Sunday, September 8, 2013

Catching Up

As I have mentioned in the past I came back to the hobby this year after about a decade away. I didn't leave because of disillusionment with the industry as some have stated as their reason. Life just got in the way. But now that I'm back I am slowly catching up on the years I missed, thanks to some help from the awesome people at Dave and Adam's Card World. As they were holding a Labor Day sale I thought it a great time to order a few boxes. This time I got a 2008 Topps S1 jumbo box, 2009 A&G blaster, 2010 Topps Update Jumbo box, four packs of 2012 Gypsy Queen, 2012 Goodwin Champions blaster and a 2013 Panini USA Champions hobby box. Since I'm sure pretty much all of these sets have been covered to death I will only show you the hits and other highlights. I won't show anything from the Goodwin Champions blaster as there was nothing special inside. It is an interesting product but not something I would pay money for (it was my free gift for spending enough money).

2008 Topps Series 1 jumbo box - 1 auto/1 relic guaranteed

I probably could not have pulled an auto from a less successful player than Lance Broadway. Just looking at the list of players that signed that I couldn't have. He doesn't even pitch anymore. Apparently he's an actor now and was in "Olympus has Fallen". I picked up that movie from Redbox a few weeks ago on a whim and had no idea that it had a former MLB pitcher in the cast. It wasn't a very good movie.

Well Schilling is not so bad I guess.

All in all this was a rather disappointing jumbo box. The "box topper" was nothing more than an official Topps sticker to signify that you've completed the series 1 set. Yay.... I don't particularly like the base set either with the facsimile signatures on the cards. Makes it look weird for actually getting it signed by a player via TTM or at a game. Oh well it was "relatively" cheap...moving on...

2010 Topps Update jumbo box - 1 auto/2 relics guaranteed

Topps Chrome rookie refractor Mike (Giancarlo) Stanton

Now that's a better box topper!

Johnny Cueto auto, not bad. 

Paul Konerko MLB All-Star Stitches Gold Parallel 02/50

Now we're talkin!

Jimmie Foxx Manu-bat relic Black Parallel 24/25

Yeah! Every jumbo box from this set has a manu-relic and most of them are the regular brown manu-bat's. The black parallel is seeded 1:48 packs so about 1 in every 5 jumbo boxes. Not bad. This particular card is listed on COMC at $60.45 and while I doubt I could get that much for it I would definitely be interested in selling it or trading.

This box turned out a lot better than the 2008 box as far as hits go. But I was a little dumbfounded by the collation. Obviously when you have a 330 card base set you're going to get quite a few duplicates in a jumbo box, and I did. But I had quite a few insert dupes as well including two gold parallels of Jaime Garcia. Seems like someone at Topps wasn't fully into their job that day when this box was packed up.

2009 Allen & Ginter's blaster

Ding ding ding!!! I seem to be having a lot of luck lately with pulling hits out of non-flagship set blasters.

A plain old Jed Lowrie mini you say? I thought so too when I was busting the packs. It wasn't until I was going back through everything this afternoon deciding what to scan that I realized that this was an unnumbered parallel hand numbered 15/50. First time I've pulled one of these. Cool!! I guess I should have scanned the back but I didn't think about it at the time.

2012 Gypsy Queen

Mike Schmidt framed blue parallel 165/559

The only card of note from the GQ packs but I'm ok with that cause I love the set as a whole.

2013 Panini USA Champions - 2 autos/3 relics guaranteed

I really didn't know what to expect with this box as the only Panini product I had previously bought was a few packs of 2012 Prizm, which I liked. Dave & Adam's had it steeply discounted despite it being a 2013 product so I was a little skeptical. But I found it hard to resist the prospect of 5 hits at the price offered so I bit.

Joe Carter Legends Die-cut 089/699

Frank Thomas Legends Die-cut Mirror Red 198/299

Kyle Robeniol Certified Mirror Red 268/499

Kyle Farmer Game Gear Relic

Randal Grichuk Game Gear Relic

Michael Wacha Game Gear Relic

Christian Arroyo Certified Auto 290/299

C'mon man keep it on the sticker...

Kevin Davis Certified Auto 150/299

Zach Green Stars & Stripes Auto 661/855

So...I'm not sure about USA Champions. I like the design of the cards except for the die-cuts which aren't creative and actually cut off some of the text on the back. But I do have one huge beef and that is, yet again, collation. The base set is 187 cards. The box has 24 packs with 8 cards in each (ish..which I'll get to in a minute). So with this being a set that doesn't have many insert subsets I feel like I should have come away with maybe 75-80% of the base set and no duplicates. But instead I have about 30 duplicates out of the base set. Disappointing, Panini...disappointing. They did make up for it a bit by throwing in an extra auto than what was guaranteed so I won't grumble too loudly...except that I have another beef. Half of the packs in the box were thicker and heavier than the other half. 3 of those 12 packs contained a relic card. Cool. The other 9 packs contained a thick, plain white piece of cardboard in addition to the other 8 cards. It's like Panini is playing mind games with collectors. They want to make you think you have a pack with a relic in it then you find out that you've been fooled. I feel like that is a dirty trick to play on collectors. If you're buying a whole box like I did then its not such a big deal. But what about a 10 year old kid who has saved his allowance to buy some cards? He gets his hopes up cause he thinks he's got a relic, then..NOPE!! Just a plain old piece of cardboard. Great way to treat your customers there Panini. I much prefer Topps' method of replacing a couple normal cards with the thicker relic card so that it's a mystery and a complete surprise when you pull it.

Anyhow, I quite enjoyed breaking these boxes and busting all the packs. Always good to catch up and fill in some of my collection too. 

Until next time, happy collecting!

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