Monday, November 20, 2017

Two Problematic Blasters of 2017 Topps Gallery

Topps, recently, has had a bad track record with bringing back beloved properties from their past.

Here's Topps Archives! 'No, that's not Topps Archives, that's a bunch of current players on old designs. Doesn't some card blogger do that?'

Here's Topps Tek! 'No, that's some high end product that takes out most of the fun and creativity of the original set.'

Here's Topps Gold Label! 'Yeah, that'd be great if it wasn't ultra-ultra premium and only sold in hobby stores.

So, needless to say, bringing back Topps Gallery and releasing it as a Walmart Exclusive with a card-per-dollar ratio worse than Stadium Club's...did not get a great deal of praise from collectors. I, as a stupid person, decided it'd only be right to grab a box or two of the product, and decide for myself whether or not it was worth the fuss.

I grabbed two blasters. 8 packs per, including a pack of Artist's Proof parallels. So let's get this over with.

25- Bryce Harper
140- Anthony Rizzo
67- Kyle Seager
137- Ichiro

Okay, so already we see a few problems- ARTIST PROOF means that it's an ultra-rare parallel inserted into packs with a low numbering. These cards are not numbered, and they're given away essentially for free. So...what the hell's the point of them?

Also, the stock is thick enough, but the matte finish is nowhere near the texture of the original Gallery set. Plus, as nice as the design is, it's simplistic, and not really near some of the more complex designs that made the set cool to collect. This is...pretty damned boilerplate.

Onto the rest of the blaster

Pack 1-
36- Tim Anderson. The backs, by the way, carry the tradition of split stats for every month of the 2016 season, which is really nice, and more effort-driven than the modern Topps' approach to stats.
85- Troy Tulowitzki. All of these were drawn by one person, Mayumi Seto. Tulo's does emphasize the bags under his eyes more than I'd like. Maybe he didn't get any sleep before the shoot?
89- Hanley Ramirez
104- Reynaldo Lopez. Also, the rookie backs have split stats for the minors, which is also a nice touch. Nice to see that Lopez had a huge June 2016, with 48 strikeouts and a 1.56 ERA. Hopefully he'll bring that to the South Side of Chicago.

Pack 2-
125- Manny Machado
92- Mark Trumbo
Masterpiece Insert of Albert Pujols, which is pretty cool, and comes one per 7 packs, so...this is my Masterpiece insert for the box, I guess. Not too bad, though.
11- Adam Jones. ORIOLES HOT PACK!

Pack 3-
43- Matt Carpenter. A shame that a Cardinal is responsible for one of the cooler cards in this set that I've seen.
129- Jordan Montgomery RC. GUMBY!
Hall of Fame Gallery insert of...the great Roberto Clemente. Pretty nice pull. Design is a bit more standard than I'd have like, but it's not bad.
22- Ryon Healy. Now on the Mariners.

Pack 4-
110- Chris Sale. I really, really like this one.
59- Khris Davis, still one of the more consistent home run hitters in baseball.
Gallery Heritage of Jose Abreu, in a really cool 1950s Bowman design. Very, very nice stuff.
48- Dustin Pedroia

Pack 5-
117- AARON JUDGE ROOKIE! Hooray, I can die happy.
99- Randal Grichuk
69- Blake Snell
86- Trea Turner, who will start having good seasons once he decides to stay healthy.

Pack 6-
150- Max Scherzer, 3-time Cy Young award winner.
144- J.D. Martinez, one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball. Oh, and glad Gallery managed to ACTUALLY HAVE HIM IN A D-BACKS UNIFORM. Well done, Gallery.
HOF Gallery of Craig Biggio....and it's a BLUE BORDER, #'D TO 99. HOLY CRAP. That is a pretty nice pull, even if it's not an auto or anything.
58- Daniel Murphy

Pack 7-
126- Andrew Benintendi, 2nd-best AL rookie of 2017
35- Antonio Senzatela
HOF Gallery of Dave Winfield. Why's he got to be a Padre...
145- Didi Gregorius. Nice that the first box ends with a Yankee.

BOX #2-

Artist Proofs
34- Jake Arrieta
114- David Dahl. Hopefully he'll get to play in 2018.
66- Maikel Franco. Hopefully he'll remember how to hit in 2018.
11- Adam Jones

Pack 1-
131- Matt Harvey, part of the new-substantially-weaker Mets rotation.
32- Gregory Polanco
HOF Gallery of Ozzie Smith
123- Carlos Gonzalez. Didn't even BEGIN to hit for average this year..

Pack 2-
25- Bryce Harper
140- Anthony Rizzo. Nice to have the regular versions of these guys
Gallery Heritage of Miguel Sano, also looking great on a 50s Bowman design
8- Steven Matz

Pack 3-
67- Kyle Seager. And now we have the regular version of THIS one..
113- Andrew Toles
57- Jameson Taillon...GREEN PARALLEL #D TO 99. Also a pretty great pull, though not as good as the Biggio.
19- Carson Fulmer

Pack 4-
15- Yoan Moncada. I feel like there are a billion White Sox rookies in this set,
12- Max Kepler
Masterpieces of...Eric Hosmer, with a very creepy expression.
84- Trey Mancini

Pack 5-
38- Tyler Glasnow. Still doesn't seem to be ready for MLB play.
139- Jake Lamb
HOF Gallery of Rod Carew...on the Angels. Alright then.
115- Justin Verlander. Always nice for Topps to actually picture Verlander as an Astro.

Pack 6-
17- George Springer, W.S. MVP
97- Ketel Marte
Annnnd...a REDEMPTION...for a Auto Green Parallel of...Andrew Benintendi. Not a bad pull at all, as Benintendi's looking even better than he was last season, and may be sticking around in Boston. Hopefully Topps won't screw me over with this one.
55- Jose Bautista

Pack 7-
101- Cole Hamels
100- Clayton Kershaw
118- Adrian Gonzalez. This pack only had 3 cards. Well then.

So, to conclude...still a flawed product, that could have used some adjustments in some departments, but...not exactly bad. I still got nice hits from it, which is good.


  1. Congratulations on pulling the redemption card. Nice pull. Bummer that this stuff is a Walmart exclusive. I was gonna go to Target looking for these blasters this week.

  2. I saw some rack packs of Gallery at a Meijer and thought "ummm - screwed up shipment". Walmart would not be happy if they saw what I saw.

    1. I feel like there are some Wal-Mart execs, living in their ivory towers, that don't even know was a Meijer is.