Monday, November 29, 2010

2008 Topps Series II baseball hobby box

Definitely a blast from the past today as I nabbed a 2008 Topps Series II hobby from Meijer as part of my 20% off purchase mentioned yesterday.  The box was already discounted from about $50 or $60-something (according to the shrink-wrapping; I mean you've been able to find these online for $30 or less for a while anyway) to $30, plus the 20% discount knocked it down to about $24.  I've already completed one 2008 Topps baseball set but I thought for $24 I'd take my shot at the guaranteed hit and whatever else Topps would throw my way, plus I've seen so many of these at Meijer the last few months that they've been staring me in the face, and I was starting to feel bad.  The damage:

Purchased from/price:  Meijer, $23.99
Packs/cards:  36 packs of 10
Set size:  330 base cards
Key features/cards: One autograph or relic per box; Red Hot Rookies redemptions; it's flagship Topps, what more do you want?

Sample front
Sample back

Set completion:  298/330 (90%)
Extras:  18

Inserts:  43

Trading Card History:  6 (1:6, 6 expected)

Historical Campaign Matchups:  6 (1:6, 6 expected)

Gold Parallels:  7 (1:5, 7 expected)

Topps Stars:  6 (1:6, 6 expected)
Topps All-Star Rookie Team 50th Anniversary:  7 (1:5, 7 expected)

Year in Review:  6 (1:6, 6 expected)
Mickey Mantle Story:  2 (1:18, 2 expected)
Black Parallel: Al Reyes (#33/57) (1:63, 0-1 expected)

Campaign 2008:  Al Gore SP (odds???)

Red Hot Rookie Redemption:  #19 (Collin Balester, expired) (1:box)
Highlights Autographs Shane Victorino (1:box)
Relics:  None (one auto/relic per box)

Best card:   The Victorino autograph, of course
Best pack:  #35 included the autograph plus a Chase Utley Gold and Alfonso Soriano Topps Stars.  Yay inserts!

(NOTE:  I've changed my scoring system again; it's still a work in progress, I guess, but I'm hoping to get something that more accurately reflects my opinion of a product I've opened.  All feedback is welcomed)
Quality control and collation:  16/20  -1 point for a couple dinged cards and one that wasn't quite cut right and had foil stamping issues; -3 points for too many doubles (about 6% of my base cards) considering I only got about 90% of the base set.  All inserts were as promised, and I was pleased to get an autograph instead of a relic.
Base set:  17/20  I don't know that this set needs to be this large anymore--at least I could do without some of the crappy subsets that have cropped up over the years.  Add to that the fact that I miss those really well-done multiplayer rookie cards and it'll probably be a while before I'm truly happy.  Still, the basic designs are solid, other than the weird "divot" the Topps logo causes at the top of each picture.
Inserts:  12/15  Of the ones I pulled, I really liked the Trading Card History set (that King Felix just speaks to me, for some reason, though I'm not necessarily in love with '86 Topps), liked the All-Star Rookies, Stars and and Black parallel and am always cool with the Gold parallels.  I'm not really a fan of any of the Presidential cards (though I guess the Gore was a tough pull, I'll have to research that), the Mantles don't really do anything for me and hate the Year in Reviews (BOOOOORING).  Still, 43 inserts in 36 packs is pretty nice (though I would have just as soon taken fewer inserts plus no doubles to complete the set out of the box).
Hits and extras:  14/15  For the price (what I'm sure was essentially originally $36-$40 at most card shows and much cheaper now) the guaranteed hit was nice (and as I said, even better because I preferred the autograph) as was getting a guaranteed rookie redemption at the time (since expired, unfortunately).
Value:  28/30  This box gets a high value score from me (even at what I think I remember its original price to be) for many reasons:  36 packs (all flagship Topps boxes HAVE to keep this feature), more than an insert per pack, an outside shot at a near complete set, a guaranteed hit and another extra on top of all that.  High marks to Topps for another excellent hobby box.

Overall:  87/100
Recommendation:  buy

As they get more and more expensive (until their prices come back down to earth) Topps boxes aren't always good values, but the next time you're at a retail store and you need a box-busting fix, grab one of these and have some fun, I think you'll enjoy it.

Pretty much every insert you see up there is available for trade/sale.  Also, please help me out with this set (through the magic of keeping old doubles I don't need the 32 I originally did from busting the box):  332 335 337 350 354 370 416 451 452 456 487 500 508 533 536 538 575 602 605 644 651 654 


  1. I put a couple of different hobby boxes of '08 Topps on my Christmas list this year for kicks. I haven't opened much series 2 so this was a fun post for me. Thanks for the preview!

  2. Great review, 2008 Topps is one of my favourite sets of the past few years.

    I'd be very interested in the Al Gore card and a few of the campaign match-up, and I've got a number of the doubles you need. If you're interested in working out a deal, send me an e-mail: