Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2015-16 Panini Prizm NBA

I've been a big fan of Panini Prizm line, at least when it comes to basketball, and last season's effort was no exception. I bought a number of packs at a discounted rate recently, and here is one of those packs.

52 - Rodney Stuckey - The plucky Stuckey (I assume he's been called that before) is a 10 year vet who is the current backup point guard for the Pacers.

104 - Mario Chalmers - Chalmers was a long time Miami Heat starting point guard who has been out of the league this season while recovering from a torn Achilles.

294 - Mark Jackson - I really like that Prizm includes the occasional retired player. Jackson had a long and distinguished career in the NBA. He's currently a broadcaster (analyst) with ESPN and famously served as the head coach for the Golden State Warriors during their ascent to the top of the league, only to be replaced the season before their championship.

160 - Reggie Jackson Green Prizm - Mr. October on a retail exclusive parallel!

Here's a look at the back of the card. And if you sensed a theme with this pack, you were right: it's all point guards here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever - Retail Hang Pack

I loved wrestling as a kid.  Now that I'm big kid, I still enjoy it.  I may not watch every week, but I go through periods that I do.

As it pertains to cards, there's no other sport where I've gotten the return on investment that I have on wrestling cards.  I've probably broken even over time by selling off cards that I wasn't keeping for my own collection.  The clientele is smaller, but it's dedicated.  Once I was allowed to join the APTBNL team and I saw this pack, I wasn't passing on it.

The Pack:

The odds:

The cards:

Seth Rollins 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #142 (front)

Seth Rollins 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #142 (back)
The design is obviously the same as the Topps baseball design.  While not a fan of it on baseball, I believe that it works for wrestling.

Rollins was the first card in the pack.  I'm showing them in the order that they came out.  If you no longer watch WWE but did in the 1980s and 1990s, you may recognize some of the names.

Bruno Sammartino 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #158
The wrestling community has lost many superstars of the 1980s-2000s.  It's fantastic to see that Bruno is still with us.  It gives credence to drugs destroying so many lives.  I don't believe Sammartino is known to have had drug issues.

Greg Valentine 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #169
As a kid, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat was my favorite wrestler.  Other than him, I really felt an affinity for the heels and Valentine was one of them.  Thankfully he came along when he did.  He wouldn't make it in today's professional wrestling.

Lex Luger 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #180
Did ANYONE actually like Lex Luger?  He is the epitome of a guy that never should have been pushed as a face.  Nobody bought it.

Rick Rude 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #190
Rick Rude was one of the best heels of his era.  He's probably best known for appearing on both WCW Nitro and WWF Raw on the same night.

Brian Pillman 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #157
There was a period where I didn't watch wrestling.  From when I was probably 12 until 19, I guess that I just didn't think it was "cool."  The height of Brian Pillman's career was during that time and I don't know much of him.  I do know that he was well liked and is praised as being a great in-ring performer.

Triple H 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #149
Triple H was one of those guys that I never got tired of.  When it seemed his act was close to being stale, something would change.  Sometimes it was injuries, but absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Every time he returned, I was pumped!

Stephanie McMahon 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #146
Forever I will love Stephanie McMahon.  See what I did there?  Don't tell my wifey that I love another woman.

The Rock 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #137
I stated that I never got tired of Triple H.  The complete opposite was true of The Rock.  His shtick got old quickly.  When he was there, I wished he would go away.  When I was gone, I found myself wishing he was there.  I feel he was at his best in the Fast & Furious movies.

Heath Slater 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #123
I grew up in a state (West Virginia) that doesn't product many pro athletes.  There have been a few with West Virginia connections and this guy is one.  He also is very amusing on the mic.  One of my current favorites for the reasons mentioned.

Dana Brooke 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #112
The epitome of the 12th man on a basketball roster.

Big Cass 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #105
"This is Big Cass and he's 7-foot tall...and you can't...teach...that!

Epico 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #199

SEE:  Dana Brooke

Eva Marie 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #121


Diamond Dallas Page 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever #163

By the time I was back into wrestling, DDP was upper mid-card/main-event level.  I liked his character.  I also love guys with finishers that can come from out of nowhere.  I can't even guess how many times the "Diamond Cutter" came and I wasn't expecting it.  That reminds me, I really need to get restarted on my DDP Yoga.

2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever Triple H Tribute #33 of 40 
2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever The Rock Tribute #40 of 40
Inserts on guys I've addressed.  Nothing more needs said.

Neville/Tyler Breeze 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever Rivalries NXT #15
Neville's recent heel turn has me pulling for him.  The whole "The Man that Gravity Forgot" thing was just dumb.  I'm glad that WWE made this decision.  The whole narcissist gimmick has been done many times over the years and it's usually dumb.  This is the case with Tyler Breeze and his selfie stick.

Roman Reigns/Seth Rollins 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever Rivalries WWE #2
Yeah...if they'd just turn Roman Reigns already...that'd be great...

Austin Aries 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever NXT Prospects #2
I'm happy to see some of the former TNA guys getting opportunities.  I just wish they weren't on NXT, since I don't watch it.

Dash Wilder 2016 Topps WWE Then Now Forever NXT Prospects #6
I have no idea who this is.

Hopefully you enjoyed the look at the cards, or at least the trip down memory lane.  You can follow APTBNL on twitter at @namedlater and me at @beansbcardblog.  Please take a look at and follow my personal blog, I Feel Like a Collector Again.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2016-17 Panini Complete

The next stop on the tour of Panini's current NBA releases takes us to Complete, which is essentially their take on Topps Total. There's a large checklist, a low price point, and a toned down group of parallels and inserts. You only get 5 cards per pack which lessens the impact of the low price point, but there is something satisfying about being able to rip into a pack of cards for a buck.

40 - Spencer Dinwiddie - First impressions? These cards are more substantial feeling than last year's. The 2015-16 offering resembled mid-'90s Fleer baseball in their flimsiness, while these are a bit closer to Panini's Hoops line, minus the gloss.

168 - Sasha Vujacic - The backs are very basic as you might expect. Black and white all the way.

213 - Sean Kilpatrick - Kilpatrick is a guy I had never heard of but ended up on my fantasy team this year, where he sort of exists in a state of fantasy purgatory -- too mediocre to escape the scrutiny of being sacrificed to the waiver wire, but too healthy to ultimately be dropped.

359 - Al-Farouq Aminu - I'm not a fan of their current red jerseys, but I'm a big Blazers fan, so pulling this card of the Chief was good for me.

156 - Malachi Richardson Silver - Each pack (on average!) has a non-base card inside, and mine was the most common parallel version of this rookie guy.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2016-17 Upper Deck Hockey Series 1 - Retail Pack

The best thing about Upper Deck's yearly flagship release is that we as collectors know what's coming.  We will get a simple design, great photography and Young Guns.  It's refreshing that while the hobby is all about hits, there is still a demand for a set not reliant upon them.  While there are jersey, numbered and other insert cards, they aren't the focus.

I opened a box of this shortly after the release but picked up a pack at Target for this post.  At this particular Target, I have seen pack searchers.  One of the beauties of this product is that while they can weigh or pop the end of packs looking for jersey cards, the most desired cards are just "regular" cards.  Even in the retail product, the Young Guns odds are still good.

When Upper Deck first released images of the design, I was excited.  The tone of blue used reminds me of the 1992-93 Fleer Ultra set that was one of my favorites as a kid (NOTE TO SELF: Go look for 1992-93 Fleer Ultra boxes on eBay).  I saw more than a few comments and tweets from collectors that weren't excited, but we all know how negative some collectors are.

I love the clean designs that Upper Deck uses on the flagship product.  It does not overtake the fantastic photography seen yearly in the set.  Like the fronts, the back design is clean and exactly what we've come to expect from Upper Deck, as you see on the Ales Hemsky card from my pack.

2016-17 Upper Deck #59 Ales Hemsky
2016-17 Upper Deck #59 Ales Hemsky (back)
Since moving to Fort Worth, I've watched at least 50 Stars games a year (the wifey is a Stars fan).  I learned something from this card back.  It was a shock to me to see that in the first two years Hemsky was here that he scored 24 goals.  It certainly didn't seem like it.  He was injured during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and has only played one game this season.

2016-17 Upper Deck #73 Benoit Pouliot
It's not going to work out this way for all teams, but the way the design color meshes with the Oilers colors on this particular Benoit Pouliot image makes for quite the aesthetically pleasing card.  Pouliot has appeared in 44 games so far this season, tallying five goals and five assists.

2016-17 Upper Deck #49 Gabriel Landeskog
This Gabriel Landeskog card is another example of the blue design complementing the image.  The 24-year old Avalanche captain has scored nine goals and seven assists in 34 games this season.  

2016-17 Upper Deck #191 Nicklas Backstrom
I'm a big fan of the Capitals returning to the 1980s design a few years back.  Nicklas Backstrom is on pace to have his best points season since scoring 101 in 2009-2010.  In 46 games this season, he has 13 goals and 40 points.  

2016-17 Upper Deck #4 Andrew Cogliano
Through 49 games this season, Andrew Cogliano has produced ten goals and eleven points on the season.  So far in the pack, this is my least favorite of all images.  It's not that it's bad, it's just "average" and the others have been solid.  

2016-17 Upper Deck #70 Justin Abdelkader
For almost as long as I've liked hockey, I've disliked the Detroit Red Wings.  About the only thing nice I can say about them is that I like Justin Abdelkader's name.  I also like that a local boy (from Muskegon, MI) has played his entire NHL career for his home team.  In 28 games this season, he has produced four goals and ten points for the Red Wings.  

I hadn't realized until just now that the soft blue used in this set is basically the same shade of blue used in the goal crease.  Check right behind Abdelkader's knees on the card.  

2016-17 Upper Deck #174 Peter Holland
The Maple Leafs aren't shying away from their youth movement and after just eight games (and one assist) this season, Peter Holland was traded to the Arizona Coyotes.  Since the trade he has played 17 games, tallying a goal and four assists.  One of his final cards picturing him with the Leafs was a good looking one.  

2016-17 Upper Deck #32 T.J. Brodie
More than any other sport, hockey cards have the ability to picture fans on a card.  That's what I love about this T.J. Brodie card.  How cool would it be to open a pack of cards and see YOURSELF on a card?  What if years down the road, we find a young image of a future NHL star, like on this card?  

Back to the actual subject, Brodie has scored three goals and 14 points on the season for the Flames.  

Unfortunately I didn't hit a Young Guns card.  For those that don't collect hockey, this is what they look like.  

I hope you enjoyed this look at this pack.  It was successful for me, because I needed three cards from this pack for my set!  You can follow A Pack to be Named Later (@namedlater) and me (@beansbcardblog) on Twitter.  Also, please check out my personal collection blog, I Feel like a Collector Again.  Happy (pack) ripping!  

1991 ProSet Yo! MTV Raps MusiCards

I have long wanted to post something on APTBNL, but I don't buy a ton of packs, and by the time I get around to buying repack boxes and find something cool, someone else usually has posted it ahead of me.  But not today!  Today (courtesy of a throw-in pack by The Junior Junkie), I take you to the magical world of 1991 ProSet "Yo! MTV Raps" MusiCards....

Picture yourself in the early 90s -- Your pants are big, your hair is tall, Dan Quayle is trying to get you to spell "potatoe", and someone else just beat you to the last pack of Topps Desert Storm at your local Pamida store.  In your frustration, you grab a pack from the next box over that looks a little something like this:

That is one of those stretchy plastic wrappers like early Score baseball was packaged in.  Let's crack this baby open!

First card:
Yeah!  Everything I said about big pants has come to life right here in front of our eyes.  Here's the back - All of the backs are similar, with a "factoid" and some other demographic information.

After that came Public Enemy.  Flavor Flav loves him some clocks.

He's young, and he's an MC.  I think I am safe describing him that way.

Apparently he was the host of Yo! MTV Raps.  I never saw the show myself...too young and/or sheltered.

Never trust a big butt and a smile.

These guys were new to me...

They're no Darren McFadden...just the original Run-D.M.C.

You're just a butter knife, I'm a machete.

Paris is new to me...apparently he is still around -- his music is heavy in political content.

And for the last card in the pack....It's Mr. Van Winkle!

If you've got a problem, yo I'll solve it...check out the hook while my DJ revolves it.

That's all we have.  Overall, this was a pretty solid pack.  It didn't have Kriss Kross, in it, though.  Boo.

Readers:  Do you remember any of these guys?  Which card  / song / video was your favorite?