Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011 Topps jumbo football case: inserts and sorta wrapup

This will be the last look at what I pulled from my 2011 Topps football jumbo case; however I plan to post an update/summary of my progress in selling things off pretty soon.

Today I'm showing off the plethora of inserts the case yielded, then giving my final opinion on quality control and the product as a whole.

Inserts (390):  

Faces of the Franchise:  60 (1:1, 60 expected)
A very meh insert that borrows from its equally uninspiring baseball cousin Legendary Lineage.  The player combos aren't terribly exciting, and instead of making one for each team, or at least focusing on teams with quality combinations...well...they produced this crap.  I pulled two full sets, 19/20 of a third and one quadruple (the crap you see above).

Game Day:  60 (1:1, 60 expected)
Now here's an insert I like.  I think what works for me is that the player is the obvious focus while the background is very secondary, though it often ends up looking very cool itself as it's depicted in the team's colors.  I also like how it highlights a key game in a player's pro or college career (kind of like Peak Performance highlighting a single game or season achievement in baseball).  I got 39/50 in the set plus 20 doubles and one triple.

Gold:  30 (1:2, 30 expected)
You've purchased a Topps flagship box before, yes?  These have remained fairly constant and the only thing I really don't like is that they abandoned stamping for printed-on numbers, which just isn't the same.  It wouldn't be a Topps set without these.  I was happy to pull a Steve Breaston, but the next best player I got was probably Reggie Bush or Eli Manning, unfortunately.  Why these were 1:2 I couldn't say.  Fortunately, every card was different, so I didn't have to deal with the annoyance of beating the odds and pulling a double.

Minis:  60 (1:1, 60 expected)
Carrying on the momentum from the baseball set, I'm sure, these work well here.  I just wish there weren't so many (140) or else I'd shoot for the set.  As it is, I'm trying to sell the 57 of them (including Cam Newton and Mark Ingram) I didn't really want, but I'm keeping the Charles Woodson, Tom Brady and Mario Manningham you saw last time.  I am happy to report that I got 60 different players here--no dupes!  They seem to suffer from bad cutting/centering, though.

Super Bowl Legends:  60 (1:1, 60 expected)
Here's another set I was pretty happy with, both due to concept and design.  Because my football knowledge isn't even a tenth of my baseball knowledge, I enjoy the history lesson it provides for a sport I've come to love over the last few years.  What I didn't love so much was the collation:  I got 25/45 in the set, then 21 dupes and 14 triples.  I just feel that out of a case it wouldn't kill them to get me one 45-card set.  Collation aside, it's a cool set with the bonus of forcing collectors to learn Roman numerals.  Bonus #2:  three Tom Bradys (one for each ring), though I only pulled two.

Super Bowl Legends Giveaway:  60 (1:1, 60 expected)
This one's still a bit of a mystery as all details of the promotion haven't been released.  It doesn't necessarily look like you redeem them for crappy Topps commons, but there are definitely prizes (virtual and tangible) for redeeming certain numbers of codes, with one of the better prizes being a Joe Namath autograph--the stipulation I'm reading into being that you need to unlock 45 "unique" items, but maybe that's not necessary, or maybe you can trade for them.  We'll know more in the future, but for now I'm holding onto mine until I know more and can decide I should redeem them or sell at a fair price.  Lots of sellers are liquidating these but I don't think that's the best idea without knowing what they could get you.  On a related note, I pulled five 10-card sets, then nine of a sixth, but got a seventh of a different card.  By the way, if you're lazy/stupid/cheap enough to be searching for free Giveaway codes, by all means please use the one above.  If you do, my reaction will be thus:

ToppsTown:  60 (1:1, 60 expected)
Ok, let's get this out of the way:  these suck, though not quite as much as the flimsy, throwaway versions Topps has done in the past. These are more like StarQuest, except with a dumb game you can play online.  Go ahead and swipe my code, see if I care.  I got 41/50 out of this set plus 19 dupes, so not terrible there.

NOTE:  I already showed the Black parallels in the hits post, so that's why you're not seeing them here.

NOTE #2:  I didn't pull an SP somehow, despite quite a bit of searching.  Go figure.

Quality control:  D-
Things seemed to look ok as I got started, but not long after that I started accumulating a small pile of cards with wrecked-as-hell corners:
I'm not sure this scan does the damage to the upper-right corner justice, but it's pretty bad, and symptomatic of a good pile of cards from the case overall (with some being bad on the lower-left instead).  Additionally, I found a nice little stack of poorly miscut cards:
Any worse and Brian would have been poking his head into his neighbor's card above going "HAY GUISE, WATS GOIN' ON IN THIS CARD?"  Since Topps has a stupid policy of limiting you to sending in 25 damaged cards at a time, plus I'd have to go through the hassle of proving they didn't fall off a truck (literally, apparently, judging by what you see) with scans of the boxes/packs/my retinas, I'm gonna say screw it since I really only needed something like 15 cards to complete sets 4 and 5 and I should get those soon in a deal anyway.  
I think the total number of damaged and miscut cards came out to be less than 50, but it was still very annoying after ponying up for a case, and I'd be even more pissed if I'd grabbed just one box and those cut into my base set.  Then again, this is Topps, whose reputation for quality control (if they ever had one, I don't rightly know) has plummeted in the last few years.  Way to set the bar low, guys.

Overall grade:  B+
At this point I don't think I could live without putting together a Topps flagship football base set.  While I'm sure I won't be repeating the case experiment very often, I'm glad I tried it with these first, especially because of what you saw in the hits post:  two autographs and a generally excellent rookie patch guaranteed plus some extras make for a nice experience for the money (and these will surely come down to more reasonable levels before long; I just wanted to strike while the iron was hot for selling purposes).  The base set and many of the inserts are also big pluses, and really only the usual Topps annoyances--bad QC, one or two stupid inserts--detract from a very good product.  So I give buying something of this product a big thumbs up and I strongly encourage you to save up for the jumbo box--you'll be glad you did.

And now, my promise that I'll return to this topic in a couple weeks with what I learned after trying to sell some of my hits, sets and inserts!

1 comment:

  1. I may be interested in your Cam Newton mini...