Monday, August 1, 2011

Box Break - 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Hobby

Yup, I did it. If you check in every so often you probably saw that I got hooked on 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen a couple months back. Unfortunately, by the time I had gotten through a few rack packs and made the decision to go after the set, the product had disappeared from retail shelves pretty much everywhere. I was left with just over 100 cards out of the 350-card base set, a bunch of parallels, a decent stack of inserts and minis, and a choice. Throw the cards in a box and forget about them, try searching for some lots on eBay, or buy hobby.

Ultimately I decided that I just wasn't finished ripping Gypsy Queen wax yet and decided to go for a hobby box. I'm glad I did because since doing so prices have gone up even more and hobby boxes are now going for around $220. I think this is insane, and would never pick up a box of this stuff at that price. I paid $150 for my box, which included tax, plus I didn't have to pay shipping as I purchased it at the hobby shop. Normally I would never pay this much for a box of anything, in fact it's the most I've ever spent on a box. So how did I do? Would I feel buyer's remorse? I'm going to keep this post random and free-flowing, so without further introduction, here are some random cards from the box that I enjoyed:

First up we have the 10-card mini pack, exclusive to hobby boxes. These contain the regular minis that you find in hobby/retail, but you can also pull mini inserts, and mini variations with different photos. Here's a sampling of what I pulled:

Mini #GO30 - Nolan Ryan - The Great Ones

Probably my favorite mini from the entire box. A great pull for me as a Nolan Ryan collector, these aren't easy to come by. I've seen them sell for anything from a couple of bucks to over $10 on eBay. A quick search turned up only one with a Buy-it-Now price of $16.99.

Mini #HH7 - Miguel Cabrera - Home Run Heroes

This one's up for trade if there are any Tigers or Cabrera collectors out there who are interested...

Mini #FS3 - Yonder Alonso - Future Stars

I'll part with this one as well...

Mini #30 - Hanley Ramirez (Variation - Batting Photo)

Here's the one mini variation I pulled. As you can see the base card has a different photo of Hanley fielding:

Mini #69 - Kevin Youkilis

Very nice. I don't know if I'll ever collect the entire mini set (although I'd like to), but for now I'm definitely going after the Red Sox.

Mini #46 - Thurman Munson

How can you look at this card and say you don't care for Gypsy Queen? That wraps it up for the 10-card mini pack, here are some choice cuts from the rest of the box:

#228 - Ryan Kalish

After a decent showing in 53 games with the Sox last season, Kalish has yet to crack the roster in 2011.

Mini #14 - Brooks Robinson

#181 - Lars Anderson - Rookie

Another guy who hasn't played yet in 2011. Lars is in the unfortunate position of being behind Adrian Gonzalez in the depth chart at first base. I'm pretty sure he'll end up traded because of this, in fact he was slated to go in the Rich Harden deal before that fell through.

Framed Paper - #79 - Andrew McCutchen (#'d/999)

The Framed parallels are the highlight of the set in my opinion. I almost wish that I'd just purchased the entire 100-card Framed Paper set rather than a hobby box. I don't catch too many Pirates games, but this guy seems to have all the tools.

#296 - Ty Cobb

#GO15 - Mickey Mantle - The Great Ones

#57 - David Ortiz

#70 - Rogers Hornsby

I pulled the Framed Paper version of this card in a retail pack, it's one of my favorite photos in the set.

#GQ1 - Zenda - Gypsy Queens

Yeah, so I pulled one of these. What a waste of cardboard. Anybody wanna trade?

#78 - Ryne Sandberg

#GO25 - Walter Johnson - The Great Ones

#44 - Bob Gibson

Framed Paper - #30 - Hanley Ramirez (#'d/999)

I guess this is a Hanley Ramirez hot box.

#7 - Jim Palmer

In case you couldn't tell, I'm partial to the Hall-of-Famers in the set.

Mini #5 - Tris Speaker

My second Red Sox mini, this one is way cooler than the Youk.

#307 - Danny Valencia - SP

Framed Paper - #47 - Jimmy Rollins (#'d/999)

A bit bummed that none of my first 3 framed paper parallels were retired players, but ultimately I'd like to collect the set and I did need Jimmy here.

#25 - Mel Ott

#GO17 - Pee Wee Reese - The Great Ones

#39 - Johnny Mize

#GQA-JC - Jason Castro - Autograph

My first hit is a Jason Castro auto. Wonderful. Looks like he suffered a serious knee injury at some point. Has not seen action in 2011. This one's on the trading block.

#235 - Johnny Bench

Ah, that's better...

#20 - Andre Dawson

The Hawk!

Mini #22 - Barry Larkin

#HH10 - David Ortiz - Home Run Heroes

#211 - Rollie Fingers

#GO29 - Frank Robinson - The Great Ones

A Frank Robinson fan would be very happy with this box. There are a couple more to come in this post.

#GQR-CR - Cal Ripken Jr. - Gypsy Queen Relic

Second hit was much better than the first. As an impressionable youth and huge baseball fan when Ripken broke the consecutive games played record, I've always had a soft spot for him. This is the second time I've pulled a Ripken relic.

Mini Sepia - #85 - Frank Robinson (#'d/99)

Second Frank Robinson, this one numbered to 99. I'd trade this for the right offer, anyone have a Red Sox sepia they want to part with?

#FS18 - Aroldis Chapman - Future Stars

Framed Paper - #11 - Zack Greinke (#'d/999)

#6 - Frank Robinson

Third Frank Robinson. I know he spent a long time with the Reds but I always think of him as an Oriole.

#59 - Duke Snider

Framed Paper - #9 - Scott Rolen (#'d/999)

#167 - Cal Ripken Jr.

Mini Black #306 - Tommy Hanson

Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. I think you get maybe 2 of these per box, so Hanson's a decent pull. Canuck, you can probably pry this one off me.

#85 - Frank Robinson

Another Frank...

Mini #6 - Frank Robinson

One last Robinson. That makes 5 in the box.

#200 - John Lackey

Lackey got torched pretty well again tonight against Cleveland. Thanks to his stellar year, the Sox had to trade a few prospects to Seattle for Erik Bedard at the deadline. The worst part is he's still got a couple seasons after this one at big money. Ugh.

Mini Black #144 - Jon Niese

#249 - Jacoby Ellsbury

#325 - Jason Castro - SP

#HH22 - Mel Ott - Home Run Heroes

#69 - Kevin Youkilis

The base to go along with the mini.

Mini Red Gypsy Queen Back #174 - Reggie Jackson

#298 - Tris Speaker

#66 - Sandy Koufax

#97 - Stan Musial

#60 - Rogers Hornsby

Another nice looking card, with what looks like some photographers with tripods in the background. The third hit of the box:

#FMRC-JR - Jackie Robinson - Framed Mini Relic

Hard not to be pleased with this card. After a pretty crummy auto my two relic cards were great.

Framed Paper #89 - Mickey Mantle (#'d/999)

Sweet, my final Framed Paper parallel and I finally got a Hall-of-Famer! The only time in recent memory where I was excited to pull a Mickey Mantle card out of a modern Topps product.

#284 - Jed Lowrie

Jed's been on the DL for quite some time. He's going to be featured in a project that I have slated for this month.

#53 - Jimmie Foxx

Mini Red Gypsy Queen Back #84 - Tim Lincecum

This one's up for trade.

#GO26 - Honus Wagner - The Great Ones

Mini #62 - Red Schoendienst

Along with the Ryan, my favorite mini in the box. I love the color and depth.

#319 - Elvis Andrus - SP

Well, that's about it. I guess this was your run of the mill box. I had a lot of fun ripping it. I went from 102/350 to 216/350 for the base set, so it was productive there. My two relics were awesome (even though my auto sucked), I love the mini Hall-of-Famers, and I have a healthy stack of trade bait/doubles. Nonetheless, I would've still felt as though it wasn't really worth the price of admission had it not been for one final card:

Yup, I pulled a Gypsy Queen auto. Technically I guess this is the second auto in the box, so I don't get to send my UPC code off to Topps saying that I was shorted. I was beyond bummed when I pulled this. This card is totally worthless in my opinion, I mean who even signs these, some Topps employee? So why did it save the box for me?

Wait until you see what I turned it into!


Captain Canuck said...

sweet merciful crap.
yes, that Tommy and any other Braves you got dupes of please add to my pile. There was no, none, nada Gypsy around these my collection is lacking.


Anonymous said...

I'd be up for trading for the following:
-the Yonder Alonso mini
-the Gypsy (GQ1, not the auto) - yeah, I know, it's stupid, but I guess I want to get the set...
-the Rolen framed paper (though my guess is that's not up for trade)

Also, my full want list is on my website - there are some singles and inserts I still need. Let me know (comment on my site might be easiest).


Justin G. said...

Nice hit on the Ripken relic. Also love the pose they picked for his regular card.

night owl said...

I bet you did get something great for that gypsy auto. There are some weird people out there.

Greg Zakwin said...

Any chance Jackie's bat piece is available for trade?

Cheap Card Collecting said...

Aren't Gypsies thieves and not people you would want autographs of? That's what it seems like from my Hungarian friend.

Josh said...

Don't leave us hanging! :-)

shoeboxlegends said...

Canuck, the Hanson's in the very large pile I have going for you.

lifetimetopps, I'll check your want list and let you know what I have. I'm happy to part with the Alonso mini and the Gypsy Queen insert but not the Rolen as I'm hoping to finish that parallel set.

Greg, I'm not opposed to trading the Robinson bat card, but it would take a decent offer. Email me at shanediaz82 at yahoo dot com if you're interested.

Greg Zakwin said...

E-mail sent. Yahoo hates me, so please check your spam folder, just in case.

wolverine musings said...

would like to trade for the Cabrera mini...shoot me an email at and I'll look for something Red Soxey for you or let me know any other teams hockey or baseball you might be interested in

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