Sunday, January 31, 2016

Box Break : 2000 Topps Gallery (and a transatlantic group break also!)

It was ample time for me to buy a box for our transatlantic group break that includes Brian and Matt (hi guys !). I really didn't know what to go with this time, as I've too often been disappointed by early 2000 boxes (those are the ones that are often on sale), and eventhough my preference goes to mid 90s wax, I'm not sure they make for very good trade bait ! So I bought a box that offers great value : 2014 Panini (PANINI !!!!) Classics. We already opened one in West Virginia not long ago, so we simp^ly shuffled the teams so we would'nt get any duplicates.

We then crossed our fingers hoping for a 1/1 Jeter or at least some Hall of famer with a cool signature or relic. I was a little disappointed not to get any of those, but the box wasn't that bad after all. We each got at least one hit, and I got the most interesting one (woohoo).
There it is :

I was psyched to get a 1/1 but to be honest I do not know who Semien is. Not sure it'll ever carry a premium, but still a nice unique card to have !

As for the rest of the break, you'll see on their blogs how Matt and Brian did !

My total amount for the 5 boxes I got was $150. Shipping was pretty low at $45, especially considering there were about 150 packs to be sent out in all. Plus, I got them in 48h, which is amazing (a package usually takes a week to ten days to get here). Unfortunately, as always, there are customs charges. And I don't know why, but they made me pay customs on the entire $195 order instead of just the value of products. I thought I'd pay around $45 customs, but it turns out it was $60. Ah well. As I always say, it comes with the European territory. I'd rather pay extra and get cards than not have access to cards at all (but still, it doesn't seem logical to pay VAT on shipping. I should send a message to UPS to clarify things).

ANYWAY. To avoid paying $40 shipping for just the box of Classics (yes, that's the minimum shipping charge for Europe), I added more boxes. Some Cooperstown, some Collector's Choice and a box of 2 000 Topps Gallery. It turned out to be a great box to open. Lots of fun. No guaranteed hits as autos were 1:153, but some nice inserts and amazing base cards.

Those are seeded 1:12. There are 24 packs in a box, which means I got one extra. Woohoo. Nice trio too, especially at the time. Except there's only one in the bunch who'll ever make it to Cooperstown and who doesn't make people very mad.

I like Bagwell. And it's a fun insert that almost looks like a 90s insert. Can't make a better compliment. Odds were 1:18

 It's silly because it's not cardboard, but I really like acetate cards. Even when there's Pablo Ozuna on there (then again the whole concept was to put a veteran with a youngster). Odds were 1:48

More acetate ! It's always cool to buy cards of your favorite player on ebay or comc, but there's nothing like the thrill of actually pulling one from a pack. Odds were 1:24 for a ten card set. Really great card.

I hadn't seen that card at first, but it's a parallel. And it's numbered to 250. Play'er's private issue, it says. Okay.

I was nicely surprised by the inserts, but I really got the box for the base cards. Great design, awesome photography, and even the backs are nice. I also hope to open a box of masterpieces one day, but I won't hold my breath...

I'm a little disappointed by that Griffey card, I feel like they could've done better, but hey, he's smiling and it's original, so why not ! I needed that Delgado.

 Horizontal shots are few and far between, which is too bad when you see those !

More great photos ! I should make a pun about being head over heels for that set, but I don't think the world is ready for that kind of humor.

Collation wasn't bad either, as I'm only missing one card for the complete base set of 100. The next 50 cards are SP that don't interest me as much.

Well, that sure was fun ! There's a box of 2002 Gallery on sale on Dave & Adam's. I might give it a shot next time, once I lick my financial wounds...

Monday, January 25, 2016

Popularity issues

I finally received some Ebay auctions I won back in November, along with my December Comc purchases (after all, I did have $3 to redeem and save on shipping. So I spent $30. This makes a lot of sense). As usual, there's a little bit of everything, as it reflects my scattered mind when it comes to collecting.

That Eck RC was on my 'important cards to have in your collection' wantlist, so I pulled the trigger. Not a very harmful trigger as you find them cheap. Since I collect Johnny Bench cards (says so on the right side), I absolutely needed that gorgeous '73 Topps. Same thing with Aparicio and that 61 issue. I'm glad I'm not collecting Mantle...

Still trying to get one of each Topps base card for Nolan Ryan. Simply because he pitched for so long and I find the idea amusing. I've also decided to add Winfield to my PC. Based solely on that '78 Topps. Now that's one cool dude (along with an incredible athlete)

I picked this one up because of an article TJ wrote about the Griffey from that same insert set. I'd never seen one in person and was curious, so I took the cheapest one available. Thank you Reggie Sanders for being someone nobody collects.

I'll always grab some 93 UD inserts whenever I'm shopping on Comc. Isn't it kind of strange for them to add a Tim Salmon Ioos 5th anniversary insert  when the original Ioos card is from the same year and set ? Let's commemorate a card from this year ! I kinda liked when Upper Deck did those SP cards...

Woohoo, this completes my Clutch Performers set ! Bonds, Henderson, Clemens...not sure who'd win a popularity contest. I think they'd all be disqualified.

Yeah...don't ask...ok, actually, those two cards I got because I'd won the following one and wanted to lower shipping costs and Comc fees. Still nice patches though that cost me $1 each. I like Joe Flacco and don't really care about the Ravens. Let's hope he recovers from his injury.

 I really like that card. Relics are silly, but the design is nice and I don't have that many with Donaldson as a Blue Jay. It's also low numbered 14/18 which reminds me of WWI.

And finally, a couple of cool on-card autographs from 2015 Supreme. Looks like Delgado is everywhere this year, and that's fine by me.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I like big books and I can not lie

Well, I felt like reading (good) sports books.
So I did a little research.
And went ahead and bought them.

Life is so much simpler with the Internet. The computer won't read them for me, though.

The most interesting thing about that picture is that you can see the tip of my New York Mets fluffy slippers. Now that's something

Monday, January 11, 2016

Japanese cards straight from Japan

A friend of mine spent a few weeks in Japan in December, and picked up some packs of cards for me. He had no idea what to look for as he doesn't collect himself (well, he did have some French NBA Upper Deck from the 90s, but things have changed dramatically since), so he simply asked the vendor what were the best cards to bring back.

And here they are.
I know that brand, but not as a card manufacturer, of course.
I have no idea who those players are. My Japanese is non-existent, even though I sell mangas for a living. I do know how to say Bon appetit, though, and that's a plus.

So Kenny, this post's for you !

Those came one per pack and are all nice and shiny. Great Fleer-like design.

and the backs.

And the 6 base cards I got. I don't know much about Japanese, but I'm pretty sure there are 3 pitchers and 3 position players in there ! Unless pitchers start batting, but what kind of upside world would that be ?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Christams trimester : cards from Julie

Every 3 or 4 monthes, Julie will send me an incredible array of cards, usually in a big box filled with a little bit of everything. She always tries to surprise me (it's always impossible to guess what'll be included in those boxes), and I always feel like a kid on Christmas morning when that happens. Such was yet again the case with that Christmas bombing filled with great spirit, laughter and generosity. This very well sums up what I think of Julie !

This here is a binder. Julie knows how much I love holograms and picked this up for me. I only had a couple from that set, so it's perfect ! And see, it's a limited edition. Of several hundred thousands, but still, it says so on the cover.

Ooooh, sticky pvc pages !

 A couple autographs (on card, mind you) for my Gold glovers Pc. I really like Jim Kaat as a broadcaster, I'll often listen to games on YES.

This here is a jumbo card. And I love jumbo cards. There's a lot of love in that post, actually. And it's also a great looking (giant) card all around of someone we've been talking a little bit about lately.

 More Juniors, all needed ! Can't go wrong with oddballs and cards drawn by 12 year olds...oops, hold on, he's 21. Ah well. It's less cute but still nice.

 More PC ! a bunch of Big Hurts (hologram !) and some Bos, including that Stadium Club black parallel.

Gold Glovers : It's way easier to send me cards I don't have, as I've only been collecting them for a few months, and don't necessarily do everything to add them to my collection. That's why trades are great ! That Mike Schmidt swatch in the middle is really cool. And the Bowman Molina is a refractor.

Might as well get used to seeing Ichiro in a Marlins uniform, as he signed for another one year contract. Obivously Topps only had one photo (photoshoped ?) to work with. The Heritage is numbered to 999.

Kellogg's 3D, one of my all time favorites.

And then, there're absolutely random cards that always crack me up

 I guess Julie sees me that way....sheesh. Then again, she's absolutely right !

A couple of great Vladdys and a couple of bad jokes. Welcome home Justin !

Now, for my main collecting needs :

Plenty of end of the year Blue Jays to work with, including all those parallels (the black one is numbered out of 64). There are even a couple of Chrome Update cards in there, and I seem to understand they aren't that easy to find, so thanks !

And finally, more from 2015 with those Heritage high numbers (needed them all) and a couple Encarnacion Triple Threads (no, you're not seeing double), all of the Amethyst kind.

There were many more (lots of 90s goodness) but those were the ones I needed for my collection !

Thanks again Julie, can't wait for next Christmas, in 3 or 4 months !

Friday, January 8, 2016

Late Christmas with Upper Deck : Richard sent me cards

I haven't really been in a collecting mood, lately. Those things happen, they're normal and better for my budget !

That being said, I always enjoy receiving unexpected cards in the mail. Such was the case today with a surprise package from Richard . Richard collects Blue Jays (says so in his website). More specifically (and exclusively now) Joe Carter cards. He has a lot. Not as impressive as TJ's Griffey collection, but then again, Joe Carter wasn't included in every possible insert and oddball set from the 90s. Which is a shame as it'd make my trading life easier, since it's next to impossible to find stuff to send Richard's way now !

Anyway, let's have a close look at what he sent my way, after looking at my want list and trying to find as many mustaches to send my way .

There it is ! the famous Mattingly mustache. I am obsessed with 93 Upper Deck, and those are PC PLUS set needs. Perfect combo. It's amazing I didn't already have those. The Iooss set has always been an absolute favorite of mine for over 20 years (man I'm old).

More 93 UD inserts (flawless), more PC and a couple 'staches. I'd like to see Crime Dog in the Hall, but it's unlikely...

Yeah, I'm a BLue Jays and Big Hurt fan, but it's always very weird seeing him in that uniform. Not as weird as in an A's one, but still. Great looking card of two hall of famers (yay, Upper deck)

Bo ! I like how it's not the usual white patch. Nice, simple design and my first Bo Jackson memorabilia card (yay, Upper Deck)

More PC ! My first Omar Vizquel swatches, and it's always great to add one of a pitcher batting. Especially Maddux.

This was a very fun package to open, Richard, thanks a lot for the late Christmas that was right on time for the New Year ! Those were all much needed for my collection.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A perfect way to start the year

My first post of the year will be a one card post.
Mainly because it sums up pretty well what my year has been : a lot of fun with some trials and errors. Here's why : I picked it up for Mark Hoyle, who collects...Boston Red Sox cards. And because you guys know more about the sport and its history than I do (and because I bid without looking closely at the bottom of the card), you'll have noticed right away that this is the Brooklyn Dodgers logo on the cap. Silly old me. It's too bad because I was quite happy with that 52 Wheaties issue. And it's not that bad because this means that instead of shipping it out to Mark, I'll get to keep it in my collection (but I'll find other cards for you !).

All in all, it's been a very fun year, despite the various tragedies that have hit my country. I should be able to keep my wax box purchases to a minimum - I did after all buy most of the 90s products I was interested in - and will definitely trade as much as usual, despite that one big Ocean that separates us. After all, I still have plenty of Biebers to spread around. Thanks to all of you who have been commenting and sending out cards and just plain making me feel like a part of the community. This is something I truthfully cherish.

Ok 2016, show me what you got, and it better be better than that crappy ol' 2015