Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen blaster

Sport:  Baseball
Product:  2014 Topps Gypsy Queen
Break Date:  April 12, 2014
Hit Breakdown:  None
Summary:  Topps Gypsy Queen has been one of my favorite products of the last few years. I really like the retro look of the base cards, the set is full of good-looking inserts, and I like the post production effects they use on the photos.

So, when I saw the pretty loaded breaks that were showing up out of the 2014 version, I figured it was time to give it a shot.

Retail can be really hit or miss in general, and obviously for the most part, the message board posts about huge hits out of retail products are the exception, not the rule

But my first blaster? Loaded - with a capital "L."

The first pack had a red mini, numbered to 99 - seeded o. In general I hate minis - they're harder to store, and they never come out of the pack in pristine shape because they're so small they shift around. Stated odds on the reds are 1:9, which is odd considering the odds on blacks are 1:12 but the blacks are numbered out of 199, a larger print run.

This red was a high numbered short print - the player? Masahiro Tanaka, one of the hottest names out there right now. This card went straight up to eBay.

There were some really nice inserts - a couple of Darvish inserts, a Trout insert, and a few N174 inserts, which are a duotone insert set that's pretty common (1:4 packs) but looks really, really great. I also pulled a black mini, Mike Minor.

Gypsy Queen has had photo variations in the past, and this year, they've used a reverse negative as the gimmick. These cards are seeded 1:198 packs - a pretty tough retail pull. So, it was a pretty big hit when the Wacha reverse negative card came out of the 6th pack.

Then, to top it all off, the last pack yielded a mini framed relic, a Kyle Seager jersey card (1:83 packs).

I'm always curious whether Topps intentionally front-loads their retail product to generate buzz - it certainly seems that way. This was one of the better blasters I've ever opened, even if there was no autograph. 

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

Mini Relic:  Kyle Seager
Base Card Variation:  Michael Wacha
Red Mini /99:  Masahiro Tanaka
Black Mini /199:  Mike Minor
High Number Short Print:  Willie Mays
N174:  Wade Boggs, Clayton Kershaw
Glove Stories:  Mike Trout
Dealing Aces:  Randy Johnson, Yu Darvish
Debut All-Stars:  Yu Darvish

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