Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Topps Tier One Baseball Cards Box Break Recap and Review

This year’s edition of Tier One Baseball from Topps feels very familiar, and not just because we pulled the same EXACT main hit as we did last year. 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 that will make collectors a little hesitant.  With numbering like #/399 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 2015 Topps Tier One rides the line between offering a product priced at a point the allows those normally out of the price range of an Ultra Premium product to get in and playing the losing side of “High Risk, High Reward.”

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.

Stephen Strasburg Relic #/399

Randy Johnson Relic #/199

Starling Marte New Guard Autograph #/225

Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez Acclaimed Autographs #/299

Overall Look
There are some nice design elements here.  The New Guard Autographs look great.  Other autograph hits look familiar to those who have collected Tier One in the past.

Quality and Variety of Players
This checklist continues to be right in the middle of the road. This falls within the range of an Ultra Premium product but when collectors get a box that doesn't have a premiere hit they may feel the sting a little greater than with other products.

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 and higher percentage of nicer hits this product could be a perfect roll of the dice. But reality and basic economics dictate a lower priced product should yield a lower percentage of big hits.

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. That should give you a good indication of whether or not you have a good chance of being 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

2015 Topps Tier One Baseball still has some really nice upside potential, but the downside can be a bit of a steeper slope than most. 

Review box provided by Topps

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