The Topps Company

The Winner of the Museum Collection Lot is …

I just want to thank everyone who participated in the 2015 Topps Museum giveaway. There will be many more giveaways thanks to Topps Company’s generous donations. Down the line, there may even be another card manufacturer joining the club which means two things: more reviews and more free cards to readers of Wax Heaven.

Stay tuned as I expect to have Gypsy Queen any day now. As for the grand prize, the winning comment goes to CK, which you can read below. If he doesn’t contact me within five days, we can split up the cards to the two runner-ups, ChuckNeo and Tony L. Thanks for reading and make sure to follow me on Twitter @WaxMorgue.


Categories: The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: | 4 Comments

2015 Topps Museum Collection Review

To be eligible for all the cards featured in this review, leave a comment with your favorite and least favorite thing about Topps baseball cards. The winner will be chose at random and cards will be delivered at my expense.

For the very first time, I have the privilege of busting open a box of 2015 Topps Museum Collection, a product which wasn’t around during the final days of Wax Heaven. At just under $200 per box, it’s one of the only high-end products I have reviewed and easily one of my all-time favorites and while it did deliver one hell of a punch, I did have some concerns as a collector that I will discuss in my review.

Design: A+

Simply put, 2015 Museum Collection is Topps’ very best product of the year. Design-wise, it blows away their flagship, Heritage, Tribute, and the yet to be reviewed, Gypsy Queen. As far as the competition, so far it’s only 2015 Donruss Baseball and that too doesn’t stand a chance. When Topps is on their game, they are impossible to beat.

On a personal level, Museum Collection has put out some of the greatest Jose Canseco autographs I have ever seen, all on-card and all featuring new and different photographs per card, something that’s a rarity these days. It’s one of the reasons I love this year’s Museum Collection so much.

Price: C

Right now, boxes of Museum Collection will run you just under $200 dollars for 20 total cards. Don’t get me wrong, the cards look absolutely gorgeous, as does the design of the hits and even the parallels but at that price range we should be getting a product that features 100% on-card autographs and with at least 10-15 more cards, if not a chance for a bonus 5th hit every other box or something similar.

I’ve watched countless case breaks of this stuff on YouTube as well, which not only leaves me feeling quite envious, but a bit sad for those collectors as cases are running for big money right now and unless you’re an eBay expert with lots of time on your hands and extreme luck, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. Game-used relics just don’t bring in the kind of money they used to.

Inserts/Hits/Parallels: B+

Here is where this product shines. Out of 20 cards, I pulled six serial numbered cards and 4 big hits. My favorite card was the Nomar Garciaparra autograph which looks amazing and happens to be on-card, plus is numbered to 59. I also pulled a three-piece relic/auto (sticker) numbered to 349, a 4-piece relic numbered to 99, and a jumbo relic. No patches in this box but that’s fine because I’m seeing them pulled quite frequently on YouTube and social media.

Overall: B

To me, Museum Collection absolutely blows away Topps’ Triple Threads line. Although it’s not as high-end as T.T, I would pick Museum Collection over that overrated product any day of the week. The design is magnificent, the cards are thick, and you’ll end up with four big hits and several serial numbered cards. As a collector, paying nearly $200 for a box of 20 cards is no longer reasonable to me but the high-end gamblers love this product and for a good reason.

For my own collecting needs, I will, when the time is right, start bringing in the several Jose Canseco cards into my collection when prices have come down a bit. Even if you can’t afford to bust boxes of new product or anything high-end, right now is the greatest time in the world to be a player collector thanks to eBay and other online sites that are helping so many fulfill their collecting needs.


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Topps Rips Itself Off

No, it’s not what you think. First, let’s take a look at 2015 Gypsy Queen and the base card for disgraced baseball hero, Roger Clemens. I know what you’re thinking and if you’re under 21, you probably think this is a GREAT photograph of “The Rocket”. Well, young collector, you’re absolutely right. Although I’m not big on the card design for Gypsy Queen, the photographs used are absolutely awesome on almost every card.

Again, Topps hit this one out of the park. Nothing like a product full of hits (4) that also features amazing photographs and memorable base cards. As I mentioned, I’m not a fan of the design but the mini cards, autographs, and relics look great. Topps is now 3 for 3 in releases after TributeGate (Opening Day, Museum Collection, Gypsy Queen). They are pretty much running in a race against themselves at this point because no one is even putting up a fight any longer.

Now, if you’re a little older you may recall the Clemens photograph as it was used in Topps’ final iconic flagship every produced, back in 1991. I’m not saying the flagship hasn’t been great since then but to me 1991 was the last great year for them. Not long after that came Finest, Refractors, Upper Deck innovations (AKA autographs and relics) which made set collecting and Topps’ flagship almost obsolete.

However, in 1991, Topps was on top of the card world and its flagship featured the greatest photography ever used in any set with a super clean base design that has aged well, unlike many of their base set designs since that time. What’s even greater is that thanks to the mass production of baseball cards that would eventually kill our hobby or a least destroy the big card boom, these sets can be found for very cheap prices at the card shop (if you have one) or anywhere else. I bought a full set for $5 dollars at a flea market this year.

So the questions is simple: which Topps set used the Roger Clemens photograph better? 1991 Topps vs. 2015 Gypsy Queen?

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2015 Gypsy Queen is (Sorta) Live

Fresh off a hot Museum Collection release last week, Topps is back with another retro-style product, Gypsy Queen. Cards are slowly but surely hitting eBay ahead of the April 15th release date.

I’ve never had a chance to bust Gypsy Queen although I may have a card or two from 2014’s release of Jose Canseco. This year, although no Jose has surfaced, he is all over the checklist, which I’m extremely excited about.

There is currently very little of this product on eBay so it’s way too early to judge but I can say I’m not excited about this brand the way I was after seeing Museum Collection on eBay and Twitter. Time will tell if it will live up to the hype. One thing is for certain, Topps has been incredibly busy, pumping out one release after another.

As for me, I tried to unsuccessfully get into a Gypsy Queen case break to try my luck at pulling some Canseco cards but as it turns out you have to plan ahead on these things so I will be forced to pick up whatever is pulled on eBay. Sooner or later, I will get my foot in the door of these case breaks which seem to be all the rage among collectors these days.

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Why Bowman’s Best Will Topple Bowman Chrome

Yes, I said it. I’m also going on strictly speculation because despite my repeated efforts to get some information from Topps about Bowman’s Best, its 2015 return is top secret for the time being. However, I am an original Best junkie so I truly believe this year will be Bowman’s Best’s year. Here are some reasons why: The First Chrome Prospect Card We all know that Finest introduced the hobby world to chrome cards and Refractors, while destroying the competition in one fell swoop. Despite their immediate dominance, some collectors complained about the lack of rookies and prospects, thus Topps created the Bowman’s Best line in 1994, bringing into the market the very first chrome prospects cards and Refractors! The First Parallel Above the Refractor By 1996, Topps was in the process of flooding the market with Refractors by going from a Finest exclusive to Topps Chrome and Bowman’s Best. They knew collectors would soon tire of plain Recractors so they came up with the very first parallel of a parallel in the Atomic Refractor, introduced where else but 1996 Bowman’s Best. Now, take a look at the card below. That sure does look like a brighter Superfractor, doesn’t it? The First Chrome Autograph This one is huge. By 1997, Chrome had been used in Finest three years, Bowman’s Best two years, and Topps Chrome was about to turn two. They also had Bowman Chrome’s debut just months away and despite how huge that debut was, they forgot all about certified autographs. Guess what product was the first to include autos on chrome stock? Bowman’s Best! That’s right, every time there is something new to try out, Best is where Topps goes. The Future is Bright There are zero details on the return of Bowman’s Best at the moment. I do have one tiny exclusive … we will see the line return at the tail end of the baseball season. I have no details on product breakdown, design, checklist, or anything else but if we know Topps Company, we can expect Bowman’s Best to be a huge product in 2015 much like Topps High Tek was a product of the year candidate in 2014. Besides, how much longer will Bowman Chrome and Bowman Draft stay fresh? Perhaps forever. Stupid question . Okay, how big will Topps push to make Bowman’s Best the premier Bowman product of 2015? If my examples tell you anything it’s that you should expect big things from Bowman’s Best. I for one cannot wait as it has always been a favorite of mine since I pulled my very first big pull of my life, seen below. I pulled that card in 1995, not knowing what I had. I sold it at the end of the 1996 season for $50 dollars and two boxes of 1997 Ultra, which was an amazing deal for me being that I was 16 and in love with bustin’ wax. As you can guess, I used the other $50 to buy even more wax.

Categories: The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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