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 it...at 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 department...at 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.

Friday, January 6, 2023

Box Break: 2022 Panini WWE Chronicles

It's been awhile since I've posted anything of meaning on the blog. It's been awhile since I've posted anything wrestling/WWE related. the last WWE related post was a box break and it seemed to do fairly well in the "click department" so I decided the other night that it was time to do another box break post. This time around I busted a hobby box of the new WWE Chronicles. This is an anthology type release, the first for WWE. The Chronicles set in itself isn't new as Panini has been churning out the set in other sports for a few years now. While much of the same formula still exists for it's debut in WWE, there are some small changes made.

While trying to figure out the layout for this post and which cards pulled from the box to share, I realized that the newly created checklist for the set on TCDB was absent of any card images. I decided at that point that I'd scan every card I pulled and upload them to the TCDB site and do a play by play breakdown of each pack. Needless to say it took a few hours to get everything prepped and ready, but it was fun. I miss blogging at times so this was the perfect excuse to blow the digital dust off the somewhat dormant blog. Now, shall we take a look at the contents of the box?

Now if you aren't familiar with any of the Chronicles sets that Panini has released, the basic idea of the set is the sets within the set. What I mean is Panini uses designs from across their brands and sports to make one large set. There is a "base" set, who's design really hasn't changed since the set's inception in 2017, but this set ditches the individual numbering of each design as it's own set. Instead you have set that is numbered 001-400, which the first 100 cards being the "base" Chronicles set. Other brands featured in cards 200-399 include Absolute, Black, Certified, Contenders, Elite, Flux, Illusions, Legacy, Luminance, Origins, Optic, Phoenix, Playoff, Prestige, Rookie & Stars, Score, Spectra and XR. The last 100 cards feature brands such as Crown Royale, Gala Rookies, National Treasures, Noir and one One. With the exception of the Gala Rookies, these final 100 cards are serially numbered to /99. Gala are numbered to just 8 copies each. Man, is that ever a sharp stick to the eye of set builders?!

Speaking of set building, I think I've decided I'm just going to aim for the first 300 cards for my set. While I'd love to pick up those final 100, it's going to be pretty tough to to build the partial set. Hobby boxes only yield 6 packs, 8 cards per pack. With a Panini product you know there will be a ton of colored parallels so the 48 cards you get in each Hobby box won't get you very far. In fact, I was surprised at how many different parallels my box yielded. More on that later, shall we move onto pack 1?


This is the "base" set if you will, the first 100 cards feature this basic Chronicles design. If you've seen any other Chronicles set before, then this design should look familiar. Parallels and autos do exist of all 100 cards. The checklist for this part of the set is quite diverse and features NXT, current and Legends.

Shoooosh please! Chad Gable's new tag line may be a tad irritating, but I like that a talented, smaller guy is getting the push that he is. While I like him teamed with Otis as part of the Alpha Academy, I really liked Chad and Jason Jordan as a tag team.

I'm not a huge fan of Panini's Legacy brand so I could take or leave these if I'm being honest. There are only 10 total cards that use this design and as the brand's name implies, all of the wrestlers are retired Legends.

The Trish Stratus card hails from the chrome Phoenix set which features 25 different wrestlers from across the years. These don't particularly scan well, but look beautiful in hands. These are also some of the best looking parallels in the set.

Optic is a chrome version of the annual Donruss set. I found that scanning these also can be tough, but again look great in hand, especially this blue Prizm parallel. I was glad to pull a card of good ole' "Mean Gene"...I can just hear Hulk Hogan's voice in my head.... "Let me tell you Mean Gene"! All of the blue parallels are numbered out of /99.

Origins gets a big thumbs up from me. Illusions, not so much. Origins has a simple, artistic look while Illusions has a very busy look that hurts my eyes. Plus I'd take Orton over Theory any day of the week!


I may be in the majority here, but I'm getting tired of the Usos and the Bloodline. The Josh Briggs card is another blue parallel. You'd think the large foil blue Chronicles lettering would help signify it's parallel status, but I didn't even catch it until I started to collate the cards. I like Briggs and his partner(s) in NXT...I hope they stay as a team and get a decent push in the tag team division upon their eventual call up.

The Contenders design has never been a favorite of mine and I disliked the cards in the 2022 Chronicles baseball set (which I'm also working on building), however for whatever reason this design works with wrestling. It also doesn't hurt that its a card of AJ Styles! 

Certified has a mirror like shine finish to the card front. The design stays true to the Certified brand, looking better in hand than on screen. Aoife Valkyrie just recently made her debut on NXT programming so I was little surprised to see her included on the checklist. However I don't understand the hype associated with her debut thus far.

What's this, another parallel in the same pack? This time we have a red parallel of the legend himself, Andre the Giant. Red parallels are numbered out of 199. This is another that I almost missed because the red foil blends in well w/ the bronze color used on the Legacy cards. I'd also like to mention that the photo selection for most of the cards is rather good. Here we have Andre getting ready to slap the chest of "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Can't you already hear the slap and see the giant red hand print he'll leave on Savage's chest?!

I'm only familiar with the XR design thanks to the last two years of the baseball Chronicles set. XR cards are printed on a slightly thicker cardstock and feature a foil front like Certified. There are a total of 20 XR cards in the set.

Flux I believe started as a NBA set, which is why I wasn't all that familiar with it. These cards are printed on a chrome stock, but feature monochrome images of the player, or wrestler in this case. I don't think they look all that great, yet they still intrigue me. Like with the other chrome cards in the set, these didn't scan all that well. There are a total of 25 different cards with the Flux design.

Early in my pack ripping I hit my first of two guaranteed autographs. I'll have to admit that this card of Imperium member, Giovanni Vinci didn't move the needle too much. At least he has a cool auto. Keep reading to discover who or what the last hit was.


Hey, this Josh Briggs card looks awfully familiar?! MVP, Montell Vontavious Porter...he may not have had a lot of ring action in 2022, but did receive his fair share of television time as Bobby Lashley and Omos' manager.

Next up we have a base Optic card of Kevin Nash...excuse me, Diesel. In the 90's and 2000's I was more of a WCW fan so he'll always just be Kevin Nash to me. 

One the other side we have a Donruss Rated Rookie of Schism's "leader", Joe Gacy. Never card for this NXT guy much, but since they rolled out the Schism faction he and his creepy persona is starting to grow on me. The 10 card Rated Rookies checklist is quite good with some great talent currently on display in NXT.

Talk about a pair of boring wrestlers! It could only be worse if we had also pulled a card of Karrion Kross! This year's Absolute design is pretty nice. While the card subject isn't my favorite, it is a better (recent) photo of Goldberg.

The Elite cards feature a lot of silver holofoil coupled with another color, in the case of Omos it's red. At first I thought this was a red parallel, but nope, it's just card #248 in the set. 20 cards make up the Elite set.

I typically like Spectra, but the Spectra cards in the WWE set seem to fall a little flat compared to the same design in the baseball set. For starters these Spectra cards aren't printed on the same thicker cardstock that their baseball brethren are on. Perhaps its that and Theory on the card I pulled that bring this set down.

Black is a decent looking design as-is, but the colored parallels look great as the various colors look great against the holofoil black background and design. Here we have a Purple parallel numbered to /49 of AJ Styles...doesn't it look rather sharp?


I opened this box with my oldest daughter who has taken a liking to wrestling and wrestling cards. When I told her that "Cowboy" Bob Orton was Randy Orton's dad she was a little shocked. "It's time! It's time! It's Vader time"! RIP big guy.

I'm ready for someone to take the belt off of Belair and who better than another female powerhouse like Ivy Nile? Belair is sporting this year's Score football design, which is just decent at best when compared to previous years. Ivy is from the Rookie & Stars set. Both of these sets are comprised of 10 cards each and follow each other in the main checklist.

Past versus the present. I wonder who'd win a match between "Mr. Perfect" and Shinsuke?

By this time in the box I believe this was our third Red parallel pulled. The red surprisingly pops well on the Flux design which is aided by the Prizm technology.

When she fought in NXT UK she was know as Piper McNiven. She was repackaged a Doudrop when she was brought over the WWE main roster. I feel sorry for her and by the look of her face in this photograph she doesn't appear to be all that happy herself.


OK, the 5th pack is not starting off that good...sorry to all the man.soor fans out there. This new gimmick of his as part of the Male Models is just not working.

Alright Panini, you've redeemed yourself! A Red parallel of the new NXT Women's champion, Roxanne Perez! This young girl has been receiving a tremendous push ever since her debut. She was front and center of the recent Mandy Rose controversy and received a winning pin fall over the former champ a little earlier than planned from what I hear. Roxanne is a lot of fun to watch in the ring. I wonder how long it'll be before she gets called up to either RAW or Smackdown?

All ten of the cards from the Luminance brand feature a horizontal orientation and are some of my favorite photos in the set. Sadly this is the only Luminance card I pulled, but I've seen some of the others and they look great. Panini used a great image of Edris Enoff here. He and his partner, Malik Blade, make a up a good, young and raw tag team on the NXT brand.

I enjoy watching both of these talents perform in the ring so it's a little saddening that neither are on TV right now. Big E I understand, but Tommaso Ciampa has just disappeared. At least he got his first name back...although that's not represented on this XR card.

Rick Boogs is yet another wrestler that has been MIA and on the shelf for awhile now. He was last used as a glorified hype man for Shinsuke Nakamora, but I feel he's far more talented. Let's pair him up w/ Elias so the two can form a legit rock band! This Silver Prizm parallel of his Optic card is beautiful in hand.


My last pack in the box started off with two great retired legends in The British Bulldog and Greg "the Hammer" Valentine.

These Prestige and Playoff cards were the only ones pulled from the box. I give Prestige the slight nod in the design category, but both sport some pretty good images. Each of these brands are represented by 10 different subjects and follow each other in the numbering of the main set.

I believe this Spectra card of AJ Styles was the 3rd card of his pulled thus far. I'm not complaining. 

Gable Steveson hasn't done much since signing w/ the WWE, but many think he's destined for greatness in the coming years. I guess only time will tell.

Now this I was not expecting. In the 5th pack there was a dummy thick card in the pack, but I also noticed there was a similar thick card in this pack so I didn't know what to expect. This National Treasures card is not part of the base set, but what a card it is! Numbered to /49 with an embedded piece of ring mat complete with a auto sticker. I've seen some really nice National Treasure hits on eBay already, but I'm more than happy w/ this card. This is a nice "upgrade" if you will over the first hit I pulled.

Why of course the very last card I'd pull would be another AJ Styles card! This makes the 4th AJ card and the 2nd Black parallel of his...all from the same box.

Overall I had a blast opening his Hobby box of WWE Chronicles. I'd love to open a 2nd box, but I'll have to wait to see how successful the breaks I run over in my Facebook group are this month! I believe there will be a retail component to this set released at some point, but judging from how I could never find much of Panini's other WWE sets at local retail I'm not holding my breath that I'll get to experience much of it. 

Regardless, Panini has done a great job in my opinion at catering to both the player (or wrestler) collector and set collectors. There is a great checklist featuring wresters from all eras, lots of cool brands/designs and of course parallels and autos to chase. It also offers a challenge to set builders, like myself, especially if they want to go for all 400 cards. So far the set seems to have a good reception from fans and collectors alike so it'll be interesting to see if boxes hold their price (currently about $120) or if they'll slowly decline like Prizm, Revolution and NXT 2.0 boxes have.