Card of the Day: Mike Schmidt 1988 Chef Boyardee 1st Annual Collector’s Edition #14

Advertisements

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

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

Card of the Day: Steve Sparks 1997 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice #371

Mayweather/McGregor Highlight Leaf’s 2017 NSCC Cards

Leaf usually has one of the largest booths in the corporate area.  They also have multiple promotions going on for the 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention.  Even if you don’t participate in any of their wrapper redemption programs, their booth is still worth stopping at.  Leaf likes to show off a lot of new cards which will be featured in upcoming products.

Just by opening a hobby box of Leaf cards (2011-present) at their booth will get you entered to win one of five Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor dual autographs.  Each day of the show one will be given away.  You must be present to win.

Collectors opening boxes of 2017 Leaf Pop Century will receive a Pop Century NSCC proof card #’ed/1.  A case will get you six proof cards and a Century Signature #’ed/1.

Opening a box of 2016-17 In The Game-Used will yield a specially made Jack Eichel relic card.  These will have parallels.  Nolan Patrick/Nico Hischier dual autograph cards and a full set of Eichel relics will be waiting for those who open a case.

VIPs will find a non-autographed version of the dual Mayweather/McGregor card in their bag.  A card of Vin Scully will also be thrown in.

Upper Deck’s 2017 National Sports Collectors Convention Plans

Upper Deck continues to make great products.  I just don’t open them very often mainly because they’re hockey and entertainment driven.  During the National in Atlantic City, NJ last year I opened a box of Goodwin Champions at their booth and pulled a Kevin Smith autograph #’ed/25 from a promo pack.  That was the first time I had pulled anything major while taking part in their wrapper redemption program.

VIPs visiting the ’17 NSCC will receive a 5-card Prominent Cuts set from Upper Deck.  The set includes: Michael Jordan, Connor McDavid, LeBron James, Ben Simmons, and Patrick Kane.

Upper Deck announced all of their plans for the National over on their blog.  They’ve got tons going on.

Topps Readies Exclusive Bowman Chrome Cards For The 2017 National

Of all the promotional programs that take place during the National Sports Collectors Convention, Topps usually draws the largest crowd.  For 2017, specially made Bowman Chrome cards make a return.  The 50-card set includes Hall Of Famers, current stars, and rookies.  Randomly inserted parallels and autographs will be thrown in.

Other than Opening DayBunt, and Sticker Collection, all 2017 Topps baseball products are eligible for this promotion.  Boxes of 2017 UFC Knockout and 2017 Major League Soccer can also be used.

Compared to last year, the biggest change is that (1) 4-card promo pack will be given out for each hobby box opened in front of a Topps employee.  This should drastically speed up the line while helping to extend the lifespan of the promo packs.  Before it was (1) promo pack for every (5) packs of Bowman and (1) promo pack for every (10) packs of everything else.  I would think that once the plastic is off the box you’d receive your promo pack.  It doesn’t sound like you would need to stand there and open every pack in front of them.  This should help move things along.

This promo was a big hit in Atlantic City last year.  I participated in it a lot and pulled numerous gold refractors including one of Babe Ruth #’ed/50 and an autograph of Julio Urias #’ed/30.  Both Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger will have cards in here.  As long as they’re still playing like they are, it’ll be fun to see the values of those cards.

Update:

Certain boxes will get you more than (1) promo pack.