Friday, June 24, 2016

1970 Topps Mini Model Cars

In 1970 (and, evidently in 1971), someone at Topps came up with the idea to package mini plastic model cars and sell them for a dime per pack. The wrapper is made of paper that reminds me of lunch bag paper when I was a kid. It features the 70's Topps logo on a red background and "Mini Model Cars" in all-caps in red lettering on a yellow background. There is a drawn race car on a blue background. From what I have seen, the '70 version is a darker blue and the '71 version is a lighter blue. I believe I have the 1970 version. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Other text includes "Genuine Scale Racing Car," "Contents: 1 Model Car," and the 10-cent price - Each of these in in all-caps.

The back of the wrapper shows you how to put the car together. Comparing the instructions with the model pieces (below), I believe the instructions skipped over a few details.

Inside the pack, we find a collector's card. Mine features a colorful puzzle piece on which appears to be a glass of red liquid, two fountain dispensers, and the fin/taillights of a car.

The back of the card reads: "No. 9 in a series of 12 'Soda Fountain Car' cards" There is copyright T.C.G. and "Made in Hong Kong" as well.

The model itself is TINY. It is as tall as a standard baseball card, but much narrower. The parts are attached to a frame akin to Revell sets. It would not surprise me if Revell didn't have something to do with these. You cannot tell in the photo, but mine has a raised "28" on the hood in old school "caty-corner" style. That is to say, the number sits on a diagonal across the hood. It is completely white.

And, like most model cars, putting this one together requires removing the pieces from the frame, lining them up, then snapping them together. No glue required. The engine (the 2nd piece from the left at bottom of photo above) was the hardest part. Since the instructions were lacking, it took me a few tries to figure out just where it went (because I thought it was a dashboard at first) and then just what the orientation was. Even with that figured out, getting humpty dumpty together took a bit of "encouragement." The wheels are weird. The hubs that hold the wheels on do not press all the way against the car (at least not that I was willing to push it). So, the tires are VERY loose. That explains why they are so tilted in the pics.

All-in-all, though, this was fun. I think a set of stickers or something would have made these much more enjoyable.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

1989 Star Minor League Baseball, Series 1

A little bit of history here on A Pack To Be Named Later today.

This is the first set that was issued by a minor league card producer to be marketed in wax packs across the country.

The set was issued in two series for a total of 200 cards. (Series 2 was featured on this blog a little while ago). The unfortunate part is even though it's the first of its kind, there is almost nothing in the set worth anything. There is a Hensley Meulens error variation at card No. 99 and a Joey (Albert) Belle card at No. 199. Everything else can be had for pennies. The cards are poorly cut, virtually all of them different sizes.

The natural game to play when opening packs like this is determining whether any of "Tomorrow's Stars" actually became stars. I'll also take it a step further and determine whether the minor league team featured on the card is still in existence today.

#53 - Steve Morris, Kenosha Twins

Morris made it no higher than Class A Kenosha, ending his career after the 1990 season. The Kenosha Twins were purchased in 1992 and moved to Fort Wayne the following year where they became the Fort Wayne Wizards. They're now known as the Fort Wayne TinCaps and have been a San Diego Padres affiliate for several years.

There is the no-nonsense back. Morris was drafted in the 35th round, so that tells you Morris' actual star potential.

#79 - Mike Rhodes, Fort Lauderdale Yankees

Rhodes looked pretty good after hitting .318 in rookie league ball in 1988. But after back-to-back seasons of sub-.220 batting in Class A that was it for him. The Yankees' 30-year relationship with Fort Lauderdale ended three years after this card was made. The Red Sox moved in and the Fort Lauderdale Red Sox lasted one year. There hasn't been a pro affiliate team in Fort Lauderdale since.

#40 - Dera Cook, Memphis Chicks

Dera Clark pitched for 10 seasons in the minors for the Royals, Braves and Padres. He spent time in Triple A each year from 1990-94 but didn't make the majors. The Double A Memphis Chicks, a tribute to the old Memphis Chicks teams of the first half of the 20th century, were highly successful. But in 1998, the Pacific Coast League added the Memphis Redbirds. The Chicks moved to Jackson, Tenn., and became the Double A West Tenn. Diamond Jaxx, a Double A team for the Cubs. The Jaxx changed their name to the more reasonable Jackson Generals in 2010 and have been a Mariners affiliate since 2007.

#80 - Gabriel Rodriguez, Fort Lauderdale Yankees

No stars yet. Rodriguez pitched his way to Double A in 1988 but was done by 1990.

#71 - Brian Deak, Durham Bulls

Deak put up some power numbers in Class A ball and make it to Triple A for four different teams in the early '90s, but didn't crack the majors. Durham was a High Class A team of the Atlanta Braves at this time, but the movie Bull Durham was released at around the same time as this card set. That helped lead to Durham becoming a Triple A team 10 years later and the Bulls have been the Tampa Bay affiliate ever since.

#81 - Bob Zeihen, Fort Lauderdale Yankees

Zeihen had reached Triple A by 1990 but didn't play beyond that.

#83 - Jamie Cooper, San Jose Giants

Still no one who has played even one major league game. Cooper advanced to Triple A Phoenix in 1992 but hit just .223. The San Jose Giants are still around and still a Class A team for the San Francisco Giants. The relationship between the two cities began in 1988.

#78 - Chris Howard, Fort Lauderdale Yankees

Very nice, Chris. Does this photo remind you of this?

Finally, we have someone who reached the majors. Howard appeared in 27 games total for the White Sox, Red Sox and Rangers between 1993-95 as a pitcher. Interestingly, his is the only card in the pack where both pitching and hitting stats are listed.

#96 - Royal Clayton, Albany-Colonie Yankees

Clayton, the brother of Royce Clayton, was one of those Four A players, pitching for five years for Triple A Columbus and then another Triple A year with Phoenix. The Albany Colonie Yankees lasted from 1985-94, then moved to Norwich, Conn., where they became the Norwich Navigators. The Navigators were renamed the Connecticut Defenders in 2006 and a Giants affiliate through 2009. The team then moved to Richmond, Va., and were named the Flying Squirrels.

#84 - Steve Decker, San Jose Giants

Decker is the second major leaguer from the pack and the one with the most time in the majors. Decker played four years for the Giants, a year for the Marlins and a handful of games for the Rockies and Angels, lasting until the 1999 season.

A star?

Nope. No matter what the front of the pack says.

Friday, June 17, 2016

1980 Pop Festival Stickers

I'm not sure how these were originally packaged, but I bought a pair of hand-cut packs off eBay. The wrappers feature the "Pop Festival" logo along with clip art images of guitars and dancers. There is also the following text: "P.V.P. Bs.0,50," "Hecho En Venezuela" and "Derechos Reservados."

For this post, I am opening BOTH of my packs. The wrappers were stuck to the backs of the outermost stickers, so getting these opened was quite a challenge. And, for the record, I will indicate whether I knew the artist(s) depicted on the stickers or if I had use an online checklist.

My stickers look a little different than those in that checklist. Mine have a number typed/stamped on each one. My backs are blank. The ones in the checklist do not have a number on the front because there is a number on the back with artist info. Also, my numbers do not always match those of the online checklist, leading me to believe I have a different set.

#70 Pussycat (left side) - Evidently, Numbers 70 and 71 make up two halves of this one. The sticker itself has a number (70) in the upper corner. The online checklist does NOT show stickers with numbers on them. I had to use the checklist. I had no idea.

#116 Randy Newman? - This might be Randy Newman. I only say that because in the checklist, this number is also Randy Newman but in a different pose. Frankly, I don't think the guy in my sticker looks that much like Newman.

#87 No idea - I have no idea who these folks are. In the checklist, 87 is either Dolly Parton (obviously not on mine) or Johnny Cash (again, not on mine!).

#107 Johnny Mathis (My Guess) - This one matches the #107 on the checklist. I had to use the checklist to verify, but I was pretty sure this was Mathis when I saw it.

#96 Boney M (right half) - Yeah, I had no idea and got lucky that this one matched the online checklist.

#122 Leif Garrett (my guess) - Hey, I was right! Wahoo!! This one also matches #122 in the checklist.

#23 No idea - This is the left half of a sticker combo. On the checklist, #23 is either the Commodores (uh, no) or Eric Clapton (again, not thinking so).

#135 No idea - This guy looks very familiar, but I cannot place him. The checklist is no help because #135 doesn't have this guy in it,.

1965 Donruss World of Stamps

The wrapper is true vintage wax pack. A collector could plop down a nickel and buy a pack of stamps that included a large piece of gum, a variety of stamps and a Stamp Album ordering card.

The stamps were all put into a small sleeve. The sleeve had been sealed due to the age of the gum. The gum broke down and made something of a mess of the sleeve (the red stuff all over it):

But, with VERY careful scissor skills, I was able to extract the stamps! I ended up with five of them.

Hungary - 8f Magyar Posta - Features a brown tint image of a man carrying crops with a green house or homestead in the background. I tried searching for this stamp online, but could not find this exact one, so I can't tell you anything else about it. Any collectors out there?

Bulgaria - 3 hapoaha penybanka - I believe, after a LOT of searching, this is a 631 Series stamp featuring a bath house. Really, though, I have no idea.

India - 1A India Service - India 1950 Capital of Asokan Pillar - Wow, this one came up easily when I searched for "1a India Service Stamp."

Czechoslovakia - 60h Czechoslovakia - A quick search turn up a "circa" 1960 stamp featuring the Gothic Karlstejn (Karlstein) Castle.

Denmark - 1953 Danmark 30 ore Kongelig Royal Postal Stamp featuring King Frederick IX. This one actually has a great cancellation mark on it (at least to my untrained, unknowing-any-better eyes) from København (Copenhagen, I believe). NOTE: The scanner made the weird split near the bottom of the stamp. The actual stamp is not like that.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Panini Zootopia stickers

For something different how about stickers from hit Disney movie that came out on DVD last week? Sticker packs contain 7 stickers. Be warned there some potential spoilers on this post. If you haven't seen it by now best to skip this. On to the stickers.
49 - It's one of two main characters Nick Wild
116 - pigs being natural at The Mystic Spring Oasis
120 - outside naturalist club
37 - mouse car gets ticketed
149 - Judy and Nick found something horrifying feral
103 - Bellweather who would become important character later in the movie
84 - after long hard day Judy gets a call from her parents

Who needs help for their kids sticker collection? Meanwhile I'm going to watch this again.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

2006 Upper Deck Artifacts

Let's go back 10 years, when Upper Deck still could produce licensed baseball cards. Pulled this from a repack box.

Junior as a Red on the cover. Autos, relics and other inserts are available. Four cards in a pack, which is still the same number of cards UD puts in their NHL Artifacts release.

Even in 2016 there was the smoke affect. The border kills the usual great UD photography. As an art card, it works. But Masterpiece did art cards much better. No foil on the card. The UD logo, player uniform number and the border are printed in a faded grayish brown color.

May be a little hard to notice, but the player's name is rendered in a color that matches the team color.

Here's the back of the Beltran card. Full career stats! Nice little bio at the top, using some old timey font. Showing the back 2 cards in should give you an idea what's coming.

Yup. I got shorted a card by pulling a hit for King Felix. Gold Limited, which means it's numbered to 150. You can see that printed by Hernandez's glove. Bit busy for a card design - not sure what the two extra boxes with his uniform number and the badly designed Artifacts logo. But a hit is a hit.

Friday, June 10, 2016

1992 River Group Elvis Series One

Hello, everyone! It has been WAAY too long since I last posted a pack on here! I received a package of packs from Bo Rosny for my PAD Circus Giveaway the other day, and these Elvis cards were in there. So, I thought it would be fun to rip them open here before revealing them on my own site.

Grab your peanut butter and bananas...

There are 12 collector cards in each pack. The wrapper itself is a bright, shiny purple foil. I don't know if the King would approve, but I know Prince sure would. On the back of the wrapper, there is an offer for a Free Elvis Collection Checklist for a dollar. I guess we now know what that girl's insurance guy could get with that dollar dangling at the end of the fishing rod... Or could back then, anyway. Click on pics for larger/readable versions.

Checking in with HQ - Elvis Army Days - a colorized photo of Elvis from his military days. Each card features a borderless image on the front. In one corner is the subset title for the featured image.

Atomic Powered Singer - Elvis in Vegas - The back of each card features a coinciding style to match the front (Army green for the previous card, colorful card suits for this one). The card's number occupies one corner. In a lower corner, the "Elvis Collection" logo appears along with copyright information.

Man of Many Songs - Elvis Aloha Special

Speedway - Elvis Movies

Youth Leadership Award - The Elvis Collection

I'm Really Him! - The Wertheimer Collection

One of the Boys - Elvis Portraits

Spinout - Elvis Wheels

The "Lisa Marie" - Graceland Tour

Don't Quit His Day Job - Elvis in Vegas

Recording "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" - The Wertheimer Collection

Live at the Fox - The Elvis Collection

A special offer insert shows off a card-sized version of the Elvis stamp encased in a screw-down (for $5.95) and the other side of the insert shows a collector's binder for $19.95. The stamp card is available on eBay for a little less than the listed price while the binder seems to be available with varying amounts of cards in it for more than the $19.95 list price. YMMV