Saturday, June 22, 2013

Group Break Recap: Part I

I thought it might be fun to take a look at the end result of the group break.  As you know, I busted three hobby boxes of 2013 Topps Archives - so this might give you a decent idea of what to expect if you decide to bust your own boxes.  Of course, the main portion of the break was a boat load of base cards - plenty of them are in triplicate.  I didn't go through on a box-by-box basis but I didn't notice any duplication within each of the hobby boxes (which is appreciated by me).
Base cards sorted by team

Now, on to the stuff that is of more interest to many of you - the inserts and short prints!

We ended up pulling 18 short prints (six per box) - all of which were different (which was great for group break participants).  This was exactly correct according to the pack odds since short prints are seeded 1:4 packs.

The other insert seeded 1:4 packs was the All-Star set.

There are a total of 30 cards in the insert set - we ended up with 18 as expected but only 12 of which were unique.  That's a bit of a disappointment (unless I suppose you claimed a team with multiples of the All-Star cards).

The next most plentiful insert was the Topps Tall Boys.  These are seeded 1:5 packs, so with the 72 packs that we opened you'd expect 14.4 Tall Boys inserts.  In reality, we ended up with 15 (thankfully none were cut in half).  Based on the stated odds, that's basically right on.

The Tall Boys set consists of 40 different cards in the entire checklist.  The good news for us is that all 15 cards we got were different, though sadly we didn't pull any Reds for me.  At first, I wasn't a big fan of the Tall Boys but as the break went on they sort of grew on me.  I have to admit, seeing a bunch of them together like the above scan makes the set look quite awesome!

Moving on to the stickers (seeded 1:8 packs).  As expected, we pulled exactly nine such cards - but only six were unique.

The Stickers checklist consists of only 15 cards so it isn't all that surprising that we'd end up with duplicates. I don't have any strong feelings about this set - I guess it's nice enough but nothing really jumps out to me as a "must own."  There are a few stickers with players that played for the Reds on them but alas, we didn't pull any of 'em.  Of course, the stickers featuring multiple teams will be randomized when I pack up the cards and mail them out to everyone.

The final "common" insert set is actually the lone parallel set - the gold parallels (each of which are numbered out of 199).  These are seeded 1:13 packs which means not quite two-per-box.  Luckily, we ended up with two in each of our three boxes for a grand total of six shiny glorious cards.

I have to say - scans don't do these justice.  If I had an unlimited budget, I'd try for the full gold parallel set, especially the 1990 designs!

That concludes part I of the group break recap.  Next, we'll take a look at some of the rarer cards (1 per box or rarer) plus the various hits.  We beat the odds a number of times with the "good stuff" which makes for a fun break!

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