Saturday, June 27, 2009

A grand post

A quick post before I shut down the computer and disassemble it like Number 5 for the big move tomorrow. I've surpassed 1,000 visitors thanks largely to a link from Mario over at Wax Heaven. Welcome to all of the new readers. I hope you like what you've seen so far. Things will pick up again once this move is over and I'm settled back in.

I never got around to scanning it to post, but in place of one of the Timelines cards that Upper Deck couldn't replace they sent me an Albert Pujols jersey cards from 2005 SP Authentic numbered to 130. It's just a plain white swatch, but it was a great surprise from a batch of damaged cards that I thought were long lost.

I placed an order for some wax for myself with Father's Day gifts. Blowout Cards had some ridiculous weekend specials on what I was looking to buy and so they got my order. On the way are2008 Allen & Ginter, 2008 Topps 1 Jumbos (love the Trading Card History inserts), 2007 Masterpieces (now that they're nice and cheap) and 2006/07 Topps Basketball (love the Larry Bird inserts). Look for box breaks to follow and hopefully I'll be able to get more of my player collections scanned since the majority of my collection is temporarily in storage pending a second, future move and my player collections will be all I have with me.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tek-ticular Fortitude

Taking a little break from packing to sort through some cards that came in the mail the other day and get everything ready to transported.  The great thing about all of the card blogs out there is that I’m constantly learning about new products that I never knew existed, especially from years that I didn’t collect outside of buying blasters here and there at K-Mart.  One of the sets that I was introduced to was Topps Tek.

I love oddball sets and this is definitely an oddball set.  Topps Tek took parallels to a whole new level.  Each player had multiple cards with different patterns in the background.  When Tek started off in 1998, there were 90 different designs of 90 players.  That’s a little much.  The backgrounds were just a bunch of random designs, but that would change with future designs.  1999 Tek had backgrounds that had something to do with the player and multiple pictures were used.  That continued with the 2000 Tek set.  2000 Tek had 20 variations for each player using four different pictures on five cards each.  The last five cards of each player were color variations that are numbered to 2000 and there are also gold parallels numbered to 10.

I recently came across a lot of 9 Piazza 2000 Tek cards on eBay and had to make them mine.  The auction closed at $5.50 and with shipping I ended up paying around eighty cents a card.  Not bad, but also not great for a Piazza base card.  It was worth it to pick up nine different variations at once though.  I also picked up some Piazza Tek cards from various years on  Here’s a sampling of the 2000 Tek cards that I have.  The team logo backgrounds are by far the best.  The stats, position and what hand they bat/throw with backgrounds are some of the worst.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A quickie

I didn’t get the package from Upper Deck containing the missing cards from my 2009 series 1 baseball box, but I did get a long forgotten package from them containing some Timelines cards that I sent to them along with a Kobe Bryant hero and a surprise.  It turns out that there was one card that they couldn’t replace and so they sent something of equal value.  I haven’t checked yet to see which card it was, but I want to know what price guide they’re using because the card that they sent as a replacement is a very good one.

I sent in all of my die cut Timelines cards that had a pair of roller marks down the card.  I got back some with only one roller mark down the middle which are most certainly variants and I got some back with absolutely no roller marks at all.  I think these might be 1/1 mint condition versions of these cards and I’m saving up now to send them in to PSA.

I also got my package from and I’m very happy with it.  I got 17 cards that cost just over $15 for a little over $22 delivered.  If I had won all of them on eBay, I would have spent at least $50 total if some were under $3 for shipping and some possibly came from the same seller.  They were packaged well and shipped promptly.  I’ll definitely be visiting the site again.  I sent in some items that were on their free express processing list and if those sell then I’ll use that money to list more cards on there.  Unlike, it looks like I’ll actually be able to sell on this site.

Last, but not least, I got some eBay winnings which included a lot of refractors and a handful of Topps Tek that will inspire its own post.  I just don’t know when I’ll have time to write it since there’s still a lot of packing to be done before Saturday.

One quick question before I go.  I didn’t buy a lot of 2007 Masterpieces so I’m no expert on the cards.  I thought they were all printed on a canvas type card stock.  I bought a couple of packs back in 2007 and pulled a Curt Schilling on the canvas card stock with gold foil.  In the Red Sox Upper Deck team packs that they are selling at K-Mart, there are glossy Masterpieces cards with silver foil on them.  Do these cards come in packs or is this something only found in these repacks?  Thanks in advance for any info anyone might have.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mail Day: Father’s Day Edition

PierceBowRef Here’s a shiny, happy post to balance out that last O-Pee-Chee criticism.  This could be my last mail day post in a while because I’m moving at the end of the month.  I’ve got a package on the way from Check Out My Cards and if that arrives on Monday then there’s an outside chance that it gets posted before the move.

I’ll start this post with one of the cards that prompted me to check out  I was winning too many cards such as this Paul Pierce Bowman Chrome refractor for a dollar and then paying three dollars in shipping.  So, I went to the website and grabbed any card of this sort that was under four dollars.  Between Cardlots, COMC and card shows, I should be able to just look to eBay to get the high ends cards that I need for my collection.  It’s probably best that way.


His gimmick may have been being a friend of Hulk Hogan, but once he started cutting people’s hair he started getting very over in the WWF.  The Barber also had some decent tag team success.  His time in WCW is better left forgotten, but the fact that he was even able to come back after having his shattered face completely reconstructed with metal screws is impressive.

Here in the Boston area, he’s best known for getting busted for drugs while working for the MBTA (subway).  Someone saw white powder during the height of the Anthrax scares and reported it, turns out it was ONLY cocaine.  Regardless, I couldn’t pass up the red ink version of the card selling for the same as the normal version.  Thanks for the memories.


Here’s the gold version of Big Baby’s 08-09 First Edition card.  The horizontal cards don’t look as good in this set due to the gold stripe taking up at least a third of the card.  The next card looks a little nicer.


Here’s the same picture used for a completely different parallel.  I remember back when Electric Diamond and Electric Court cards used to be all the rage.  Now many collectors don’t care about it unless it has an autograph on it or relic in it.  The top rookies might garner some attention, but that’s about it.


I think I may already have this card, but I couldn’t pass up this lot consisting of the orange refractor /199 and regular refractor /1499.  It became an even better deal when the seller threw in the base card as well.  That’s three Big Baby rookies for $3.49 delivered.  Here in Boston you’d have a tough time even finding the base card for that much.  Local cards get really jacked up here most of the time.


I wasn’t lucky enough to pull this card out of the box of SP Rookie Edition that I opened and since it’s not worth opening any further boxes, I picked up this card on its own.  It was $5 delivered which is fine by me especially since I overheard one card dealer say “these cards went up in the last Beckett and should go up in the next one as well.”  That’s dealer speak for, “I’m selling this above book so it’s even more overpriced.”


There are rumors that the Celitcs are possibly shopping Ray Allen around.  The Celtics took a beating by letting the previous Big Three play out their careers in Boston.  It was great for the fans though.  That move was compounded by the deaths of Reggie Lewis and Len Bias.  Danny Ainge doesn’t want a repeat of that and wants the Celtics to remain title contenders.

Ray Allen could boost ticket sales for a team that probably won’t make the playoffs, but he’s not as valuable to a potential playoff team since he’s all but disappeared after the first round of the playoffs in the past two seasons.  I mention this because some of the freed up cap space will go towards re-signing Glen Davis and keeping him in Celtic Green for years to come.  This is his Bowman Chrome refractor rookie numbered to 199.


I had the base, autographed refractor and even a blue refractor, but I didn’t yet have the regular refractor.  That’s no longer the case.  It doesn’t look that refractory in this scan, but in person you can see all of its shimmery goodness.


Speaking of refractors, here’s a 2005 Topps Heritage Chrome refractor.  It’s numbered to 556 for some random reason.  It’s a chrome card in a Heritage set for another completely random reason.

Big Papi seems to be breaking out of his slump and he hit another home run today to help beat the Braves and missed another by two feet last night.



Meet the Ortiz twins.  $3.50 delivered got me a blue refractor numbered to 299 and a green refractor numbered to 199.

Topps always does a great job with the multicolored refractors in Finest.  That’s why so many people are willing to hunt down the rainbows.



It’s déjà vu all over again.  2009’s Finest blue is numbered to 399 and the green is numbered to 99.  When I won the Ortiz, the seller had a bunch of other blue refractors closing at the same time so I got Ortiz, Jason Bay and Lincecum all for $6 delivered.  Not too bad if you ask me.

To top it all off, it looks like my World Baseball Classic card has been shipped from Topps.  So soon I’ll have my Jung Keun Bong.  It’s 4 months after I redeemed it and at this point Red Sox and Yankees fans are cursing the World Baseball Classic and some of the managers there for damaging starting pitchers.  After all of the injuries, I wouldn’t mind if the Sox banned all of their players from participating the next time around.  The tournament did nothing for me personally.

Posting on the road

I'm writing this from my mom's house, waiting for my Father's Day dinner to be ready and thought that I'd kill some time writing my first post composed in Blogger's web based form. So, there won't be any pictures or fancy formatting since I don't have a scanner or Windows Live Writer here.

First off, Happy Father's Day to all of the father's out there.  This is my third Father's Day and I've loved every single one.  Sure, it has meant less cards in the collection, but the time spent with my daughter and family more than makes up for it.  I also love the fact that my daughter already takes an interest in cards (especially the non-sports variety) and I get to share that with both her and my wife.

There was a card show today and my wife whisked me off to that as a special treat.  On a positive note, I finished off my 2009 Topps Baseball set.  On the other side of things, while there were a lot of cool cards there, I didn't see anything I couldn't also pick up on eBay for half off or more.  Only one table had unopened wax and the prices were pretty high.  I left after purchasing just 6 packs of O-Pee-Chee for $1.50 each to see what they were like in person.

I've got to say that these will definitely be the last packs of OPC that I'll be buying unless the blasters drop to half price in a year or so.  It's just downright ridiculous that Upper Deck has set the price point for these at a quarter a card (if you can find them at $1.50) and most people are paying even more than that.  You pay twenty-five cents a card for base Upper Deck and those have foil, glossy finish and on top of that autographs and relics per box instead of per case.

Upper Deck says that Goodwin will be affordable as well, but if I remember correctly they said on their Facebook page that it would be $4 for 5 card packs.  Most stores will probably start these off at $5 and then go up from there.  I don't see how decreasing the amount of cards that you get in a pack makes them affordable in Upper Deck's eyes.  It's only an illusion.

Sorry to be such a downer on Father's Day.  I promise to have a more uplifting post in the future when I place an order online with eBay and Father's Day funds and bust open some stuff that'll make me happy.  I think that a pre-order of 2009 Allen & Ginter is in the works.

Happy Father's Day everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Customer service times three

I recently placed an order with Dave and Adam’s Card World that present four different opportunities for customer service from three different companies.  What went wrong and how did things get resolved?  Keep reading and find out.  I know this isn’t a post specifically about cards, but in this day and age when a lot of people have limited budgets for collecting, it’s good to know that if something goes wrong, someone is going to have your back and make things right.

The first problem that I came across was being shipped the wrong type of card holder from D&A.  Things started off a little wobbly and I’m pretty sure that the problem was compounded by the fact that I have the most inept UPS driver in the world delivering to my house.  The main problem to me in this situation to start things off was I wasn’t given a lot of information and that led me to feel that effort wasn’t being put into correcting the situation.

At one point, I got pretty fed up and sent an e-mail stating so and that’s when David from the premier account department contacted me and things got straightened out right away.  David went above and beyond and changed my mindset from being wary of placing another order there to eagerly awaiting the moment that I’m able to afford placing another order and giving them another chance.

Customer Service Grade: A

The next two customer service opportunities presented themselves when I opened two of the Upper Deck boxes from my order.  My 2008-09 Basketball box didn’t come with an autograph (on average).  My 2009 Series 1 Baseball had four packs that only contained 10 cards and was missing an autograph and a dual patch memorabilia card (on average).

I had opened the baseball box first and sent an e-mail right after opening it.  I sent another e-mail after opening the basketball box.  I was given a case number, which I thought was for the baseball box, and was told what I had to send in to Upper Deck.  I included the required items from both boxes along with a letter explaining the situation.

Yesterday I got a package in the mail from Upper Deck which included a Udonis Haslim autograph from 2005-06 SP Authentic and a pack of 2007-08 First Edition.  It’s a nice, on-card autograph that Haslim signed with his jersey number.  This was a perfect way to handle my getting shorted in the basketball box.  The only problem is that there was no sign of replacement baseball cards.  To me, that was the bigger issue since I was missing 40 cards including 2 out of the 3 hits that you’re supposed to get in a box.  I sent an e-mail to Upper Deck’s customer service asking if the baseball cards were coming in a later shipment or not, but I haven’t heard anything from them.

Customer Service Grade: Inc (B+ for basketball portion)

The final customer service opportunity involved the Dwayne Wade autographed mini that I’ve written about here previously.  I would have loved to add the card to my collection, but you couldn’t even really call it a Dwayne Wade autograph due to the shape that the autograph was in.

I started my correspondence with Topps via e-mail and wanted to see what the exchange process would entail since I was wary about sending this card away.  As far as I know, most of my communication was with Danny and he was great.

First, I found out that Topps did not have an exact replacement for this card.  I had a feeling that would be the case and so I wanted to find out what would happen if I sent the card in.  My worst fear was that I would be sent a Dwayne Wade autograph from this year’s Topps Signature and that wouldn’t be acceptable at all.

Through continued communication, I found out that Topps has a department where they determine what a card is valued at and send appropriate substitutions.  I wondered if I could talk to this department and was told to call Topps.  I got Danny on the phone and he went over what he thought some of the options might be if I were sent unopened wax as a replacement.  I had to stress that I didn’t want to be sent Triple Threads which seemed to surprise Danny because “most people ask for that.”

The package arrived on Wednesday via UPS, but I wasn’t around to receive it and so I didn’t get it until yesterday.  As a replacement for my Dwayne Wade autographed mini, I was sent a 2005-06 Topps Style ‘52 Dwayne Wade autographed Comic Card that was numbered to 49.  I was also sent a box of 2007-08 Bowman Sterling.

There’s no telling exactly how much the Wade card that was damaged would have been worth.  Topps goes by book value, but the card was too scarce to be listed in Beckett.  Since it was a tough pull out of a one-per-case rip card, Topps seemed to agree with me that the card was potentially very valuable.

I can easily say that Topps went above and beyond on this replacement.  The autographed card recently sold for $20 on eBay, but I just wanted to come out of this with a Wade auto and Topps granted that request.  The Bowman Sterling box blew me away.  This box sells for around $175 - $200 and if the rookie class that year had been better, it would be a $300 box.

Customer Service Grade: A+

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Is older wax worth the risk?

Joba Lately I had been drawn to 2007 Bowman Best.  I watched a bunch of box breaks online and looked at the checklist and it looked like a great product.  The checklist is small and since you get a veteran, rookie and prospect autograph in each mini box, you’ve got a good chance of pulling something good.  If you buy a full box of three mini boxes then you should get some great cards.

My card shop had a couple of mini boxes sitting around and I had sold some stuff on eBay and decided to take a chance on one of the mini boxes.  2007 had a good rookie crop that has held up pretty well over the years and more and more prospects are being sought after.

I started opening the first of five packs and right in the middle (where all of the hits are located) is a Joba Chamberlain autographed rookie.  Yay!  Wait, the card looks like it was bitten by a snake.  Boo!  Since this card was in the middle of a pack of pretty thick cards, the only way that damage such at this could have happened is either during production or packaging of the product.

I know that Topps will only offer replacements for cards produced in the current year, but I figured that I would e-mail them to see if they would do anything since this card was clearly damaged by them.  I’ve got my receipt, wrappers, DNA sample, etc. that Topps requires for people to get cards replaced.  I’ve also got a witness to the card coming out of the pack in this condition since I opened the box right at the card shop where I purchased it.

Topps wrote back stating that they only replace cards in the first year after being manufactured and that after that first year the product is considered memorabilia.  So, if you purchase a product on the day it comes out, you’ve got just under 365 days of a “warranty” on your cards.  If you purchase a product a year after it comes out, you’ve got no “warranty.”  Imagine if everything worked like that?  Buying a previous year’s car and having it come with no warranty when you buy it.  Buying a year old TV, trying to turn it on unsuccessfully and being told that you can’t return in.  Those comparisons might be extreme, but I don’t see why sports card manufacturers should be held to different standards.  Of course, they can’t be expected to replace cards if someone decides to open a box of 52 Topps or even something more than 10 years old, but something less than 2 years old?

I understand them not having the exact card on hand to do a one-to-one exchange, but even when you pull a damaged card from a current year’s product, there’s no guarantee that they’ll have an exact replacement on hand.  (As I found out the hard way.)  I just wanted Topps to make some sort of effort to make this right.  I might be spoiled because I work for a company that is considered to be one of the tops in customer service in any industry, but I don’t think that I’m expecting too much.  They have to send me replacement product for my damaged Dwayne Wade auto; why can’t they send me replacement product for this Joba?  (Out of curiosity, I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau to see if that could get me anywhere.)

The risk factor gets even worse when you consider expired redemption cards.  Look at what redemption cards have done to prior years of Finest Basketball which become a rookie-less product with expired redemptions.  For a little while, I toyed with the idea of picking up a box of 2006 52 Rookie Edition, but there are way too many redemption autos in that product that are now expired.  It’s bad enough to pull an autograph of a player that you can’t sell for a dollar, but with my luck I’d pull a redemption card for a big hit that I now can’t get.

So, if you’re going to buy “vintage” (and by vintage I mean more than a year old) wax you’ve got to face far too many risks.  First off, you have to hope that you don’t get any damaged products.  Anyone reading this knows that damaged cards happen way too frequently these days.  Even when you can get replacements, having to pay to send the cards back and then wait for their return (which usually takes around 2 months) is ridiculous.  Next you have to dodge expired redemption cards.  Upper Deck has made things a little easier to bear by extending the time frame for a lot of their redemptions, but that’s usually the amount of time it takes to get your redemption fulfilled anyway.

(Now is probably not a good time to look for a card company to sponsor this blog.)

I’m getting sick of redemption cards in general and I think that card companies should start some sort of expired redemption card amnesty program.  You should get something for these cards.  It isn’t the fault of the collector that these cards weren’t ready when the product was produced.  It should be something along the lines of what is left over from unredeemed redemptions.  It might not be from the same sport as your redemption card.  It might not be from the same year, but you should get something.  I’d rather have an autographed scout card than a redemption card full of legal copy telling me why I just got screwed.

To me, it seems like card companies should be doing whatever they can, within reason, to keep collectors happy before even more people give up on the hobby.  I’ve got a whole series of posts about the level of customer service I’ve experienced from different card companies and after I move at the end of the month, I hope that get that series started.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Box Break: 2009 Topps Baseball Series 2 Jumbos


This past weekend, I made a trek out to the big autograph show at the Aleppo Shriner’s Hall in Wilmington, MA.  The show always has some pricey autograph guests and tons of tables full of beautiful vintage cards and memorabilia, but I end up going looking for unopened wax and cheapo cards.  I went to this show on a mission and that was to locate a box of 2009 Topps Baseball Series 2 jumbos.  I had in my wallet around what the boxes were selling for online at sites such as Dave and Adam’s Card World and so I was a little worried that the boxes might be just out of my range and that I’d have to go home and order one online.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a box for $80.  When you compare that to Upper Deck Series 2 boxes that are selling for $70, it’s no contest.  Compare the contents of an Upper Deck “hot box” to my run on the mill jumbo box and see which one comes out on top.  If I didn’t already love this year’s Topps, pictures such as this Jason Bay in front of the Green Monster would have made me swoon.


First up are the Topps Town cards.  If Topps is going to do code cards then I’d rather that they have players on them.  They aren’t just an afterthought either.  They used different pictures on the base and gold cards as you can see from these Pedroia cards.  For those who hate the Topps Town cards, buying a jumbo box is the way to go since you only get 10 cards in a jumbo box compared to the 24 that you get out of a regular box.

From my box I pulled Jeter, Fukudome, Braun, Oswalt and Pedroia in the base set along with Pedroia, Jeter, Granderson, Manny Being Suspended and David Wright from the gold set.  At the very least, these non-glossy cards are great candidates for autographs.  Send them through the mail and you won’t miss them if they never come back.


There’s also one gold card per pack.  These can grow tiring, but as I found out with my Tip Off Basketball box, sometimes those parallels can be worth a decent amount of money if you hit the right number.  The gold cards from my box were Chris Young, Kevin Millwood, Jason Kendall, Troy Tulowitzki, Jody Gerut, Andy LaRoche, Dan Haren, Gary Sheffield, Ryan Howard and Kevin Kouzmanoff.


My one black parallel in the box, numbered to 58, was of Jayson Werth.  Any Phillies fans out there?


The Ring of Honor insert set continues in series 2.  Thankfully the Red Sox have won two recent championships or this set would have been another painful reminder.  Sorry Cubs fans.  The players that I pulled were Joe Girardi, Chris Carpenter, Carlos Ruiz, Garret Anderson, Aaron Rowand, David Justice, John Smoltz, Johnny Damon, Jason Varitek and Jacoby Ellsbury.


The next one per pack insert is the continuation of the Legends of the Game set.  The legends that I received were Mike Schmidt, Tony Gwynn, John Smoltz, Vlad Guerrero, Juan Marichal, Mariano Rivera, Robin Yount, Frank Thomas, Wade Boggs and Frank Robinson.


The Career Best Legends cards are tougher to pull.  I only got three of them out of my jumbo box.  These are really sharp looking cards of past greats.  I pulled George Sisler, Jackie Robinson and Mel Ott.  I hate that inserts are no longer numbered and everything has letters on the back.  How many cards are in this set?  I have no clue without navigating Topps’ horrible website.


Between World Baseball Classic cards and Olympic Team cards, there are a lot of cards in 2009 products of players that will never play a single Major League inning.  I pulled a David Ortiz so at least I got something to go into a player collection.  I also pulled Alex Rios, Frederich Cepeda, Dylan Lindsay and Hiroyuki Nakajima.


Last, but certainly not least, is the beautiful Turkey Red insert set.  I was a fan of Turkey Red and would like to see Topps do one last insert set of Turkey Red in basketball before their license expires.  For some strange reason, the Turkey Red cards in series 2 have glossy finishes to them which doesn’t look or feel right.  The cards are still beautiful and the Morneau and Pedroia are the favorites that I’ve seen so far from the set.

In addition to Morneau and Pedroia, I got Jeter, Mel Ott, Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltran, Matt Kemp, Brandon Webb, B.J. Upton and Cy Young.  This is a set that I’ll definitely be trying to complete.

Now we come to the best part of the box.  The reason that Topps HTA Jumbos have been so popular is the value that you get out of them.  You’ve got a much better shot at some cool insert cards such as silk cards, one-of-one sketch cards, framed stamp cards, jumbo patches, superstar autographs and cut signatures.  The inserts in 2009 Topps put those in 2009 Upper Deck to shame.


The first card that I pulled was the one per jumbo, manufactured letter patch.  Some people hate these, but the fact that they are numbered to 50 means that not too many people have to be interested in them for there to be value.

I pulled Boston Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski numbered 9/50.  Normally I’d be thrilled to pull a limited Yaz card such as this one, but the card doesn’t appeal to me at all.  I don’t have $100+ to drop on completing his name.  Jimmie Foxx would be a different story.  I’d much rather have some classic Topps Yaz cards than this manufactured one so it’s off to eBay where it can find a new owner who will love it and care for it.


The next hit that I pulled was a Roy Campanella game-worn pants card numbered 9/20.  The majority of Campanella cards that I saw online were of pants.  I wonder what the reason behind that is.  Probably due to the pants selling for less than jerseys.

There don’t seem to be too many Campanella collectors trolling eBay, but I put this card on there as well because it’s another one that doesn’t really do anything for me.  There’s got to be a Campanella collector out there that would love to add it to their collection.

According to the wrapper, LOTG Career Best Relics are one in every 3,100 packs.


This was the big pull from the box.  It’s a Darrrrrrrrrrrrrryl Strawberry autographed Ring of Honor card.  Ring of Honor autographs are one in every 823 jumbo packs or one in every 83 boxes.  The quality of autographs isn’t quite equal to the ones found in the football Ring of Honor set, but there are some good ones.

Darryl Strawberry’s ring came courtesy of one of the worst managerial moves ever made in a World Series.  You have to give the Mets a lot of credit for battling back, but some terrible pitching and lack of a defensive substitute led to a collapse that was traumatic to all the 9 – 11 year olds that I knew at the time.  This was right after the Patriots got destroyed in the Super Bowl.  At least we had the Celtics winning championships.  There’s no way that this card is going into my collection so it is headed to eBay as well.  It’s quite possible that the three hits sell for very close to what I paid for the box which would mean that I got a full set of series 2 and a big stack of inserts for free.  That means I can pick up something else like a box of 2008 Allen & Ginter which has dropped to ridiculous prices or save it up for the upcoming 2009 Allen & Ginter set which I think will climb quickly because those boxes look like they’ll have great value in them as well.


All things considered, this was a great box.  The collation was great and I got a complete set out of the box.  I got some nice cards that I’ll add to my collection in all of the insert sets and I beat the odds a couple of times when it comes to the big hits in the box.  My only complaint would be that a few too many of the cards had bad corners right out of the packs.  I felt like I was opening Upper Deck packs.  I guess I should consider myself lucky though since the one loose jumbo pack that I bought had cards with no foil on the front.

The price was better than expected for this box especially given the track record of series 1 jumbo boxes and the fact that these are supposedly already sold out from Topps.  I have a feeling that they’ll climb in price as they become less plentiful.  There are also a handful of rookies that are making an impact for their teams this season.  Oh yeah, speaking of rookies.  I pulled Red Hot Rookie #7.  I won’t scan that card because it is boring.  I just hope that Topps gets this year’s cards out quicker than last year’s.  Now I’m waiting for this, 4 Finest rookies and a WBC card from series 1.

Overall, I would give this box an A- with the damaged cards being the only thing keeping this from getting a perfect score.  The great inserts, great looking cards and amazing photography make this set shine.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Serial number = jersey number

KobeTipoff People are always looking for reasons for cards to be worth something.  One idea that seems to have stuck is putting a premium on cards that have a serial number that matches the player’s jersey number.  I’ve picked up a couple of cards here and there that were numbered with the player’s jersey number, but I never really had to pay a premium for them.

Back when I first opened my box of Topps Tip Off, I was so disappointed by the condition of the cards that I didn’t really look them over all that carefully.  I just boxed them up and sent them to Topps.  Topps was nice enough to replace the whole box card for card and once I had those back I started looking at what I had pulled in more detail.

I noticed that I had pulled both LeBron and Kobe in the red parallels numbered to 2008.  When I went to list them on eBay, I noticed that the Kobe was number 24/2008.  I figured that might cause the card to sell for $5 instead of $1, but I had no clue that the auction would close at just over $18.  That blows me away since that’s about half of what I paid for the whole box of cards.  If only it worked that way every time you bought a box of cards.  I’d love pulling most of the set and one card worth half of what I paid for the box out of anything these days.  Most of the time you’re lucky if you got half of the set and a card that you can sell for $5.

So, what do all of you think.  If you had the choice of two cards for the same price and one of them had the jersey serial number, would you prefer that one?  How much more would you be willing to pay for that type of card?  Does it matter more for high end cards than it does for parallels?  I’d love to hear what all of you think about this topic.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Pack Break: Marvel Masterpieces 2

Spider-Woman One of the best things about ordering from Dave and Adam’s Card World is the free packs that they send along with your order.  When I placed my first order, it came with some packs of 2007 UD Elements and I pulled  a Jason Bay autographed jersey card.  I loved the card then and with Bay tearing it up for the Red Sox this season, I’ve become even fonder of the card.  It has made it a lot easier to forget about a certain lackadaisical, cheating former left fielder.

When I placed this order, none of the sports packs available really caught my eye.  One thing that did catch my eye was packs of Marvel Masterpieces.  I’m an avid comic book reader and read a lot more Marvel than DC (but my favorite book right now is Terry Moore’s Echo.)  Non-sport sets are where sketch cards first appeared and they make sense here.  I’ve always wanted to open boxes of this stuff and pull a sketch card (especially one of Katie Cook), but since I can’t afford all of the sports wax boxes that I want, non-sports boxes are out of the question.  Now I had the chance to break open 6 packs for free.


These cards have much better art than the sets that I remember from the 90s.  Instead of using a lot of art from unknown artists, these sets now have art by some of the top talents at Marvel.  For example, this Bullseye by Mike Deodato Jr.  Bullseye is currently masquerading as Hawkeye on Norman Osborne’s Avengers team.

There are some cool insert cards.  I pulled Vision and Scarlet Witch Avengers insert cards printed on prismatic foil board.  I also pulled a chrome Iron Man die-cut card out of one of the packs.


My great luck in opening free packs from Dave and Adam continues as I pulled a sketch card from my free packs.  It’s a sketch of Thor by Mark Romanoski.  I’m not a huge fan of Thor or the style of art in this sketch so I decided to put this card up on eBay where it brought in just over $16.  Not too shabby for something out of a free pack of cards.

Upper Deck/Skybox really does a great job with these cards and now I want to break open full boxes of them.  Next time hopefully I’ll pull a sketch card of Spidey or possibly the Human Torch, Thing or Deadpool to add to my collection.  If not, I can sell what I do pull and look into getting my own commissioned 1/1 made by Katie Cook.

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