Tuesday, April 26, 2022

1991 Monster In My Pocket

Is that a monster in my pocket or am I just happy to...

Never mind, here's a set from 1991, manufactured by Morrison Entertainment Group/The Source Group.

Monster In My Pocket is a franchise that began with games and toys and evolved into comic books and trading cards. They were originally released by Matchbox.

Here are our stickers. They appear to be next to one another on the way you would lay out the stickers.


These are pretty much self explanatory, I think?
These are too, I think?

Tengu is a Japanese folklore legend that means "heavenly dog".

I mean, that's a ghost, for sure. 

I guess without context these are just a bunch of pictures of paintings of monsters.


Sunday, April 24, 2022

2021-22 Panini Donruss Basketball

The NBA playoffs are underway, and I have a few packs to post here from the current season. First up is a pack of Donruss from a blaster box.

95 - Jimmy Butler - Butler's Heat took the #1 seed in the East and are currently up 2-1 in their opening round series again the Hawks.

53 - Harrison Barnes - Here's a look at the back. I'm not wild about the font at all, but it's the same one used on their baseball counterparts. Barnes plays for the Kings, so he missed the playoffs.

11 - Zach LaVine - The Bulls made a bunch of big moves in the offseason and jumped out to a big start this season before falling to the 6th seed in the East. They trail the defending champion Bucks 2-1 in their series.

111 - LaMelo Ball - Last season's big chase player plays for the Hornets, another team that typically misses the playoffs.

134 - Marvin Bagley III - Bagley was traded to the rebuilding Detroit Pistons during the season. At least they're not the Kings?

191 - Kevin Porter Jr. - Houston is also in the middle of a rebuild. Porter is a high scoring, hot tempered guard.

149 - Lauri Markkanen - Cleveland fell just short of the playoffs this season, but generally seems to be a team on the rise with one of the top young big men in the league in Evan Mobley. It'll be interesting to see if Mobley and Markkanen will continue to play together.

24 - Bones Hyland Great X-Pectations - Last up, we have a guy named Bones. Bones is about to get swept by the Warriors.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

1996 The Crow: City of Angels

The Crow: City of Angels was the 1996 sequel to 1994's The Crow. City of Angels starred Vincent Perez, Mia Kirshner, Richard Brooks, Iggy Pop, and Thuy Trang.

Vincent Perez portrays "The Crow" in this film. Lee's Crow was named "Eric Draven", Perez' Crow was named "Ashe Corven" so I assume they are supposed to be different people.

Here are some cards depicting "Curve" (Iggy Pop), "Noah" (Ian Dury), and "Sarah" (Mia Kirshner).

Here is Vincent Perez as "The Crow".
Here is Richard Brooks as "Judah".

And again "Curve", played by Iggy Pop.

Another card depicting Richard Brooks' Judah and what appears to be some sort of strip/dance club.
Here is our pack's temporary tattoo of The Crow.

I saved the worst for last. We have a drawing of The Crow done by Kevin O'Neill on a card titled "Bulletproof"...

...and stating "Being shot in the back won't stop Kevin O'Neill's Crow" on the reverse of the card.

Seems a little tone deaf, given the actor who played the titular character in the first film, Brandon Lee, literally died from a gunshot wound while filming a scene with an improperly rigged prop gun. Draw your own conclusions. I can't wait to NOT see this movie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

1982 Topps Donkey Kong

1982 was... a year for video games. It was also a year for trading cards.

1982 would give us our famous Cal Ripken rookie card. But today, we are talking Donkey Kong.

The arcade game came out in 1981, followed by a Game-And-Watch version in 1982. It was a year before the great video game crash, followed by the 1985 release of the NES in the United States, reviving the industry.

But in 1982, it was all about the arcade, and Donkey Kong was in the arcade.

Those of you who are younger may remember the protagonist Donkey Kong from the "Donkey Kong Country" series. But before that, he was Mario's nemesis on the arcade machine, attempting to take him out by throwing barrels. Mario was known as "Jump Man" at the time.

Each pack gives us 3 rub-off "game" cards, 3 stickers, and a piece of gum.

Here are two fronts and a back of a game card. This game could be played 2 cards at a time, 1 friend vs. another for the highest score, if I am reading correctly. 

Our first sticker card depicts "Stamp Out Donkey Kong" and an image of Mario avoiding a barrel.

Here we have some comical stickers including a damsel in distress, "keep off my joy stick", and "Donkey Kong Lives!" followed by a "Donkey Kong is King" Sticker.


Our sticker backs show that if you collect enough stickers they combine to form a picture.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

2020-21 Panini Illusions Basketball Value Pack


Hope everyone's doing well.  It's been a while for me but fortunately you all had plenty to read from the other posters.  Just in time for Easter and the NBA Playoffs, here's a pack of Panini Illusions!

Packs of baseball cards are slowly starting to reappear on retail shelves, but basketball still remains a tough one to find.  I believe Target still has a pack limit on cards, so if you time your visit right, the Easter Bunny, er, card vendor, would have just left with some basketball packs on the hooks.  

12 cards in the pack, let's see what I got:

#27 - De'Andre Hunter
#51 - Khris Middleton

As you can probably tell, these cards are real shiny.  I'm not too thrilled about the background design, and I'm sure De'Andre's not too thrilled about his ghost picture.

#9 - Eric Gordon
#67 - Marvin Bagley III

There's 200 cards in the set, with the last 50 cards reserved for the Hott Rookiez.  Here's the checklist
if you want to check it out.

This set was released on November 17, 2021, so yep, last year's cards at the start of the current season.  I'm assuming The Virus is to blame for this, but I haven't seen an official explanation as to what happened.

#25 - Lonzo Ball
#82 - Jerami Grant

Case in point...us Bulls fans were curious as to how well Lonzo would play for Chicago when packs still had him as a Pelican.  He did alright, when he wasn't hurt...hopefully next year.

#5 - Ray Allen (Clear Shots)

There's 20 cards in this nice insert.  Nothing on the back, except for the Sonics logo (see below).  As usual, Panini never tells us the odds.

#146 - Joe Harris (Orange Parallel)
#109 - Jonas Valanciunas

The pack says to look for Orange and Teal Parallels.  I assume those are two separate parallels, so I got one of the two types.  

#131 - Kevin Love
#189 - Josh Green (RC)
#164 - Robert Woodard II (RC)

2 rookies end the pack.  I don't remember these two standing out this year, but you never know.

Here are the standard Panini backs:

Anyway, that's the pack.  This pack set me back $7 at Target.  However, the following week I was in Meijer and saw that this same pack cost $10 over there.  I'm pretty sure Panini took this opportunity to raise their prices, but I don't know if retail chains also decided to get in the fun, or if the card vendors themselves raised their prices and the stores are passing the increase onto the consumer.  I'm used to Meijer being slightly higher, but not this much.  There are packs I'll eventually post where I paid the Meijer price due to pack-starvation.

Hoppy Easter everyone, and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

2021 Topps Chrome Update

Here's a pack from the annual Topps holiday release that's supposedly exclusive to Target. I got my box at Barnes & Noble. It made a huge price jump this year and I can't say that I don't regret my purchase, but there are probably a few interesting cards to be found.

USC4 - Mitch Moreland - The bulk of the cards are players in new (at the time) jerseys and "rookie debut" cards. Moreland had a rough season in Oakland and is currently a free agent.

USC30 - Jon Lester - Lester's final cards appear in a Cardinals uniform, so there probably aren't a ton of his with the Nats. Walmart's holiday offering (Topps Holiday) has him in a Cards uni.

USC11 - Alex Kirilloff Rookie Debut - Each pack comes with a purple refractor parallel. Kirilloff is a promising young player, but has been beset with wrist injuries as he hit the injured list today once again.

USC6 - Kevin Pillar - Pillar is already with his fifth organization (Dodgers) after being traded from the Blue Jays just three seasons ago.

Thursday, April 07, 2022

2022 Topps Opening Day

It's finally here! At long last, a new baseball season is finally upon us. I am really not liking what Rob Manfred is doing to the sport, but at least we have the games back. Let's look at a pack of the new Opening Day series to celebrate.

19 - Patrick Mazeika - Right out of the gate, we have an annual tradition of me not recognizing one of the new rookie crop. How do we feel about that tiny RC logo?

180 - Zack Greinke - Zack is back with the Royals, where it all started with him. He'll be their opening day starter.

31 - Nolan Arenado - One of the best third basemen in the game. I have a feeling that, when it's all said and done, I'm going to end up having a huge amount of Arenado cards in my collection.

BS-24 - Matt Olson Bomb Squad - Bomb Squad inserts fall at 1:3 per pack, so you'll end up with a bunch of them if you buy a blaster. Olson was part of the mass A's exodus this offseason, as he ended up in Atlanta to replace Freddie Freeman.

140 - Trey Amburgey - Here's another rookie I've never heard of.

173 - Xander Bogaerts - The Red Sox shortstop is entering his tenth season, which is just nuts because it seems like only yesterday that I was making some comment in one of these blogs about how I'd never heard of him. Cool name, though.

185 - Anthony Rendon - It remains to be seen if Rendon will turn back into the MVP-caliber player he was with in his Nationals prime. It seems like the Angels curse everything they touch.

Enjoy the games, everyone!