2018 Topps Gallery: Man Faints In Walmart After Finding Blaster

Either Topps upped the print runs this year or people where I live like Aaron Judge a whole lot more than Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuna. Either way, I was surprised to find blasters and packs of 2018 Topps Gallery in the first Walmart I went to. Last year I made multiple visits to four different Wally Worlds, but thanks to the mania surrounding Aaron Judge, all I found was one empty display.

I didn’t even hold a 2017 Gallery card in my hand until Dime Boxes Nick sent me four of them this past Summer.

Since I was having a rough week, I decided to buy a blaster. As soon as I grabbed one off the shelf, I noticed how light the box was. I looked at the details and found that the box consists of seven 4 card packs, plus an additional pack of 4 parallels which I don’t want and probably can’t sell on COMC because there’ll be 68 copies of each out there by the time mine get sent in and processed.

That’s 32 cards for $20.  My inner Grumpy Old Man says “When I was a kid, I could buy a rack pack of 42 cards for 49 cents!!!  BAH!!!

OK, so we’ve established that it’s pricey by my standards.  What about the cards?

The very first card I saw was this Adam Jones (with art by Kevin Graham)…

My second card was of Orioles rookie Austin Hays.  Yep, my first two cards were from the 115-loss Orioles.  Good thing I’m an Orioles fan.

Here’s the back, not that anyone really cares about the back.

Starling Marte by artist Dan Bergren.  The Topps Gallery logo in the top left, the player’s name and team are in gold foil.  The white border has a whorl texture to it which I suppose is supposed to evoke brush strokes but, to me, looks more like fingerprints.

Thoughts regarding this Jacob deGrom card:

This was also painted by Kevin Graham, who either…
a) Had a very long lead time and created this artwork a year ago
b) Was working off of pre-2018 reference images
c) Kept the long hair for artistic reasons.

This card of Ildemaro Vargaos, by artist John Giancaspro, made me say “Who?”
…That’s “Who?” about Vargas, not about Giancaspro, although I’d not heard of either.

ROOKIE CARD!  That’s all Topps wants you to think about.  Vargas has been in affiliated ball since 2010, didn’t make his debut until 2017, is 27 years old and still rookie eligible.  I don’t mean to pick on Vargas, but in a 200-card checklist, I’d like to pull someone better than a 27-year-old Diamondbacks rookie.

Babe Ruth cards in modern sets is like hearing “Hotel California” on the radio… I’d had my fill years ago.  If we’re going to get cards of players from the 1920’s or 1930’s, then give me Paul Waner.  Frankie Frisch.  Dazzy Vance.

Artwork by Kris Penix, BTW.

Evan Longoria looks like he’s doing his impression of Saturday Night Live’s Alex Moffat’s “Eric Trump” character.  (Art by Kevin Graham)

Yes, I still watch SNL… although not in real time and we fast-forward through any sketches which don’t hold our attention.

I like this card of David Ortiz (Kris Penix again), but it’s likely going out as trade bait.

Just to make sure that all of the artists are covered before I get to the hits (such as they were) from this blaster…

Alex Verdugo by Carlos Cabaleiro

Rhys Hoskins by Gerry Garcia

OK, so let’s start with the one short-printed base card I got: Dustin Fowler (art by Kevin Graham).

I guess 1 short print out of 32 cards isn’t a bad ratio, but 1 short print out of a blaster seems a lot worse.

As I mentioned, I got four “Artist Proofs” parallels. here’s one of them: Jackson Stephens (art by Dan Bergren)

The Artist Proofs cards have an extra gold foil stamping on the bottom right of the image.


I didn’t get all of the insert sets, but I did get two.  First up is the “Heritage” insert set done in the style of 1952 Topps (art by Gerry Garcia)

The back is also done 1952-style, but it’s all glossy cardboard.

The other is from the “Masterpiece” insert set and features Roberto Clemente. The art is by Evan Shoman, who didn’t appear anywhere else in the blaster.

I dunno, I’m underwhelmed by this.  The art is fine, but I’m going to be that annoying guy who says that if I’m getting a painting it damn well better be color.

And finally…

…Sound the trumpets…

…Here’s the “HIT” of the blaster…

A sticker autograph of the Cubs’ Ian Happ!  Yaaaaaaay!

Like the Ortiz, this is going out to a trading buddy.

So… on the whole… I don’t regret this purchase, but I will flat out say that, even with the auto, it wasn’t really worth $20.  The artwork is nice, and there were a number of cards I liked which I didn’t show here, but it’s not so awesome that I want to collect the entire set (or even the entire set minus SP’s).  The base cards are a nice target for my team and player collections, plus maybe a few extras. I won’t be buying any more packs of Gallery.

Has anyone else bought Topps Gallery?  What did you think?


7 thoughts on “2018 Topps Gallery: Man Faints In Walmart After Finding Blaster

  1. I had a blaster in my hand yesterday and then decided to pass for now.

    Thanks for opening yours so I could see what I kind of missed.

  2. Congratulations on pulling an autograph! If I can find a complete set shipped for under $20, I’d probably grab it. Otherwise… I probably won’t be adding any of these to my collection anytime soon.

  3. These are okay but by no means good enough to get me running out to a Wal-Mart to buy any. Especially if you only get 32 cards for $20. (Seems like the price-per-card ratio in retail has been getting bigger and bigger in recent years.)

  4. I said on Twitter in response to you that I’ve never seen Gallery. Apparently I lied as I found a couple from last year in a box I was reorganizing. Seems to me, as one who is not a fan of sports art cards, that Topps uses 1st and second string artists. Kevin Graham does nice work, the AJ10 and Longoria cards look good. The guy who painted the Dback must be an intern.

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