Inside the Pack: 2021 Topps Holiday Mega Box Review

Spreading its annual holiday cheer, the Topps Holiday Mega Boxes appeared at Walmart again this month. Using the base flagship set design and adding a little holiday spirit, the mega box base cards are adorned with snowflakes and ornaments in the background of the photos, along with green and red trims for all the players.

The Holiday Mega Boxes rarely have anything incredible in them, but they are a super fun rip that provide solid value for collectors looking for packs to open. Each box has 10 packs per box and 10 cards per pack, and at the $24.99 suggested retail price, it’s one of the better buys on a price-per-card basis. Each box also contains one relic, autograph, or auto relic. It’s tough to find a guaranteed hit at that price point nowadays.

Every other pack has a “metallic snowflake” parallel, in which the snowflakes in the background have a sparkly glitter finish to them. In the past these were easier to see, but this year they required catching the light in the correct way or running your fingers over the card’s front.

Autos are tough to pull, so most boxes have a relic. Mine was of Yankees star Gleyber Torres. But relics aren’t the really big draw in this product: it’s the variations. As part of the holiday whimsy each year, Topps uses photo variations to create short prints with different levels of rarity. With standard short prints falling 1 every 7 packs, you should get at least one in a box; rare short prints are 1 in every 20 packs, while super rare ones fall 1 in 160 packs. How can you tell which are short prints? Well, besides looking at the minuscule code on the bottom of the back of the card, you can examine the photo on the front!

Unlike with the photo variations that appear in the flagship Topps products, the company does not swap out the photo for a different one; rather, they add elements to the photo to get into the Christmas spirit. Some, like the Fernando Tatis Jr. variation I received, have a “Santa Belt” added to it, enlarging the player’s belt and adding a giant buckle to the front. Others, like the Pete Alonso I got, have a scarf around the player’s neck. Some contain ornaments, elves in the background, stockings, wreaths, and so on. It’s a fun thing to look for.

Also adding to the value, each box comes with one oversized foil paper ornament. These are not wrapped in any way and are simply loose in the box. Due to the size, they’re tough to store as a card, but easy to store if you use them as they were intended and hang them from a tree.

One of the other annual selling points of the Topps Holiday set is that deadline trades are reflected for many players, even though they occurred too late to make it into Topps Update. Players like Kris Bryant and Max Scherzer make their first pack-issued Topps appearances for their new teams in this year’s product.

With 100 cards for $25, parallels, and a guaranteed hit, the Topps Holiday Mega Box is always one of the most fun products of the year to open. The cards make great stocking stuffers too. Merry Christmas!