All right guys, it’s time for another Tear-iffic Tuesday and this week’s a biggie. With 7 products across multiple sports, let’s not waste time. First up to bat is the latest in the world of baseball.
2016 Donruss Optic Baseball
Let’s start things off on the ‘ol diamond with the latest from the folks at Donruss. For all intents and purposes Optic is basically Donruss Chrome rebranded. The entire set is treated with Optichrome technology, meaning the cards are extremely shiny. So at very least if you don’t like the cards, at least you have a signaling device for your next hiking trip, lol.
The basic box breakdown includes an average of 2 autos per hobby box, as well as the requisite inserts and rookies. With each set having several parallels the product promises a wide variety for collectors to chase. Inserts include Diamond Kings, Rated Rookies, Masters of the Game, and Power Alley, among others. The Diamond Kings and Rated Rookies make up part of the base set, while the others are true insert sets.
If, like me, you love to see autos than Optic promises some good variety for you. Expanding on the Rated Rookies base, Donruss will add 6 sets of autographs under that logo, as well as various other auto sets. Here it appears they are parallel crazy, with up to 10 variations for each Rookie set and 5 variations for the others. This seems to be a bit much, but thankfully they’ve added some 1/1’s here to chase.
Price wise Optic Baseball seems like a good bet with hobby boxes in the $85 USD range. Each of these boxes promises 20 packs of 4 cards each, meaning a total of 80 cards per box. With autos of players like David Ortiz, Jose Bautista, and Andre Dawson, the product should have a decent resale value. In my opinion this should be a nice product for collectors to share with their children. Pack prices should be affordable for the casual buyer and box break slots should be cheap. Definitely not a legends oriented product, but rookie collectors can celebrate.
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2016 Topps Allen & Ginter Baseball
Keeping with the baseball theme Topps is back with its popular Allen & Ginter brand. Scheduled for release on Friday A&G provides a number of hit opportunities ranging from regular mem up to cut sigs. The product (somewhat unfortunately) also throws in quite a few oddballs, that come way out of left field (no pun intended).
With A&G, Topps provides a wide and varied base set that includes a glossy 1/1 parallel. Complementing this is a full set minis with a variety of designs. I should point out that some of these minis are hobby exclusive. This means retail buyers will need to find other sources. Of particular interest in the base minis set are the A&G Wood cards (1/1) and the cloth cards (#/10), both of which are hobby box exclusives and the Wood cards are really Wood.
On the memorabilia front, baseball fans can expect full sized relics to feature prominently. With two designs that include game used mem from players such as Pujols and Trout, these are sure to be popular. Also, these sets are mixed, adding in a significant amount of non-baseball from people such as boxer Gennady Golovkin and tennis star Maria Sharapova. Personally I tend to shy away from these types of oddball cards, but there is sure to be a market for them.
The oddball set that has managed to pique my interest is the Ancient Rome Relics set. These cards feature an authentic coin from Ancient Rome and includes a 1/1 silver variation. This set has the potential to be popular with both card and coin collectors alike.
No product is complete these days without a healthy dose of autographs to chase. Available in mini and regular sized cards, the main sets includes both Black Framed (#/25) and Red Ink (#/10) variations. All autos are hard signed and feature players such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza. A separate set of auto cards is dedicated to the set’s non baseball personalities, the highlight being Kevin Costner.
Rarer autos appear to be a big draw and here Topps doesn’t hold back. There are two sets of booklets to collects, each featuring autos and memorabilia. These are available in both single and dual player varieties and add spice to the regular single card varieties. Topps provides a very nice cut sigs set, but collectors looking for baseball will be disappointed. Foregoing the likes of legends such as Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, the set is exclusively non-baseball. Names such as Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Page, and Norman Rockwell are sure to resell high, but aren’t what you’d expect from a baseball product.
As for inserts, fans can expect an eclectic mix that follows in the steps of products like Champ’s hockey and Goodwin Champions. With such sets as Ferocious Felines, Laureates of Peace, and Natural Wonders, casual collectors may wonder what they have bought into. As an academic some of these sets intrigue me, but as a casual baseball fan I’d like to see more actual baseball included.
Risk takers are going to be happy to know that Rip Cards are back, averaging 1 per hobby case. These oversized cards dare collectors to rip the card for a chance at a rare card inside. These are always fun and unripped cards will taunt you, as they also tend to be highly collectible if unopened. What’s inside? Who knows?
Surprisingly enough, despite all the 1/1s and the inclusion of Presidential autographs, the product is actually quite affordable. Hobby boxes are listed as low as $87usd, which will appeal to personal buyers, as well as box breakers. With 24 packs of 8 cards each, there is sure to be plenty of base to collect and introduce kids to collecting. Personally I’d advise buyers to know what they are buying, as the oddballs could come as a shock, but it still appears to be a fun product anyway.
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