Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Great Big, Cheesy Group Break

Last month, Nachos Grandes hosted a group break.  He broke two boxes of 2017 Archives, one box of 2017 Diamond Kings, and a box each of 2017 and 2016 Bunt.  To my surprise, nobody had taken the Cubs yet, so I pounced.  Everybody who bought into the break got the team of their choice plus a random bonus team.  When I saw that no one had claimed the Angels, I was hoping to score some Mike Trout.  Alas, my random team was . . . the Marlins.  You know, the team with like 3 cards in the entire master set.  Of any set.  Oh well, I was just in it for the Cubbies anyway.  The rest is just gravy.

When I got the results, though, the package was much heavier than I expected.  And here is why:

There was SO MUCH more than the boxes I saw him break on the video.  And this was only the Cubs portion.  He actually sent some random Marlins, too.  By the way, I'm not sure who should be thanking whom for that--I was getting free cards after all, but I'm sure he was more than happy to clear his boxes of Marlins.  Actually, there are a few Marlins I collect, so I appreciated some of those cards anyway.

We'll start with the Diamond Kings.  I don't think I can complain about any of these players.  This is my first look at 2017 DK, and like last year's version, I'm pretty impressed.  It's by far my favorite Panini baseball product.

Here are a couple of shorter printed cards.  The Addison Russell is from the SP portion of the checklist, while Chris marked "Variation" on Rizzo's penny sleeve.

Moving on to Archives, there were Cubs in all three designs this year.  I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of the 1960 design.  First of all, they're all horizontal.  Second, I don't love the yellow strip with two-toned text.  I do like the two pictures on the front, though.  Once again, I like the player selection.

On to the 1982 design.   With Zobrist, Rizzo, Bryant, Ryno, and Fergie, this is the best design of the set for the Cubs.  Plus, I have my first Wade Davis card with the Cubs.  Let's take a moment to mourn the season that is happening right now.  The team was almost without question the best team in baseball wire to wire last year is currently mired in mediocrity.  The team that won the World Series has one All-Star on its roster this year--and that is a player who wasn't even part of that championship team.  So that's enough mourning the season.  Let's celebrate Wade Davis's performance and welcome him to my collection.

And here is the 1992 portion of Archives.  I kind of expected more from this design, but it feels a bit off to me.  Maybe it has to do with these particular players being somewhat disappointing.  Sorry to lump you in there, Andre, but each of your groupmates has done something that left me shaking my head this season.

Two boxes of Archives yielding two Cubs inserts.  It seems like the inserts of Archives are never really cohesive with the rest of the set.  To me, it would have been better to include sticker sets or Topps Gold parallels like the originals had.  Why include a 1959 Bazooka design with the 1960, 1982, and 1992 redux?

Bunt is once again a fun set.  It is cheap.  It looks cheap.  And it's satisfying.   I don't like it as much I did last year, but it's still a nice little set. 

New to Bunt this year is the parallel.  The blues fall one per pack, and I picked up four Cubbies.  I have to say, the Cubs look really good on the blue parallel.

And here are the Bunt inserts.  I like the Programs insert, but I think I liked it better last year.  I've heard some people giving the Infinite set some flak, but I like it. I think I may eventually put this set together.  For the time being, I'm quite satisfied with the Cubs on the checklist.  The Perspectives set is kind of boring for me, and I'm not sure what it's meant to do.  Especially after the incredible set of the same name that appeared in Flagship last year, this set does nothing for me. 

The Cubs weren't the only team I had in the break, but as I pointed out earlier, the Marlins don't have too many cards in the checklists.  I did end up with a couple of Marlins in Archives and Bunt, though.  Here are a couple of the base, the blue parallel and a Perspectives insert from Bunt.  I'm keeping the Ichiro, but the rest are available for all of those Marlins collectors who will be beating down my door for these.  First come, first serve, everybody.

All in all, I'm happy with the box break, and more than pleased with the number of extra goodies Nachos Grandes sent along in the mailer.  Thanks a lot, Chris!  It was a lot of fun.  This probably won't be the last time I buy into one of your group breaks.

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