Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Box Score Debut

In one of my recent Affordable Group Breaks we came across an image of a player holding an old camera on the card and one of the participants commented how they liked seeing a card featuring old tech. In 2002 Fleer released a set called Box Score which contained an insert set called Debut. Embedded in the card was a box score as it would have appeared in the newspaper US Today from that player's debut game. I happen to have this card of the Blue Jays' Eric Hinske. While I don't know if this clipping is manufactured for the set or an actual newspaper clipping, I find it cool none the less...bit it got me to thinking. Would collectors of this generation even be able to relate to a card like this? I guess if you were to "modernize" this set you'd have to insert a small phone screen! Hey, what can I say, I'm getting old.

Now, get off my lawn.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Catching Up...

I've done a much better job in 2023 at keeping my toy blog going, but this trading card blog has kinda fell to the side. After starting up a Facebook group to host my group breaks, I just haven't really thought much about utilizing this blog...which is a shame on many levels. I still like to read other card blogs so it's not like I left the hobby, but I guess at times it's easier to throw up a quick post on Facebook or Twitter/X than it is to try and craft a blog post.

My card collecting has really slowed down in 2023. My limited hobby funds have been allocated to other areas and I feel I've before a little jaded by the current collecting landscape. With what seems like everything shifting over to Fanatics soon, I'm just not sure what to think of current card releases. I try to be optimistic about things, but it's hard to at times. For now however I'm just enjoying casually working on putting together some early to mid-90's baseball sets and picking up cards here and there of some PC guys like Dansby Swanson, Hoy Park, Otis Nixon and some wrasslers too like R-Truth, Candice LaRae and Akira Tozawa.


Say what you will about Panini, but I'm going to miss them. While chasing rainbows can be frustrating and expensive, it can also be a lot of fun and Panini has a knack of producing some nice shiny colored parallels.

My boy R-Truth hasn't been on WWE television in quite some time since being injured so I'm a little surprised to see him on the checklist for both 2023 Prizm (above) and Select...but I'm glad I have new cards to search for.

Hoy Park is a newer PC of mine. While his RCs were featured in most 2022 products as a Pittsburg Pirates, he's currently playing on the Braves' AAA team. With Atlanta's loaded infield and with the acquisition of Nicky Lopez, I doubt he'll have much of an opportunity to play in Atlanta. Hasn't stopped me from picking up some of his autos and numbered parallels.

My desire to set build has also diminished, at least for current product. The discounted blasters that have been showing up at Walmart stores has helped me have some desire to finish off the 2022 Archives set. I'm also looking forward to 2023 Allen & Ginter that is slated for release later this month. That's one set that I always look forward to no matter what.

Oh well, thanks for reading my ramblings...that is assuming you made it this far. While I'd love to say that this particular blog will have more activity in the later part of 2023, I don't like to make promises I can't keep. I'm still around...collecting and talking about cards...just not here as much. Take care!

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Pack Break: 2022 Topps Garbage Pail Kids x MLB Series 1

One of the casualties of 2022's on demand products was this crossover of Garbage Pail Kids and MLB. I forget which month I ordered this, but the pack/box finally came at the end of February 2023. This set features exclusive art by Keith Shore, however I wasn't sure what to think as I didn't care for his take on previous on demand products like Project 2020. I'm glad I didn't try to cancel the order because once the pack/box came I was fairly happy with the cards in hand. Let's take a look.

All of these cards are based off original GPK designs, just "touched" up by Keith. My favorite of this lot by far is the card of Albert Pujols. This is based off the card Roy Bot...

I don't recall what the odds were on pulling a numbered parallel, but this Braves fan got lucky!

Bronze "Rinsed Off Ronald" 01/50!

I am a fan of most of the Garbage Pail Kids releases and this one is no different. The only thing I'm not a fan of is the price. Packs I believe were $20 when they first went on sale, which was already expensive, but now they go for about x2 to x3 times that...if you can find them. Series 2 I believe is coming, but I'm not sure I'm going to bother. While these are cool, my money can go further with other GPK sets like the current Vacation series.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

1999 Starting Lineup Extended Series: Greg Maddux


Being both a toy collector and a trading card collector with blogs for both hobbies, I wasn't sure which blog to share this figure...however since its sports oriented it landed here. 

I'm not a Starting Lineup collector, however I remember these figures vividly from card shows of the past. I don't want to knock them or anyone who collects these, they just never appealed to me. The only reason I have this one is because I got it for a $1 from a card shop that obviously wanted it gone. The blister bubble is heavily yellowed (my guess is from sunlight or old age), but didn't care as if I was going to buy it I was going to open least for the included baseball card.

I find it mildly fascinating that they would make a figure of Greg Maddux in mid-swing of all poses. Now that MLB has done away with pitchers hitting for themselves in the NL it makes this figure that much more unique. While some NL pitchers did make a name for themselves at the plate (from time to time), I don't recall Maddux doing much with a bat in his hands. None the less at the cheap intro price I couldn't pass it up. He now resides on display behind my baseball card bar in my mancave along with the only other Starting Lineup figure I own of Tim Salmon.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Fright Rags: My Bloody Valentine (1981)


In 1981 Paramount Pictures released a great, often overlooked slasher horror movie, My Bloody Valentine. It's since been re-made, but like a lot of movies from the horror genre that have seen a new version the original is still the best. 

Flash forward to 2023, the movie is receiving a set of trading cards from Fright Rags. I've been on their mailing list for awhile now, more specifically after I discovered they released horror movie trading card sets. I've purchased a few sets from them so when they put up pre-orders for My Bloody Valentine I jumped at the opportunity to buy a box set. Fright Rags sells the cards by the wax pack, complete set or wax box.

If you're not familiar with these offerings, they are done up in an old school style. Fright Rags even does their logo on the packaging to mimic the old style Topps logo. Reminiscent of old Topps movie trading cards like Star Wars or Indiana Jones, these cards feel right at home with grown up collectors. Each card features a still from the movie along with a caption. The back of the card features a small description of the scene pictured on the front. The box set comes with the base set, a few parallels and two stickers. The rear of the stickers features a puzzle image of the movie poster...which look awesome once put (backwards) in a 9 pocket page. Wax Box features two sets, all the stickers and an autograph. They can be pricey ($120) so I opted for the box set.

This images can be a spoiler if you've not seen the movie, so with Valentine's Day coming up I urge you to watch the movie first! If you've seen the movie, then enjoy the card scans. Beware, some of them can be a little graphic.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Gold Medallions

Parallels are nothing new in the world of trading cards. Now days collectors are literally chasing the parallel rainbow for their favorite player. Do card companies today get carried away with this? Yes, but it still can be fun. However can you remember a time when parallels weren't as plentiful in each set? Gold parallels were hit when Topps first introduced them in their 1992 baseball set. Other card companies would follow suit with their own gold parallel, but one company excelled in this least in my opinion. Fleer. Fleer Ultra to be more exact. First released in their 1996 Ultra set, the parallel started off with just a small gold medallion logo stamped on the front of the card. Each year though this parallel would change.

Recently I've been working on bolstering my NC State collections across basketball and football and I ran across several Gold Medallion parallels of former Rams WR, Torry Holt. Looking at several years of these parallels in my hands all at the same time made me appreciate them that much more. There are a few of his Gold Medallion cards I've yet to find, but I've got the majority of them so let's take a look at what I currently have.


This was Torry's rookie year and with him pictured in his NC State Wolfpack uniform, it's one of my favorite images. For this version of the popular parallel the entire background image was covered in a gold metallic ink. The holographic silver foil that wraps around the player's name was also changed out for gold holographic foil. Not my favorite Gold Medallion parallel, but it works.


I've always been a sucker for die-cut cards so I like the 2000 version of this parallel. The top of the card has a dome shape cut, which works well for football since several teams play in dome stadiums. Like with the 1999 set, the silver holographic foil is swapped out for gold. Gold Medallion Edition lettering also adorns the top of the card. One of my favorite versions!


Skipping 2001 since that's one of the few I don't own, in 2002 I feel like Fleer got a little lazy with basically using the same idea they first used in 1999. The entire background photo has been covered in gold, which looks OK, but it's been done before. Pass.


Now one could say Fleer continued their laziness with the 2003 version of the Gold Medallions, but where as the 2000 set's cut covered one whole side of the card, they opted to just round off one corner of the card. I like it, I think it stands out. It also combines the 1999 and 2002 sets with the gold background. I think it looks pretty good, what do you think?


I may have been able to give Fleer a pass in previous years, but in 2004 they basically did the same thing they did in 2003. Rounded off corner, gold background...been there, done that. I like the base design of the card and that is what saves this for me.


Are you starting to notice a trend here? Not only does 2005's Gold Medallion cards look a lot like 2004, so does the base design! I think I prefer the font used in 2004 over this one, but these parallels are starting to get boring...which is sad.


In Fleer's 2nd to last year producing an annual football set, their Gold Medallion parallels are once again boring a previous idea in that the card's silver foil and background are switched out for gold. *yawn*

I haven't picked up Torry's 2007 Gold Medallion version yet and while I plan too, that design is more of the same as well. Looking back at what they did with this parallel set in baseball, I feel like they were much more innovative. I especially liked 2006's full blown thick gold cards with the embossed logo. Where companies borrow designs across sports, I'm surprised Fleer didn't bring over some of their ideas from baseball into their football sets. Regardless of how lazy Fleer may have been with the Gold Medallion parallels in football, they still are a fun parallel to chase. Every time I see them, regardless of the sport, it takes me back to the 90's when I collected the heaviest. Fun times. Fun cards.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Topps Sure Loves Chrome

Hey! It's been awhile, hasn't it? While my blogging activity has been scant to say the best, I've still been chugging along, picking up cards and ripping packs & boxes every now and then. While my hectic life makes it hard to keep up with what's going on in the new hobby, Topps released yet another Chrome set in late 2022 that (initially) flew under my radar.

At first glance I thought this was just another "throw away" set. Looking more like a Panini set than Topps, I wasn't sure what to think about the set...but I knew I still wanted the few Braves' represented in the set, especially the Dansby Swanson cards since they would be some of the last to feature him in a Braves' jersey. I sought out to find some online and one of the first purchases I made was this Blue Moon Refractor which is numbered 21/99. When it finally came in the mail I was very impressed with the way the card looked. It's still a crazy design, but wow, it looks fantastic in hand.

I kept looking to see what else I could find. I ended up with a few base Refractors and a Matt Olson insert, but I wanted more Dansby. A few parallels came up, but the sellers wanted more than I was willing to pay so the search continued. As the "hype" of Cosmic Chrome started to die off a few weeks after it's release, I was finally able to pull the trigger and grab the Gold Intergalactic Refractor card above. Numbered 14/50, this one just barely edges the Blue Moon in terms of awesomeness.

The last parallel of Dansby I was able to score is this Orange Galactic Refractor, numbered 09/25. While my scan doesn't do this card justice, it's just as beautiful as the other two...if not more. I believe there is another one or two for me to track down and at this point I'll be keeping my eye out for them as I'm really impressed with Topps' latest Chrome offer. I know it may not float everyone's boat, but I'm impressed.