2002 Topps Total Baseball Box Break and Review

It's easy to reminisce about the simple days when I first started collecting cards. You had your base set with all the big names, a handful of scrubs and some of the hottest rookies. Insert was a term I reserved for magazine subscription cards. Autographs were obtained in person or through the mail. Game jerseys were kept intact. Man, those times were great.

But the hobby evolved and I went along with it. Now there's a diverse mix of products that cater to most tastes and budgets. But with all the complications, one core group was pretty much forgotten about - the set collectors. Short prints and $100-a-box products put a big strain on the wallet when it comes to completing any given set. And the collecting-friendly sets such as Victory or Topps are filled with primarily all the same names splashed onto several subsets and inserts. I mean, who wants to collect cards of middle relievers like John Halama or utility infielders named Enrique Wilson? They just take away from the bazillionth Sammy Sosa or kazillionth Alex Rodriguez that might otherwise slip into the set.

Enter 2002 Topps Total, a mammoth single-series 990-card set. Up and down the roster, Topps Total plays like the sets of old, offering team sets that go at least 30 players deep, has all the stars and oodles of rookies. All this and a reasonable price as well. All that's missing is a stick of pink gum.

The card design is a simple mix of action and portrait photos, brief bios and limited stats. While I find the fronts attractive, the card backs are my only qualm with the set. Being such a collector-friendly product I would have liked complete rather than a brief synopsis from 2001. The bios are a nice touch, but I was hoping for something a little closer to the base Topps design.

While there's three insert sets (Total Production, Award Winners and Total Topps), they play a minor role in the set. None are particularly tough to pull and the design is a simple foil finish. No game-used, no autographs, no fancy die cuts. A wide variety of inserts would only isolate the set collectors and drive the pack price up.

Topps has kept it simple with Topps Total and I haven't had this much fun in a long time. I had so much fun I busted three boxes of the stuff. Of course that's neccessary if you hope to build the set. Each box was pretty good with one serving up five doubles and the other two coming up with perfect collation. Combined I came up a couple hundred cards short of a set with a nice stack of doubles for trade bait. But that's what I was expecting so no worries there.

Thus far, Topps Total rates as my pick for set of the year.

2002 Topps Total Baseball Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 36
Cards per pack: 10
Total cards: 361

Cards in set: 990
Singles: 331
Doubles: 0
Triples+: 0

Inserts: 22

  • Award Winners (1:6): 6
  • Total Production (1:12): 4
  • Total Topps (1:3): 12

 

2002 Topps Baseball  Factory Complete Set
2002 Topps Baseball Factory Complete Set "Series 1 & 2" (718 Total Cards)
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2017 Topps Archives Postseason buyback autograph Tony Womack 2002 Topps Total/36
2017 Topps Archives Postseason buyback autograph Tony Womack 2002 Topps Total/36
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2002 Topps Total #TTC20 Derek Jeter New York Yankees PSA GEM MINT 10
2002 Topps Total #TTC20 Derek Jeter New York Yankees PSA GEM MINT 10
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2002 TOPPS 206 COMPLETE SET  ALL SP's VARIATIONS plus Team 206 inserts 600 total
2002 TOPPS 206 COMPLETE SET ALL SP's VARIATIONS plus Team 206 inserts 600 total
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Minnesota Twins GRANT BALFOUR autographed 2002 Topps Total
Minnesota Twins GRANT BALFOUR autographed 2002 Topps Total
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BRIAN SCHNEIDER AUTOGRAPH 2002 TOPPS Total #405 CARD
BRIAN SCHNEIDER AUTOGRAPH 2002 TOPPS Total #405 CARD
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2002 TOPPS TOTAL #1 JOE MAUER RC PSA 7 nm
2002 TOPPS TOTAL #1 JOE MAUER RC PSA 7 nm
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2002 TOPPS TOTAL BASEBALL COMPLETE SET 1-990! INCLUDES BINDER AND PAGES
2002 TOPPS TOTAL BASEBALL COMPLETE SET 1-990! INCLUDES BINDER AND PAGES
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2002 Topps Total Baseball #1 - #262 - Choose Your Cards
2002 Topps Total Baseball #1 - #262 - Choose Your Cards
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2002 TOPPS TOTAL #705  Esteban German  ATHLETICS A's  SIGNED AUTOGRAPH AUTO COA
2002 TOPPS TOTAL #705 Esteban German ATHLETICS A's SIGNED AUTOGRAPH AUTO COA
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2002 TOPPS TOTAL #1 JOE MAUER RC PSA 10 B2381698-921
2002 TOPPS TOTAL #1 JOE MAUER RC PSA 10 B2381698-921
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2002 Topps Total #003 Shawn Green - Dodgers
2002 Topps Total #003 Shawn Green - Dodgers
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