1999 Fleer Brilliants Baseball Review

As I previously mentioned long ago on APTBNL, I busted a box of 1999 Fleer Brilliants. It’s been a while since I’ve done a box review so let’s get right into it…

Box Details: 24 packs per box, 5 cards per pack, $22
From: Baseball Card Exchange

Base set: The base set is comprised of 175 cards, the last 50 of which are shortprinted rookies seeded 1 in every 2 packs on average. I pulled 92 short set cards and 12 shortprints for 104 total cards (59%). There were zero duplicates!

Brilliant Blue (Regular 1:3 packs, SP 1:6 packs):
There are three parallels that mirror the entire set, the most common being the Blue parallel. Blues of cards 1-125 are found in every third pack on average while blue rookies are found in every sixth pack on average. In this box, I pulled eight regular blues including Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, and Rafael Palmeiro. I also pulled four blue rookies, the most notable being Freddy Garcia.

Brilliants Gold (numbered to 99): The second parallel I pulled from this box was the Brilliant Gold parallel. Each of these cards is numbered to just 99 copies, features a golden background and holofoil (as opposed to bronze) on the front nameplate. I pulled a Gold of Shane Reynolds, numbered 20 of 99.

I was unable to pull a card of the third parallel in this product, known as 24-Karat Gold. These cards look similar to the Gold card in the scan but with a few key differences. First, the background is much more radiant with a bright gold background and mirror finish. Secondly, the front nameplate will also have a gold finish to it. Third, there’s a small “24-KT Gold” logo in the top corner. See this Barry Bonds for an example. Each 24-Karat Gold card is numbered to just 24.

Illuminators (15 cards, 1:10 packs): Seeded two per box, the Illuminators set is filled with some of the brightest young stars of a decade ago. I pulled inserts of Ben Davis and Travis Lee, both of whom are out of baseball.

Shining Stars (15 cards, 1:20 packs): Seeded one per box, the Shining Stars showcases the biggest stars in the game. My pull was of Nomar Garciaparra. This insert is accompanied by a very rare parallel called Pulsars, which are seeded at a rate of 1 in every 400 packs! Check it out.

Final Thoughts/Grades:

Collation: A+

Collation was flawless in this box. Everything delivered as promised and there wasn’t a single duplicate to be found. Can’t beat that!

Condition: B

The fronts of these cards look fantastic (not a bad looking set, IMO)! The backs were subject to some peeling and heavy print lines in some cases. Luckily, this wasn’t the case with enough cards to bring the grade down.

Pulls: B

Pulling a card limited to 99 was still pretty significant around the time of this product’s release so the Brilliants Gold card was a nice surprise, even if it was a common player on a team I have no interest in. The insert pulls could’ve been better but I was satisfied with the Blue pulls. With the exception of the rookies, only one Blue parallel (out of eight) featured a player who never became an established star. Sorry Gabe Alvarez.

Value: B

Seeing how this hobby box only cost me the amount of your standard blaster box, it’s hard to say anything bad about it. For just over $20, you’ll end up with a pretty sharp starter set, a dozen parallel cards and a few other inserts, some of which could be very rare.

NOTE: As far as I can tell, the site I mentioned at the top of the post is the only one that carries these boxes for this cheap. The asking price for these boxes on eBay is around the $50 mark.

Final Grade: B+


Posted on June 12, 2009, in Box Breaks and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. In my opinion, in 1999 Fleer had it goin’ on. In fact, the mid to late 90s had it goin’ on for everyone. Since I do non-sports, I may be a bit biased… But still! Nothing like buying a box for the thrill of chase cards, not gu or autos or whatever.

  2. I had never heard of Fleer Brilliants before stumbling across the Pettitte (and the blue parallel) in the Beckett Marketplace. Needless to say, they’re where they belong now.

  3. do you still have that edgar martinez card?

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