Wednesday, January 16, 2008
TriStar Prospects Plus box break and mini review
This is going to be a high-level box break instead of analyzing every single card I got. This was the third of three blasters I got of TriStar. I was planning to have Bowman Draft Picks be my draft set for the year, but reports of 2 autos per box caused me to check out TriStar and I was pleasantly surprised. Here's what I got:
37 out of 100 base cards (37%)
Including first rounders:
David Price (#1)
Matt Wieters (#5)
Matt LaPorta (#7)
Joe Savery (#19)
Tim Alderson (#22)
Michael Main (#24)
And Georgia Boys:
John Gilmore (Braves draft pick)
Nathan Vineyard (Woodland High School)
Farm Hands Autographs:
Not bad for a blaster. Two autos, a decent chunk of the set and a few ok insert cards. The autographs are pretty dang good too, featuring the #24 and #32 overall picks in the draft. Plus I can amuse myself with Caddyshack jokes with the Noonan card. Noonan! Nnnnnoonan! They are both high schoolers so we won't really know anything about them until about 2013, but what the heck. The autographs drive the product for me much more than the base cards. An auto is an auto is an auto, and if I can pull them at least one per blaster instead of maybe one in 3 or four blasters like Bowman, then why not go for TriStar. They are pretty well designed too, the black and foil give it a classy look, there's a portrait and a logo and lots of space for the sticker auto. I've pulled 5 out of the three blasters I got and all the 'graphs look nice even though they are stickers. Only one of the five had the auto go outsie the sticker, but it doesn't detract that much. The boxes guarantee one auto, but I've gotten two in two of the three I've bought. It appears that they might drop one in four or five packs to make sure that at least one gets in every box. The box with only one auto had it drop in the exact middle pack. In the other two they were the first and fifth pack.
The base cards I'm not as crazy about. The foil background with a sort of '68 Topps burlap design is all right by itself, but why they decided to print the name in foil on top of the foil I'll never know. It's really hard to read the name without going blind. The excess of foil means lots of fingerprints on the cards too. If you open one of these up, have a pack of penny sleeves at the waiting and put them in immediately or you'll have your own draft pick CSI lab. The foil also dings very easily and I've gotten several cards with bad corners out of the pack. Other than the foil though it's an elegant design and I like the minor league team logos. The checklist is not bad either and unlike Bowman it's all draft picks (although a few are from previous years) and it's not cluttered up with coaches and basketball players like Elite. A 100 card set is also enough to get a good group of prospects while having an easily completable set. The Protential insert cards are your basic boring insert, but they are attractive looking and do breakup the monotony of all the foil cards.
Overall out of the three boxes, I've unfortunately gotten some bad luck with the collation and I'm only up to 70% of the set so far. I'm still mulling whether to pack it in and start trading or to press my luck and go for one more box so I can chase the Heyward auto. Wait till I post my want list and doubles list to start making those trade offers, I'm going to send out all my pending trades before I start new ones anyway.
Overall I'd rate this a very nice affordable draft pick set for those who don't want all the RC logo cards, chromes and other nonsense from Bowman and don't want to drop a fortune on Donruss. Time will tell if I actually care about this set 5-6 years from now. I have a '98 football draft pick (Peyton) set I still really like, and a 2002 Just set that's pretty loaded that's nice. A lot of my other draft pick and minor league sets though are gathering dust. Like I said before, the autographs drive the set and they will still be cool in the future even if the prospects never pan out.