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The box: 2016 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Hopefuls cards (hobby box)
Where to buy: BlowoutCards.com
Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 8
Cards in this box: 182
Base set completion: 74 of 74 (100 percent)
Notable athletes on base cards – Michael Phelps, Claressa Shields, Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, Missy Franklin, Justin Gatlin, Natalie Coughlin, Abby Wambach, Sue Bird, Ryan Lochte, Bob Beamon, Rulon Gardner, Jenny Thompson, Aly Raisman, Carly Patterson, Gary Hall Jr., Gabby Douglas
Inserts & short-prints: 52
Commemorative U.S. Team Crest Patch Red (1) – Abby Wambach (/25)
Closing Ceremonies (1) – 1932 Los Angeles
Olympic Disciplines (6) – Kayla Harrison, Claressa Shields, April Ross, Natalie Coughlin, Michael Phelps, Sarah True
Gold parallel (8) – Claressa Shields, Jake Dalton, Simone Biles, Missy Franklin, Matt Stutzman, Ryan Lochte, Summer Ross, Kim Rhode
Silver parallel (12) – Tori Bowie, Connor Fields, Katie Meili, Justin Gatlin, Casey Patterson, Elizabeth Beisel, Tyler Clary, John Orozco, Sarah True, Holley Mangold, Jenny Arthur, Allison Schmitt
Bronze parallel (24) – Tori Bowie, Connor Fields, Elizabeth Beisel, Justin Gatlin, Kami Craig, Perry Baker, Sarah True, Katie Meili, Leo Manzano, Matt Stutzman, Maya Moore, Brittney Griner, LaShawn Merritt, Jake Gibb, Missy Franklin, Abby Wambach, Carlin Isles, Michael Phelps, Megan Rapinoe, Aly Raisman, Casey Patterson, Melissa Stockwell, Emily Day, Gary Hall Jr.
Autograph (1) – Ryan Lochte
Gold Autograph (1) – Ryan Lochte
Relic (1) – Kim Rhode
What’s Buzz-worthy: The third Topps Olympic release of the last few years arrives just in advance of this year’s Games, which start next Friday. This set was built just as the U.S. teams were so it’s loosely named as being hopefuls as, of course, there will be some who make the team who didn’t make the set and vice versa. Overall, this is a fun and relatively unique release, which would grade higher simply if there were more. A smaller, tighter set makes it easier to collect but it really feels like more could be done here. Overall, though, it’s a fun set for those who like the non-traditional trading card sports and it’s one that could have some high-dollar autographs emerge during the Olympics if new starts arrive on the international landscape. This particular box was loaded with the first auto pulled of Ryan Lochte — a solid auto — and a Gold parallel of him as a bonus auto. The Gold auto is a one in 11 box find (cases are 12 boxes) and a Red parallel for the manufactured patch found here is even tougher at one in 508 packs. Those building base sets should be aware that card No. 37 does not exist. The parallels here are smart — Gold, Silver and Bronze — something simple that’s fitting here. The bios on the card backs do a good job of telling the person’s story — and there are some stories to tell here with the big-name current athletes as well as Paralypians and some past stars. All in all, this is a fun release that can deliver well without a premium box price.
Product Grade: B+
Box Grade: A+
Fun Grade: B
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