2015 Topps MLS Major League Soccer – Back for its third season, the flagship turns its eye to Soccer!
Trader's Retreat - Box Break and Review
2015 Topps MLS Major League Soccer
By Jim Van Nest
April 23, 2015
Configuration: 24 packs per box, 10 cards per pack – 240 Cards total
Highlights: Five Hits - two Relics, two Autographs and one Autographed Relic per Box!!!
200 Card Base set
Parallels: Blue (Retail), Purple #/ , Gold #/25, Black #/10, Red #1/1, Printing Plates #1/1
At Least 10 Base Variations
86 Card Autograph Set
Parallels: Blue (Retail), Gold #/25, Black #/10, Red #1/1
2 Admired Alumni Autographed Cards
3 MLS Personalities Autographs
Parallels: Gold #/25, Black #/10, Red #1/1, Printing Plates #1/1
25 Card Autographed Relic Set
Parallels: Gold #/25, Black #/10, Red #1/1, Printing Plates #1/1
40 Card Kits of the Game Relic Set
Parallels: Blue (Retail), Gold #/25, Black #/10, Red #1/1, Printing Plates #1/1
25 Card Presence of the Pitch Insert Set – 1:6 Packs
12 Card Presence of the Pitch Autograph Set
Parallels: Red #1/1
10 Card Gameday Heritage Insert Set
15 Card MLS Minis Insert Set
Parallels: Sketch Originals
Guess who’s back, back again? Major League Soccer’s back, that’s who! For the third year in a row, Topps is bringing the action of the MLS into your hands as a collector. We have an awesome new box of 2015 Topps MLS Major League Soccer. But unlike the Flagship’s other sports, where the boxes have one hit (usually a base relic), MLS Soccer has five big hits in every $110 box. As always, huge shout out to Topps for continuing to support us here at Trader’s Retreat! Now, let’s get to the goods!!
Base, Variations and Parallels
So, let’s dive right into the base set. 2015 MLS Soccer is a 200 card base set broken into a couple sub-sets. The first 153 cards are your typical base card. Most of these cards are current players featured in action shots from games. Sprinkled in among these are rookie cards, which appear to have been shot during the draft, as the new guys are all sporting their team-color scarves. The front of each card features the player, the Topps logo and their team logo. The rookies have the brand new Soccer Ball RC logo in the lower corner. The backs of the cards feature stat lines that seem to go back three years. The next 24 cards in the base set feature the 24 Under 24 logo and represent the top 24 players under the age of 24 in the league. The final 23 cards feature the MLS All Star Game logo and highlight players chosen to play in the 2014 All Star Game. All in all, we pulled 195 of the 200 card base set, or 97.5%. We did, however, bring in 20 duplicates in this box. Generally, when we have that many dups, we also have a full set, but we’re still pretty darn close to it.
There are photo variations in this set and we were lucky enough to pull one. As you can see in the picture, we pulled two of card # 194, the All Star Game card of Clint Dempsey. However, they have different photos on the front. The card with Dempsey in green is the base card and the card where he is in black is the variation.
There are several levels of parallels in this set, making rainbows a goal for player collectors. In our box, we pulled two parallels and one awesome collectible! Our first parallel is a Gold version of the Nick Haggland card, # 06/25. The card is exactly the same as the base, but it has a gold background and the foil numbering on the back. We also pulled a Black version of Davy Arnaud, #04/10! You certainly can’t beat the scarcity on these. Well, I guess you can, because our last parallel is a Cyan Printing Plate of Philadelphia Union midfielder, Vincent Nogueira. As they always are, this plate is a one of one collectible!
Inserts and Minis
Because there are so many hits in this product, there are only a couple insert sets in 2015 MLS Soccer. The first is the Presence of the Pitch insert set. Expected at a 1:6 clip, we did pull 4 different Presence of the Pitch cards. As you can see, we pulled Aurelien Collin, Kyle Beckerman, Dom Dwyer and Mix Diskerud. These cards feature some of the best players in the MLS and highlight some of their accomplishments from the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
The next insert set it the Gameday Heritage set. This 10-card set features team fans. Inserted at a 1:12 pack pace, we pulled 2 of these in our box: Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas. The front of these horizontal cards feature crowd shots and the back tells a little but about the crazed MLS fans on the flip side of the card. Just another way Topps is keeping the fans in mind when putting these sets together.
The final insert is the 15-card MLS Mini set. These cards are not photos, but rather sketches done to highlight certain types of soccer plays that the casual fan may not totally understand. In our box, we pulled three of these: Slide Tackle, Header and Save. Again, the front features a sketch of the play and the back tells you a little bit about it.
As promised, our box yielded two Kits of the Game Relics. The first is a base relic of Toronto’s Micahel Bradley. The one-color black swatch of jersey is set to the right of the card in a shield pattern. The card is #18/85. Our second relic is a beauty! This is a two-color (three color breaks) Black relic of San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski, # 6/10!! As you can see in the pic, the Wondolowski has a black sky, showing that it is the black parallel.
Autographs and Auto- Relics
The last three cards in the box are, as promised, autographs. The first auto is of Montreal’s Dilly Duka. And if you can’t have fun saying that name, you need to just quit. The base autographs are just base cards with a sticker auto affixed to the bottom. In this case, you can see the signature is very legible and very nicely centered on the sticker. The next auto is of DC United midfielder Perry Kitchen. Kitchen’s card is one of the 24 Under 24 cards and is also a Gold Parallel version, # 16/25. You can see the card is the gold parallel of the base and the signature is once again centered on the sticker. Now, Kitchen’s signature isn’t as legible as Duka’s, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?
The final card in the box is the doozy! Every box boasts an autographed relic card. But not every box can boast a Printing Plate Autographed Relic # 1 of 1!!! That’s exactly what we pulled in our box. The player is the New England Revolution’s defender, Andrew Farrell. The swatch of jersey is two-colors with three breaks and is set off to the left of the card, to make room for the sticker auto to the lower right. As with the other two autographs, the auto is fully on the sticker and pretty well centered. The card itself appears to be the black printing plate affixed to a cardboard back of the card, with the 1/1 serial number embossed in gold foil. What a major hit in an already loaded box!!
Final Thoughts on 2014 Topps MLS Major League Soccer
I’ve been on board with Topps MLS cards since they debuted in 2013 and I’m still firmly on the bandwagon. I love that soccer is starting to get some love in the hobby and as long as companies keep doing them justice, as Topps does with their MLS releases, we should have soccer cards for a long time to come. You can find 2015 Topps MLS Soccer online in the range of $110 per box and with the five big hits per box as well as a completed or mostly completed full base set, I don’t think you can go wrong with Topps MLS Soccer in 2015.
If you'd like to see the live break of the box that accompanies this review, well, just click Right Here!
Rebuy: 4/5 - with 5 hits per box, you can probably deal with the extra base cards
Total: 18/20 - I'd rate 2015 Topps MLS Major League Soccer a solid A!
NPN 2015 Topps MLS
PO BOX 766
Pittston, PA 18640
Limit – 1 Request Per Household
Postmarked by: June 24, 2015
Received by: July 1, 2015
For our Canadian collectors, your entry will need to be accompanied by the answer to this skill question: 12 x 3 + 4 – 11 = ?
Once again, thanks so much to our sponsors at Topps for giving us the opportunity to review this great new product. For more information on all of their products, you can check them out at www.Topps.com. You can also follow them on Twitter: @toppscards. For all the great new trading card updates coming to BOP, be sure to give me a follow as well: @vannestjc. 'Til next time, take care.