Monday, June 16, 2014

The $10 Retail Challenge: 2014 Topps Series 2

A fun little experiment that I like to do.

I've done this a few times in some form or another with the Topps base set, and I'm going to try it again. For my first dip into the 2014 Topps Series 2 waters, I decided to buy $10 worth of cards in the three different configurations available on the retail aisle. Love it or hate it, retail packs and boxes provide a somewhat affordable option for the budget collector. Let's face it -- I would not be a card collector today and you would not be reading this blog if you couldn't buy an occasional pack at a retail store for a couple of bucks. Hobby shops are an awkward and completely off-the-beaten-path experience in my city, and on the rare occasion that I do seek one out, I am reminded that they have steep rent to pay and have to set their prices accordingly.

I picked up 5 loose packs, 2 jumbo/rack packs and 1 hanger box of the new stuff. Tonight, I'm going to take a look at what I pulled from the loosies. These guys are already at a disadvantage as there will be fewer cards (60 vs. 72) than the other two options. Still, strange and wonderful things have occasionally been known to happen to a random loose pack, at least ones that haven't been tampered with. Oh man, now I'm already starting to get sad.

I'm only scanning and talking about the non-base cards, unless they are Cardinals cards. I like Cardinals cards, you see. All the non-Cardinals from these posts are up for grabs, although I do typically earmark certain cards for people I trade with often. Also, if you're building a set or just want to trade, feel free to leave a link to your want list in the comments.

This boring insert set is an unwelcome holdover from Series 1, which means there's an extremely good chance it will be around for Series 3... er... the Update Series. (Seriously, if they started calling it Series 3 and numbered the cards accordingly I would be a very happy person.) There are several of these per player once again, and two more Cardinals are featured.

Gold cards fall at 1 in 7 packs now, which seems to be a significant increase over past years. I don't remember if it was the same for Series 1, but it probably was. I really wish they still had the "X Years of Collecting" tag on these cards somewhere, because that made them a little more special than just another border variation. There are too many border variations, by the way. Far too many!

Yawn. I'm so bored of these.

I didn't pull very many Red Hot Foil parallels the first time around. I did end up with tons of the Emerald parallels from last year, though. I guess they are roughly equivalent.

This is a great card, though it's a little disappointing that Holliday isn't participating in High Socks Sunday. This is one of my favorite rituals, and another thing to love about Jon Jay. I'm always conflicted about Jay. He is a fun player to watch, but an example of someone that you can be frustrated by when his numbers or his defense aren't up to par. This team has a lot of options.

More Red Hot Foil. The Astros are starting to really build up an impressive stable of young talent, aren't they? It's almost like the guy that helped completely turn around the Cardinals farm system is in charge of their rebuild. Oh wait... he is?

And that's... it. It seems like there's usually a deluge of inserts and parallels in every Topps pack, but these ones were pretty lean. Maybe Topps wants people to be able to put together a set on their own after all.

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