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.


Holiday Pickups, Part 3

Welcome to the last portion of the cards I added to my collection during the 2011 holiday season. Today I show off some non-Pacer additions. One is of a player I used to despise, but I have since come to appreciate his greatness and place as an elite scorer and likely future hall-of-famer. I am talking about Celtic star Paul Pierce.  Incredibly difficult to defend, Paul can jab-step into a jumper from just about anywhere on the floor, as well as drive to the  basket with relative ease. Paul has a nice signature, which you can see in the on-card autographed 1999-00 Topps card below.

Second is an autograph from a set that I was intrigued by after reading an article on Cardboard Connection. It’s a multi-sport set, 1994 Signature Rookies Gold Standard Hall of Fame Autographs. I wasn’t aware that this set existed but the on-card signatures and an opportunity to pick up autographs of hall-of-famers (Nate ‘Tiny’ Archibald, Rick Barry, Bob Cousy, and Bill Walton, among others) on the cheap had me browsing ebay within minutes. Elvin Hayes is the first I’ve picked up. Thanks to Cardboard Connection for the article, as there’s no doubt this set is undervalued, and probably unknown to many.


Insert Set Flashback: 2002-03 Topps Tandems


The Set:
2002-03 Topps Tandems

Set Odds:
1 in 5 hobby packs, 1 in 10 retail packs

Key Cards:
Michael Jordan/Richard Hamilton $10.00
Shaquille O’Neal/Kobe Bryant $8.00

Why I Like It:
We’ve got some geometric shapes going on in this set’s background!  While not the most flashy, there’s something about this sharp, clean design that caught my eye going through an old binder.  Maybe it’s the giant text at the top starting with the Double Ts, or the shiny surface of the cards.

Some of my favorite scoring duos from the late 90s-early 2000s are featured here, such as Big Dog and Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker, the Rockets backcourt of Francis and Mobley.  The back of each card lists the top 10 scoring Duo’s from the previous season, serving as a checklist for the remaining cards.  I did notice a minor error on the Marbury/Marion card.  Typically only the players on the front of the card appear in bold on the back.  The Marbury/Marion also has Pierce and Walker in bold.  Minor, but something I easily missed the first time.


Holiday Pickups, Part 2


A few more Pacer autographs came in over the past few days to add to the collection.  The O’Neal Pristine autograph is an instant favorite for me.  Always wanted to add an autograph from this set to my collection.  Absolutely beautiful set.

Cards above are as follows:

2001-02 Topps Pristine Autographs #AJO Jermaine O’Neal
2000-01 Upper Deck Encore Star Signatures #JO Jermaine O’Neal
2010-11 Limited Monikers Gold #31 Tyler Hansbrough /99


Wednesday Wax: 1999-00 Topps Series 2 Hobby

The Set:
1999-00 Topps Series 2
36 packs per box, 11 cards per pack
Series 2 base set contains 117 base cards, 10 rookies inserted 1 in 5, and 10 USA cards inserted 1 in 5
MVP Promo, 1 in 172 packs
All Matrix, 1 in 15 packs
Team Topps, 1 in 18 packs
Impact, 1 in 24 packs
Impact Refractor, 1 in 120 packs
21st Century, 1 in 27 packs
Own The Game, 1 in 44 packs
Autographs (Groups A, B), overall odds 1 in 98 packs

Our Break:
Without going in and counting, I am fairly certain we opened a complete set of base cards, while also seeing many, many duplicates.  We probably have close to 10 Danny Ferry base cards, so any Danny Ferry collectors, hit us up.  The orange bordered base set might be my least favorite Topps base set of all-time.  The action photos are nice (gotta love young Kobe hanging in the air pre-layup/dunk in the photo above), but who are we kidding, we opened this box for the inserts and a chance at a Topps Autograph (reasonably inserted at 1:98 packs, basically every third box).


’99 Draft Picks (7): Alexsandar Radojevic, William Avery, Cal Bowdler, Quincy Lewis, Dion Glover, Jeff Foster, Kenny Thomas (Most, if not all of the good rookies were in Series 1)

USA  Basketball Team Card (7): Kevin Garnett, Gary Payton, Steve Smith, Tim Hardaway, Tim Duncan, Jason Kidd, Tom Gugliotta


All Matrix (3): Shaquille O’Neal, Antoine Walker, Keith Van Horn


Team Topps (2): Reggie Miller, Grant Hill


21st Century (1): Jonathan Bender


Own The Game (1): Jason Kidd


Impact (1): Kobe Bryant

Impressions:

Fantastic value, beautiful inserts.  Our box looks like it contained pretty standard results for this product.  It was right on the odds for the inserts, didn’t hit on any of the higher odds inserts such as the Impact Refractors or the Autographs, but did pull several nice inserts that had lower odds (Shaq, Kobe).

The USA cards were interesting.  Who knew Tom Gugliotta played for Team USA?  Fun trivia fact there.

Pick up this box if you don’t want to break the bank (you can find a box for under $30), but still have a shot at some nice autographs and inserts.  Really can’t stress enough how great these insert sets are.  These types of cards are what is missing from today’s products.  The scans in this post don’t give an accurate picture of how nice these cards look.  Give me these over a game used card of Andres Nocioni any day (nothing personal, Andres- we actually could pull one of these in our next break, 10-11 Totally Certified).


Wednesday Wax: 1998-99 Bowman’s Best

The Set:
1998-99 Bowman’s Best
24 packs, 6 cards per pack
Base set contains 100 base cards, 25 rookies (1 in 4 packs)
Refractors 1 in 25 packs
Atomic Refractors 1 in 100 packs
Veteran Autograph Atomic Refractors 1 in 10,073 packs
Rookie Autograph Atomic Refractors 1 in 12,515 packs
Veteran Autograph Refractors 1 in 3,358 packs
Rookie Autograph Refractors 1 in 4,172 packs
Franchise Best 1 in 23 packs
Mirror Image 1 in 12 packs
Mirror Image Refractors 1 in 628 packs
Mirror Image Atomic Refractors 1 in 2,504 packs
Best Performers 1 in 12 packs
Best Performers Refractors 1 in 628 packs
Best Performers Atomic Refractors 1 in 2,504 packs

Our Break:


94/100 base cards, 38 duplicates


Rookies (6): Tyronn Lue, Bryce Drew, Keon Clark, Brian Skinner, Al Harrington, Paul Pierce


Best Performers (3): Grant Hill, Antawn Jamison, Mike Bibby


Refractors /400 (1): Chauncey Billups
Franchise Best (1): Karl Malone


Mirror Image (1): Shawn Kemp/Keith Van Horn

Impressions:

Wouldn’t take much to complete the base set of 100 cards, as we were just a handful short from our one box.  It’s always enjoyable to open 90’s products to see the league where the league was heading at that time.  You’ve got Shaq and Kobe just before their Finals runs.  The overlap of the end of Robinson’s career and the beginning of Duncan’s.  Pippen, Barkley along with Hakeem on the Rockets.   All of the base cards have golden strips at the top and bottom.  Imagine how nice these would have looked if these sections were colored to correspond with a player’s team colors.

1998-99 Bowman’s Best was one of the first products to have short printed rookie cards in the base set.  While we would have loved to have seen a Dirk rookie, Paul Pierce was a fine second choice.  The rookies, inserted at 1 in 4 packs, have the same glossy and metallic look as the rest of the base set, but have silver top and bottom sections, with a darkened background of an arena crowd.

The number of inserts in this product is certainly on the low side, particularly since only one refractor is usually included in each box.  This was also one of the first products to include serial numbered cards.  The refractor we did pull (Chauncey Billups) is really a beautiful card.  Could have done worse there for sure.

The chase inserts are the Kobe Mirror Image card and the Jordan Franchise Best card, and of course the refractor and atomic refractor versions of any of the inserts, which all have extremely tough odds.  The odds on the autographs are pretty mind-blowing as well.

Recap:

Base Set: 3/5 Stars
Inserts: 3/5 Stars
Value: 3/5 Stars
Overall: 3/5 Stars

A fun break, but half of the packs held nothing but base cards, and the inserts we did pull weren’t necessarily worth the wait.  Best card was probably the Pierce rookie.  One insert refractor, a Dirk rookie, or even a star refractor would have pushed this break another direction though.


Upcoming Box Breaks

Upcoming breaks for the next few editions of Wednesday Wax:

1998-99 Bowman’s Best
1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome

Really excited about both of these breaks!