Part of my monthly card show purchase a couple of weeks ago was something I hadn't bought in quite a while. I splurged for a hobby box of 2016 Topps, for a couple of reasons. First, I'm building the set, so instead of piecing it together with a shit load of retail packs, I thought I may as well get it over with (most of it anyhow) in one shot. Second, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
First of all, the base set collation was good. I only pulled one duplicate (Mark Melancon) which I can live with. Second, I was very curious as to what I was going to pull when the dealer said "good luck" after I paid for the box. Lottery, here I come! I needed just 40 cards to complete Series 1 after opening the box, and that dropped to 30 after opening a couple of rack packs. Manageable for sure.
I do not mind the base set, there are some good photos in there. I like that Topps included World Series, team cards and cards like the Hollywood Production card (battery powered, a cute play on words).
As it is every year, the inserts are just too damn tedious for me. I don't care for them, and never will.
Nice pairs of teammates on these cards, but they just don't fit for me. I'll never be a master set builder, so these are available.
OK, I get it, these guys got to pitch. Did any of them do it a few days after an appendectomy? If not, then I would say that they were hardly "pressed into service". Unless they did it just after their uniform was ironed. Available to anyone who wants them.
Cards commemorating a ceremonial baseball toss. Only Mo'ne Davis should be on one of these, the rest of them I'm sure didn't get their pitch to the plate. Even better, Carrie Brownstein was in the box twice. Anyone want any of these?
Perspecitves. OK, some pretty good names and photography on these. I'll call this the insert set of the year so far. Still, not my cup of tea. I also pulled Craig Biggio twice. Up for grabs to anyone...
LOL!! Berger's Best in my opinion is just a rehash of "Cards Your Mom Threw Out" a few years ago. For me, it's a big fail.
The 100 years of Wrigley is a nice tribute to a stadium that I still have to visit someday. All 4 of these cards are available.
Now, these 3 cards are truly a mixed bag of emotions for me. One, they made me laugh. Helping me enjoy my box break certainly helped. Maybe these would have been better in the Opening Day release, which is more geared to the younger collector, in my opinion. The kielbasa catchers mitt is my favorite of these...which are all available.
Another type of parallel set. Foil. Sorry kids, no comment on these. They're available.
All of you who have read my blog over the years knows that I enjoy a good gold, pink, black, blue, green or yellow parallel. But the borderless cards for 2016 really make these parallels disappointing for me. I really liked pulling gold parallels from packs the past few years, because you could actually tell they were gold. I actually missed the Gordon and Holliday cards until I looked at all the cards a 2nd time. Not good. These 5 are available. Speak now.
I really haven't pulled any great hits from hobby boxes (outside of the Gwynn auto a few years back from A&G). This Mauer jersey with a thin pinstripe isn't that bad though. Joe does need a shave though. It's available to any Twin or Mauer collectors in the blogosphere.
I didn't bother scanning the 2 buyback cards that I pulled, because to be honest I'm tired of the concept. Would rather have had 2 base cards that I needed rather than a '74 Boots Day or a '84 Ron Oester with the special stamp on them. You want them? Let me know.
I'm no designer, so I will not comment too much on the design other than to say it's OK, but I do miss the borders. Leave the full bleed to Stadium Club or the other higher end products is what I say. Want to make me happy Topps? Cut the number of inserts down, or failing that, quit reusing old ideas.
That's my $60 worth...
All of these cards are available....leave a comment, and if you only want 1 or 2 of these cards, let me know if a PWE works for you.
Thanks for reading, Robert