Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 Topps Tier One Baseball Cards Box Break Recap and Review

This year’s edition of Tier One Baseball from Topps feels very familiar.  Boxes generally follow the pattern of relic, rookie auto, box hit. As with years past, if you look at our post “How we review and classify cards,” by definition, collectors who go for an Ultra Premium box of cards should understand “these are "High Risk, High Reward" cards” and “not every box will be a winner.”  While it would seem about 1 in every 6 boxes contains a really nice hit, and one rather  large hit lands once in every 12 boxes, which is a good ratio for ultra premium cards, it’s the in between boxes this year that don’t seem to match up with years past.  With numbering like #/254 for single swatch relics of players that can be found in practically every other Topps release this year and previously, and some box hit player autographs that are better suited for fan favorites found in Topps Archives, the content of 2014 Topps Tier One brings the franchise down just a little from previous years instead of excelling or even maintaining its reputation as a great quick hit of a product.  But Tier One is still priced at a point the allows those normally out of the price range of an Ultra Premium product to get in.

Each box of Tier One Baseball contains 3 cards, two autographs and one relic card.  Certain boxes will contain an extra relic hit for a total of 4 cards.

Here are the cards we found in our box.

 Prince Fielder Relic #/254
 Michael Wacha New Guard Autograph #/399
Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez Acclaimed Autographs #/299

Overall Look
There are some nice design elements here.  The New Guard Autograph is a step up in design over previous years.  Other autograph hits look familiar to those who have collected Tier One in the past.

Quality and Variety of Players
This checklist is not quite as strong as in previous years. This falls within the range of an Ultra Premium product but collectors may feel the sting of a getting a lesser box a little greater than before.

Thrill Seeking Fulfillment and Experience
Because this product comes in at a lower price point, the amount of chances of pulling something great decreases. As a one and done proposition this could very well feel like buying a scratcher lottery ticket, short term entertainment, thrill based solely on the outcome.  With a better checklist, this product has been a perfect roll of the dice.  This year some of that shine has been dulled.

Buyers Remorse or Speculator's Delight
My suggestion is study the checklist on this one and if you see players that are still desirable to you personally, thinking beyond a monetary value, then you, as a collector should be satisfied.  But without a vested interest, especially if you are “one and done” buyer, pull a rough box and there may be regrets. That can be brutal but that is the risk you take.  But for those with deeper pockets, that perhaps would open a much more expensive box or even cases of different products, this is definitely one to open by the sealed full case to spread the risk, with a relatively small investment.

3 out of 5

2014 Topps Tier One Baseball still has some really nice upside potential, but the downside seems to be a bit of a steeper slope this year. 

Review box provided by Topps

1 comment:

  1. I love the look of this product. It's a little too pricey for me to bust a box, but I see a few of these hard signed autographs entering my collection in the near future via eBay/COMC.