Box Break: 2013 Topps Magic Football

It’s been a while since i’ve picked up a box of cards.  I have been doing my best to stay away from boxes of cards unless I plan to put the set together since I have terrible luck with the ‘hits’.  I’m not a hit chaser and don’t plan to be one either…but I do love opening packs of cards.  It takes me back to being a happy go lucky kid with $5 in my pocket riding my bike to the Stop’n Go for a few packs of 1986 Topps or Garbage Pail Kids and tall bottle of coke…man, those were the days.  Back when $5 could get you way more than 8 cards to a pack.

As you can see from the title, the box is Magic Football from this year.  Unlike the last couple of years, the rookie class isn’t too exciting…but I love this brand and here we go!

Card Design: 3.5 of 5

Just like the past couple of years, the base card design is pretty simple.

13 TM Josh Gordon

Topps does it’s best to give these cards a sort of retro look with the banner and stars.  Nobody really does that anymore, do they?  seems like a throwback to the 50’s.  I’ve always felt like Magic is Topps version of Heritage for football, minus the copying of vintage designs.  Instead of copying them verbatim, they take bits and pieces of the cards to create a ‘new throwback’ look, which i love.

13 TM Marshawn Lynch

I also like that they used a good solid card stock with no glossy finish.  I’m kind of old school like that.  The glossy cards are great and have a time and place, but i really enjoy a card that isn’t slippery or covered with texture.  Just some nice smooth cardboard with a little friction.  Such a weird comment…

Photography: 4 of 5

Photography, yes, photography.  The photos are highly over processed and in most cases i despise this.  Technology is a great thing, but a heavy hand can ruin a great photo.

13 TM Josh Freeman

I was quite impressed that Topps was able to get a photo (almost looks photoshopped, eh?) of Josh Freeman’s short lived stint with the Vikings (is he coming back to the Vikings next year?) As i’ve mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy photography and my wife is a professional photographer, so we have our fair share of HDR imagery discussion in our home.  Fun huh?

13 TM Jawan Jamison

This fairly new form of photo processing is everywhere now and definitely has its place…and I think sports card photography is that place.

13 TM Alfred Morris

The photos on these cards always look really sharp and you can see a lot of texture and depth on each card…i guess for some, this may make up for the lack of glossy-ness.

Look at that smile!  And those Tattoos!

13 TM Brandon Jenkins

Look at those crazy eyes!  And that old school mesh jersey top!

13 TM Roger Craig

Hits: 3 of 5

As i’ve mentioned, I do not by boxes for the hits.  I am not that type of collector.  Magic does offer three autographs in their boxes along with the occasional relic or memorabilia card.  The autographs are stickers though…ugh stickers…better than redemptions, but man an on card autograph is so great!  Since the rookie class wasn’t too stellar this year, the autographs weren’t that stellar either.

Brandon Myers – New York Giants

13 TM Brandon Myers Autograph

Kayvon Webster – Denver Broncos

13 TM Kayvon Webster Autograph

Khaseem Greene – Chicago Bears

13 TM Khaseem Greene Autograph

Magic is owned by Topps, so they fill your box up with little hits and parallels and a whole bunch of other shit that makes collectors want to collect things they don’t really want to collect.  Like some micro cards with Drew Brees and Arian Foster on them.

13 TM Brees Foster 1948 Minis

or how about some receiver action with Cal bookends of Keenan Allen and DeSean Jackson sandwiching Anquan Boldin from the base white mini.

13 TM Allen Bolden Jackson Mini

How about some green border minis with these three dudes.

13 TM Hunt Wheaton Holmes Green Border Mini

Or what about these black border minis!

13 TM Gates LaFell Black Border Mini

and a Hall of Famer Blue Border mini!

13 TM Andre Reed Blue Border Mini

I could have done without these groovy Aerial Attack inserts…but my wife loves Cam, so here honey.

13 TM Cam Newton Aerial Attack

The colors on this thing…holy crap…ho-lee-crap.

13 TM Adrian Peterson Ground and Pound

The Rookie Enchantments are back, but aren’t that enchanting.

13 TM Mike Glennon Rookie Enchantment

Markus Wheaton for all of you Steeler fans out there.

13 TM Markus Wheaton Rookie Enchantment

and a Cordarelle Patterson card.

13 TM Cordarelle Patterson Rookie Enchantment

Desmond Trufant, a man that Steve Smith respects.

13 TM Desmond Trufant Rookie Enchantment

Review

All in all, i love the cards.  I was really hoping to put together a set, but after seeing the 330 card set checklist and heavy dose of SP cards i’m not sure that’s gonna happen.  I need to think about it.  My collection is a bit chaotic right now and this won’t help with the chaos.  I really wish Topps went a little lighter on the SP’s.  A box of these guys won’t set you back too much, but if you plan on putting the set together you could be dropping well over $100 on this set and i’m not sure that’s worth it for this group of cards.

13 TM Jordan Reed

and a MINI!

13 TM Jordan Reed Mini

Bacarri Rambo…the best name ever.

13 TM Bacarri Rambo

Hope you enjoyed the review…my pack breakdown for 2014 Topps will be up soon.  I’m waiting for everyone else to release theirs before I put my thoughts out there.  🙂

Road Trip Packs II

The next pack along the road was actually a blaster of 2013 Leaf Draft from Wal-Mart.  Purchased at 12:30am.  This was actually the first group of cards I purchased on the trip and were picked up on a midnight run for ‘snacks’…plus I was really curious what type of Wal-Martians I could find around 1am on a Friday night…and just like the box of cards, the Wal-Martians were just ok.

This is a product I buy a few packs of each year in hopes of getting the Redskins draft picks…the value of these cards is minimal and the quality of them is about the same, but if you like a specific college or NFL team, it’s nice to get the players first (or last) card depending on your perspective.  I’ve never picked up a blaster box of these guys before, so I’m not sure if this is typical, but the package came with 2 autographs in top loaders and placed in a team bag.  I thought that was pretty cool.  No need to open any packs to see what your hits were.  They were just there!  I also thought it was pretty cool that Leaf managed to package them so nicely to keep them in as close to mint condition as possible.

The first auto was Markus Wheaton.  A receiver from Oregon State who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round.  Not a bad auto considering what else I could have pulled.

13 LD Markus Wheaton AutographThe second auto was of Sean Porter, whom quite ironically is from Schertz, Texas and went to Samuel Clemens.  The box of cards was purchased in little ol’ Schertz, Texas.  Porter is an A&M product and played Linebacker during his four year career.  He was drafted in the fourth round by the Cincinnati Bengals.

13 LD Sean Porter Autograph

Next up are the Redskins players.

Jordan Reed TE – 3rd round from Florida.  Early reports from the couple of practices he participated in were really high on this kid.  It sounds like he can become a big time playmaker at Tight End and hopefully compliment Fred Davis for years to come.

13 LD Jordan Reed

Brandon Jenkins DE – 5th round from Florida State.  When healthy, he was pretty much a beast at FSU and could have gone much earlier had he indeed been healthy.  If Jenkins is able to rebound, he should be a nice compliment to Orakpo and Kerrigan next year and hopefully the next 5 years.

13 LD Brandon Jenkins

Jawan Jamison RB – 7th round from Rutgers.  Mike Shanahan has a way of hitting on running backs.  Here’s hoping Jamison can be another one. He too was injured but has a huge upside…but injuries tend to derail the greatest of athletes, especially if they limit opportunities in practice and games.

13 LD Jawan Jamison

Although the cards were not that impressive, I was pretty happy with what i pulled.  If anyone out there has a desire to trade for the autos, please let me know…could be nice for a Bengals or Steelers collector!

Box Break: 2012 Panini Prime Signatures

Ok, i had a little time this evening with the baby and lovely wife off in the other room having some reading time.  So I thought I would open one of the Panini boxes I received last night…and I decide to open…the single pack Prime Signatures Box.

IMG_7685

I have purchased two of these boxes this year in the faint hopes of pulling an RGIII to no avail, BUT I am not a quitter and purchased one more box from the Panini online store.  The box was purchased last weekend when they had the 25% sale, so i managed to get a really good deal on the box…and i couldn’t pass up a good deal and an opportunity to pull a guaranteed autograph.

The box is simply one pack with 4 cards in each pack…so it’s always a gamble as to what you will be pulling from the box.  My other breaks have been fairly uneventful and something i was definitely bracing for with this box.  Although there were thoughts of better pulls since it was from the company that manufactures the cards.

IMG_7687

So much for the long winded intro, here are the cards I pulled!

Leaf Sig LeSean McCoy 452-499

LeSean McCoy 452/499

Leaf Sig Joe Greene 497:499

‘Mean’ Joe Greene 497/499

Leaf Sig Steven Jackson 17-99 PP

Steven Jackson Prime Proof 17/99

Leaf Sig Steelers Rookies 6-25

Pittsburgh Steelers Rookies Chris Rainey, David DeCastro, Marquis Maze

Card Design – 4 of 5

The main reason i keep going back to these cards is their design.  It’s simple, clean and always clear who the card is for and what it’s about…which I love.  The super thick card stock and clingy sound when the cards stack on top of each other is a fantastic feature for me.  Each card appears to have 3 intermediate layers with a face and backing for the card making 5 layers overall.  The text is also very clear and easy to read, due in part to the white background…although i would like to see cards of this design with a cleaner font, maybe something without serifs?  That’s my only real complaint though…very nice Panini

Photography – 4 of 5

Each photograph on the cards are very sharp, with the exception of the Mean Joe Greene card, but that’s due in part to older technology and repurposing an older photo.  That’s not a big issue.  I’m sure there are Steeler and Mean Joe collectors out there that are excited he is in this set.  One thing i like about the photographs is the vignetting around the player to focus on one player, one player in action.  The cropping on the Mean Joe Green card appears a little off though..bye bye arms!

Hits – 3 of 5

With 4 cards and 1 hit…it’s literally hit or miss.  Pulling a three autograph card is pretty cool, in fact I have never pulled such an auto card before, so this is a first for me…so embarrassing…As a Redskins fan, I tend to only pay attention to Redskin players and have no idea who these guys are.  I have heard about Chris Rainey and apparently so have the Pittsburgh Police Department.  I am also aware of David DeCastro…but a Guard isn’t always an exciting hit…not something you want to pull.  The other guy Marquis Maze is someone I know nothing about.  Maybe a Steelers fan out there has a clue for me?

Review

Overall, i am pretty happy with the box.  Although i didn’t pull any Redskins, i can’t complain about my 3 auto hit and the other 3 cards are/were solid football players.  This is definitely a product i would buy next season…and if I can find another good deal on a box, i just may have to see what’s inside.

Hope you guys enjoyed my first box review.  I have a few more to go right now and have some cards on their way very soon…could get really busy in the next few weeks with all the new baseball releases and the tail end of the football releases coming out.  If there are any Pittsburgh Steeler fans out there, send me an email and let me know if you have any interest in the autographed card or the Mean Joe Green…I’m looking at you Steven Jackson and LeSean McCoy fans too! -HTTR!