Monday, June 1, 2009

Turk-Off Recap

Now that the agony of defeat has started to wear off a little bit, it's time for a recap and review of the crazy events that unfolded over the past week. I really had a blast, even though I lost, and can't wait to do this again....with a different product. Not that I didn't enjoy this box, and did manage to pull a couple of decent "hits", but Turkey Red kind of gets old after a while, and I think it's definitely best suited as an insert only set.

The artwork on some of these cards is sort of ugly, which didn't really happen with the '05 & '06 releases. Sadly enough, it's the new Dick Perez painings that I am not a big fan of. Don't get me wrong, some of them are absolutely gorgeous...just not all of them.

Look at this Utley short print card:
That doesn't even look like Chutley. If you're going to include short prints in your set, make them stand out, and make sure they look extra good. This is one of the Perez paintings created especially for this set. Like I mentioned earlier, some of them look great, others not so much, but that's how Diamond Kings were too (also painted by Dick Perez), and I loved them back in the day. I guess when you have to do 50+ new painting for a release, not all of them are going to be stunning.

That being said, some of the short prints look amazing, like this Kurt Suzuki. The Todd Helton that I pulled pretty early on in the contest also stood out for it's amazing artwork.
The Suzuki actually looks realistic, and smooth, while still maintaining that vintage feel. Whatever Topps did to manipulate the original photos, it worked very well in most cases.

These cards get sort of boring, pack after pack. There just isn't enough variety. The design is exactly the same, card after card. Even the short prints look exactly the same, with the exception of the Ad Backs. I like the refractors (I always like refractors) but are all the chrome cards really necessary? They don't really look good, and are easily damaged. I received at least 3 that were scratched right out of the pack.

Speaking of variety (or lack there of)...there sure are a lot of Yankees in this set, and what feels like at least 10 different base cards of Mickey Mantle. WHAT THE HELL DOES MICKEY MANTLE HAVE TO DO WITH TURKEY RED?!?!? Nothing, that's what. If this were a retro 50's or 60's set, Mantle would make perfect sense, BUT THIS IS TURKEY RED! Topps would have been much better suited to go with a player who is at least of the same era as the original set they are paying homage to.

As far as the contents of the box, I got exactly what was promised, and then some. There was no auto in this box, but I did get 2 relics, a jersey of Scott Rolen, which isn't too shabby, and a Rocco Baldelli bat card. I am not too happy about the Baldelli, but that's the way box breaks go most of the time. I also pulled a Cole Hamels silk #'d/99, which was definitely the hit of the box. I'm not sure of the exact odds on these, but I would venture to guess probably around 1 out of every 3 boxes (1:72 packs). The fact that Motherscratcher and I both managed to pull one is pretty impressive. I got my promised 2 President cards, along with 3 refractors (Guerrero, Clemens & Gallardo), 7 or 8 chromes, and a black refractor (Hideki Okajima) which was also not a guaranteed "hit", so I have no complaints really.
All of that being said, I would not buy another box of 2007 Turkey Red unless it were to be used in a Turk-Off rematch. If it were not for the game that we arbitrarily made up, this box would have only been mildly fun to bust. But due to the Turk-Off competition, it became INSANELY fun, and I can honestly say I have never had as much fun as this bustin' wax. Even though I lost, it was still awesome. How close the match-up was I think serves as a testimony to how fair the rules really were (somehow). These boxes were totally identical in terms of "hits", I think we each got 5 short prints, a black refractor and a silk.

There were also 17 doubles in my box, which definitely seems like a lot. I understand it's only a 200 card base set, but come on Topps! 5 doubles is the most any box should ever contain. Finishing this set seems like an impossibility with all the short printed base cards. You would have to buy at least 5 boxes, if not more, to even have a chance at pulling all the short prints needed for completion.

While I am definitely relieved in a sense that the Turk-Off is over, it was a ton of fun. Even though I lost, getting a Markakis black refractor in defeat is almost a victory of sorts. I also feel like a week of baseball, mail days and great content on other blogs has passed me by. Fortunately, or unfortunately for my readers, (depending on how you feel) you've seen the last of Billy Zane for a while.

Some milestones passed me right by last week. This blog passed the 1 month mark, the 50 post mark, and has amassed over 3000 hits. I want to thank everyone for reading. If no one payed attention, I definitely wouldn't post as often.

There are more boxes on the way next week. I couldn't resist the DA combo special, so expect a 2007 Sweet Spot Classic and an '09 Spectrum break coming up in the next week or so. Spectrum really doesn't impress me, but there's a Burt Reynolds auto in there that I wouldn't mind owning.

The Mojo Hand has also challenged me to a Timeline box break battle, but that might have to wait a week or 2 since my work schedule sucks for the next 2 weeks, and I should really spend some quality time with my significant other, who has been a bit neglected for the past week.

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