Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2005 Topps Football Jumbo Box

Our second review comes from the same Dave & Adam's Card World purchase as the last post.  This time I'll be busting a jumbo box of 2005 Topps football.  This is actually a set I was working on closer to when it came out thanks to the prevalence of rack packs in retail stores (I believe this is the year they brought that feature back).  The were fun to grab because many of the best rookies (including Alex Smith at the time) were viewable right on top.

Anyway, I never ended up finishing the set and still need a bunch, so when I was shopping for other deals on DACardWorld, I snagged this box as a way to finally tackle one of my older wantlists and maybe get a few more useful cards in the process.
  • Purchased from/price:  Dave & Adam's Card World / $37.00
  • Packs/cards:   12 packs / 35 cards
  • Set size:  440 base cards
  • Key features:  One Tribute Box Loader card
  • Key cards:  RCs of Aaron Rodgers, Ronnie Brown, Braylon Edwards, DeMarcus Ware, Frank Gore, and many more
  • Michigan Wolverines: Amani Toomer, Braylon Edwards RC, Brian Griese, Charles Woodson, Drew Henson, Tai Streets, Tom Brady (x3)

  • Set completion:  401/440 ( 91%)
  • Extras:  0
    Base card fronts

Base card backs
  • Inserts:
    • Black parallel:  12, the best of which was Big Ben (1:2, 6 expected, according to Beckett, but I believe they actually were 1:1)
    • Golden Anniversary:   2, Joe Namath Golden Greats and Michael Strahan Gold Nuggets (1:6, 2 expected)
    • Throwbacks:  2, Marvin Harrison and Corey Dillon (1:6, 2 expected)
    • 50th Anniversary Topps Tribute Box Loader:  1, Ray Lewis #0307/1199 (1:box)  
  • Autographs:  None
  • Relics:  Rookie Throwback Jerseys Alex Smith (1:27)
Big Ben Black parallel

Golden Anniversary inserts

Throwbacks fronts and backs

Alex Smith Throwbacks jersey
Ray Lewis Tribute box topper
  • Best pack:  #10, a.k.a. the "Where were you five years ago?" pack:  RCs of Mike Williams (the Lions megabust WR--more specifically, the Lions megabust WR named Mike Williams), Pac Man Jones, Alex Smith (the QB, not the TE), and Vincent Jackson;  base cards of Warren Sapp, Dante Hall, Tiki Barber, Marshall Faulk; All-Pro subset cards of Tom Brady and LaDainian Tomlinson; the Rookie Throwbacks Relics jersey of Alex Smith
  • Worst pack:  Nothing really stood out as especially terrible this time
  • Quality control:  9/10  A few minor dings and dents here and there, but overall, everything came out in great shape
  • Collation:  10/10  Can you do better than perfect?  More than 90% of the base cards with no doubles!  My biggest gripe was missing out on the Braylon RC, of which I already have a couple, so no big deal there.  All inserts were as advertised and I even beat the odds on the Smith jersey
  • Value:  9/10  This is a great set from the set collector's standpoint.  The inserts aren't anything to write home about, but you get most of a great set featuring a good number of players, lots of rookies and a good crack at a relic card
  • Set design and player selection:  8/10  My only real complaint with the design is the fact that the white borders are so large they take away from the photography of the cards; many feature good to great shots.  The backs look good with a solid group of stats, short bios and mini pictures.  As this is a larger set the player selection is a bit more varied, which is good for the flagship product.  As with the Bowman set previously reviewed, there's a pretty large (though only half as many) selection of rookies, a few of which turned into stars, though maybe not as many as people hoped at the time
  • Inserts and extras:  8/10  Two main gripes here:  the Black parallels are boring, pretty much the equivalent of Bowman Golds.  The other is that you really don't get many inserts, especially considering Topps' recent jumbo pack entries, which often include something like five at a time.  What they do include, though, is solid.  The Golden Anniversary set offers a nice mix of past and present players, albeit on a somewhat unpleasant design.  The Throwbacks are the real highlight, featuring some very good players on some excellent designs from past years.  Getting the box topper Tribute card was a nice, shiny bonus.  And to top it all off, the Throwback jersey was a nice touch, even if the design, which includes an inset of the regular Throwback insert and a large Topps logo, leaves little room for a tiny jersey swatch.  At least the jersey wasn't the usual boring white square that's often included.  I consider myself lucky to have grabbed one of the most valuable from the set (the other being Ronnie Brown;  Braylon was a few bucks less at $20 but would have been a great pull as well)
Overall score:  44/50

As jumbo boxes go, this was a fun one to open.  Getting a large chunk of the set plus a few nice inserts and a relic, and most of all NO DOUBLES, made for a great experience;  this box gets a big thumbs up from me.  More importantly, it knocked 62/75 cards off my wantlist from collecting the set previously.  Yes, it's strange that between a bunch of rack packs and this box I haven't completed the set, but that's what can happen with rack packs I guess.  Refer to the wantlist link above if you can help with the set; I'll figure out what to do with the second set extras at some point.

Finally, as always:

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