I’m on to my second box of Gypsy Queen. On some levels, I did not do particularly well with this box. It did have some good highlights, though. The good – I got two tough-to-pull relics. The bad – I got almost 40 doubles of base cards, and I got no autographs. In the first box, I got 1 autograph, which was 1 auto short of what I’m supposed to. I did get 3 relics, if you count the stamps as relics. In the second box, I got NO AUTOS – but 4 relics, again, if you count a stamp and a Gypsy Queen jewel cards as a relic. This makes me start to surmise – did Topps say you’d get 2 relics & 2 autos, but in reality, just gave 4 total (so for every extra relic, you get that many less autos)?
It is frustrating that this happened – I really like this product and the auto thing just drags it down a notch. It’s a strange thing to psycho-analyze – if I had expected just one or no autos – would I really care? They put a lot of these great autos on the sell-sheet – and I realize you’re not likely to get a huge hit every box you buy. I’m fine with getting 2 Andres Torres type autos – I don’t need to beat the odds (i.e. pull a super-rare Koufax or Aaron) to feel satisfied with the product. But it’s frustrating to be told you’ll get two autos per box, and between 2 boxes – I got a total of one. I don’t really collect autos specifically, but I would like to get the Reds from this set, and maybe I could have brokered a trade or sold on ebay. For the box with 2 missing autos, I guess I’ll have to contact Topps support as opposed to just sending in the UPC code.
OK, enough griping – as I said, I did do very well on the 4 relics I pulled. As mentioned, I pulled one of the Gypsy jewels. This is a really tough pull – 1 in 13 boxes, which means they come less than one per case. Unfortunately, these “case hits” are selling for around 20 bucks on ebay, and I like the card enough to keep it at that price. It’s super-duper thick – there were only 2 other cards in the pack with it!
I also got another Framed Stamp card (#/10 – Mark Buehrle) – again, these are 1:93, so pulling 2 in as many boxes is definitely beating the odds. I also got 2 more relics – 1 of which is a definite keeper for me! That would be the Barry Larkin framed mini. So I’m particularly happy with that one. I also got an A-Rod. These are again the 2 lowest tiers – but that’s fine as both cards look great!
As far as the minis – I did get a leather (#/10) of Adrian Beltre, and my photo variation was of Big Papi. Unlike the photo variant I got in the previous box of Aroldis Chapman, the variation isn’t all that different from the regular card. I got the standard 6 Framed Paper cards – 11 of the 13 I’ve pulled are spoken for by Daily Dimwit.
So the relics and minis were actually something to write home about. The base set collation – not so much. I got about 5 packs worth of doubles. I don’t mean I got 5 packs worth of doubles when I totalled my two boxes together – I mean I got the doubles out of this same box. One of the doubles is the same SP variation. You could argue that there shouldn’t be any base-card doubles, but having almost 40 is definitely too much.
All told, after 2 boxes, I’m 65 cards short of the base set (with 132 doubles), and 40 cards short of the SP set.
Again, I love this product for its design and the whole idea of it. My A-minus for creativity still stands, but I’m downgrading the C-plus for execution to a C-minus. I hope they bring it back in 2012, just to get a new design of the product and have a better go at it. And – PUT IN SOME KIND OF TRIBUTE TO THE ORIGINAL SET 😉 I really think it would do well for the product.
By the way – for my Topps Heritage box break, I did a little blurb on what it would take to collect the actual 1962 Topps set through boxes. Well, doing so in 1887 for Gypsy Queen would have been particularly challenging! First, you’d need to buy a lot of cigarette packs! I don’t smoke, so I guess I’d just be doing this for the cards. I’m not sure where Gypsy Queen was distributed, but I’m sure the east coast was a safe bet. It doesn’t appear that they created any type of checklist – and card collecting was in its infancy. As most of the Gypsy Queen cards were the same photos as Goodwin & Co’s much larger “Old Judge” set – it’s tough to know now if their even was a way to know which cards were printed as Gypsy Queen cards. “Suffice it to say” #1 – it would have been very difficult to collect the Gypsy Queen! There were probably more cards produced than the world today knows of. “Suffice it to say” #2 – I do think it could have been done – what’s more likely is that card collecting was in its infancy and people just thought having a card of John Montgomery Ward was cool – they didn’t think – I should really collect the 149 others! “Suffice it to say” #3 – if anyone had done so, their descendant could make a killing today!
Back to my 2nd 2011 Gypsy Queen Box
Below are the “stats” for the box.
24 packs per box * 10 cards per pack + 10 card mini-pack + 6 checklists + 4 relics – 3 cards because of the gypsy jewel = 257 cards
146 of the 300 card base set (49% set completion)
5 SP cards
151 of the 350 card full set (43% set completion)
37 base duplicates, 1 SP duplicate
23 Minis Base Parallels (22 regular, 1 SP variation)
11 Minis Parallels (4 Gypsy Queen back, 2 Black Border, 1 Leather, 1 Photo variation, 3 Mini Inserts)
6 Framed Paper Bronze
5 Home Run Heroes, 6 Great Ones, 6 Future Stars
1 Gypsy Queen
1 Framed Stamp (Buehrle)
1 Relic – Group B (Rodriguez), 1 Framed Mini Relic Group A (Larkin)
1 Gypsy Queen Jewel
Including the first box:
235 / 300 of the base cards (78%)
248 / 350 of the full set (71%)