Thursday, February 5, 2009

2009 MLB Products

Many bloggers have been reviewing 2009 MLB Topps and UD. My first impression is that Topps hit a home run with the Turkey Red subset and that UD hit a home run with their card design. I think some of the things you will notice in 2009 have not yet been seen. The biggest difference this year will be packaging configurations. You will see at Retail many different packaging configurations. I expect those on shelves very soon (7-10 days). My question to you would be do you look at card count per packaging configuration? Meaning if the 1.99 pack has 8 cards and the 2.99 has 14 do you go with the 2.99? We have this debate internally all the time...I am of the philosophy that if you spend more you should get more value, but what happens when inserts are removed to add to card count?

On blasters, those boxes that are typically $19.99 and contain $22 - $24 in value, what makes you pick them outside of they are not searched. Are refractors drivers? Are GUE (game used) drivers in blasters? Are extra pack drivers?


  1. What really "drives" Blasters aren't refractors, gamers; it's price. In some cases the Blaster version of a product is a better buy than Hobby.

  2. $4.99 Jumbo packs of Heritage High Series are a better deal than the $2.99 pack. More Heritage cards (and less Topps cards) for less money. Too bad I hate the set.

    $4.99 Fat packs are a good deal for stuff like Score Football, Fleer Basketball and Upper Deck, where you can pick up a nice chunk of base for cheap. It didn't work too well with O-Pee-Chee though in my opinion because there are so many damn short prints in the set.

    Blaster drivers: A game used is a nice bonus. Getting 8 packs for $2.50 each instead of $3 a pop is nice. The minor league and draft pick sets with one or two autos is good. I built the TriStar set in '07 thanks to the two autos in most of the boxes. Target or Wal-Mart exclusive sets seemed to be good in Topps Products last year with the T205s and Dick Perez, not so much with the Upper Deck ones (that I can't even remember right now). Refractors aren't really drivers. Mainly because Topps Chrome has one per pack most times and Bowman refractors are rare as hen's teeth.

    As far as the new configurations go, I liked the $9.99 Topps Updates & Highlights Super Jumbo pack that was essentially a $10 blaster without the cardboard. It's getting a little crowded on the shelves though, so I'm not sure if a bunch of new configurations is a great idea.

  3. Gotta agree with Chris on this one. Price is the main option when buying blasters of sets to check them out.
    I am probably one of the few bloggers who avoids single packs at all costs. They just seem a waste of money.

  4. I assume retail has been molested by pack searchers, so the biggest consideration when I'm buying cards per pack is really more cards per pack, especially if the card set is base brand Topps or Upper Deck.

    I think a guaranteed hit adds an artificial sense of value to a blaster, especially when you are trying to get someone to pick them up.

    I really don't want another $2 jersey or bat card of someone who has hundreds of them, but it makes me stop and look at the box more closely when it is plastered on the box there is 'One GU Card' guaranteed.

    It definitely plays into my impulses.

  5. Very good far the $9.99 fat pack for Heritage High I dont see that going very far. The biggest reason being that its not the most durable packaging type. Its a peggable product with no cardboard backer which makes it very suseptable to tearing, ripping, etc. Not to mention the fact that it is very difficult for Mom to see the difference from the $9.99 fat pack from the $4.99 fat pack.

  6. I thought the $10 fat pack was an interesting way to cut costs and provide value. A $10 blaster probably costs the same in packaging and materials for half the sale price. The rack pack:

    1) saves money on the box
    2) saves money on the wrappers
    3) saves money on the person putting the packs into the box
    4) is easier to ship

    Plus there was 80 cards in the rack pack instead of about 60 in the old $10 blaster. You're right though, the 80 card pack looked almost identical to the 30-something card pack. Maybe there were some extra sales from people grabbing the wrong one?

    I just want to see the $10 price point stay. There's been plenty of times I have run into a store and came out with no cards because I would have bought a $10 blaster, but didn't quite want to go for the $20 one.

  7. I miss $10 blasters. It's making me gravitate towards $10 repack boxes.

    Generally, the more cards per dollar, the more I'm going to be interested. But if the inserts are removed altogether (like they used to do with Topps rack packs other than the one guaranteed insert) then I start being less interested again.

  8. This will echo some of the sentiments above, but I'm going to do it anyway.
    In order of why I buy blasters when I do:
    - Not searched. (As a former newspaper reporter, I trust very few people as a general rule. Card bloggers are the exception.)
    - More value, whether it be the added pack or two or the guaranteed hit.
    - Exclusive inserts at Target.

    I also like the consistency. I can go to the hobby shop 20 minutes north of here where a Topps Chrome Basketball hobby box is $70, or to one down about 90 minutes south (a usual stop when I'm in that area monthly) and it's $82. No hobby shop in my city, imagine that. But I know if I have the itch for an 09 UD Hockey blaster, I'm paying the same price at any Target.

    I also try to avoid single packs, whether retail or hobby, unless I'm trying out a new product.

  9. I don't see why anyone would base their buying decision on MORE base cards. If a blaster had better odds at a juju, I can see that. But more base doesn't make something worth more. More base means more clutter.

  10. Perhaps I'm the one, I base blaster decisions on base cards per dollar. To me insert cards are clutter. I'm only interested in the base set, parallels are pointless and unless it's Fleer Pro Visions I have yet to see an interesting insert.

  11. Price is definitely the thing on blasters, depending on the product.

    Topps Chrome retail is MONEY, especially in football, because of the retail-only Xfractors. Extra packs are nice, although I've noticed a trend to go away from those and go towards retail-exclusive insert packs instead. In some products though, blasters aren't really a good buy, especially when you're only getting 4-5 cards a pack. Donruss, on the other hand .... their blasters (and retail in general) are often poor, IMO.

  12. It's definitely cards/dollar. The biggest thing that irks me about blasters is that it's usually really hard to tell how many cards come in a pack inside them. I'll pick up a blaster and it'll say 7 or 10 packs, but not how many cards. I'll look over at the single packs, but if the number isn't the same, then I'll feel cheated that the blaster packs are smaller.
    And as far as inserts in blasters, I'm far more likely to buy if I know that there are similar odds on inserts. Exclusive ones are sometimes OK, but I've started subsets of certain ones and found that nobody else has any to trade later, or they've never heard of the insert.