10 June 2018

Pack of the Day 187: Two Boxes of 2017 Topps Legends of WWE

Topps had a sale on their website over the Memorial Day weekend, and one of the items on sale was Hobby boxes of 2017 Topps Legends of WWE. These things sell for $95-100 each on most card sites, and I got two boxes with shipping for about $73.50 apiece. Each box promises four hits, with three of those being guaranteed autographs. I opened a box of this stuff a few months ago that had four autographs in it.

Between the two boxes, I pulled a total of 74 base cards, with 51 singles and 23 doubles. That means two boxes got me about half of a base set. As shown in this scan, I tend to favor the wrestling legends from my youth, but the set features a lot of older names that I'm not that familiar with. I do kind of wish that Hulk Hogan would get invited back to the WWE and some of these sets. It is kind of distracting to see cards of all his contemporaries, but to never pull a card of one of the most famous wrestlers ever.

There were 19 Bronze parallels between the two boxes. This is the base-level parallel, which basically shows up in any pack that doesn't have a serially-numbered parallel inside. I thought I got some decent cards among my Bronze pulls.

These were my Silver parallel pulls. The Silver cards are # / 99, and fall 1:8 packs. So in two boxes (12 packs each), you'd expect to pull three of them. The Rock is probably the best card in this group, but I like all three of these.

I also got two Blue parallels, which are # / 50. I wasn't that familiar with Dory Funk Jr., but he is actually a pretty influential wrestler, with a long career and his own wrestling school that has trained plenty of big names.

Legendary Bouts is one of two inserts in the product, and these cards feature famous matches from wrestling history. There are some pretty big names here, like Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Randy Savage, and Cactus Jack.

The other insert in the product is called Retired Championships, which shows some retired belts and some of the wrestlers who held them. Who knew there were so many belts out there?

I pulled one basic relic card from each box. They are # / 299. That Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat relic card is pretty amazing for a basic relic card.

I pulled base autographs of two female wrestlers and Bronze autographs of two male wrestlers. The base autographs of Alundra Blayze and Wendi Richter are # / 199, while the Bronze cards of Diamond Dallas Page and Ken Shamrock are # / 99. All except the Diamond Dallas Page card carry on-card signatures.

The first big hit of the break is this autographed manu-relic Commemorative Championship Plate Card bearing the autograph of Big Show. I was pretty happy with this card, although it's probably not a huge money card. I like Big Show, and I was glad to get his signature. The card is # 68 / 99. 

The hit of the break has to be this Black parallel of "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase's autographed relic card. The card features a sweet relic swatch and a nice signature with a '$' inscription. It's also # 4 / 5.

While this break wasn't quite as amazing as my previous box was, this product is a lot of fun. I like pulling cards of all the old-school wrestlers, and each box usually produces at least a handful of really neat things. I'd like to pick up more of this product at some point. The price point is a little high, but there is some good stuff that can come out of it. It also feels a little less risky than a true high-end product like Undisputed.

09 June 2018

Rockets from Sport Card Collectors

A while ago, Sport Card Collectors asked about a card I posted on my blog. I don't really like to trade, but I sent him some cards and he sent me some cards.

Most of the package centered around my favorite basketball team, the Houston Rockets. First up are some shiny parallels and inserts of Houston players, including three of my all-time favorite player, Hakeem Olajuwon. I don't collect basketball cards as much as I used to, so there are a lot of card designs here that are new to me.

There were a couple of UFC cards in the package, both from the 2017 Topps UFC Museum Collection product. On the left is a Copper parallel of Germaine de Randamie, and on the right is a Blue Sapphire parallel of Jose Aldo.

Last up are the hits. Shane Battier was one of my favorite Rockets while he was on the team. He was kind of the figurehead of Daryl Morey's analysis-heavy approach to team-building. Battier didn't put up huge conventional stats, but his positioning, shot selection, and cerebral approach to the game increased the team's win probability while he was on the floor. The Prestigious Pros relic from 2010-11 Panini Prestige is numbered # 121 / 499.

The Jason Terry die-cut autograph comes from 2014-15 Panini Donruss is numbered # 12 / 99. I don't know a lot about Terry, but he's been in the NBA for a long time and spent a couple years on the Rockets. He's also 3rd in all-time 3-pointers made, behind Ray Allen and Reggie Miller. I think maybe Steph Curry, Kyle Korver, and Klay Thompson have a chance at passing him if they play long enough, though.

The highlight of the package was this Apprentice Signatures autograph of Patrick Beverley from 2013-14 Panini Crusade. It is numbered # 05 / 10. I liked Beverley as a Rocket, although I thought at times he showboated a little too much. It wouldn't be a problem, but it felt like every so often he would have an unnecessary turnover or miss a shot because he was showing off. He's a good defender, though, and was overall a solid player for the team.

This was a pretty cool package from Sport Card Collectors. It was especially nice to add so many cards to my oft-neglected basketball collection. Thank you!

06 June 2018

May 2018 Loot Locker

I don't have my usual picture of the outside of a Loot Locker to put up at the top of this post, but I got my May Loot Locker in the mail a day or two ago. As usual, I went with the Triple Play option that includes a little more than the slightly cheaper All-Star box. There are also football and basketball lockers.

Here is what I got in my Loot Locker for the month. A couple pieces of candy, some Ultra Pro top loaders and sleeves, 1 pack of 2018 Panini Diamond Kings, 2 packs of 2018 Donruss, and 2 packs of 2018 Bowman. These are all Hobby packs. I always like to break down the value of the Locker based on the going price for Hobby boxes to see if I'm getting a decent price on the packs. I just take the box prices from a major online card retailer, divide those by the number of packs in a box, and multiply by the number of packs in my Locker.

2018 Diamond Kings: $75.95 / 12 = $6.33 x 1 = $6.33
2018 Donruss: $104.95 / 24 = $4.37 x 2 = $8.75
2018 Bowman: $179.95 / 24 = $7.50 x 2 = $15.00

Total: $6.33 + $8.75 + $15.00 = $30.08

Well, with the cost of the packs, hobby supplies, candy, shipping, and labor, I hope the Loot Locker folks got a good deal on their product, because this Loot Locker yielded more in packs than the $30 base price. Let's see if I pulled anything good.

I didn't find much exciting in the Diamond Kings pack. That Gabby Hartnett card has a cool picture. Other than that, I am struggling to find a lot to say about this one. Robinson Cano's injury and suspension kind of put a damper on my fantasy baseball team.

One of the Donruss packs was a Noah Syndergaard hot pack, with a Stat Line parallel and a Nickname variation appearing back to back. There were a couple of other interesting cards in the mix, including a Diamond Collection relic card of Deven Marrero, who has gone from playing not-that-great for the Red Sox Boston to playing not-that-great for the Diamondbacks Arizona.

I got a couple of neat inserts in the Bowman packs. The Ronald Acuna is a #Trending insert and the Bowman Sterling of Carlos Correa is a one-per-box insert. I like the way the Correa card looks.

Overall, this Loot Locker didn't rock my socks off. Of course, with card prices being what they are right now, it's all a big gamble. I am still not sure if I'll be grabbing another Loot Locker in June. They put a decent amount of product in there for the price, but maybe the price of cards is too high right now.

25 May 2018

Target Does Right by the Little Guy - 2018 Bowman Mega Box

I stopped at the local Target last night to see if they had any Bowman Mega Boxes. I checked the card aisle and the toy section, and they didn't have them. I almost skipped going today while I was out on errands, but I decided to at least give it a shot. There wasn't anything in the card aisle, but as I approached the toy aisles I saw a small crowd gathered. Target had actually posted an employee near the Mega Box display, and he was rationing them out with a limit of four per customer. I saw one guy who looked like he might be looking to fight the Target worker, but he eventually took his four boxes and moved on. I asked for three boxes, and the employee handed them over. I also told him that I appreciated what they were doing, and he said that they try to do that if they feel a product is hot and likely to be cleared out and scalped by resellers. He said that if I have friends who are looking for Mega Boxes, they have some more in the back, and they can go and ask for them. If you're in Nampa, Idaho or thereabouts, they had Mega Boxes as of noon today.

Here is what the box looks like. The box is bigger than a blaster, with fewer packs, and it's a bit cheaper than a blaster. The real draw here is the 2 Mega Box exclusive Chrome packs.

Here are the odds and whatnot from the back of the box. You've got your usual assortment of inserts, parallels, and autographs.

These were the highlights of the regular Bowman packs from my first box. Nothing too crazy here.

Here are the highlights from the initial two packs of Mega Box Chrome. The Green parallel of Heliot Ramos is # 09 / 99. 

Here are some highlights from the regular Bowman packs in the second box I opened. I should probably be showing off more prospect cards, but I don't know any of those guys. Kyle Tucker is one of the hotter prospects the Astros have coming up. I just learned that the Astros released one of my PC guys, Jon Singleton, after he tested positive on another drug test and earned himself a 100-game suspension. He wasn't likely to make the big-league roster again anyway, but getting suspended again for drugs isn't the way to make yourself attractive to any other teams out there. I'm guessing that this might really be the end of the line for him when it comes to baseball.

There was some color in this Mega Box. The Jorge Mateo Gold parallel is # 16 / 50, while the Purple #Trending insert of Sixto Sanchez is # 150 / 250. Ronald Acuna and Royce Lewis are some pretty good base pulls.

The last box I opened gave up some Astros, Vlad Jr., one of the Braves' hot players, and some other stuff from the regular packs.

The inserts from the Mega Box packs weren't that interesting (to me), but I did get Kyle Tucker, Shed Long, and Adbert Alzolay from the base cards.

This wasn't an earth-shattering break, but I was glad to have a chance at opening a few Mega Boxes. I thought it was pretty cool of the local Target to ration them so that more people could have a chance, although not everyone at the store today felt the same.

23 May 2018

She-Hulk by Rodrigo Martins

Another day, another She-Hulk sketch card. The last She-Hulk card I showed off came from the Rittenhouse Marvel Dangerous Divas Series 2. This one comes from the first Dangerous Divas set, released in 2011.

The artist is Rodrigo Martins, who also goes by lengthened (Rodrigo Martins dos Santos) and shortened (Rod San) versions of his name. I haven't found an online store for him, but he does have active Instagram, Facebook, and DeviantArt profiles. I like his version of She-Hulk on this card. She looks sufficiently strong for a Hulk, and I enjoy the way he made her interact with the card border. I'd like to track down more of his artwork in the future.

21 May 2018

She-Hulk by Federico Blee

I've got a pretty big backlog of sketch cards and other artwork to post about. I don't know if I'll ever get around to posting it all, but I'm going to try. Things have been kind of busy for me lately. I guess things are always busy for everyone, but I feel like I'm juggling a fair amount of stuff at the moment. We're in our big summer push at work. My Army physical fitness test is coming up. I have Cub Scout stuff I have to take care of. I wasn't planning on going back to school, but I got an e-mail about a tuition assistance program for my job series that will basically cover an MBA for free, so I am in the process of applying for an MBA program. I'm looking forward to this weekend. My wife and I are driving up to Spokane for a Weird Al Yankovic concert. It'll be a lot of driving over two days, but every review I've read from his tour has been great.

Today's sketch card comes from the 2014 Rittenhouse Marvel Dangerous Divas Series 2 set. It features one of my favorite Marvel characters, She-Hulk. The artist is Federico Blee, who is best known for his work as a colorist in comics. He doesn't seem to have a huge online presence, but he does have some art on his Facebook page. He also has a DeviantArt profile. He did some work on the She-Hulk comic book series, so it's nice to have a sketch card of the character from him. I picked it up on eBay last year.

18 May 2018

Olajuwon Sole of the Game

One piece of memorabilia I've been wanting for a long time is a trading card featuring an embedded piece of shoe in it. There have been a number of products produced with chunks of game-worn shoe relics, but I haven't ever been able to find the right one at the right price.

I finally tracked one down late last month. I actually didn't win the auction for this one, but the seller sent me a Second-Chance Offer because the high bidder had won another card from him and couldn't afford to pay for both. It's a Sole of the Game insert featuring Hakeem Olajuwon from 2014-15 Panini Immaculate Collection Basketball. This is the base version of his card, and it's numbered # 07 / 30. The card was shipped from Australia, and I thought it might be lost for good in the mail. The tracking number showed it leaving a processing center in California on April 29th, and there were no updated in the status until it arrived in Boise yesterday. About a week ago I submitted a search request on USPS.com to see if they could find it, but I never heard anything from them. I don't know how it spent nearly three weeks getting from there to here, but I am glad it made it safely. The card is extremely thick, probably because it has a piece of Olajuwon's sole in it.

The Rockets managed to tie their Conference Finals series with Golden State at 1-1 the other day, and I'm hoping they can advance to the NBA Finals. I think whichever team comes out of the West will have a pretty good shot at winning the title over the Celtics or the Cavaliers.