Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Topps National Chicle - 2 Blaster Nachos Grande Review

The other day I was finally able to get to Target on a day when they actually had some of the 2010 Topps National Chicle blasters available.  Always looking for new content for the blog, I picked up two blasters for the purposes of this review.

On the retail sides of things, Chicle is chock full of cards that appear to be quite hard to find.  Since each blaster has "7 packs plus 1 bonus pack," a blaster ought to contain (on average) two short prints, two National Chicle back cards, and one Bazooka back card.  All the other odds are difficult to staggering (for example, the most common autograph is 1:157 packs, the most common relic is 1:335, and a short print Bazooka back card is 1:100).  Obviously, buying retail blasters for hits is a foolish idea indeed.

The 2010 National Chicle Checklist is basically set up as follows:
1 - 205:  Baseball Veterans
206 - 255:  Retired Stars
256 - 275:  Rookie Cards
276 - 300:  Retired Stars Revisited - SHORT PRINTS
301 - 310:  Vintage Veterans - SHORT PRINTS
311 - 330:  Rookie Renditions - SHORT PRINTS

2010 National Chicle
2 Blaster Review ($19.99 each at Target)

Blaster 1:

Pack 1:
37.  Ryan Howard
80.  Jermaine Dye
92.  Cole Hamels
149.  Trevor Cahill
254.  Ernie Banks
318.  Reid Gorecki (Rookie Renditions short print)

Pack 2:
34.  David Wright
147.  Jon Lester
237.  Thurmon Munson
239.  Walter Johnson
252.  Duke Snider

275.  Buster Posey
Checlist 2 of 2
I'm always a fan when sets come with checklists, as a set collector I find that information to be an important piece of the set!

Pack 3:
97.  Matt Kemp
99.  Alexei Ramirez
122.  Roy Halladay
139.  Yadier Molina
159.  Kenshin Kawakami - National Chicle back variation

205.  John Danks

Pack 4:
29.  Hunter Pence
35.  Justin Morneau

87.  Ted Lilly
112.  Dustin Pedroia
114.  Felix Hernandez
232.  Roy Campanella

Pack 5:
91.  Asdrubal Cabrera
96.  Derrek Lee
98.  Troy Tuluowitzki
229.  Lou Gehrig
260.  Drew Stubbs - Finally, a Red!
310.  Joe Mauer - Vintage Veterans short print


Pack 6:
110.  Curtis Granderson

This is easily one of my favorite paintings from the blaster - even if I don't care for the Yankees.  If all the cards were like this one I'd probably have already ordered two or three hobby boxes worth of cards!
151.  Michael Bourn
153.  Alex Gordon
196.  Will Venable
211.  Jim Palmer
213.  Paul Molitor
Checklist 1 of 2

Pack 7:
126.  Melky Cabrera
160.  Jonathan Sanchez
166.  Duke Snider
198.  Michael Saunders
222.  Lou Brock - National Chicle back variation

268.  Luis Durango

Pack 8:
11.  CC Sabathia
46.  Kevin Youkilis
128.  Michael Bowden
135.  Chris Carpenter
168.  Jake Peavy
219. Eddie Murray - Bazooka back variation

Blaster #1 summary:
In a word:  yawn.  I got exactly what was expected as per the odds - two National Chicle backs, one Bazooka back, and a pair of short prints.  It's painfully obvious that this set is not designed for set collectors, at least not set collectors who don't have access to a hobby store...  With only two short prints per blaster, it would take 23 blasters with perfect collation to complete the short print version of the set.  No thanks.  However, just as you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, let's take a look at the second blaster and see if that has the ability to change my mind...

Blaster 2:

Pack 1:
34.  David Wright
49.  Adrian Gonzalez - Bazooka Back

175.  Dexter Fowler
231.  Honus Wagner
239.  Walter Johnson
251.  Richie Ashburn

Pack 2:
30.  Michael Cuddyer
43.  Ian Kinsler - National Chicle back

149.  Trevor Cahill
176.  Aaron Rowand
181.  John Maine
254.  Ernie Banks

Pack 3:
6.  Joba Chamberlain
31.  Jayson Werth
39.  Michael Young
70.  Cliff Lee
94.  Nyjer Morgan

Nyjer looks like he is about twelve years old in this painting.
121.  Yovani Gollardo
Checklist 1 of 2

Pack 4:
56.  B.J. Upton
111.  Paul Konerko
219.  Eddie Murray
225.  Mike Schmidt
264.  Josh Thole
280.  Jimmie Foxx - Retired Stars Revisited short print

Pack 5:
109.  Nelson Cruz
140.  Javier Vazquez
189.  Mat Gamel
NCR-JPA.  Jim Palmer - Game Used Bat

Wow!  A hit out of a retail blaster...and of a Hall of Famer to boot!  It's also interesting that the relic is a Jim Palmer bat...for an American League pitcher in an era long before interleague play was even a dream in Bud Selig's mind.  According to the box, Jim Palmer is part of the Group A relic group which are seeded 1 in every 775 packs!  Strictly speaking, this may be the card with the longest odds that I've ever pulled...  That said, it is available for trade as I don't see myself chasing after the relic set in Chicle.

Pack 6:
24.  Kevin Kouzmanoff
89.  Chone Figgins
146.  Scott Feldman - National Chicle back
190.  Orlando Hudson
216.  Bob Gibson

226.  Phil Rizzuto

Pack 7:
25.  Aaron Hill
49.  Adrian Gonzalez
141.  Brett Anderson
184.  Phil Hughes
206.  Hank Greenberg
241.  Christy Mathewson

Pack 8:
36.  Derek Jeter
71.  Miguel Cabrera
159.  Kenshin Kawakami
194.  Tim Lincecum
250.  Joe Morgan

Two blasters and I got a grand total of two Reds.  It's amazing how poorly represented the Reds always seem to be - even in sets that celebrate great players of the past (of which the Reds have had many)!
279.  Lou Gehrig - Retired Stars Revisited Short Print

Checklist 2 of 2

Blaster #2 Summary:
In a word:  wow.  This blaster, given the extremely rare relic, was much, much better than the first blaster.  Of course, other than the relic it was more of the same...including duplicates of 34 (David Wright), 149 (Trevor Cahill), 239 (Walter Johnson), and 254 (Ernie Banks) which are all available for trade.

Overall:
I like the idea of National Chicle, but as a set collector, I find the set to be a bit too difficult (and expensive) to put together.  The number of short prints is much too large (and with only two short prints per box, much too difficult of a pull) for any set collector with limited funds to even think about completing the set.  I do like the mix of old stars and current players - something that I've said many times in the past! 

I give 2010 Topps National Chicle a 70/100.
Pros: 
  • Plenty of great paintings
  • Nicely designed relics
  • Variations add a bit of variety to the packs
  • Good mix of current stars, current rookies, and players from the past
Cons:
  • Impossible to complete the set via blasters
  • Too many short prints (or else too difficult to pull a short print)

3 comments:

Grand Cards said...

Nice pull on the Palmer! Is there anyway that you can scan and send me an image of the back of the Curtis Granderson card?

It would be much appreciated!

beardy said...

I'd be interested in trading for the Palmer. Let me see what Reds I have to offer up in exchange.

flywheels said...

Nice to see someone else got a hit out of a retail pack.

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