There's no real reason I should be buying one of these $20 Topps Holiday boxes from Wal-Mart, and in fact, let's list the reasons why.
1) I mean, it's Wal-Mart.
2) The closest Wal-Mart is about 15-20 minutes away from where I live and not really on the way to anywhere I usually go around my neighborhood.
3) I'm backloaded with an insane amount of cardboard that needs to be filed and stored away, which means I'm probably at least a month behind on being caught up with my sorting (at best).
4) I've spent a whole lot more on cards over the past month than I usually do, and I was hoping to reign in the budget a bit.
4a) The holidays always put a drain on my bank account, regardless.
5) I really don't need to be reminded of more snow since we've already had two bad snowstorms in the area.
6) I'm not a fan of 2016 Topps.
7) They're basically the same exact cards of the loads of meh-worthy 2016 Topps singles I already own.
8) This so-called "holiday promotion" isn't much more than a cash grab on Topps's part.
9) Buying a box of it would so obviously make me a sucker.
So yeah...turns out this sucker bought a Holiday box last night.
I actually went to a second Wal-Mart because the first one didn't have any more in stock. The fact that I actually hunted one of these things down takes my sucker-ness to a whole new level. I really can't explain why I was so eager to buy a product I should've been so apathetic about.
I guess once cards are on the brain, it's hard to get them off -- especially in the winter when there's almost zero new releases.
You've probably already seen what these look like, and besides, there isn't much to say: this is 2016 Topps with snowflake borders instead of that smoke from the standard release.
Each box contains ten 10-card packs which, to be fair, actually isn't that bad of a deal for twenty bucks. I can at least commend Topps on not making this product a blatant ripoff.
The checklist is comprised of 200 cards culled from the Series 1, Series 2, and Update sets, which means bonus cards of rookies like Kenta Maeda and guys in their new trade-deadline uniforms like Whatever-His-Name-Is-Now Upton.
Some (but not many) of the Holiday cards do actually feature different photos than the standard Flagship issues.
Although I'm not sure why Topps changed it up for Javier Baez, because his Series 2 card was one of the best things they made all year.
Every other pack contains something called a "metallic snowflake" parallel (dibs on the band name).
As many have already pointed out, they're not metallic at all. It's tough to tell from the scan, but they're actually just cards with glitter glued on top of the snowflakes. I'm not a big glitter fan, but at least they're semi-original, since I can't say I've ever seen glitter on a Topps baseball card before.
Turns out I only needed one of the five metallic snowflakes I pulled, but one out of five ain't bad if it's Mike Trout.
Being a sucker aside and all, I have to admit: this actually isn't a terrible promotion.
For one thing, the snowflakes actually improve on that awful fire alarm smoke from the standard Flagship design. And it's not like a box of this stuff breaks the bank. A 100-card box (which amounts to about half the set) at $20 is 20 cents a card. I spent $10 on a 15-card rack pack of Topps Chrome earlier in the year, and Chrome is basically just another parallel set, too.
For set builders, it looks like a relatively easy checklist to complete. For player collectors, there's new and semi-interesting cards to chase. For all-over-the-place collectors like me, there's a whole lot of new cards to add to the binders, including more 2016 World Champion Cubs. And hey, if relics are your thing, you're guaranteed one in every Holiday box.
But relics are definitely not my thing, so nothing to see here...
Hold on, did this just happen? Did Topps actually get me semi-exicted about a plain white swatch of fabric? I think so.
The guaranteed relic is one of the lowest selling points of this product for me, and I was fully prepared to have it be the least interesting portion of my box. But that was before Anthony Rizzo fell out, my favorite current Cub and my favorite player in all of baseball not named Ichiro.
Overall, I think I could've done far, far worse with one of these Holiday boxes. I never knew how fun snowflakes could be on cardboard.
Guess it's not so bad being a sucker every now and again.