Good: Excellent card design, 10 hits per box, Great checklist, Perfect price point, Great box and single card value
Bad: Non-relic sticker drop autos can be an eye sore, Lack of foilnumbering on non-relic autos could lead to fakes, 16 years old feels to young to be in a baseball card product, Bowman Chrome Autos will supplant USA Baseball Autos in the long run
The card design is crisp, clean and doesn't try to do too much like all to many products these days. The base card and regular auto design most closely resemble an AFLAC card from Bowman Baseball. The hits are also extremely solid looking, with the lower numbered relic autos featuring some absolutely crazy patch combos.
The checklist is one of the best parts about 2010 Topps USA Baseball. It features a who's who of the upcoming 2011 MLB Draft as well as several top tier talents that will be drafted in 2012 and 2013. The part I found most intriguing about the checklist was that it introduces you to a host of upcoming prospects you might not know much about.
The 1-2 year value potential is pretty substantial. The 65-card base set that each box delivers features the first ever cards for some pretty big draft prospects including Anthony Rendon, who many scouts believe will be the #1 pick in the 2011 draft. Then when you factor in the 10 hits each box set delivers, you end up with an extremely valuable and intriguing product. This is the type of product that will only increase in value as the 2011 MLB Draft nears.
Fun Factor: 4.5/5
As I noted above, I really didn't want to like this product from the outset, but after opening a box, it immediately won me over with an intriguing checklist, crisp card design and 10 hits that feel like robbery. I also found the box set concept a refreshing change of pace from the everyday trading card offering, it was fun to open something that wasn't normal for me. If you are a baseball prospector, this product is sure to both intrigue and impress you.
*Note: The $9.99 Retail Box Set contains just the 65-card base set and no autographs or relics. The $80-$100 hobby version delivers the same 65-card base set and 5 autos, 2 autographed relics and 3 regular relics.
The Bottom Line: 4.5/5
At first I wanted to hate this product, as I don't like the idea of creating cards of players that haven't been drafted yet, but after opening a box, the prospector in me couldn't help but love Topps' first USA box set release, it's like opening a box of Bowman AFLAC cards. In terms of USA Baseball products, 2010 Topps USA Baseball tops anything Upper Deck released while they held the license for the majority of the 2000's. The best part about this product is that at $80-$100 per box, it's an insanely great deal. Each box contains a 65-card base set and 10 hits. For collectors who have steered clear of USA Baseball offerings over the years like myself, you might be surprised at how intriguing this product can be.