Tuesday, August 30, 2016

2015 Pokemon TCG XY: BREAKthrough


Hope everyone is doing well tonight.  Wasn't planning for a post, but I got home from work today to the news that my sister had just given birth to her second child.  Momma and baby are doing well.  So, since her two and my two means 4 little "monsters" for my parents, here's a pack of 2015 Pokemon TCG XY: BREAKthrough!

...To The Other Side!
From the Pokemon site:

An amazing discovery has been made in the Pokémon TCG!  Pokémon BREAK Evolution opens a new path to power that builds on a Pokémon's existing strengths and creates all-new battling options!  These new Pokémon BREAK come from twin worlds, home to Zoroark BREAK, Mega Mewtwo X, and Mega Mewtwo Y.  One world of technology, one world of nature, and all the wonders of BREAK Evolution are yours to explore in the Pokémon TCG: XY—BREAKthrough expansion!

Are you all ready for this?!?!?!?  I thought so.

There's 162 cards in the set, with common, uncommon, and rare cards.  It also appears to have different levels of the rare cards.  I don't know.  I scanned a pack before one of the boys ran off with it and who knows where the cards are now.  Here's what they got:

#7 - Chespin
#9 - Chespin
#129 - Rufflet
#71 - Woobat

It's a Chespin hot pack.  All four cards are commons.  Kinda lame to have to common Chespins; I'll root for the one on the left since he likes to nosh.

#86 - Pancham
#86 - Pancham (Foil)
#155 - Glalie-EX

I apologize, it's a Pancham hot pack.  Both Panchams are commons.  Based on the checklist, the Pancham foil card is part of the parallel set, while the evil-looking Glalie-EX is a Rare Ultra card.  Now the collector in me wants to find it and store it for the kids...I mean it's a Rare Ultra card!
#88 - Cacturne
#28 - Seaking
#145 - Parallel City

3 Uncommon cards end the pack.  Those two are some freaky lookin' Pokemon.  Can those crazy kids with their Pokemon Go catch these guys by pointing their phone at this page?  No, that's not how it works? 

Anyway, that's the pack.  Happy birthday to my newest niece, and thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016 Topps Stadium Club Rack Pack


Hope everyone is having a fun weekend.  I've scheduled the Blogger to post this pack at the start time of my brother's wedding.  If it works, you all would be reading this while I'm standing up watching him say his "I do's".  He's the last of the siblings (both me and The Wifey's) to get hitched...should be good times for the family.

Our resident Jedi called the APTBNL staff out for not posting any 2016 Stadium Club yet, but then posts a hoity-toity Hobby pack!  Proclaims that you get the bonus cards over the retail release, he does.  Well, us lowly retail shoppers have options...it's a 2016 Topps Stadium Club Rack Pack!
Take that Hobby!  12 cards in the Rack Pack puts you back $6.  Certainly the more cost-effective purchase for this set, when compared to the retail packs.  300 cards in the set (here's the checklist); let's see what I got:

#284 - Freedie Freeman
#53 - Chris Heston

Nice Freeman shot to start us off.  I wonder what's going on with the lady at the top right, under the Stadium Club logo.  Everyone else in the shot is either concerned or nervous, and she's all-a-smiles.  Perhaps she was rooting for the other team and was shouting something to break Freddie's attention.

#270 - Prince Fielder
#33 - Mitch Moreland

Back to back Rangers for the next two cards.  Sad to see Prince end his career after the docs wouldn't clear him for baseball activities after his second neck surgery.  Odd that he finished with the same number of homers his dad smacked.
#251 - Jon Gray
#290 - Manny Machado

I have no problems with the design of this year's set.  As for the Jedi's comments on the shots chosen for the players being more common than last year, I'll take that as a warning and see if the trend continues in future sets. 
#140 - Gio Gonzalez
#I-5 - Manny Machado (ISOMetrics)

It's a Manny hot pack.  The ISOMetrics insert comes 1 in 8 packs.

#141 - Mookie Betts
#197 - Zack Greinke

#221 - Jacob DeGrom
#274 - Giancarlo Stanton

The pack ends on 4 horizontal cards (last year's rack pack started with 4 horizontal cards).  Here's a couple of backs:
Anyway, that's the pack.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend (I better be).  Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

2016 Topps Stadium Club

Alright, I need to work on this stash of old packs that I found a few months ago. Plus I have some current packs that need to be posted so I can work them into the sets I am completing. That being said, I am shocked this year's SC release has yet to be posted. What the hell, guys?

Hobby pack, so you get the 2 (3?) bonus cards over the retail release. I think it's three. I've forgotten because I stopped buying this, and I'll explain later. Anyway, since this is from a hobby box, there is a little better than 12% chance I will pull an autograph (2 per 16 pack box).

Not much more to say about the 2016 release that you haven't read on other blogs. Bit of a rip off of 1997 Fleer, just glossier. Thicker stock that usual. Better photo selection. Though, I will touch on that last one. Yes - this is a nice PATP of Norris applying a tag to the Brewers Reed. Good image.

Decent Tatooine shot of O'Brien in those horrible D-Back uniforms. At least it's not the full grays.

And now.....well. You can see this in flagship. They have done shots like this lately. BTW - still getting what I feel are dreadful offers for my 1/1 superfractor of Pujols. Finally listed it for what I think is a fair price. I mean - the guy is a first ballot HOFer. Maybe I'll crack the case, have him autograph it and then pay to have it encased again. But I am digressing...

One card with this type of image has been in Topps flagship each year since 2012. And that is where my issue is coming with this release of SC. I think too many of the image choices are bland. Just not up to SC quality of great shots.

Case in point - Garrett Richards. I don't have an exact number, but in the hobby packs, racks and blaster I have bought, I pulled a lot of cards of pitchers on the mound pitching. About the only set I can't get that from is A&G. Otherwise, I can find this image in S1, S12, Update, GQ, Chrome, Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Archives, Heritage, etc..... Which is why I will probably complete SC, but via dime boxes. No box purchase this year unless the price drop is huge during Black Friday.

Hey - many of the images are great. I just think there are too many bland shots this year.

Luminous dia cut of Andrew Miller. I did my best to white background it to show off the cuts. Not sure if the "M" at the top is there for a reason. I think it's a shout out to Mugatu.

Now I do admit to not following the AL East very well, but who is Paredes? Because with no RC designation, I should have heard this name before. Sorry CommishBob.

Nice newer image of the Babe. I'd love to see Topps put the Babe in a set as a BoSox or a Boston Brave one year. In fact - that would be a great insert for some set: players in unfamiliar uniforms. ©2x3 Heroes, INC.

Here's the back of this year's offering. Colorized photo of the Great Bambino. Retired players get a bio and a career line. Current players get their 2015 stats and then the career line.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

2013 Cryptozoic DC Comics: The Women of Legend

BIG HUGE EDIT: This post was scheduled to go up on the Fourth of July... 2015.  But it didn't post and I forgot about it until now.

As mentioned in that BenchWarmer Eclectic post, I also bought a box of this stuff.  For having such a huge sketch collection, this box provided only the third one I've ever pulled on my own, which you will see amongst the handful of packs I set aside for this post.  I will also add where you might know some of the more obscure characters from.

Pack 1
We'll start it off with an all base pack, because Raven was in it.  I can't verify whether or not the art is All-New ORIGINAL ART or not, but there are plenty of different styles going on to keep it interesting.

Batwoman & Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Jenny Quantum (The Authority), Abigail Arcane (Swamp Thing), and the aforementioned Raven (Teen Titans).

Pack 2
Now for some insert & parallel packs.  This has a Katie Cook sticker in it.  You should get two of each of the inserts per box, and a half dozen foil parallels.

Voodoo (WildCATs), Platinum (Metal Men), Catwoman Katie Cook Sticker, Black Canary, Lois Lane 

Pack 3
This one has a foil parallel.  They look much, much better in real life than they do scanned, which is something I'm sure you've never heard about a foil card before. :P

Duplicate Damsel (Legion of Superheroes), Zatanna, The Engineer (The Authority) Foil Parallel, Fire (Justice League International), Indigo & Star Sapphire... You can just read the back from the dupe in the to get a vague idea of them.  The Green Lantern mythos went all sideways (not necessarily in a bad way) a few years back.

Pack 4:
Lotsa duplicates here.  The base set is only 63 cards, so there are a lot of 'em.  So you get backs for them.  The insert here is Gail's Picks (as in bigtime celebrated writer Gail Simone) of Wonder Woman.

Pack 5
Finally, the sketch card pack.

Silver Banshee & Supergirl, Terra (Teen Titans), Donna Troy Sketch Card by Jomar Bulda, Wonder Girl & Terra, Lady Shiva (Birds of Prey, I guess)
Here are the insert & hit backs & stuff, and I'll leave you with a closer look at the sketch card:
I really like this sketch card.  I like the character, and Bulda one of my favorite sketch card artists, and he's one I didn't have yet.  So yeah, this is pretty rad.

That's all for this one, fanboys/girls/somewhere in between/none of the above.  As always, thanks for stopping by.

Until our next...

Friday, August 19, 2016

2015 Boo: The World's Cutest Dog

I'm always looking for oddball and obscure stuff for my collection (and, naturally, to post here, too!) and while I was at my local Target I saw a box of these sitting on the shelf. I had to get a pack to post here if nothing else.

Enterplay is a card company on the fringes of the hobby, making sets mostly targeted to the extremely young- 10 years old and younger. They do mostly licensed and oddball stuff, and this falls into the latter.

Each pack contains 3 cards, 1 tattoo, one sticker, and one pop-up.

Here's the pack. They use an usual design on the packs- somewhat hard to open without damaging the cards.

The three cards you get, all in numerical order out of the pack:

the cards all have rounded corners. It's apparently a male dog yet the cards feature pink prominently.
Here's a card back.

Here's your tattoo, which they call a FunTat. It's more creepy than fun, in my opinion.
Note again the high pink content.
Your stand -up-have not seen cards like this since the 1990s when they were a fad for some reason.
And your sticker, which has a blank white back, and immediately  after opening the pack, it curled right up. It's actually three stickers, not one big one.
And that's your pack. Since I'm not an 8 year old girl, nor have I ever been, I'm not really the target audience for this set, but I'm glad I got the pack if for no other reason than posting it here.

I'm also unsure if this dog won a contest or is self-proclaimed World's Cutest.

Either way, this is the first animal set to come out since I believe 1992, so there's that going for it.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

2016 Topps Allen and Ginter

Topps releases this year's Allen and Ginter set few weeks ago. This is retail pack. What kind of surprises from this year?

119 - Gennady Golovkin - how bad state of boxing? I never heard of this guy and he's undefeated.
242 - DJ LeMahieu - mini card with AG back

AGR-ARU - Addison Russell - nice! A relic card
305 - Tyler Duffey
163 - Zach Lee - now in Seattle playing for their AAA club Tacoma

Russell relic card makes it a good pack. Who's building this?

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

2016 Topps U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Team Hopefuls

This set name is quite the mouthful. As Topps has done in the past couple of Olympics (summer and winter), here is another set released for the quadrennial event.

As Billy at Cardboard History pointed out (and I never thought about), there are just focusing on the US team. Also - it's not really the team, but possible members of the team. I guess to get them out in time they would have to put in the athletes they feel will make the team. But it's still a crap shoot. I am with Billy on his thoughts that it's just USA in the set. A larger set that pulls in the other countries would be a nice thing. Let's face it - the US sucks in ping pong. So barring some miracle, or a really drunk worker at Topps, we'll never see that sport represented in this set.

But I have digressed from the purposed of this post - showing cards. I picked this up at Target. Not sure if the hobby version has more cards be pack. The set is small - only 75 cards. But you get relics, autographs and parallels.

Very simple design. One nice thing about the base - no foil. At all! A simple image of the athlete shopped in front of some basic background with "Team USA" in the back. Paige is an alternate for the field hockey team in Rio.

Lot of medal kissing. Kayla won gold in London, the first judo gold the US has ever won. She is defending her title in Rio at the 78kg class.

Medal biting too. Simone Biles was part of the women's gymnastics that won team gold in Rio yesterday. She will be going for the woman's individual all around in the coming days. Good chance she will bring that home as she is a 3 time world all-around champion.

Rulon won gold in Sydney beating Russian Karelin. If anyone recalls, Karelin was undefeated for 13 years in competition. He also won a bronze in Athens in 2004.

Mariel was a gold medal winner in sabre fencing in both 2004 and 2008, the first American to win gold in that sport. She finished 4th in 2012.

Natalie has won 12 medals in Olympic competition and is tied for the most medals won by an American woman at the Olympics. She was the first woman to swim the 100m backstroke in under a minute.

Jake was a member of the 2012 men's team that finished 5th, and is back on the team in Rio hoping to medal in the team and individual events.

Sue is a three time gold medal winner with Team USA at Athens, Beijing and London. She is in Rio hoping the make it 6 straight golds for the US women's team.

Two things you will notice. First, the Topps logo is now white instead of red. That's because the US Olympic logo at the lower left is bronze foil. This is one of the three parallels you can pull. Big shock - one is bronze, one is silver and one is gold. You are guaranteed a bronze in each pack. The silver fall 1:2 and the gold 1:3. There is also a 1/1 gold rainbow.

No - that is not a mistake. I received two Phelps parallels. The bronze above and this gold. I am the silver and a base short of the rainbow. One thing I also forgot to point out - the athlete's name is also foiled in the same color. Turning it over.

Some personal info and a write up about the athlete. I can tell you the backs of the Phelps were both the same, so you do not get any different kind of card with a parallel.