A few weeks ago, I had won some money in my bowling league and decided to use it on some blasters from Target. I picked up a box of 2009-10 Panini Basketball, 2009 Topps 206 and 2008 Stadium Basketball. The Panini box was $10, the Stadium box was discounted to $10 and the 206 box was $20.
The flagship Panini set was the first set released by Panini this year that I liked the design of. If it weren’t for the final releases from Topps and Upper Deck, I wouldn’t have spent any money on cards from my favorite sport. Nice going NBA Properties. You guys really boned that decision.
Upon opening the blaster, this looked like a fun set. There were some inserts that reminded me of 90s Fleer. These packs didn’t all have a sticker in them like the hobby packs do which is disappointing. The stickers are one of my favorite things about this product. The best card that I pulled was a Brandon Jennings Artist Proof numbered to 199. Normally this card would be a great candidate to throw up on eBay, but the card had a crushed corner right out of the pack so I’m sending it back to Panini for a replacement. With my luck, Jennings will be out with an injury or have hit the wall by the time the card comes back.
I beat the odds big time in the Topps 206 box by pulling a framed auto. This is a card to hide away for a couple of years. Zimmermann was once the top prospect in the Nationals organization, but he is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery. He may come back just as good or even better and that’ll be the time to dig this card out of its hiding place.
I also pulled an Andrew McCutchen SP, Rogers Hornsby SP and George Kottaras Polar Bear mini. The autograph makes this a great box even if Zimmermann is out with an injury. The framed autos are beautiful cards and this one is no exception.
In retail form, 2008 Stadium Club is a great set. It’s a shame that Topps ruined the brand by making it a ridiculous auto-per-pack hobby product. The photography and set design for Stadium is still top notch. For those who just want the base cards, it didn’t make sense to go anywhere near the hobby packs. The half priced blasters at Target have led to many people purchasing their first packs of Stadium Club.
I didn’t yet have this card of Clay Buchholz. Clay was rumored to be part of the package offered to bring Adrian Gonzalez to Boston. I’ll keep collecting his cards. He’ll be a good pitcher in Boston, but if he ever gets to pitch half of his games in mammoth Petco Park, he’s going to be amazing.
Here’s my second blaster auto from the bunch. These stained glass window Beam Team cards look beautiful. It’s a shame that the shiny stickers ruin it. Imagine if the autograph window was clear acetate that the player signed on. Those cards would look unbelievable.
It would be tough to do much better than this with blaster purchases. I hadn’t ever pulled an autograph out of a retail box and I went and pulled two on the same day. I got some more cards for my 206 set (check out my want list and we’ll work out a trade). Definitely a good haul from Target.