Ok, maybe this post isn't really going to be about the 'hottest card in the world'. It will be about a really cool addition to my non-sports collection though. I was never a huge KISS fan. I enjoyed their music, but didn't really make an effort to seek it out. Just about 16 years ago(I can't believe it's been that long), I had a co-worker whose significant other was a huge fan. I'm talking follow them around to shows and trading copies of the Instant Live concert CDs with other fans so he could get one of each show on the tour. I happened to be chatting with my co-worker and found out that they would be playing in Raleigh during the summer of '04. I made a passing comment about being interested in seeing them live someday to see what all of the hype was about. Then I promptly forgot about the conversation. About a month later when tickets went on sale, I got a text asking if I wanted to go to the show with them. The price seemed reasonable so I agreed. They ordered my ticket with theirs and I paid them back. When I went to the show, I was blown away! I only knew about half of the songs, but the entertainment value of the performance was off the charts. I walked out of the show with one of those Instant Live CDs of the show and a new outlook on/appreciation for the band.
Fast forward to early last year. A friend of mine was preparing to move from NC to CA and she was going through her stuff to figure out what she was selling and what would make the cross country trip with her. She knew I was an avid music fan and asked me if I was a KISS fan. I told her that I really enjoyed the one show I went to and that I listened to my copy of that show and a few of their albums regularly. She told me she had a huge collection of KISS items that she had decided to part with before relocating. She sent some pictures and asked if I was interested in buying it all. There were vinyl albums, CDs, shot glasses, action figures, and some cards from the '70's. I told her I'd be interested in the cards, but not the rest. She was disappointed at the prospect of trying to find a buyer, so I offered to reach out to the friend that took me to the show back in '04. I hadn't been in touch for several years, but after the niceties of catching up, I told him I knew of a large collection that I thought he may be interested in. Hi so interest was piqued so I sent the pics of the collection his way. After facilitating several messages back and forth between these friends, I ended up brokering a sale, delivering the collection, and serving as an intermediate in the payment process. I had planned to pay for and pick up the cards I was interested in while delivering the collection's sale price to my friend. However, when I met up with her, she handed me a box and told me that she was gifting me the cards as a token of her appreciation for my help in selling the collection. I told her the gesture was appreciated, but not necessary. Despite my insistence that I pay her for the cards(so I could contribute to her moving fund), she refused. She insisted that I had already done more than my part. I thanked her and tried to contain my curiosity about what exactly was in that box. I had assumed that, at most, she had a few dozen cards from the different late '70's sets. Instead, when I finally had the chance to open the box, it contained the complete 132 card Donruss set from 1978 and 2 sealed blasters of KISS 360, a product which was released by Press Pass in 2009. The contents were a pleasant surprise to say the least.
I was thrilled about the complete set and quite surprised to have a few packs to rip in addition. I had no idea what to expect from the packs besides a fun rip and maybe a little bit of band history. What I found was so much more!
There were some cool inserts and 'blood splatter' parallels to be found. Snapshots is an insert printed on acetate and has a film cel look about them. I'm a sucker for a good acetate insert set! Transformation uses lenticular technology to show how a band member morphs into their stage persona from their everyday look. I included one of the blood splattered parallels in the scan for completeness. In addition to the awesome inserts, I ended up with a complete base set. The blasters had one more huge surprise beyond all of that...
Towards the middle of the second blaster, I came upon this piece of awesomeness! The signature is cut from a larger piece of heavy paper stock(I'm sure used to collect all of the autos needed for the set at once) and isn't as clean as it could be, but none of that changes how incredible it felt to pull an auto of Gene Simmons! Looks like I got the best! This was one good deed that ended up going unpunished. In fact, it turned out to have a 'hot' reward! Thanks for reading.