Thursday, July 7, 2016

2016 Topps Stadium Club hobby box

Sport:  Baseball
Product:  2016 Stadium Club hobby box
Break Date:  July 2, 2016
Hit Breakdown:  Two autographs
Summary:  Last year's Stadium Club release was one of my favorites since I got back into collecting. I thought Topps did a phenomenal job on all fronts - from the card design to the photography to the variation of players included in the set.

So, I was pretty stoked when the new version came out, and a buddy and I went to the LCS to pick up a box. Again, I think Topps hit it out of the park.

Back was the fantastic photography, featuring full-bleed photos that cover a variety of shooting styles. Some are action shots, others are more candid moments. I don't love the way they treaded the names this year on the front, though. Where last year's were kinda hard to read with the really light font weight, I think the last names in a hollow font aren't a whole lot better.

This year's release boasts one parallel or insert per pack, so there are plenty of sets to chase along with the two hits per box.

On to the details:

The two autos were pretty terrible. It's a deep auto checklist so I don't expect much, and didn't get much. One was some dude that pitches in the Cleveland system, T.J. House. He seems to be popping up in a lot of boxes. The other was a Red Sox pitcher, Brian Johnson. He's another guy that I see in a lot of breaks, but at least he's a Gator alum, so it's a PC card.

There were two nice hits in the box - a Black and White/Orange Foil Josh Harrison, which are pretty tough to pull. 

The other was a Rickey Henderson Buyback. The Buybacks aren't easy to pull, but Topps really botched this one. There's no way to differentiate the buyback from the original card. No stamp, no embossing, no certificate noting it's a buyback...nothing at all to tell the buyback from the original. I had it listed on eBay and got two separate messages asking how to tell it was a buyback, and I had no good answer.

All in all, while the break wasn't great, it wasn't terrible. For the most part, a lot of the value in Stadium Club is in the parallels, and with the B&W, the Buyback, and some decent names in the parallels and inserts, it was a fun break. And, like I said, I love the design and the photography, so there are points to be had there.

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

Autographs:  Brian Johnson, T.J. House
Buybacks:  Rickey Henderson (1997 Stadium Club)
Black and White with Orange Foil:  Josh Harrison
Black Foil:  T.J. House, Didi Gregorious
Gold Foil:  Bryce Harper, Felix Hernandez, Edgar Martinez, Rick Porcello, Kyle Gibson
Beam Team:  Omar Vizquel
Contact Sheet:  Kris Bryant, Nolan Arenado, Josh Donaldson
IsoMetrics:  Miguel Cabrera, Kevin Kiermaier
Triumvirate (Luminous):  Miguel Sano, Andrew Miller

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