by Rich Klein
The package I received from Topps this week made me wonder if we were going back to the days when hair bands were an important part of music and network television was still reasonably relevant. I do write about this but in today’s hobby world unless you are a bit older the movement from a base card hobby to a “hit’ based hobby is staggering. The package I received had two boxes: One was Topps Opening Day and the other was 2013 Topps Stickers. Talk about blasts from the past in terms of opening experience.
I’m one of the few collectors who actually likes ripping the Opening Day box each year. The box always has a few inexpensive inserts as well as a mix of cards with photos which already appeared in series one to go with cards with photos collectors will see in series two. Plus a collector receives a significant number of cards for a reasonable price which is good for adults—and the kids this product is really all about. From mascot cards (some of which are autographed) to goofy pictures of players clowning around, the content is meant to be fun.
Each box contains 36 packs with seven cards per pack. My local card store (Triple Cards, Plano TX) has sold a few boxes at $34.25 per box and thinks there are more autographs in these boxes than in previous years while leading online retailers are currently between $27-30 for unopened boxes.
Here’s what came out:
Base cards: 205 of 220 with four duplicates. Remember when I said I felt like I was back in the 1980’s? Each pack I opened had 1-2 cards with severe right/left centering problems. Some of the cards actually had no border on one side. Ouch.
Blue Parallels (#d to 2013): Alex Cobb, Tim Lincecum, Jonathon Niese, Ivan Nova, J.J. Putz, Jimmy Rollins, Barry Zito
Mascots: Arizona Diamondbacks, Atlanta Braves, Dinger, Orbit,Pirate Parrot, Paws, Raymond, Toronto Blue Jays
Playmakers: Alex Gordon, Bryce Harper, Matt Kemp, Joe Mauer, Dustin Pedroia, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Ruiz
Stars: Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Felix Hernandez, Matt Kemp, Evan Longoria (2), David Wright
Overall we received about what one does expect from a typical Opening Day Box. Is this a product in which big hits are usually found? Despite some positive movement on that front with SP photo variations of which we got none and some better player autographs, this is a product which is best served as a nice way to focus on the best aspects of the basic 2013 Topps product without having to collect as many cards. Since two boxes should finish this set easily, the overall cost of finishing a base set and getting some inserts is actually less than the cost of a Topps Series One box.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]