2008 Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces Trading Cards Review

2008 was a busy year for Indiana Jones in the hobby. With three sets, all of which included large amounts of sketch cards, I'm think some of the artists have had their fill of drawing Indy. And from the cool reception Topps' third Indiana Jones set appears to be getting sales wise, collectors look like they've spoken as well. That's too bad because the all-art 2008 Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces is easily the best of the trio.

With collation issues abound and Waterhouse monkeys coming out of way too many boxes, the lack of inserts really hurt what was a solid Indiana Jones Heritage set last winter. It was a warm-up to the fourth film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which also had a set produced for it. Despite a steallar autograph line-up, KotCS sales fell flat, perhaps in part to the lukewarm reception the film got. So after two duds, Topps comes up with 2008 Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces, a gorgeous set done in the same vein as the Star Wars Galaxy and Lord of the Rings Masterpieces sets.

Each card in the 90-card base set are done with gorgeous illustrations. Many artists are used and each style is unique. While some go for hyper-realism, others opt for many Indy a little more cartoonish. All work and come together for one of the nicest looking base sets to come out in some time. It's too bad that a couple of cards had the backs printed upside down, thus making them look odd when placed in pages.

2008 Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces Base

The 'hits' are once again led by sketch cards. Although Topps places the odds at 1:24 packs and guarantees one sketch card per box, it looks as though there's actually two sketches in each box. This is likely a result of lower sales based on the poor reception the first two sets got. The poor economy probably didn't help matters either. This works out well for collectors as there's added value to the boxes. I know I was hesitant at going the box route at first after a horredous experience with Indiana Jones Heritage. But the added sketch sold me instead of just buying a base set for a few dollars.

Topps also introduced Panoramic Sketch Cards for this set. In a nutshell, their double-sized cards that have been folded in order to squeeze into packs. I was curious how to store them but seeing as how I didn't pull one I won't have to worry about it right now. Panoramic Sketch Cards fall 1:124 packs, or about one in five boxes.

Each box should also include a variety of shiny cards. The nine-card Foil Cards set includes iconic Indy art from poster artist Drew Struzan. Falling one in four packs, each box should yield six. There's also three sets of foil parallels: Bronze, which come about one per box, and Gold, which are serial numbered to 99 and are inserted 1:167 packs. FInally, there's a Refractor parallel set but it's limited to one-of-one status.

2008 Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces Foil Silver

Comic artist Adam Hughes contributed the artwork for the six-card Etached Foil Puzzle. When completed the puzzle completes a collage of the film series' best known characters. Etched Foil cards acan be found at a rate of 1:6 packs. The original art for the cards has also been included in packs.

Additional inserts do exist, although I wouldn't go buying a box expecting to pull any of them. George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Steven Speilberg all signed seven autographs. You've got about a 1:7,000 chance of getting one. A triple autograph of the three was also made but it was pulled in the first few days the set was released.

Finally, Topps has included printing plates for the first time in an Indiana Jones set. If you're not familiar with them, they're the actual plates used in the production process to make the cards. Each card has four different colour versions. Printing plates are inserted at a rate of 1:414 packs.

My box was exactly what I was expecting plus a little bit more. I received a full base set and 64 cards towards a second, with no triples. All of the foil inserts ran accordingly and I was surprised to notice I'd pulled a gold parallel as well. As expected, I also pulled two sketch cards rather than the suggested one. The first marks the return of the monkey, with a detailed drawing from Dwayne Clare. Michael Duron was the artist on my second sketch card. Although I can't make out who the bad guy is, I love the cartoonish look of Indy's stare.

After opening two boxes of Indiana Jones Heritage I remember having an angry feeling after experiencing first hand the horrible collation. This time around I loved every second of the experience. The set is amazing to look at, the collation was great and I managed to get a little more than I thought I would. It's just too bad that this is the best set done for the franchise yet it's the one that's going to be collected the least from the look of things.

2008 Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces Box Breakdown:

Packs per box: 24
Cards per pack: 7
Total cards: 168

Cards in set: 90
Singles: 90
Doubles: 64
Triples+: 0

Inserts: 14

  • Sketch Cards (1:24): 2 (Dwayne Clare - Monkey, Michael Duron - Indy and ?)
  • Panoramic Sketch Cards (1:124): 0
  • Autograph Cards (1:7,123): 0
  • Triple Autograph Card (1:142,000): 0
  • Foil Cards (1:4): 6 (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9)
  • Bronze Foil (1:24): 1 (4)
  • Gold Foil (1:167): 1 [78/99])
  • 1/1 Foil Refractors (1:15,829): 0
  • Etched Foil Puzzle (1:6): 4 (1, 3, 5, 6)
  • 1/1 Etched Foil Artwork (1:23,744): 0
  • Printing Plates (1:414): 0

 

Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces full colour sketch by Bryan Morton
Topps Indiana Jones Masterpieces full colour sketch by Bryan Morton
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INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES MINI-MASTER SET+
INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES MINI-MASTER SET+
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2008 INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH ARTIST CARD RARE 1/1 SHORT ROUND
2008 INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH ARTIST CARD RARE 1/1 SHORT ROUND
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INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH BY JOANNE ELLEN   150108
INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH BY JOANNE ELLEN 150108
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INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH BY DANIEL COONEY  150109
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INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH BY MIKE ANTRIM   150110
INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH BY MIKE ANTRIM 150110
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INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH BY WOODSIDE    150111
INDIANA JONES MASTERPIECES SKETCH BY WOODSIDE 150111
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2008 Topps Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 COLOR Sketch by Ingrid Hardy!
2008 Topps Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 COLOR Sketch by Ingrid Hardy!
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2008 Topps Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 Sketch by Bruce Gerlach!
2008 Topps Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 Sketch by Bruce Gerlach!
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2008 Topps Heritage Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 Sketch by Noah Albrecht!
2008 Topps Heritage Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 Sketch by Noah Albrecht!
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2008 Topps Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 Sketch by Juan Guzman! MUST SEE!
2008 Topps Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 Sketch by Juan Guzman! MUST SEE!
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2008 Topps Masterpieces Indiana Jones RARE 1/1 Sketch by Bruce Gerlach!
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