2017 Topps Gallery Baseball Collector’s Box Break & Review

Twelve years.  That’s how long it has been since the Topps Gallery brand had a new set.  For as good looking as these cards have always been, that is way too long for it to have been gone.  The last Topps Gallery product was released in 2005.  I distinctly remember opening a mini-box and pulling a Don Mattingly bat relic with a picture of his ’84 Topps rookie on it.

Topps Gallery made it’s return this year, but with a twist.  This time its exclusively sold at Walmart.  Topps has seen tremendous success with their retail-exclusive line of products.  Collectors have been snatching them up.  Due to their popularity, its not uncommon for them to be sold out.  We’ve seen this with 2017 Topps Gallery.  Walmart’s website even has it listed as “Out of stock”.  If your local Walmart has any ’17 Topps Gallery, grab all of it ASAP.

You can experience 2017 Topps Gallery in three different ways – Collector’s Boxes, Value Boxes, and Fat Packs.  A Collector’s Box is the only format where you’re guaranteed (2) autographs.  This seems to be the most popular format, and costs $70.  Value Boxes and Fat Packs are more affordable options, but no autographs are guaranteed.

Artist Mayumi Seto and Dan Bergren are to thank for bringing this 200-card set to life.  No high-tech fancy Photoshop artistic filters here.  These cards are all based on original paintings which you can randomly find in boxes.  Card #151-#200 are short prints.  Parallels include: Artist Proof (Value Box), Private Issue #’ed/250 (Collector’s Box), Canvas (Fat Pack), Green #’ed/99, Blue #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/1, and Printing Plates #’ed/1.

Like I mentioned before, your best shot at pulling an autograph would come from a Collector’s Box.  All autographs are on stickers.  There are (20) short print autographs which are quite difficult to pull.  The short print autographs include: Gary Carter, Willson Contreras, Andrew Miller, Albert Pujols, Frank Thomas, Joey Votto, Tom Glavine, Bo Jackson, Chipper Jones, Jose Canseco, Fernando Valenzuela, Dee Gordon, Rickey Henderson, Cal Ripken, Jr., Mark McGwire, John Smoltz, Don Mattingly, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ryne Sandberg, and David Ortiz.

Gary Carter passed away in 2012, but Topps still has some of the stickers he signed.  They’re foil stickers compared to the clear ones used for everyone else, so they stick out a little more.  Unless you consult the Base Autograph SP list, there is no indication on the card whether or not its a short print.  Be sure to check!

Outside of the main base set and autographs there are some inserts.  The ExpressionistsHall of Fame GalleryHeritage, and Masterpiece all make up this group.  All have autographs and parallels except The Expressionists.  Those just have autographs, no parallels.  Heritage looks the best as it resembles 1951 Bowman.

’17 Gallery is one of the most artistic sets Topps has recently produced.  I might even say that it could be the nicest looking set of the year.  In addition to acetate autographs, I’m also a big fan of artistic products such as this.  I wonder if they’ve given any thought to combining the two?

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Magneuris Sierra RC
  • Tyler Austin RC

Short Print

  • John Smoltz Masters #188

Parallels

  • Nolan Arenado Heritage Green #’ed/250
  • Aaron Judge RC Private Issue #’ed/250
  • Mark Trumbo Private Issue #’ed/250
  • Greg Bird Private Issue #’ed/250

Inserts

  • Featured Artist Mayumi Seto
  • Randy Johnson Hall of Fame Gallery #20
  • Tim Raines Hall of Fame Gallery #9
  • Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame Gallery #1
  • Reggie Jackson Hall of Fame Gallery #22
  • (2) Wil Myers Masterpiece #15
  • Nolan Ryan Masterpiece #21
  • Felix Hernandez Masterpiece #17

Advertisements

2017 Topps High Tek Baseball Box Break & Review

If prospecting isn’t your thing, Topps High Tek Baseball will probably satisfy that Tek busting itch.  Unlike Bowman High TekTopps High Tek contains cards of rookies, current stars, and veterans.  In classic Tek fashion, there are numerous background patterns, parallels, and inserts to pull.  All printed on clear acetate.

When it comes to the main set, there are (112) cards.  There are (8) divisions of patterned backgrounds.  Each one of those divisions has a part “A” and part “B” pattern.  The checklist is split right down the middle.  (56) players will only be found with part “A” patterns while the remaining (56) can only have part “B” patterns.  It seems like first, second, third base, shortstop, and designated hitters are part of the “A” group.  Pitchers, catchers, and outfielders are all part of group “B”.  A good example would be to say that Jim Thome’s cards can only be found with group “A” patterns, while Ichiro’s would only have group “B” patterns.  Are you still following me?

As far as parallels go, most seem to be isolated to part “A” and “B” of the first and most common background pattern.  That looks the same for autographs too.  Parallels and autographs for every pattern would have been overwhelming.

If your head hasn’t exploded yet, a handful of photo variations were also thrown in.  These are easy to spot as the photographs picture players in warm up gear and are serial numbered to (50).  Photo variation autographs are also available.  Inserts include JubilationRookie TekTwiliTEK, and Buybacks.

I enjoy opening Tek.  Topps High Tek appeals more to me because the checklist of players is more well known.  With (1) 40-card pack per box containing (2) autographs, both set collectors and thrill seekers should have fun busting a box.  I’m a sucker for on-card acetate autographs.

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Raimel Tapia RC Auto
  • Aledmys Diaz Green Rainbow Auto #’ed/75

Parallels

  • David Price Red Orbit Diffractor #’ed/10
  • Tom Glavine Blue Rainbow #’ed/75
  • Orlando Arcia RC Tidal Diffractor #’ed/250
  • David Price Tidal Diffractor #’ed/250
  • Derek Jeter Blackout
  • Stephen Strasburg Blackout
  • Yoan Moncada RC Blackout
  • Noah Syndergaard Blackout

Other Notable Cards

  • Kelvin Herrera – pattern 5B
  • Freddie Freeman – pattern 6A
  • Josh Donaldson – pattern 2A
  • Wil Myers – pattern 5A
  • Ken Griffey Jr. – pattern 4B
  • Eric Thames – pattern 4A
  • Sandy Koufax – pattern 4B
  • Cody Bellinger RC – pattern 4A
  • Aaron Boone – pattern 3A
  • Hank Aaron – pattern 3B
  • Alex Bregman RC – pattern 3A
  • Noah Syndergaard – pattern 3B
  • Derrek Lee – pattern 3A
  • Michael Fulmer – pattern 3B
  • Nolan Arenado – pattern 2A
  • Max Scherzer – pattern 2B
  • Todd Frazier – pattern 2A
  • Jose DeLeon RC – pattern 2B
  • Trevor Story – pattern 2A
  • Henry Owens – pattern 2B
  • Dan Vogelbach RC – pattern 2A
  • Lucas Giolito – pattern 2B

2017 Topps Luminaries Baseball Box Break & Review

Ladies and gentlemen we have a new high-end baseball product that comes in the form of 2017 Topps Luminaries.  Its got style, class, and a whole lot of fun stuff to look for.  WARNING!  This product is for the gamblers and risk takers.  These are my favorite boxes to open.  They get straight to business.

At around $250 per box, 2017 Topps Luminaries is quite the roll of the dice.  Boxes contain (1) encased autograph or autographed/relic numbered to (15) or less.  The checklist is mighty extensive and includes current stars, retired legends, and Hall of Famers.  No prospects here folks.  Just the goods.

Everything is signed on-card as it should be when your spending that kind of cash for one card.  Now, not every box will have that life altering “hit”.  Nowadays all products are a gamble.  But I can guarantee that what you do find will be of a great player and serial numbered to no more than (15) copies.  If you don’t find the price of the box appealing, you can always pickup some nice looking singles on the secondary market.  That’s how I see it.  You’re never going to get a product like this for $50 per box.

Interesting note.  ’17 Luminaries has the first FULL autographed cards of Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka.  In the past, his autograph consisted of him signing just his last name.  Not all, but a few Luminaries cards have his first name.

Because my “hit” is a redemption, I have yet to see any of these cards in person.  From what I’ve seen online, they look well designed.  Despite it being a redemption, I’m very happy with my pull.  I’ve never had an issue or had to wait long to get my redemption cards fulfilled from Topps.  This is the first time I’ve broken the seal on an encased card.  It had to be done in order to get the code.

What this product has going for it are the on-card autographs, superb checklist, and low numbering.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto/Relic

  • Frank Thomas Autographed Letter Book Card Redemption #’ed 1/1

Already redeemed.  I will show it off as soon as it arrives.

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Postseason Edition Box Break & Review

I think it’s important to point out that there are two different 2017 Topps Archives Signature Series products this year.  First is the Active Player Edition (Mike Trout on the cover) featuring current stars that continue to play.  The other is the Postseason Edition (Derek Jeter on the cover) that has retired players who performed well during the playoffs and World Series.  Both offer cards which would look great in your collection, but it all depends on what your in the mood to open.

Housed inside each box is (1) encased autographed buyback card.  For the most part, I’ve seen cards from the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s.  But I have seen some from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s too.  All vary in serial numbering.  Postseason Edition boxes are a lot more affordable when compared to it’s active player counterpart.  $40 will get you one of these.

Buybacks bring life back into older products.  What was once a simple base card now could be super desirable.  When it comes to the Postseason Edition, I like to see autographed buybacks of player’s rookie cards.  In today’s hobby its common to pull rookie autographs of a player.  But this is really only something that started in the 90’s.  There are so many great players collectors never had the opportunity to pull an autographed rookie of.  Buybacks changed that forever.

Stadium ClubNational Chicle, and Allen & Ginter buybacks are my personal favorites.  Base cards from those three products always have me saying “This would look nice with an on-card autograph.”

Over the years, Topps has partnered with many companies in order to bring collectors exclusive cards.  Teaming-up with restaurants, retailers, and food manufacturers was not out of the question.  Using these cards for buybacks was a fun idea.  Cards made for Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Nestle, Cap’n Crunch, Kmart, Hills, and Toys “R” Us can all be found in here.  Having these semi-obscure sets resurface with autographs I’m betting will bring back lots of memories for collectors.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Tim Wakefield 2001 Topps Buyback Auto #’ed/10

2017 Bowman High Tek Baseball Box Break & Review

Acetate, on-card autographs, with a fast-thrill format.  Sign me up!  High Tek makes it’s Bowman debut this year that comes with a major prospecting element.  It also marks the first Topps-issued autographed cards of Phillies phenom Rhys Hoskins.

At a glance, the set doesn’t look that big.  You’d be correct.  There are only (56) cards to the base set.  But with High Tek each card has about eleven different patterned backgrounds.  Each background varies in rarity.  From what it looks like, the parallels only apply to the base pattern background cards and autographs.  I believe all autographs have the base pattern as well.  Are you still with me?  If not, that’s ok.

Waiting inside every box is (1) 10-card pack housing (4) on-card autographs.  There are a few veterans in here, but its mainly geared towards young prospects.  Guys like Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, and Kris Bryant have a little presence specifically when it comes to the inserts.  Speaking of inserts, 2017 Bowman High Tek has four of them – 2017 Bowman Rookies1992 Bowman VariationsBashers, and Foundations of the Franchise Die-Cuts.  Other than Foundations of the Franchise, a lot of the other inserts have autographed counterparts.  My favorite insert are the 2017 Bowman Rookies.  These print a player’s rookie found in 2017 Bowman on acetate.  Very cool!  The autographs look even better.

I like this product because it caters to a bunch of different people.  Prospectors get their talented young players.  Set/player collectors have all of those patterns to find.  Those collectors who enjoy a quick-thrill product to open can get their fix here too.

Bowman High Tek or Topps High Tek, it doesn’t matter.  They both carry a concentrated punch.  I’d like to see some mascots in Tek.  Acetate Phanatic!

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Justus Sheffield Rush Diffractor Auto
  • Junior Fernandez Auto
  • Ian Anderson Auto
  • Roniel Raudes Auto

Parallels

  • Austin Meadows Tidal Diffractor #’ed/199
  • Rafael Devers Orange Magma Diffractor #’ed/25

Base Cards

  • Willie Calhoun – base pattern #1
  • J.P. Crawford – pattern #2 (spirals)
  • Rafael Devers – pattern #3 (stripes & arrows)
  • Junior Fernandez – pattern #4 (circuitry)

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition Box Break & Review

Whoa!  I’m still shaking after ripping into this box.  You would be too if you lifted the lid and saw the card I pulled.

Buybacks are great.  There are lots of well designed cards floating around that don’t carry much value.  Buying them back and adding an autograph can make all the difference.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened a product and said to myself “Man, this card would look cool if it had an on-card autograph.”  That’s exactly what buybacks do.

2017 Topps Archives Signature Series Active Player Edition is a picture perfect example of a quick-thrill product.  Boxes range in price from $50 to $70.  Inside each box you’ll find (1) encased autographed buyback card.  Unlike previous releases, this product focuses on current players instead of retired stars.

Yes.  Products like this are a gamble.  But what product today isn’t?  The best thing about products such as this is that the format allows high-rollers to get their fix, while player collectors get to pick-up some very affordable autographs on the secondary market.  To put it simply, the format/price may not be for everyone, but the cards overall appeal to a large audience.

My favorite thing about buybacks are when Topps gets athletes to sign their rookie cards.  Then its a double whammy.  Not only do you get an autograph, but a rookie card too.

Here is what I pulled… brace yourself.

Auto

  • Mike Trout 2013 Bowman Buyback Auto #’ed 1/1

2017 Topps Baseball Update Series Box Break & Review

Here we go folks.  The final flagship set of the year comes in the form of 2017 Topps Update Series.  2017 was a great year for baseball.  I don’t think we could’ve asked for a better rookie class.  It will be fun to watch and see if they can all keep it going.  With the Astros winning their first World Series, baseball is officially over for the year.  My Phillies ended the season on a strong note.  I’m excited to see what their young talent can do combined with their new manager Gabe Kapler.  Soon enough pitchers and catchers will report to spring training, while 2018 Topps Series 1 hits the streets.

Update Series wraps up the 2017 flagship design along with other inserts such as Salute1987, and MLB Network.  As a Phillies fan, I’m always excited to see what new cards they have in a product.  Postseason Celebrations includes two Phillies cards each celebrating their World Series wins from 1980 and 2008.  These are cool!  I even have parallels to look for that include Blue #’ed/500, Red #’ed/250, Silver #’ed/50, Gold #’ed/10, and Printing Plates #’ed/1.

The overall base set consists of (300) cards.  Boxes are packed with rookies and variations.  Base card CMP codes end in #5517 whereas SPs are #5557 and SSPs are #5904.  Both Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger have a lot of rookies in this set.  The Update Series is known for sneaking in rookies who got called-up later in the season.  Major League Baseball has a lot to do with who gets to be called a rookie now and who has to wait until next year to get the rookie title.  I’m sure there are lots of collectors wondering why certain players didn’t get the rookie card treatment in here.

I deeply appreciate the high-end relics and autographs that come out of the flagship brands.  Unless you get very lucky, it will be hard to get your money back.  That can be said about almost every product today.  The rookies and variations might seem like overkill, but it does add collecting value to the set.  Outside of the (1) guaranteed “hit”, you’ve got tons to look for.

Hobby boxes sell for $50-$60.  Jumbo ones go for a bit more mainly because they contain three times the “hits”.  This year’s rookie class has kept box prices fairly high.  You can’t blame Topps for including even more rookies of Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger in here.  Technically this is Bellinger’s first flagship rookie.  Those two are huge draws.  Update Series might be the perfect product to open if you found yourself priced out of other baseball products this season.

Bring on 2018!  I’m ready for that awesome pixelated design.  There is a lot of potential for some interesting looking cards using pixel graphics.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Charlie Blackmon 2017 All-Star Game Event-Worn Jersey

Short Prints

  • Aaron Judge
  • Ryne Sandberg
  • Joey Votto
  • Manny Machado
  • Ernie Banks
  • Anthony Rizzo
  • Mitch Haniger
  • George Springer
  • Ted Williams

Parallels

  • Sammy Solis Negative
  • Daniel Hudson Gold #’ed/2017
  • Trey Mancini Gold #’ed/2017
  • J.P. Howell Gold #’ed/2017
  • Franklin Barreto Gold #’ed/2017
  • Luis Torrens Foil
  • Boone Logan Foil
  • Run And Hit Foil
  • James Pazos Foil

Inserts

  • Paul Severino MLB Network
  • Derek Jeter Topps All-Rookie Cup Reprint
  • Mike Piazza Topps All-Rookie Cup Reprint
  • Albert Pujols Topps All-Rookie Cup Reprint
  • Chipper Jones Topps All-Rookie Cup Reprint
  • Nomar Garciaparra Topps All-Rookie Cup Reprint
  • Dylan Bundy 1987
  • Magneuris Sierra 1987
  • Jesse Winker 1987
  • Mitch Haniger 1987
  • Tim Anderson Salute
  • Lewis Brinson Salute
  • Jose Altuve Salute
  • Kyle Freeland Salute
  • Amir Garrett Salute
  • Roger Clemens Untouchables
  • Jake Arrieta Untouchables
  • Rick Porcello Untouchables
  • Clayton Kershaw Untouchables
  • Stewart Cliburn 1989 Rediscover Topps Silver Foil
  • Mariano Duncan 1987 Rediscover Topps Gold Foil
  • Chuck Crim 1988 Rediscover Topps Gold Foil
  • Pat Kelly 1991 Rediscover Topps Traded Bronze Foil
  • Mike Leake 2014 Rediscover Topps Bronze Foil
  • Mickey Brantley 1988 Rediscover Topps Bronze Foil

Other Notable Cards

  • Aaron Judge #99
  • Aaron Judge #166
  • (2) Aaron Judge #1
  • Cody Bellinger #300
  • Cody Bellinger #50
  • Cody Bellinger #38
  • Cody Bellinger #214