I case you haven't visited this blog before, I like Gypsy Queen. I don't buy a lot of packs, but I always save up for two boxes of Gypsy Queen and try to build the set with short prints. This year is no different. Here is the run down of box 1.
Base cards 186 out of 300 (62%) with no dupes.
The checklist is more of what we are used to with a mix of current players and retired stars cover guys like the recently retired Mariano Rivera back to Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. The design is a little more subtle than previous years allowing more room of photos. The thing I don't like about this year is what seems to be a ton of posed spring training shots, save these for heritage, give me in game photos. Box 1 finishes with perfect collation, zero doubles is always a good thing.
Short Prints: 6
Short prints are back with cards 301-350, these make set building interesting, this year should be a little easier than 2014 with Tanaka and Abreu shortprinted.
Autographs: 2 (Kenny Vargas & Brandon Finnegan)
On-card autographs have been a trademark of GQ and they are back this year. I honestly have no idea who Kennys Vargas is and why his first name is pluralized. I am happy with the Brandon Finnegan though.
Full Size Relics: 1 (Cole Hamels)
I really like how the incorporated the swatch into the border, Gypsy Queen has always just stuck the swatch in the middle of the card, this is a change for the better. The 1/1 Black Button versions are absolutely beautiful, but are way out of my price range.
Framed Mini Relics: 1 (Yadier Molina)
While I have grown to love minis, framed minis still do nothing for me, and this years brown doesn't really do it for me. Yadier fits into the catcher collection, but I would have much rather pulled the bat version over the jersey above.
The Queen's Throwbacks: 4
New in 2015, I love the idea of these, but the execution doesn't work for me, the above card proves my point as these Astros throwbacks really don't look as good in black & white.
Glove Stories: 4
I love Glove Stories, great photography with a story on the back explaining the play, what more could you want.
Pillars of the Community: 1 (Jose Abreu)
Another new insert for 2015, not a bad design.
Walk-Off Winners: 6
Topps has done the walk-off insert sets before, but this is a first for GQ. Similar to Glove Stories, cool photos and an explanation on the back.
Bronze (#499): 2 (Huston Street & Matt Carpenter)
The first thing that comes to mind when I see these is, meh.
Base Minis: 19 (No Dupes)
Of course minis are back in varying parallels and variations. I like these way better than most of the parallels included in other sets, my only complaint is the black minis are numbers to 5 this year, making them rare and probably expensive.
Silver Mini's (#199): 2 (Hank Aaron and Machado)
Red Mini (#50): 1 Brandon Finnegan
Short Print Mini: 1 (Lou Brock)
Basics of Baseball Mini's: 1 (Knuckleball)
Mini Box Topper: 10
To summarize, I like Gypsy Queen, and find it a fun break. Two guaranteed on-card autos and two relics per box is reasonable, and even though this box would probably be considered a dud, there is a lot of potential value with low numbered parallels of minis, autograph and relics.