Wednesday Wax: 2002-03 Fleer Hot Shots


The Set:
2002-03 Fleer Hot Shots
24 packs per box, 8 cards per pack
Base set contains 100 Basic cards, 29 Give and Go, 39 All-Stars
27 Rookie Hats-Off /350
6 Vince Carter Hats-Off /350
6 Rookies /350
Hot Hands Parallels /199, Rookies /99
Give and Go Dual Event/Game Used /50
All-Stars Triple Event/Game Used /25
Hot Shots 1:8 packs, Event Worn 1:30 packs
En Fuego 1:12 packs, Event Worn 1:44 packs
Net Burners 1:24 packs, Event Worn /100
Hot Numbers /350, Event Worn /50
Parallel Versions of Event Worn cards

Our Break:


Hot Hands Parallel (4): Grant Hill /199, Antoine Walker /199, Eric Snow and Keith Van Horn /199, John Salmons /99


Hot Shots (3): Yao Ming, Mike Dunleavy, Jared Jeffries


En Fuego (2): Vince Carter, Shaquille O’neal


Hot Numbers (1): Richard Jefferson


Net Burners (1): Steve Nash


Hot Shots Event Worn (1): Kareem Rush


 
Rookie Hats-Off /350 (3): Casey Jacobsen, John Salmons, Ronald Murray


Vince Carter Hats-Off /350 (1): Curtis Borchardt


En Fuego Event Worn (1): Karl Malone

Impressions:

A fun time for basketball breaks, to be sure.  The chase cards here are the Yao Ming rookie memorabilia cards, the All-Star Triple jerseys numbered to 25, as well as the other parallel memorabilia versions of the insert sets.

An excellent base set with lots of inserts, parallels and memorabilia cards in each box.  This is a 2000s box with a 90s feel.  It has two subsets. The Give and Go cards for the most part show a point guard or high assist man on the front with the finisher on the back.  The second subset contains participants in the previous year’s All-Star weekend, and by participants, I mean in the rookie-sophomore game, three-point contest, dunk contest, and All-Star game.  That’s why we have guys in there like Chris Mihm.

These cards have a glossy finish, more noticeable on the darker cards like some of the Rookie Hats-Off cards.  These memorabilia cards are condition sensitive, particularly on the corners.

Want to point out that the typical box will not contain 6 memorabilia cards.  The overall odds of pulling a memorabilia card are 1 in 8 packs, but this box contained a ‘hot pack’ with 4 memorabilia cards in the one pack (the 4 Rookie Hats-off cards).

Not sure how many redemption cards were inserted for this product, but we were lucky enough to avoid them.

Overall a blast to open, and it was certainly exciting to open a hot-pack, even if we didn’t hit any of the higher valued rookies such as Yao, Carlos Boozer, or the scarcer All-Star or Give and Go jerseys.  A product I wanted to open at the time it came out, and still a worthwhile break today.


Wednesday Wax: 1999-00 Topps Series 1 Hobby

The Set:
1999-00 Topps Series 1
36 packs per box, 11 cards per pack
Series 1 base set contains 110 base cards, 10 rookies inserted 1 in 5
MVP Promo, 1 in 336 packs
Record Numbers, 1 in 12 packs
Season’s Best, 1 in 12 packs
Patriarchs, 1 in 22 packs
Picture Perfect, 1 in 8 packs
Prodigy, 1 in 36 packs
Prodigy Refractor, 1 in 144 packs
Autographs Group A, 1 in 877 packs
Autographs Group B, 1 in 351 packs

Our Break:
Definitely received a complete base set, likely came up with two.  As with our Series 2 break, the base cards have the blindingly bright orange borders, with otherwise nice action shots of the player in the center.  The photography in the Shaq we’ve shown above is magnificent, capturing the dominance of Shaq’s time with the Lakers.  Again though, we busted this box for shot at some nice inserts, and because it was a cheap break with much enjoyment in pack breaking.  It’s nice to open 18 packs and realize you still have half the box to go.


’99 Draft Picks (8): Jason Terry, Corey Maggette x2, Ron Artest x2, Richard Hamilton x2, Elton Brand


Picture Perfect (6): Shaquille O’Neal, Alonzo Mourning, Keith Van Horn, Tim Hardaway, Ron Mercer, David Robinson


Record Numbers (4): Karl Malone, Kerry Kittles, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Duncan


Season’s Best (2): Tim Hardaway, Vince Carter


Patriarchs (2): Mitch Richmond, Patrick Ewing


Prodigy (1): Michael Doleac


Prodigy Refractors (1): Matt Harpring

Impressions:

Once again, the design and flair on some of these insert sets, Patriarchs and Season’s Best in particular, is something you just don’t see in modern-day sets.  The Picture Perfect inserts don’t do much for me, but most of the others are attractive and colorful sets.  Prodigy has a Chrome feel.  The excitement I felt opening the Prodigy insert and refractor quickly faded when I saw the players on each card.  Certainly could have done better, but pulling an insert with 1:144 odds felt pretty good.

Pulling multiples on several rookies was disappointing as well, but at least these are of guys that are still playing today.

As with our series 2 break, this one was a blast to break, and it won’t cost a fortune to pick up.  These should be available for under $30 on ebay or elsewhere.  One of these days we’ll open an autograph, but for now, we’ll treasure our Matt Harpring Refractor.


Insert Set Flashback: 1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome True Colors


The Set:
1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome True Colors

Set Odds:
1 in 8 packs

Key Cards:
Shaquille O’Neal $2.50
Allen Iverson $2.00

Why I Like It:
The True Colors insert set is meant to highlight some of the game’s clutch performers.   It’s tough to find a more attractive insert set these days.  I am still disappointed that Stadium Club Chrome was a one-and-done product.  The text on the back of each card points out a particularly clutch moment in the player’s history.  Honestly, all of the insert sets from Stadium Club Chrome were well done.   Maybe there will be a Stadium Club Chrome edition of ‘Wednesday Wax’ coming in the near future…


Friday Frivolity: Karl Malone, Truckin’

1993-94 Ultra features an insert set devoted to Karl Malone’s career highlights.  Card #10 displays Karl’s true love, being on the open road, ‘hauling a load down the endless blacktop’.  Notice the one-of-a-kind mountainous backdrop on his 18-wheeler, as well as his proper pose.  An old New York Times article recounts Karl’s offering his buddy Charles Barkley the chance to observe truck operation from the passenger side.  His response was, “I can’t fit my big butt in there.”  Trying to cram his ginormous posterior into Karl’s cab would be, as Charles would say, ‘uncivilized’.   Malone got out of the trucking business in 1994, but not before this humorous card was printed.


Insert Set Flashback: 1995-96 Fleer Flair Hardwood Leaders


The Set:
1995-96 Fleer Flair Hardwood Leaders

Set Odds:
1:1 Series One packs

Key Cards:
Michael Jordan $8.00
Shaquille O’Neal $3.00

Why I Like It:
This was the first insert set I tried to put together. Despite these being inserted one per series 1 pack, opening that many packs to complete a 27 card insert set was a pretty daunting task for a 9 year old. I still have the complete set in a binder and it remains one of my favorite sets.  The Jordan was one of the last ones I needed, and finally pulling it after opening so many Fleer packs was part of what hooked me on the hobby and following the NBA in general.