Saturday, March 11, 2017

Old School Box Breaks: 98-99 Topps Series II Retail Basketball

Back to breaking Old School Basketball wax and on this one I did things a little bit differently. I actually slow broke this over the week instead of opening the box in one sitting. I figured it would be a little bit more fun to stretch the suspense by opening a few packs a day, plus it gives me a little something to look forward to each day. I'll be doing that with the rest of my old school boxes I have as well. 

Background: So 98-99 Topps Series II was a product I'll always remember because it was one of the first products to come out right after the lockout was ended for the 98-99 season so it would be the first time to see the this class' rookies in their NBA uniforms. Despite being a low end product, there during Vinsanity, the Topps Base rookie was a $15 card which for base Topps was pretty good, especially considering the rookies aren't shortprinted. I saw a box of this on Ebay and definitely wanted to give this a shot. This is the retail version of this product though, so you can't pull Autographs.

What To Look For: Obviously rookies. Should probably get multiple copies of the main rookies since the rookies aren't seeded and the base set is low..combined that with the fact this is 36 packs per box with 11 cards per pack, there's no doubt there should be at the very least 2-3 copies per rookie. In retail, the other thing to look for would be the East/West Finest like insert set which comes at the rate of 1 per box. The MJ/Kobe is a pretty popular card and the refractor is even better. Refractors are pretty tough to pull though. MJ is also in the Topps Chrome Preview Set and the Gold Label set (including Class 2 and Class 3 Parallels which are tough to find). Any MJ would be an awesome pull to get. According to the box odds there are 3 inserts that are seeded one per box, the East/West, Topps Chrome Preview, and Coast to Coast. Hopefully I get all three and they are of good players.

Basic Set Info
98-99 Topps Series II Basketball (Retail)
110 Base Cards
36 Packs Per Box
11 Cards Per Pack

Kick Start (1:12)
Classic Collection (1:12)
Coast to Coast (1:36)
East/West (1:36)
East/West Refractor (1/144)
Gold Label Class One (1/12)
Black Label Class One (1:96)
Red Label Class One (1:4,967)
Topps Chrome (1:36)

Let's see what I got!

Notable Rookies
Vince Carter-4
Dirk Nowitzki-3
Paul Pierce-4
Jason Williams-4
Mike Bibby-4
Antawn Jamison-2

Kick Start (1:12)
Tim Thomas
Mike Bibby
Ray Allen

Classic Collection (1:12)
Wilt Chamberlain 
Jerry West 

Topps Gold Label (1:12)
Charles Barkley
Antoine Walker
Shaquille O'Neal

Coast To Coast (1:36)
Eddie Jones 

East/West (1:36)
Karl Malone/Jayson Williams
Anthony Mason/Tom Gugliotta

Overall Thoughts: No big names on the better inserts, and didn't get a Topps Chrome Preview insert but did get two East/West Inserts which are the same odds and better looking cards anyways. Unfortunately the Mason/Gugliotta is one of the worst duals on the checklist. Regardless, tons of fun, tons of rookies as expected (3 or more copies of most of the main rookies). Because the base set is so small, it doesn't take long to get packs and packs of doubles so packs without a hit become really repetitive especially with 36 packs in the box. So towards the end of the break I was just hoping there'd be an insert to break up the monotony. Still recommend if you have an itch to open older product and can find this at a cheap price. Hobby would probably be a better option for a shot at Autos (including Kobe) if you can find it. Here's pics of the cards!


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)
#4- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Devontae Booker  
#5- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Paul Perkins





  1. I really didn't like this design when it was new, but it has grown on me. I don't think I have the Pierce yet...I didn't open a lot of this but luckily I did pull the Vince Carter card. The Gold Label cards are my favorite inserts from this set. I am probably not the only one who thinks so as they used the same design for a standalone set the next year.

    1. Gold Label is definitely one my favorite sets Topps made..I would love to break a box of 99-00 Topps Gold Label

  2. Haven't taken the time to look through my basketball cards in years... but that VC is pretty nice. Love the photograph they used for his rc card.

    1. the chrome version even better and wish I had the refractor version!