Sports Cards Mania

JimywockyTranslator

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 21, 2005
299
Minneapolis
That's me (the guy who was scammed, not the umpire).

Edit to add: Yes, it's the MLB ump. And, yes, I raised the Buy It Now price to keep the listing active for a while, because I suspect Lew would love to buy the card for $500 to take the listing down, but he's probably not willing to go to $2727.27.
This is amazing. I followed the original story on BlowoutForums and had no idea you were on SoSH. Please never sell the card and keep it on eBay just to draw attention to it so Lew can be exposed for the scammer that he is.
 

Traut

lost his degree
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
12,811
My Desk
It is pretty normal Heritage stuff. If you like the rookie auto list and stye it can be fun. It is overpriced though.
Heritage tends to be for set builders. You have a massive 500 card checklist. And really pretty long odds on any autos. To each there own, I don’t set build but sometimes buy heritage singles because they can look cool. Added bonus of on card autos.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
21,943
Anyone open this year's Heritage yet? Is it crap or what? I was thinking of ordering a box or two.
Another note if you don't know:

Cards 1-100 Are SPs this year, meaning if you really want the complete set, you will essentially be forced to buy singles. Otherwise your set will be 101-500.

link
As has been the case for the past several years, the base set includes 100 short prints (1:3 packs). This is where one of the big changes comes in as the SPs move from the end of the checklist to the start. For those simply wanting to build a shell set of the 400 main cards, that now means going from #101-500 (replacing #407, a stray short print, with #82, not an SP). From a set building perspective, that gap at the front a lot different and harder to ignore than when they land at the end.
 

staz

Intangible
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2004
21,178
The cradle of the game.
Decided I'm out on '24 Topps flagship, and really grinding on what to do about Heritage - '75 is my favorite design. Everyone seems to be very dissatisfied with box collating, with some nowhere near a 1-500 complete set even after cracking 2 hobby cases (in theory, 192 SPs). I've seen a 1-500 set as low as $249 delivered on eBay, but I did that last year and the experience was not all that fun honestly. Now I'm thinking of buying a hoard of someone's castaway base (just to sort through, roll around in:) and pay up for a few of the really fun SSPs, like Rice 3D and Lynn 3D.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 2, 2006
11,362
NJ
That dissatisfaction is exactly what leads me to ripping wax even though I know 99% of the time it’s a loss and a waste of time/money. But man is it so much more fun than just buying something.
 

DanoooME

above replacement level
SoSH Member
Mar 16, 2008
20,032
Henderson, NV
I don't necessarily think SPs are a bad thing in and of themselves, just because it's fun to chase them. The real problem is what players they make SPs. The set should be the 400 best guys as the base set and then the 100 SPs are the 100 worst guys you put in the set. That way there's value to set collectors and player collectors don't have to pay an arm and a leg for popular short prints with a limited supply.
 

jmanny24

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2003
650
Sorry about the formatting
So I couldn't resist trying to help out the alma mater's scholarship fund and participated in my first non-Ebay auction (I felt like I was on Storage Wars LOL). Ended up with my first 3 cards in my quest for the 1903 Boston Americans (1st Sox world series) roster. Got these 3 for $265 including buyer's premium. 1714849369944.jpegjake stahl.jpgstone.jpg
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
So we've had Bowman out for nearly a week, more 2024 in Baseball Cards really. Kind of like Topps Series 1, I think the product itself is really solid. Topps has done a good job at stabilizing another highly desirable, hard to hit insert that nails its look (the '55 Bowman Anime style has been done by Panini and Leaf but Topps does it well here). The checklist is one of the strongest Bowmans in recent memories - the Sox have five of their Top 30 prospects and two of their Top 10 guys with chases everywhere and are still not one of the Top 3 teams in the product. It's just...overpriced. That's what it works out to, and I'm starting to see that breaking audiences and purchasing audiences are starting to tire on it. The breaker I still follow had substantial interest in their first five caser, the second one had people dropping out on a ton of guys, and their "Breakers Choice" break got so little interest they had to cancel it. It's Bowman so it still sells well, but we're not even getting that huge early break sales bump. Dylan Crews is the biggest name in the set and his base autos, less than a week in, are selling for about the cost of a hobby box. Kyle Teel is selling for less than half. Even last year pulling a Druw Jones opening week, or Wyatt Langford, would generally pay for the box. Now it needs to not only be a top guy but -if not THE top guy - also needs to be a numbered one. I watched a teams break where the Red Sox cost $240

Bowman also has the issue with differing populations of player autos. I've probably watched 20-30 cases of this be opened (not being involved in them) and the sheer number of Antonio Anderson autos I have seen (the "worst" of the Sox prospects) has been nuts.. I've seen as many Antonio Anderson's in one case than I've seen Kyle Teels in 30. Not a huge issue until you see Antonio Anderson autos are a $10-$15 card. This is an issue year over year but given the high cost of boxes driving people to breaks, people are buying breaks as if there is an equal chance of hitting Dylan Crews or Kyle Teel as much as Antonio Anderson or Byron Chourio and it's just not that way.

With that said, a lot of folks are saying Blaster Value is much better this year, so maybe that's the way?
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
21,943
So we've had Bowman out for nearly a week, more 2024 in Baseball Cards really. Kind of like Topps Series 1, I think the product itself is really solid. Topps has done a good job at stabilizing another highly desirable, hard to hit insert that nails its look (the '55 Bowman Anime style has been done by Panini and Leaf but Topps does it well here). The checklist is one of the strongest Bowmans in recent memories - the Sox have five of their Top 30 prospects and two of their Top 10 guys with chases everywhere and are still not one of the Top 3 teams in the product. It's just...overpriced. That's what it works out to, and I'm starting to see that breaking audiences and purchasing audiences are starting to tire on it. The breaker I still follow had substantial interest in their first five caser, the second one had people dropping out on a ton of guys, and their "Breakers Choice" break got so little interest they had to cancel it. It's Bowman so it still sells well, but we're not even getting that huge early break sales bump. Dylan Crews is the biggest name in the set and his base autos, less than a week in, are selling for about the cost of a hobby box. Kyle Teel is selling for less than half. Even last year pulling a Druw Jones opening week, or Wyatt Langford, would generally pay for the box. Now it needs to not only be a top guy but -if not THE top guy - also needs to be a numbered one. I watched a teams break where the Red Sox cost $240

Bowman also has the issue with differing populations of player autos. I've probably watched 20-30 cases of this be opened (not being involved in them) and the sheer number of Antonio Anderson autos I have seen (the "worst" of the Sox prospects) has been nuts.. I've seen as many Antonio Anderson's in one case than I've seen Kyle Teels in 30. Not a huge issue until you see Antonio Anderson autos are a $10-$15 card. This is an issue year over year but given the high cost of boxes driving people to breaks, people are buying breaks as if there is an equal chance of hitting Dylan Crews or Kyle Teel as much as Antonio Anderson or Byron Chourio and it's just not that way.

With that said, a lot of folks are saying Blaster Value is much better this year, so maybe that's the way?
Way to make me feel bad about my Antonio Anderson auto, bro.

Yeah, it's all about to turn to shit. If I was collecting for ROI, I would be panicking right now. I still love doing a big enough team break to guarantee me the team set and gamble on Sox hits, knowing I'm gonna have to buy all the Yaz color/numbers as singles. But that's a mix of gambling and YouTube entertainment, not a good model for sustainability. The base products are absolutely junk at this point (attractive junk, mind you).

Edit: I got the 1/1 pink Heritage Mini (FUN product!) Yaz/Cepeda at a pretty reasonable price.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
Way to make me feel bad about my Antonio Anderson auto, bro.

Yeah, it's all about to turn to shit. If I was collecting for ROI, I would be panicking right now. I still love doing a big enough team break to guarantee me the team set and gamble on Sox hits, knowing I'm gonna have to buy all the Yaz color/numbers as singles. But that's a mix of gambling and YouTube entertainment, not a good model for sustainability. The base products are absolutely junk at this point (attractive junk, mind you).

Edit: I got the 1/1 pink Heritage Mini (FUN product!) Yaz/Cepeda at a pretty reasonable price.
Haha sorry, that's also my only non Teel Sox auto so... Same. Nice pick up on the 1/1, Mini Heritage seemed fun
 

CheapSeats

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2011
400
I'm interested in getting back into (mostly baseball) card collecting, which I haven't done for ~25 years. Recently I've been picking up packs/hangers/whatever is locked behind the counter at Walmart checkout. I don't really know what to look for in terms of finding "good products" and even looking over checklists from various offerings is a bit overwhelming. I'm not really looking for any players in particular, and just enjoy the experience of cracking packs, and seeing what I get. I know if there were specific cards I wanted, buying the singles on eBay makes way more sense in terms of getting what I want (I can now afford those early 00's hockey jersey patch cards that I spent oh so much money trying to acquire pack-by-pack back in the day).

In general, though, I'm interested in products that have any/all of these offerings:
  • Autographs (products that give a higher hit rate with a premium are acceptable, just not those $1,000 relic boxes with 2 cards)
  • "Relics" - any sort of game-worn/used items on cards.
  • Alternative frames, especially those that verge further off the beaten path, beyond something like the rainbow that the base Topps has
  • Similarly, I liked the idea of the Allen & Ginter cigarette cards, but the card feel was a little underwhelming (probably by design), and there felt like a lack of "special" cards. Or the hit rate was just too low. Or I was buying the wrong product.
  • Nice runs of retired players (for instance, I like the Yaz cards from upthread).
I imagine a lot of people want these things, so I'm sure I'm not unique. My goal is more collecting, though. I'm not interested in finding hits to sell, so the potential to get X rookie card isn't really a motivation as much as getting some sort of exciting hang-it-on-the-wall variety.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

Traut

lost his degree
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
12,811
My Desk
I'm interested in getting back into (mostly baseball) card collecting, which I haven't done for ~25 years. Recently I've been picking up packs/hangers/whatever is locked behind the counter at Walmart checkout. I don't really know what to look for in terms of finding "good products" and even looking over checklists from various offerings is a bit overwhelming. I'm not really looking for any players in particular, and just enjoy the experience of cracking packs, and seeing what I get. I know if there were specific cards I wanted, buying the singles on eBay makes way more sense in terms of getting what I want (I can now afford those early 00's hockey jersey patch cards that I spent oh so much money trying to acquire pack-by-pack back in the day).

In general, though, I'm interested in products that have any/all of these offerings:
  • Autographs (products that give a higher hit rate with a premium are acceptable, just not those $1,000 relic boxes with 2 cards)
  • "Relics" - any sort of game-worn/used items on cards.
  • Alternative frames, especially those that verge further off the beaten path, beyond something like the rainbow that the base Topps has
  • Similarly, I liked the idea of the Allen & Ginter cigarette cards, but the card feel was a little underwhelming (probably by design), and there felt like a lack of "special" cards. Or the hit rate was just too low. Or I was buying the wrong product.
  • Nice runs of retired players (for instance, I like the Yaz cards from upthread).
I imagine a lot of people want these things, so I'm sure I'm not unique. My goal is more collecting, though. I'm not interested in finding hits to sell, so the potential to get X rookie card isn't really a motivation as much as getting some sort of exciting hang-it-on-the-wall variety.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
If your goal is collecting - ebay singles are by far the cheapest and most efficient way to go. The odds of a hit, let alone of a player you want, are really long.

If you are looking to rip and want things like autos, relics, etc. The best way to go is to buy Hobby Boxs or Jumbos which you can get from card stores or Topps.com. These boxes guarantee things like 1 auto per box or whatever.

You can buy a ton of blasters, hangers, fat packs before you ever see an auto.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
I'm interested in getting back into (mostly baseball) card collecting, which I haven't done for ~25 years. Recently I've been picking up packs/hangers/whatever is locked behind the counter at Walmart checkout. I don't really know what to look for in terms of finding "good products" and even looking over checklists from various offerings is a bit overwhelming. I'm not really looking for any players in particular, and just enjoy the experience of cracking packs, and seeing what I get. I know if there were specific cards I wanted, buying the singles on eBay makes way more sense in terms of getting what I want (I can now afford those early 00's hockey jersey patch cards that I spent oh so much money trying to acquire pack-by-pack back in the day).

In general, though, I'm interested in products that have any/all of these offerings:
  • Autographs (products that give a higher hit rate with a premium are acceptable, just not those $1,000 relic boxes with 2 cards)
  • "Relics" - any sort of game-worn/used items on cards.
  • Alternative frames, especially those that verge further off the beaten path, beyond something like the rainbow that the base Topps has
  • Similarly, I liked the idea of the Allen & Ginter cigarette cards, but the card feel was a little underwhelming (probably by design), and there felt like a lack of "special" cards. Or the hit rate was just too low. Or I was buying the wrong product.
  • Nice runs of retired players (for instance, I like the Yaz cards from upthread).
I imagine a lot of people want these things, so I'm sure I'm not unique. My goal is more collecting, though. I'm not interested in finding hits to sell, so the potential to get X rookie card isn't really a motivation as much as getting some sort of exciting hang-it-on-the-wall variety.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
To add on to Traut's fully correct guidance.

For hang it on the wall cards, I strongly, strongly recommend getting singles.. I've definitely hit my share of "hang it on the wall" cards from opening my own packs of cards and in breaks, but you need to spend a lot more doing that to get those cards than it just takes to buy the cards outright. Even for the Walmart Prices (so $20-$40 for a small box or $10 for a hanger) you can get genuinely cool, show off worthy cards on eBay. With that said, I get the thrill of the hunt, so going through your general wants and identifying products and opening of packs specifically to get there.

Autographs: Pretty much universally you're going to have to go to Hobby products to get these. The hobby products are cards they sell at card shops and through online distributors. The Walmart/Target Retail selections often either carry no autos or longer odds on autographs - you'd have to look product by product by odds to see that but retail rarely guarantees an auto except for minor league and non-licensed cards. "Luckily", pretty much every product from the most budget friendly product to the most expensive has reasonable chance at autographs. Personally, if I were autograph hunting on a budget, I like Stadium Club - hobby boxes guarantee two on card autos and the box cost isn't prohibitive - the checklist isn't great but the guarantee and look is there. Most other "entry level" products either don't guarantee an autograph (Topps Hobby Boxes, Allen and Ginter, Opening Day / Big League, Heritage) or require purchasing a "Jumbo" (bigger and pricier) box to get them. I think Big League is a sleeper consideration too, the odds are pretty good for an auto and the boxes are cheap - it's a kid centered product but it is fun. I will say generally you'll probably want to go to those mid-range products that run $200-$500 a box to start guaranteeing better names if that's a concern - if that's interesting let me know and I can break down those but you said that's not your speed and that's fine too (I get it, I don't generally dip into those products).

Relics: Relics are darn tricky. What I can say is that after a long spate of "player-worn" (aka they wore 50 shirts at a presser and then gave them to the card company) Topps has gotten better about indicating game-worn. Now what game? No idea for the most part, but it's a minor step up. I think for this it's more about determining what kind of relics you're looking for. For the lower priced products, I think Topps Heritage, Flagship Topps, and Allen and Ginter are all good for relics - most are game-worn, they all guarantee 1-3 per Hobby box (Topps Hobby may give an auto or a relic). It' snot like the old days where relic cards are rare, linked to specific games, and the like - only a very small subset of cards have those MLB authentication stickers that let you link the patch to a specific game or event. I believe only Topps Tribute (mid-high end) regularly produces relics that are authenticated back to a specific game. Luckily those aren't pricy as singles and is much less painful than opening a $500 box looking for it.

Alternative Frames: The parallel game is all over the place. One of my main complaints about, well, baseball cards (aka Topps) is that they're deeply unoriginal on using unique framing and colors for their parallels. I guess their Chrome Products (Bowman Chrome, Topps Chrome, etc.) are more interesting but honestly Topps is boring on this and as you get higher end it gets even worse. I'd probably say the Sapphire releases are probably the most interesting for alternative colors, and Allen and Ginter and Heritage for lower end are at least doing somewhat more interesting stuff but it's not great.

Ginter: It's a labor of love. People collect Ginter to build all the weird sets, for the oddball celebrities in the product, and the like. I'd never recommend it to a new collector unless I knew they'd laugh at hitting a card of a sandwich or a bird and were okay with only getting the rare occasional basic relic card. I also can't recommend Ginter Retail - odds are just too bad for the coolest stuff.

Retired Players - That's singles all day. They'll occasionally put retired players in modern products but there's not a ton of love for those cards as most people who want a Yaz will want a Yaz from when he played or will build a run from a specific set.

Now, for the product discussion

Walmart, Target, Barnes and Noble ,etc. will only be carrying certain products that are pretty much those entry level type products. I think for what you want, I'd probably say away from Topps Heritage - the odds of getting anything that you'll like from that is just really low. You might like Topps Archives (generally out in the fall) - a ton of retro designs, decent enough auto odds, variants ,etc. For right now, we're kind of in the quieter seasons so Topps Series 1 and Bowman (prospects) will be your best choices - Bowman is an okay shot for prospect autographs at least and parallel cards. I also think Bowman has decent odds for that "wall" card, though a lot needs to go right for that to happen (hitting a rarer auto or parallel, and then that player being something) but you see more of those pop up than other products IMO. I don't think I've bought retail in a few months, but yeah if I did right now it's Bowman in general or probably Topps Series 1 for MLB, though I don't like the latter that much. Maybe Big League.

Again though, I can't recommend enough to just buy singles - I've found a lot of "value" for my money in great singles from mid-tier ($200-$500 a box) products. Like, this card sold for $120 - which is less than half the cost (of a two card) box, you'll need INSANE luck to top this for the price of 4-5 blasters if you want a card to show off. There are some super cool and good looking cards out there for the $25 Walmart wants for a box.
 

CheapSeats

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2011
400
Big thanks to the both of you. I really appreciate the insight from folks that know the landscape of the hobby in great detail.

My feelings on cracking packs vs. buying singles is really about the thrill of the hunt, I guess. Like a coin collector, there's a different feeling in finding a gem in your loose change vs. buying a chase pre-slabbed quarter, of course the cost disparity in getting to your gem is quite high.

I get what you are both saying about singles, though. I'm sure there are a lot of players/frames/looks that I would love to own and could buy for short money compared to even one hobby box. Just looking at the 2024 Series 1 checklist and then looking at the odds and the eBay prices, I can see why you're both landing in the singles camp. This might just be a recalibration of how I view the values of cards. It's crazy to me that I can get a PSA 9 Johnny Bench from an actual year he played for a BiN that's only a fraction of the going rate for the LHA-2 in 2024 Series 1, but I realize that the LHA-2 is likely considerably more scarce, and that's a listing not a completed sale.

You might like Topps Archives (generally out in the fall) - a ton of retro designs, decent enough auto odds, variants ,etc. For right now, we're kind of in the quieter seasons so Topps Series 1 and Bowman (prospects) will be your best choices - Bowman is an okay shot for prospect autographs at least and parallel cards.
The cynic in me says that all of the Topps products are just additional opportunities for money grabs, but you have taken the time to pick out products you think would be better of me, so I know there has to be some differences. Topps Series 1 (which I'm assuming is the Flagship? I know they do a Series 2 later in the year and that the frames generally feel the most like the cards of yore), Heritage, Stadium Club, Chrome, Archives, what's the real difference between these? Just the look? Is there a good place to get the details and previews of the cards in the different sets, beyond just the checklists?

Ginter: It's a labor of love. People collect Ginter to build all the weird sets, for the oddball celebrities in the product, and the like. I'd never recommend it to a new collector unless I knew they'd laugh at hitting a card of a sandwich or a bird and were okay with only getting the rare occasional basic relic card. I also can't recommend Ginter Retail - odds are just too bad for the coolest stuff.
Yeah, I did actually enjoy the goofy additions, it definitely scratched a nostalgia itch. Glad I wasn't wrong that it felt like the retail wasn't providing much variety. Possibly worth a hobby box purchase down the road.

Retired Players - That's singles all day. They'll occasionally put retired players in modern products but there's not a ton of love for those cards as most people who want a Yaz will want a Yaz from when he played or will build a run from a specific set.
I'm realizing after looking at the checklist and looking at odds, it's definitely not something to hope for when cracking packs, though I find it cool to pull some of the retired players in the Series 1 1989 frames, even though this isn't much of a "hit" in the way an auto or relic would be.


Again, thank you, searching eBay for interesting singles may end up being more dangerous than browsing for hobby boxes.
 

Ale Xander

Hamilton
SoSH Member
Oct 31, 2013
75,412
I'm interested in getting back into (mostly baseball) card collecting, which I haven't done for ~25 years. Recently I've been picking up packs/hangers/whatever is locked behind the counter at Walmart checkout. I don't really know what to look for in terms of finding "good products" and even looking over checklists from various offerings is a bit overwhelming. I'm not really looking for any players in particular, and just enjoy the experience of cracking packs, and seeing what I get. I know if there were specific cards I wanted, buying the singles on eBay makes way more sense in terms of getting what I want (I can now afford those early 00's hockey jersey patch cards that I spent oh so much money trying to acquire pack-by-pack back in the day).

In general, though, I'm interested in products that have any/all of these offerings:
  • Autographs (products that give a higher hit rate with a premium are acceptable, just not those $1,000 relic boxes with 2 cards)
  • "Relics" - any sort of game-worn/used items on cards.
  • Alternative frames, especially those that verge further off the beaten path, beyond something like the rainbow that the base Topps has
  • Similarly, I liked the idea of the Allen & Ginter cigarette cards, but the card feel was a little underwhelming (probably by design), and there felt like a lack of "special" cards. Or the hit rate was just too low. Or I was buying the wrong product.
  • Nice runs of retired players (for instance, I like the Yaz cards from upthread).
I imagine a lot of people want these things, so I'm sure I'm not unique. My goal is more collecting, though. I'm not interested in finding hits to sell, so the potential to get X rookie card isn't really a motivation as much as getting some sort of exciting hang-it-on-the-wall variety.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Diamond Kings has/had attractive frames on some of their inserts
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 2, 2006
11,362
NJ
You’ll never be able to beat the feeling of cracking wax by buying singles, however, I think if you are ripping packs you either just need to accept that it’ll be a loss 99% of the time OR you need to rip enough that you’ll (likely) get something worth selling so you can pick up singles you actually want.

Mind you, I say this as someone who will continue to rip packs/boxes knowing it’s a loss nearly all the time.
 

Mugsy's Jock

Eli apologist
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 28, 2000
15,297
UWS, NYC
I love the thrill of the rip, and have no pretentions that it's anything like a good investment. Unless you consider spending $150 on a hobby box that'll take me 4-5 hours to rip and sort and catalogue a good use of my entertainment dollar, which I kind of do.

I rip a hobby box (or two) of flagship every year, just because that's what I've done pretty much since I was 7 years old buying 5-cards-for-a-nickel wax.

Value aside, Stadium Club for me is consistently the most beautiful set, with remarkable photography. Just wish it didn't come out so late in the year.
 

CheapSeats

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2011
400
You’ll never be able to beat the feeling of cracking wax by buying singles, however, I think if you are ripping packs you either just need to accept that it’ll be a loss 99% of the time OR you need to rip enough that you’ll (likely) get something worth selling so you can pick up singles you actually want.

Mind you, I say this as someone who will continue to rip packs/boxes knowing it’s a loss nearly all the time.
I love the thrill of the rip, and have no pretentions that it's anything like a good investment. Unless you consider spending $150 on a hobby box that'll take me 4-5 hours to rip and sort and catalogue a good use of my entertainment dollar, which I kind of do.
This is kind of where I'm at. I don't intend on buying boxes expecting or even hoping for pulls that can feed the addiction, but I enjoy cracking and pulling interesting stuff. I don't expect +EV. Also, it keeps me interested in teams/players I wouldn't otherwise pay attention to (I had this with fantasy baseball, but dynasty is a time suck, unfortunately).

Can someone explain Series 1 vs. Series 2 of Topps to me? 2023 Series 2 Hobby Boxes are going for ~$30 less than 2024 Series 1. Is this based on 1:1s still out in the wild, or some similar comparison of EV between the two sets?
 

Traut

lost his degree
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2005
12,811
My Desk
Can someone explain Series 1 vs. Series 2 of Topps to me? 2023 Series 2 Hobby Boxes are going for ~$30 less than 2024 Series 1. Is this based on 1:1s still out in the wild, or some similar comparison of EV between the two sets?
A few things:

1. Shiny new objects tend to command more money;

2. Rookie chase cards. Really it could be that people are bullish on Elly De La Cruz over whoever was in Series 2.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
Big thanks to the both of you. I really appreciate the insight from folks that know the landscape of the hobby in great detail.

My feelings on cracking packs vs. buying singles is really about the thrill of the hunt, I guess. Like a coin collector, there's a different feeling in finding a gem in your loose change vs. buying a chase pre-slabbed quarter, of course the cost disparity in getting to your gem is quite high.

I get what you are both saying about singles, though. I'm sure there are a lot of players/frames/looks that I would love to own and could buy for short money compared to even one hobby box. Just looking at the 2024 Series 1 checklist and then looking at the odds and the eBay prices, I can see why you're both landing in the singles camp. This might just be a recalibration of how I view the values of cards. It's crazy to me that I can get a PSA 9 Johnny Bench from an actual year he played for a BiN that's only a fraction of the going rate for the LHA-2 in 2024 Series 1, but I realize that the LHA-2 is likely considerably more scarce, and that's a listing not a completed sale.

The cynic in me says that all of the Topps products are just additional opportunities for money grabs, but you have taken the time to pick out products you think would be better of me, so I know there has to be some differences. Topps Series 1 (which I'm assuming is the Flagship? I know they do a Series 2 later in the year and that the frames generally feel the most like the cards of yore), Heritage, Stadium Club, Chrome, Archives, what's the real difference between these? Just the look? Is there a good place to get the details and previews of the cards in the different sets, beyond just the checklists?
So, I totally get the thrill of opening packs. For a while I got really into box/case breaks (and still dabble, though not nearly as much) because I loved the thrill but could only justify a smaller amount of cash, and wanted to make it last. I think there's still room for it for the reason you say - thrill of the hunt and honestly I find "pack-pulled" cards just mean a lot more to you as you can associate your memory of it. It's just more fun - and I think it's fine as long as you know going in that the odds of you "beating" the pack price are super low and you're okay with that.

On the LHA-2, it's mostly that Legendary Home Field Advantage cards are obscenely rare for a card from a major set - some estimates put them in the /100 print run area - and there are people who build the Home Field Advantage sets as well as player/team fans who want the card. I never got any of the Sox Legendary HFAs but I do pick up the regular ones - and your instincts are right on it being overpriced as the only one out there, but it is a funky system and hobby.

For the products, here's my rundown of them

Main Product Lines:

Topps Series 1, Topps Series 2, Topps Update - These are your "flagship" products. Think of these like the baseball cards of the last seventy years - the one set Topps would put out. It usually builds out to a 700-800 card set of every notable MLB player of the year and it's available nearly everywhere. They print a ton of it and it's very collectible. It's your baseline and often one of only a couple sets where you'll be able to get non-star, non-rookie, non-legend cards in. There's a little bit of everything in this set - fun inserts, relic and autograph cards, playoff relic/autos, chase case hit inserts, etc. The cards themselves are glossy cards, parallels are typically borders/frames but can be full-bleed/card depending on the years.

Topps Heritage, Topps Heritage High Number - This set is the other set with a massive checklist (usually 700-750 cards over two sets) - it uses a design of a set from 50 years prior (so this year's is the 1975 set-design) with modern players. This is primarily a "set-building" product where people will buy boxes, trade, and buy singles to compile the whole set like ye olde days. These also have "Real One" autographs - on card autos on a classic design that are popular in the hobby. There cards are usually the traditional cardboard you'd expect from the 60s-70s.

Topps Stadium Club - This is a medium sized set with cards focused on photography. There are no borders on the cards (parallels are the foil on the logo), and it usually has specific image choices where the picture is the highlight of the card. This is a set from the 1990s they revived, they have on-card autographs on these great images as well as some mostly forgettable insert cards. This is a great set for people who want a "stars, rookies, and legends" real set-build with some exceptional image work. The cards are glossy, thin-stock like Topps Series 1/2/U

Bowman, Bowman Draft, Bowman Chrome - Bowman is the primary "prospect" set. The big draw is that the "Bowman 1st" generally the most desirable of any player's card - as its typically their first licensed card. Prices have shot up dramatically on opening this over the years, but is still the best source for minor leaguers with MLB logos on the card. The newest Bowman just came out with key players being Dylan Crews, Walker Jenkins, Kyle Teel, etc. Bowman puts out three different sets a year (Bowman Chrome is its own set with own unique checklists). The Bowman and Bowman Draft sets have both glossy paper and chromium cards, Bowman Chrome is all Chromium.

Topps Archives - I think of Topps Archives as the variety show of baseball - usually 4-5 different "years" in a set of a mix of modern and former players, with a very diverse checklist (often some "fan favorite" retired guys sign in this that don't elsewhere) and a mix of designs. I am not a huge fan of this set but others love it.

Topps Allen and Ginter - You saw these but it's based loosely on the 1800s A&G sets - but with full size paper (non-glossy) cards as well as minis. The main appeal of this set is that they have all those esoteric mini-sets as well as the mini-framed autos which often have subjects that sign in few or no other products and only once at that. Last year had Wemby, Nadal, Kevin Hart, Robert Kraft, among a pretty stacked list of players for instance. The non-player relics can be a lot of fun too (comedian Adam Ray chopped up a script and had that put into cards last year).


Key Parallel Sets

Chrome - Most of their biggest sets also have a "Chrome" version (Topps Chrome, Stadium Club Chrome, A&G Chrome) - basically takes the paper cards and give them the Chromium styling, often with a more limited insert set, different color parallels, and the like. Topps Chrome in particular has a major market niche as often the only time you'll get autos on the "Flagship" design is in Topps Chrome. For many the Topps Chrome RC Auto is the key rookie autograph card to have.

Sapphire - Some of their biggest sets (usually Topps Flagship and Bowman) have a "Sapphire" set, which are the card with a "cracked ice" or "sapphire" pattering and a higher quality card stock. Really slick looking cards with a high price point.


Other Stuff

This covered most of the lower end product base (minus Big League/Opening Day), but baseball also has a slew of other products in the Mid-Tier and High End. Without going into fifty different product lines, here are some general product types and trends.

The One Pack Magic Boxes (Inception, Topps Chrome Black, Breakers Delight Boxes): These are products with several cards in them that either come a small, premium base set and/or an autograph set. Usually these are mid-priced products ($150-$400 or so) and guarantee a hit or multiple hits.

The One or Two Card Magic Boxes - Lower End (Archives Autos, Clearly Authentic)- Functionally a mystery box of an autograph, mostly on a buyback card but also could be of a card designed for the product.

The One or Two Card Magic Boxes - Higher End (Inception, Sterling) - These are cards designed for the product with a high end (stars, legends, top rookies mostly) on high end card stock with on card autos, premium, relics, etc.

The Multi-Hit Mid-Tier Boxes (Bowman's Best, Topps Pristine, Topps Tribute, Topps Triple Threads) - These are typically smaller sets with multiple autos in each box - with subjects depending on the product type, with some high end chases but most of the value is on volume more than those chases for the most part,

Formats

Not every product is in every format - generally the higher end you go, the less variety you get, and most products only come in one box "type" (Hobby or Web Exclusive). With that said, you may see some or all of these

Jumbo Box - Typically a medium sized number (8-12) of packs with a ton of cards, better odds for inserts, autos, relics, etc, and a higher price point (usually 2x-3x Hobby)
Hobby Box - The "base" entry method, a higher number of packs (16-24) with a moderate number of cards per pack.
A "Lite" Box - This can vary a lot - either fewer cards, a reduced quanity/type of hits, or the like for a lower price than Hobby.
Blaster Box - You'll see these at Wally World or your LCS, usually 4-8 packs that look like Hobby but have different odds meant for Retail Settings - usually $20-$30
Hanger Box - A "one" pack box (that can hang on a hook) with 50-60 cards - usually about $10-$15

Finally, as to where to find out about releases, Cardboard Connection was the gold standard but their Checklist Person seems to have left and they've fallen off a bit. Beckett is probably the best "summarizer" right now but they're not great. For instance the Bowman page is here

2024 Bowman Baseball Checklist, Team Set Lists, Box Details (beckett.com)

I generally keep a few breakers in my Youtube subscriptions to see what products are being broken to see if I want to dive in on them or not too, just a good way to catch visuals from people opening early. Probably worth adding a few card stores on instagram/facebook who post when they get shipments in too.
 

Fishercat

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This is kind of where I'm at. I don't intend on buying boxes expecting or even hoping for pulls that can feed the addiction, but I enjoy cracking and pulling interesting stuff. I don't expect +EV. Also, it keeps me interested in teams/players I wouldn't otherwise pay attention to (I had this with fantasy baseball, but dynasty is a time suck, unfortunately).

Can someone explain Series 1 vs. Series 2 of Topps to me? 2023 Series 2 Hobby Boxes are going for ~$30 less than 2024 Series 1. Is this based on 1:1s still out in the wild, or some similar comparison of EV between the two sets?
To Traut's point, Topps Flagship Wax Value based almost entirely on quality of rookies in the checklist and volume printed. A lot of S2 was printed, and the top rookies in the product have faltered. The RC list is actually really good in theory: Volpe, Yoshida, Carroll, Mitchell, Alvarez, Jung, etc, but only Volpe has really taken off this year. I'd personally rather open 2023 S2 than 2024 S1 on checklist alone (2024's cards look better), but if S2's big name was Corbin Carroll, that's a lot less appealing than EDLC is right now.

In my view, I think those discounted boxes from past years are a great way to get back into the hobby. Like, 2022 Topps Heritage High Number is a $50-$60 box. Now that we're a year and a half out, you can see which rookies matter more now, and in that checklist of 200 cards, you have rookies of

  • CJ Abrams
  • Seiya Suzuki
  • Royce Lewis
  • Bobby Witt Jr.
  • Spencer Strider
  • Kutter Crawford (ok we're Sox fans but still)
  • Cooper Criswell (ok we're Sox fans but still)
  • Steven Kwan
  • Bryson Stott
  • Jeremy Pena
  • Brandon Marsh
  • Kyle Bradish
  • George Kirby
  • Hunter Greene
  • Julio Rodriguez

Given the checklist size to box size you'll likely end up with most of these guys in a box. These are much longer odds but there's also autos of most of the big rookies, variations on a ton of them. I'd argue the $50 HHN Box is better than any 2024 box you'll buy right now for your money and I don't even like Heritage that much. I might buy one right now.

Man, 2023 Topps Chrome Platinum Anniversary are gonna be gorgeous.

View attachment 82672
Man that looks so good. And we'll get Casas/Bello/Yoshida rookies in that too. Sign me up.
 

CheapSeats

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 17, 2011
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For the products, here's my rundown of them
Again, thank you for your comprehensive answer -- I was reading back through this thread and realized you had already answered my question, but this is even better.

Topps Heritage, Topps Heritage High Number - ....This is primarily a "set-building" product where people will buy boxes, trade, and buy singles to compile the whole set like ye olde days.
What usually indicates whether a product is for "set-building"? As in, is there something that makes THHN good for set-building that the Flagship product doesn't have? (Other than it seems like you can just outright buy the Flagship base set, which seems like cheating).

In my view, I think those discounted boxes from past years are a great way to get back into the hobby.
I think this is the way for me, no question (though I do love the 2024 Series 1 frames). Being able to dabble in some of the products you listed for a fraction of the cost of 2024 stuff is a great starting point for me.

Any red flags to look out for when buying/receiving online sealed products from Amazon or eBay (or elsewhere)?
 

nolasoxfan

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Traut

lost his degree
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My Desk
What usually indicates whether a product is for "set-building"? As in, is there something that makes THHN good for set-building that the Flagship product doesn't have? (Other than it seems like you can just outright buy the Flagship base set, which seems like cheating).
The sweet spot for set builders is usually that the cards (1) aren’t very expensive and (2) are from sets that you can’t buy completely.

Heritage is a great example of this.

I think others build stadium club.
 

Fishercat

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May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
Agreed on both of those, I would probably also say it tends to be in sets that have an aesthetically pleasing or sets where people like the styles or subsets - there's Allen and Ginter set-builders. Gypsy Queen had adherents. Basically the cheaper the product is and the more uniform/cohesive the look is, the more likely it's a set builder.

What usually indicates whether a product is for "set-building"? As in, is there something that makes THHN good for set-building that the Flagship product doesn't have? (Other than it seems like you can just outright buy the Flagship base set, which seems like cheating).



I think this is the way for me, no question (though I do love the 2024 Series 1 frames). Being able to dabble in some of the products you listed for a fraction of the cost of 2024 stuff is a great starting point for me.

Any red flags to look out for when buying/receiving online sealed products from Amazon or eBay (or elsewhere)?
In terms of the Flagship Set being cheating, it cheats out of the experience but it's way, way, way more cost efficient and often the complete sets have a bonus with them, if I collected Flagship I'd buy a complete set any day. I do think people tend to not build it as much as you can buy a factory complete set for like $50, or an Ebay put together version for less than that, but some people do.

For online red flags, tough question. My general rules

  • Don't buy single packs. It's far too easy for people to buy a box, get the hit(s), and then list the non-hit packs for sale. I'd only ever buy single packs on impulse as a pure rip or, MAYBE, from an LCS that keeps all of their packs behind the counter - definitely not online. There's an argument that boxes represent the same risk, but that's only a concern in products that have true "case hits" and if you're legitimately hunting for case hits where sellers will prune for them, that's many stages away from where you or I collect.
  • I don't buy through Amazon - it's generally overpriced with no quality control or accountability for sellers. I do think eBay is relatively safe - look at feedback, look for sealed boxes - high volume box sellers aren't nearly as likely to bother with any funny games and there's sellers with hundreds of thousands of sales on the platform.
  • Generally, your "big distributor" seller sites (Dave and Adam, Blowout Cards, etc.) are very safe as are your direct retailers (Topps, Panini) and, for retail, your big box stores (Target, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million) are similarly fine. If you're not feeling great about eBay, definitely go this route. You'll likely pay a smidge more but when we did card breaks here the breakers often bought from D&A or Blowout and we got some amazing stuff that would not be in a tampered case.
  • In any kind of sale, do not pay for anything via an unprotected payment method. The card world is full of scammers and they will not hesitate to take your money and dip. Use PayPal Goods and Services or a protected equivalent.

As someone who has been really too much into it the last few years, here's a mix of products I'd recommend that won't break the bank and, while it absolutely does not guarantee you anything, still offer a chance to hit something fun. My list of "I won't go poor but I want to rip" selections - different types of listings so not all may be to your taste.

2024 Bowman (Blasters - $30) - Bowman this year is a product I genuinely like that is more expensive than it should be. However, I think the blasters give you like 80% of the Bowman fun (sadly i don't think you can get the Anime case hits out of retail or the rarest parallels) at good odds and a much more tenable price. This is a prospect heavy product, but colored frames/borders aren't impossible, there's good variety, and there's always the chance you get a $100, $200, $500 card out of them (more likely not but it's possible at least).

2023 Panini Elite Extra Edition (Hobby Box - $75 (Ebay) - EEE is an unlicensed product which means it doesn't have team logos/licensing and sell for a lot less, but if you want autographs of minor leaguers that matter in high quantity for low prices, EEE is great. 8 autographs and 2 relics per box for $75 - the design elements are a bit louder and I think quite fun. There are a lot of people who won't collect unlicensed but since Panini lost the license, the cost equation has been a lot more reasonable.Topps Pro Debut holds a similar niche in the licensed department - I just think the design is less fun and you're trading half of your hits for the license of minor league teams.

2023 Topps Stadium Club (Blasters - $25, Compact Box - $80) - I don't like this as much at the current prices cost - Compact was $60-70 and Hobby at $110-120 would be my point, but photography is great, they increased the number and types of rarer inserts, on card autos are always winners, and there's always a chance at something great.

2023 Topps Allen and Ginter (Hobby Box - $125) - I think this is the best A&G in recent memory. The strong rookie checklist and quality fun sets are nice, but they key draw are the very high end chases on the framed auto checklist, and the newer parallels that are really nice. This has gone up about $20-25 in price since release and even at $100 you're not making your money back, but it is a fun rip and the framed autos are one of my favorite annual autograph hunts.

2023 or 2024 Big League (Hobby Box - $40-$50) - It's a product that gets boring quickly and the cooler borders/frames are difficult to find, but it's cheap, it has a good auto checklist (sticker autos but still), and some rare inserts that look great while not costing much more than what you get at WallyWorld. It's for kids but it works.

2022 Topps Update (Blaster Box -$30 - $35) - We talked about this a bit with Heritage High Number, but the Topps Update checklist has the flagship Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodriguez, CJ Abrams, Hunter Green, George Kirby, Bryson Stott, Jeremy Pena, Seiya Suzuki, and Steven Kwan rookie card. It wasn't printed that much relative to other Topps sets either. They also have short prints, variations, and a lot of fun stuff. A sneaky choice if you want a more robust box is the 2022 Topps Baseball UK edition - a regional exclusive release with a lot of those update names, some different parallels, it's not that bad for $110-$120 a box (though probably a bit too pricy)

2022 Topps Heritage High Number (Hobby Box - $60) - We talked about this, floor is very high for a Heritage product and has some great upside. Money where my mouth is, I put in an order for a box based on this discussion

2022 Topps Chrome Platinum (Blaster - $30) - Bergs can tell you all about this, and Hobby Box prices are now a bit much ($160 per), and I never liked the Lite product, but the cards look great, have a ton of amazing colors, nice on card autos, and a slew of retired players. Great product for this year and looking forward to the upcoming release.

2022 Topps Chrome Sonic Lite ($40 a box) - This isn't a good product. It's a bad product. However, it was so poorly received and overprinted it's now like 50% of its retail price and...that's not as bad? The sonic refractors are good looking cards, Youthquakes are a fun insert, Topps Chrome is still Topps Chrome, the autos are nearly impossible to hit but $40? Again it's a lot of opening for $40.

2022 Panini Diamond Kings ($70-$80 a Hobby Box?) - It is Panini and it's unlicensed, but it is a fun product in my view. Has great border/framed parallels, good auto checklist, good relic checklist, good artsy design. I like the product a ton.

As we chatted on, opening packs will almost always be a loss, but if you gave me like $500 and said "buy someone a bunch of a boxes to spend a day opening and maybe find something fun", I think a mix of these would be my suggestion.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
Agreed on both of those, I would probably also say it tends to be in sets that have an aesthetically pleasing or sets where people like the styles or subsets - there's Allen and Ginter set-builders. Gypsy Queen had adherents. Basically the cheaper the product is and the more uniform/cohesive the look is, the more likely it's a set builder.



In terms of the Flagship Set being cheating, it cheats out of the experience but it's way, way, way more cost efficient and often the complete sets have a bonus with them, if I collected Flagship I'd buy a complete set any day. I do think people tend to not build it as much as you can buy a factory complete set for like $50, or an Ebay put together version for less than that, but some people do.

For online red flags, tough question. My general rules

  • Don't buy single packs. It's far too easy for people to buy a box, get the hit(s), and then list the non-hit packs for sale. I'd only ever buy single packs on impulse as a pure rip or, MAYBE, from an LCS that keeps all of their packs behind the counter - definitely not online. There's an argument that boxes represent the same risk, but that's only a concern in products that have true "case hits" and if you're legitimately hunting for case hits where sellers will prune for them, that's many stages away from where you or I collect.
  • I don't buy through Amazon - it's generally overpriced with no quality control or accountability for sellers. I do think eBay is relatively safe - look at feedback, look for sealed boxes - high volume box sellers aren't nearly as likely to bother with any funny games and there's sellers with hundreds of thousands of sales on the platform.
  • Generally, your "big distributor" seller sites (Dave and Adam, Blowout Cards, etc.) are very safe as are your direct retailers (Topps, Panini) and, for retail, your big box stores (Target, Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million) are similarly fine. If you're not feeling great about eBay, definitely go this route. You'll likely pay a smidge more but when we did card breaks here the breakers often bought from D&A or Blowout and we got some amazing stuff that would not be in a tampered case.
  • In any kind of sale, do not pay for anything via an unprotected payment method. The card world is full of scammers and they will not hesitate to take your money and dip. Use PayPal Goods and Services or a protected equivalent.

As someone who has been really too much into it the last few years, here's a mix of products I'd recommend that won't break the bank and, while it absolutely does not guarantee you anything, still offer a chance to hit something fun. My list of "I won't go poor but I want to rip" selections - different types of listings so not all may be to your taste.

2024 Bowman (Blasters - $30) - Bowman this year is a product I genuinely like that is more expensive than it should be. However, I think the blasters give you like 80% of the Bowman fun (sadly i don't think you can get the Anime case hits out of retail or the rarest parallels) at good odds and a much more tenable price. This is a prospect heavy product, but colored frames/borders aren't impossible, there's good variety, and there's always the chance you get a $100, $200, $500 card out of them (more likely not but it's possible at least).

2023 Panini Elite Extra Edition (Hobby Box - $75 (Ebay) - EEE is an unlicensed product which means it doesn't have team logos/licensing and sell for a lot less, but if you want autographs of minor leaguers that matter in high quantity for low prices, EEE is great. 8 autographs and 2 relics per box for $75 - the design elements are a bit louder and I think quite fun. There are a lot of people who won't collect unlicensed but since Panini lost the license, the cost equation has been a lot more reasonable.Topps Pro Debut holds a similar niche in the licensed department - I just think the design is less fun and you're trading half of your hits for the license of minor league teams.

2023 Topps Stadium Club (Blasters - $25, Compact Box - $80) - I don't like this as much at the current prices cost - Compact was $60-70 and Hobby at $110-120 would be my point, but photography is great, they increased the number and types of rarer inserts, on card autos are always winners, and there's always a chance at something great.

2023 Topps Allen and Ginter (Hobby Box - $125) - I think this is the best A&G in recent memory. The strong rookie checklist and quality fun sets are nice, but they key draw are the very high end chases on the framed auto checklist, and the newer parallels that are really nice. This has gone up about $20-25 in price since release and even at $100 you're not making your money back, but it is a fun rip and the framed autos are one of my favorite annual autograph hunts.

2023 or 2024 Big League (Hobby Box - $40-$50) - It's a product that gets boring quickly and the cooler borders/frames are difficult to find, but it's cheap, it has a good auto checklist (sticker autos but still), and some rare inserts that look great while not costing much more than what you get at WallyWorld. It's for kids but it works.

2022 Topps Update (Blaster Box -$30 - $35) - We talked about this a bit with Heritage High Number, but the Topps Update checklist has the flagship Bobby Witt Jr., Julio Rodriguez, CJ Abrams, Hunter Green, George Kirby, Bryson Stott, Jeremy Pena, Seiya Suzuki, and Steven Kwan rookie card. It wasn't printed that much relative to other Topps sets either. They also have short prints, variations, and a lot of fun stuff. A sneaky choice if you want a more robust box is the 2022 Topps Baseball UK edition - a regional exclusive release with a lot of those update names, some different parallels, it's not that bad for $110-$120 a box (though probably a bit too pricy)

2022 Topps Heritage High Number (Hobby Box - $60) - We talked about this, floor is very high for a Heritage product and has some great upside. Money where my mouth is, I put in an order for a box based on this discussion

2022 Topps Chrome Platinum (Blaster - $30) - Bergs can tell you all about this, and Hobby Box prices are now a bit much ($160 per), and I never liked the Lite product, but the cards look great, have a ton of amazing colors, nice on card autos, and a slew of retired players. Great product for this year and looking forward to the upcoming release.

2022 Topps Chrome Sonic Lite ($40 a box) - This isn't a good product. It's a bad product. However, it was so poorly received and overprinted it's now like 50% of its retail price and...that's not as bad? The sonic refractors are good looking cards, Youthquakes are a fun insert, Topps Chrome is still Topps Chrome, the autos are nearly impossible to hit but $40? Again it's a lot of opening for $40.

2022 Panini Diamond Kings ($70-$80 a Hobby Box?) - It is Panini and it's unlicensed, but it is a fun product in my view. Has great border/framed parallels, good auto checklist, good relic checklist, good artsy design. I like the product a ton.

As we chatted on, opening packs will almost always be a loss, but if you gave me like $500 and said "buy someone a bunch of a boxes to spend a day opening and maybe find something fun", I think a mix of these would be my suggestion.
As a follow up to the "money where my mouth" is on Heritage High Number. I got my box this weekend and I stand by my statement on it. Despite possibly the least inspiring Heritage Hit of all time (Gary Sanchez Jersey Relic) and not getting a Julio (bad luck), I hit all but three of the key rookies I described above as well as a Bobby Witt variation that, if I hustled and sold all of these probably gets me close to my money back on the box. Without the Witt it's probably a 30-40% of cost box...but honestly if a "disaster" box (super low end hit, no other inserts) is returning that it's a pretty good product and price point. Heritage is great for "Through the Mail" autos too if that's your thing.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
21,943
Not to mention (probably) another Yaz rainbow I'm gonna need to chase down. Blargh.
The checklist for Topps Chrome Platinum '54 is out, and there's no Yaz! On the one hand, that's a bummer, because the cards are gorgeous. On the other hand, it is literally saving me between $500-$1,500, depending on whether the Superfractor showed up on ebay. So yay, I guess.
 
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shoosh77

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Oct 19, 2009
4,439
New Canaan, CT
Is anyone here doing any of the Upper Deck Marvel cards? I was hugely into them as a kid (still have them all including 6 or 8 full sets of Marvel Series 1 from 1990). Thinking of getting back back into them with my youngest and curious what people are seeing/enjoying. Damn did these get way more expensive but some look really awesome (Masterpiece and Platinum were boxes I was looking at). Thanks!
 

Fishercat

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May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
Is anyone here doing any of the Upper Deck Marvel cards? I was hugely into them as a kid (still have them all including 6 or 8 full sets of Marvel Series 1 from 1990). Thinking of getting back back into them with my youngest and curious what people are seeing/enjoying. Damn did these get way more expensive but some look really awesome (Masterpiece and Platinum were boxes I was looking at). Thanks!
Not seriously but I usually do grab a few cheap packs of most of the Marvel / Upper Deck releases as they come out - not so much Masterpiece or Platinum. In my view it's a "get what you pay for' situation - the less expensive cards generally feel pretty cheap and don't offer a ton of really exciting modern chases. The higher end stuff look GREAT but the cost is so high for what you get.

If you're looking for a cheaper Marvel product, you can go in the MCU direction. I feel like the What If... series is a great, cheaper option design wise. The base cards feel cheap as they are cheap but there's a lot of fun, youth friendly insert designs and throwbacks and at like $65 for a Hobby Box won't break the bank. Yes, it's Marvel MCU What If so, you know, not a big franchise, but if you're willing to sacrifice the small chance at an autograph you get in other MCU products, there's a lot of fun content in these sets. In general, the "aftermarket" on these Upper Deck MCU releases drop like a stone and I think you get to the point where most of them are cheap, fun, and have some interesting potential on them. Like Marvel Allure boxes are at like 40% of what they were selling for and provide a reasonable chance at legit, star autographs and some collectable colorways.

For Marvel Comic stuff, your impression is right - I've struggled to find a Marvel Comic product that hits that quality to price sweet spot. The upcoming Marvel Flair might hit your want there - boxes are pre-selling around $250, the images look fairly high end (if not Masterpiece/Platinum high end, though they have a Platinum insert set), they give some packs to open. Marvel Platinum occupies a similar space. Masterpiece is just hugely pricy.

Personally, I think what I'd do in your spot is if you're testing the waters with your youngest might be to find some single cards from the high end stuff on eBay you really like and get that, and maybe then get a box of the lower end MCU stuff or mid-tier Marvel Comic stuff (depending on stomach for the pricing) and see if it hits.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Jan 2, 2006
11,362
NJ
The checklist for Topps Chrome Platinum '54 is out, and there's no Yaz! On the one hand, that's a bummer, because the cards are gorgeous. On the other hand, it is literally saving me between $500-$1,500, depending on whether the Superfractor showed up on ebay. So yay, I guess.
I ordered (4) boxes from the Fanatics drop. Love the design of the ‘54 Topps. Hopefully I’ll get something decent on the autograph side.
 

Fishercat

Svelte and sexy!
SoSH Member
May 18, 2007
8,471
Manchester, N.H.
The funny thing about Anniversary is that it takes nearly everything people complain about in modern products (infinite parallels, some terrible rookie autos, huge checklists that take a case to make a set, a bit too high price point) yet people, and I, love it every year.

Set seems fun this year too. It's a classic design it's basing itself off of, the add in of the ballpark cards in a Pearl Pack type set-up is a nice chase, colors look good. It'll be a fun singles hunt.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 2, 2006
11,362
NJ
The funny thing about Anniversary is that it takes nearly everything people complain about in modern products (infinite parallels, some terrible rookie autos, huge checklists that take a case to make a set, a bit too high price point) yet people, and I, love it every year.

Set seems fun this year too. It's a classic design it's basing itself off of, the add in of the ballpark cards in a Pearl Pack type set-up is a nice chase, colors look good. It'll be a fun singles hunt.
Yeah, agreed with everything you said. Like I said, I ordered (4), but roughly $500 is about my max now to waste on ripping packs. I will chase multiple parallels of several guys in this though. It’s a nice clean looking design that historically I already loved, but with shiny chrome colors.
 

Bergs

funky and cold
SoSH Member
Jul 22, 2005
21,943
The funny thing about Anniversary is that it takes nearly everything people complain about in modern products (infinite parallels, some terrible rookie autos, huge checklists that take a case to make a set, a bit too high price point) yet people, and I, love it every year.

Set seems fun this year too. It's a classic design it's basing itself off of, the add in of the ballpark cards in a Pearl Pack type set-up is a nice chase, colors look good. It'll be a fun singles hunt.
I think as a rainbow, it's up there with the best.

Yeah, agreed with everything you said. Like I said, I ordered (4), but roughly $500 is about my max now to waste on ripping packs. I will chase multiple parallels of several guys in this though. It’s a nice clean looking design that historically I already loved, but with shiny chrome colors.
Absolutely. I ripped a blaster tonight and got a Jim Palmer auto/75 and a Juan Soto image variant. Were I to jump on ebay with those 2 cards, I'd turn a profit. Go figure.

I also have the BoSox in a 6-hobby box break tomorrow.