May 27, 2011

2010 Topps Update Box Break: Rapid Review

Does anyone remember Topps Update? Does anyone care? Did anyone want to? The deliberately tacked on finale to the Topps flagship set has a checklist strewn with photos from the all-star games, rookie debuts, and players potentially pictured in a different uniform than in previous editions.

Prices on this particular product bottomed out relatively quickly. You can now find full hobby boxes for less than $30 at some online retailers. This seems to happen with Topps update every year in the modern rookie card designation era (2006-present).

I purchased this box for two purposes, to get Roy Oswalt's first card as a Phillie and to get my hands on some tangible Strasburg hype. Well, at least my intentions were noble and pure....

The Box Breakdown

253/330 base cards-77% of the set +Strasburg (#d 661 instead of USxxx on the back)
Inserts continued from other series:
Cards Your Mother Threw Out: 12 of these+ 1 original back
Turkey Red: 9 of these
More Tales of the Game: 6 of these
Topps Attax Town: 36 of these
Topps Vintage Legends Collection: 9 of these
Peak Performance: 5 of these
Legendary Lineage: 5 of these 

There were no new insert concepts in Topps Update...bummer.  Overall, I was into the Topps Vintage Legends Collection the most and ended up completing both halves of the 50 card set from the Series 2 and the Update Series.  I hate when they split up insert card sets like feels so incomplete when you have the 25 card set from the second series, but it starts with #26.  How does one live with such a numerical anomaly?  Can the first really be the 26th?  At which point is the beginning of a circle?  Can a seagull really be caught with my bare hands?  The questions just race...

Here are the other highlights...such as they were

This is the boxloader. It's a chrome refractor rookie of Andy Oliver. It does not bend. I am happy.

This is one of the short-print variations that have populated the Topps set since 2009.  The picture is of Denton Young and is a variation of the Red Sox team card.  It's interesting that they listed the team as the Americans because for years, books wrote that they were called the Boston Pilgrims.  The back is the most interesting part; it has team stats from the 1903 season.  I neglected to scan it.  This was the card that made the box for me.

This was my event-used relic card from an all-star work-out jersey.  It's actually a marginally good-looking card for all its concept faults.
Long live the Strasburg.....I joined the bandwagon after the surgery.

Is Topps Update a relevant part of the baseball card landscape? It's hard to say. Everything about it feels like it has been done before....and this is true of every other year as well. There are so many alternate issues covering uniform changes and rookies that it has become almost redundant. What would make it special? It needs some kind of draw that's not "you haven't received this guy yet on a Topps base set design".

For me, though, since I did not partake in series 1 or 2 of 2010, it was a welcome and easygoing break. There was no pressure and sometimes too much tension leads to loss of bits of the incisors. In other words, I liked opening a box of's best on a summer's day by the beach with a cool glass of lemonade dripping over every card, while they're eyed for imperfections that are most assuredly there. Plus, it's less than $1 per pack at this moment.

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