Friday, September 30, 2016

The Devil's Snow Strikes Twice

 It was just announced that boxing Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury has tested positive for cocaine a couple of days ago and will most likely lose his belts at his November 4th hearing, which was initially set following charges related to a prohibited substance arrest from last June but will now take in to account his failed drug test too.
I will also note that Greg Hardy has probably put his NFL career in jeopardy with his arrest for possession of cocaine three days ago.

One thing that I would like to point out is that Tyson Fury, a man who is 25-0 and holds 5 different boxing championship belts (for now anyway) does not have a single card. We have more cards with politicians on them in the last 5 years than we have cards with boxers (not named Ali) on them. If I am not mistaken we have seen more of Topps and Panini employees on cards than boxers recently.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Red Hot Chili Peppers In GPK Form

When Topps released the 2016 GPK Best of the Fest through their online store and I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers were lampooned I was all in on this one. I have been a fan of the Chili Peppers going back to the late 1980s/early 90s. This was one of the few times I didn’t even think twice about the price, which was $10 plus free shipping for both cards. I actually just ordered another online exclusive GPK but that will be for a later post.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The World Of On-Demand Card Sets

This year became the year of cards printed on demand. Topps, Panini and Leaf all have their versions available only through the company’s web site or eBay store. There are really no major differences in the actual cards, all being roughly the same thickness and simple design.

Topps was the first to bring their on-demand card printing service to the market and seems to currently be leading the other two companies. Not counting Topps Crossover and TPT the Topps Now cards are available for 24-hours and are $10 with free shipping and are available in a number of sports; baseball, UFC, WWE and soccer plus the Preacher show.
I personally like Topps process, once the cards 24-hour period is up Topps updates the checklist so you know how many cards were printed for that specific card. As for the card, they have a nice design and are your standard 20-pt thickness with a glossy coating. Even though they are roughly the same thickness of the other on-demand printing sets they do seem a bit more solid.
Topps Now cards are readily available on the secondary market with prices ranging greatly based on the player/event and final print numbers. You can also find numerous sellers pre-selling cards for $3-4 less than what Topps is asking. I have bought one or two Topps Now cards from Topps but most have been on the secondary market and only once have I paid more than the $10 original price (#67 Chris Iannetta).
Panini Instant came around shortly afterwards and now they also have Panini Eternal, a higher end version of on-demand printing. Panini does offer a slightly different process, the cards are still only available for a 24-hour period but there also parallels available with the base cards also beginning at $10 but the parallels (#/50, #/25, #/10, #/5 and #1/1) range up to $150 they also use free shipping.
Because of Panini’s multiple licenses they offer more sports with NFL, NBA, USA Basketball, NASCAR, and various soccer sets. What I do not like about Panini Instant is that a running checklist is not available once that sport is no longer available. So like Copa America can no longer be pulled up, though you can find the checklist on Cardboard Connection. Additionally, the print runs are not available on Panini’s site.
Panini Instant does not seem as popular as Topps with some print runs as low as 35 and this is odd considering they hold the only licenses for NFL, NBA and certain soccer leagues. The Panini Instant NFL cards do seem to be doing a bit better than the other products. The cards themselves are standard 20-pt cards with a nice and simple design and glossy coating. I do like that each card has the print totals on the back of the card so they will say “1 of 76” or whatever the final print run was for that card.
The secondary market for Panini Instant cards is definitely different than Topps Now cards, there does not seem to be as many pre-sells and many of the cards that do sell are below the original $10 price point.
The final on-demanding is Leaf Live, which is different than the other two companies. Leaf is using their eBay store to sell their cards, they are available for one week and they sell them at $5 with free shipping as well as lots of 10 and 25 for the same card. The cards are also intermixed, out of the six cards that have been released there have been one memorial card, one baseball card, three football and the Presidential Debate.
So far the five cards that have been sold out they range from #/151 up to #/250, so they seem like they are selling more than Panini Instant cards but it needs to be taken in to account that the cards are available for one week compared to 24 hours for Topps and Panini. As for secondary market there doesn’t seem to be a lot of sales yet but Leaf only started selling their Leaf Live cards since August 30th.
The cards are the standard thickness but unlike the other two companies the Leaf Live cards do not have a glossy coating but they feel very similar to Panini’s cards.
I do have cards from all three companies, which I have used for this post, so I am not limiting myself to just one or the other but I prefer Topps Now over Panini Instant and Leaf Live. Leaf’s cards are limited to athletes they have agreements with and events so I do not see myself buying too many Leaf cards but now that the NFL season I am hoping to see Seahawks on the Panini checklist.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Noir Iverson

A couple of weeks ago, shortly after the NBA Hall of Fame induction, I was going through Allen Iverson cards. Probably not the best time to do it but I figured while I had his stuff on my mind I might as well look.
Iverson is one of my basketball mini-PCs so I came across some neat cards but it was his 2014-15 Panini Noir card that got me bidding. Normally Panini’s high end Noir cards are outside of what I want to pay for a base card but I think I just got caught up and the bidding didn’t get too bad with just over $10 shipped.
The checklist is broken in to two halves with cards #1-100 being black and white and #101-200 being color, this means each player has two cards with one on each side of the checklist. I am happy Panini decided to make each card a different image of the player, especially when you are paying $450+/box I would hope they didn’t use the same image. I wouldn’t mind picking up Iverson black and white #70 card but I wouldn’t pay the price that is being asked right now.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Some "Natural" Pickups

I have a Randy Couture mini-PC, he was one of the first MMA fighters that I followed and even though he hasn’t fought since 2011, he knowns when to retire unlike Ken Shamrock but that is a different story, I still am a fan so today will be a post of recent Couture pickups.
2006 Topps Allen & Ginter’s

2010 Leaf MMA

2011 Topps Moment of Truth Onyx base card

2011 Topps Moment of Truth mat relic

2011 Topps Title Shot shirt relic

2012 Finest shirt relic

2013 Knockout shirt relic

Sunday, September 25, 2016

R.I.P. Jose Fernandez And Arnold Palmer

It seems like I have had writer’s block over the last few days, probably even a week. I just cannot come up with content and fortunately I have had a number of posts already written and ready to go for just this type of occasion. My mind has been elsewhere and when I sit down to write I start out fine but hit a point where I just get side tracked and I cannot get back on point.
I actually have five or six posts begun, some just notes and some just need to be finished but I cannot seem to do it. None the less when events in the sporting world happen it is something I need to give full attention to and write something original.
Today we lost two, one in his prime and one a legend.
Early this morning the Coast Guard was dispatched to a boat accident off of Miami Beach, a boat carrying three occupants had hit a jetty and was overturned. When the Coast Guard arrived they found that all three of the occupants were deceased including Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.
Over four seasons with the Marlins he was 38-17 with a 2.58 ERA including two All-Star appearances. The news took me back to the 1993 boating accident that took the lives of Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews and severely injured Bob Ojeda. That one was a case of alcohol being involved while the accident that took Fernandez life does not appear to be alcohol or drug related. RIP Jose Fernandez
Then this afternoon we lost golfing legend Arnold Palmer. He passed away while being prepared for surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. When it came to golfing he was in rare air and was in a pantheon of men like Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan and Bobby Jones. He won 7 major championships, 62 wins on the PGA Tour and PGA Player of the Year twice. RIP Arnold Palmer

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Successful Trade With SCC

In August the Sports Card Collector reviewed a box of 2016 Donruss Football, which is my favorite football release of the year so far. It is a case of going back to Donruss early releases and keeping the design simple with some cool inserts that makes me appreciate this set.
The big hit of his review was a Markus Wheaton Press Proof black parallel #/10 but in my eyes the pull of interest was the Thomas Rawls Aqueous Test parallel. I was hoping to add this young Seahawk to my collection so I contacted him and we worked out a deal for the card, which I really appreciated.
Rawls replaced Lynch last year after Lynch was hurt and had pretty good results. As the starting RB this season Rawls has not had the same type of results and was hurt last week so he will not be playing in the upcoming game against the 49ers.
Additionally, SCC tossed in a couple of Mariners’; Tyler O’Neill is a prospect outfielder currently with the Mariners AA Jackson Generals where he is batting .293 with 144 hits and 24 HRs in 130 games. I expect to see him in Tacoma next season. The other guy is well known by the Seattle faithful, Edgar Martinez. Now that Griffey and Johnson are in the Hall of Fame there is hope that Edgar follows them in but having spent a good portion of his career as a DH he has an uphill battle considering that he was just on his 7th ballot and while his numbers are increasing, he hit 43% this past ballot, he only has three more years to try and hit the magic 75% needed. The 2016 Bunt release is one of my favorite baseball releases this year.
I close with a trio of Griffeys, always the best way to make me smile.

Actually I close with a tool SCC tossed in, a BCW Card Thickness gauge. Too often I have made a judgement call and purchased the wrong size top loaders and one-touch magnetic holders and the card I wanted to fit doesn't quite work out so this is a perfect tool that really every collector should have in their collection.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Art Gallery: ACEO General Zod

This month’s Art Gallery display comes from a regular Joe sketch artist, I honestly don’t even know his real name because he just goes by GrayBat in our emails back and forth. The card is General Zod, as depicted by Michael Shannon in the Superman reboot Man of Steel.

General Zod has been one of my favorite villains going back to Superman and Superman II when the role was played by Terence Stamp. Sadly, even though the character has been around since Adventure Comics #283 (April 1961) he is relatively ignored in cardboard form. Finding a cool General Zod sketch card is near impossible so when I came across this ACEO sketch card I was more than happy to spend $3 because it is quite a piece.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A Couple Of Seattle Guys Late In Their Careers

It is a beautiful time of year, the heat is finally dying down and the days are cooler. Both baseball and football are in season and basketball is not far away. I have not made it a secret of my love for Seattle, I spent half of my life there and will be a die-hard Seattle fan until the day that I die and have often talked about my beloved Sea-town teams.

How about some old guys who looked to extend their career another season in Seattle? A couple of cards of one of the greatest base stealers ever,  Rickey Henderson. Henderson played 92 games in Seattle in 2000 and then went on to play for the Padres, Mets and Dodgers over the next three seasons before calling it a career.

Another guy who made it up the coast from the Bay Area who would put in a season in Seattle, Jerry Rice. He played 11 games for the Seahawks in 2004 and did nicely for a receiver on 42-year old legs catching 25 passes for 362-yards and three TDs. After finishing up in Seattle he signed a one-year contract with Denver but decided to retire before the ink even dried. The 2005 Upper Deck NFL Legends card lists him as a Bronco even though he never played in a regular season game for them. In 2005 Upper Deck released at least two relic cards that I know of which show Rice in a Seahawks uniform, lists him as a Bronco and include a jersey relic from one of his Raiders jerseys. I don't have either of them but they are on my Grey Whale Want List.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Some Swimmy Dinosaurs

 Last year, after a successful Kickstarter run, Monsterwax released Dinosaur Galaxy. This was one of the 4 dinosaur related sets that came out last year so it was kind of lost behind the Upper Deck Dinosaur release and the Topps Dinosaur Attacks release (part of the Mars Attacks set). The other dinosaur set released last year, in case you are wondering, was Breygent Jurassic Domination.

Monsterwax’s Dinosaur Galaxy was a 123-card base set with four inserts; a 6-card acetate Liquid Leviathans, 6-card Magnificent Megafauna, 4-card lenticular 3D Dino-motion and the 40-card Bone Wars cards (which were replicates of the first 40 sketch cards). The hits include printing plates and sketch cards.  

I am interested in mainly the sketch cards with the dinosaur sets but when I came across someone selling the entire 6-card acetate set for $8 plus shipping I couldn’t resist. I will admit I was pretty underwhelmed by what I received. I was hoping for something more comparable to the insert Monsterwax was trying to imitate, the Upper Deck Predators of the Sea from their Dinosaurs release. Now Upper Decks cards are shadow box cards, and very awesome, so I wasn’t expecting that but I guess I was expecting more.

These cards are not really acetate but more like a single lair lenticular card. I appreciate the effort but this set just does not seem really like an insert as an afterthought. The illustrations are nice but there are no markings, not even numbers, on the cards so you are at a loss of which way is front and which is back. The illustrator’s signature at the bottom is difficult to read so that doesn’t help. I did notice that one side is smooth and the other has a bit of a texture so I am guessing the smooth side is the back.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Is Anyone Really Surprised?

 It has just been announced that after his first game in a Browns uniform, RG3 is out 10-12 weeks with a broken bone in his shoulder. The injury happened late in the 4th Quarter of last week's game against the Eagles when he made a run to the sideline and slammed in to a waiting Byron Maxwell.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is saying that he may be out for the remainder of the season, another lost season for Griffin, who was looking for redemption with the move to Cleveland now appears to just be a change in uniform with the same injury results.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Another Trip Back To WWI Germany

I have always been an enthusiastic reader with history subjects being at the top of my interests, specific the early 20th Century and World War I. I have a mini WWI related collection but it is a difficult collection to build with few options but I am always watching and will always happily add anything connected to Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron. I have posted two vintage Richthofen cards in previous VCoM and believe it or not I have more vintage Richthofen cards for future VCoM posts but today I go with some modern cards.

My most recent Red Baron pickups are from modern sets. Two are from the 2008 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball release, the base version and a #1/1 Memorable Moments parallel. The 1/1 card is thicker and has a small cutout on the front with the memorable moments clipping.

The next card comes from the 2009 SP Legendary Cuts Baseball release and the final card is from the 2011 Goodwin Champions release. If you are an eagle eye you will catch an uncorrected error on the back of this card which says he was killed in 1818, which should actually be 1918.