Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Closer Look at 2014 Topps Series One

The time has come. Topps Series One has hit the shelves, and I am getting my first opportunity to take a stab at the set. I've been collecting for a short time, so this is pretty exciting for me. Fresh packs to open. A new design, though a little worse than last years. Just a new beginning.

I stopped off at Target yesterday and bought a blaster box. I posted the highlights of that box here, but I was left wanting more. So, me and my buddy Dikran decided to make a late night run to Target.




We came back with two more blaster boxes and two of the value boxes. These are in addition to the blaster box I bought, and the blaster box Dikran bought earlier in the day. That puts our 2014 Topps Series One total to 4 blaster boxes and 2 value boxes. We were not lucky enough to pull an auto or relic from any of the packs, but that was not the purpose. I'd like to put together the entire set from Series One, before Series Two comes out. Considering I am still working on my 2013 Flagship sets, I wanted to get a jump start on these.


I got a ton of base cards, and my need list for the base set is currently updated. I am already about two-thirds of the way done with the base set, which is pretty good considering the cards only came out yesterday.


Because I bought the cards from Target, there were two red parallels in every pack. I have a huge stack of red parallels which will all be uploaded to my Trade Bait tonight. Leave a comment and I can pull a specific teams cards for you.





Here are the Dodgers I have so far. The base design is okay with me. It is a little reminiscent of Bowman, but they are fine other than that. 2013 is still better, but these are definitely better than the cards from 2012. The thing I do hate is the checklist. The Dodgers got 11 cards in Series One, and the list of names is rather lackluster. I do not understand how Brandon League managed to get a card in here while guys like Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, A.J Ellis, Kenley Jansen didn't. Brandon League is probably the worst player on the Dodgers 25 man right now, so it is disappointing that he gets another card. 


I really dig the sideways Nolasco card which features Puig. I prefer vertical cards to the horizontal ones, but sometimes the horizontal cards feature some awesome pictures. The Michael Young card is also another one of my favorites, though he's definitely not one of my favorite players. I'm sure he's a nice guy, but I don't want him coming back to my Dodgers. I've tried talking myself into the inevitable over the past few weeks, but he has yet to sign. Hopefully this is his last card in Dodger blue. 


8 out of 11

6 Josh Beckett
40 Hyun-Jin Ryu
72 Michael Young
111 Mark Ellis
142 Zack Greinke
173 Brandon League 
193 Ricky Nolasco
197 Onelki Garcia
204 Adrian Gonzalez
314 Hanley Ramirez
331 Yasiel Puig


Here are the red parallels I pulled. I plan on collecting the red and blue parallels for the Dodgers this year, though I have been constantly adding things to my to-do list, so I may want every parallel by the time 2015 comes out. I'll be adding a new page to the blog soon, designed for some of my goals and such but more on that later.



I was also able to pull these lovely pieces of cardboard. Ryu would probably be my favorite pitcher on the staff if not for Kershaw. These are going straight to the PC binder, so I will need to add one more of each for my Topps set. That's if I don't decide to just scrape that and collect the base set beforehand.



Topps went crazy with the foil this year, and this card is a perfect example. The card looks great in person, and it is a decent looking insert set. I do wish the cards were all the same color however. This happens to be purple, but there is a plethora of colors these Upper Class cards in. Topps seems to have gone color crazy, with some of the insert sets, but I'll still be buying. I'll still be looking for another one of these as well. This one is going straight to the PC binder. 


Puig cards are fun. There is just something about cards that feature him that excites me. The Future is Now insert looks to have some sort of filter on the image, similar to the pictures on Gypsy Queen. This doesn't bug me for the insert sets. I actually enjoy it. I will need another one of these cards, because just like the Ryu's, this is headed for the PC binder. 


One thing I absolutely love this year is the minis. As you can see from the scan, they are diecut, which is something new to me. I don;t know if Topps has done this before, but I like the idea. Lucky me, I was able to grab a Puig. Puig's cards usually go for a fortune on eBay, so being able to pull one is always nice. Like with the previous Puig's and Ryu's, I will need another one for the mini set. 


The best addition yesterday was this Hanley variation. Usually variations fetch between 10 and 40 bucks on eBay when the product is new, but I won't be selling this. In fact, my buddy Dikran pulled this in his box so I ended up trading for it. I do enjoy the SP cards Topps puts out, though they usually fall out of the price range early on. Topps seems to have gone #TeamSparkle this year with the SP's, which is already driving me crazy. I will have to go back through all the bases I have and double check for that annoying sparkle. I will probably wait a few days until the checklist sites can get the cards confirmed so I know who to look for. 


Another Harper card for my PC. I traded a few of my Harper's to Judson of My Cardboard Habit a few months ago, something I regret a bit. I'm sure I could add those cards to my PC rather cheaply, but they would have looked nice in the binder. 


Beltre is my favorite non-Dodger in the game today, and my favorite ex-Dodger still active today. I love this photo of him in the dugout. Reminds me of this video of Elvis Andrus messing with him. I have been trying to find some cheap Beltre cards on eBay, though I haven't walked away as the winner lately. 


This was one of the manu-patches in the blasters I opened. I'm not generally a fan of these, but I love adding a new card of one of my PC guys to the binder. Though this will probably be placed in a top loader and put with the other thicker cards. 


Here are the rest of the mini's that were pulled. The Darvish is probably my favorite of the six here. Though they are all great. I am becoming a bigger fan of the Topps minis recently, though I still need to complete the mini sets from 2013. Guess I need to find some trade partners.

Overall, Series One isn't that bad. The design is worse than last year, but it is still a pretty good looking set. The Dodgers checklist is lame, but hopefully Series Two will improve on that. The Minis are definitely my favorite thing to come from Series One, though the other insert sets didn't disappoint. I probably won;t be buying any more packs for a couple more weeks, but hopefully I can pull of some trades to supplement my collection. 

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