20 April 2017

Work Trip to Dayton, Ohio: The Hobby Stuff

Now that my work trip to Ohio is about over, I figured I'd show off the hobby-related stuff I picked up while I was there. When I first flew in, I stopped to get something to eat and then I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some stuff I needed, like a razor, some soda, and some baseball cards.

I don't think I've posted the previous Gypsy Queen blasters I bought yet, but they weren't all that great. I'd heard rumors that 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen retail was hot stuff, but in my experience that hasn't been the case. But I thought maybe it was just a problem with the blasters in Idaho. I picked up an Ohio blaster as a test, and also because there wasn't a whole lot of other stuff on the shelves.

I got a decent array of base cards. Derek Jeter was my short-printed base card. I got a Charlie Blackmon Green Back parallel. There are supposedly only 50 copies of each Green Back, as opposed to the Green Front parallels that come in value packs. There are a couple of inserts, too.

After three blasters, I finally pulled a hit out of Gypsy Queen. I should have just bought 2/3 of a Hobby box with that money, but I didn't, and now I have this Aaron Judge autograph card. He's been playing pretty well lately, so this card has actually kind of taken off in the two weeks since I pulled it. I should put it up on eBay or something.

I made a stop at TCI Sports Fan, a card shop that I stopped at on my last trip to Ohio. There were a few things I looked at while I was there, but they had this box of 2016 Topps Star Wars Rogue One: Mission Briefing cards on the discount shelf and I bought it. I probably should have purchased something else.

The base cards are about the same as every other faux-vintage Star Wars set that has come out recently. They have red borders and feature scenes from the films.

The Death Star insert set shows different important locations on the space station.

I got a few of these Comic Strips inserts in the box. Although the backs of The Death Star inserts actually have text, most of the other inserts have some variation of the 'COLLECT ALL [NUMBER] CARDS!' text on the back. 

These Villains of the Galactic Empire and Heroes of the Rebel Alliance cards are pretty cool.

The two cards in the upper left are Character Stickers. They are printed on thin stock and I believe they are actually stickers, although I haven't tried peeling one. The two cards in the upper right are part of a Darth Vader continuity set, so I guess there will be more of them in other releases. Maybe those other releases are already out. I don't know. There are so many sets being released that I don't even keep up anymore. The three cards on the left of the bottom row are Character Foil cards, and the card on the bottom right is probably part of the Montages set, which probably interconnects with other cards to create a panoramic scene.

I pulled quite a few Death Star Black, Green, and Blue parallels. Those are the more common ones. I didn't pull any of the scarce Gray, Gold, or Orange parallels, which are serially-numbered # / 100, # / 50, and # 1 / 1.

My two promised hits were a manu-patch of Captain Cassian Andor and a base autograph of Corey Dee Williams as Klaatu. Klaatu is one of the folks who hangs out in Jabba's palace, and he gets killed during the sail barge escape scene.

Here are the backs of the hit cards. That box was kind of underwhelming, but buying the low-cost stuff bring high odds that your hits are going to be low-end hits. The regular cards are more of the same stuff we've been seeing, reprints of earlier designs with many of the same film stills that have been in circulation for the last forty or so years.

Later, I made a second trip to TCI Sports Fan. They were having a die-cast sale, and I wanted to pick up something for my NASCAR collection. I eventually settled on this 2011 Danica Patrick Honoring Our Heroes car. She drove this car in the Nationwide race on September 11th, 2011.

There were 1,209 of these die-cast cars produced. This one was on sale for $25, which is a better price than I can get online, especially when you take shipping into account. There were a couple of other cars I was interested in, but I decided on just purchasing the one.

Here's what it looks like out of the box. It's a pretty cool paint scheme. Each of the stars represents one victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I think the mixture of sports and patriotism is kind of weird, but I know baseball really played a big healing role after the 9/11 attacks and after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

They had also moved these boxes of 2011 WWE Champions onto the sale shelf. For $12 apiece, I thought it might be fun to bust some WWE wax. This set is pretty basic, and I think it is the predecessor to the current WWE Road to WrestleMania product line.

The base set is all about the photographs, and recounts the WWE storyline between WrestleManias. The set isn't that big, so you'll complete it in one box with a fair number of doubles and maybe some triples.

There are no parallels, and only one insert set. There are also autographs, but they only fall 1:150 packs, so you'll only see one every 6 boxes or so. I wasn't lucky enough to pull an autograph. The Foil inserts are a 1:3 packs pull, so you get eight per box. It's a 10-card set, and I completed the set out of two boxes, with 6 doubles. I don't know what the selection criteria were for the checklist, but there are some cool names in the set.

Finally, I made a trip to the Dayton Visual Arts Center to put some money in the Art-o-mat machine. The gallery was between exhibits, so there wasn't much art on the walls and I had to dodge ladders and stuff to get to the machine, but the staff didn't kick me out and even gave me change because the machine wouldn't take my bill. They didn't have Raz Card Blog favorite artist John Soukup stocked in the machine, so I had to try some new artists. The first was Andy Brzeczek, an artist out of Colorado. He doesn't seem to have much of a web presence, but I found a Facebook page and a profile on an art organization's page. Based on his Facebook feed, it looks like he does batches of Art-o-mat paintings with a similar theme, often centered around UFOs. The art block I got features a cow about to have a Close Encounter of some kind; maybe of the Fourth or Sixth Kind, depending on how things go.

Next, I pulled the lever for a piece of art from Jack Hernon. He has a web page and some profiles on various art pages, but none of them seem to have a lot of activity. I wasn't sure which way to orient the picture, so I went with the way that felt right to me. I've read that part of the fun of abstract art is seeing which way people choose to hang it.

It was a pretty successful trip from a hobby standpoint. I'd probably like to take back the Star Wars purchase and get something else or save that money, but I am pretty happy overall. There were a couple of comic book stores I meant to get to, but I never got around to it.


  1. Love the Art O Mat art. I'd like to get into Star Wars cards, but the collector in me would want to start from the beginning and work to recent. I like the vintage look of these new retro sets.

    1. Some of the early sets aren't too expensive, depending on how picky you are about condition. There are a lot of sets out there, though. A comprehensive collection would be hard to build at this point.

  2. At least they used the Return of the Jedi design instead of the 1977 design again. My favorite here is the cow UFO art piece, though.

    1. Yes, it is good that they switched up the replicated design a little.

      I like the UFO art as well. I wouldn't mind getting more work from that artist.