Friday, July 31, 2009

2009 Donruss Wrapper Redemption Pack

So I've been reading about some of y'all out there who really wish they could be at the National here in Cleveland, so I figured I'd show some of what's available! One of the most popular programs each year is the wrapper redemption programs each manufacturer has. While most require a full box to receive the prize, you only have to bring five sealed 2009 packs to the Donruss/Panini booth to redeem the redemption pack, which is mostly an update of pics and what not to the Donruss Elite set. So, after buying five packs of this year's Donruss Classics, this is the pack I received:

#138 Hakeem Nicks
From what I understand, these are basically the Donruss Elite cards with the guys in their NFL uniform. There are other cards to be had, such as some basketball preview cards, some Americana cards and even autographs. Unfortunately, you're not seeing any of that here. However, I did get...

#227 Jason Smith Aspirations parallel #'d to 50
(trust me, those side bars are bright blue and say "Aspirations," it just doesn't show up well)
The one thing I don't get is how each card is serially numbered XXX/999 or XX/50. I'm guessing that does that only 999 or 50 copies exist of each, but the numbering throws me...

Enjoy your weekends, and may they involve many more cards!

1990 Topps Gremlins 2

If this pack were any daffier, it would need approval from Warner Bros... er, uh, wait a minute!!

Welcome to another edition of "Topps Movie Tie-Ins." I'm your host, Daffy Dave. In 1990, Topps teamed up with... Warner Bros... for a tie-in deal to produce a set of cards based on the movie "Gremlins 2." It starred Phoebe Cates, but no red bikini scene. They had to do SOMETHING...

Each pack sports nine cards and a sticker. This pack's sticker features "Daffy the Gremlin." It gets better... Well, "better" is a strong word.

The group of cards above stars "Daffy the Mogwai." See? Better already.

The star above is obvious Phoebe Cates bent over the sink. Wait, that didn't sound right. Ah, and of course, there is the card version of "Daffy the Gremlin."

You have to wonder how script writers come up with character names. Mr. Futterman and George. Dick Miller (Mr. Futterman) was a DJ in NYC before breaking into Hollywood. How about that?

The backs of the cards feature.... come one, stay with me here... these are Topps... these are movie tie-ins... do you have it yet? YES! The cards feature the story, told serially from one card to the next.

Did I mention it starred Phoebe Cates - who plays a character named Kate?

(note: I scheduled this to post on 7/31, but Blogger posted it anyway? Weird... Must be Gremlins...)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

1981 Topps Raiders of the Lost Ark

Before there were "Indiana Jones" movies, there was a movie with a character named "Indiana Jones." Most people knew him as Solo, Han Solo. But with the success of this film, he quickly became the male Sybil of the silver screen.

As has become more and more evident as I bust open movie-related packs of wax, I can recall very little of the movie itself.

The backs of the cards were done in the same vein that Topps had adopted for many tie-in sets: get the gist of the flick by putting the set in order and read each scene.

Of course, if you didn't buy boxes of the stuff at a time, you were left with empty places. Spaces in your heart where you know the next few scenes should have been.

"...a completely modern hero, and yet his adventures are as timeless as the ancient pyramids of Egypt." Are you crying? There's no crying in archeology!

"Snakes... Why did have to be snakes?" And bad lighting that reflects off the glass partition... Why did have to be bad lighting?

Indy had so many brushes with death, he should have been a Fuller man (da-dum-dum-tink - I'll be here all week!)...

"Aw, hell, if there's (drinking), I'll stay..." (paraphrasing a line from a Stephen King short)

I vaguely remember thinking she was hot when I was younger in '81. Then again, I was like 12-13, so I thought that about a lot of females...

Ah, the mystery of history... I think I took that class in college, and it turned out the mystery was how any of the drunken cross-dressing leaders of our country managed to keep their jobs in the first place.

Hey, it's like "Where's Waldo" before there WAS "Where's Waldo!!"

Awesome movie... Lousy cards... But, hey, at least they survived long enough to one day become "A Pack to be Named Later."

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

2007 Topps Baseball Promo Pack

In honor of today being the first day of the National Sports Collectors Convention here in Cleveland (and that I'm attending tomorrow!), I've got a pack I got in 2007, the last time Cleveland hosted. At the card company booths, they were handing out stuff left and right. I got about 15 of these packs at the time from the Topps booth. They're little clear packs with four cards from mostly (it seems) just series 2. So let's see what free giveaways gets ya!

#505 Jose Bautista - The joy of sports photography is capturing such seemingly impossible things, such as the angle of his arm on this card.
#353 Kyle Lohse - Lots of people don't like this design, but I find it rather nice. Not their best, but not that bad.
#371 Kenny Lofton - KENNY! Sure, it shows him as a Ranger, but 2007 was the year of his return to Cleveland! Ah, good times...good times...
#658 Classic Combos Aaron Rowand/Jimmy Rollins - Not a bad pairing, but this pic looks like Rowand's giving Rollins his glove after a third out. Not exactly a photo-worthy moment to me...
So there you have it! Free stuff always rocks, doesn't it? Enjoy the National (for those who are attending), and for those who can't, I leave you with the motto of Cleveland sports (and other cities too, I know, but it always is used here): There's always next year!

2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets TCG

How appropriate that Wizards of the Coast should be the ones to produce a Harry Potter-based TCG. As with many of the packs I post, I have little to no personal perusal of the cards contained within. Sorry, my alliteration classes are wearing off on me.

In truth, I am probably one of the few people in the world that I know of who has never seen, no never cares to See (or read for that matter) anything related to Harry Potter. Frankly, he sounds like a hobbyist who needs a shave to me, but I digress.

I am not oblivious to some of the things related to Harry, of course. I've heard of Hogwarts (never had them though), and that game they play for which there is a card pictured here, but I am far too lazy to look ... oh, okay, Quidditch.

I thought Evanesce was a singing group... wait, no that's a different form of the word.

If you are a huge Harry Potter fan, I pray I did not offend you too badly. That was not really my intent. I just figured if I was going to bust a pack of Harry, I might as well get snarky wit' it...

2006 Upper Deck First Pitch

This pack drew my attention because it was 50 cents, plain and simple. It isn't really hard to talk me out of a couple of quarters for some baseball cards I probably don't have. I have a much easier time justifying this set at an SRP of 99 cents for 5 cards than I do for something as equally as pointless as the new Icons set, which I believe is $2.99 for 4 cards.

170 - Jeremy Accardo (RC) (I get him mixed up with Jeremy Affeldt.)

1 - Chad Tracy

DS-10 - Ken Griffey Jr Diamond Stars (There's a promised insert card in each pack. This works better than StarQuest in First Edition because they made more than one insert set.)

109 - Prince Fielder (This year's Home Run Champ in 2005 form.)
187 - Jonny Gomes (Does anyone miss the old Devil Rays unis? I certainly don't.)

Friday, July 24, 2009

1991 Topps Terminator 2 Stickers

Have I ever mentioned that I have never seen any of the "Terminator" movies that I can recall? I'm sure I have said that. Ah, well, one does not have to have seen the movie to know the characters at least in passing, right?

What I find most humorous is the font used on the card...

The conversation probably went something like this:

Designer: "Bossman, it's 1991. No one knows what Macs are, right?"
Bossman: "Of course people know what a Mac is, why?"

Designer: "Are you sure?"
Bossman: "Well, okay, most people are about to get jiggy with their Pentiums, and I think Rick still has his Amiga somewhere, but we use Macs around here, dadgummit!"

Designer: "Well, I'm thinking we can forego any cool fonts and just use the default Mac System font on these cards."
Bossman: "You mean, write goofy captions without changing the default font!? That's BRILLIANT!"

Designer: "So, can I have a raise?"
Bossman: "What do think this is, the 80's?"

Designer: "I wonder if we should make some kind of commemorative baseball card for this year?"
Bossman: "Yeah, like '40 Years of Collecting' or something. Work on that and get back to me..."

2009 Topps Allen and Ginter Retail

Here is my first pack of 2009 Allen & Ginter of the year. I waited until it hit the large retail giant's stores and then dove right in. I let this set pretty much dominate my baseball card purchases late last summer and I expect the same thing will happen again. It may not make a lot of economic sense to work on sets like this strictly through blasters and the occasional loose (searched) retail pack, but I have my reasons. There are 6 picture cards, as opposed to the 8 you get in a hobby pack. Unlike last year, there really are only 6 cards. Last year if there was a US Flag card (1:2 packs) you actually received 7 cards. Since this year's stuff also has a one per pack National Pride insert and the requisite mini, there are a maximum of 4 base cards per pack. Ouch.

131 - Rickie Weeks (Weeks has had an unfortunate season, tearing the tendon sheath in his wrist - or is that sheath tendon. Unfortunate... if you're a Brewers fan! And I'm definitely not.)

124 - Donald Veal (RC) (Speaking of unfortunate, here's a guy named Donald Veal. I know nothing about him, but the idea of veal as a culinary item creeps me out.)

266 - Johnny Cueto (Interesting pose for Cueto. His hat is not nearly crooked enough, however.)

330 - Cristian Guzman (SP) (If it wasn't for this card, this would be the All-NL Central Pack.)

266 - Johnny Cueto Mini A&G Back (Oh man, that guy again? I'll show the back, because you already saw him more or less and this one is one of those slightly special Allen & Ginter backs.)

NP4 - Geovany Soto National Pride (I like these. I don't like Soto... or Small Bears in general. I wish these cards were thick just to stick with what Topps had going with this set the past couple of years. I think they are doing some subtle things with their sets to cut costs, however. Has anyone noticed how the UV gloss is different and slightly cheaper feeling on the Series 2 base set as opposed to Series 1? I'm just speculating, here...)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

1991 Topps Desert Storm

I've actually got two packs of these, but will save the other pack for another post. I was actually surprised these hadn't been posted on here before, so I am pleased to be able to show 'em off first.

The first item in the pack is a sticker - of the American Flag! Wahoo!!

Up next, a French Mirage Fighter. The back of the card gives a description, plus vital stats like Armament, Max speed, range (unavailable - DUH!), and contractor. Contractor!?

The destroyers shown below do not feature vital stats, only a description on the back. Evidently, we didn't want to give EVERYTHING away...

This card shows a group of soldiers "Manning the M-110." That is no easy task!

Here, we have a Phoenix Missile:

And a shot of the sun setting over the desert... All I see is the sun and a radar tower.

Hey, it's POTUS!

A cool shot of an E3A patrolling the airways:

And the last picture is the USS Midway. I just so happened to have been on this little puppy a couple years ago while at a conference in San Diego! How cool to have a card of it!!

I think it was a heck of a marketing ploy for Topps to produce trading cards of a wartime effort. Talk about your propaganda! Whether you agreed with the fight or not, the simple fact is: when Uncle Sam calls on you to produce cards, step up and make your money.