Here are the base cards, with two of my main men. These are really sharp cards. I was fortunate enough to pull almost all of the Pirates base cards in one box. I missed Burnett and Stargell.
Manny Machado made a double appearance. On the left is his mini variation card, bearing that "RC" which we all love to see. On the right is his base card.
Moving on to the inserts! On top is an example of the Collisions at the Plate cards which highlight one of my favorite parts elements of the game. The lower card is part of the Sliding Stars set, with none other than my man Cutch! Gorgeous card.
To the left is the Dealing Aces insert, picturing Fantasy Baseball stud Matt Moore. To the right is the No Hitters insert.
(L) Glove Stories insert, and also the highlight of Travis Snider's career. That wraps up the inserts.
(R) Paul Goldschmidt Blue Border Parallel, #ed to 499
(L) Josh Rutledge Green Mini Parallel. /99
(Middle) Russel Martin Sepia-Tone Parallel /50. This box was VERY generous with the Buccos!
(R) Ian Desmond Black Parallel /199
Here are my two relic pulls, two nice cards! Evan Longoria mini, and an awesome Paul Konerko jumbo, numbered to 25. I'm a bit burnt out on relic cards- they don't too much for me any more. The Konerko card, however, is a different story. This is a really neat card. On to the autos...
(L) Anthony Rizzo Base auto. I love Rizzo's potential, and his signature is very attractive. Blue ink looks great.
(R) Wilin Rosario base auto. Not bad!
A little bonus. Actually, a big bonus! I have never had the privilege of pulling a printing plate, and I couldn't ask for a better name for my first. It's interesting to think that I was booing this guy at PNC park just a few weeks ago for initially failing to select Pedro Alvarez for Home Run Derby. Now he's reason I have an awesome card. Thank you Mr. Wright!
Overall Design: The photography is excellent- specifically the contrast. Topps did a superb job of blurring the backgrounds and making the players jump off the cards. Some of the poses are incredible.
Box contents: The base set is made up of 350 cards, and I've heard it's an awesome set to chase. A hobby box will bring you a total of 240 cards, so it's a great place to start. The inserts could also be fun to chase. As I mentioned earlier, I love the Collisions inserts. The Sliding Stars set is an interesting choice, because... all baseball players slide... but I guess there's only so much you can do! The mini cards also add an awesome element for collectors.
The Hits: The base auto set contains several mediocre players, and in my mind is nothing special. There are several other autograph sets however, and there's some huge names there. Lots of Trout, Justin Upton, Freese, Trumbo, etc. The mini relic cards are average, but there are other types as well, such as jumbos and triple swatches. The availability of serial numbered cards, parallels, and variation cards (or any combination of the three) make a box break very exciting.
Positives: Card design, availability of serial numbers, variety of hits, retired players mixed in, variety in checklist
Negatives: Some teams are underrepresented in base set. A tad bit pricey, but certainly not a ripoff.
Rating: 9 out of 10. Granted that I was pretty lucky in this box, this product is great nonetheless. It's a staple for Topps, and hopefully will be for years to come.