Friday, April 18, 2014

DC Comics Justice League Chibis

I was torn between getting this pack of Justice League minis or a pack of the Hobbit themed ones. As you can see Justice League won out and I'm hopping for a Flash and Batman. So what did I end up pulling?

Well, the pack offered me the happy couple of Superman and Wonder Woman with Wonder Woman going to my wife. It was fun to pull a Green Arrow in the pack as he is one of the few people to have defeated Superman...kryptonite arrows didn't hurt either.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 Panini Donruss Rated Rookie Extra

Panini has revived the Donruss brand for baseball!  With the 2014 release, Panini offered the last 3 Rated Rookie cards of the base set as a wrapper redemption.  For every 24 hobby packs redeemed you received one 3 card pack.  It was only recently that the identity of the 3 players was released.

#201 Jose Abreu (White Sox), Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees) and Yordano Ventura (Royals)

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

2013 Topps Opening Day Rack Pack


40 years ago tonight, this happened:

I think it's safe to say that the majority of the APTBNL readership still consider Hammerin' Hank to be the Home Run King.

Anyway, back then, Opening Day started in early April.  Wait, what?  You don't have a pack of 2014 Opening Day on the site yet?  Yep, I haven't bought one yet...but I do have a pack from 2013!  But wait, that pack's already on the site!  But this one's's a 2013 Topps Opening Day Rack Pack!

I got a pack of this when Target had them on sale over the summer, so I think this cost me $1.50.  Using this as a guide, I don't plan on buying any of this year's version until the summer again, so unless someone beats me to it, expect 2014 Opening Day around the All-Star Break.

Anyway, 24 cards come in the Rack Pack.  Let's see what I got:

#15 – Jim Johnson
#140 – Tyler Skaggs
#106 – Trevor Bauer
#17 – John Axford

Once again, the scanner ate the borders.  Let's just fly through the rest of the cards.

#120 – Alex Rodriguez
#142 – Jarrod Parker
#168 – Miguel Montero
#32 – Jered Weaver

#118 – Max Scherzer
#1 – Buster Posey
#128 – A.J. Burnett

#62 – Jason Kubel (550 / 2013)
#ODS-3 – Miguel Cabrera
#BF-3 – Jay Bruce

I do like them blue parallels.  Moving on:

#6 – David Wright
#132 – David Freese
#209 – Drew Storen
#49 – Grant Balfour
#175 – Brandon Phillips
#92 – Aramis Ramirez

#173 – Zack Cozart
#214 – Ian Kinsler
#21 – Yovani Gallardo
#181 – Neftali Feliz


Here are the backs:

Anyway, that's the pack.  If only they used different photos for Opening Day; maybe put those alternate uniforms and celebration pics here, then you'd have something.  Until then, I'll just wait for a sale or a repack box.  That's all for now...thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

1994 Action Packed WWF

Wrestlemania 30 is tomorrow and who's watching?  Who remember the brand Action Packed? The cards with round corners, "3D" printing, and claims of printed in gold. After football and NASCAR they armed themselves with WWF (at the time) license to print cards. The pack contain 6 cards. The cover is from Summerslam 93 when Lex Luger celebrating his defeat against Yokozuna via countout. Interesting note on back of the pack.

They offered second chance sweepstakes and one of items you must do to enter is supply your social security number. Old fashion way of ID theft.

29 - Tatanka - funny how his real name is on the "gold" printed signature. Was "undefeated" for over year and half til he met Ludvig Borga and made the loss column for first time ever. Turned bad guy in 1994 joining Ted DiBiase Million Dollar Corporation and stuck around til 1996. Returned around summer of 2005 til early 2007.

34 - Earthquake (Colossal Crushers) - John Tenta, my first ever favorite bad guy. When I started watching in 1991 I saw him sit on his opponent thinking it was coolest thing ever. He wound up WCW in late 1994 to 1997. Returned back to WWE in 1998 being part of Oddities wearing a mask name Golga. Sadly passed away from cancer in 2006.

 31 - Diesel (Colossal Crushers) - the wrestler known as Kevin Nash. He became champion in 1995 where he happened to be lowest drawing champion in company history. Went to WCW in 1996 along with Scott Hall forming revolutionary and successful New World Order group with Hulk Hogan. While there he played backstage politics (along with many) that sent WCW from top to the bottom that WWF bought them out. Made several returns to WWE but never that successful. Also one of biggest BS'er in wrestling.

6 - Ludvig Borga - Before making his way to WWF he was piling his trade in Japan under his name Tony Halme. He gave Tatanka his first ever WWE loss. Played the usual boo seeking anti-American bad guy. He left in early 1994 after suffering broken ankle. Was part of Finland parliament from 2003-2007 where he called then president a lesbian. He committed suicide in 2010. Even legendary good ol' Jim Ross didn't have kind comments about him.

33 - Bastion Booger (Colossal Crushers) - poor Mike Shaw getting saddled with another Wrestlecrap worthy gimmick. He played as a giant fat slob to perfection. He was gone by summer of 1994 and made one-time appearance in 2007. He died of heart attack in 2010. This pack is getting depressing.

35 - Mabel (Colossal Crushers) - this pack is officially depressing. Mabel went on as Viscera then to Big Daddy V. He passed away in February on a heart attack.

Depressing pack as four of six wrestlers passed away.

Who's ready for Wrestlemania?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

1994-95 Fleer Series 2 Basketball

Here's the sequel to a pack I posted about a month ago. This one is three cards shorter and was half the price. There's a pretty good reason for that, I guess. One of the problems with stretching out a set into multiple series is the tendency to make a card for all of the good players the first time around. And now we're left with the leftovers.

261 - Larry Krystkowiak - His last name is so long that it's only partially covered by the weird metallic splash.

356 - Mark Bryant - A Blazer! At least there's something salvageable here. Bryant did most of the grunt work that other players might neglect.

278 - Bill Curley - As you can see, the design is exactly the same. Score one for consistency.

272 - Dale Ellis - He hoisted a lot of threes in his day, but it was probably nothing by today's standards.

257 - Corie Blount

242 - Tyrone Corbin - Corbin is currently the coach of the Jazz who, even in full rebuild mode, no one is currently excited about.

310 - Ledell Eackles

264 - Michael Cage - Awful and apparently short-lived unis.

366 - Sean Elliott - In the Series 1 pack, I pulled a weird Sean Elliott Pistons card, so it's comforting to see him back in Spurs black.

 390 - Checklist - This is documented proof of Series 2's crappiness.

365 - Henry Turner - I don't know... some guy? According to his stats, he hadn't played in the NBA in 5 years when this happened.

355 - Wayman Tisdale - Tisdale had a second career as a successful jazz musician after his playing days were over. He died way too young.

6 - Dikembe Mutombo Tower of Power - This is... noisy!

331 - Rex Walters

304 - Randy Woods

381 - Juwan Howard - Rookie Card alert!

338 - Geert Hammink - I can honestly say that I would have lost the bet on whether or not "Geert Hammink" was a thing that exists.

328 - Sleepy Floyd - Sleepy Floyd seemed to me like a product of the '80s, like other colorfully-named players World B. Free and Otis Birdsong. I am shocked to see that he was still playing in the mid-90s.

Monday, March 31, 2014

2014 Topps series 1 hobby

Even though we have had 3 games played that count, today is truly Opening Day. It's been a long, cold, windy, snowy, crappy winter for most of us. But here we all are, with visions of the fall classic on the minds of 30 teams. Let's put the official pack of Topps' 2014 release here at APTBNL.

This is the hobby release. Though, the pack is the same for both hobby and retail. Trout is the cover boy, and the guy should have been an award winning super star the past few year's, except for two things: Miguel Cabrera has been better, and the Angels plain stink. If the Angels could make the playoffs, Trout is going to need to spend money on a bigger house for all the awards he'll deservedly win.

So for 2014, Bowman Topps created a design with a wave feeling on the bottom, and put the team name off the right. Player name, the wave bar and the Topps logo are foil. At least with the white background, the name is easy to read. But the off centered design is bad. And the off centered, close up photos don't help matters.

Here is a rare shot that shows more of the player's body. And good work on the centering and framing of the card. However, this is the exception to the set. Most cards don't "feel" this good.

Case in point. Troy is poorly centered in the box. The Rockies name on the right is making this card too heavy towards that side. It's as if Topps is trying to get the Heritage look of the close up head shot photo, but use an action shot to obtain it.

Horizontal cards work. While still a bit too close, the framing on these is far better. Balanced and cropped well.

Many inserts, as usual. I enjoy a nice buyback, though. I don't mind the stamp on the card.

Here's a prime example of the tight framing. Note that Weeks' hand just makes it into the frame. While the centering is very good, this image is far too close. Is the background that bad that we can't get more of it around the players?

Like the orange. Like the helmet logo. Don't like the uniform font.

You get a few goofy images in Topps lately. It's fun. I am not sure how the players feel about this being how they are remembered in 2014. Gatorade gets a nice plug.


Nice return for the Future Stars wordmark. Who was the guy in the conference room that suggested it be stamped in foil? He should be slapped. As for the card back.

Nothing major. Vitals, bio, stats and a little "fact". Topps abandoned the numbering to match the uniform deal they used in 2013. Boring, but clean. Clean is a very good thing.