Saturday, January 23, 2010

Box Break: 2009-10 Topps Basketball Jumbos

BabyI’ve been waiting to open a box of this for a while now.  I’ve been a huge fan of Topps jumbo boxes for a while now especially after pulling rip cards in the previous two years of basketball jumbos.  I’ve seen a bunch of great breaks online and watch the price of these boxes increase about $20 from when they were released.

One complaint that I have about the base cards is the photography on the cards with images from last year’s playoffs such as the Big Baby card to the left.  Those images look a little blurry or lower quality than the rest of the images in the set.  It’s especially disappointing since that includes most of the Celtics as well as the best players in the league.  It was a nice idea by Topps to try and use the most recent pictures available, but the results weren’t all that great.
RelicsAnother thing that wasn’t so great was the collation in this box.  One thing that I love about jumbo boxes is that you usually get a complete set out of the box.  It saves the hassle of trying to chase down singles.  I didn’t even comes close to a set from this box.  I have 279/330 cards along with 144 duplicates.  There’s no way that I should have to track down 51 cards after opening a jumbo box.

Jumbo boxes promise three relic cards and I autograph card, but I beat the odds with a fourth relic.  I’m not quite sure exactly what shirt the Harrington swatch is from.  Yes, it’s two colors, but it’s definitely not a patch.  The yellow is a rubbery type material.  It seems more like a shirt that would be worn underneath a game jersey.

My favorite of the four relics would have to be the Dwyane Wade All-Star Relic numbered to 199.  There’s some variety to the two swatches.  I’d much rather pull a card like this than one with two similar, single-colored swatches.

I pulled two cards like that though.  The first is a Yao Ming All-Star Relic.  It’s not even known at this moment whether or not Yao will ever be able to play basketball again.  One this is for sure, the swatches in this card are definitely not from the jersey pictured on the card.

I also pulled a card of Mr. No Effort, Vince Carter.  Yippie.  I pulled jersey cards of both Ming and Carter out of last year’s Upper Deck hoops release and those went towards by box of 206.  I have a feeling these will just sit there until I can find a similar offer despite their numbering to 199.
DurantIt’s a Topps product so you know it’s got to have gold cards in it.  There are 4 gold cards per pack which are numbered to 2009.  Some of the more notable players that I got are Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo and consecutively numbered Tim Duncans.  A lot of the gold cards in my packs were damaged so I’ll be sending them back to Topps for replacements.  Who knows how that will go with the expiration of the license, but it is worth a shot.
WadeYou can’t really tell from the scan, but this is a gold refractor of Dwyane Wade numbered to 50.  The only problem is that there are all kinds of smears on the surface and spots where the refractory stuff didn’t take.  The Baron Davis gold that I pulled is alright though.  In regular refractors, numbered to 500, I pulled Jrue Holiday RC, Earl Clark RC, Tracy McGrady and Richard Hamilton.  The chrome cards are numbered to 999 and I pulled Derrick Rose, David West, Richard Jefferson, Anthony Randolph, Greg Oden and Pau Gasol.

You get one Draft Snapshot insert in every pack, but those aren’t anything special.  The cards have Draft Night pictures of current NBA stars from the year they were drafted.  I pulled two Ray Allens and that was the only thing of note.  I’ll definitely pick up a Paul Pierce for my collection, but I don’t see myself putting the set together.

This was all that I had with one pack left to open.  I had 4 hits so I was afraid that Topps had shorted me an auto and forgotten about my autograph card.  The final pack contained a great surprise…
GriffinBlake Griffin McDonald’s All-American autographed card.  This is an amazing pull.  It would have been even better if Griffin weren’t out for the season, but his cards are still in demand especially since he doesn’t have quite as many cards as players have had in past years with more than one licensed basketball card manufacturer.

Unless someone reading this offers up one heck of a trade, this card is going up on eBay.  One of these cards recently sold for a little over $150 which I think I’d mostly likely use to finally add a nice Piazza autograph to my collection.  I may be able to pick up another box as well.  I’ve got my eye on 2009 Update and Highlights Jumbos or 2010 Baseball Jumbos.

Overall, this final basketball release from Topps was disappointing.  The photography wasn’t that good, there were far too many damaged cards and there are only 15 rookies in the set.  No one is buying these boxes for the base cards though.  The boxes are jam packed.  Between the autos and patches, most boxes end up with at least one really nice pull and some have more than one.  While I would give the set a C, my box gets an A-.  The damaged cards and completely terrible collation drags the grade down even with the unbelievable pull at the end.


TJ said...

I'm suprised you don't like the base cards. It is true that some of the pictures are blurry and there really isn't an excuse for that, but I love the wide angle photography on some of them. I think I might pick up a box before they're gone. Nice pull on the Griffin. At least you'll get your money back.

Offy said...

I do like the design of the cards. 2009 had one of the best card designs in a while. It's just the blurry quality of the more recent pictures that bothers me. They did use a lot of great angles and there are some great shots, but I would have liked the set a lot more if the blurry playoff pictures hadn't been used. Well, except for Big Baby knocking down that buffoon Brad Miller.

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