Monday, March 29, 2010

2010 Topps Heritage and Other Random Musings.....

I swore I was not going to try and build a 2010 Topps Heritage set.....and it turns out I am partially right. I'm not going to try's a shame too, because I think this is without a doubt the best looking Heritage set that has been released done so far.

Let me start at the beginning. Back when the rack packs first came out I noticed that you could see through the packaging much like the regular Topps rack packs. You can clearly see three of the four cards in the packs. One day while cherry picking for Tigers I noticed a serial number on the back of one of the cards on the bottom side of the pack. I bought it, and sure enough it was a chrome card.

Not long after I noticed that you can clearly see a SP card in a pack, as it is always the last card in a pack and the white card stock is easily distinguishable from the gray card stock. I started going around to area Targets and Meijers just buying the packs that I could see SP or chrome cards in. In the last two weeks, I've picked up a total of 41 SP cards, 7 chrome, and 3 chrome refractor cards just by inspecting the back of the packs.

Even with the SP cards (37 different, 4 doubles), I'm still 38 SP cards short and about 80 base cards short of a 500 card set. Now I've bought upwards of 50 packs at $5 a pack, yet I don't even have 80% of the set even though I've got over 700+ cards total. With this I've decided that this was a foolish endeavor and that I'm not going to try and finish this set by buying any more packs.

I went on ebay to see if it would be worth my while to try and sell off what I had to recoup my losses and call it a nice, but costly lesson learned. I learned a lesson all right. None of these cards are selling for all that much on ebay. You can get the base set of 1-425 for roughly $40. The SP sell for around $2-$3 each if you package them in a lot big enough that the shipping doesn't eat you up. I see all kinds of chrome and refractor cards not even selling for a $1 because of the $2-$3 shipping cost involved. So for less than what I've got in it now, I could've had the entire set already. I wouldn't even come close to recouping what I've spent.

So really, what is the point of buying packs of anything nowadays? This is the second Topps issue this year that I have thrown some major cash into while trying to put together a set the old fashioned way. (I know, fool me twice.....the old fashioned finger banging is all I got) I really am done with building sets from now on. If I see something I like I'll just wait for it to hit ebay and let some other sucker waste his/her money putting it together.

On the flip side, it was a great find at Meijer that helped me come to this conclusion. They had their 2009 Topps factory sets, which retailed for $60 last year, marked down to $50. On top of that they were having a 20% off all cards sale which brought the price down to $40. Since I boycotted buying packs in '09, I picked up a set. It had one of the cool Mickey Mantle chrome reprints ('57) as well as a pack of five Rookie Card variations that are exclusive to factory sets. I opened the set when I got home and one of them was a Rick Porcello. Not a bad deal for $40 IMO. That's about the price of eight rack packs or 4 jumbo packs, which would have only given me around 250 cards roughly.

I've noticed a trend regarding Topps cards. The longer you are willing to wait the cheaper you can get them. I've seen 2008 factory sets for $24. There were hobby boxes of 2006 and 2007 cards for $19. What incentive does a set builder have to even fool with it anymore unless you want to wait for three of four years to try and do so?

In conclusion, I've got a ton of Heritage doubles if anybody is interested in trading. I'm going to hold onto the SP cards, but if anybody is up for a swap of doubles drop me a line.

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