May 24, 2020

It's Cardpocalypse Sunday

Welcome back for week four of my blog re-launch contest. This week, the focus turns to MMA, wrestling, and non-sport content. Once again, a brief recap of the rules: nine cards will be posted every week. Each reader can place a claim on one card per week. Cards can be claimed by more than one reader. Claims serve as entry into the contest and must be made with an associated name(no anonymous or unknown). The claim period will be open until Monday night at 8pm EST. At the close of that period, I will enter a list consisting of 'reader-card claimed' pairings into a list randomizer. The reader/card combo at the top of the list after 7 rounds of shuffling will be the winner of the week's Cardpocalypse package. The winnings will include the card they claimed and some cards that will remain a mystery until the package is opened. Packages will be sent on Thursday each week. Readers can only win once during weeks 1-4. Week 5 will have multiple winners(number yet to be determined) and the four previous weekly winners will be eligible to enter again.

First up, some UFC cardboard.



Rose is /99, Joanna /125, and DJ /200.



Sasha is /150, Bayley /199 and HBK /299. Both mat relics are from he actual events(NXT Takeover Dallas for Bayley and Royal Rumble 2018 for Sasha).


I apologize that my non-sport game is kinda weak. We've got a sparkly Star-lord, The Flash in its foilboard glory, and a Willie Nelson relic.

In the words of 'Big' John McCarthy, 'Are you ready? Let's get it on!' 



The claiming period is open.

May 22, 2020

7 Day Trading Card Challenge - Day 2



Day 2 of the challenge: a card from a current year release with a unique photo.
I made this one tougher than I originally intended. How? Instead of selecting one card from any sport, I decided to show off one card from each sport! For some sports it was tough to pick a unique photo to go with while in others it was difficult to even find one.  I only own 2 of the 4 cards I'm going to feature, but I really like them all. So, even if you haven't opened much current year product, don't let it stop you from tackling this topic. Up first, baseball!

Stadium Club would usually be my 'go to' set to find unique photos on cardboard. Since this year's set hasn't been released(fingers crossed it doesn't get scrapped) yet, there's really only Topps flagship, Opening Day, Donruss, and some higher end products to choose from. Donruss and the higher end products don't really produce anything that fits this topic for me. Flagship contains some cool pics, but most of the really unique photos lie in the SP/SSP(SSSSP?!) section of the release. That narrowed my search to Opening Day. Since it's mostly a rehash of Flagship, I didn't really expect to find anything great here. However, when I went back and flipped through the packs I opened, a few really stood out. 



The Spring Has Sprung insert set contains some interesting views of the game that collectors don't get to see very often. This Juan Soto is my favorite of the 5 I've pulled. For me, there's something awesome about seeing a young star being instructed on one of the fundamentals of the game.


The card backs even detail what is happening on the front! I'd like to complete the set at some point, but it's probably going to be a passive exercise since my hobby energy is focused on other pursuits right now. Let's move on to football.



This is one of the ones I don't own. These days, I don't buy a lot of football, but what I have from current year products is all pretty boring. Yeah, some of them are shiny or sparkly but the pics are all pretty similar and don't really show anything resembling 'action'. This one doesn't knock my socks off, but compared to most of Panini's offerings, it's full of emotion which certainly makes it unique. NBA anyone?



Ditto everything I wrote about Panini football products here. Prizm and higher end products all have player silhouettes against some solid background that lends itself to creating the plethora of colored parallels that are all the rage these days. Even in NBA Hoops and Donruss, most of the images are pretty standard(dribbling, rebounding, holding the ball...). Even the action shots involving shots or dunks are from similar angles and really don't capture anything besides the player with the arena's rafters or roof in the background. Something about he composition of this one is cool. You can see George's eyes focused on the rim above and the crowd all decked out in orange serves as a much more interesting backdrop. It just feels alive. Let's close out by heading to the ice.



Let me just say that I miss Upper Deck's offerings in the other sports. Each year there are some really awesome pics on hockey cards! This is definitely one of my favorites from this year's product. The low angle along the goal line, the opposing player behind Bishop, and his teammates scrambling to make sure the puck is secure under his glove all make for an action packed image.

Looking back at all of these together, I suppose there is a common theme that ties these all together for me. They all bring the game to life. I don't have anything against a posed shot here and there, but they are becoming more and more prevalent. Even most of the 'action' pics these days are so mundane and repetitive. I'd love to see a movement from the card companies to incorporate more and more of these types of images across their various sets. Making these unique pics a regular fixture in packs would certainly make out hobby more interesting. Thanks for reading.

May 20, 2020

Challenging the Blogosphere

Sometimes inspiration strikes at the most unexpected moment. I have spent a lot of time over the past several weeks juggling in-office work, working from home, home schooling my two oldest daughters, and trying to come up with ideas for interesting blog posts in the additional time I've been afforded to spend on the hobby. Last week, my oldest was assigned a 'daily LEGO challenge' as an option for art. She was sharing the list of building themes with me and suddenly the light bulb in my head came on! I started brainstorming a blog challenge theme list. I realize this isn't a new concept. In fact, what I'm going to share is quite derivative of the 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge that was introduced by Tony from Off Hiatus Baseball Cards back in 2017 so I made sure to get his permission before reimagining it. He gave his blessing so I moved forward with the idea of creating topics that I want to write(and read) about. Most of these aren't ground breaking by any means but I hope at least one of these topics might generate some interesting back and forth within the community. If not, I'll still enjoy putting my opinion out there for all to see. Without further delay, I am throwing down the gauntlet to everyone in our hobby community(blogosphere,Twitter-verse, etc).



Feel free to share(if you're so inclined) and make this your own. I'm just throwing some ideas out there. Post on a daily/weekly/monthly schedule, modify topics to fit your specific collecting preferences, or pick just one topic to write about. Have fun with it. Should you choose to participate in the challenge, please share links to your posts/tweets so the community can follow along. I'd love to add to my blogroll or follow some 'new-to-me' accounts.

Day 1 - Favorite card acquired during quarantine 
I understand that this may be a topic that some aren't able to participate in for various reasons. If that describes you, please don't let it keep you from tackling this list. Use day one as a wildcard or skip it altogether. For me, continuing to acquire cards in various ways has been an important source of escapism for me. I've completed several trades and purchases since North Carolina's stay at home order went into effect. My favorite of all the cards I've picked up so far is actually the first one that arrived during this period.



Historically speaking, I haven't made a habit of seeking autographs from actors. However, this one has been on the non-baseball version of my Cardboard Wishlist for quite some time. Trust me, it's definitely not because I am a Game of Thrones fan. I am a fan of the annual World's Strongest Man competition and 'Thor' here has been one of top contenders for the better part of a decade. He has been one of my favorite non-American competitors for just as long. During my time away from the blog, I started to piece together a strongman collection. I've made some good progress on that and will show off some more of it in the future. Since WSM card sets don't exist(that I know of), the only Björnsson cards I've been able to find come from the various GoT sets. I've seen 3-4 different autos from those sets on the market, most at prices I haven't been willing to pay. This design and photo selection was the one I really wanted to track down. Aside from the large series title splashed across the front, you wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't a sports card. The other designs picture him in armor or with gashes on his face. I jumped at the chance to pick this copy up as soon as I got the eBay search notification. Why? First, the price was right. Even better than the palatable price tag was the fact that it's a full name signature. Many of the autos I have seen are signed 'Thor Björnsson'. Prior to seeing this one, I had only seen one other example of his full signature on eBay(though a quick search as I write this comes up with more than a handful of to choose from). I'm happy to cross this card off of my wishlist and it gave me the perfect opportunity to introduce a new part of my collection to the blog!

There you have it, day one is in the books for me. The challenge has been issued.



Thanks for reading.

May 18, 2020

The Week Three Winner is....

The final buzzer has sounded on their week's claiming period! Thank you to the 7 readers that participated this week. The basketball contest edged out last week with just over an hour left.



Here is the list pasted into the box, ready to be shuffled.


Here is the screenshot of the list after 7 rounds. Remember that the time stamp on the randomizer is set at UTC(Coordinated Universal Time) which is 4 hours ahead of EST. This week's winner is The Diamond King! The Rick Barry relic will be headed your way. I have a challenging few days ahead of me preparing a prize pack for someone I haven't traded with in the past. It's gonna be fun! You are not eligible to enter in week 4, but I hope to see you back here for 'Anything Goes' week 5. Please let me know the best way to reach out to you regarding your address. 

Check back here this coming Sunday to see the variety of MMA/wrestling/non-sports cards that will be up for grabs in week 4. Thanks for reading.

May 17, 2020

Cardpocalypse, Basketball Style

Welcome back for week three of my blog re-launch contest. This week, we focus on basketball. Once again, a brief recap of the rules: Nine cards will be posted every week. Each reader can place a claim on one card per week. Cards can be claimed by more than one reader. Claims serve as entry into the contest and must be made with an associated name(no anonymous or unknown). The claim period will be open until Monday night at 8pm EST. At the close of that period, I will enter a list consisting of 'reader-card claimed' pairings into a list randomizer. The reader/card combo at the top of the list after 7 rounds of shuffling will be the winner of the week's Cardpocalypse package. The winnings will include the card they claimed and some cards that will remain a mystery until the package is opened. Packages will be sent on Thursday each week. Readers can only win once during weeks 1-4. Week 5 will have multiple winners(number yet to be determined) and the four previous weekly winners will be eligible to enter again.

I have really appreciated the participation and interaction throughout the first few weeks. Entry numbers were down last week which I expected considering the switch from baseball to football. As we move on to basketball this week, will we see an increase in numbers? Will there be more than week one? Time will tell. Let's see what's up for grabs this week.



Let's start with some ink and a relic.



Durant is /25.



Carter/Edwards is the single side refractor(VC) variety, Dominique is a bronze refractor, and Richmond is the gold parallel.

Best of luck to all, the claiming period tips off now!