Monday, July 22, 2024

2024 Topps Series 2 Retail

Greetings!

Hope everyone is doing well.  Ol' Jafronius was MIA from posting and blog reading for a couple of weeks; from June 8th through the 22nd the whole family was in the Philippines see family and partake in island hopping hyjinxs.  My parents wanted their 6 grandkids to see their homeland before they got too old to travel.  We all enjoyed out time there, even though there was some pretty oppressive heat when we were more inland and not by the ocean (there it was just hot).

I was overseas when Topps Series 2 was released, but there was plenty of packs to pick up when I returned, including the standalone variety:


The Angels in Order reported a $4 price tag for a Series 1 pack found at a Five Below.  This one cost me $3.50 at Target, so it appears Five Below upped the price a little.  Let's see what I got:


#672 - Wilyer Abreu (RC)
#684 - Tyler Stephenson

There are 350 cards in Series 2, continuing the excellent design.  Here's the checklist if you need it.


#456 - Cristian Pache
#506 - Nick Loftin (RC)

Nick's sporting the Royals' 2023 City Connect uniforms.  They say it's supposed to remind you of the fountains in Kauffman Stadium.  I say it reminds me that City Connect uniforms are generally silly.


#555 - Ezequiel Duran
#599 - Nick Allen

I do like the image busting out of the border.  You can barely see it with Ezequiel but it's quite evident with Nick.


#378 - Baltimore Brotherhood (Checklist)
#619 - Teoscar Hernández

I haven't been able to see the Home Run Derby the last couple of years due to work, but I heard this year was a nail-biter, maybe because Judge and Ohtani weren't playing.


#625 - Paul DeJong
#531 - Estevan Florial


#541 - Miguel Vargas
#FP-3 - Mallory Swanson (First Pitch)

The inserts start with First Pitch.  While I'm glad this insert is back, I'm bummed that there's only 5 cards in the set (2 of them with the Cubs).

I'm still having issues reading the Topps PDF, so I don't know the First Pitch odds, it could be 1 in 48 packs or 96 packs.


#FF-19 - Juan Soto (Fantasy Favorites)
#SMLB-37 - Clayton Kershaw (Stars of MLB)

20 cards make up the Fantasy Favorites set, which is either 1 in every 10 packs or 21 packs.  As usual, you get a Stars of MLB in every pack.

Here are the backs because humidity:



Anyway, that's the pack.  No big stars here, but those colorful inserts and base design still makes this a tolerable rip.  Enjoy the rest of the week everyone, and thanks for reading!

Friday, June 21, 2024

2021 Historic Autograph and Card Company 1945 End of WWII

 


Here we have a pack of 2012 Historic Autograph and Card Company 1945 The End of WWII cards. The wrapper features stylized text and background. It's a foil wrapper and seems to be the same quality as one would find with a brand-name sports pack. Information regarding the number of cards in the set is a bit hard to come by, as there are multiple parallels and chase subsets. From my research, there are about 146 base cards. But, the base cards themselves are a parallel, as you will soon see below, so the base set is actually 292 cards. A "checklist" of sorts is provided at the end of the post.

Each pack contains 10 cards. Some of the chase/subsets include hair relics, uniform relics, signatures, dog tags, challenge coins, printing plates, 1945 coin cards, art cards, and "aurora" cards. Honestly, I probably forgot a subset or two. 

The cards themselves are borderless and feature black-and-white or color photos/images related to 1945. The top portion (or left side for vertical cards) features a wooden fence-like strip with the card's caption and "1945" on it. The main image/subject of the card takes up the majority of the space on the card.


Cards may feature significant places, events, and/or people. This Bob Hope card shows a VERY young Hope in uniform:


The cards are glossy, giving a nice shine. The "Aurora" cards (not found in this pack) have foil embossing on the caption section and are serially numbered to 45. There is another subset numbered to 199 that is also foil. Below is another base set card:



Considering many of the images are from 1945, the folks who put this set together did a very nice job of enhancing and detailing the images for presentation in the set:



As mention above, some of the cards are full color:


I even manged to pull a Cleveland Rams Professional Football League Championship ticket card from the pack. The ticket is just the image of the ticket and not a relic, but still pretty cool:


The next-to-last card in the pack features the V2 being launched:

And now, the last card in the pack: a Jackie Robinson Uniform Card (kinda)!


When I saw this card, I nearly fell out of my chair! That is a photo of Jackie Robinson, and that *IS* a WWII uniform relic. However, my heart sank a little when I flipped the card over:


There, near the bottom in small italics print: "The relic used to create this card comes from an authentic WWII era uniform or eqipment. The item was not worn by the individual that appears on the front of the card." Well, that's disappointing. 

For what it's worth, the backs of all the cards feature the caption from the front repeated and centered in bold. Under that is a paragraph giving information about the subject featured on front. The card number is shown in the upper right corner. At the bottom of the card, we see copyright information and the "HA" insignia. Parallels and inserts have additional information based on the relic/insert.

As I mentioned above, the base set is its own parallel. Each card in the base set is embossed with either "ALLIES" or "AXIS" and the entire set has both cards, according to my research. I tried to capture this embossing for both sides, but it is subtle:




This is a unique set of cards and packs, boxes, and even hobby boxes can still be bought (through auction sites, tiktok, and from the HA website). The hobby boxes include a checklist pamphlet with all the cards listed (include chase/parallels), a sticker, and potentially other goodies.

Checklist from the HA website (PDF) - https://www.historicautographcompany.com/_files/ugd/296681_463f98460e63427cafa69f99ec2c714c.pdf


Thursday, June 20, 2024

2023-24 Panini NBA Sticker and Card Collection


We're back with another sticker + card pack. It may not be all that timely with the NBA season just concluding, but for all we know it could be another year before we see another season's worth of Panini releases on the shelves.


382 - Steven Adams - Similar to the football packet posted last weekend, these come with five stickers to stick in your album plus one full-sized card. The design is a bit different than the NFL release, and there's no bio info on either side of these.


388 - Rudy Gobert - This pack contained one foil sticker, and much like it's NFL counterpart, it contains a bunch of hologram Panini logos in the background.


356 - Mason Plumlee - It's a Clipper!


189 - Monte Morris - Rather than use Photoshop, Panini tends to mark a player's team switch by just using the new logo and putting some text on the side.


461 - Colby Jones - Panini actually traded in their 'RC' shield for an 'RS' shield, as in Rookie Sticker. Nice?


45 - Dejounte Murray (Card) - The one full size card in the pack is the underrated Hawks guard Dejounte Murray. The full-sized cards do have a small two line section of text on the back for the player's bio.

Saturday, June 15, 2024

2023 Panini NFL Sticker and Card Collection


Let's check out the wonderful world of Panini stickers -- football style! I picked up this packet at a GameStop last weekend. Like in the past four or five years, these contain one full sized card and five stickers to stick in an album, if you like that sort of thing.


303 - CeeDee Lamb - First up, we have a foil sticker. The foil looks kind of cool this time around, with all of the various Panini logos floating in the hologram-sphere (holosphere?)


366 - Chicago Bears - Here's a simple team sticker. You could probably stick this on the back of your phone case or something if you like this team.


537 - Dre Greenlaw - Panini sticks a little bio info on the front of the stickers, which is pretty helpful considering the backs have nothing important on them as they are designed to be peeled off and thrown away.


124 - Marcus Williams - As a safety, I can't tell if Williams just intercepted a pass or if he's on a return team here.


519 - TuTu Atwell - That's quite a name!


56 - Aaron Donald (Card) - Here's the full-sized card. It uses the same design, but slaps a Panini logo in the upper left corner and pushes the bio stuff to the back.

Saturday, June 08, 2024

2023-24 Panini NBA Hoops Value Pack

Greetings...

Hope everyone's doing well.  When I started this post the NBA Playoffs were just about to start.  Now it's Finals time.  I don't know if I wasn't following the West that closely, but I was surprised Dallas made it.  In any event, I don't think they have enough to beat Boston, but hey, make it exciting and it's all good to me.

It's the Thompson twins!  No, not those Thompson Twins.

Santa left a pack of Hoops in my stocking as well as my eldest's, so let's see what he got:


#129 - Russell Westbrook
#37 - OG Anunoby
#213 - Michael Porter Jr
#93 - Eric Gordon

Standard Hoops-like design of the past few years.  If you put out a Hoops card from the last 5 years on the table, I doubt many collectors would know what year each card came from.


#56 - Myles Turner
#10 - Kenyon Martin Jr
#182 - Davion Mitchell
#193 - Bojan Bogdanovic

There's 300 cards in the set.  Here the link to the checklist if anyone's interested.


#248 - Jett Howard (RC)
#299 - Dwyane Wade (Hoops Tribute)
#268 - Andre Jackson Jr (RC)
#253 - Kobe Brown (RC)

Veterans take the first 230 cards in the set.  Rookies take spots 231 - 280.  The last 20 cards are for Hoops Tribute, reserved for Superstars of yesteryear, Superstars of today, and hottest of Hot Rookiez.


#124 - Jaxson Hayes
#68 - Josh Green (Purple Parallel)
#57 - Cameron Johnson (Teal Explosion Parallel)
#5 - Luka Doncic (Dynamos)

Since Panini never gives us the odds, your guess is as good as mine for the Purple and Dynamos.  I'm guessing Teal Explosion comes one per Value Pack, because I've gotten one in each pack I've picked up.


#1 Victor Wembanyama (RC) - Rookie Greetings
#3 - Dorian Finney-Smith
#210 - Wendell Moore Jr

The kid was pretty excited to get the Wemby card.  I was able to pull the base RC later on; it's not a Jordan RC but good enough.


#26 - Zach LaVine
#132 - De'Anthony Melton
#154 - Christian Braun

The eldest didn't follow Zach and the Bulls as much this year since LaVine has been getting hurt more in recent years and the team hasn't lived up to expectations.  Most unfortunate.


#215 - Luguentz Dort
#207 - Jarrett Allen
#195 - Bam Adebayo
#141 - Dejounte Murray


#142 - Cam Reddish
#239 - Maxwell Lewis (RC)
#55 - Max Christie
#231 - Toumani Camara (RC)

Wrapped up the pack with 3 Lakers out of the last 4 cards.  Here are some backs because Finals:



Anyway, that's the pack.  Apologies for taking so long to get this post out of drafts, but that's how it goes when life gets in the way.  Enjoy the Finals (and the Stanley Cup Final too), and thanks for reading!

Monday, June 03, 2024

1995 TCM Associates Santa Around the World

 


This is a pack of 1995 TCM Associates Santa Around the World. This is from the Series 2 (aka "Bonus") set. The wrapper is gold foil and shows a hand-drawn Santa peering over his glasses. In the upper left corner, the "SANTA Around the World" logo appears. This set is also referred to as the "Santa and Snowflakes" set due to the snowflakes on the wrapper. Each pack contains 8 cards and there are 73 base cards (1 unnumbered), 12 foil chase cards, 4 "Children's cards," 4 gold foil "Children's cards," several phone cards, and at least 2 special mail-in redemption gold cards in the set.

Each card features a green border with white snowflakes. The "SANTA Around the World" logo sits in the upper left corner. The center of the card shows the main version of Santa being represented. At the bottom, a red banner with white lettering provides the caption of the subject depicted.

These first three show 1930 Europe, Grandfather Frost from Russia, and 1910 Europe:


In addition to the numbered base cards, there is one unnumbered card showing the completed puzzle:


This pack also contains a promo card showing off a bunch of "SATW" merchandise:


Next up, we have 1920 Germany, Christkindl from Germany, and another variation of 1910 Europe:


In the next scan, we see yet another 1910 Europe, a Father Christmas, and I have provided a scan of the back of the cards. The backs each feature a puzzle piece:


The link to the checklist not only provides the cards and their numbers, but also a lined out placement for each of the puzzle pieces. It is a very handy reference for how the completed puzzle should fit together.

Checklist can be found here: https://www.nslists.com/santa2.htm