Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Call me a sucker

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...

...wait, WOW!

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.


Mark Kaz said...

Nice write-up, Nick. And a great 'relic' pull, too! You may have just sold me on one of these confounded things!

The Junior Junkie said...

Those are kind of cool. Nice pull too!

Chris said...

I can absolutely relate to all those reasons you listed for not buying a blaster - then going to Wal-Mart (or Target in my case) and buying a blaster despite your best intentions. Its in our nature as collectors I guess.

I've read a few posts about Topps Holiday edition but I think you got the best box yet. Nice Rizzo & Trout pulls! And that Goldschmidt is a nice looking card - despite the gray D-Backs uni (which IMO looks least on TV)

P-town Tom said...

Nice pull on the Rizzo!

Laurens said...

Having low expectations can sometimes lead to nice results which seems to be the case here - nice relic find of Rizzo and also the Trout parallel.

night owl said...

I'm very happy they did this with the 2016 Topps design because so far it's been very easy for me to stay away from these things.

Dan Skrezyna said...

I dont collect any sets but I do like the look of the snowflakes and the boxes sound affordable (a rarity these days).

I may be in the minority but I don't care for relics since I don't think they are the real thing (though I do collect them and their variations for my Buehrle PC).

Tony Burbs said...

You lucky duck!

Cardhobbyist said...

I guess most of us are suckers when it comes to spending money on cardboard:) But pulling a PC card always makes it worth it. Congrats on the Rizzo pull said...

snow flakes...gimmicky snow flakes...i feel obligated to chase the players i like for my PC and that is kinda annoying.

but hey, it's always nice to pull a relic/auto/whatever of a player or guy from a team you love. Great pull!

Jeremya1um said...

Topps needs to make a set for Floridians with sand instead of snowflakes. Good pulls on your box. Glad you got a few Cubbies.

Brett Alan said...

I would guess that they changed the Baez photo because on the earlier one he actually looks like he's dressed for snow, and Topps would never want anything to make sense! The new one is a nice enough photo, but it looks as though it's 90 degrees out.

Matthew Scott said...

I really have no problem with Topps doing this, but I just had no desire to buy these. Too many other things to chase down before I get to snowflake parallels. I may have to chase the McCutchen on eBay.

Looks like you did pretty well with your box.

Big Tone said...

YIKES!!!Congrats man!