Saturday, February 17, 2024

2024 Topps Series 1


I love these cards.

            I mean…I REALLY love these cards.

            Like best Topps set since I’ve come back to collecting.

            Like maybe one of my favorite Topps designs in a very long while.

            I even gave them a nickname.

            Topps 1986: After Dark.

            If you haven’t seen them yet…this is what they look like.

            Again, I REALLY REALLY love these cards.

            But…sadly…this  is not a blog post about how much I love 2024 Topps base cards.

            This is a blog post about (at least to me) the death of the Hobby Box.

            Case in point, here’s what a 2024 Topps Series 1 box looks like next to a base box from years past.

            On Twitter, one collector referred to 2024 Series 1 Hobby boxes as glorified Blasters.

            I’m not of liberty to dispute that comment.

            In 2023, starting with Topps Update, Topps/Fanatics made the decision to reduce the amount of pack in its Hobby boxes from 24 to 20 packs. The monopolist behemoth also decided to reduce the amount of cards in it’s packs from 14 cards to 12. I fucking hate doing math but that’s a Hobby box card loss of: 96 cards. Almost 100 cards per Hobby box. That might not mean much to a lot of collectors, especially the ones who buy Hobby boxes for the bells and whistle cards.

            But to a guy like me who previously enjoyed hand collating his base sets…that’s a bit of a hit.

            Without bitching, what it means to me and other collectors who buy Hobby boxes to build sets, is that we have to buy more cards. We have to shell out more money to hand collate a set. I had been in the tradition of buying 2 Hobby boxes for each series. What that usually garnered me was: A) putting together the set. B) getting doubles of players I PC. C) getting most of my Pirates team set together. After that, I’d wait until enough collectors posted cards on SportsLots and then I’d go on there, buy my Pirates, and whatever insert (usually the 35 year anniversary insert cards) that I wanted.

            Those days are gone.

            I bought two Hobby boxes of Topps 2024 Series 1 on pre-sale. Full disclosure, I wanted to buy a Jumbo box. But I’m lazy and have mental issues buying things online, so Jumbo box presales were sold out when I went to make my purchase. Fuller disclosure, having dealt with this lack-of-card issue in 2023, I knew what I was getting myself into buying a 2024 Hobby box. But hope springs eternal…especially when you’re an idiot like me.

            I haven’t collated the cards yet, but I can say this. It isn’t good for us set collectors. It’s Aaron Judge in one box and Mike Trout in another box, instead of getting them both in one. It’s no Juan Soto or Yordan Alvarez cards in EITHER Hobby box. It’s getting three, and I have nothing against him, Brandon Nimmo cards in two Hobby boxes.

            I will admit this happened, so I can’t fully complain.

            And for you folks who love the bells and whistles, here are mine from two Hobby boxes.



            The BIG hits

            Still got that Clemente magic though.

            Be that as it may, as a set collector I guess the era of Hobby Box building is over for me.  Thinking about it, I realize I have a few options.

1.      I can buy my Hobby boxes like in then past, knowing I’d then have to buy blasters and hangers to complete the set. Which is a very old school idea. But…living in New York City, not a very feasible one.

2.      I can buy a Jumbo box and build the set that way and then go and buy the PC cards somewhere else.

3.      I can buy a Hobby or a Jumbo and rip for fun and then just buy the set when it comes out in the summer.

But those days of doing what I had been doing have come to an end.



            So, I meant to do a blog post on Stadium Club 2023 last week. I don’t buy boxes of it anymore (gotta pick and choose what you collect in total and I chose base and Heritage) but I do like to buy Stadium Club cards of the Pirates, players I PC, and any cards that particularly stand out for me. With this year’s Stadium Club I have two things to say.

1.      The Jazz Man WINS 2023 Stadium Club

2.      Eddie Murray continues to have the BEST post-playing-day cards.

Thanks for reading! Happy Collecting!



1 comment:

  1. I already found most new boxes to be overpriced. Even joining group breaks--I was in Nachos' group breaks for a while, but I found it just wasn't worth it, not through any fault of Nachos, but simply because of the price of the unopened product. Crazy that they're doing the skrinkflation thing.

    I'm happy satisfying my urge to rip with the occasional marked-down blaster (which have returned in recent months), but I hope this doesn't effect what makes it to the dime boxes.


2024 Topps Series 1