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2018 Topps Series 1 Baseball Box Break & Review

Its a tradition that’s been in place since 1952.  The Topps flagship brand has been the heart of the hobby and center attraction for countless collectors for generations.  This set kicks off the 2018 baseball card season while setting the tone for all products throughout the year.  Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger both have their rookie seasons in the past, who knows which rookie(s) will dominate the hobby in the coming months.  Of all their baseball products, the Topps flagship set is probably the one that is purchased the most.  It’s annual release is a major event across the hobby.

This might be my favorite modern day Topps flagship design.  It has a lot going on, but doesn’t overtake the card.  I really like the colored wave next to the team’s logo.  With Topps having a long history in the candy business, that wave sometimes reminds me of a colorful gummy snack that I use to eat as a kid.  The pixels are a fun feature too.  I’d really like to see some pixel art cards in a future product.  Imagine pulling a card of Rhys Hoskins and the picture is pixelated and looks like he should be in an NES video game.  That would be awesome!  Sorta in line with the cartoon-like autographs found in 2016 Topps MLB Wacky Packages.  With Series 2Update, and Chrome, there are lots of opportunities for this to happen.

As is the case with a lot of Topps sets, there are SPs and SSPs.  Checking the CMP code on the back can help in identifying them.  Base cards end in #87.  SPs end in #43.  SSPs end in #44.

It wouldn’t be a Topps product without a throwback to a classic set.  Last year it was 1987 Topps Baseball, for 2018 its 1983 Topps Baseball.  As expected they all look fantastic, especially the parallels and on-card autographs.

The Topps Reverence cards got an upgrade too.  This year’s cards don’t look as busy, and contain full-body shots of the player versus a small head shot.  I wouldn’t be surprised to see this high-end autograph/relic insert get it’s own standalone product someday.

I pulled a Topps Home Run Challange card of Trey Mancini.  These are fun inserts.  Log into your Topps account, head over to the Home Run Challange website, enter the code, and pick the date you think that player will hit a home run.  I picked 6/16/18.  If Trey Mancini hits a home run that day, I’ll get a special card.

The 2018 baseball card season has begun.  Good luck to everyone who opens a box.

Here is what I pulled:

Relic

  • Anthony Rizzo Major League Material Jersey

Short Print

  • Cody Bellinger #42

Parallels

  • Eric Thames 1983 Topps Black #’ed/299
  • Andrew Cashner Vintage Stock #’ed/99
  • Nick Pivetta Gold #’ed/2018
  • Mookie Betts Rainbow Foil
  • Yulieski Gurriel Rainbow Foil
  • Marcus Semien Rainbow Foil

Inserts

  • Trey Mancini Topps Home Run Challange
  • Aaron Judge Topps Now Top 10 #10
  • Aaron Judge Topps Now Top 10 #4
  • Yoenis Cespedes Superstar Sensations #49
  • Max Scherzer Superstar Sensations #25
  • Gary Sanchez Superstar Sensations #22
  • Carlos Correa Superstar Sensations #5
  • Ryan Zimmerman MLB Awards #7
  • Martin Maldonado MLB Awards #14
  • Buster Posey MLB Awards #32
  • Marcell Ozuna MLB Awards #43
  • Francisco Lindor MLB Awards #39
  • Miguel Sano Topps Salute #48
  • Charlie Blackmon Topps Salute #10
  • Roy Halladay Topps Salute #34
  • Jose Berrios Topps Salute #67
  • Brandon Woodruff Topps Salute #91
  • Joey Votto Topps Salute #3
  • Cal Ripken Jr. Topps Salute #26
  • Victor Robles Topps Salute #82
  • Alex Bregman Topps Salute #61
  • Justin Verlander 1983 Topps #98
  • Masahiro Tanaka 1983 Topps #78
  • Clint Frazier 1983 Topps RC #70
  • Harrison Bader 1983 Topps RC #29
  • Matt Carpenter 1983 Topps #11
  • Eric Thames 1983 Topps #10
  • Barry Larkin 1983 Topps #57
  • Ryan McMahon 1983 Topps RC #76
  • Carlos Correa 1983 Topps #92

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Card of the Day: Rhys Hoskins 2018 Topps Series 1 RC #259

Card of the Day: 1977 Topps Star Wars Series 1 Luke Skywalker #1

Guess The Set – December 1, 2017

Can you Guess The Set?  This evening I’ll post the correct answer in the comment section and on Twitter.  Good luck!

Hint – This film sequel celebrates it’s 25th anniversary in 2017.  Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal.  And A Happy New Year.

Guess The Set – September 1, 2017

Can you Guess The Set?  Tonight around 8:00 p.m. EST I’ll post the correct answer in the comment section and on Twitter.  Good luck!

Card of the Day: Mo’ne Davis 2016 Topps Series 1 First Pitch #4

Product Highlight: 1999 Racing Champions MLBPA Superstar Yo-Yos Series 1

 photo 99rcmlbpayoyos1_zpssasgqymg.jpg

Between seventh and eighth grade there were two big fads sweeping through my school.  The first were those Tech Deck fingerboards.  I never fully understood people’s fascination with those tiny skateboards.  Kids were constantly attempting to make cool jumps by only using one hand.  I bought one off of a classmate for a few dollars, but it wasn’t too long after that I lost interest.  The second fad was the yo-yo craze.  That one kept my attention much longer.  I had three different yo-yos.  It all started with a black-and-white Duncan.

Today it is all about fidget spinners.  Who knows what will be the “must have” thing tomorrow.  But we’re all going to wish we had thought of it first.  Companies like to cash in on these fads.  We’re already seeing officially licensed sports-themed fidget spinners hit the market.  I know the Williamsport Crosscutters are giving one out to kids this season.  It wouldn’t surprise me if lots of other teams do the same.

Racing Champions produced many diecast NASCAR collectibles throughout the 90’s.  To capitalize on the yo-yo popularity, they released more than one set of yo-yos.  It makes perfect sense that they would make a line of NASCAR yo-yos.  Seeing them release more than one set of baseball yo-yos was the real shocker.  With a name like Racing Champions you just don’t think about them issuing anything related to baseball.

It was the summer of 1999 when Racing Champions released Series 1 of their baseball yo-yos.  Although they weren’t licensed by MLB, they did get the ok from the MLBPA.  Each yo-yo in the set features a player on the front while picturing their name, jersey number, and town on the back.  The set consists of the following players:

  • Mark McGwire
  • Sammy Sosa
  • Ken Griffey, Jr.
  • Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • Derek Jeter
  • Mike Piazza
  • Tony Gwynn
  • Ivan Rodriguez
  • Greg Maddux
  • Kevin Brown

Another set of Racing Champions MLBPA yo-yos exist.  The checklist is exactly the same.  What differs are the foil pictures and overall color of the yo-yo.  They almost remind me of a parallel.  All were mass produced, and can be purchased for barely nothing.  Its possible that prototype yo-yos exist or existed at one time before they were put into production.  Most likely they were destroyed or taken home by someone that worked there.

Racing Champions is still around, but in name only.  A company called Round 2 now uses the name.  They still produce diecast cars, but nothing relating to NASCAR.