an all on-card autograph acetate set.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Don Mattingly Clearly Authentic Rookie Reprint Auto #’ed/110

2017 Topps Chrome Baseball Box Break & Review

Collectors enjoy chrome-based rookies.  That’s no shocker.  2017 has had one of the best MLB rookie classes.  Aaron Judge may have calmed down a bit, but his cards continue to bring in top dollars.  Dodgers fans have had a blast watching Cody Bellinger go yard night after night.  Chrome is king!  Its interesting to see how much more someone is willing to spend on an unnumbered Chrome base rookie autograph compared to something similar from another product.  That player’s Chrome rookie almost always comes out on top.

The Topps design team has to think long and hard about the design of their classic flagship brand.  Its something that collectors will see all year across at least four different products.  One aspect that needs to be considered is how that design will convert over to Chrome stock.  Especially when it comes to distinguishing between the array of colored parallels.  Trust me, there are a lot of parallels to pull.

You’ll find (200) cards make up the base set.  Everything in this product has it’s share of parallels.  The photo variations are easy to spot as the most common versions have a refractor-like finish.  To be 100% sure whether or not you have a photo variation checking the CMP code can help.  Photo variation’s CMP code end in #57 versus base with #25.

If you weren’t familiar with 1987 Topps Baseball, by the end of this year you definitely will be.  That classic design has been everywhere in celebration of it’s 30th anniversary.  Chrome versions of these cards look awesome especially when it comes to the parallels and on-card autographs.

My favorite cards out of the entire product are the Then & Now inserts.  These came out nice and designing them horizontally was the way to go.  I’ve always enjoyed seeing older cards pictured on newer ones.  The parallels and on-card autographs of these really standout.

Topps has already unveiled what the 2018 flagship design will look like.  The wave by the team logo is cool and the pixels breaking apart looks neat.  An insert set featuring pixel-themed player images would be fun.  Making players look like characters from a retro Nintendo game would really bring back some memories.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Brett Phillips RC Refractor Auto #’ed/499
  • Seth Lugo RC Auto

Parallels

  • Eduardo Rodriguez Negative Refractor
  • Brad Ziegler Purple Refractor #’ed/299
  • Gavin Cecchini RC Prism Refractor
  • Ryan Braun Prism Refractor
  • Ivan Nova Prism Refractor
  • Chris Owings Prism Refractor
  • Ryan Schimpf Refractor
  • Anthony Rizzo Refractor
  • Yoan Moncada RC Refractor
  • Kris Bryant Refractor
  • Joe Mauer Refractor
  • Andrew Toles RC Refractor
  • Chad Pinder RC Refractor
  • Kenley Jansen Refractor

Inserts

  • Matt Carpenter Bowman Chrome Then & Now #19
  • Alex Bregman Freshman Flash #10
  • Luke Weaver Freshman Flash #16
  • Willson Contreras Future Stars #2
  • Nomar Mazara Future Stars #8
  • Francisco Lindor Future Stars #10
  • Manny Machado 1987 Topps #4
  • Yoan Moncada 1987 Topps #20
  • Francisco Lindor 1987 Topps #11
  • Jacob deGrom 1987 Topps #21

Notable Rookies

  • Yoan Moncada #75