Monday, February 3, 2014

2014 Topps Baseball jumbo hobby box

Sport:  Baseball
Product:  2014 Topps Baseball Jumbo box
Break Date:  February 1, 2014
Hit Breakdown:  One Autograph, Two Relics
Summary:  2014 Topps Baseball is certainly no large departure from the past few years. But, while all of the usual bells and whistles are there, Topps still had a few tricks up its sleeves with this year's release.

The buzz early was about the short prints. Along with the regular photo variations, Topps included a "sparkle" version this year - small light flares hidden in various spots on certain cards. The sparkles seem to show up more rarely than the photo variations, and this particular jumbo box didn't have one - there was one photo variation, Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Each jumbo box advertises one auto and two relics. The hits in my box were basically mediocre - a Jake Marisnick auto, a David Price jersey card, and a Babe Ruth manufactured ring card. The Ruth is a neat card, and weighs a decent amount. But, if you're opening Topps, you're probably not chasing hits - you're more likely to be a set builder.

That said, this jumbo box had exactly 99.7% of the set in it:  out of 331 cards, I had 330 of them. It's pretty frustrating to be so close, honestly.

But, my biggest gripe (and we're nitpicking here) is the stamped buybacks, which fall two per box. In the 2014 boxes, Topps has inserted vintage cards, stamped them with a 75th anniversary silver foil. The two that came out of my box were guys I'd never heard of, which is fine...if the cards were in good shape.

These things were beat to hell.

Granted, we're talking about cards that are over 30 years old. But, if it was a vintage star – Hank Aaron, for example – I wouldn't so much care about condition because the novelty would have been cool. But where's the excitement when I pull a 1971 Floyd Wicker, and the card is in awful shape?

If you're going to include vintage, it either needs to be primarily stars (even if they're harder to pull), or in good shape. They can't be neither, in my opinion.

All told, 2014 Topps Jumbo is a decent buy. The base cards look good, the inserts are attractive, you're getting three hits, and there's a good amount of parallels per box.

But, I just can't get past the ridiculous vintage stuff. So, if anyone wants my Floyd Wicker, post a comment below and we'll send it your way, on the house.

Grade for the product:  B+
Grade for the break:  B-

What we pulled:

Trajectory Autographs:  Jake Marisnick
Trajectory Relics:  David Price
Class Rings Silver:  Babe Ruth
Short Print Photo Variation:  Hyun-Jin Ryu
Gold parallel /2012 (1:2):  Travis D'Arnaud (RC), Nick Castellanos (RC), Buddy Boshers (RC), Yordano Ventura (RC), AL Wins Leaders
Red Hot Foil parallel (1:1):  Adeiny Hechavarria, Jason Grilli, Alex Gordon, Josh Fields, Boone Logan, Mike Carp, Jeremy Guthrie, Justin Smoak, Jason Frasor, Joaquin Benoit
Stamped Buybacks (Two per box):  Floyd Wicker (1971), Phil Gagliano (1974)
All-Rookie Cup (1:4):  Ken Griffey Jr., Joe Morgan, CC Sabathia
Before They Were Great (1:4):  Reggie Jackson, Joe DiMaggio
50 Years of the Draft (1:4):  Johnny Bench, David Price
Power Players code (1:3):  Jeff Samardzija, Elvis Andrus, Cole Hamels
1989 Die-Cut Mini (1:2):  Cal Ripken, Jr., George Brett, Nolan Ryan, Tony Gwynn, Joe Morgan
Upper Class (1:1):  Cal Ripken, Jr., Giancarlo Stanton (x2), Jered Weaver (x2), Prince Fielder, Mike Trout, Albert Belle, Troy Tulowitzki, Gary Carter
The Future Is Now (1:1):  Zack Wheeler, Wil Myers, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Shelby Miller FN-1 (x2), Shelby Miller FN-3, Jean Segura, Mike Trout, Jurickson Profar, Yasiel Puig

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