21 September 2017

Pack of the Day 175: A Rack Pack of 2017 Topps Heritage High Number

I showed off a pack of 2016 Topps Heritage High Number with a pretty good pull in it a few days ago, and I decided later to try out a pack of the 2017 iteration.

Here's the front of the pack. It's got 16 cards promised inside, with possible inserts including Walmart exclusive Topps Discs. I didn't get any of those in this pack, but apparently if you want to try your hand at getting one you need to get to Walmart.

This is the back-of-pack stuff, with the odds listed for all the stuff you might find inside, as well as the No Purchase Necessary address and rules.

As is my custom, I didn't scan every card in the pack, but I did scan one card front and back. Joakim Soria was a mainstay on my fantasy baseball teams several years ago (longer ago than I thought), and he's managed to stay in the game and relevant for a few teams in the ensuing seasons, eventually returning to Kansas City.

These were my favorite cards from the rest of the base set. Clippard now plies his trade for the Astros, so I had to include his card in the scan. The Astros are actually his second team since leaving the Yankees earlier this season, as he was acquired by the White Sox in between. His outings for the Astros have been pretty rough so far.

Brandon Phillips is on the Angels now, so he's another guy in this scan who is no longer with the team he's pictured with on this Heritage Update release. Addison Reed is now with the Red Sox, so this scan is 3 for 6 with players in the wrong uniforms.

The pack wasn't done with the Astros, giving me this Rookie Performers insert of Yulieski Gurriel. These are a 1:4 pack insert, and this is the only non-base, non-SP card from the pack. I like the design on this insert, although I don't think I'll bother to chase the rest of the set down.

19 September 2017

2017 Topps Star Wars 3D Widevision: The Force Awakens

Topps released a 3D Widevision set for Star Wars: The Force Awakens quite some time ago. I received my copy of the set, but haven't ever gotten around to posting about it. The original MSRP on these was the usual $99.99, and they are still available on the Topps website as of this writing. I am not sure if this set is included in the periodic sales that Topps does, usually on major holidays, but I guess it's worth a look-see if you're a Star Wars fan who doesn't want to pay the full box price.

Each set comes in a box with a nice embossed Kylo Ren on the top. Inside you will find a complete base set and two autographs, with various parallels possible on the autograph cards. Most of the major Star Wars stars are possible pulls from this set, but I imagine the big names are extremely short-printed.

The print run on the sets was 2000 copies, and each box comes serially-numbered. I got set # 816 / 2000.

The fronts of the base cards don't scan well because of the lenticular 3D technology, but they look all right in person. You get plenty of photos from the film. There are 44 cards in the base checklist.

The card back feature a picture of one of the film's characters along the left side, a small inset picture on the upper right, and a paragraph describing part of the movie plot.

My two autograph pulls were people I didn't really recognize. Jessica Henwick also appeared in Game of Thrones and the Marvel TV shows Iron Fist and The Defenders. Brian Vernel hasn't appeared in anything that I've heard of outside of The Force Awakens.

The Jessica Henwick autograph is a base autograph, and the Brian Vernel autograph is a Gold parallel numbered # 09 / 25. The Gold parallels are seeded 1:15 boxes.

These sets are pretty cool. I have to admit that I wish I'd pulled better autographs, but the truth is that most autographs you get from Star Wars products aren't from the main characters in the films.

18 September 2017

The Who Now?

This was pretty big news a couple of months ago, but talk of it has died down since then. It might flare up again when the episodes start airing. A woman, actress Jodie Whittaker, was announced on July 16th as the 13th person to play the role of Doctor Who in the next season of the long-running series. I am not that familiar with the show, but my wife and my mother-in-law are really into it. Apparently the Doctor has taken on female form before, but not as the lead for a full season. The decision to cast a female in the role was pretty controversial among fans of the show, and the geeky news cycle blew up for a little while about it. I guess it would be similar to someone casting a female James Bond or something. There are traditionalists who yell, "It just isn't done!" and there are revolutionists who shout, "This is necessary!" and there are neutral folks who exclaim, "Let's see how it turns out before we make a judgment!"

Topps holds a license to make Doctor Who trading cards, so they capitalized on the opportunity to make a Topps Now card for the announcement. It sold 1400 copies, and I was one of the folks who ordered one. I think I got mine at a discount from an eBay seller.

I doubt I'll watch the new show. I've seen a handful of episodes from previous seasons, but I haven't ever really had the desire to watch them all. I still have a long list of things I ought to watch, but I never get around to it. I think right now the priorities on my list are Stranger Things (and pretty soon Stranger Things 2), all of the Marvel movies I've missed over the last few years, GLOW, the last season of Arrested Development, the new IT movie, and a couple of cartoons I've been meaning to check out.

17 September 2017

Pack of the Day 174: Value Pack of 2017 Panini Donruss Football

Since today was football day, I guess I'll do up a post on some NFL cards. My fantasy football team had a pretty rough go of it this week, but I'll bounce back. It's an office league, so I'll probably have to endure a little trash talk tomorrow, but at least the Broncos won in a convincing fashion against the Cowboys. That takes some of the sting off.

I grabbed this very wrinkled rack pack of 2017 Panini Donruss cards at Walmart a little while ago. There were 30 cards in the pack, but I didn't scan all of them. There are a lot of inserts and parallels and parallels of inserts in this product, but there are never any odds on Panini's packs, so I didn't bother to scan the back.

Here is the front and back of Von Miller's base card for an overview of the design. I like this design pretty well, although it suffers from the usual Panini problem of featuring minimal stats on the back. I know that all the stats in the world can be found online, but I would like to see a player's career in year-by-year lines with totals at the bottom on the back of a trading card.

These are the base cards I decided to scan. The set has retired guys mixed into the checklist. I read somewhere that each team has one retired guy in the set. I didn't bother to look over the checklist and confirm that. One theme in this pack was guys pictured in Bills uniforms with logos and colors from their new teams. I did like pulling an Adam Vinatieri card. I want to see kickers and punters and linemen in my sets.

The four cards across the top of this scan are the Blue Press Proofs promised on the front of the pack. Along the bottom are the non-standard cards from the pack. That Chris Godwin The Elite Series card is pretty wild with all the patterning. I also got a couple of Rated Rookies and one rookie card of Zach Cunningham. I'm guessing that rookie cards are short printed in this set, which is a pain in the butt for set collectors.

That's it for this one. I like the look of the product, but football cards just don't grab me the way that cards from other sports do. I will probably continue to grab a pack or two of football cards each year, but I can't see myself collecting sets or anything.

15 September 2017

Pack of the Day 173: A Discounted Rack Pack of 2016 Topps Heritage High Numbers

I've been visiting the local Walmart stores in search of the supposedly released new 2017 Topps WWE Women's Division cards that are exclusive to that retailer. So far they haven't been stocked anywhere in my area. On most of my visits I just walk away without buying anything, but I broke down one time and pulled something from the clearance bin.

You know the pickings are slim if I am buying Heritage at retail. I like Heritage as an idea, but busting packs of it is a little mind-numbing for me. I grew up as a collector in the mid-90's, so I am accustomed to being wowed by foil and inserts everywhere. This discounted rack pack of 2016 Topps Heritage High Number was the only thing on the shelf that caught my eye, so I bought it.

I didn't bother to scan the whole pack, but here are a handful of base cards that stood out to me, either because they are current Astros (Morton and Harris) or because I collect their cards (Reynolds) or because I think some other blogger collects their cards (Reimold).

I had to check the little codes on the back of the cards to see if I got anything special, since there were no apparent inserts in the pack. The Max Kepler card is a short print, and the Michael Fulmer card is an error variation card that's pretty rare. The error variation is on the back of the card, which lists his position as PITHCER instead of PITCHER. A couple of them have sold on eBay recently in the $20 range, so it's a pretty good pull from a retail discount pack of Heritage. Now I just need to see if I can find some of those new WWE cards. I'll probably hit up the Walmart stores between work and home this evening.

14 September 2017

2017 Topps Series 2 First Pitch Set

One of my favorite insert sets from the flagship Topps baseball product is First Pitch, which is an ongoing set that highlights different people who have thrown the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game. There is usually a decent mix of names on the checklist, including celebrities, athletes, and the subjects of feel-good stories. I usually pick up a set as soon as another series of Topps is released. I don't always know or like everyone on the checklist, but I enjoy seeing who gets picked and what their story is.

I didn't scan all of the cards in the 2017 Topps Series 2 First Pitch set, but I scanned a handful of them. Isaiah Mustafa is an actor who is most known to me as the Old Spice spokesman.

I don't know who Jannawockeez are, but that card is freaky enough that I included it for shock value. Brian Shaw is a strongman who has trained with a guy I know from the Army National Guard. I also saw him pick up a car like 15 times at the Bodybuilding.com Fitness Expo here in Boise a few years ago. It was on some kind of hinged sled, so he didn't lift the full weight of the car, but I saw a lot of strong strong dudes try to pick it up and fail. I think it would be neat if Topps could get autographs and relics from him for an Allen & Ginter release. Camilla Luddington is an actress whose work I am not familiar with, and Luke Donald is a golfer of some renown.

The First Pitch set has been a part of Topps for several years now, and I hope it continues to be a part of the checklist. It's one of my favorite parts of the product.

13 September 2017

R.A. Dickey Prime Cuts Auto

I have to admit that I haven't followed the exploits of R.A. Dickey much this season. He went down to that team in Atlanta, and I kind of lost track of him. I've never been a Braves fan. In looking at his numbers, he's had an okay year. There aren't a lot of guys out there pitching at the MLB level when they're 42 years old. I still like to add to my Dickey collection when I can, although I've been focusing a lot lately on things outside of baseball, like wrestling cards, sketch cards, art commissions, and NASCAR. Dickey is still up there among my favorite players, though, and I really ought to turn on MLB TV once this season when he's on the mound.

I picked up this autograph card from 2016 Panini Prime Cuts a little while ago. It's the base version of his autograph in the set, with a surprisingly low print run of 25 copies for the base autograph. My example is # 22 / 25. It's a sticker autograph, but the sticker doesn't stand out too bad.

I've been working a lot lately and also trying to get some stuff done around the house. One of my projects has been getting all of my stuff moved out of our office room and down to the basement, with the eventual goal of moving our eldest son into his own bedroom and our office down into the basement, where I have begun staging my card collection underneath the future Sorting Table. It will be neat to see what all I actually have in my collection. As I move cards down there, I will often grab a stack of cards from the boxes to flip through, and I usually find several treasures that bring a smile to my face. After I get everything moved down there, I would like to get my cards sorted and then input into the Trading Card Database or something similar, so I can see how many cards I have in my player collections.