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Topps 2014 Blaster Box Break
2014 Topps Target Blaster Box
Early Jump on the Flagship
Technically, 2014 Topps goes live later this week but it is already in retail stores so I picked up a Target Blaster Box to get a headstart on seeing what this years set has to offer. This isn't a review, this is just a box break (with some opinions), but I thought you might like to see what's coming. Remeber that this is a retail product and the odds given for various Inserts and Parallels are only for the retail product. The Hobby product is always a bit different on the odds.
On to the Break!!
Pack 1: Not Too Bad
Parallels: 3 (Target Red Border: Jason Frasor, Anthony Gose/Power Players Promotion Code (1:12 packs):Tyler Skaggs)
RCs: 1 (Wilmer Flores)
Base: 4 (Hunter, Gausman, Janssen, DeRosa)
Comments: Gausman says Future Star but this is not a RC - this will be confusing to collectors who remember Future Star cards as Rookie Cards. The Flores RC will move instantly here in NY. The Tyler Skaggs Promotion Card looks too much like a regular card for my taste - it's a parallel so it should look like one.
Pack 2: Parallels and Insert
Inserts: 1 (The Future is Now (1:4 packs): Jean Segura)
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Anibal Sanchez, Nefali Feliz)
RCs: 1 (Jake Marisnick)
Base: 4 (Machado, Ackley, Venable, Revere)
Comments: Love pulling Machado and I like the Future is Now inserts featuring the best young players. The Marisnick RC will move if he plays well - he is a highly touted prospect.
Pack 3: One Word.... RUTH
Inserts: 1 (1989 Die-Cut Mini (1:8 packs): Babe Ruth)
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Everth Cabrera, Trevor Rosenthal)
RCs: 1 (Michael Choice)
Base: 4 (Cueto, Moreland, Ross, Segura)
Comments: I absolutely love the 1989 Die Cut Mini Babe Ruth. It IS an odd shaped die-cut so you need to take care of these - the pennant running along the bottom sticks out on the right and bottom edges of the card but it looks awesome. I ike getting these Target Red parallels too, even though they are easy to find.
Pack 4: Darvish
Inserts: 1 (Upper Class (1:4 packs): Yu Darvish
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Joakim Soria)
RCs: 1 (Chris Owings)
Base: 4 (Heisey, Simon, Lynn, AL Home Run Leaders)
Comments: The Upper Class inserts reminds me of Elite inserts from long ago. This is a well-designed insert. Pulling Ryu as a parallel was pretty good too. The Home Run Leader card is odd - the type is so small that the Title of the leaders card can hardly be seen. The names of the three players featured on the card are crashing into the design. We know this could have been done better as it has in the past. At the very least, if the design could not accommodate what was need here, they could have made the leader cards inserts (which I'm surprised hasn't been done yet).
Pack 5: Red Hot Foil
Parallels: 4 (Target Red Border: Chris Young, Ubaldo Jimenez/Gold Border (1:17 packs):Shin-Soo Choo, Red Hot Foil (1:6 packs: Alex GordonTyler Skaggs Power Players Promotion Code)
RCs: 1 (J.R. Murphy)
Base: 3 (Miley, Callaspo, Vogelsong)
Comments: The Red Hot Foil Gordon is one of the prettiest cards I've seen lately - it just presents really well (unlike the Emerald Foil of the last few years). Considering the 1:17 odds for finding the Gold Parallels in the retail packs, I did well to get the Choo card. J.R. Murphy is a NY Yankee RC but he'll never play behind Brian McCann and a host of other catching options the Yankees have.
Pack 6: Jeter, Profar and Walker
Inserts: 1 (The Future is Now (1:4 packs): Jurickson Profar)
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Jim Henderson, Josh Phegley)
RCs: 1 (Taijuan Walker)
Base: 4 (Chen, Martin, Nicasio, Jeter)
Comments: Anytime you pull Jeter from a pack is a win in my book (I'm a Mets fan, but hey, the guy sells). I was also very happy with the Profar insert and Taijuan Walker RC. He is a very highly touted prospect. He is already in the Mariners rotation so if he does well, his cards will move like Jose Fernandez' cards did this past year.
Pack 7: Blah Inserts
Inserts: 2 (Super Veteran (1:8 packs): Matt Holliday, 50 Years of the Draft (1:18 packs): Adrian Gonzalez)
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Mark Buehrle, Alex Cobb)
Base: 4 (Ellis, Castro, Ozuna, Darvish)
Comments: Super Veteran inserts? Really? This was a bad subset in 1983, why did they resurrect this now? It doesn't even look nice. Same for the 50 years of the Draft which is just a "blah" kind of insert. The only upside to this insert is that it isn't terribly common at 1:18 packs. Love pulling Darvish. This is the only pack that did not have an RC in it. I'm not sure that was by design or just luck of the draw.
Pack 8: Aaron and Trout
Inserts: 1 (Upper Class (1:4 packs): Hank Aaron)
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Nolan Arenado, Andres Torres)
Base: 5 (Pena, Bruce, Samardzija, Trout, Napoli WS)
Comments: The Upper Class Aaron insert is one of my favorite pulls from this box - this is just a really nicely designed insert set and it covers newer and older players which I appreciate. Can't go wrong pulling the Mike Trout card even if it isn't the variation (where he has a sparkle on his cleat near the left border).
Pack 9: Andre and the Mets
Inserts: 1 (1989 Die Cut Mini (1:8 packs): Andre Dawson
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Nick Franklin, Junichi Tazawa)
RCs: 1 (Travis d'Arnaud)
Base: 4 (Nelson, Murphy, Melancon, AL Batting Average Leaders)
Comments: I said it before, I really like these 1989 Toppd Die-cut Minis. Pulling the top catching prospect for the Mets, Travis d'Arnaud was a nice bonus and he will sell immediately whether he plays well or not. He impressed with his catching skills during his September call-up but the man has to hit if he wants to stay in the bigs. The issues I noted on the other leader card can be seen on this one too. The design just does not fit the text on this card. The Daniel Murphy card that was taken during a Home Run trot with the NY Apple in the background is a great shot (good idea for future variations!!)
Pack 10: Can you say Bryce??
Inserts: 1 (The Future is Now (1:4 packs): Bryce Harper)
Parallels: 2 (Target Red Border: Khris Davis, Kevin Correia)
RCs: 1 (Xander Bogaerts)
Base: 4 (Middlebrooks, Buchholz, Peavy, Rollins)
Comments: I can't complain about pulling a Harper insert and a Xander Bogaerts RC in the same pack. I'm even happy pulling Khris Davis who isn't a rookie but this is still an early card for him and it has a great photo of him crashing into the wall.
Commemorative Patch: Strasburg
What can I say? The blaster box comes with a Commemorative patch an an extra feature and pulling a Strasburg card is just fine with me. These manufactured patch cards are gaining some interest as more people realize just how boring most game-used jersey cards really are (white and gray swatches are just not doing it anymore for collectors). I have not seen the checklist for the patch cards but I'm sure Strasburg was a better pull than others I could have gotten.
No Conclusions Yet
Well, this was a fun box to open even if I didn't pull anything incredible out of it. Remember that I am using a Target Blaser Box. These can be found in Target for $19.99. As a retail product, there are ten packs in the box with 8 cards to a pack plus the Commemorative Patch card. It really is a good value if you can find them. The retail products also come in 2 section Rack packs at $4.99 and the "Hanger" pack which is a retail jumbo that sells for $9.99. All are good choices.
I'll come back with a review after I've opened up my Jumbo boxes!!!