Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011 Topps jumbo football case: base and Wolverines

I'll get to the inserts and my overall thoughts next, but for now we'll take a look at the design, collation and Wolverines from my case:

Case:  2011 Topps football (jumbo)
Packs/cards:  60/50 (10 packs of 50, six boxes)
Price:  $510, Dave & Adam's

Base cards:
Some fronts:  regular, team card and RC
Aaron Rodgers back
Design grade:  A
I've always been a sucker for Topps' design.  Well, maybe not always--they had some pretty ugly sets prior to the late 90s--but for the last few years I've appreciated their consistent, yet subtly different base set designs.  With base Topps, you pretty much know what you're gonna get:  solid photography, a white border and a section with team, position and logo.  Added to that you can expect stamps or icons for RCs and major awards.  The backs are pretty standard, too: a clean design with bio info, a blurb about the player and full stats, not to mention team colors being part of the theme.
As usual, there's a few different types of cards or subsets:  regular players, RCs, checklists, Rookie of the Year, MVP, Pro Bowl and teams.  These are all mixed among the base set as Topps has been doing for the last few years--no more blocks of rookies at the end of the set, for example.
Not everyone is a fan, but for me this is what a Topps base set should look like (and I'm fully aware it was borrowed from its older brother, 2011 Topps baseball).

Base set completion:
  • Set 1:  440/440 (100%)
  • Set 2:  440/440 (100%)
  • Set 3:  440/440 (100%)
  • Set 4:  439/440 (99%)
  • Set 5:  429/440 (97%)
  • Set 6:  325/440 (74%)
  • Extras:  13 x7s, 7 x8s
Average:  ~419/440 (95%)

Collation grade:  B
This is actually pretty solid for Topps--at least the average number makes it look like it.  It was nice to be able to do a case to get a more useful statistical sample to determine what you might be able to expect.  I do want to note that while the numbers came out pretty nicely, they're a bit higher than they should be in that a large handful of cards came out of the packs damaged (almost all of those being significantly wrecked corners) or with inexcusably poor centering (but all that falls under QC, not collation).  I'm debating sending those back to Topps, but I'm in the process of working out a deal on Blowout to get the rest of the base I need for sets 4 and 5.  I am a bit annoyed that I needed a single card for the fourth, but I'll live.  I decided not to go for a sixth set since it seemed like it would be cost prohibitive, but I'll have those to trade for other stuff, so that's a plus.  I'm happy that with relatively little work I should finish with five base sets, meaning I can keep one for myself and try to sell four others (want one?).  
And the bottom line is that getting about 95% of the base set is reasonable to me when you do the math:  you pull roughly 500 cards but each pack has roughly seven inserts, plus maybe a hit (some being thick and eliminating a few more).  My average box based on the whole break shows that you should get about 420/440 base cards, fewer than five doubles, three-to-four hits and around 70 inserts.  As far as Topps' very low bar goes, that's pretty good!

Lots this time since there were quite a few in the base set and I even pulled a bunch of inserts (no hits, though).
Base part 1
Base part 2

Inserts, with the Minis being Manningham, Woodson and Brady
More to come soon with a look at the inserts and my overall recommendation!

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