Saturday, October 12, 2019

2018 Wizards of the Coast Transformers TCG Booster Pack


Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.  It's a big day here in my little cubicle at the APTBNL offices.  However, no one decorated my cube because it's Saturday and no one's in the office and there's no such office.

Today is the 8th anniversary of my very first post for A Pack To Be Named Later.  In fact, I set the auto Scheduler to publish this at the exact same time as that first post (I should have been doing that all along, I guess).  Long time readers of the blog will know that I go non-sports for the anniversary post...go ahead and check, I'll be here.

But not so fast!  According to my spreadsheet, this is my 200th post as well!  I can't say it's by coincidence; I noticed back in July if I posted twice a month I'd make 200 in October, so I just had to make sure it came on the anniversary.  I wonder if Matt F has stats on who has posted the most on the site...I'd like to think I'm in the top 10.

Anyway, enough's some Transformers cards!

Back on September 28, 2018, Wizards of the Coast (the makers of Magic: The Gathering) released the Transformers Trading Card Game. Wizards is a subsidiary of Hasbro these days, so no doubt their relationship helped with the development of the game.

This release (Wave 1) consists of 40 character cards and 81 battle cards.  The battle cards are the size of a regular baseball card.  The character card is the size of two cards lying horizontally.  The battle cards come 7 in a pack, wrapped separately in clear plastic.  The character card isn't wrapped, but rather is protected by 2 pieces of cardboard that protect both the character and battle cards.

Here's the battle cards:

#62/81 - Repair Bay
#20/81 - Data Pad

You can read and view how to play here, but basically each Transformer is assigned a specific value  (stars) and you can play up to 25 stars.  The characters can be a mix of Autobot (the good guys) and Decepticon (the bad guys) if desired.  One player chooses one Transformer to attack one of the opponents' characters, and then both players flip battle cards to see the total number of colored pips they accumulate (the pips are in the upper right corner of the card and each color means something specific, like attack or defense). 

If the attack total is greater than the defense total, damage is dealt to the defending Transformer equal to the difference.  So if the attacker's base attack is 3 and you add 3 orange pips your total attack is 6.  If the defender has an defense of 1 and flipped 2 blue pips, their total defense is 3.  This would result in a total of 3 damage to the defending Transformer.  The Transformer is knocked out of the game when it's health is 0.

As you can see, the battle cards can be used in a variety of ways, like repair damage and add to the number of cards you flip.  The card number appears at the bottom of the card, and C stands for Common.

#56/81 - Primary Laser
#65/81 - Scrapper Gauntlets

The +2 on the Primary Laser card means the character gains 2 attack when the card is deployed on the Transformer.  Likewise, the +1 on Scrapper Gauntlets gives the Transformer +1 defense.

If you're interested in the checklist, take a look.

#37/81 - I Still Function!

The fifth card is the Rare battle card, in this case named after a famous exchange in the Transformers movie.  You can see the reference to the character's stars in the text.

#25/81 - Disruptive Entrance
#13/81 - Collateral Damage

The last 2 cards in the battle card pack are the Uncommons.  I was hoping that the artwork would 
come from the animated TV show from the 1980's.  Instead, they are pulled from the IDW comic books. 

This is what the back of the battle cards look like.  Pretty plain, again, I was hoping for the old school Generation 1 Transformer logos...maybe that purple and red grid that graced the box art for the original toys.

Now that you've seen the battle cards, which Transformer did I get?

#38/40 - Sunstorm

Pulled a Rare card in this case, so that's cool.  Generation 1 fans may not have heard about Sunstorm, but I guess he's a pretty big character in the comics.  The comic writers created characters like Sunstorm to address why there were so many different colored Decepticon jets in the original cartoon.

You can see Sunstorm's attack, health, and defense numbers in the center of the card.  Any special enhancements or abilities appear in the text box.  Skills appear in the upper right corner
("Ranged" means he can attack from far away, as most jets can do).  You can see his Alt Mode stats in the box next to the text box because...

...the card reminds you to flip the card over for the character's alt mode.  Yep, there's no regular card back for the character cards, you flip the card back and forth to "transform" the character.  As you can see, the Transformer's stats and abilities will change between robot and alternate mode. You also see the stars at the bottom of the alt mode; this means you start the game with your chosen Transformers in alt mode (and in this case, Sunstorm takes up 11 of your allotted 25 stars).

The character card is foil on the robot side, and you can tell that another artist created the robot and alt modes, not the IDW comics.  Since the character card is much bigger than the battle cards, you'd need a different size of pocket page or case to store them.  Again, I was hoping for artwork from the TV show, but the character cards aren't that bad overall.

Anyway, that's the pack.  Boosters are $4 each, so they're a little pricey, but they fall in the range of other trading card games.  Aside from my hopes for a Generation 1-centric game (and the fact that your team could consist of both Autobots and Decepticons), the cards themselves are pretty nice.  I've been watching some You Tube channels with matches and it appears to be pretty easy to pick up (nope, I haven't played yet).

Once again, thanks for reading my ramblings for the past 8 years...hope you all had some fun!  On to the next 200 posts!

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

1995 Topps Finest Series 1 Football

7 high tech cards! Lots of crazy football action! Let's go!

66 - Steve Everitt - Okay, fine, I guess we start things off with a center. Someone's got to snap the ball.

47 - Anthony Newman - A former Oregon Ducks safety. This will safely (ha!) fall into my collection of Ducks alums.

158 - Rob Fredrickson - The backs of these Finest cards are somehow even more '90s extreme. They're really sticking with the fireworks theme.

137 - Isaac Bruce - Bruce gets the Rookie designation here, but it's not a rookie card or his rookie season even. He went on to become a very important player for the Rams as their top receiver on their Super Bowl winning team.

95 - Michael Haynes - Haynes was a pretty well established receiver at this point.

100 - Deion Sanders - Neon Deion!

133 - James Jett - Here's another guy in a receiver heavy pack. In addition to his football career, Jett also was an Olympic gold medal winning track star.

Saturday, October 05, 2019

1990 Fleer Baseball Rack Pack

Got a rack pack of 1990 Fleer when I was in Houston few weeks ago in their $1 bin. Was going through it when I realize "Hey I don't think I have Matt Merullo."  I need to catalog that set one of these days since that set is scattered through several boxes.
The three stickers in the pack. Since Arkansas Travelers are Mariners Double-A team I use that card for IP autograph signing next season.

The cards from Ernie Whitt side
Tom Drees career is 4 games. Howitt got in 115 games in four seasons.
"Don't call me Willie" goes back to his given name Guillermo.
On Matt Merullo side
Wally Backman in jersey other than Mets is strange.

On Flash Gordon side
 I believe this is Tony Armas sunset card
Rickey getting a lead on a card is always a good one
Matt Kinzer got in 9 MLB games. Wayne Edwards got in 62 games in three seasons.

I need get this set cataloged soon.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

2019 Topps Series 2 Retail


Hope everyone is doing well.  The baseball playoffs start tonight with the wild card games.  Figured I should post something from Series 2 since no one has yet and Update is coming soon.

3 bucks for 16 cards.  A while back Target had these packs on their Cartwheel app for something like 20% off.  Problem was all the packs magically disappeared from the Targets around me for most of the promotion.  Perhaps the local collectors cleaned them out to find that short print Vlad Jr.  Anyway, I was able to pick a couple packs up when the vendor restocked the gravity feeders.  Here's what I got:

#644 - Delino DeShields
#384 - Dominic Leone
#628 - Roenis Elias

350 cards in the set, plus that no number, short print Vlad Jr.  Here's the checklist if you still need it.

#587 - Johan Camargo
#691 - Great American Ball Park

Bring back the stadium cards next year! 

I haven't kept track, did they cover all the stadiums in the first 2 series?  If so, will we get more stadiums in Update, like maybe the old-timey classic ones?

#HTL-9 - Cy Young / Roger Clemens (Historic Through-Lines)
#393 - Hunter Renfroe (150th Anniversary parallel)
#84R-KW - Kyle Wright (RC) (1984 parallel)

I didn't see the odds of the Historic Through-Lines on the back of the pack, but if it helps, there was one of them in each of the other standalone retail packs I purchased, as well as one in each pack of the Series 2 blister 3 packs I picked up (oddly enough, it was the last card in the pack, instead of being in the middle).  I think it's safe to say they come one per pack.

The 150th Anniversary comes 1 in 8 packs, and the 1984 comes 1 in 4 packs.

#419 - Sandy Leon
#475 - Pete Alonso (RC)
#426 - Austin Romine
#636 - Jace Fry

Hey cool, one of the key RCs in the set.  Hopefully he has staying power; he seems like a good guy.

#480 - Vince Velasquez
#514 - Greg Allen
#595 - Yandy Diaz
#494 - Ian Desmond

Here's some card backs because playoffs:

Anyway, that's the pack.  More later.  Enjoy October baseball, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

1992 Classic Draft Picks Football

 One of packs I picked up in Houston Sports Connection last week. Got this from their $1 bin. They mention about ten foil stamped cards in random packs. Two notable names on it are Desmond Howard and Sean Gilbert.
89 - Calvin Holmes - drafted in 7th round he never played a down in the NFL. Not off to good start.
74 - Troy Auzenne - drafted in 2nd round he played five seasons in the NFL
5 - Eugene Chung -  drafted in 1st round (13th overall) played five seasons in the NFL
80 - Robert Porcher - drafted in 1st round (26th overall) played his entire 13 year career with the Lions and is a 3-time NFL All Pro
 8 - Chris Mims - another 1st rounder he played 8 NFL seasons. He passed away in 2008.
94 - Howard Dinkins - good celebration photo shot. It's the only highlight as he played 3 games in the NFL
29 - Ashley Ambrose - here's his pose. Now he's ready for 13 year career with one Pro Bowl selection
6 - Derek Brown - looks like he's getting a heimlich maneuver. He would take a much harder hit in NFL resulting in a collapse lung and spleen and kidney damage.
30 - Sean Gilbert - 3rd overall pick had solid rookie season being named to NFL All-Rookie and Pro Bowl.
51 - Robert Brooks - played 8 seasons in NFL he would popularize Lambeau Leap celebration

The pack started off bad then it went became decent later on.