November is a terrible time for buying cards. It's even worse than December because in December you've either already purchased all your holiday gifts and are ready to treat yourself with the leftover final pennies, or you've given up hope and are waving the credit card at every checkout clerk who even glances your way.
But in November, there is A Plan. You're going to focus on buying for other people. You have lists and a budget and are a Very Careful Shopper. This is important for someone like me with a job like mine. Cards enter my head only fleetingly and then are dismissed as sinful. Be gone, card thoughts! I'm shopping for OTHERS.
This is also the time that I stop looking on ebay or COMC or anywhere else for cards. Collecting goals are on hold until the day after December 25th.
When I do pick up some cards, it's always from a retail store, it's always during a trip when I'm Christmas shopping, and it's always something cheap.
Thus, the Mega Box.
I grabbed one of these because I saw other bloggers do so and they looked mildly interesting. Topps always puts stuff like this out at this time to nab collectors like me who are holding onto cash but can't resist a little twist. This is the time they usually add a hobby pack to a retail package or something similar.
But while a little intrigued, I fully expected to be disappointed. I planned to title this post "Mega Bummer" or "Mega Sucker."
I was wrong.
Not completely wrong. If you want to hate everything on card shelves, you'll hate this (not naming any names but this gum is awfully stale). But I got stuff out of here I never get, and that, to me, is success.
As you know, you get five packs of Topps Update and 2 packs of Topps Update Chrome, which are only available in these boxes. It's $14.98 and I don't know why anyone is buying a blaster of base-card product.
I'm refraining from showing every Update card because it's Update, it's packed with filler and you know what's there.
But I will be shallow and show the inserts and parallels:
First, these things. Has anyone counted how many of these there are? There has to be more than a million if they're producing cards for guys who got three game-winning RBIs in his first five games. Who's paying attention to GWRBIs anymore?
My first card of the new NL Rookie Of The Year. You won't hear me whine about Yasiel Puig. That's for Dodger fan tweeters who I don't follow anymore.
In another time, in another galaxy, I would collect these. But instead, they mean nothing to me.
These are still cool. I need to pull more interesting emerald players, but impulse buyers can't be choosy.
A gold Dodger! Hay!!!!!!
If I didn't have you fine bloggers to send me Dodger goldies, I'd have maybe three in my collection. That's how many I've pulled and how rare this card is. In 2006 alone, when I pulled the most golds, I think I had four Pirates and four Nationals apiece. Not a single Dodger.
So this is a bleaping miracle.
So is this.
I've wanted one of these pink parallels since the start of the year. But I refused to spend what they cost online. And I have no shot at finding one in an LCS. But now I can say I landed a carp!
I'm sure I'll end up trading this eventually. But if you have a pink Dodger card, you'll go to the top of the list.
Those were some unexpected treats out of the Update packs. And now it's time to open the Update Chrome.
#MB-55 - Jurickson Profar, Rangers
That's right "MB-55" as in "Mega Box 55"
See? It's right here:
I can't decide if that's brilliance or stupidity. I'm leaning toward stupidity.
Another thing I noticed. This Profar card is basically the same card as the Chrome Profar card:
Yes, I know he's wearing a different color uniform and he has a ball in his hand and his glove is lower and ... NONE OF THAT MATTERS! IT'S THE SAME PHOTO.
#MB-52 - Evan Gattis, Braves
#MB-45 - David Wright, Mets
#PH-12 Deion Sanders, Braves, Postseason Heroes
I have to admit, the Deion is a pretty cool card.
But that's a pack that is almost 100 percent filler. An insert, an all-star card, and two "this is not his real card he's got another one in the set" cards.
Let's see if pack two can save the special Chrome packs.
#MB-32 - Zack Wheeler, Mets
#MB-27 - Bryce Harper
#MB-18 - Bud Norris, Orioles
#MB-55 - Jurickson Profar, Rangers, black refractor 43/99
Once again. Mega surprised.
That was pretty good for 15 bucks. And I still don't feel guilty about spending the money at this time of year. After all, I did spend more on gifts the very same day.
So, yes, I'd recommend the Mega Box if you happen to be in the card aisle.
Paws off, 5-year-olds.