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Friday, December 14, 2007

2007 Topps Updates & Highlights - Blaster Rip and Product Review

My Topps Updates and Highlights reviews got completely forgotten when Bowman Heritage came out, so here's a blaster box break and a mini review for anyone who's interested.

I was really looking forward to this stuff about two months ago. Not so much for the set, which is kind of the same every year - a bunch of traded and fringe vets, a few rookies, a few subsets and with any luck some decent inserts. I was looking forward to it for a specific insert set, the Wal-Mart exclusive insert set featuring a history of baseball cards. I've been building this set all year and I only need the second series Hanley Ramirez out of the first 36 cards. The cards are pretty slick, like all the Heritage-type sets they swipe a design from an ancient card set from a defunct company that can't sue them anymore and use it in a contemporary set. I love this retro crap, so I've been buying Wal-Mart blasters all year. Here's the break for the last $10 box I picked up.

Box Topper pack:
WM46 Carlos Lee - 1911 Helmar stamps
WM38 Matt Holliday - 1911 T205
WM47 CC Sabathia - 1914 Fatima

This pack kind of bummed me out because all three designs were used in the second series set. The Fatima design was used for Nick Swisher's card, Holliday's T205 design was on Ryan Zimmerman's card and Carlos lee shares a Helmar design with Michael Young. They even used the exact same Helmar stamp design to boot when there are a bunch of different borders from that set. They are still the best inserts from Topps this year and this pack is one sixth of the set. ok, on to the packs.

318 Scott Proctor
138 Sean Marshall
102 Adam Eaton
MMS34 Mickey Mantle History
157 Andy LaRoche RC
236 Johan Santana All Star
Checklist 3

I like the Mantle history set. I'd rather they do something like this if they have to have a hero worship set, using different card designs with different photos on each card. The monotonous mirrors counting down home run after home run can go away. The '54 design is one of the best too.

156 Matt DeSalvo RC
43 Ubaldo Jimenez RC
19 Russell Branyan
The fourth goddamn Barry Bonds Home Run King card I've pulled
312 Joba Chamberlain RC
229 Barry Bonds All Star

I'm more tired of this stupid Home Run King card than I was with the Mickey Mantle home run #1 card that was in every pack a couple years ago. I pull one more of these and I'm going to go all Mark Ecko and brand it with a asterisk before shooting it into the sun.

181 Nathan Haynes RC
187 Kevin Melillo RC
297 JP Howell
92 Brendan Harris
272 Bobby Jenks All Star
246 Ben Sheets All Star

The All-Star set is one of the best things about the U&H set every year.

81 Kelly Shoppach
34 Paul McAnulty
159 Jarrod Saltalamacchia RC
GN425 Ian Kinsler #1 Double
321 Scott Linebrink
231 Torii Hunter All Star

The Generation Now cards are obnoxious enough, but it seems like half the set is this boring blue color like on Kinsler's card. This set can't die fast enough for me. Here's Jarrod Saltalamaccia's MLB Rookie card even though have have several of his Bowman cards from a few years back.

5 Steve Trachsel
35 Hiram Bocachica
48 Chad Durbin
HATT Troy Tulowitski Autograph
213 Trevor Hoffman Highlights
230 Ken Griffey Jr All Star
Checklist 1

A Troy Tulowitski auto out of a ten dollar blaster. I am the luckiest sonovabitch on the planet. I think Topps might be trying to bribe me with good hits because they know I despise this product.

179 Jesus Flores RC
325 Jason Kendall
167 Zach McClellan RC
128 Brad Thompson
275 Mike Fontenot and Khalil Greene Classic Combo
216 David Ortiz All Star

I personally like the Classic Combo cards, but you have to admit this is a rather obscure pairing.

50 Jason Smith
8 Trot nixon
326 Milton Bradley
GN488 Jonathan Papelbon #8 Save
162 Phil Hughes RC
257 JJ Hardy

The Papelbon and the Prince Fielder Generation Now cards are the only ones out of this series that I like. They are both great players and the red and purple backgrounds aren't sleep inducing.

107 Damion Easley
106 Ruben Gotay
118 John McDonald
Barry Bonds HR 735
18 Adam Jones
244 Brad Penny All Star

Barry crap card. Pppppbbbhtthttt.

323 Jorge Cantu
23 Tadahito Iguchi
311 Josh Phelps
239 Gold Mike Lowell All Star #0994/2007
211 Randy Johnson Highlights
267 Brian Roberts All Star
Checklist 2

Gold cards are nice I suppose.

140 Ryan Spilborghs
161 Brandon Wood RC
2 Shannon Stewart
MHR496 Mantle HR 496
276 A-Rod and Russell Martin Classic Combos
264 Victor Martinez All Star

The good thing about this Mantle home run card is that it's #496 and he only hit 40 more after this one. They can't keep this up forever! The can however do a Mickey Mantle at bats mirror set and drag it out another 8102 cards.

So now is where I get to bitch about a set right after I pull a sweet auto card out of a blaster. I don't care, this product does nothing for me. I'm tired of home run cards, I'm tired of Gen Now cards, Topps Gold is necessary but boring, and I just don't want any more Barry cards. The World Series team cards (which I didn't pull in this box) should have included all the teams and better yet, been released in a set that shipped before the World Series was over so people would care about them. Put that in series two and half of them would be traded like mad, now if you pull anything instead of the Sox it may as well be a Stadium Club Super Teams card from the 90's. Like a lot of stuff from Topps lately, it just seems mailed in. The fake Joba error, Squirrel card and Ellsbury don't do it for me either and I actually pulled an Ellsbury. Maybe I expect too much from Topps, maybe I'm burned out of 2007 cards, maybe I'm just jaded and cynical. I've had the feeling that this would be a better buy in factory set form since I ripped my first few packs. The Updates and Highlights sets are actually on the shelves now for $24.95. No inserts, but with these inserts who cares. Try to build the set by ripping packs and you're going to drop $60-$70 before you even get close. Take my advice and get a set instead of ripping a bunch of blasters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

YOu are the luckiest SOB I never pull autos or relics out of blasters!! Nice job!