After rolling the dice on a few products from the Blowout Cards Black November sale, I also picked up a box of a current product, 2016 Topps Baseball Update Series. With the smaller checklist this year, I felt that my odds of completing a set from one box were pretty good. If I hadn't felt that way, I would have just bought a set and skipped the box.
David Ortiz is the cover star of the product. Each Hobby box promises one Autograph or Relic card, so we'll see what comes out of this one.
The pack design replicates the art on the box. Each box has 36 packs, with 10 cards per pack (packs containing a special card may have fewer than 10 cards).
Here are the pack odds and the NPN information. As usual, there are plenty of parallels and inserts to chase.
I was able to put together a complete 300-card base set from this box, as well as pulling 22 doubles. So the collation was pretty good. I selected a few of my favorite photos to scan for this post. Common themes for my favorites were All-Star uniforms, UPF (Ugly Pitching Face), glorious manes of hair, and fielding photos with interesting background scenery like advertising signs or greenery.
Panoramic ballpark shots also made my favorites list a couple of times, along with hat tips. As with any baseball set, there were a lot of standard throwing/hitting torso photos, but there are some gem in here. I do kind of wish for a set with regular rectangular borders, but that's not the direction these things are trending in right now.
I got three coupon cards. The front highlights the existence of the Topps website and their social media pages, while the back offers 50 cents off on various Topps retail products. I just counted up the cards from the box, and apparently these don't count as part of the 360 cards in the box. They are extras, so they don't replace a base card or insert from the pack you find them in.
There were six Gold parallels in the box, all numbered out of # / 2016. I guess for me, the Edwin Encarnacion All-Star and the Tim Lincecum are the highlights here.
The box contained three Rainbow Foil parallels. Bartolo Colon's Home Run Heard 'Round the World is probably the highlight of this bunch. The Mark Trumbo card is nice, too.
I also got a pair of relatively scarce parallels. The first is a Rookie SP photo variation of Mallex Smith. I believe the pack odds are reversed on the SP cards, as the Rookies appear to be much easier pulls than the All-Star SPs. The second is a Negative parallel of Kirby Yates, a pitcher for the Yankees.
I pulled 5 cards from the Ichiro Chasing 3k insert set, which highlight Ichiro's hits on his quest to reach 3000 MLB hits, a feat he accomplished on August 7th.
I pulled six inserts from the 3000 Hits Club insert, which has a checklist full of players who reached the 3000-hit mark during their MLB careers.
I like the Topps Fire insert set, which is modeled on the design of the 2015 Topps Fire Football product. It is a pretty busy design, but it actually feels like a legitimate insert set. I pulled some good names, too, in Carlos Correa, Clayton Kershaw, Kris Bryant, and Josh Donaldson.
I got six of the First Pitch insert cards in the box. I had already purchased a full set of these cards online, so these are all doubles for me. I'll probably have more to say about them when I post about the set as a whole.
I got five of the Team Franklin inserts in the set, which feature players who use Franklin-branded batting gloves. Topps could have done a lot more with this concept, most significantly by including a parallel version with glove relic swatches embedded.
Finally, here is the hit of the box, a Scouting Report autograph of Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer. This was a decent pull for a box of a basic Topps product, as Fulmer had a very good season. It is unfortunate that this card came out of the pack with fair-sized ding in the corner. You can kind of see it in the card-back scan as a touch of white in the upper right.
That's it for this box and for this order from Blowout Cards. I got about what I expected from this box of cards. I am glad that I was able to complete the Update Series checklist from one Hobby box. The 4-product break overall had some highs and lows, with the Cal Ripken Jr. # 1 / 1 from 2016 Topps Archives Signature Series really moving this break from not-good to pretty-good.