Tuesday, May 3, 2011

2011 Topps Value Box (Target Version)

Included in the Value Box from Target are five (5) packs of 2011 Topps Series One cards, two (2) packs of 2011 Topps Heritage Hobby packs, two (2) Diamond Giveaway code cards, a special Chrome Refractor made just for the value boxes, and a 2011 MLB Collector's Guide (with Target branding).

The Diamond Giveaway cards feature Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (one player on each card).  I am sending the Jeter to Sooz over at Card Bandits and Pujols to Erin.  I am not putting in the codes, either.  I'll let the women do that, and if they come up big winners, then all the better!

The Collector's Guide shows off one card from each year Topps has been making cards.  Most of the cards are (or seem to be in my estimation) rookie cards of the various players.  In 60 years of Topps, they couldn't include ONE Indians player's card? Gimme a break. Surely, they could have included a card from each team.  Oh well, can't please everyone, I guess.  After all, we're not talking Diamond Kings of the 80's, are we?  I digress (often, but you learn to live with it or walk away). 

The booklet also contains team schedules, which is kinda cool in a retro "pocket guide" kind of way.  Throughout the Guide, coupons for various products abound: One-A-Day for us aging collectors, $10 off MLB2K11, Scott's Turf Builder (for those of us wishing to build our own "Field of Dreams," I suppose), and others.  Of course, using the coupons means tearing them out of the guide.  And, thus Topps presents the very dilemma that drives many of its target audience (only slight pun intended) batty: keep the collectible, or collect the "prize?"  Dang it.

The "Special Chrome Refractor" was of Jackie Robinson:

I mentioned earlier that I would probably do a "Tribe or No Tribe" game with the packs, and so we begin!

The rules:
Trap cards = Reds (the *other* Ohio team) and the Braves (the *other* Native American-themed team)

+1/2 point is awarded for each card in the pack, unless card fits into the following:

+2 points are awarded for each serial, relic or autographed card.
+1 point is awarded for any Thome card in a non-Indians uniform.
+2 points are given for each Indians card.

-1 point from the score for each trap card (even if serial/auto/relic).
-1/2 point is deducted for each card featuring more than one team or no team at all

Pack #1 is 2011 Topps Series One:
(12 cards per pack, avg score would be 6.0 at 0.5 per card)

Aaron Hill (Blue Jays):  +0.5
Ted Lilly (Dodgers): +0.5, total = 1.0 (night card?)
Julio Borbon (Rangers): +0.5, total = 1.5
Emilio Bonifacio (Marlins): +0.5, total = 2.0
Chicago White Sox Team card: +0.5, total = 2.5 (definitely night card)

David Ortiz (Red Sox): +0.5, total = 3.0
Armando Galarraga (Tigers) Refractor: +0.5, total = 3.5 (yes, he got ripped off last year against the Tribe. we know)
60YOT 1998 All-Topps Catchers (Piazza, IRod, Kendall): -0.5, total = 3.0

Roy Halladay (Phillies) ToppsTown: +0.5, total = 3.5
Freddy Garcia (White Sox): +0.5, total = 4.0
Joey Votto (Reds - TRAP!): -1.0, total = 3.0
Jose Guillen (Giants): +0.5, total = 3.5

First pack scores 3.5, which is not good, especially with a trap and a multi-team in there. 

Pack #2 is 2011 Topps Series One (since there are FIVE of these):
(12 cards per pack, avg score would be 6.0 at 0.5 per card)

Kyle Davies (Royals): +0.5
Josh Tomlin (Indians, TRIBER!): +2, total = 2.5
Jason Kubel (Twins): +0.5, total = 3.0
Luke Scott (Oriols): +0.5, total = 3.5

Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies): +0.5, total = 4.0
Nelson Cruz (Rangers): +0.5, total = 4.5
Diamond Giveaway (Halladay, Phillies): +0.5, total = 5.0
T60 Ryan Howard (Phillies): +0.5, total = 5.5

Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies) ToppsTown: +0.5, total = 6.0
Todd Helton (Rockies): +0.5, total = 6.5
Neil Walker (Pirates): +0.5, total = 7.0
Trevor Hoffman (Brewers): +0.5, total = 7.5

Nice!  No traps and scored a Triber to boot! Wahoo!  Total for this pack is a nice 7.5!

Pack #3 is 2011 Topps Series One:
(12 cards per pack, avg score would be 6.0 at 0.5 per card)

Russell Branyan (Mariners): +0.5
Alex Rodriguez (Yankees): +0.5, total = 1.0
Jose Bautista (Blue Jays): +0.5, total = 1.5
Chris Sale (White Sox): +0.5, total = 2.0
Mark Trumbo (Angels): +0.5, total = 2.5
Pedro Ciriaco (Pirates): +0.5, total = 3.0
Ryan Dempster (Cubs): +0.5, total = 3.5
Jeff Keppinger (Astros): +0.5, total = 4.0
Diamond Duo (Utley/Rollins, Phillies): +0.5, total = 4.5
60YOT Whitey Ford (Yankees): +0.5, total = 5.0

Robinson Cano (Yankees) ToppsTown: +0.5, total = 5.5
Evan Meek (Pirates): +0.5, total = 6.0
Chris Narveson (Brewers): +0.5, total = 6.5

Well, this pack had 13 cards and scored 6.5.  It managed to walk the line - no Tribers and no traps.  The Duo card counts as a Phillies card because it features multiple players from the same team, in case you were wondering (and I know you were!).

Pack #4 is 2011 Topps Heritage Hobby:
(9 cards per pack, avg score would be 4.5 at 0.5 per card)

Mike Stanton (Marlins): +0.5

Angel Pagan (Mets): +0.5, total = 1.0
Washington Nationals Team card: +0.5, total = 1.5
Barry Zito (Giants): +0.5, total = 2.0
Stephen Drew (Diamondbacks): +0.5, total = 2.5

JJ Hardy (Orioles): +0.5, total = 3.0
Ryan Zimmerman (Nationals): +0.5, total = 3.5
Andrew Romine (Angels): +0.5, total = 4.0
Marco Scutaro (Red Sox): +0.5, total = 4.5

Another perfectly par pack - 4.5 points on 9 cards.  We ran into no Indians and no traps.  We did manage to find a few well-knowns, though. That's always cool to the collector-kid in me.  i also like the "pitching vs other teams" stats on the back of the team card.  Nice touch.

Pack #5 is 2011 Topps Series One:
(12 cards per pack, avg score would be 6.0 at 0.5 per card)

CJ Wilson (Rangers): +0.5
John Danks (White Sox): +0.5, total = 1.0
Pablo Sandoval (Giants): +0.5, total = 1.5
Chicago Cubs Team card: +0.5, total = 2.0

Zach Duke (Pirates): +0.5, total = 2.5
CC Sabathia (Yankees) Mini Champions card: +0.5, total = 3.0
60YOT Mike Piazza (Dodgers): +0.5, total = 3.5

Ryan Howard (Phillies) ToppsTown: +0.5, total = 4.0
Melvin Mora (Rockies): +0.5, total = 4.5

Jon Niese (Mets): +0.5, total = 5.0
Ian Desmond (Nationals): +0.5, total = 5.5
Barry Zito (Giants): +0.5, total = 6.0

Despite a couple of cool cards (Sabathia, Piazza), this pack eeks out an average score of 6.0.  I am certainly seeing a pattern here.  Luckily, that pattern has managed to avoid traps for the most part!  Now, if it would just pony up on some Tribers.  That would be nice.  (For the record, I am recording these "live" as it were, so I have no idea what's in the remaining packs, should I suddenly be blessed with Indians cards galore.  I just want it to be known.)

Okay, pack #6 is a 2011 Topps Heritgae Hobby
(9 cards per pack, avg score would be 4.5 at 0.5 per card)

Joe Nathan (Twins): +0.5
Andrew McCutchen (Pirates): +0.5, total = 1.0
Chris Perez (Indians - TRIBE!): +2.0, total = 3.0 (Wahoo! Let the disclaimer rule!)

Brewers Team card: +0.5, total = 3.5
Boston Red Sox Heritage Chrome 57/62 (Ortiz/Perez): +2.0, total = 5.5 (that is one SWEET-looking card!)
Andre Ethier (Dodgers): +0.5, total = 6.0
Jonathon Niese (Mets): +0.5, total = 6.5
Joel Pineiro (Angels): +0.5, total = 7.0
Manny Acta (Indians - TRIBE!): +2.0, total = 9.0

So, I just happen to make my disclaimer just before opening a killer pack.  Well, I can only say that is how the wheels of justice work sometimes.  Now, I am no "name-it/claim-it" kind of person (or else I would have won the lottery and PCH already)!  I am pretty excited about this whole pack, really!  Well, okay, about a third of it, anyway.  Seriously, though, that Heritgae Chrome is a nice, thick card with a cool black border treatment.  I may hang on to that one for my non-Tribe collection.... Nah, have you ever known me to do that?  Well, not often anyway.

The grand total for pack #6 is 9.0 points!  That's a pretty sweet haul.

The last pack in the Value Box is a 2011 Topps Series One:
(12 cards per pack, avg score would be 6.0 at 0.5 per card)

Carlos Carrasco (Indians - TRIBE!): +2.0 (Are you kidding me!? Awesome!)
Neftali Feliz (Rangers): +0.5, total = 2.5
Travis Hafner (Indians - TRIBE!): +2.0, total = 4.5 (Now, I am just laughing out loud. Really. I am!)

Pedro Alvarez (Pirates): +0.5, total = 5.0
Darren Ford (Giants): +0.5, total = 5.5
Ichiro (Mariners): +0.5, total = 6.0
Daniel Descalso (Cardinals): +0.5, total = 6.5
T60 Ryan Braun (Brewers): +0.5, total = 7.0
History of Topps (Shorin Family): -0.5, total = 6.5

Buster Posey (Giants) ToppsTown: +0.5, total = 7.0
Arthur Rhodes (Reds - TRAP!): -1.0, total = 6.0 (AUGH! Got me!)
Jay Bruce (Reds - TRAP!): -1.0, total = 5.0 (AUGH! Got me again!) (Well, I'm not laughing anymore)

I was on quite a roll there!  Then, once I was built up, I needed to be knocked back down again, I suppose.  Two Tribers and two traps in the same pack.  Well, as the old song goes, "You take the good.  You take the bad. You take them both, and there you have... a Topps pack break."  Okay, well, I derailed the train there at the end - in the song and in the pack.  Thanks to the traps and the non-team card, the total for the last pack is a below par 5.0 (and this is not golf, so below par = bad).

My overall opinion of the $14.99 box of cards?  Pretty favorable, actually.  Yes, getting more than a handful of Indians helps there, but the packs had a nice variety of players and inserts.  Not a bad deal.  Especially since the boss paid for it!


  1. I've gotten two great value packs, and am kind of glad my local store is out of them so I can close on a high note.

    I'll trade for that Robinson, though to complete the set.

  2. I think I have your address, but would shoot it to me again just to be sure?