While 2017 was the year of Judge, it didn’t start quite as early as it has this year. 2018 has seen Ohtani being even more sought after. We saw it a bit with Heritage, but now with the Bowman release, Ohtani-mania is in full effect. Normally, we’d have a hobby box to break, but we’re seeing prices double and nearly triple the normal price around release time. That’s way too out of hand, for what is essentially hoping for the lottery ticket of an Ohtani autograph. That one card is the only way to really have a chance at getting value out of a box.
Retail is still the regular price, if you can find it. As a result of Hobby being so expensive, even retail is getting scooped up and often resold at a higher price. You have a lot tougher odds on inserts and parallels, but for many, retail is going to be the only option to open Bowman packs this year.
There are other rookies available as usual in Bowman, but they all seem overshadowed this year. This release is pretty standard fare for Bowman at this point. You have a 100 card base set, featuring some veterans and some rookies, along side the prospects paper and chrome insert sets, which is the meat of the release. These feature 150 prospects. Some are well known, and some really aren’t. I guess that’s part of the beauty of Bowman. You won’t really know how good a release it was for a few years. Which future stars may be hiding in this release?
Continue reading 2018 Bowman Blaster Box Break
Opening Day is just around the corner, so that means the release of Topps Opening Day set. This is a set that manages not to rely on hits, in a hobby that seems to more and more focus on hits. That’s not to say there are not any in Opening Day, but they are much rarer, and result in a lot more affordable boxes.
Continue reading 2018 Topps Opening Day Hobby Box Break
Panini Donruss fills an interesting role in the hobby. Topps has an exclusive contract with Major League Baseball to produce fully licensed trading cards, but that hasn’t stopped Panini from putting out a quality alternative. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground as people either really like it or really hate it. I definitely fall in to the like it category.
Continue reading 2018 Donruss Hobby Box Break
The 2018 Topps Heritage release pays tribute to the 1969 Topps set. After a year of Judge cards, I was slightly concerned we would just see everything over produced to meet the increased demand, but we find that Topps allocated this release a little bit. Couple that with the inclusion of a hot new pre-rookie SP in Ohtani, and you have a pretty hot product. Will the value hold up?
It’s pretty striking to me the apparent odds of nearly everything this release. While Heritage autographs are never really the focus,
they’re even rarer this year. Is that a sign of really increased production? I guess time will tell. Are speculators just driving the prices again? Don’t get me wrong. It is still a nice release, but the added speculators will end up making an already expensive set to collect that much more costly. It will definitely make it more difficult to get value out of a box, especially if you miss out on Ohtani.
Continue reading 2018 Topps Heritage Hobby Box Break
The release of 2018 Topps series 1 heralds the first signs of spring and the coming of spring training. After a long cold off season, it’s the first sign of return of baseball. I’m not a big fan of the recent designs, and this year doesn’t do much to change that opinion. Again, the design, with no borders, doesn’t really feel like a flagship Topps set to me, and I can only see a tongue sticking out by the logo now.
It’s not a bad set by any means, it just doesn’t feel right to me. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises to me, is the lack of buybacks in the product. They have become a staple over the last few years, and almost seem to stick out in their absence.
Once again, there are a large number of SP and SSPs mixed in. The odds for a lot of the numbered inserts seems much tougher than normal, pointing to a large increase in production. That’s been a concern as the hobby begins recovering from Judgemania last year.
Continue reading 2018 Topps Series 1 Jumbo Hobby Box Break