September 23, 2016

Single Card Post - Finishing Ferrell

I was recently reminded that as much as I enjoy trading with fellow members of the cardsphere, local trades still have their place. Well over a year after the set was released, I can finally cross the final 2015 Archives Will Ferrell card that I needed off my list.

This trade was far more labor intensive than most that I've conducted over the past few years, but having this in hand was worth the effort. In the long run, it 'cost' me around 12 or 13 various 2016 base singles that my local trading partner needed for his own set building purposes. Considering the fact that I'm not really working on completing any 2016 set except Stadium Club, it was a small price to pay to finalize one of my favorite(if gimmicky) inserts of last year. Thanks for reading.

September 21, 2016

HOFer Replacement Saga - part 1 The Journey Begins

I am a procrastinator at my core. When you team that up with juggling three kids 6 and under, you get a blog that falls silent for almost an entire month. The guilt that I am feeling for once again being so far behind in scanning, writing up, and posting trade packages coupled with an additional dose of guilt at being behind in sending out trade packages to fellow Supertraders or any of my other great trade partners led to my temporary(and unplanned) leave from our community. I stayed as active in reading and commenting as I always do, but every time I had a few moments to sit and write, I just couldn't seem to wrap my head around a single topic and I ultimately focused my energies elsewhere in the hobby. Fortunately, some of that energy has been spent packaging stacks to send to trade partners. Slowly but surely through the last few months of the year, trade packages will roll out to everyone that I currently owe and to others 'just because'. To everyone that has sent packages and have yet to receive a return, thank you for your patience. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of our incredibly generous community and hope that I have not damaged any of he relationships I've formed to this point. Cardboard will be on the way, I promise. I can only hope that it will be viewed as worth the wait.

Okay, now that I have said all of that, let's get to a topic I've been meaning to write about since the beginning of the year. See how the procrastination theme rears its ugly head once again? Late last year, I purchased a blaster of 2015 Topps Update. In the 'bonus' pack I was lucky enough to shatter the odds and pull an auto/relic combo #/5 instead of the standard manu-relic, First Home Run medallion.

As you may or may not recall from my original write up about this, my excitement immediately turned to frustration as I examined the card a little closer.

There was a large crease on the front surface...

...and there was significant damage to two of the edges. At the time, I was on the fence about what I would do. In the mean time, I have spoken to Topps Customer Support on two separate occasions regarding the return/replacement process. I completely understand that I will have no chance of getting this card back. There are only 5 and I'm sure that none of those were marked as replacements. My big concern has been that this card is so rare that there hasn't been any comparable card sales to allow them to determine an 'equal value' for the replacement card they send. Neither of the conversations put my mind at ease so I continued to procrastinate sending the card in. Well, here we are in mid-September. Heritage High Numbers just released and this year's version of Update will be following in about a month. With the deadline for submitting for replacements quickly approaching, I decided to just jump through all of the hoops and just send it in.

The box with proof of purchase...

...the pack wrapper, receipt and the card...but wait that's not all they require. I also had to complete a missing hit/damaged card request form and write a letter that described the situation.

There it is all packaged up and ready for the PO. I have no idea what to expect from this venture. How long will it take? How happy/disappointed will I be in the replacement card they send? What type of communication should I expect from Topps? I have no clue. I intend to post at least one more update on this situation, but that is subject to change depend ending on how the process goes. 

Have any of you gone through this process before? Was it relatively painless or was it a nightmare? What was the final resolution - were you happy with the replacement you received? I would love to hear any stories you have to share. Thanks for reading.

August 22, 2016

Chrome-y Topps Star Wars - TFA

A few days ago, while looking for some Chrome Baseball at an out-of-town Target, I found these:

I had to pick up a few to see what they were like.

Pack 1:

Base cards are exactly like the regular version, but given the Chrome treatment which is great if you like Chrome(like I do).

Found this insert, not too shabby.

I found a refractor too! These are incredibly cool because they look more like the various 'wave-style' refractors that have been found in Bowman Chrome the past few years. They're not numbered, but they look so dang cool, they don't have to be!

Pack 2:

I was a bit bummed that of the 4 base cards in the pack, two were already dupes for me.

Another insert. This one doesn't do anything for me at all. I'm not a huge fan of these behind the scenes cards, at least not his one.

Though you can't really tell in the scan, this was another refractor. I really like these. Too bad it would be incredibly difficult to put together the refractor set...

Overall, a nice product. I may have to snag a Hobby box since there are Daisy Ridley(Rey) autos in there. Who knows, I could get lucky and pull one, right? Thanks for reading.

August 21, 2016

An Olympic Edition Single Card Post Sunday

A quick one time return of the Single Card Post Sunday in honor of the Olympic Closing Ceremonies tonight. I've had a blast watching as many events as possible over the past two weeks. I found a blaster of the Topps Olympic set and was fortunate to pull this out of it:

That is a Team USA patch of four-time gold medalist(5 overall), Simone Biles numbered #/99. I figured it would be a great time to show this one off since she will be the US flag bearer during said Closing Ceremonies. The only downer is that it came out of the pack with a crease that is kinda visible down the edge of the relic closest to the pic of Simone. Probably won't try to get it replaced, just cool to have a card like this of one of our most dominant athletes. Anyone have any favorite Olympic moments to share or are you happy they are over for another four years? Thanks for reading.

August 16, 2016

My National Baseball Card Day Experience

I know I'm late to the party, but I'm finally getting around to writing about my NBCD haul from this past Saturday. I've been excited to see so many fellow bloggers that were able to participate and have enjoyed reading about everyone's experience. I truly hope that this becomes an annual event from Topps. In the days leading up to the big day, I did my homework about the rules and had a plan to maximize my returns. I convinced my wife to come out to the shop with me along with my daughters. I figured this would net me four packs since I was certain that hey wouldn't give one out for my 8 month old. I also planned to snag a few jumbo packs of Topps Chrome to get me over the $20 mark. Somewhere I thought I had read that there would be a limit of 2 Bryant cards per purchase. We arrived at the shop about 15 minutes after they opened and I was surprised to find we were the only customers in the store. I joked with the sole employee a out the lack of a rush and he curtly replied to me that they had just opened. When I tried to explain I figured there might be a bunch of people out for NBCD, he shrugged his shoulders and said 'yeah, well...' and he kept sorting whatever he was sorting. I inquired about the shop's rules for the day instead of assuming that my plan would go the way I thought it would. Boy, am I glad I did that... He laid a single pack on the counter(telling me it was one free pack per person) and told me that the Bryant and the one-touch case were available with a $10 purchase. I asked if there was a limit and if there were particular products that qualified. He snapped at me that it was one Bryant per person and it must be brand new Topps Baseball. I grabbed a single jumbo Chrome pack and walked around the counter to pay. He told me the total and I paid. At this point, my two oldest daughters were standing next to me at he register and my wife was a few feet away pushing the 8minth old in her stroller. He bagged the Chrome pack and handed me a copy of the Bryant and reached back for the one-touch. I opened it and put the Bryant in it to protect it while in transit. At that point, he was done with us. So, I began asking my daughters(loudly) if they were going to ask the man for their pack of cards. They were being shy and my comment did nothing to move the guy to hand them a few additional packs. I ended up having to explicitly ask him if they could get packs too. He said 'yeah...'with a deep sigh and said one per child. He placed two more packs on the counter as my wife walked up behind us pushing the stroller. He guy just went about his business and I decided to just walk out instead of pushing for a pack for my wife as well. I mean, after all, I didn't want to seem greedy. Honestly, I was a bit perturbed by he whole experience, but I appreciated that we were able to participate in the day's festivities. It wasn't until I had read so many others' experiences that were so much more positive that I really got frustrated by the whole thing. So, I'm sorry that you've read my rant because had I been able to write this post on Saturday as I intended, it would have read completely different. Well, let's get to the purpose of the day shall we? Free cardboard!!! I had  shrewdly set aside some non-sports packs that I knew my daughters would like to rip so hat I could trade for their NBCD packs since neither of them are into sports cards(yet).

Pack one:

This was the first one he put on the counter, so I guess it was technically 'my' pack. Nothing Earth shattering for me in here, but I really like the design and there are some seriously heavy hitters(and pitchers) in there.

Pack two:

For me, a little less wow overall, but at least there's former Durham Bull Evan Longoria and an Arenado in here.

Pack three:

It was probably my favorite of the three packs. Lindor is solid, I kinda collect Sale, it's always nice to pull an Arrieta these days, and I was thrilled that Ichiro was in the middle of the pack. So, no disappointment at not pulling an auto and I was happy there were no dupes.

There's my purchase necessary card which I'll definitely need since I'm going to try to complete the set. Btw, if anyone out there has any that don't fit into your collection, I'd love the chance to make a trade for them. Send me a message and help me finish this set if you're interested.

The jumbo pack of Chrome was just frosting on the 'free pack' cake.

A Maeda RC and that Mazara insert were nice ways to start things off. I honestly would have been happy if they were the best pulls to come out of the pack.

That's a Hamels refractor, an Escobar prism-y refractor, and the refractor parallel of the Eickhoff rookie auto(#/499). That some pretty decent frosting! Here's looking forward to NBCD 2017!!! Thanks for weathering the early post rant and thanks for reading.

August 9, 2016

National Baseball Card Day Details

It seems like forever since the announcement of Topps' reincarnated National Baseball Card Day back in February. At the time no further details were available. It's even been weeks since the official date was announced with no further details provided. Here we are less than a week removed from the NSCC and finally some real details are trickling out. This Saturday, August 13 is the big day. According to what I can find, collectors can pick up free, 6 card packs from participating hobby shops. The set consists of 49 cards which can be found in packs with a 50th card available with a qualifying purchase. Here is a look at that 'purchase required' card of none other than Kris Bryant.

I like the design well enough though it seems a bit reminiscent of mid to late 2000's Upper Deck. I'll definitely be trying to make it out to my not-so-local card shop to grab a few packs. For a much more detailed account of what to expect, check out this post from Blowout Buzz or this article directly from Topps. To everyone who  has a participating shop remotely close to them, let's get out there to show support for this event. Thanks for reading.

August 5, 2016

Celebrating the Games of the XXXI Olympiad

This evening the Opening Ceremonies will officially kick off the Rio Olympic Games. I remember watching the summer games every four years going back as far as the 1984 LA Games. At the time I was too young to understand how the political climate impacted those games. I was captivated by the grand scale of the event which was supplemented by the excitement of having family that lived in LA. Ever since, I have actively followed as many events as possible during the fortnight. So, as I anxiously await the Opening Ceremonies and the swimming events that will follow tonight, I want to share some Olympic themed cardboard.

On my many trips to the local Target, I've seen these sitting on the shelf. In previous incarnations, the blasters had promised an auto or relic. This year there is no mention of a guaranteed 'hit' so I opted to drop a few dollars on two loose packs from a freshly opened box.

Here are some highlights. There are silver, bronze, and gold(not shown) medal parallels for each base card. I think he design is pretty clean and I like the Team USA across the top. The inclusion of Paralympic athletes is one of the best things about the set for me. In recent years, I've done my best to follow along with those games as well. While I didn't pull any of the big names like Phelps or any of the basketball squad, I did pull this:

Franklin won 4 gold medals and a bronze in London four years ago and is one of the favorites for gold again. I mean, she's the cover girl of the product! Definitely a decent pull from a loose pack. Moving from the mainstream to the oddball, we have a set that could be found on the backs of cereal boxes in 2012 featuring 'Team Kellogg's'.

Here are six of the eight cards in the set.

Here are the final two that round out the set. Each box of this:

...contained a complete set on the back. At the time, I had no idea that there were cards of any kind on these boxes, but I was lucky enough to find a set in pretty good shape on Listia for next to nothing. I've got other Olympic themed cardboard that I may share as the games proceed, but for now I hope you enjoyed these. I'm going to go get ready to watch the Opening Ceremonies. Go Team USA! Thanks for reading.