Thursday, March 4, 2021

Group Break Recap: 2007 Upper Deck Elements & 2021 Topps Series 1

Last weekend we had a great time ripping two boxes of baseball cards. I've featured a box of 2007 Upper Deck Elements many, many moons ago here on this blog. When I ran across a box locally I had to jump on it as it's such a fun product to rip. We also opened a hobby box of 2021 Topps (a first for me) as well as one retail blaster box for good measure.

We'll start off with the recap of the UD Elements box. If you aren't familiar with this set, I wouldn't be surprised and it was a "one and done" product for UD. The gimmick if you will for this set was that it featured 3 different card technologies. The box is actually an outer sleeve that houses 3 mini boxes. Each mini box had 5 packs with 3 cards per pack. Each mini box featured a different card technology - acetate, etched foil or reflective foil. Each mini box also yielded one hit.

The acetate cards are clearly my favorite...bad pun intended. I'm a sucker for clear cards and these fit the bill. Here we have examples of Griffey, Ichiro & Chipper of these awesome cards.

The hit of this box was this Carl Crawford Clear-Cut Elements jersey/auto. What I didn't realize at the time was that this is the silver parallel, numbered to /199. I believe the bronze versions are numbered to /399. Crawford may not have been the best name to pull in 2021, but in 2007 this was a nice(r) card.

The etched foil cards look like Upper Deck's Special F/X cards. We didn't pull the same star power out of this mini box...unless you're a Phillies fan who will probably argue with me!

The hit from this box was a Daniel Cabrera Elements Elemental AuTographs...get it? Au is the periodic symbol for gold...and the card has a gold color? 

Stupid side note...this makes me remember how my 8th grade science teacher helped us remember the difference between gold (Au) and silver's (Ag) periodic symbols. He said if someone stole your neckless and it was a gold neckless you'd probably be running after them shouting "Aey u!". If it was just a silver neckless you'd probably just hang your head in disappointment while uttering the words "Ahh gee". Silly? Yes...but here it is 30 years later and I still remember these two elements!

The reflective foil, or Light F/X as it believe it's called are very nice looking in hand. They have that rainbow refractor like sheen to them. Manny, Sheffield and Rolen...not bad at all.

The hit of the third mini box was this Dan Uggle Essential Elements dual jersey card. Uggla was a Braves killer during this time...then Atlanta signed him and it was down hill from there! the card features a decent design overall and at least one of the two jersey pieces had a single pinstripe to pull the card up one notch from boring.

While we didn't quite pull some of the names/cards I was hoping for, it was none the less a fun product to feature and rip in the group. Up next, 2021 Topps Series 1!

Up until I ripped this box, my exposure to the first cards of the baseball season had been small. Like many, finding retail product in my neck of the woods is like most places...tough to near impossible. This made ripping this box that much more enjoyable to me.

I know Topps changes the little production code on the back of the cards for the SPs and SSPs, but I'm old dang it and my eye sight sucks so I trying to decipher if you have an image variation can suck. Thankfully this year it seems all the SPs are flipped backwards in the least that's what I'm told and that's who this Lou Bob card was found in the pack.

While Topps may have backed off on the number of different inserts to chase this year, the number of different parallels are crazy. Some of the easier to pull parallels are the Rainbow Foil, followed by the Gold parallels. Like with previous years, the gold cards are serially numbered to the year.

I call these parallels "Ice", but I believe in this set this is just referred to as a Orange parallel. Serially numbered to /499, they do look better in hand than scanned. DeGrom is a good pitcher and with the other offseason acquisitions the Mets made I'm afraid they may give the Braves some fits in 2021.

These 1952 Redux cards are printed on thicker brown cardboard (think Heritage) and feature the class the '52 design. For some reason I do rather like this insert set and my have to chase all the cards down. Usually reprint sets don't float my boat, but these are nice.

One of the other inserts are these 1986 Retrospectives. Maybe it's because I wasn't collecting cards in 1986 (I was all about Transformers baby!), I just can't get into this design. I'm glad to have pulled the Freddie Freeman, but these just don't do much for me. My good friend from Cards from the Quarry happens to be building this insert set so I'll be tossing the cards I pull aside for him.

I honestly don't know much about the Stars in Service inserts, but from the name of the set and the hat Pete is pictured in, I'm sure I can easily figure out the gist of the set.

With this being the 70th anniversary of Topps I guess I should have expected more themed reprints. This card of Reggie features two different previous years.

This set borrows on the Archives idea players are pictured on different designs they weren't originally featured on. This sort of thing I can get behind more than just a straight up reprint set. I particularly like the Gwynn.

Look! We pulled an uber rare (and super thin) relic card featuring actual dirt!! We're rich!! These Through the Years cards may be pissing a lot of people off, but in reality they don't both me the least bit. They do seem kind of pointless, but assuming you can actually read the back of the card you'll be educated that it's not a real auto (or dirt in this case).

Home Run Challenge interactive inserts are back for another year. I've only redeemed one code before and that was for a Freddie Freeman card that I had, but when I entered the code it said I had a Mookie Betts card. It became a winner and I was shipped a nifty card in 2020...of a freakin' Dodgers player! Hopefully if the recipient of this Lindor card redeems it'll be for the player pictured.

We don't see a lot of die-cut goodness from Topps these days, especially in their flagship sets, so I'm loving these Platinum Players cards. I've only pulled one other card from this set so it'll be a tough set to build for anyone who wishes to do so.

Our hit of the box ended up being this Iconic Patch card, seeded 1:1,385 packs. Its basically a patch, no cardboard here. It's cool and we got a good player, but it's not what I thought the hit would be. Then again I'd take a card like this over a plain white jersey swatch any day.

It's rare that I get to feature new, current product in my breaks because 1) they aren't easy to come by and 2) the prices of most new product are over inflated. My goal with these Affordable Group Breaks is to offer up fun product to rip at reasonable (or affordable!) prices. I can say I've got two hobby boxes of 2021 Topps Big League on the way, but other than that it remains to be seen if I'm able to muster up any other current product. I do however have a lot of fun 90's product (and more) on the horizon. Thanks to you all that have participated and continue to support this side project of mine. Until next week!


  1. Replies
    1. Appreciate your support as well as your abbreviated and random appearances on the channel Friday nights!

  2. Thanx for the plug Colbey. I should get my group break write up posted today as well. If you are looking for cheap current product, maybe Opening Day would be another option. Unless prices for that set have jumped too that is.

    1. I haven't even looked into Opening Day...but that could be an option. I placed an order yesterday morning for a lot of "new" product so I'm good for the rest of March.

  3. Who doesn't love '86 Topps? Those were SO COOL when they came out.

    1. Who doesn't love '86 Topps? Me. Besides, Optimus Prime and Megatron > 1986 Topps any day of the week/year!

  4. Great breaks and post. Anyone would have been stoked by that Carl Crawford back in the day. The Ozzie patch is different. Not sure how excited I'd be about that. Good stuff and cards.

    1. I only realized the Ozzie cloth card was our box hit when we didn't pull anything else. Yeah, kind of underwealming.