2018 Topps Gallery Collector’s Box Break & Review

After a very successful revival last year, Topps Gallery makes it’s return in 2018.  Once again this product is a Walmart exclusive.  So if you’re out shopping for those last minute Christmas gifts, checkout the card section for Topps Gallery.

I really like this brand, and what Topps has done with it.  It comes in three different formats – Collector’s Box, Blaster, and Jumbo Value Pack.  A Collector’s Box is equal to what a hobby box would be, and is the only format that guarantees any hits.  Packaged within each Collector’s Box are (20) packs along with (1) Oversized Base Topper.  You should find at least (2) autographs.  Blasters have exclusive Artist’s Proofs, while Jumbo Value Packs have Canvas Parallels.

The base set consists of (150) cards.  Parallels include Artist’s Proof (Blaster), Canvas (Jumbo Value Pack), Private Issue #’ed/250, Green #’ed/99, Blue #’ed/50, Orange #’ed/25, Red #’ed/1, and Printing Plates #’ed/1.  I’ve seen the Canvas parallels referred to as Wood sometimes.  Short Prints are found between #151 and #200.

Nine artists came together in order to produce the images for this set.  They are Gerry Garcia, Kris Penix, Mayumi Seto, Carlos Cabaleiro, Dan Bergren, John Giancaspro, Kevin Graham, Jeff Mallinson, and Evan Shoman.  Lots of these artists have done work for Topps before.  Mayumi Seto is responsible for all of the Topps Living Set cards.

On the back of each card you can see which artist did the work.  Five cards actually list the wrong artist – Ted Williams #163, Ernie Banks #167, Nelson Cruz #169, Robinson Cano #199, and Jackie Robinson #200.  These cards attribute Carlos Cabaleiro as the artist when in fact it should be Kris Penix.

In addition to the base set and autographs, there is a nice selection of inserts.  The Impressionists inserts are quite impressive.  Despite not having any parallels, just the inserts themselves get more attention on the secondary market than you’ed expect.  I pulled (1) from my Collector’s Box.

Although difficult to pull, its possible to own the original artwork used to make these cards.  You can only get these pieces in the Collector’s Boxes.  It would be hiding in your box topper pack instead of an oversized card.

Topps Gallery is one of my favorite looking products.  On-card autographs could improve it, but given that its a retail-exclusive stickers make sense.  I believe it to be one of their most important retail releases.

Complete Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Autos

  • Ryan McMahon RC Auto
  • Anthony Banda RC Blue Auto #’ed/50

Short Prints

  • Noah Syndergaard #195
  • Darryl Strawberry #170
  • Max Kepler #187
  • Randy Johnson #177

Parallels

  • John Smoltz Green #’ed/99
  • Jordan Hicks Private Issue #’ed/250
  • Jose Altuve Heritage Green #’ed/250

Inserts

  • Victor Robles Impressionists
  • Randy Johnson Masterpiece
  • Cody Bellinger Masterpiece
  • Hank Aaron Hall of Fame Gallery
  • Bob Gibson Hall of Fame Gallery
  • Anthony Rizzo Heritage
  • Nolan Arenado Heritage
  • Ichiro Heritage
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. Heritage
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. Oversized Base Topper

Notable Rookies

  • Rhys Hoskins #133
  • Shohei Ohtani #116
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. #140
  • Juan Soto #126

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Pin Highlight: 39th National Sports Collectors Convention

Its no secret that I had a great time while attending the National Sports Collectors Convention this year.  I’ll be talking about it forever.  Sports Card Info pin/t-shirt, Topps hat, and pulling a Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani dual relic #’ed 1/1.  All while surrounded by some of the most museum quality sports memorabilia known to man.  It doesn’t get much better than that.

I was very happy to see the NSCC selling show-branded merchandise.  Its been a long time since we’ve had stuff with the show’s name on it.  This past year they went all out.  Five different types of t-shirts, poster, and a pin.  Some of this could only be purchased online or in person at the show.

When I saw they had a pin, I needed to pick one up.  Pins were a regular thing they sold for awhile, but then stopped.  Show-exclusive bobbleheads should be next.

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

More Photos From The 2018 National + Cool Idea!

I can only speak for myself, but the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention has got to be one of the best shows I’ve ever attended.  According to the National, it had the best attendance they’ve seen in the last twelve years.  PSA also mentioned that they had a record number of submissions during the show too.  Records were being broken all over the place.  It was quite the spectacle to see.

Cleveland continues to be my favorite location.  I’ve been to seven Nationals, and four of them have been at the I-X Center.  Its easy to get to, not in the city, and I usually can park near the entrance.  The National takes place in Chicago at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center next year July 31 to August 4, 2019.  As much as I enjoy the National, I don’t plan on going to Chicago.  I hate to miss it, but I do not enjoy the process of flying or driving twelve hours.  The next National I’m looking to attend is in Atlantic City in 2020.  I was there in 2016, and things worked out fairly well.  Given the attendance seen this year, once the Atlantic City show is over I wouldn’t be surprised if it just alternates between Chicago and Cleveland for awhile.

In my opinion, Leaf and Topps had the superior wrapper redemption programs.  I did nothing with Upper Deck or Panini.  Topps does a nice job with their exclusive Bowman Chrome refractors.  Leaf had a huge hit with their 2018 In The Game Used Sports boxes.  At the show, these were selling for $160-$165 per box.  Now they go for $270.  The Leaf Originals Metal promos that you’d receive for opening boxes at their booth have also gained a lot of traction on the secondary market.

I have a cool idea.  Wouldn’t it be fun to see a remote controlled blimp flying around the National?  I’ve seen them before at hockey games randomly dropping coupons.  It could fly over the crowd and drop packs to sports collectors below.  Each day a different manufacturer could sponsor the packs being dropped.  Who wouldn’t want some exclusive blimp parallels?  How about mounting a camera on it too?  I bet it would even have it’s own Twitter account.  I can see this idea really “taking off”.

Although the National has been over for a month, I’d like to share some photos I didn’t post on my Day #1Day #2, and Day #3 coverage.  There are a few aerial shots.  Pictures like that always remind me of Where’s Waldo.  You never know what you might see.  Who knows?  You could be in there.

Bill Belichick 2002 Super Bowl XXXVI Game-Worn Headset.  You can hear everything with this.  I mean EVERYTHING.

Rob Bertrand of Go GTS Live handing out prizes.

Behind the TRISTAR curtain.

Leaf Booth Finds During The 2018 National

To celebrate their 70th anniversary, Leaf created a set of 2018 Leaf Originals Metal cards that were handed out during the National Sports Collectors Convention.  I opened a few boxes of 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports at their booth, and got the pull of a lifetime.  I also walked away from the Leaf booth with a nice stack of these promos that pay tribute to the original 1948 Leaf set.  They cover a wide variety of sports, and come in all sorts of colors.  I like the simple design combined with chrome technology.  Leaf is very underrated, and produces some nice looking products.

Look at what I got!

  • Liangelo Ball Red #’ed/3
  • Anfernee Simons Red #’ed/3
  • Greg Maddux Green #’ed/5
  • Errol Spence Jr. Black #’ed/7
  • Gordie Howe Black #’ed/7
  • Derrius Guice Black #’ed/7
  • Earl Campbell Pink #’ed/10
  • Dennis Rodman Pink #’ed/10
  • Chloe Kim Purple #’ed/15
  • Shohei Ohtani Purple #’ed/15
  • Kyle Kuzma Purple #’ed/15
  • Jerry Rice Purple #’ed/15
  • Stephen Curry Blue #’ed/20
  • Pete Rose Blue #’ed/20
  • Josh Rosen Blue #’ed/20
  • Whitey Ford Blue #’ed/20
  • Josh Rosen
  • Lamelo Ball
  • Magic Johnson
  • Cal Ripken Jr.

Leaf sold Babe Ruth Yankee Stadium seat relics at their booth too.  Each is stamped commemorating the 2018 National.  The photos used for these remind me a lot of their 2017 Babe Ruth Immortal Collection.  I chose the one picturing Babe Ruth in a tuxedo signing what looks to be a series of baseball bats.  Where do you think those bats are today?

If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to checkout my Day #1Day #2, and Day #3 coverage.

(2) 2018 NSCC Topps Wrapper Redemption Pack Break

Upon taking my box of Museum Collection to the Topps booth during the 2018 National, I received (2) wrapper redemption packs in return.  Inside each pack are (4) exclusive Bowman Chrome cards.  Parallels and autographs could also be found.  Although I didn’t get any autographs, I did pull two nice parallels.  Take a look!

If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to checkout my Day #1Day #2, and Day #3 coverage.

Parallels

  • Michael Kopech Red Refractor #’ed/5
  • Walker Buehler RC Orange Refractor #’ed/25

Base

  • Rhys Hoskins RC
  • Shohei Ohtani RC
  • Joey Votto
  • Nick Senzel
  • Noah Syndergaard
  • Bryce Harper

The 2018 National – Day #3

My third and final day of the 2018 National Sports Collectors Convention has come to an end.  I spent most of it browsing the show floor and taking pictures of all the amazing items.

The first stop I made was to Chicagoland Sports Cards where I had them open a new case of 2018 Leaf In The Game Used Sports.  I chose the box on the upper left corner.  Boy did I pick a good one.  One of my hits is a Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani dual relic #’ed 1/1!!!  Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll go into full details about what came out of my boxes I bought in Cleveland once I get home.  The scans will look nice.

At 5:30 p.m. Topps held their Q&A session.  This was the first time I had ever attended one of these meetings.  It was fun and educating to hear collector’s questions and concerns.  Only (150) spots were available for this meeting.  Everyone that attended the meeting received a specially made Francisco Lindor autograph #’ed/50.  Not every card uses the same photo of Francisco Lindor either.  At least (3) different photos were used.  Here is a video of the entire Q&A courtesy of Sports Card News/Sports Card Radio.

Every collector should be able to attended at least one National.  No show gets better than this.  I’ll be heading home on Saturday.  I’ve got a feeling the weekend will be very crowded.

This show was a blast.  I got to meet some awesome people, take great pictures, get some autographs, and pull some cool cards.

Exclusive Francisco Lindor autographs given out during the Topps Q&A

Showing off my Babe Ruth/Shohei Ohtani dual relic #’ed 1/1 at the Leaf booth

Getting to hold a Hank Aaron 1954 Topps #128 PSA 10

1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle SGC 9

1917 Collins-McCarthy (E135) #147 Babe Ruth SGC 8

Willie Mays – 1952 Topps SGC 9, 1951 Bowman SGC 9, 1953 Topps SGC 9.5

1961 Topps Dice Game # Mickey Mantle SGC 1.5

1909 Sweet Caporal T206 Honus Wagner SGC 4

Babe Ruth Tobacco Tin

1956 Oversized Baseball Signed by 53 Yankees in 1956 Spring Training

Penn State Athletic Director 1992 Fiesta Bowl Trophy

1976 Topps Football 15 Box Cello Case $110,000

NFL logo patches

Vintage golf balls