A sparkle variation and an image variation. Topps really went nuts with the variations in Update series. Way over the top. I mean..really, come on Topps. A pitcher who hasn't had a good season since 2007 and a guy whose prime ended when I was in high school and who hasn't played more than half a season since 2008. I guess maybe this is better than forty-seven different parallels ala Bowman Chrome.
So let's analyze this. For about $50 plus tax I got a near full set, two variations, two color parallels numbered under 100 and a numbered relic of the newly crowned National League Cy Young and MVP award winner. Hobby boxes have just this week dropped below $50 online and I would imagine are still in the $60-70 range at your typical overpriced LCS (like mine). Actually knowing my LCS they're probably still $85 there like they were on release day and will stay at $85 until they turn to dust. But I feel like the chances of pulling these cards from one hobby box are near zero. Most boxes would likely yield one sub-100 color parallel, an unnumbered All-Star stitches relic and MAYBE one variation if you're lucky.
So I think I'm starting to figure out that during the period of peak to mid-range prices for current year Topps flagship buying retail is a better bet than buying hobby. Ignoring the existence of jumbo boxes of course. While I think hobby is far superior to retail in other Topps sets like Ginter, Topps Chrome and Bowman Platinum, in this case it looks to me like retail wins.