Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The train around the tree...

I wish we had a Lionel running around our tree.  We've looked at some trains with our daughter but haven't found much that met our price range and had good reviews.  We'll probably up the spending for next year, so that may take care of it.

Anyway, I did find a pack of Lionel cards at my LCS.  I now wish I had grabbed all of them as they are pretty cool.

I really that you can read all of the words on the cards (not in my scans, though).  It definitely would make for a fun set to look through in a binder.

The backs don't disappoint, either.  Simple design with the image watermarked in the background and a good writeup.  Well done, Lionel.

Do any of y'all get trains out around the holidays?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

On the Twelfth Day of Cardmas, My Mistress Gave to Me...

12 Cyber Mondays,

11 Football Repacks,
10 TeenyMateys,
9 Basketball Cubes,
8 Pounds of Loosies,
7 Baseball Repacks,
6 Random Blasters,
5 Jersey Things,
4 Packs of Stuff,
3 UD Heroes,
2 Goodwin Blasters,
and a Baseball Gem of the Game!

As I looked through all of my potential 12 Days, I kept coming up with the conclusion that I had natural fits for Days 1-11.  I knew that I wanted to end on something cool, so I decided to hit up on cyber monday and pick up some fresh product.

Ultimately, I decided on 6 2013 Score/Prizm Monster Boxes, 4 2013 Turkey Red Football Packs, and 2 2013 Ace Authentic Grand Slam boxes.

Let's start with the monster boxes:

Each box comes with 5 Score packs, 2 Prizm Hobby packs, and 3 exclusive Prizm cards.  The exclusive cards are typically blue, but do have some rare parallels.

It worked out well as I knocked a number of Score cards off of my wantlist. I'm now down to needing 2 base cards and 21 rookie cards.

I also got some blue rookies...and red rookies:

Cobi Hamilton is not excited about either parallel.

I actually think these are pretty cool cards for a Score-like product.

This Aaron Dobson Hot Rookies Showcase #02/99 is the best Score card I got.

I landed two Hokies from my Prizm packs.

Rookies fall 1-per-pack.  Here are the 12 that I got:

The standard Prizm inserts aren't great.  The Brilliance cards are sub-brilliant with no Prizmy/refractory sheen.  The MNH cards are a good design, but just not exciting.  The Rookie Impact cards are pointless when Rookies are already just 1-per-pack.

These HRX just should have been left out.  If they aren't chromey, they don't belong in Prizm.

I got one Prizm refractor card in all of those packs.  Kaep has been really up-and-down, so I'm not sure how I feel with this being the best card in 12 hobby packs.

Let's get to the exclusive Prizm cards (3 per box)

I really like these.  Blue Prizms are hard to beat.

These aren't bad either.  Let's check the validity of the "Cornerstones" label:

Doug Martin: After a stunning rookie season, he has not been a Cornerstone.
Andrew Luck: Yes, very much so.
Tom Brady: Pretty much the definition of Cornerstone.
Russell Wilson: Many would say yes...I say the jury's still out.  When you have a defense and running game (yes I know he's a part of the running game) as effective as theirs, it's hard to say the QB is the Cornerstone.
RGIII: Not as long as Jay Gruden craps on him.
Calvin Johnson: As much a Cornerstone as a WR can be.
Jamaal Charles: Yes.
Colin Kaepernick: Not a Cornerstone, but has shown flashes.
Eli Manning: Nope, never was or will be.  The Giants have acted like he is one, but he's not.

So, Panini was 4-4-1.  Not great.

I've shown 17 cards, which means there must have been one that was a parallel:

Gavin Escobar purple parallel #09/49.

So, my monster boxes were a little underwhelming.  Not getting an auto in 12 Prizm hobby packs hurt a little.

Turkey Red Time:

Each Box/Pack has 11 cards.  One card per pack is an Auto, and one is a mini.  There are also image variations for some of the rookies, which are limited to ~100 copies.

Here's a base card.  It's not a terrible design, but isn't textured like older Turkey Red baseball sets.

Here are the minis: Jordan Reed, Ray Graham, Keenan Allen, Cordarelle Patterson.  That's actually a pretty good group of minis.  Certainly a better group than my four autos:

Da'Rick Rogers had one productive game for the Colts before being cut for a DUI.
Jesse Williams was on IR in 2013 and 2014 due to knee injuries.
Kenny Stills is actually decent.  Following a 600+ yard season in 2013, he's on pace for ~900 yards this season.
Blidi Wreh-Wilson has gotten significant playing time at corner for the Titans this year.

The best two cards I got were probably these two image variations:

Well, that makes for some more underwhelming boxes.  Let's hope the tennis boxes don't disappoint.

These boxes have 10 cards each, all autographed.  Base autos have color parallels.  There are also a few insert auto sets, and they also have color parallels.  The National Pride set is expecially nice.  I'm a big tennis fan (old readers would probably already know this) so I really wanted to bust some of these after watching some breaks on youtube.

This is what the base autos look like.  Pretty standard.  Sticker auto. Bogdanovic is a name I recognize, though he hasn't done much in his career.  The cards are pre-loaded into penny sleeves and toploaders, which should be standard for boxes with only 10 cards.

These are the unexciting autos, of which I expected a handful. Daniel Contet had an auto in almost every box break I watched.  Jimmy Wang is a funny name.

Now we're kicking things up a notch.  Berdych is a top-notch player currently ranked #7.  He's reached the Semis or Finals in all 4 Grand Slams, but just hasn't gotten over the hump.  It's hard to do when Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are your competition.

I got one base auto parallel.  This Waske #50/50 is pretty disappointing.

These Grand Slam Heroes cards are really nice.  Roy Emerson is a tennis legend.  He won 12 grand slam singles titles, 16 doubles titles, and 8 Davis Cups.

Vera Zvonareva is a decent name, as well.  She was ranked as high as #2 on the WTA tour.

These are the National Pride cards I love.  Great simple design.

Isner is a name most people will recognize as he's the top US Men's player right now.

Gonzalez is kind of a throwaway as he hasn't done anything in singles, and is only an average doubles player.

Ashley Harkleroad was a promising US player for a while but never quite broke through to the top ranks.  Feel free to google the rest of her story when you get home from work.  You won't be disappointed.

Vic Seixas is a name I hadn't heard before.  I'm surprised I hadn't as he was an American who won Wimbledon (1953) and the US Open (1954) as well as several doubles and mixed doubles titles.

I landed a bunch of numbered NP parallels, including this awesome Mark Woodforde #/50:

The Aussie teamed up with fellow Woodie Todd Woodbridge to make up one of the most successful doubles teams of all time.


Fernando Gonzalez of Chile was a Top Ten player for several years.  He made the Australian Open Final in 2007, but lost to Federer.

I was thrilled to pull this John Isner parallel #/20/25.  It's really an awesome looking card in person.

This Galina Voskoboeva parallel is #3/5, the lowest numbered card I got.  It's not the greatest name, but still pretty cool.

If you've been keeping count, you'll know that I've shown 19 cards.  I wanted to save the best card for last.  It's a perfect card to end the 12 Days of Cardmas.

Any time you open a box, you want the best.  Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Tiger Woods...those are the names you want. I wanted the best.

I got the best.

I pulled the GOAT.

Even the Federer base autos are extremely rare in this product.  I can't believe I pulled one.

Well, I'd certainly say that card is the star at the top of the Cardmas tree.

I hope you enjoyed this year's 12 Days of Cardmas.

Merry Cardmas!

Cardmas Carols Riddles #9 and #10



Monday, December 22, 2014

On the Eleventh Day of Cardmas, My Mistress Gave to Me...

11 Football Repacks,

10 TeenyMateys,
9 Basketball Cubes,
8 Pounds of Loosies,
7 Baseball Repacks,
6 Random Blasters,
5 Jersey Things,
4 Packs of Stuff,
3 UD Heroes,
2 Goodwin Blasters,
and a Baseball Gem of the Game!

Between Day 5, Day 7 and Day 8 (and probably all the other days) you likely thought I was insane.  Now you know for sure.  This happened on 11 different trips to Target.  Sure it's over like a 9-12 months or so, but still...turrible.  The red box guarantees an auto while the similar black box guarantees a jersey card.  The really sad parts is this is like $100 in repacks.  WTF.

Anyway, let's just take a look at the cards.

Said it once and I'll say it again: Jay Gruden is way way way more of a problem than RGIII.

I love those two-panel throwbacks, even when they're Stephen Hill.

Good job by the Buccaneers and Topps in making the LeGrand card happen.

That Roethlisberger cards is so Roethlisberger.

Terrible scan on the Freeman.

Ground and Pound is a fantastic insert set.

Flacco's SB run was legendary, so he has earned Heroes cards despite the rest of his career.

Eli was never the Wave of the Future unless Wave means Luckiest Average QB.

Koa Misi #888/999...which is kinda cool.

Hank Baskett #54/99...Google his latest news.

DeAndre Hopkins...really glad he's not still at Clemson.

Jack Ham...kinda embarrassed to say I hadn't heard of him.

Gale Sayers I have definitely heard of.

Sad that Jimmy Graham can't dunk over the crossbar any more.

Dobson #444/499

Everyone just loves pulling Hernandez cards now.

Woods #091/199.

Retro styled cards are one thing, but just reprinting rookies with no added flair is just stupid.

Not the greatest image for Luck's RC.

RGIII is black.  Seriously, that's a black parallel.

I love love love Hawaii themed Pro Bowl cards.  Hawaii is what makes the Pro Bowl unique, might as well play it up. Too bad it's in Arizona this year.

Bacarri Rambo...great name.

Xfractors are beautiful.

I love the 1986 Topps chrome retro styles.

I must say I've been really impressed with Reggie Bush's career.  Did not see it going the way it has.

Revis RC

Bo Orlando is a 1994 Topps Special Effects, which is something I didn't know existed.  Its silvery and has a superfractor-esque circle pattern, but isn't chrome.  Very nice, though.

The scan didn't do the Seau justice.

I really hate that Whitney's national anthem gets so much credit.  It was not that great of a rendition, and she sang into a dead mic while a recording played.  Screw that.

On a high note (pun intended) that Robert Edwards rookie is magnificent.

I now own one of 45,000 of that Eric Mahlum rookie.  Nanananabooboo.

Tim Tebow...complete player?

Travis Kelce is pretty much a d-bag.  Looks like his RC shows him taking one in the face.

The Gridiron Legends cards and the Legends in the Making are pretty nice.

We need more ref cards.

These two Ron Hellers were found consecutively in a pack of 1990 Fleer.  I didn't know there was 1 Ron Heller.  Apparently there were 2.  I know Freeman Heller was two people, but that's an obscure Smokin' Aces reference no one will probably get.

'80s Elway = Repack gold.

That Jerry Rice is a beauty.

The 2 Topps Laser cards were the "Bonus" item in two of the repacks. Pretty cool.

I love the Tallboys.

Phillippi Sparks Fleer card was the "Bonus" item in the third small repack.  Not much of a bonus.

Even a mini card of LT is scary.

Not as scary as Suh, though.  Dirty players are scary.

Finally, some cards for me.

Vick did bad things, but you can't deny that he's done much better with his second chance than most people do.  Those black Falcons jerseys were freakin' sweet.

Adibi and Ellis were nasty.

Ugly Press Pass card, but I like it since it has Ryan Williams.

I saw this thick card in the side of the repack packed in clear plastic, which is why I bought it.  It's actually a pretty cool card.

Here is the guaranteed relic:

Chad Henne...might not be the best QB out there, but he's still trucking along.

And the guaranteed auto:

Gage had a decent career but never really became a go-to receiver.

In addition to my guaranteed hits, I also pulled three more:


Mack is actually a Pro Bowl-caliber center for the Browns. Unfortunately he broke his leg this season, after never missing a snap in his career.

The Terminator is currently a fullback for the Jets.

I gotta admit I was surprised to pull two autos of guys who are currently playing.  Lineman and fullback aren't glorious positions, but both of these guys seem to be pretty good at their craft.

For those that were wondering, that's what 11 repacks gets you.  I'm sure you are all rushing out to buy them right now.

See you tomorrow for the final day.

FYI, it's going to have a pretty big finish.