Monday, December 30, 2013

Collector's Crack Super Bowl Contest Pimping

It is time for Super Bowl contests to start and Cynical Buddha has laid down the first challenge over at Collector's Crack, here is the link to his contest. Take a look, join up for your chance to win some cards.

I know it will not come as a huge surprise that I am rooting for my Seahawks. I am almost tempted to say they will be playing the Colts but here is my guess for his contest: Seattle Seahawks over New England Patriots, 40 total points and 2 turnovers.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Stocking Blaster Time II

This is the second half to yesterday’s post. I got a couple of Topps Chrome Football blasters in my stocking, along with some various packs of cards. So this closes out my Santa Claus pack break.
Would you believe that I have opened around 25 packs of 2013 Topps Chrome Football and I have pulled a limited number of base cards from my favorite teams. I have actually pulled as many photo variations (one) as Seahawks (Richard Sherman).
Three cards from the Seahawks and Cardinals
I did pull a Keenan Allen photo variation which is pretty cool
I think this David Wilson card is about the coolest photo in the entire set, a great shot by Topps.
A nice selection of Orange Refractors from the rack packs. At least I added another Seahawk and Cardinals player.
A Blue Wave Refactor of the 2013 #1 Draft Pick, Eric Fisher
A Purple Refractor of the top QB taken in the 2013 Draft, EJ Manuel
A Camo and Pink Refractor of two Top 20 drafted players

I pulled from 4 different insert sets plus a couple of relics, one per blaster. A double shot of Geno Smith plus a EJ Manuel mini. Between them they threw for 410 completions on 722 attempts (56.8%), 4,828 yards, 33 TDs and 30 INT. That gives them a combined 75.2 QB Rating.

The Bills were 6-10 last year, they are 6-9 heading in to the final game of the season versus Smith and the Jets. The Jets were 6-10 last season and are 7-8 heading in to the game against Buffalo. Needless to say, these two QBs do not compare with the top 2 QBs selected in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stocking Blaster Time

It is Boxing Day, so what better way to represent than to open a box of cards?
Ok, so it is not that type of box but since Santa included two blasters of Topps Chrome Football and one blaster of Topps Olympic in my stocking I will get to ripping packs today. First up is the blaster of 2014 Winter Olympics.

 I like the design which is very similar to the Topps Summer Olympic set from last year. What really grabbed my attention is the action shots, there are some amazing pictures in this set. I think if I were a fan of the Olympic Games I would probably pick up a hobby box and work to complete at least the base set.
The base set is made up of 100 cards and consist of athletes who will be on the 2014 U.S. Winter Olympic team, athletes who will be on the 2014 U.S. Winter Paralympic team and athletes who were expected to try out/compete for a position on one of the teams. Because the set was designed before the teams were finalized some athletes in the set may not be in Sochi. Each base card also has a parallel that is based on an Olympic medal; Bronze, Silver and Gold plus Rainbow. The base parallels are not numbered but the autograph and relic parallels are numbered.
With base card parallels I pulled almost 2 per pack; 1 Gold, 4 Silver and 8 Bronze. Here is one of each so you get an idea of what they look like, basically the logo in the bottom corner is a colored foil instead of the U.S. Olympic team logo.
I pulled two inserts
One Games of the Olympiad set: Erika Brown Curling

I do not know why but I am drawn to Curling, I don’t even know the rules but all of the action involved with tossing the stone down the ice just keeps my interest. Probably my inner ADHD getting the… oh look… a butterfly

One Venue of the Olympiad set: Iceberg Skating Palace
Did you know that the word “iceberg” is common to multiple languages including Russian and English? Now that Topps has informed me of this fact I now know and knowing is half the battle.
This location is where figure skating and short track speed skating will take place, it only takes coordinators 2 hours to convert the venue from one sport to the other, pretty speedy people.
I close out with a Hannah Kearney two-colored relic, not a bad way to end the break. Kearney won Gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games and is expected to repeat this February.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas To All

Merry Christmas
I hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Here Comes Santa Claus

Today is Christmas Eve, the big guy has done his prep work, the Naughty and Nice list has been checked twice and the sleigh is being loaded up for his annual trip around the world.
The story of Santa Claus is based on the Christian Saint Nicholas, who died in 343 AD. He was known to help children and their families, so he became a patron Saint of children. In the last 1,670 years his story has evolved and his appearance has changed. He is no longer seen as the Bishop of Myra but now a jolly old elf who laughs of in spite of himself.
Around the 1200s he became the “gift giver”, he then began to take on a more fictional-like appearance, larger than life and the long white beard. The Germans visualized a character with a red, fur-lined suit (though evil). In the 1800s he evolved even further to the point where we begin to recognize the Santa we all know now. The caricaturist Thomas Nast is credited with introducing the modern Santa in the late 1800s.
Santa Claus, while based on a real person, has become so mythical in stature that there is no single accurate description. Because of this I decided to sit down and take a look at some of my favorite popular culture depictions of Santa Claus, both good and bad.

Jolly St. Nick
5- The Grinch Santa (After his heart grew)

4- Rankin Bass Santa Claus

3-Tim Allen in the Santa Clause
2-Norman Rockwell Santa Claus (The Coca Cola version too)
1-Edmund Gween in the Miracle on 34th Street (1947 version)

Evil Bastard Santa
5-Robber Santa in Friday After Next

4- Billy Bob Thorton in Bad Santa
3- The Grinch Santa

2- Santa’s Helpers (Export Santa) in Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

1- Robot Santa Claus in Futurama
Dis-Honorable Mention
Greenpeace Santa


Monday, December 23, 2013

A Miser Brothers Card Set

Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, when you heard the music for the CBS Special Presentation intro you knew you were in for 60 minutes of pure animation magic. Unlike today’s near 24-hour running of Christmas specials on cable television from December 1st through the 25th, we considered ourselves lucky if we saw A Charlie Brown Christmas and one or two Rankin Bass Christmas shows so that music made our heart’s skip a beat.

Each kid had their own specials that they loved and because CBS would show only a handful of these specials during December we always hoped our favorite made the cut that year. My personal favorite has always been The Year Without a Santa Claus. Santa gets sick and decides that he is going to cancel Christmas, two elves (Jingle and Jangle) go down to Southtown. U.S.A. to find kids who have Christmas cheer. Hijinks occur and finally a deal is made with Mother Nature and her two sons Snow Miser and Heat Miser to allow snow to fall on Southtown on Christmas day and allow sunshine to warm up the North Pole to help Santa feel better.
I think this episode is my favorite for the sole reason of the Miser brothers, their singing and slapstick comedy is legendary for kids of all ages. They became so popular that Warner Brothers released a Miser Brothers Christmas sequel in 2008. I decided to honor the clay brothers with their own Miser Brothers trading cards.

Friday, December 20, 2013

To 75th Or Not 75th?

Topps recently released the Topps 75th Anniversary set, a 100-card set built around their non-sport sets from the 1960s through the 1990s. I have been taking a look at the autographs, specifically Roger Moore and Richard Kiel but I don’t know how I feel about the design. The autograph card has a 1/3 sized reprint of an original card on foil board with a sticker autograph. Not great but who doesn’t want to add James Bond or JAWS to their collection? The base autograph design is a simple foil but their are also Rainbow Foil (#/150) and Diamond Anniversary (#/75) parallels.
I will probably give in and buy the autographs if they are reasonably priced but I just wish the autograph design was better.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Do You Damage?

I have been wondering where other collectors stand on card damage. When it comes to a card that you are interested in adding to your collection, at what point do you disqualify a damaged card from your consideration?

Understandably there would be leniency for certain cards based on the age of the card or certain releases, an 1887 Allen & Ginters would obviously be viewed differently than a 2013 Topps Allen & Ginters card. When we talk about most modern releases we expect a perfect example to come out of the pack but if you were looking at a rare or limited card would you consider a lesser graded card just so you can add it to your collection?
Consider these two examples of T206 Ty Cobb (Green portrait)
PSA 7= $36,000
Ungraded damaged version= $550

Do damaged cards, worn cards or aged cards have a place in your collection?



Torn/Paper Missing

Bent Corner


Relic Missing

Pen or Pencil Marks

Pin Hole

Tape Stain

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Leaf Aquires Famous Fabrics

In an interesting announcement today Leaf has acquired Famous Fabrics from In The Game. Prior to the announcement, ITG, Famous Fabrics and Sportkings were owned by Dr. Brian Price. In The Game was a hockey only product, Sportkings was a universal sports collection and Famous Fabrics was the non-sports brand. Leaf is taking over Famous Fabrics as of today and agreed to complete all current projects, which based on the FF calendar includes Making of America and TV Scripts. 
Earlier this year Dr. Price made a move joining ITG, FF and SK as one company, he also announced a few months ago that ITG has applied for an NHLPA license. With the transfer of Famous Fabrics to Leaf Dr. Price stated that this was a strategic move which will allow his group to focus on their core business, hockey cards. I wonder if this means that Sportkings will be retired or sold off.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Nirvana Is Heading To Cleveland

Today Nirvana was selected as one of six inductees in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the others inducted; KISS, Hall and Oates, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens.
A lot of people can identify with specific music during a certain period in their life and with me Nirvana was my late teens-early 20s angst youth stage. By the time Bleach was released (1989) I was heading in to my Senior year of high school and most of my friends were listening to U2, REM, Beastie Boys or LL Cool J, I preferred the alternative music of Nirvana.
When Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic got together in 1987, out of high school, they started a band that would define a generation. Using the 1987 Fleer Baseball design seemed like the perfect way to honor the group.
Oddly enough, Kurt Cobain was so against “selling out” that I believe that if he were still alive today he probably would rather not get inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Panini Black Football Looking Decent

In January Panini is set to release 2013 Panini Black Football, a nice mid-range product. Each 12 card pack runs around $85 and includes 5 hits. Normally I am not a fan of posed shots but I like them used in this manor, it gave Panini the option to set up each card how they wanted them to appear. I like the mini jersey shadow box cards, they are a fun addition. On-card autographs make this a nice set to chase.