Thursday, January 10, 2019

A Hobby Box of 2018 Topps Gold Label

Little more high-end than you'd expect from me, eh?

I went into a D&A run knowing I needed to get Chronicles, but I had a little extra paycheck to cover this. So I saw that Gold Label was on sale, realized that I kinda enjoyed the older Gold Label sets Topps put out in the 2000s, and...went with it. Like, what's the worst that could happen? I get some base cards and a shit hit?

That was...inevitably what happened, but...I still don't think I did badly here.

7 packs per box, 5 cards per pack. Three types of base cards, and one guaranteed framed autograph per box. Here we go:

 Pack 1- These three are all Class 1 base cards, and they all look pretty cool. It is very...Modern Topps, to say the least, in its emasculation and modernizing of a classic set, but it's not bad. It's definitely Gold Label. It's just a bit too rudimental in design. Plus, all three classes have the same format, as you'll soon see.

Wil Myers' card is a black parallel, which aren't numbered, but are seeded 1:2 packs. The black stripe isn't shiny or anything, but it's subtle enough to not undermine the card.

These two Madduxes illuminate the main issue of the Classes not having too many differences. The one on the left is a Class 2, and the one on the right is a Class 1. Just different pictures. Old Gold Label would just have variations of design, steps up, etc. This is...too slight.

 Pack 2- Fun base choices here. Aaron Judge is another black parallel.

We reach the hit early...and....


Look, if Luis Castillo had some better numbers (other than strikeouts) I'd feel a little bit better about this. But...he's a third-starter for a team that's had notorious rotation issues. He's had a lot of potential, but has yet to have a winning season. His best year, 2018, was a 10-12 season with a 4.30 ERA and 165 strikeouts. He's...a very meh hit. And thankfully I do have a trusted place to send this to.

 Pack 3-
New York heroes in Class 1s. Sevvy does look cool in a set like this. And I dig the Conforto alt-uni.

 Our Class 2 is Nolan Arenado here. I don't know how different this is from the Class 1 photo, but...we'll find out a few packs later.

And these are our Class 3s, the rarest of the three. I don't know...what in each photo would indicate that it's the rarest of the three. I mean, if I'm set designer, I'd do something like 'Class 1 is home uni, Class 2 is away uni, Class 3 is throwback/alt uni'. So there'd be a clear evolution.
Verlander's, which does at least have an alt-uni, is a black parallel. Class 3 is apparently pretty rare. Not bad.

 Pack 4-
I don't really see why Mark McGwire needs to be in modern Topps sets, but fine. The Stanton makes up for him.

Your class 2s. You saw the Class 1 Koufax a few packs ago...and I kinda like this one better. And the Sale, the black parallel...reminds me why it was a cool idea to bring Gold Label back. Though concept > execution here.

 Pack 5-
Again, I prefer Verlander's C3 one, but it's nice to get three of the best pitchers in baseball in the same pack.

Mancini is a Class 3, Conforto is a Class 2.

 Pack 6- All these guys are Class 1s. Interesting to note how big everyone thought Ian Happ would be in 2018. Good Cubs presence here.

And a solid Class 2 of Luis Severino, complete with an awesome choice of photo.

 Pack 7-
Buxton has the best main photo of the three, yet has the least amount of reason to be in this set. Still, solid enough base.

Hosmer's is a Class 2, and Ernie Banks' is a Class 3. Even if it's a little odd, having a legend like Ernie Banks in this set is...kind of cool? I dunno, I think so at least.

This is an odd set. Not a complete hit for me, especially considering how it blandifies the original versions. But there are good moments, they're just...fleeting. Topps could have done a bit better here, though the rip could have been a ton worse.

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