2010 Topps Football Video Box Break and Review

Oh, fall. The leaves are changing, the air gets crisper… and, once a week I get to look at this little website on Yahoo to be reminded that I don’t know a single damn thing about football. Yes, it’s fantasy time and, of course, I’m playing the guy who has Arian Foster and gets 42 points all by his lonesome. More than a quarter of my total points. One guy. That apparently not even football nerds knew about. Go figure.  

But it’s also new football card time. So Jon and I did the honorable thing and ordered a case of the new Topps flagship. Our new friend at EZ Collectibles (who hasn’t posted in a while but give him a break!), told us that there’s a pretty decent chance that we’d be able to break even on a case and, since we want to believe, we bit. Our other new friends at Blowout Cards did us a solid and gave us a good deal on the case so why not give it a shot? We don’t collect football, but if there’s a decent chance we could open an entire case of something for free, why not give it a try?  

We opened one box on video. Take a look if you’re so inclined! 


Anyone have any good ideas on how to pull off a video case break that doesn’t bore the hell out of people? We’d love to do one but other than a “highlights” type video where we only show off the hits, I can’t think of a good way to do it. I suppose we’ll just have to shoot one and try it out! One thing I won’t be trying is a case sorting break. That mess took like 6 hours.  

Base Set  

You're cut too, shushy.

My review of this year’s flagship football offering from Topps will bear many similarities to Jon’s now-classic (3 comments = classic) 2010 Topps Baseball Review from earlier this year because, as has been pointed out by other blogs and industry sources, this set is very similar. Borrowed from the baseball are the Gridiron Lineage, throwback (’52 Bowman instead of Turkey Red), parallels (gold, black and platinum… why no silk?) and Peak Performance inserts sets. Plus, of course, the design is very similar. You even get SPs like in the baseball, but the nostalgia of old timey players is replaced by rookie adoration, including Nearly-Cut McCoy up there.  

As it happens, I actually prefer this new and improved look. They’ve changed the gradient style on the swoop and decreased its size so it’s not competing with the photo quite as much and they swapped inner foil for outer foil, which makes seeing the player’s name much easier. The base set is very easy to collect if you’re going with jumbo boxes like we did. Even with our ridiculous collation issues (8 of one card, 3 of another in a case), we completed 3 sets easily and a couple trades have us close to our 5th (check our trade list here!). Sets are one of the main ways we try to recoup. We’ve sold a couple on eBay at about $20 each, so it’s no small issue when collation hits us as hard as it did here. By all accounts, it should have been easy to make 5 full sets, but we got hosed. Luckily, we ended up with more RC doubles than non-RC doubles, so singles sales have been our saving grace in a way. At any rate, two boxes of jumbos will certainly yield a set. And if they don’t, trade with us!  

Insert Sets  


Here too I prefer this set’s version of things to the baseball. The Lineage cards still don’t make enough sense, especially when Tebow is on a card with Elway… seriously? But they look nice enough and, out of our case, we were able to complete two sets of this insert. Unfortunately, this was the only insert set we could complete given terrible insert collation. Farewell to dreams of actually completing a master set… And we certainly weren’t getting the 50 card Peak Performance set completed either. These cards look much better than the baseball versions because they’re all legit action shots and horizontal. They look cool while the baseball look cheap. Weird. I still don’t love the idea of this set because the scope is just too wide. Including classic players and rookies here opens the door for just about anything. I wish it were just spanning the past season- then you’d get interesting cards about lesser-known players who rose to the occassion. Here it’s, “Oh, Joe Montana was amazing and threw lots of touchdown passes? Didn’t know that.” I’ll pass on this set until it’s improved. 

Now that's what I call stoic!

The ’52 Bowmans are, by far, my favorite insert of the year. The artwork is beautiful, not half-assed like in Chicle or Ginter. I really love these cards and was super bummed when we couldn’t manage a set… I wanted to keep one! There are 50 cards in this set though, so you’re asking a lot in hoping for a set out of 60 packs. We came within 7 cards of the set though, and I was happy just to get to see some of them. I’m sure Topps did a Heritage set with this design back when they were doing football Heritage (or not, someone feel free to correct me), but these look fantastic. If I were a bigger football fan, I’d be looking into collecting the original ’52s. Someone tell me what the equivalent of the ’52T Mantle is in football is! 

The reprints are just plain weird. They’re kind of like the Cards Your Mom Threw Out from baseball, but with no numbering or indication that they’re reprints. When I first pulled one, I had no idea what the hell it was because I didn’t know what the football sets they were reprinting looked like. Plus, at only 16 cards, you’l end up with a metric buttload of these. At least they’re not as useless as the 1-per-box Ring of Honor. Why would I want six of the same Drew Brees cards? How about you show someone else on a Super Bowl card and make it worth pulling? Lame. At first I thought we just got really bad collation in this insert set. But nope. It’s a 1 card set.  


Rookie Effing City.

For parallels, we’ve got similar sets to the baseball. Gold (#/2010), Black (#/55) and Platinum (#/1). No silks in the football for some reason- too bad, as I like the silky stuff. In the jumbos, you get a Gold per pack. We lucked out and hit mostly RC golds which appear to be the only ones that people care about. Even star players don’t sell well in the Golds. The Blacks are a little different, as they’re numbered quite low. We lucked out and got 3 in our case and they were all rookies (like that Koa Misi that inexplicably sold for $30). No Platinums (Platina?) for us, which only means there were more than 440 cases of this produced… which probably isn’t much of a secret. The number of RCs we got in the Gold variety really showcases just how many damn rookies are in this set. I don’t know much about football, but I know there can only be 11 guys on the field at the same time. From what I’ve learned, the majority of drafted guys simply don’t make big league rosters. Seems pointless to have such a huge draft with no farm system. Obviously, it’s even more pointless to give all these scrubs football cards. Of the cards above, I think only Benn is expected to get any real playing time this year. Am I right or am I making stuff up? 


(I really do hate the term “hits.” Next blog-around, let’s rename them!) 

In our case, we got very lucky. No, not because we were shorted 3 autos of the Peak Performance variety (which were quickly replaced by Topps)… you’ll see what I mean later. But let’s start with the stuff that everybody really wants to see: the unnumbered relics! 

Go, Jimmeh, go!

We pulled the expected amount of Peak Performance relics and you’re looking at the best one… because he’s a rookie. It sold on Spotlots for a dollar fifty. Apparently he’s the new starting QB for the Panthers as well. Who knew? We also got a Kellen Winslow that seemed to maybe have some blood on it. Anyway, I have to admit I’m kind of a sucker for the “relic/auto set that’s just like the regular insert set but with an auto/relic.” I don’t really know why… probably something to do with my OCD tendencies.

Top of the "J" to ya?

These jumbo relics are tough pulls- roughly 1 in every 3 or 4 cases. I was stoked to actually pull this out of the pack (see the video break above for verification of stokedness). Looks like a letter patch to me, though my infamiliarity with the Titans’ jersey makes it entirely possible that this is part of the Cyclops’ left leg. That does appear on their jerseys somewhere, right?

Almost all of them...

As I said above, we were shorted 3 autos in our case. Topps got us the three replacements (2 for 3 non-scrubs, as it happens!) right quick. Despite their sticker-ocity, these autos don’t really bother me that much. Sure, most of them sell for about $5, but the standardness of the format would make for a fund, relatively cheap auto set to build. Again here, rookies take the spotlight. The rookie thing is really starting to bother me at this point, since a couple of these guys have no chance whatsoever of succeeding in the majors. It’s been discussed at length in the blogosphere, so I do understand the need to pad the auto sets with scrubs to offset the Tebows of the world. But here’s the real auto gem of the bunch:

No relation to Neon or Colonel.

Anyone opening Topps’ flagship in football is hoping for one of these. They fall about 1 every other case and I was stoked (again) that we got one. I don’t know much about Sanders, but I’m sure he’s the best in his class! (He’s not). These autos, combined with the Red Zone RC Autos (which are a multi-product insert), are the real draw of the product for rookie collectors (sometimes mistakenly described as “prospectors”- more on my opinion of that ridiculous term in another post). But this sweet auto isn’t the only sweet card we pulled…

We hooked 'em, horn!

The 1/1 player sketch card was introduced in Topps baseball (and, apparently, 2009 WWE) earlier this year to mixed opinions. Once people saw Drew Stubbs’ hilarious sketch, the outcries of “Get real artists!” began and they continue into the football world. They’re incredibly tough pulls- maybe one per master case or something. This was our first 1/1 ever pulled and, other than the complimentary roller tear on the bottom, I’m pretty happy with it. There’s no sketch, it’s just good ole’ boy Earl Thomas’ rendition of the Longhorns’ slogan, complete with his number and autograph. These are also signed on the back (those without fton autos get especially lambasted by their detractors) but it still took me an Jon a good 20 minutes to figure out who the hell this was. I assumed Zach Something-with-a-Y. How wrong I was. Someone tell Earl that a cursive E goes in the opposite direction of a Z, please.


I found this year’s flagship football offering from Topps to be both an incredibly fun break shock ful of value. I might be singing a different tune had we not pulled 3 multi-case hits in our 6 box case but, as it stands, this is one of my favorite breaks we’ve ever done. While I believe the focus on rookies is a somewhat necessary evil given the tenuous nature of most pro football players’ careers, I fear the product may have become so rookie-based that current stars (and their respective collectors) are losing out. Maybe if they limited the rookies to the first fewrounds of the draft instead of going for broke, I’d be a little less peeved. That flaw not withstanding, I’d open another case of this in a heartbeat.

Design – ****
Set Collecting – ****
Inserts – **
Hits – ***
Overall – ***1/2 out of 5

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