Buzz Break: 2018 Topps Series 1 MLB cards (hobby box + silver pack)

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The box: 2018 Topps Series 1 baseball cards 
Where to buy:

Packs per box: 36 (plus one silver Chrome pack)
Cards per pack: 10 (four in Chrome)
Cards in this box: 365
Base set completion: 
322 of 350 (92 percent)
Duplicates: 0

Base cards of note – Cody Bellinger, Aaron Judge, Alex Bregman, Bryce Harper, Jose Altuve, Dansby Swanson, Giancarlo Stanton, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Manny Machado, Miguel Cabrera, Buster Posey, Carlos Correa

Rookie Cards (40) – Rhys Hoskins, Rafael Devers, Victor Robles, Amed Rosario, Clint Frazier, Miguel Andujar, Garrett Cooper, J.P. Crawford, Max Fried, Lucas Sims, Luiz Gohara, Ozzie Albies, Jackson Stephens, Greg Allen, Richard Urena, Austin Hays, Jimmie Sherfy, Raudy Read, J.D. Davis, Andrew Stevenson, Chris Rowley, Willie Calhoun, Dillon Peters, Zack Granite, Nicky Delmonico, Harrison Bader, Luis Santos, Dominic Smith, Ryan McMahon, Cam Gallagher, Aaron Slegers, Brandon Woodruff, Alex Verdugo, Francisco Mejia, Nick Williams, Brian Anderson, Walker Buehler, Tyler Mahle, Erick Fedde, Jack Flaherty

Odds on this one? One in 4,831 packs — that’s one in 135 boxes.

Insert/short-print cards: 41 (all in gallery below along with Chromes and some base)
Gold parallel (2) – Joey Gallo, J.P. Crawford (/2,018)
Superstar Sensations Gold (1) – Andrew Benintendi (/50)
Superstar Sensations (5) – 
Aaron Judge, Kris Bryant, Freddie Freeman, Yu Darvish, Miguel Sano
Rainbow Foil parallel (3) 
– Charlie Blackmon, Jackson Stephens, Greg Allen
Negative parallel (1) – Yulieski Gurriel
Home Run Challenge (1) – Jake Lamb
Topps Now Top 10 (2) – Aaron Judge, Derek Jeter
1983 Topps (9) – Nolan Ryan, Jeff Bagwell, Nolan Arenado, Jose Berrios, Willie Calhoun, Alex Verdugo, Manny Machado, Carlos Martinez, Justin Turner
MLB Awards (4) – Max Scherzer, Eric Hosmer, Paul Goldschmidt, Mike Moustakas
Salute (9) – Rafael Devers, Jack Flaherty, Brooks Robinson, Tom Seaver, Didi Gregorius, Ryon Healy, Kyle Seager, Aledmys Diaz, Bryce Harper
1983 Topps Chrome (silver pack) (4) – Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Dominic Smith, Noah Syndergaard

Autographs/Memorabilia: 1
Major League Material Relic (1) – 
Dustin Pedroia

What’s Buzz-worthy: The first 2018 baseball product is here and it’s one that has a very Stadium Club feel with a full-bleed photo approach with no borders, forcing collectors to ride the wave of the design from card to card. Some will love it, some might not but it’s the flagship for 2018 — and I think it’s better to be non-formulaic than super-traditional on the border front. That said, there are some drawbacks to the approach — at least to this collector — in that the insert cards also with similar designs also feel the same. That hurt the fun grade to me in that stuff all felt too similar when ripping, though that did force me to look closer at the cards to sort and organize things — not always a bad thing. There are more easier variations to be found here — this box didn’t include one that I could find — which also feeds into that slower sorting. That said, this one is still hard to argue against in everything that is found across the whole run. This particular box included two rarer cards — the one in 135 boxes Benintendi insert parallel seen above and the Negative parallel that’s one in seven boxes. Other cards delivered about how they should and the box was relatively clean in its printing and cutting, though some cards overall feel a little dark — perhaps a reaction to the full-bleed approach. The parallels here aren’t the easiest to spot but there are fewer per hobby box this time around so that’s not as big of a deal. Generally, this one feels like it needs more inserts or some cards with other types of stock or approaches in each box (the 1983s aren’t on real retro stock) to help with the variety. Otherwise, this one is packed with Rookie Cards and a lot of those young stars are in the 1983 set, too, with ink possible as well. Those are positives — and if we get another Aaron Judge-style break-out rookie here this spring or early in the season, then this one will be even more popular than the Topps flagship typically is.

Product Grade: A-
Box Grade:
Fun Grade: B+

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4 thoughts on “Buzz Break: 2018 Topps Series 1 MLB cards (hobby box + silver pack)

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