Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2012-13 Panini Timeless Treasures Hobby Box Break and Review

Merry Christmas eve! I decided to treat myself to a small hobby purchase this Christmas. The decision was made primarily because dacardworld was nice enough to send me a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $50 or more. There was also free shipping for all orders over $50, so I was able to get this nice little tin for around $40 shipped. A steal, if you ask me.

Here's the box, which is actually a tin. Panini has switched away from the tin for the 2013-14 set, which has disappointed many collectors. It is a nice bonus.

Although the box states that you get a total of five cards, I received seven including a redemption. Three of the cards are hits- auto or memorabilia. Above are the four base cards. Nothing too special to see here. I was annoyed to see J.R. Smith here, because he shot 17 three's the other night. In one game. He missed the vast majority of them, of course. He's a big reason that the Knicks are so dismal this year.

Here's my first hit, a Nikola Vucevic Rookie Glass Auto, numbered to 499. I really like the look of these cards. I think the glass works well in this set. Nikola has developed into a dependable big man this year, although he plays for an awful team. Very happy with this pull.

Next hit was also an auto, a Jeff Teague "Validating Marks" numbered to 199. This card isn't bad looking, but it's certainly bot attractive as the previous. Like Vucevic, Teague is having the best year of his career right now and developing well. Another solid pull.

My final hit was a third auto, albeit a redemption. This Tony Wroten card will be the same exact as the Vucevic card. So overall, all three of hits were autos, all numbered, and no memorabilia cards. I'm more than okay with that! Wroten has broken out Philly over the past few weeks, here's to hoping he breaks out! 


Overall design: The base cards are above average in design, although no one cares about them. And why would they? This is clearly a hit-based product. The base set consist of 150 cards, but I don't see many collectors chasing it. The glass rookie autos work well. Flashy, but not overdone.

Box contents: Again, this a hit based product. There are three hits per box, two of which will be autos, and one of those autos will be a rookie glass card. You'll get 3 or 4 base cards as well.

The Hits: This product seems to come through with the hits, at least in my case. I was VERY happy that all three of my autos are from guys that are still in the NBA. Not only that, but they're all young guys that are really producing. I feel very lucky in that respect. The auto and memorabilia checklists are pretty solid, and they feature a good mix of vets and rookies. This set is affected by the double rookie class, which really waters down the talent pool, in my opinion. In other words, it just creates more cards of guys who are/will be in the D-league or Europe.

Positives: Rookie Glass autos, on card autos, availability of rookies, serial numbered autos, mix of vets/rookies.

Negatives: Lack of base cards, double rookie class

Rating: 7.5 out of 10. Very happy with this product. It's nothing outstanding, but definitely worth a shot at a discounted price.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Early Present to Myself, Some Retail

During today's last minute holdiay shopping run, I had that itch to grab some repacks. I was browsing the card isle in Target, but just couldn't find anything that my head and wallet could agree on. I remembered a recent blog post that I read which highlighted some discounted repacks bought from K-Mart. I can't remember who's blog it was, but whoever you are, thank you for the inspiration!

There was K-Mart on my way home, so I stopped in for a peek. I was happy with what I saw:

Discounts indeed! It seems that baseball cards are generally one of those things that are very inflexible with their prices. It's rare to find sales or discounts on good cards, so these big red stickers instantly caught my eye. 

Small note about K-Mart's normal pricing: They're actually higher across the board, with  slight, consistent inflation. Single repacks were $2.29 rather than $2, jumbo packs were $5.79 rather than $5, blasters $21.49 rather than $20, etc etc. It seems K-Mart is the place to go for discount, but not much else.

Here's what I pulled from 2010 Topps S1 Jumbo:

Three inserts, all unique. I love the Bo Jackson reprint. I love all things Bo Jackson, really. What a freakish athlete. I also enjoyed the humor in A-Rod appearing on a "Peak Performance" insert. The phrase "peak performance" almost sounds like a steroid joke.

I was fortunate enough to pull the one card I really wanted, the Cutch RC. Next to him is a Kyle Phillips gold parallel /2010. Phillips is lifetime minor leaguer. To the right is Johnny Bench appearing on a nice turkey red insert.

On to the bonus box of 2008 Topps S1:

The box promises three gold bordered cards in a bonus pack, exclusive to K-Mart. While I haven't heard anything about  any of these guys in a while, these are still nice cards. I'm reallllyyy not a fan of the design of 2008 Topps, but the gold borders somewhat save it. All three cards are rookies, so no complaints here.

To the left is a mediocre looking Fausto Carmona insert. Carmona, now named Roberto Hernandez, signed a 1-year, 4.5 million dollar deal with the Phils last week. Honestly I had no idea this guy is still in the league until I looked him up. Once a 19 game winner, his lifetime record sits at a paltry 59-82.

Next to Mr. CarmonaHernandez is politician John Edwards... pre-sex tape. I literally laughed out loud when I saw this guy's face in a pack of baseball cards. Just look at that creepy "I just had sex" grin...

Rounding out the fun is two Buccos, of course. This Clint Hurdle base card actually marks the first of any sort of memorabilia I own of his. Although I'm not a fan of 2008 Topps, I've got to hand it to them for including the managers in the set, as these guys often go unappreciated.

So overall, nothing too crazy in these breaks. The jumbo pack was more rewarding than the more expensive box, interestingly. Some good PC additions for sure though, and for 9 bucks, certainlu can't complain!

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

An Ambitious Set - Call Me Crazy

Thoreau once said,

"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.” 

I'm not really sure what the hell that means, and I know he wasn't referring to collecting cardboard. Nevertheless, I'm going to leap into the dark and try to complete a set of 2013 Topps Chrome Sapphire Blue Parallels. Why these specific cards, you ask? Here's my reasoning:

1) Topps Chrome is my favorite set of the year. I love everything about these cards.
2) 2013 has been the most significant and exciting baseball year of my life and I'd like to commemorate it.
3) These cards are numbered to 199, and I have a fetish for numbered cards. 199 is high enough that the cards are affordable and attainable... in most cases.

I want to shoot high here and go beyond the regular base set. I've already got 31 cards, which brings me to a whopping 14% completed.

I know that I'm going to face some serious challenges here, the main one being the "prodigy" himself, Yasiel Puig. Puig has been a pain in the ass for set collectors and this situation is no different. The cheapest Puigs on eBay range from 45-60 bucks, although some have gone for as low as $25 in .99 cent auctions. Thankfully I already own the Jose Fernandez card, which is a big plus. Manny Machado will likely be the other wallet-breaker.

Call me crazy, but this is my new project... and I would LOVE YOUR HELP! If you see any good auctions or better yet want to trade, give me a shout. I've got tons of stuff up on my Trade Bait page so please check it out. I'm willing to be generous and creative here. PWE's, bulk trades... you name it, I'm game. Drop a comment or shoot me an e-mail at nsbell440@gmail.com.

Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trade with Alex of Chavez Ravining

Happy Holidays everyone. Between all the stress of the holidays, I'm happy to say that I've been able to balance things well this year and not drive myself too insane. I've luckily had some spare time, which I've spent organizing my collection and setting up trades.

Two weeks ago, a guy by the name of Alex contacted me because he was interested in a 2013 Topps Chrome Adrian Beltre Camo parallel that I had, #'d to 15. It's a gorgeous card, really. I have no affection towards Beltre however, hence it's placement on my trade bait. 

Before I get into the cards: If you haven't already checked out Alex's blog, titled Chavez Ravining, you must. It's an incredibly interactive blog and has quickly become one of my favorites. 

We'll kick it off with two Target red parallels. I was very pleased with all of the love that the Buccos received in 2013 Update, as well as the All-Star weekend. 

Another Alvarez Parallel from update. Seems like Alex has a knack for pulling Pirates! I was really excited about the Cutch parallel on the right, for two reasons: A. It's nearly impossible to get your hands on fairly priced Cutch cards, and B. I didn't purchase any regular Bowman this year, only Chrome.

To the left we've got a very nice David Price camo parallel, also from Update. I figured I'd lump him in with the Pirates because he'll definitely be signing with Pittsburgh by next week.

Just kidding. But I can dream. The Pirates have actually been mentioned as a "contender"for DP... where they'll get that kind of money remains to be seen. 

On the right is a Barrett Barnes auto from 2013 Bowman Inception.  Barnes is currently pegged as the Pirates #10 prospect. He's stuck behind some great talent, but he's only 22. It'll definitely be an uphill battle for Mr. Barnes to reach the show.

Finishing out the baseball cards are a Vlad jersey and a nice Will Middlebrooks parallel. I'm not necessarily a fan of Middlebrooks, but this is one of the sickest cards in all of 2013 Topps. 

I've always been a fan of Vlad, simply because he has no right arm but rather a cannon. He also opted against batting gloves which is nicely captured on the card.

 Finally, A nice big ol' Marc Gasol Jersey. I've mostly connected with baseball collectors, but basketball cards are a big part of my collection, so this was very welcome. The card isn't too special, except the fact that Marc seems to be doing some odd dance move with a basketball photoshopped in. It's a shame he's out this year, as one of the more exciting big men in the league.

Thanks again to Alex for the trade, and thanks for reading!

Monday, December 9, 2013

My Best Trade Yet, with ARPSmith

Back in October, I stumbled across an awesome blog - ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession - run by an awesome blogger, Adam.

I eagerly scanned his want list, and luckily I had a few goodies for him. I shot him an e-mail and before long, a trade was born. I sent off some SF Giants for him, and asked for anything he could spare in return. The first bullet in his wantlist states, "Those who fill one of these needs will be greatly rewarded!"

..and let me assure you, this guy is not kidding.

I found myself with a stack of Pirates, and I could immediately tell that this collection was loaded with color! Parallels. Yes.

First off is a nice Jeanmar Gomez parallel from 2013 Update. I already have the emerald, but not the gold. Perfect. In the center is former 1B/3B Casey Mcgehee, from 2012 Update. To his right is his successor, looking lovely on that Emerald background. After two great years with the Brewers (and then one really bad one), he got a shot with the Pirates. It was more a less a disaster. 

Next up is a nice horizontal from 2011 Topps Diamond. I really like the look of the these cards, and specifically this very card. A great shot of Cutch, Garrett Jones, and Ryan Doumit. Any card with Cutch on it is gold to me. Doumit's Pirate career is comparable to Mcgehee's... no need to trash him too.   Garrett Jones just signed with Miami after the Pirates decided not to pay him. I'd be lying if I said I won't miss him. My favorite memory of him was back in June when he blasted one straight into the Allegheny. It was only the second time a homer went into the river on a fly. Quite impressive.

To the left is a Starling Marte RC from 2012 Topps. Just a gorgeous card. The gold sparkle bodes so well with the Pirates black and gold jerseys. To the right is Cutch from 2013 GQ with a nice white border. 

In the center is, allegedly, a Jose Tabata "Future Stars" Insert. There are several strange things going on here:

1) Is "Future Stars" not the most played out term for inserts? Ever!?
2) Jose Tabata will most likely never come close to star status
3) ...that's Ronny Cedeno.

I poked around the internet, and I don't think Ronny Cedeno had card in 2011 GQ. A very interest error card. Cedeno's a short stop, Tabata a right fielder. Poor editorial work here, but a cool card nonetheless!

Lastly, a nice 2013 Topps Chome orange parallel of Mr. Russel Martin. I already have the Sepia and Black Parallels... do I see a rainbow in the future?

Below it is a wonderful bonus that Adam was willing to send my way. I'm actually a big fan of Jonathan Dwyer. He was drafted by Pittsburgh, and he's been with the team for three years now. He was actually cut during pre-season cuts, but then re-signed after several injuries at the runningback position. He's a power back, something that the Steelers have been lacking lately. My favorite aspect of this card is Dwyer's number. He wore 21 in college, and wears 27 now. Not sure where the 41 came from.

Adam, thanks so much these awesome cards. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined such a complete and exciting package.

If you'd like to check out more of my Pirates PC, it can be seen HERE!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Pirates PC Additions

In my ongoing mission to bulk up my Pirates PC, I've been browsing eBay quite often. Last week, was able to grab two beautiful cards of two keystone Buccos. As my Pirates collection has grown, it seems that it's becoming more and more autographed based. As long as it continues to be an affordable practice, I'd love to snag at least one auto of each significant member of the Pirates roster. Here are my two newest additions (you can also view my entire PC HERE):

The first card I purchased is a Neil Walker Auto from 2012 Topps GQ. Everything about this card is great: On card, blue ink, great pose. The price was right too, just under $10 shipped. Neil's going to have to starting putting up some consistently good numbers if the Pirates want to have a stable offense. In other words, they offense will go as he goes.

The other card I grabbed is a 2008 Topps Triple Threads Francisco Liriano Autograph/Jersey. I'm not a huge fan of Topps' silver in-card autograph stickers, but an auto's an auto. The centering of the sticker on this particular card is also very poor. Thankfully the jersey isn't just plain white. Topps was kind enough to give me one single pinstripe... how kind of you, Topps.

This was also just under $10 shipped. Here's to hoping Frank the Tank can deliver us another all-star caliber season. Hopefully Topps will produce some more cards with Frankie in a Pirates jersery. Until then, I'll gladly settle for this.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

2013 Topps Cut to the Chase - SET COMPLETE!

It's glorious. I'd never tried to chase a set of inserts before, but for some reason this set really appealed to me. I think my favorite aspect of the set is the player selection; lots hall of famers, future hall of famers, and of course... three Pirates. 

I picture myself skimming through this set ten years from now and being overwhelmed with great baseball memories- Mike Trout's huge splash onto the scene, Cutch's MVP year, Manny Machado's Web Gem of the year, and so on.

And the best part is, this is all pre-Puig- an era of baseball which I enjoyed. It could be the last set of Puig-free inserts that Topps ever produces.

A huge thanks to everyone was helped me out with this set! Its great to sit back and enjoy these, finally.

Monday, November 18, 2013

PC Upgrades from the Dime Box

Not the literal Dime Box, but my new pal Nick over at the blog Dime Boxes -- The Low-End Baseball Card Collector's Journey.

Nick enjoys the little things about cardboard collecting, like finding gems for just a dime. Luckily, Nick was in need of some parallels, and I had a ton lying around (and still do). After a good deal of bartering, we were able to settle on a trade. I sent him a small of stack of parallels and set needs, and he sent me some sick Pirates cards off of his trade list.

First off is a really nice Pedro Alvarez insert from 2011 Topps Opening Day. This set of inserts, "Stadium Lights," attempts to highlight the feats that players achieve in night games.

Which makes this one of the most ironic cards of all time, at least for this season. Here are Pedro's night/day splits for the 2013 season (day games on top):

Hense the nickname he earned this year, "Daydro."

Next to Pedro is a nice Jason Bay card from 2006 Bowman Originals. Blue Parallel numbered to 250. JB's up there on my all-time Pirate favs.

Continuing the parallel theme, we've got a gold beauty of Josh Harrison from 2012 Topps. And look who it is in the background! Daydro! He's even smiling, which is quite a rarity. Not a knock on him at all, I believe he's just an intense guy on the field.

The Jeanmar Gomez emerald is fresh out of 2013 Update. Jeanmar is at the top of the pile for the most underrated player on the Pirates this year. He started, relieved, and closed games.. and didn't give up many runs doing so.

Last but certainly not least is a 2010 UD Marlon Byrd auto. This card won't knock anyone's socks off, but neither will Marlon Byrd. I've been itching to grab an auto of his ever since joining the Buccos, so Nick came in clutch for me here. I'm sad to see him go across the state, but I will always remember his outstanding play on the North Shore, however brief it was.

Thanks again to Nick, and thanks for reading!

Free Stuff!

Today I'm here to present a unique opportunity to my fellow bloggers: FREE STUFF!

Not just any stuff, but 5 packs of early 90's football cardboard. Hard to resist, right? One of them even comes with a piece of gum that's over two decades old!!

I received these as a throw-in in an eBay purchase. I have very little interest in these types of cards, but I know there are some people out there that can offer a warm, loving home!

First come, first serve. Just drop me a comment or an e-mail.

Thanks for reading, 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Topps Comes Through With a Redemption!

It seems that every collector has a nightmare story about a Topps redemption. Luckily, I've avoided pulling redemptions, except for two. One I sold on eBay immediately, and one I decided to redeem. 

I pulled the redemption card out of Bowman platinum blaster over the summer. It only took about 3 months for them to get it to me. I can't complain! 

I had never heard of Mike O'Neill, but after some reading, he seems like an interesting character. And because of that, I think I'll hang onto this one for a while! I hope to see him in the big leagues soon.

Thanks for reading, 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Trade Bait! Come and get it!

Hello all, I've finally got around to updating my Trade Bait page. I've been buying a ton of Topps baseball products lately, and everything's on the new page. Check it out HERE

If you see anything you like, shoot me an email at nsbell440@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Parallel Perfection

Parallels have become a fixture in card collecting. Every collector has an opinion on them. In general, I'm a big fan of parallels, although they have gotten out of hand over the past few years in terms of abundance. Here's an example of parallels creating some gorgeous cards:

After I heard that 2013 Topps Chrome included black parallels numbered to 100, I could only imagine how awesome the Pirates cards would look, and I had to put a team set together. They did not disappoint. I was able to snag each of these off of eBay for decent prices. They're rare enough to have some value, but not so rare that they're unobtainable. 

Sometimes parallels can look very odd. When the border colors match the team colors, it just looks amazing.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Some Very Awesome Tradebait

Hello fellow bloggers! If you're a fan of Bowman Chrome, please listen up! 

Not too long ago, I ordered a case of 2013 Bowman Chrome baseball. To make an extremely long story extremely short, I still have a handful of factory sealed, unopened hobby boxes. 

Why do I mention this? TRADE BAIT! I've busted plenty of boxes lately, and I'd really like to dump these boxes off to people who want them. In return, I'd like to get some nice cards, of course. I'm looking mostly for auto's and low numbered cards. If you didn't know, I'm a Pirates and Steelers fan... However, I collect all different types of baseball, basketball, and football cards. If you think you can match the value of one of these hobby boxes, please don't hesitate to contact me. Drop a comment or shoot me an email at nsbell440@gmail.com

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's My Lucky Day!

A couple weeks back, the guys over at Sports Card Collectors held a contest prior to the NLCS. The rules were simple: Choose the winner of the series and the number of games it will take them to do so. It was the day after the Cardinals beat my Buccos in game 5 of the NLDS, and I had to give it to the Redbirds. They looked like a great baseball team, and I liked them to go on and defeat the Dodgers. I entered the contest and took the Cards in 6. What a guess that turned out to be! 

I was one of six bloggers who took the Cards to win in six, and I was lucky enough to be chosen as the winner from the randomizer!

Here's a picture of all the goodies:

Pretty cool stuff! I always buy BCW products, but it's nice to get some for free, of course. Aside of the booklet cases, these are all supplies that I use frequently, so it was a very practical win for me. 

If you don't follow the Sports Card Collectors collectors, you're really missing out. They hold some really fun contests, and there's always awesome prizes. I received my package in less than a week of winning too. If you're interested in purchasing the highest quality card protection, head straight to BCW's website.

As always, thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A fun trade with Hot Corner

About three weeks ago, I completed a very enjoyable trade with Pat over at Hot Corner Cards. Pat's a huge Tigers fan, so I sent him a couple nice Verlander cards, and some commons for a set he's working on.

I didn't ask for anything specific in return. I just told him I'm a Pirates fan, and I'll take anything ! He sent over some really nice cards, and hit just about every recognizable Pirate from the last 20 years. Names such as: Zack Duke, Oliver Perez, Jack Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Brian Giles, Jason Bay, Bobby Bonilla, Nate McClouth, Nyjer Morgan, Jose Guillen, and Jason Kendall. 

I'd say all that's missing from a list like that is Lastings Milledge and Barry Bonds. Aside from all the nostalgia, Pat also hooked me up with an awesome Starling Marte Parallel from Topps Opening Day:

Pat, thanks so much for the awesome cards. Sorry it took me so long to get around to this!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Quick PSA for an Awesome Group Break Opporunity

Just a quick announcement!

Judson over at the awesome blog "My Cardboard Habit" is hosting a Bowman Chrome group break. He's planning on cracking two boxes- maybe three if he can get enough people.

He's still in desperate need of participants! SIGN UP HERE!! He's an awesome guy, and he's dying to host this break! Help him (and yourself) out and sign up! Each spot is only $18 bucks for your team and a random team. TONS of teams are still available! Again - SIGN UP HERE!!

Thanks guys! This is sure to be a fun one.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

2013 Bowman Chrome Hobby Box Break and Review

With the release of Topps Chrome and Bowman Chrome in the same week, it made sense to grab a box of each at the same time to save on shipping. It also made for a very eventful day of box breaking! Here's the box:

Wil Myers graces the cover here. I wonder if he'll live up to the hype. 

Here's a look at a base card of Jose Fernandez. The regular base card is pictured on the left. On the right is the refractor version. Both look great.

Above is an example of the "Risin' Thru the Ranks" inserts. As a Pirates fan, this was an exciting pull. I'm a huge Alen Hanson fan, and I'm really looking forward to seeing him in the big leagues soon.

Here are the two numbered parallels that I pulled. The Zimmerman blue is numbered to 250, the Ryan Howard pink is numbered to 35. Both of these guys are great players, but I feel like neither has been able to reach their full potential- specifically Howard, who has been riddled with injuries. Nonetheless, I'm always happy to pull a low numbered card.

Here are my two autos. Yes, two! Bowman promises an additional autographed prospect card in every third box, and I was lucky enough to beat the odds. Both of these guys are great young prospects with lots of potential. The Hak-Ju Lee card is refractor, numbered to 500.


Overall Design: These cards look good. Printing is sharp and clean.

Box contents: This product is less diverse than Topps Chrome, but it does dive into the minor leagues. A huge chunk of the set is unproven prospects, so you'll have to be patient when determining value.

The Hits: Only 1 guaranteed autograph is tough for the price ($60-$70). As with Topps Chrome, I appreciate the diminishing use of memorabilia cards. There is the potential to pull some low numbered parallels, course.

Positives: Design, autos on card, abundance of young stars.

Negatives: The obvious con here is the price. Bowman Chrome is a collector favorite- Topps knows it, and charges accordingly.

Rating: 8 out of 10. Bowman Chrome will continue to be a staple within the cardboard world. These are fun boxes with some decent potential. If you're looking for more instant value, I highly recommend Topps Chrome, which I feel is the better product overall. To each his own!

Thanks for reading, as always!

2013 Topps Chrome Hobby Box Break and Review

Topps Chrome is hands down my favorite baseball card. I'm a big fan of 2013 Topps, and the chrome versions are just beautiful cards. I pre-ordered a box back in August, along with a box of Bowman Chrome which I'll review next. I've been waiting for this moment for a while, so this was an exciting break for me. Without further ado:

 The box

I'll start off with the base cards as usual, with Yu Darvish as an example. On the right is the normal base card, on the left is the refractor version of the same card. Both cards look great. I had a total of 4 refractors in this box.

Some more base card comparison here. On the right is Robinson Cano's base card, at left is the X-factor version. these look fantastic as well. I also had 4 of these in the box.

Here are the die-cuts, which I am not a fan of. I'm not huge on die-cuts in general, aside from 2013 Topps Cut to the Chase, which I'm building set of. These die-cuts are a little too much for me, they just have too many edges.

A nice Machado die-cut refractor. These ones aren't so bad. Not awesome, but a cool pull.

1972 Topps Chrome refractors. A nice addition. 

 This one's a beauty. Chris Sale blue parallel /199. I love parallels, and I really love when they're numbered. Chris Sale is always a great pull with his Cy Young potential.

 On to the auto's!

Two rookies, and two nice names! Both of these autos look great, due to the blue ink and because they're on-card. The Hoes card is just a regular base auto. The Brantly card is a refractor numbered /499. Unfortunately neither one of these cards carries much value, probably due to their commonality.

Here's the real gem! Adrian Beltre camo parallel numbered /15. A fantastic pull. Nothing is more exciting than pulling a low numbered card, and there are few players that I'd rather see. This was an awesome surprise.


Overall Design: These cards look superb. I'm a huge fan of chrome, specifically Topps. The look of these cards simply does not disappoint. The players really pop off the card. 

Box contents: These boxes have of a ton of potential. A guaranteed two autographs is a good number for the price. There's also great variety in these boxes. There are parallels of all colors. Add refractors, X-fractors, memorabilia cards, and a bevy of inserts, and you've got a very diverse hobby box.

The Hits: 2 autographs for 70 bucks is pretty decent. I also appreciate that Topps has stayed away from memorabilia cards for the most part. In my mind, there are few things worse than "Guaranteed 2 autos/memorabilia cards."

Positives: Design, value, price, variety, autos on card.

Negatives: The only downside to Topps chrome is the card's tendency to warp. For whatever reason, these cards always seem to bend if they're not in top loaders. 

Rating: 9.5 out of 10. These cards are just awesome. So much so that I've already ordered another box! Stay tuned.