Especially if you open a hot box.
Topps’ 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Hopefuls is a 74-card set with plenty of parallels and some interesting hits. A hobby box will cost in the $75 to $85 range, depending on the retailer. It will contain 24 packs, with eight cards per pack.
Whenever you have a small base set, doubles are going to be inevitable. One would expect, however, to complete the set. It didn’t happen, since every card was there except No. 34 — track and field star LaShawn Merritt. Card No. 37 also was absent, but that’s because it wasn’t included in the checklist.
This box had six hits — two autographs, an autograph relic, two patch cards and one relic card.
The autographs are on stickers, and the first one I pulled was a bronze parallel card of men’s swimming star Michael Phelps, numbered to 25.
The second one was of women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe. The autograph relic was of rugby player Madison Hughes and it was numbered to 50; there are 24 different subjects in this subset.
The card back features vital statistics and a mini-biography that is labeled “Olympic Pedigree.”
I found two different types of parallels. The 25-card Olympic Disciplines appear one in every four packs and describe an athlete, their event and the rules of that particular event. There were six in the hobby box I sampled.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic set offers some nice autographs and relics, and also covers a wide spectrum of athletes who are certain to make a splash in Rio beginning this week.