15 December 2017

Cyber Week Breaks: Day 8 - 2017 Topps High Tek Baseball

One of the big-ticket items on my Cyber Week order was a box of 2017 Topps High Tek Baseball, the patterned acetate offering with a new packaging scheme for this year. While the previous incarnations held just a few cards per box with one guaranteed autograph, this version has 40 cards in a box and promises two autographs. I scanned the cards in based on their background patterns, with the most numerous in the box first. I would imagine that the collation in my box does not necessarily match the collation in the overall print run.


These all have the same background pattern, but my scanner likes to add some variation in the coloring. Not a lot stands out to me in this foursome, but I do like that jersey Moncada is wearing. There seems to be a decent mix of rookies, veterans, and retired players in the checklist.


I also pulled four cards of this pattern. I think I read somewhere that the patterns are broken out by positions, so you have two different sets of patterns. One of them has pitchers, catchers, and outfielders (PCO); the other has all other infielders (AOI). That seems to hold true throughout the cards in this box. This pattern is probably one of the more common PCO patterns.


This group of four cards belongs to the AOI group, and is again probably one of the more common patterns. That's a young-looking Jeter there in the bottom right.


This last group of four is another PCO group, with Kluber making his second appearance in the box. I also like the Ichiro and Trout cards, with Roger Clemens rounding out the group.


I only pulled one group of three cards, which included Mike Trout's second appearance in the box. I guess I should try giving cutesy names to all of the patterns, but I think I tapped out my brain power coming up with the PCO/AOI designations. I'd honestly just like to figure out how rare each tier is and call them PCO 1, PCO 2, PCO 3, and so on. That's a lot easier to remember than Tek Prism Clockwise or some other name.


Each of these patterns had two examples in the box. It was nice to see Jim Thome in here, as well as a couple of star Astros. So far I am pretty happy with this product's player selection.




There are three patterns that had only one example in the box. The Bryant is a nice pull. Even though he got a little overshadowed this year by the hot new rookies, he still put up a 6.1 WAR season and got a decent share of MVP votes.


You supposedly get four of these Blackout parallels per box. I guess maybe that solves the question of which patterns are the 'base' patterns for each group. The pattern on top must be the PCO base pattern, with the pattern on bottom being AOI base. These are some pretty nice cards, too, especially the Aaron and Koufax up there.


You also get one of these second-tier patterns of the Blackout parallel per box. I got lucky with mine and landed another Altuve card for my collection of Astros cards.


There were four serially-numbered parallels in my box of High Tek. The top two cards appear to be the basic version of parallel, probably a Diffractor of some kind. The Kluber (his 3rd appearance in this box) is numbered # 007 / 250 and the Bogaerts is numbered # 101 / 250. Then there are a couple of colorful parallels, a Blue and a Green. The Pedroia is numbered # 42 / 75, and the Clemens is # 07 / 99. Not too bad, although this is a bit too much AL East content for me.


You get two promised autographs per box. Mine are both base versions, and I assume there are also parallels out there. Both of these are decent pulls, the Lindor probably more than the Fulmer. Lindor's signature is a little more faded than I'd like, but that seems to happen fairly often with these acetate cards.


What's this? My box had a third autograph inside. This Ben Zobrist autograph is a parallel of the TwiliTEK insert. I guess maybe this spot would normally be occupied by a regular insert card, but I got lucky and pulled a third autograph from the box. This is a pretty good one, numbered # 10 / 50.

This was a pretty fun break, although it's a bit pricey to bust a box of this stuff. Moving up from a handful of cards to 40 cards in a box really feels like an added value when opening this product. I am happy that Topps listened to the consumer on this one and boosted the number of cards per box. This set is really about collecting pattern variations, and it was harder to do that a few cards at a time. As it is here, High Tek is a little over my price range for box busting, but if they dropped an autograph and $20-30 from the price tag I would find it very hard to resist.

16 comments:

  1. This was a fun box break to read! And those Blackout parallels are amazing looking, so much so, that I think might have to find some for myself.

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    1. The Blackout parallels are really nice. The black really brings out the background patterns.

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  2. NIce box! Some great Astros and good autos to boot!

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    1. This was a pretty good box. I won't usually complain about an extra autograph.

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  3. I wish they'd do TEK with NO autographs and put it at an affordable price range. Keep all the variations, up the checklist if they have to.

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    1. It would be nice, but I don't think Topps will be releasing any products without hits in the near future. They've got to keep the prospectors and group breakers happy.

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  4. It looks like a project keeping all those variations straight

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    1. It is a project. I think this might be a fun product to build a Frankenset from. Just collect one variation of each player, regardless of the background.

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  5. Wow... Lindor and then a THIRD auto? The Zobrist is pretty sweet!
    I really like the lightning design on the Trout/Kluber/Clemens/Ichiro cards.
    Lastly, nice pull on the Thome. He's a local boy and everyone around here is going to party when his election to the HOF becomes official.

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    1. This box turned out well for me. The lightning background was one of my favorites as well. I like Thome. It will be nice to see him get his Hall of Fame nod.

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  6. I do like those Blackouts as well! Good stuff!

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  7. I like Nachos idea about keeping it affordable... but I also like the on-card autographs. Maybe they should go old school and make the autographs really tough to pull. Like 1 per case. Might encourage more collectors to build this set... and give the ones lucky enough to pull the tough autograph something really special.

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    1. It would be cool to have a more affordable version of the product, but I don't know if that genie can be put back in the bottle at this point. Maybe they could do two packaging options, like a set collector's box with a lower price point but no hits and no numbered parallels, and a regular version with all the bells and whistles?

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