Thursday, February 23, 2012

Box Review: 2002 Fleer Genuine (Hobby)

The 2002 Fleer Genuine set contains 100 base cards plus 40 additional rookie cards (which are all serially numbered out of 2,002).  In addition to the base cards, there are five insert sets:

  • Genuine Leaders (15 total) seeded 1:6 packs
  • Tip of the Cap (25 total) seeded 1:6 packs
  • Names of the Game (30 total) seeded 1:10 packs
  • Touch 'em All (25 total) seeded 1:10 packs
  • Bat's Incredible (25 total) seeded 1:10 packs

Each hobby box of '02 Fleer Genuine features three mini boxes.
Within each of the three mini boxes are eight packs.  Thus, there are a total of 24 packs in the large box with Game-Used Memorabilia card and autograph cards seeded at a rate of 1:4.5 packs.  In a box with 24 packs, the expected hit total is approximately 5.3333.  Thus, on average, you would expect to find either one or two hits per mini box (with two of the three mini boxes holding three hits).

According to the pack wrapper, there are 7 different memorabilia/autograph insert sets:

  • Genuine Leaders (1:11 packs)
  • Genuine Ink-Autographs (serially #'d)
  • Tip of the Cap (serially #'d)
  • Names of the Game (1:24 packs)
  • Names of the Game-Autographed, Game-Used (serially #'d)
  • Touch 'em All (numbered to 350)
  • Bat's Incredible (1:18 packs)

As you can see, the hits mimic the regular insert cards - and there is a nice mixture of "regular" hits and serially numbered hits.  Before revealing the contents of my box, here is the full checklist:

In the box that I opened, I ended up with 96 of the 100 regular base cards (with no duplicates).  Each base card features a team color foil outer frame with an interior frame made up of the two main team colors.  Most of the base card photos were standard action shots but I happened to like the relaxed photo of Sosa.
The card scans don't do the set justice, these are nice base cards!

The back of the base cards show five year's worth of statistics plus a second picture, a team logo, and an easy-to-read card number over a team color box.

As mentioned above, there are also a bunch of serially numbered rookie cards that are numbered as part of the base set.  My box yielded four different such cards (Rene Reyes, Franklin Nunez, Nate Field, and Ben Howard).  Looking at the checklist, it appears the best possible players in the set are Orlando Hudson, Mark Teixeira, and Marlon Byrd.  Not exactly a great list when you consider there are 40 different rookies!

The box also yielded a fair number of regular inserts (15 total).

We ended up puling two different Names of the Game (Brian Giles and Jim Thome).  The Names of the Game cards are seeded 1:10 packs so we pulled our allotted amount.

We found four different Tip of the Cap cards (seeded 1:6 packs).  The Tip of the Cap cards were much bigger names than the Names of the Game cards which is a bit ironic.  Our four cards were of Albert Pujols, Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green, and Ken Griffey Jr.  The Tip of the Cap cards are also die-cut, the bottom right corner is cut round.   As with the previous insert set, we pulled exactly what the stated odds would suggest we should.

In addition, we found four Genuine Leaders cards (also seeded 1:6 packs).  The four cards were of Curt Schilling, Alex Rodriguez, Todd Helton, and Sammy Sosa.  It's hard to argue with the selection of players!  Unlike the other insert sets, the Genuine Leaders set is much shinier. In fact, the entire top of the card is foil board, though it doesn't show up well in the scan.

Unlike the Genuine Leaders which we only found two of, we found three different Bat's Incredible cards (which are also seeded 1:10 packs).  Our Bat's Incredible players were Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, and Luis Gonzalez.

The final regular insert set Touch 'em All showed up twice in our box.  The Touch 'em All cards are also seeded 1:10 packs.  The two cards that we got were of Scott Rolen and Sammy Sosa.

Taking the three insert sets that were seeded 1:10 packs together, we ended up exactly where we should have!   As a whole, the selection of players (and teams) featured in the seven insert sets seemed quite strong.  There weren't many duds - and yet, plenty of teams were represented.  We also pulled exactly what the stated odds said we would which is nice.  The one downside to the seven insert sets is that it would take a boat load of boxes (with perfect collation) in order to actually complete any of them.

Finally, the main reason that people buy Fleer Genuine:  the hits!  As I mentioned at the top of the post, based on the odds we should end up with 5.333 hits.  We actually pulled six hits so our box was one of the better boxes in that regard!

The Genuine Leaders relics are seeded 1:11 packs but we only pulled one such card (Hideo Nomo).  According to the card back, the jersey is actually part of a Boston Red Sox jersey but the card is clearly labeled as a Dodgers' card.  I like the fact that Fleer was clear about where the fabric came from though.

The Bat's Incredible relics are seeded 1:18 packs.  We pulled one such relic (Shawn Green).  I would have liked to have the relic be a player from a team other than the Dodgers (since the Nomo card was a Dodger as well) but otherwise I have no complaints.  I love the design of the card!

The Names of the Game relics are seeded 1:24 packs and we got our one expected card (Mike Piazza).  Out of the six hits in the box, this is by far my least favorite in terms of design.  There is too much white space, and given the fact that the jersey is plain white as well, the entire card looks too washed out to be very interesting.  The one redeeming factor (for some people) is that the relic bit is actually Piazza's pants - something out of the ordinary...and it explains why it's all white as well.

Unlike the first three types of relics, the rest of the hits were serially numbered (and the pack wrapper didn't list specific odds for any of them).

First up, a relic card that features what I believe is the tiniest little patch of fabric that I've ever seen on a regular sized relic card!  The Tip of the Cap card of Barry Bonds is numbered 20/32 making this the rarest card in the entire box!  It's also die-cut just like the regular Tip of the Cap insert cards.  According to the card, the relic bit is an actual piece of Bonds' cap (and the back specifies that it is in fact a San Francisco Giants cap that Bonds wore no less).

Next, a game used base relic!  Although the card is of Ichiro, the back only promises that the base was game-used...nothing says that Ichiro stepped on the base (or even that he played in the game where the base was used)!  That said, it is numbered 331/350 making it fairly rare - and it's certainly a unique relic to pull.  I don't think I've ever pulled a base relic until this card.

Finally, the last hit wasn't a relic at all.  Rather, we pulled a Genuine Ink autograph of Yankee legend Phil Rizzuto.  The card is numbered 223/700 and features an on-card autograph of Rizzuto.  It is a bit odd that the Rizzuto autograph is numbered so much higher than the two serially numbered relics, but that might be because there were more Touch 'em All relics in the set than there were autographs?

The 2002 Fleer Genuine hobby box was a lot of fun to rip.  Every single pack offered either a relic, autograph, insert, or serially numbered rookie card which meant there was something "good" to be found each time you started ripping the pack open.  The variety of inserts is nice, the occasional serially numbered card is fun, and the sheer variety of relic bits (bases, hats, jerseys, pants) kept everything fresh from start to finish.  Throw in the legendary autograph and you've got yourself a winner!

Overall, I give the 2002 Fleer Genuine the following rating:
Set Design:  B+
Collation:  A
Opening Thrill:  A+
Overall:  A

My only complaint about the box was that it didn't quite yield a full base set.  It can be frustrating to end up with 96 of the 100 base card as a set collector because there's virtually no way to justify purchasing a second box in order to land the final four base cards.  Of course, if all boxes have the variety (and quality) of hits that this box did, that might be a moot point!


cynicalbuddha said...

Wow that was a solid box of cards! And those hits! Not bad for a 10 year old product. Is it me or do those Touch Them All cards look like they have a mattress on the front of the card?

flywheels said...

Great review.

hiflew said...

Very nice review. The most surprising thing is that the Bonds cap was numbered to only 32. I'd think you could get at least 1,000 off his big head.

FanOfReds said...

cynicalbuddha: Yeah, the Touch 'em All cards are weird looking...but the ones with the base in 'em are kind of cool.

flywheels: Thank you!

hiflew: I wanted to crack that joke but refrained...I'm glad someone did though!

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