Monday, November 05, 2007

Box Break and Review: 2007 Topps Series Three

Ladies and Gentlemen. What you are about to experience is an experiment in extreme baseball card gonzo journalism. Your humble correspondent will simulate the level of effort Topps has put forth in issuing Updates and Highlights Series Three, by writing this review at approximately that same level. Also, in an effort to amplify the gonzo process, this piece is being written in the haze of an awful hangover; as your correspondent attended last night's Cowboys vs. Eagles Sunday Night Football debacle.

"Buy the ticket to the Eagles game, take the ride!"

One box of 2007 Topps Updates and Highlights Series Three (paid $55)
36 packs per box, ten cards per pack (MSRP: $1.49/pack)

The Details:

Chiptoppers: One individually wrapped Chrome "Rookie" Refractor (55 cards, numbered to 415 copies)

Base Set: 330 cards (no short-prints)

"Red Letters:" 330 cards (2:1, "stealth" insert)
Gold: 330 cards (1:4, numbered to 2007)
First Edition: 330 cards (1:36)
Platinum: 330 cards (1:9700, one-of-one)

The Mickey Mantle Story: 15 cards (1:18)
Barry Bonds Home Run King: one card (1:36)
WS Watch: 15 cards (1:36)

Waste-of-Space Mirrors:
Mickey Mantle Home Run History: 100 cards (1:9)
A-Rod Road to 500: 25 cards (1:36)
Barry Bonds Home Run History: 22 cards (1:12)
Generation Now: 186 cards (1:4)

Barry Bonds Home Run King Autographed Relic: one card (1:278,000)
Barry Bonds Home Run King Relic: one card (1:5145, numbered to 756)
2007 Highlight Autographs: 26 cards (varies)
A-Rod Road to 500 Autographs: 25 cards (1:500,000, one-of-one)
Generation Now Autographs: 186 cards (1:11,000, one-of-one)
Mickey Mantle Home Run History Relic: 100 cards (1:5550)
1954 Mickey Mantle Reprint Relic: one card (1:73,000)
All-Star Stitches: 52 cards (1:45)
All-Star Patches: 52 cards (1:2500)
All-Star Dual Stitches: ten cards (1:5600)
All-Star Stitches Triples: ten cards (1:5600)

* One autogamer per box.

The Pulls:

Base Set: 253 of 330 (76.67%)
One double

72 "Red Letters"
9 Golds: J. Wilson, J. Salazar, C. Izturis, N. Perez, J. Accardo, T. Clippard, J. Coutlangus, B. Salmon, J. Verlander Season Highlight
1 First Edition: D. Jeter All-Star
1 Chrome "Rookie" Refractor: T. Buck

2 Mickey Mantle Story
1 Barry Bonds Home Run King
1 WS Watch: Tigers

Waste-of-Space Mirrors:
9 Generation Now: P. Fielder (#11), I. Kinsler (#5 & 19), K. Johjima (#9), J. Papelbon (#8, 28 & 31), C. Granderson (#2), J. Barfield (#24)
4 Mickey Mantle Home Run History: #406, 407, 408 & 411
3 Barry Bonds Home Run History: #735, 736 & 746
1 A-Rod Road to 500: #377

1 Barry Bonds Home Run King Relic

The Review:

I think Ben Henry (who in the interest of full-disclosure, has done some consulting work for Topps) said it best on his blog:

"Topps' strategy towards their baseball card products has been somewhat predictable this year, and these developments only cement their reputation. It begs the question: Do they employ the worst quality-control staffers in the
business? Or do they have such a grim outlook towards their own product that they feel it won't sell without an error or two?"

By now you've undoubtedly heard about the squirrel card, the three different contrived variations of Joba Chamberlain, and the Game Jersey cards that are labeled as patch cards, and the patch cards labeled as regular old jersey cards. All of this wouldn't bother me if the rest of the product didn't suck.

The Bottom Line:

It's a shame that Topps no longer makes Updates and Highlights Series Three as a factory set. If they did, I'd gladly recommend that you buy one instead of a waxbox. You're not going to come close to a complete set, and most of the inserts you pull serve no purpose.

Since you can't get factory, save yourself the $55-$60 and see if you can find a hand-collated set.

Product Rating: 2 Gumsticks (out of five)


Anonymous said...

Can you describe the Barry Homerun Relic? Is it a jersey/bat card?


dayf said...

Totally agree on the factory set. Opening packs and looking through the checklist shows there are maybe 10 decent veterans, a bunch of rookies, most of which won't pan out(or aren't true RCs), and a ton of subset cards. Save the Mantle history cards, the inserts all suck really bad and the red parallels do nothing for set completion.

I'm just waiting for the Wal-Mart blasters to come out so I can pick up a couple and finish off the Wal-Mart history insert set I've been collecting.

I second Tragik, I'd like to see the Barry relic too.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure there will be no factory set?

If I recall correctly, the U&H factory set the previous couple of years didn't come out until at least 2-4 weeks after the hobby packs were released.

Chris Harris said...

The Barry Bonds Relic card I pulled is, for all intents and purposes, a parallel of the Barry Bonds Home Run King insert. The only exception being the presence of a jersey swatch in the lower-right hand corner, and the serial-number on the back.

Anonymous said...

So it's probably one of the few if not ONLY Barry Bonds memorabilia card, right?

It's gotta book for $40 bucks easily.

-Wax Heaven