Saturday, February 2, 2013

Topps Collation Catastrophe?

I am not someone who complains about Topps.  If you look at my past posts, I am not exactly a fanboy, but I'm also not that far from it.  I pretty much only collect Topps, and I enjoy - for the most part - every set they put out.  I like finding little things that I like about a set, and spend little time worrying about what I don't like.  Last year, I didn't love all the gold insert sets, so I didn't go crazy chasing them down - that's it.

So now it's 2013, and I'm liking (perhaps not loving, but that's okay) the new flagship offering.  I don't like the base design as much as the last three years, but I know that's a matter of taste and preference, so I'm not terribly disappointed.  And actually, I enjoy the insert sets much better this year, and may work a little harder to track some down.

Now to the point of this post... I ordered a Jumbo box this year, figuring I'll nail my base set, and grab a good number of inserts (and hits) to decide what I like.

Here's what happened, and bear with me while I share a lot of numbers... I opened my first jumbo pack, and  here are my 43 base card numbers:  1 3 5 11 17 33 36 39 42 50 55 57 61 65 76 80 93 94 106 115 123 126 140 142 169171 173 175 182 189 193 209 216 220 238 254 274 297 298 300 313 316 322.

A day later, I opened my second pack, and after looking at the second card, I realized something was very familiar - the same cards, in the same order.  Here's what I got: 1 3 5 11 33 36 39 42 50 55 57 61 65 76 80 93 94 95 106 113 115 123 140 145 169 171 173 175 189 193 209 216 220 224 238 254 297 298 300 313 316 318 322.

Now, I'm not a kid.  But I was still terribly disappointed!  In the each of the two packs, there were just FIVE unrepeated cards, and THIRTY-EIGHT cards that  were duplicates.  I guess I assume it will all even out at the end, and when I finish the jumbo box, I'll have my set - but still, doesn't this just LOOK bad?!?


  1. If a jumbo box really has the full set in it (and I'm not sure if it does or doesn't this year), then what you saw with the first two packs makes sense. That is, if Topps is to ensure each jumbo box has a full base set then the collation can't be random - and if it isn't random, then you would expect similar packs (like you found). On the other hand, if you find that a jumbo doesn't give you a full set, then yeah, I'd be angry too!

    Your tale reminds me of a story (legend?) about the Apple iPod. When it was first launched, people called/wrote Apple to complain that the randomize button didn't work on their playlists. They were getting the same artist back-to-back, sometimes even the exact same song twice in a row. As the story/legend goes, Apple responded by making their randomize button less random in order to make people think it was more random!

  2. and here's the latest news, to back up your point, and put my concerns at ease: 3rd jumbo pack opened, and ALL 43 cards were "needed" - no duplicates.

  3. Good story from nachos about apple - had never heard that.

    I've bought quite a few jumbo boxes and what he's saying is consistent with what I've seen - I think you'll still get the full set, but curious to see how it ends.