Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Box Break: 2008-09 Topps Basketball Jumbos


At this point, I’ve probably hyped this box break up to the point where it is bound to be a major let down.  Thankfully I’ve got a limited readership and therefore not too many people to let down.  Here we go with the break.

To bump or not to bump.  It’s amazing what one little design change can do.  Instead of a bump down from the top of the card intruding on the picture, basketball has a straight top and a bump extending down from the bottom of the picture.  This design looks so much better than the one used for baseball even though it is very similar.

Here’s a card to balance out all of the Celtics from the last box.  Here’s Yao Ming dunking over Kevin Garnett.  Both guys had season ending injuries that will leave fans wondering “What if?”  The Celtics should have at least gotten to the Conference Finals with Garnett and the Rockets just may have beaten the Lakers with a healthy Yao.  This is just one example of some great action shots captured by the backboard camera.


I won’t miss these Own the Game cards at all.  Luckily they’re no longer in baseball either.  I pulled Allen Iverson, Andris Biedrins, Peja Stojakovic, Chauncey Billups, two different Dwight Howards, two of the same Chris Pauls, Marcus Camby, Josh Smith and Joe Johnson.

I’ve got way too many of these cards from various Topps sets over the years.  The design is never that great and there’s no secondary value.  If there’s a player you collect in the set that’s something, but mostly these cards are an unwelcome sight.


I’d much rather see cards like this one.  You won’t be making a fortune on eBay with these either, but at least it’s a fun theme.  I pulled the Bryants, Barrys, two of the Wilkins, Waltons and Greens.


Valuable or not, these retro cards are the best reason to purchase jumbo boxes.  You get a lot more of these beautiful cards than you do in the regular boxes.  Retro sets don’t have to be a separate set.  Sometimes they work better as an insert set such as this one or 2009’s Turkey Red.

I pulled 26 different cards including Chris Paul, Garnett, Boozer, Arenas, Howard, Carmelo, Kobe, LeBron, Baron Davis, D-Wade, Brandon Roy, Stockton, Bird, Isiah, Russell, The Admiral, Jerry West, Lenny Wilkens, Derrick Rose, Michael Beasley, O.J. Mayo, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, Joe Alexander, D.J. Augustin and Brook Lopez.  This is a set that I’ll definitely be finishing.


Baron Davis jersey card with square window.  Blah.


My second jersey card was much better.  It’s an Isiah Thomas with a circular window.  I have no clue why there are different window shapes, but at least they aren’t spelling out anything

There’s not much interest in Isiah these days with all of his off-court problems, but it is still a jersey from a Hall of Famer.  You can’t do too much better than that.  It’s not numbered, but you’ve got to be really lucky to pull something serial numbered in a base product.


My autograph was Mo Williams.  He was red hot in the first two playoff series, but of course has cooled off right around the time that I pulled this card.  If the Cavs are going to beat the Magic then they’re going to need big games from Williams and Delonte West.  LeBron can’t carry the team alone in the playoffs.

Here’s where things get interesting.  This is the second year in a row that I purchased a box of Topps jumbo basketball and it is also the second year that I was lucky enough to pull a rip card.  There are three levels of rip cards and this was from the easiest group to pull and was numbered to 99.  Last year I pulled a card with Camby, Okafor and Jermaine O’Neal on it and so there was no hesitation in ripping it open.  I pulled a red ink autograph and those are supposedly limited to 25.  The downside was that it was an autograph of Josh Howard.  An underachieving player on the constantly underachieving Mavericks.  The card wouldn’t even sell for $5.


This year I pulled Nick Young?  Who?  They put this guy on a rip card?  So, once again there was no doubt in my mind as to whether or not I was going to rip this card open.  Sorry Nick, nothing personal.


RIIIIIIIIIIP!  Miami Heat.  Looks like it is probably Dwayne Wade.  That’s already an upgrade from Nick Young.  But wait, what’s that silver squiggle on the middle of the card…


It’s a Dwayne Wade autographed mini card.  I couldn’t know less about this card.  There’s no information in Beckett (unless I missed it since I just looked quickly at the card store) and I couldn’t find any past auction information.  How many of these autographs are out there?  Are they all in silver ink or are there different colors?

I hate to nitpick, but the condition of the card leaves a lot to be desired.  The autograph is smudged and there’s a bit of a silver fingerprint on the card.  (Rare Dwayne Wade fingerprint card?)  There’s chipping around the edges on the back.  It seems like the journey in the rip card wasn’t a safe one.

I put the card up on eBay mostly out of curiosity.  It'll be interesting to see if anything comes of it.  I’ve also sent an e-mail to Topps to see if this card can be replaced, but I doubt that they’ve got any extras on hand and they’d probably send me a Wade from Topps Signature instead.  It’s been a week and I haven’t heard anything from them when they promise to reply within 24 hours.  This is one card that I definitely wouldn’t mind getting “stuck” with.

Design: B+
Photography: B
Collation: A+
Hits: A+
Overall: A

1 comment:

threepointplay said...

I agree with you on the Topps base and retro cards - nice clean designs. Why they bothered with the jersey swatches in them I do not know! Surely they have noticed that collectors are no long interested in them!

Whereas rip cards was an innovative idea and generated a huge buzz at the time! So there product design team could come up with the goods when they put there minds to it.

The Wade is certainly a rare one and would suit a a collector of his cards. I will watch the auction with interest. If non-one bites, you should post it up on Hobby Kings. There are some Wade collectors there.

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