Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I opened, I saw, I shrugged

Well, you did it. You got me to buy one of these things.

I'm sure I would have purchased one anyway, I usually do. The megaboxes -- or whatever they're calling them this year (please note there is no mention of megabox anywhere on them) -- are usually good fun. The Update Chrome cards are nice to add to the collection and the regular Update packs often hold surprises.

This year seems to be no exception as I've already seen black-bordered parallels and relic cards fall out of the megaboxes shown on the blogs. But also I wanted to pick one up because I was surprised by the fawning over the Update Chrome cards this year. Really, what was all the fuss?

As you probably know the Update Chrome cards have a special finish this time. Each of the cards in the set feature a shiny bauble background that glistens when it reflects light. I don't know if there is a name for this technique -- I really think each of these special treatments should have a name.

It seems that everyone who has opened these boxes on the blogs has instantly fallen in love with the Update Chrome cards. And although I totally enjoy shiny cards and have groveled at the feet of various kinds of refractors in public many times, it just didn't compute for me. I looked at the cards and simply shrugged. "Well, they're OK, I guess."

After viewing a few more posts of fawning, I had to view them myself. Maybe it was that thing where you have to see them in hand to get what everyone is talking about. So, I bought a box.

Let's start with the regular Update cards.

Those are the highlights. I didn't mind buying the box, because I enjoy the 2015 design so much that anything on it is worth owning. You will probably see a 2015 Update want list on the blog someday -- I just have to do something about that Series 2 want list first.

Is there anything worse than pulling dupes of inserts? The answer is, no there is not.

In a disappointing development, I didn't pull any relic or black or pink or gold bordered card. But my foil card was pretty good.

So let's head for the shiny, shall we?

That is shiny pack 1 -- Topps really needs to stop putting Marlins on cards.

And there is shiny pack 2.

After viewing these in person, I can't say they are any more special than when I saw them posted on the blogs, although surprisingly I do like the more subtle shiny treatment of the rookie sensations cards. They have a nice "less is more" effect that I think would benefit the base cards.

As for the base cards, I'm glad I pulled a Dodger, especially because this is probably the last box of this I'll buy.

The Update Chrome cards aren't bad or anything. In fact, they're nice to view. When the cards are under a light, each of the speckles sparkle -- the best thing I can equate it to is when you're viewing a night scene of a city and you can see the lights sparkling in the distance. And that's not a bad thing to see, it's quite pleasing.

I guess I just don't understand the hoopla. I mean, what makes the Kendrick speckled bauble chrome card different from:

... the diamond parallels from 2011 ...

... the silver diamond refractors from 2014 Bowman ...

... the yearly Bowman ice parallels ...

... the Opening Day blue parallels ...

... the atomic refractors from 2011 Chrome ...

... the various x-refractors from various chrome products ...

... and the blue slate parallels from 2013?

Yeah, yeah, I get it, these are different. They light up like a distant night skyline. And, good for Topps, these are not parallels but a whole set of sparkly, shiny, baubly.

But in general it's more sparkly, shiny, baubly that we've seen many times in the last few years. And it's not different enough for me to spend 15 bucks for 8 cards of it. Especially at holiday time.

I'll buy what I want of Update Chrome online, which means just the Dodgers please.

I guess that wasn't much of a commercial, huh?


  1. If you ever want to move the Gregorious, I'd love a shot at it.

  2. Nice. Technically just 3 White Sox cards I need to find in Chrome update. And away to ebay I go.....

  3. Kimbrel shiny. Hands down best pull of box.

  4. I'm with you, N.O. I very much liked this year's flagship update. But I find the Chrome counterparts utterly superfluous.

  5. This year's version of the "effect" looks almost pointillist -- like a chrome version of Georges Seurat, perhaps.

    Or maybe that's just the scan.

  6. That bat flip by Hanley Ramirez makes me mad. I hope he got hit for it.

    I haven't really paid to much attention to the chrome parallels. The Pirate checklist is fantastic this year for Update so I'll probably take the plunge soon.

  7. Not usually a fan of shiny for shiny's sake, but I haven't bought any Update retail yet. Might have to snag one of these just to confirm that I'll get Diamondbacks, Marlins and Rangers like always.

    Trade you for the Livan!


  8. I thought about buying one of these at Target... but ended up passing for the exact same reason you stated. I'll end up buying the singles I really want.