Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ebay's Great Moments : a McDonald's special

Once upon a time, I saw that card :

And I immediately knew I had to have it (cardboard love at first sight is a very common occurrence with me. I'm a card slut). And I found out it came from that set :

A 36 card set distributed through McDonald's, where you were allowed to purchase foil packs for 45 cts if you bought...Well, junk food, I suppose. The set has three distinctive parts : first, the great moments in club history, from 85 (first championship) to 92 (first American league pennant). Then, the 92 playoffs and World Series. And finally, the starting lineup (minus pitchers). And I think they look all kinds of great. The almost full bleed for the World series cards, the gold foil, the design (ok, maybe not the McDonald's logo), the blue borders for the 85-92 moments, everything works well. And the photo selection is really solid, especially for a Donruss product. They even went horizontal a few times.

I hadn't pulled the trigger yet because each card was either a couple of dollars on Comc, or a complete set would go for $8 to $15 plus shipping ($10) on ebay. Not my priority. But when I saw a listing for one (yes, one) cent (yes, cent) + shipping, I figured I might as well give it a go. And to my big surprise, I was the only bidder. It made me almost feel bad for the seller, but hey, why would you put an entire 36 card set with a 1 cent starting bid ? Shipping charges were 900 times the winning bid, which was fine by me. So thank you, mister ebay seller, for allowing me to add that nice piece of history (well, of Blue Jays history, that is) to my collection, at a very low, reasonable price.

Maybe now I can find 1 ct complete sets with free international shipping...

2015 Topps Jumbo Group Break

I'm pretty sure all those who read my blog also read Nacho Grande's, but just in case : he's hosting a jumbo case break (yep, a whole case of jumbo packs !) for next week's Topps flagship release.

I usually keep away from group breaks, as there hardly are any potential interesting Blue Jays hits that would justify spending extra money (and extra shipping costs to have the cards sent to France) instead of just cherry picking what I need. But this one looked like a lot of fun, and I'm very excited about this year's product. This will be my first box break ever. I'm really going full throttle on that whole blogosphere experience thing !

In any case (see what I did there ?), there are still some slots open, and the boxes have already been ordered, so let's fill up that group break !


Monday, January 26, 2015

The vintage road more traveled

You know what ? I'm really stating to like the way my collection is headed. That is to say : I have no idea where. It's frustrating that I don't have a LCS or card shows to attend where I could just browse and browse and pick up countless pieces of cardboard that I just like and also be overwhelmed at the sheer quantity of things that exist. But at least, now, there's the internet. It's tougher to find things at random, unless you spend your entire day looking at ebay auctions (and I spend enough time over there as there is), but from time to time, things will catch my eye.

Such as this vintage Bowman lot. I don't really care for modern day Bowman (modern day starting with their 89 set), but I do love their older sets (ok, maybe not the 1955 Tv set. Then again, it's so ugly, it might just grow on me).

So yeah, you guessed it, this was a vintage Bowman Yankees lot. There's a fifth '50 Bowman I didn't scan, and I won the auction for $14. Considering the middle two are low numbered (I understand those are tougher to find, and Beckett lists them at *cough* $80 each (in Mint condition, of course, but still)), I see it as a good deal. The 1953 black and whites are the first ones I see from that set. I find it strange that they'd issue two sets, one in black and white and one (gorgeous) in color, but I do like the way they look. Though at the time, they must have seemed a little boring.

Seems saddly fitting for me to receive this card only a few days after his passing. I absolutely love it, and copies can be found relatively cheap. I got mine, off-centered and a little bit creased, for $7.

And sometimes I'll also stick to my guns and to my main collection and add cards that I find semi-interesting. I was surprised at how thick those Five Star cards are.

So there you go, some more randomness ! Can't wait to travel more of that same road.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

First of many to come

Some new ebay pickups, including some very firsts for my collection. Because sometimes, it's nice to explore new grounds. Familiar cardboard grounds, but still !

My very first 1934 Goudey ! Those look awesome and sharp, I need more. I have no idea who Oscar Melillo is, I haven't done my homework yet.

My very first vintage Yogi ! I'm planning on adding as many of his as possible. Got this lighlty worn and off centered one for $12, which is affordable enough.

Not my first Clemente, but a nice one anyway. Got it for the same price as the Berra, and with the same seller.

My very first '50 Bowman ! Terribly off centered also, but that's what you get when you're very cheap on your first date.

My very first Kirby RC

This is actually my second Overbay Sweet Spot auto. I loved the one Matt (from Bob Walk the plank) so much that I decided to find as many as possible.

As I was saying...totally random ones from players I don't really care about, but those cards just have a feel to them that really appeal to me.

And finally, my very first 86-87 Fleer (a mythical set, for those who know nothing about basketball cards. Then again, you probably saw the Jordan from that set. A card I'll never, ever add to my collection, considering its price-tag). Off centered, but very sharp.

So there you go for a very quick post. Like every first time, I suppose...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Holographic memory

In the beginning there was darkness. Then came light. And then, of course, came....HOLOGRAMS !

yeah, sometimes I obsess over things.

When Upper Deck stormed onto the card scene in 1989, it brought this little hologram counterfeit-proof diamond with it. Along with hologram team logos of various sizes, just so we'd go ooooh and aaaaah when tilting them just right under the light. And then, there were the inserts.

For obvious reasons, those will not scan well, but you know what ? I don't care. My love for holograms goes beyond technical difficulties. You'll just have to imagine the depth and colorfulness of these cards. Or you can tilt your computer screen (or Ipad or smartphone) towards the light. And oooh and aaaah with me.

My very first. Pulled from a pack of 91-92 Upper Deck. The surface is so scratched, it shows it had a good life and saw the light a lot.

I do not collect football cards.  Ok, some Giants and Warren Moon cards, but absolutely no Bills. Yet, somehow, that card ended up in my collection.

The one major sport I collect even less than football, is hockey...I have absolutely no recollection of where that card is from. Maybe I picked it up at a card shop 20 years ago, I dunno.

The first Then and Now I was talking about yesterday. That set is sooooo perfect.

One of the more colorful I know : 1994 Denny's. I feel I could just jump into that card.

One of my all time favorite cards. Well, if you can still call that a card, considering it's a jumbo one. It felt like that holographic Griffey would look at me from any angle. It made me feel special.
Yes, I was a very lonely kid.

 Then again, those 3D portraits were kind of creepy.

I've cherished that boxed set for over 20 years. Bought it for $12 (yes, I remember the price, it was steep for me at the time) only because it contained 36 holograms. It's even serial numbered to....hmmm...138 000. Gotta love the 90s.

Probably comes from the same type of boxed set, but this time with baseball. I need more of these.

Showed it already, but come on, HOLOGRAPHIC MASCOT !

Great looking Griffey card.

One of the last holograms I pulled, a few months ago. Maybe one of the last made, too, as it's from 96.

Why they'd show a hologram of Shawn Kemp on a Ward card, I don't know...

French holograms ! They also exist in the US version, of course, but they were easier to find in our pcks.

Nobody remembers Terry Mills, but he doesn't care, he was featured on a HOLOGRAM CARD !

So there you go, most of my hologram collection, minus those I've showed off already on the blog. I don't know what happened, but they all but disappeared after 96/97.

They are the Keyser Sözes of sportscards. And like that....they're gone.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

J'aime Jem and the Holograms

Last month, Comc.com offered free shipping for a limited time. Since I usually buy cheap cards, a $3 flat shipping, even though it's a great deal, will keep me from just pulling the trigger on a dozen cards or so. That time, I figured I might as well just pick a few cards, and the first that came to mind were....HOLOGRAMS !

I've already expressed my love for those a lot of times, and I suppose the love comes from the fact that they were the first inserts I got while opening packs of 91-92 Upper Deck basketball. Or it's simply the fact that they look insanely cool.

I now own half the set. It's time to add all the missing ones to my comc cart.
Hold on.

Next up, the 1996 Pinnacle Denny's set. Including full motion action shots. How amazing is that ? In 96, I was back in France and my only window on the hobby was my monthly Beckett. It was the only way for me to know about what cards existed, since I didn't have the Internet yet. I didn't even know that the Internet existed, for the matter. And Beckett never wrote a feature about how great those holograms are. Go figure. No wonder I don't subscribe anymore. For obvious reasons, those cards don't scan well, but I'm sure you all have some in your collections !

The Wizzard actually made himself disappear during the scanning process. The hologram shows him making his famous entrance flip. Pretty cool.

I was actually jealous of the one I got Matt for his Bob Walk collection, so I looked to see what Blue Jays were available. This one wasn't cheap ($3) and I'm still not sure I understand the whole Buyback concept, but it's still a low numbered issue of David Wells, so I adopted it.

My life needs more Masterpieces.Those cards are outright gorgeous.

Probably saw that one on The Junior Junkie's blog. My life also needs more Gallery.
I have some serious voids that need to be filled.
If I may say so bluntly.

Ps : about the title, you have to have lived through (and survived) the 80s to know what Jem and the holograms is, and note the play on words with 'j'aime', which is french for 'I love'. Yeah, I know...

Monday, January 19, 2015

Some votes, an interview and lots of love all around

I feel very special today, like a little French princess (but don't say it too loud, considering how we treat royal family around these parts). And this, for two reasons.

First, because I'm featured on Nacho Grande's great Better know a blogger series. Us bloggers obviously like to talk about cards, but also like to talk about ourselves, and that theme has been a real success. I had fun answering the questions, so thanks Chris !

Second, because I found out this morning that I was nominated for best new blog at the BIP awards, hosted by Sooz at a cardboard problem. I'm not expecting to win (at all), but I will get a speech ready just in case and try to act surprised when they give my name. I have no idea who nominated me, but thanks a lot, it makes me feel very fuzzy inside (does this make me an attention whore ? Or just a normal conceited human being ?). And for those of you who will vote for me, do know I love you with all my heart (yeah, I think I'm needy).

This must mean I'm starting to really be part of the community.
And I'm glad I am.

One of the perks of having a blog about a specific hobby, is that you make new friends. I've met a lot of great people I've since traded with, but of course the vast majority is from North America. When I starting talking about cards last summer, it brought back memories to some people in France who used to collect basketball cards in the 90s. One of those people is my friend Bintz, with whom I've been able to talk about cards (in French !), and who's slowly been getting back in the hobby. He collects mostly Bulls cards, but also Shawn Kemp ones. He's got exactly the same mentality as I do : we don't care about Bv, we just like having fun and collecting cards that we find nice, not seeing it as an investment at all, but really for what it is : a hobby that has ties to our childhood and adolescent years.Since Bintz is much more patient than I am, he asked one of his relatives that lives in the US to receive for him boxes of cards and lots he'd buy off ebay, and have him ship them all at once. Which he did last December, after 4 months of accumulation. Two weeks and $90 shipping and handling later, he got this huge box with 8 boxes of cards plus a ton of singles for his collection. And because he's a nice guy, he sent some my way.

This card was a huge surprise. First, because it was hidden in the package, to make it a little more special. Second, because my friend does not collect baseball. Which means he got that card especially for me, because we were talking cards one day and I must have told him I thought it was a really cool card, but a little out of my price range as far as inserts go. It's all nice and shiny and jut screams of 90s cardboard.

Those stickers were inserted in Frosties and Choco pop's cereals in 1995. I had no idea they existed. And I still do not understand how they decided to include them, considering how unpopular baseball has always been in France.
I'll have to write a post one day about how we hardly have any choices in cereal here. It's very sad. I guess we love our croissants too much.

He also sent me a healthy stack of 96-97 Upper Deck series 2 (I had a box of series I for Christmas). Those are really great, one of the best UD sets ever.

And then, among the 150 cards he sent (a bunch of Knicks I needed, some cool 90s inserts and some 93 Donruss that one of the ebay sellers had added as a bonus), he sent those two cruel ones :

This is one probably from the 93-94 Finals. Where the Knicks lead 3-2 and just couldn't close the deal, because in part of John Starks. He missed the buzzer beater in game 6 (that picture might be from that action) and went 2 for 18 in game 7 (0 for 10 in the last quarter), including a very embarrassing airball in the waning seconds.

Jordan always seemed to embarrass the Knicks whenever he had a chance. Great card in any case. Stadium Club did make it even by putting on cardboard Stark's famous dunk over Jordan.