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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

Pin Highlight: 2017 Williamsport Sun-Gazette LLWS Gorilla Pin

Baseball season might be over.  The weather is getting colder.  Christmas music has begun to play.  But in my mind though its still the summer.  And that means the Little League World Series.  With that comes pins.  Lots and lots of pins!!!

The Williamsport Sun-Gazette was founded in 1801, and issued their first pin in 2004.  Since then, they have regularly sold pins while the Little League World Series takes place.  Every year its exciting to see what new designs they come up with.

Ten new pins were released this past August.  Each one is limited to only (125) pins.  In terms of pins, that isn’t many.  That’s probably why I haven’t seen any 2017 Sun-Gazette pins show up on the secondary market yet.  The Sun-Gazette never sells them online.  You have to purchase them in person.  Low quantity combined with in person only availability holds them back from surfacing.

Most of their pins are baseball themed.  Some aren’t.  The craziest pin they made for 2017 has nothing on it pertaining to baseball.  It measures 3″ and has a gorilla on top of the Sun-Gazette building.  They sold t-shirts with this image on them.  It reminds me a lot of King Kong or that arcade game Rampage.

Rockies ’17 Topps Update All-Star Relic Contest! – NOW CLOSED

This contest is for a Charlie Blackmon 2017 Topps Update Series All-Star Stitches Event-Worn Jersey.  Good luck!!!

Contest Details:

  • This contest will end Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • To enter, please leave a comment in this post.
  • You can enter once per day.
  • The winner will be selected at random.
  • Please provide a valid e-mail address when entering.
  • The winner will receive an e-mail when the contest is over.
  • The winner has one week to send me their contact information or the contest will be held again.
  • Once the contest is over, I will need the winner’s mailing address so I can ship them this card for FREE!!!

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 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