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Monday, December 8, 2008

The Future of Blasters?

It looks like a lot of strange things are popping up in Target lately. Flash just found a tin of 2008 Sweet Spot there! I've found some Co-Signers Basketball at Target myself, which while it isn't as odd as seeing a Sweet Spot Tin, does seem to indicate that Topps and Upper deck are starting to really roll out their higher-end hobby products to retail now. I'm not sure what to think about this, retail is probably where a big chunk of their profits come from, but this can't be good for hobby stores in this economy. I don't know if I'm going to buy one of these tins or not. the only reason I like it is for the autographs and I can probably pick up a two or three of them for the price of a tin.

The next odd thing I found was this jumbo cello pack of Topps Heritage High Numbers. Topps has never done a jumbo pack of Heritage before, but I like it. You're basically getting one more card for one less dollar. The odds on the back are strange though. If you compare the jumbo with the regular pack the short prints are 1:3 for both packs and the Rookie Performers, Flashbacks and Then and Now still drop at 1:12. All other inserts like Chromes, relics and autographs show the odds are approximately halved. Who knows, maybe Topps is trying to lower expectations. I got both a Then & Now and a Chrome in my pack.

This is what I wanted to show off though:

Oh goody, a rack pack of Topps Updates & Highlights. How interesting. Yawn. But wait, this isn'tan ordinary rack pack, it's a...


One thing I had noticed when this product came out is that there were no more ten dollar blasters. Only the 20 dollar blasters with a relic card in every box. I was bummed, because I didn't want the relic card, I wanted the retail only inserts to try to chase a Chipper. There were none to be found though. This 80 card rack pack is basically a 10 dollar blaster. The old blasters had five 12 card packs and a three card box topper. That's 63 cards total and a lot of extra packaging. This here is also 10 dollars but has 20 extra cards but also no box and five less wrappers. That is pretty dang cool if you ask me. The environment is better off because there is a lot less packaging to get thrown away. The manufacturer is better off because they don't have to purchase the extra packaging and the packaging weighs less so it take less fuel to ship. The retailer is better off because they can hang the rack packs up and have more shelf space. The consumer is better off because they get more cards. The only one screwed in this deal is the guy who makes the boxes. That's 80% happiness right there.

So is this a good idea? Hell yes. Upper Deck has their own 10 dollar value pack full of base brand cards that also has a much smaller environmental footprint than a blaster and also provides value (and they did it first!) so good job to both of them for innovating on the packaging a little. Last year saw the blaster box size shrink a bit so they're making incremental steps on reducing waste. You don't care about this tree hugging hippie crap though, you want to see the cards. Well, here ya go:

Top Half:
(The UH's have been removed from the card numbers for their own protection)

103 Chris Burke
277 John Rheinecker
31 Marco Scutaro
30 Brendan Harris
271 Brad Thompson
55 Cesar Izturis
13 Geoff Blum
218 Salomon Torres
278 So Taguchi
146 Carlos Gonzalez RC
70 George Sherrill
134 Joey Devine
33 Carlos Marmol
15 Kevin Cash

All the inserts were bunched up together. There were eight, which is roughly equivalent to what you would get in a five pack blaster with a 3 card bonus pack.

TCP42 Hidecki Matsui
TCP45 Johan Santana


YR159 Curtis Granderson

FC-13 Millard and Abigail Fillmore

MRH-DG Dwight Gooden Ring of Honor

210 Joe Saunders Gold #1992/2008
292 Ryan Dempster All-Star Gold #1293/2008

ok, back to base cards:
286 Aaron Cook All-Star
137 Evan Longoria Highlight
316 Ben Sheets All-Star
136 Ramirez & Pujols Combos
37 Connor Robertson
112 Hamilton & Drew Combos
292 Ryan Dempster All-Star
323 Jorge Velandia
293 Adam Dunn
190 Manny Ramirez All-Star
215 Josh Hamilton All-Star
317 Brian Buscher
156 Roy Halladay All-Star
203 Joe Crede All-Star
222 Dave Borkowski
306 Casey Kotchman
96 Vladimir Nunez
204 Franquelis Osoria
12 Trot Nixon
318 Kyle Farnsworth
276 Corey Hart All-Star

Bottom Half:

211 Brett Tomko
235 Eddie Guardado
260 Emil Brown
193 Jeremy Affeldt
307 Greg Norton
169 Eulogio Del La Cruz
176 Brad Wilkerson
38 Carlos Villanueva
242 Raul Chavez
14 Bartolo Colon
2 Sean Casey (this guy is in every pack I buy)
212 Guillermo Mota
49 Ryan Howard
123 Matt Joyce RC
39 Jose Molina
189 Micah Hoffpauir RC
20 Justin Masterson RC
57 Ramon Castro
201 Travis Denker RC
208 Kerry Wood All-Star
119 Ken Griffey Jr. Highlights
88 Haren & Martin Combos
313 Tim Lincecum All-Star
226 Brian McCann All-Star
268 Alfonso Soriano All-Star
287 Chase Headley
328 Billy Wagner All-Star
5 Chipper Jones All-Star
25 Lance Berkman All-Star
239 Milton Bradley All-Star
77 Ervin Santana All-Star
24 Tony Armas Jr.
219 Damaso Marte
264 David Ortiz All-Star
181 Rulelyvs Hernandez
258 Arthur Rhodes
186 Wes Littleton

There was also a checklist, a ToppsTown and a David Wright ad in there too. Not a bad stack for the money, 47 base cards I didn't have, a couple more T205's to send to JayBee and the T205 Chipper. Good stuff for 10 bucks. Keep it up the enviro-freindly stuff, Topps! Maybe bring back Vending boxes next year!


Andy said...

That ain't how you spell Hideki. Well maybe it's how YOU spell Hideki.

Flash said...

I saw that 80card pack at target. The Walmart I go to has nothing interesting at all. Although I'm really upset that someone opened LITERALLY every loose pack from those large black pack racks at the Target I go to. The only packs that haven't been opened are the retail boxes (I assume those will be next) and the blasters.

night owl said...

That IS good stuff. Let's hope my Target or Wal-Mart does this, too.

Dave said...

Yeah, I picked up one of those big rack packs of Updates & Highlights recently too, and I thought it was a great deal. I thought I bought it at Wal Mart, but it might have been Target - not sure - it was a few weeks ago.

Sooz said...

You have Sean Casey problem. I seriously have that with Chipper Jones.

If you collect him, head over to my blog and email me. Perhaps we can make a trade of sorts. I have a lot of Chipper cards because he is seemingly in every single pack I buy.

dayf said...

Oh God, how did I spell Hideki...

Oh. Ok, that's not as bad as I thought. Cut me some slack, I had to type out 80 cards worth of nouveau blaster and still make a doctor's appointment.

These are also available at Wal-Mart, I'm assuming they have the Dick Perez inserts instead of the T205s.

Sooz said...

So after reading this blog today I thought it was a great idea to go out and buy a tin of these.

I'll break it tomorrow and post it. $30 bucks for a tin.

Joey said...

Those are all good points about the environment and total cards for the price. The thing that bothers me most about rack packs at big box stores is some nimrod damaging the cards.

When the blister packs came out I felt pretty confident that the cards would be undamaged but now between retailers not handling the blisters carefully and pack searchers squeezing and crap now I am seeing more damage on these as well.

stusigpi said...

My mom used to buy me those 1983 Donruss value packs at Newberry's circa 85-86.