26 August 2018

"You're tearing me apart, Lisa!"

It seems like every year, there are a few subjects in the Topps Allen & Ginter checklist whose autographs and/or relics I just have to have. This year was no different, with Biz Markie, Champ Pederson, Christopher McDonald, Jon Lovitz, and Tommy Wiseau all appearing in the product. I've already tracked down a Biz Markie redemption and a Champ Pederson signature, but I haven't yet nabbed Christopher McDonald or Jon Lovitz.

I did finally manage to get autograph and relic cards featuring actor/director Tommy Wiseau, whose film 'The Room' is famous for being incredibly bad. The film is such a wreck and the filming went so poorly that it was the subject of a book that became a movie called 'The Disaster Artist.' Cult classics and pop culture are right in my wheelhouse, so I had to get these into my collection. The relic card is your standard Ginter fare, and the autograph is actually one of the Black-framed parallels, numbered # 23 / 25. I got it for just a hair more than the regular unnumbered autographs were selling for, so I figured that was pretty good.

Here are the backs, for the sake of completeness. I don't know if I would recommend watching Wiseau's movie, but it might be entertaining to read up on it a little if you've got some time to kill. If nothing else, it's got a lot of one-liners in it that make for good inside jokes among friends.

25 August 2018

A Big Box of Goodies from SumoMenkoMan

A few weeks ago a big surprise box showed up in my mail from SumoMenkoMan of the Japanese Sumo Wrestling Cards and Menko blog. It was packed to the brim with cardboard and sugary goodies. He is stationed in Europe and collects Japanese cards as a hobby, so this package was stuffed with stuff you don't see a lot here in the United States.

There were a whole bunch of duplo bars, a Schoko-Brownie, and some Hi-Chew candies from Japan. You can get Hi-Chew here in the U.S. now, but not in the cool packaging.

There were also some of these cola-flavored gummies. Haribo gummies always remind me of the trip I took to Europe with my sisters in 2003. On our way back to the airport to get home, we were nearly out of cash, and the only thing in the shop we could afford was a couple bags of gummies. So we bought them and spent part of the train ride divvying them up.

SumoMenkoMan said that the PX on the local military base had plenty of old retail packs on the shelves, so he sent me a selection of those as well as a couple packs of 2017 BBM Baseball Cards from Japan and some German Soccer card packs. 

In addition to the packs, he included a couple of BBM Sumo cards featuring Mitakeumi Hisashi. I don't know a lot about sumo, but I know a little more than I used to thanks to SumoMenkoMan's blog.

Here is one of the soccer cards. They are much smaller and more square than traditional trading cards. They have a player photo and facsimile signature on front and a little information about the player on the back.

The retail packs didn't yield a whole lot, but there were some interesting cards in the packs. I think that Grady Sizemore card is a Rainbow Foil parallel. I thought it was cool to pull a Kosuke Fukudome card. He's still playing professional baseball at age 41. The Steven Matz insert and base card came one after the other in the same pack. I've always liked those Bowman Scouts' Top 100 inserts. It's fun to have a prospect ranking list in trading card form.

Thanks for the awesome package SumoMenkoMan! It was a great surprise, and there was plenty of neat stuff in there!