05 April 2017

Pack of the Day 158: A Box of 2017 Topps UFC Fire

The online-only releases from Topps are pretty much irresistible for me. I really try not to buy them because the MSRP plus shipping makes them a little more expensive than my impulse-buy threshold. Really, a hanger pack or discount blaster is about the limit of my impulse-buy threshold, and these online only things run $24.99 plus $7-8 in shipping (for the slowest shipping you can imagine. Seriously, it takes well over a week to get from them to me. This one took 10 days, shipping out on 22 MAR and arriving on 01 APR.). But I'm a sucker, so I'm usually good for at least one box of whatever UFC or WWE products they put out there.

In this case, it was 2017 Topps UFC Fire. Topps has partnered with an artist named Tyson Beck on the Fire concept, which has been used for sets and inserts across several sports. The UFC Fire product comes in the form of a 50-card base set with parallels, a 20-card Fired Up insert set, and autographs of 39 different UFC personalities. The autographs also have parallels.

Each pack/box has 20 cards in it, which I think are universally broken out as 16 base cards, 2 parallels, 1 insert, and 1 autograph. The more common parallel in the set isn't listed in the odds up there, but it is called Red Hot and numbered # / 142.

Here's a look at some of the base cards. It looks like there are three different base card designs. Some of the photo editing looks a little weird. I purchased a full base set on eBay, and Holly Holm in particular looked like she had a nasty skin infection. Many of the other fighters look weird, too. Octagon girl Arianny Celeste gets a card in the set, as well as a spot on the autograph checklist. Now that the UFC has a robust set of weight classes for women, it seems a little weird and outdated to have the Octagon Girls parading around. I guess it is tradition and a hallmark of fighting, but I think it's weird. Also, my wife or my sons seem to look over at the screen every time I'm watching fights and the cameras pan across the Octagon Girls. The UFC probably isn't going to hire Octagon Guys to hold the round cards when females are fighting, so they should probably just do away with the eye candy between rounds thing (in my opinion).

The base checklist has pretty much all the people you'd expect to see in a checklist like this. With Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey both being away from the sport for a while, it's hard to see who the UFC has on the roster with mass appeal that will get eyes on their product. People who are already fans will have a deeper roster of fighters or matchups that they want to see, but that won't grow the popularity of the sport much. A lot of the current belt-holders aren't exactly dynamite on the microphone, or dominant enough to catch the interest of Joe Public.

My two parallels were both of the most basic Red Hot variety. That Dominick Cruz card wouldn't stay in place on the scanner bed. He was probably protesting against being right next to the guy who took his belt at UFC 207. I'm not really a fan of either guy. Garbrandt is numbered # 032 / 142 and Cruz is # 038 / 142. Neil Magny is a guy I collect, and his autograph would probably be pretty exciting if I hadn't already purchased a copy of it on eBay. Now I have two of them. This one is numbered # 104 / 199. My Fired Up insert features Tyron Woodley, the guy who has just barely retained his belt in two straight fights against Stephen Thompson.

This is a pretty cool product. I don't know if it's worth the asking price (to me). There are some pretty big names on the autograph checklist, but in all likelihood my box is pretty typical of what you're going to get. I may or may not grab another box at some point. Every so often, Topps will hold a holiday sale and blow out their online products at 40-50% off. If you can beat the re-sellers to the punch, that's probably the way to go. Getting two boxes of this or a box of this and a box of NXT for the asking price feels like a more reasonable deal for what you're likely to pull.


  1. Replies
    1. You're welcome! UFC doesn't get a lot of love on the card blogs, so I like to post reviews when I can.