Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Panini Instant

You know the old saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"? Well I guess that is the case here with Panini's newest venture, Panini Instant.

Hot on the heels of Topps' successful Topps Now program, Panini is also offer up special cards that commemorate certain events or feats in sports during the 2016 NFL season. I happened to see a blurb about this a few weeks ago in one of their newsletters I receive in my inbox. Actually what caught my eye wasn't the article able the program itself, but the image of Carolina Panthers QB, Cam Newton.

Panini is even pricing their cards the same as Topps. Each card retails for $9.99 with free shipping. However Panini took it a step further and is producing serially numbered colored parallels. Orange are numbered to 50, blue are numbered to 25, purple are numbered to 10, green are numbered to 5 and there is also a black 1/1 for each card. Prices range from $24.99 to $149.99.

While Topps is releasing the print run for each card after the 24 hour window to purchase the card has closed, Panini is actually printing this print run on the back of the card. You can see above that the first card in the set had a print run of only 140 cards.

The cards themselves seem to be printed on normal card stock. They of course have a UV coating on the front and back. I love the simple, boarderless design and the full bleed photos. However it may just be me, but the image looks a little fuzzy...even in hand. Cam already has two cards in the set and his #1 target, wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin has a card. These photos seem to be a little fuzzy too.

Overall I'm excited about the program and it's nice to see that Panini has a little a variety over Topps, however if Topps had the NFL license and was making Topps Now cards, I think I'd give Topps a slight edge.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Affordable Group Break Results

Sorry to those that were still waiting for the final results to be revealed from this month's group break. The weekend and the beginning of this week haven't been the kindest to me and I just haven't had much time to get the video from Facebook posted as well as pictures of the hits.

If you didn't catch the live stream on Facebook, I've embedded the video at the bottom of the post for your viewing pleasure. As you know we opened two hobby boxes of 2016 Topps Strata and the mystery box was 2015 Topps Bunt. I also threw in a retail rack pack of 2016 Topps Chrome.

The Strata boxes were...well...they were fun to open. However the results weren't what I was hoping for. How did we end up getting a duplicate card out of a two card pack that is one per box? Seriously, what were the odds of that happening?! At least I know Andy who claimed the Cubs is happy to be receiving this bat relic card of Kyle Schwarber.

I was not that familiar with this new physical version of Topps Bunt. I've been playing around w/ the app, but like digital comics don't appeal to me that much the same can be said for digital trading cards. I really wish there was a way to get a physical card of some of the digital cards. At least this version of Bunt sort of gives you that. We didn't get any hard to pull inserts, but at least we got a variety of the inserts. I particularly like the Team Program inserts.

The 3 packs of Topps Chrome had a two refractors, but I'm not sure what happened to that photo. It's not on my phone anymore and the cards have been shipped already.

Even though my life is a little hectic right now, it was fun hosting another break. The results weren't what I was hoping for, but I appreciate those of you that joined in. Not sure when I'll host another as my work load hasn't slowed down lately...but I'm always game.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Affordable Group Break 2nd & 3rd Team Randomization Video

As promised earlier, here is the video for the randomization of the addition teams for each slot. If anyone wants to trade teams PLEASE let me know before we get started this evening around 9 PM EST. Boxes arrived about an hour ago plus I picked up another little special surprise this afternoon for the break. Get your popcorn ready as it's almost game time!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Pack Break: 2016 Panini Donruss

Just in time for tonight's NFL game to commemorate the opening of the 2016 NFL season, we have a rare (at least for me) pack break featuring 2016 Panini Donruss. I'm trying to stay more focused on baseball and the sets that I'm building, but after the run to the Super Bowl my hometown Carolina Panthers made it's hard not to want to pick up some packs. I usually stick to buying team sets and select singles of cards of my favorite Panthers (Greg Olsen, Thomas Davis, Jonathan Stewart), but I always loved the Donruss brand and ever since Panini brought it back I've been intrigued. However the lack of baseball logos still bothers me, but thankfully I don't have to worry about that issue w/ their football release. So here we go, one measly retail pack just waiting to be busted...

At least for retail packs, you get 8 cards for I believe it was $1.99 a pack (at least at Target). The set is comprised of 400 cards - 300 base, 50 Rookies and 50 Rated Rookies. In typical fashion there are lots of parallels, Stat and Season line parallels, Leather Kings, Canton Kings, Passing the Torch autos and much much more. However Panini doesn't like to list individual odds for their inserts so I have no idea which set is harder to pull. Enough about that, let's get to the cards.

Immediately this set took me back to 1990...the year I started collecting baseball cards. I guess it's the horizontal lines at the top of the card and the cursive font for the names that reminds me of that year's baseball release. Instead of being all one color however, the outer card's color matches that of the team they play for, I gotta say that I really like this design and if I were to build a football set this may be on purely for nostalgic reasons...but I'm trying not to go there!

The Warrick Dunn card through me for a loop since he is retired, but after looking at a few team set lots online it appears they mixed in a few retired players too. I don't mind that, but when I hear Warrick's name I think more of him in a Tampa Bay Buccs uniform than I do a Falcons uniform.


I was so glad to get at least one Panthers player in my first pack, especially Thomas Davis. This guy is a beast on the field and his story makes him that much more fun to watch. If you don't know about Thomas, he has come back from not 1 or 2 severe knee injuries, but 3. I'm surprised this guy can walk let alone play football at the caliber he still does. Our defense and offense may have let us down in Superbowl 50 against the Broncos, but I expect them to bounce back this year with a vengeance...and that all starts tonight against the Broncos!


I don't know what the difference is between the 50 Rookies and the 50 Rated Rookies are at this point. I'm guessing the Rated Rookies aren't considered actual rookie cards? Have no idea, but here is one of the RR for your viewing pleasure.

I am psyched for the return of the NFL, though I'm not giving up on baseball. There are a lot of intriguing pennant chases going on (can the Cubs really win it all?!) and even my Braves are playing a little better. Even though I'm juggling several baseball sets and getting ready to host my first Affordable Group Break in over a year, I'm looking forward to spending a little time this evening with football. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get some work done so I can take a nap as it's going to be a long day/night! Go Panthers!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Affordable Group Break Update!

I interrupt my watching of the Braves take on the Nats with an important update!

Please check out the original sign up post for an important update about the break. Also, if you haven't paid yet for your slot(s) please do so as soon as you can so we can hopefully get this underway Friday or this weekend! Thank you!

I know resume my sitting on the couch watching the game.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Affordable Group Break Sign Ups are LIVE!

** 09/06/16 UPDATE ** Each slot will now contain 3 total teams! Two of them will be randomized once the break fills up. Only two slots remain so help me spread the word. If we don't get anyone else to join in, I'll have to eat the cost myself and take the other teams that aren't randomized. Hopefully we can get this done before the boxes arrive this Friday! If you claimed a team(s), please go ahead and remit your payment ASAP. Thank you! **

Yesterday I threw out there an idea and I got enough of a positive response that I'm going to run with this. If you didn't see my previous post then here is the deal.

I'll be breaking 2 hobby boxes of 2016 Topps Strata plus one hobby box of another 2016 Topps product, to be revealed when my shipment arrives. Boxes are currently scheduled to be in hand on Friday, 09/09/16. Boxes will be ripped LIVE via my blog's Facebook page. I'll also do a recap type post here once everything has been opened.

I always try to make my breaks affordable, hence the name. We are going to have 10 total slots, with each slot consisting of three teams...for just $17 a slot. You pick the first team and once we have 10 participants we'll randomly assign the unclaimed teams. I'll do a video and post it of the teams being randomly assigned by mid-week next week. Shipping will be extra. Costs will be $5 for the first slot and $2 for each additional slot. These will be mailed in boxes via USPS.

I always make sure no one goes home empty handed so if you participate, you WILL get cards for each team regardless of what is pulled from the boxes. I also may pick up a few random packs to include as well just to make things more fun.

I've already ordered the boxes so if you can go ahead and pay now I'd appreciate it. You can send the funds via PayPal to Please note that I don't use this email address for much more than payments. If you need to e-mail me, please use my default e-mail. I look to get started next Friday around 9 PM EST, however that time is flexible.

Since the response was so good, I'm going to assign those who previously commented with the team they requested. This means we only have a few slots left! If you are interested, please leave a comment w/ the team you want.

01 - Cardboard Collections / Braves / Rockies / Astros (PAID)
02 - The Junior Junkie / Mariners / Mets / White Sox (PAID)
03 - Andy Stetson / Cubs / Marlins / Diamonbacks (PAID)
04 - Josh D. / Royals / Twins / Yankees (PAID)
05 - madding / Cardinals / Indians / Rangers (PAID)
06 - Robert / Blue Jays / Rays / Brewers (PAID)
07 - Play at the Plate / Angels / Pirates / A's (PAID)
08 - Play at the Plate / Dodgers / Tigers / Padres (PAID)
09 - Cardboard Collections / Red Sox / Phillies / Nationals (PAID)
10 - Cardboard Collections / Orioles / Reds / Giants (PAID)

Friday, September 2, 2016

Affordable Group Break Idea

**09/03/16 UPDATE **

This Affordable Group Break will be happening!! I've listened and added a mystery box of a 2016 Topps product to add more diversity. This box will add $2 to each two team slot, however if you were interested before at the $15 price tag just talk to me. Otherwise the price will be $17 plus $5 shipping for each two team slot. You pick the first team and will choose your second team from the teams that are unclaimed. Boxes will arrive on Friday, 09/09/16 and we'll go live on my blog's Facebook page Friday night. Time TBD. If you have already chimed in I'll pul you down for that team. A new signup post will occur later today so if you want to jump in leave a comment here or wait for the official sign up post. If you've ever participated in one of my previous breaks, you should know that I do my best to make sure no one leaves empty handed. Thank you and I look forward to getting this started next week!

It's been awhile since I've hosted a group break and I'm kind itching to open something new, specifically something I'd normally not purchase. I got an email this evening from Dave and Adam and they are having a labor day sale so it got me thinking of hosting a break.

I was looking at 2 boxes of 2016 Topps Strata. That would give us 4 guaranteed hits, 2 autographs and 2 relics. The relics remind me of Topps Unique from a few years ago. I think it could be fun.

If we do a two team slot system where one team is chosen and the other is randomized, slots would only be $10 each plus $5 shipping. Discounts available for purchases of 2 or more slots.

Boxes could be ripped live on my Facebook page for this blog, along with the randomization of the 2nd teams. Results would be summed up in a post or two on the blog for those who are anti-Facebook.

As the host and resident Braves fan, my team would be off the table, though all the others would be up for grabs. So, if I can find at least 8 others that would be willing to participate I think we can pull this off.

Not ready to start sign-ups now as I'm try to gauge interest. If this sounds like something you be up for let me know ASAP as the sale ends the day after Labor Day.