Box Break: 2013 Topps Magic Football

It’s been a while since i’ve picked up a box of cards.  I have been doing my best to stay away from boxes of cards unless I plan to put the set together since I have terrible luck with the ‘hits’.  I’m not a hit chaser and don’t plan to be one either…but I do love opening packs of cards.  It takes me back to being a happy go lucky kid with $5 in my pocket riding my bike to the Stop’n Go for a few packs of 1986 Topps or Garbage Pail Kids and tall bottle of coke…man, those were the days.  Back when $5 could get you way more than 8 cards to a pack.

As you can see from the title, the box is Magic Football from this year.  Unlike the last couple of years, the rookie class isn’t too exciting…but I love this brand and here we go!

Card Design: 3.5 of 5

Just like the past couple of years, the base card design is pretty simple.

13 TM Josh Gordon

Topps does it’s best to give these cards a sort of retro look with the banner and stars.  Nobody really does that anymore, do they?  seems like a throwback to the 50’s.  I’ve always felt like Magic is Topps version of Heritage for football, minus the copying of vintage designs.  Instead of copying them verbatim, they take bits and pieces of the cards to create a ‘new throwback’ look, which i love.

13 TM Marshawn Lynch

I also like that they used a good solid card stock with no glossy finish.  I’m kind of old school like that.  The glossy cards are great and have a time and place, but i really enjoy a card that isn’t slippery or covered with texture.  Just some nice smooth cardboard with a little friction.  Such a weird comment…

Photography: 4 of 5

Photography, yes, photography.  The photos are highly over processed and in most cases i despise this.  Technology is a great thing, but a heavy hand can ruin a great photo.

13 TM Josh Freeman

I was quite impressed that Topps was able to get a photo (almost looks photoshopped, eh?) of Josh Freeman’s short lived stint with the Vikings (is he coming back to the Vikings next year?) As i’ve mentioned in previous posts, I enjoy photography and my wife is a professional photographer, so we have our fair share of HDR imagery discussion in our home.  Fun huh?

13 TM Jawan Jamison

This fairly new form of photo processing is everywhere now and definitely has its place…and I think sports card photography is that place.

13 TM Alfred Morris

The photos on these cards always look really sharp and you can see a lot of texture and depth on each card…i guess for some, this may make up for the lack of glossy-ness.

Look at that smile!  And those Tattoos!

13 TM Brandon Jenkins

Look at those crazy eyes!  And that old school mesh jersey top!

13 TM Roger Craig

Hits: 3 of 5

As i’ve mentioned, I do not by boxes for the hits.  I am not that type of collector.  Magic does offer three autographs in their boxes along with the occasional relic or memorabilia card.  The autographs are stickers though…ugh stickers…better than redemptions, but man an on card autograph is so great!  Since the rookie class wasn’t too stellar this year, the autographs weren’t that stellar either.

Brandon Myers – New York Giants

13 TM Brandon Myers Autograph

Kayvon Webster – Denver Broncos

13 TM Kayvon Webster Autograph

Khaseem Greene – Chicago Bears

13 TM Khaseem Greene Autograph

Magic is owned by Topps, so they fill your box up with little hits and parallels and a whole bunch of other shit that makes collectors want to collect things they don’t really want to collect.  Like some micro cards with Drew Brees and Arian Foster on them.

13 TM Brees Foster 1948 Minis

or how about some receiver action with Cal bookends of Keenan Allen and DeSean Jackson sandwiching Anquan Boldin from the base white mini.

13 TM Allen Bolden Jackson Mini

How about some green border minis with these three dudes.

13 TM Hunt Wheaton Holmes Green Border Mini

Or what about these black border minis!

13 TM Gates LaFell Black Border Mini

and a Hall of Famer Blue Border mini!

13 TM Andre Reed Blue Border Mini

I could have done without these groovy Aerial Attack inserts…but my wife loves Cam, so here honey.

13 TM Cam Newton Aerial Attack

The colors on this thing…holy crap…ho-lee-crap.

13 TM Adrian Peterson Ground and Pound

The Rookie Enchantments are back, but aren’t that enchanting.

13 TM Mike Glennon Rookie Enchantment

Markus Wheaton for all of you Steeler fans out there.

13 TM Markus Wheaton Rookie Enchantment

and a Cordarelle Patterson card.

13 TM Cordarelle Patterson Rookie Enchantment

Desmond Trufant, a man that Steve Smith respects.

13 TM Desmond Trufant Rookie Enchantment


All in all, i love the cards.  I was really hoping to put together a set, but after seeing the 330 card set checklist and heavy dose of SP cards i’m not sure that’s gonna happen.  I need to think about it.  My collection is a bit chaotic right now and this won’t help with the chaos.  I really wish Topps went a little lighter on the SP’s.  A box of these guys won’t set you back too much, but if you plan on putting the set together you could be dropping well over $100 on this set and i’m not sure that’s worth it for this group of cards.

13 TM Jordan Reed

and a MINI!

13 TM Jordan Reed Mini

Bacarri Rambo…the best name ever.

13 TM Bacarri Rambo

Hope you enjoyed the review…my pack breakdown for 2014 Topps will be up soon.  I’m waiting for everyone else to release theirs before I put my thoughts out there.  🙂

I’m Back with a Break!

It’s funny how quickly you can get used to something and it become part of your routine.  I was on quite a nice little streak of doing a post a night, or at the very least one every other night for a few weeks…but it’s been 5 whole days since i’ve created a new post.

The reality is that i haven’t picked up many new things and i’ve been a little exhausted and wanted a break from work and collecting.  The drive from Texas took a lot out of me plus i’ve been riding my bike to work in hopes of losing a few pounds and getting in better shape.  Not to mention, the wife and I decided to take a couple days together and spend some time in Seattle with our son.  I have been jonesing to take him to his first baseball game and with the Yankees in town for a weekend series and a couple of day games, it was the perfect weekend…plus the weather has been fantastic!  So, now i’m back and will hopefully get a few posts up and running in the next few days.  I’ve missed the past two card shows, so i’m really excited about the one in a couple of weeks and am hoping to pick up some more of the new Redskins Draft Picks.  I always manage to walk away happy and pick up a handful of great new Redskin cards.

I received the Redskins (and Dolphins) cards from Colbey at Cardboard Collections for his 2013 Score Box Break prior to heading out for the weekend, but wanted to post what I received..  He was kind enough to send a whole bunch of other great cards that I will get to in my next post, but for this one, I wanted to show all of the Redskin cars and the rookie cards from the Dolphins.  This was my first online box break and it was cool to partake in the break.  It’s a great way to get the cards that I want without investing in a box for myself and being stuck with a bunch of cards that don’t excite me as much as the Redskin cards do…I hope to get involved in more for the future.

First up, the base cards of the two great Rookies that got the team moving in a whole new direction.  RG3 and The Butcher.

13 PS Robert Griffin IIIMy Redskins can’t catch a break in My Cardboard Mistress Football Contest, especially against those pesky Giants, but it’s really nice to see RG3 break away on a card against the New York Football Giants.

13 PS Alfred MorrisLove the landscape cards Score put out this year, really nice job…and i believe this is a photo of Alfred Morris’ first NFL Touchdown.

13 PS Santana Moss Pierre GarconI love both of the jumping receiver photos.  Santana was one of the few receivers that was able to catch a ball in that Steelers game where the recievers had 11 drops and did nothing to win a game that was very win-able.  The Garcon card is beautiful against the Cowboys in the Thanksgiving Day game.  I haven’t screamed at a TV in so long as I did this game…it started with screams of joy and excitement and moved to screams of panic and concern as the Cowboys inched back in to it.  Luckily the good guys won.

13 PS London Fletcher Ryan KerriganNo idea what games these cards are from, but I’m glad Fletcher will be running out of the fog filled helmet for at least one more year.  Also can’t wait to see how Kerrigan does this year with another successful season under his belt.  He could become an elite LB in the league if he can get some help from a healthy Orakpo.

13 PS Fred DavisSure hope Fred Davis can come back from the achilles tear and pick up where he left off…he can be a beast!

13 PS Robert Griffin III Franchise and AirmailHere is a couple of nice cards from ol’ Bobby Three Sticks.

13 PS Alfred Morris Future FranchiseI kind of think the future is now with this guy…although, running backs tend to have short careers.  Here’s hoping he has a great one that lasts a few years.

13 PS London Fletcher ScorecardA nice parallel of London Fletcher.

13 PS David AmersonDavid Amerson was taken in the second round and should become a nice player and hopefully can start before the year is out.  The weakest area for the Redskins in the past few seasons has definitely been their secondary.  The team did a good job of addressing that issue in the draft, now the players have to perform.

13 PS Miami DolphinsHere are the Dolphins rookies.  I’m kind of excited to see Dion Jordan play.  He was really solid at Oregon and can be a supremely talented Defensive End in the league.  One thing about these Score retro cards that i wished they would have done was make them a studio portrait like the originals…I think that was what made them classics.  A bunch of young guys with hopes of NFL stardom looking in to the camera lens…rather than some sideline photo.  They are still well done though.

Box Break: 2012 Panini Absolute Football

I am way behind on reviewing some of the boxes I have opened in the past few months, mostly focusing on cards that i’ve picked up at card shows.  I have a few lined up, so here is the first one.  Panini Absolute Football.

Like most of Panini’s cards now, you can buy a retail version and a hobby version but the quality is quite different.  As a set collector this would drive me insane, but since i don’t plan on putting this set together, it’s no worries to me.  I do think this is a great way to differentiate between a hobby card and something you can pick up at Target, good for the hobby and collectors in my opinion, but allows the fringe collectors to afford different brands of cards.

12 PA Santana Moss

Card Design – 4 of 5

The base card for Absolute is pretty clean.  Photo of the player on the front along with his name and position as well as the team name along the bottom.  The greatness of these cards for me is the vertical gradation in the colors from left to right, or right to left depending on your culture.  The gradation gives them a nice light show or a cardboard Pink Floyd laser show look to the card.  Groovy.

12 PA Aaron Hernandez

The one thing i’m not liking about these cards is the card stock.  Seems really thin for the amount of money these guys cost.  I also wasn’t crazy about the overall packaging by Panini.  You get the display box, and a pack box…with a cello wrapped cards inside.  That’s quite a bit of packaging for a box of cards, wouldn’t you agree?

12 PA Ray Lewis

Living in the Pacific NW, all the extra wrapping is heavily frowned upon.  Yes, we are those people that bring their bags to the grocery store and ride our bikes to work in the rain.  Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Photography – 4 of 5

Panini has the waist up photos locked down.  They do a great job of focusing on the player, allowing them to take up most of the photo space available on the card.  All the cards i’ve seen appear to be game action photos and give you a good view of their eyes.  No over processing or out of control editing for these cards either.  Another good job by Panini.

12 PA Frank Gore

Hits – 4 of 5

No Redskin hits here, but when you get any card autographed and numbered to 10 it’s a good thing, and it’s an even greater thing when that player is AJ Green.  This may be one of the best hits i’ve had in a long while.  It is a sticker auto, but i will let that slide for a perennial pro bowler card numbered to 10!  Not really a Bengals fan or an AJ collector, but the guy has proven to be a beast in his first couple of seasons.

12 PA AJ Green Spectrum Auto 3:10

The other hits were fairly nice as well.  Brandon Weeden came through with a nice looking jersey card but he looks completely unimpressed in this photo…or thoroughly confused, you be the judge?

12 PA Brandon Weeden War Room Jersey 4:49

I Like the Terrance Ganaway autograph, it has a nice flair to it.  The card itself has a ton of great color in person and is very attractive (much better than the scan!)

12 PA Terrance Ganaway Spectrum Auto 46:299


I was pretty happy with the box i received.  Nice hits and i really love the design of these cards.  If i have a few extra bucks to spend on cards laying around next year, i can see myself picking up a box for 2013.  Although, with my desire to spend less on boxes and packs I doubt i can justify the cost for the value.

12 PA Vick Ballard 215:399

Opening each pack was cool, although i think it was a bit excessive packaging.  It was nice that i could open one or two as i wanted, can’t have everything i guess.  I think Panini can do a better job of their future packaging.  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Box Break: 2012 Panini Contenders

I am finally getting around to opening the boxes that have been sitting on my desk for a while now and wanted to start with one of my favorites.  Panini’s Contenders.  I have always enjoyed the design of these cards and their quality.  The simplicity and continuity of the cards each year with the ticket on the sidebar and singular player focus is something that I enjoy in a card.  In general, I think Panini does a nice job on their card designs and this set is no different.  Contenders is in their 20th year now, which i initially had no idea they were around this long until I remembered  the flip box I still have from the first year with Barry Sanders on the inside cover…memories.  They used to make the boxes much nicer back then…now it’s just a small box with lots of cards in them.

2013-02-21 17.53.25

Now for the review…

Card Design 4 of 5

As i said in the intro, i really like the consistent design.  Each card has the basic player information on the front with the name, team, position and player number.  Contenders goes a step further with the name of the stadium and years the player has been a pro which is kind of a cool feature you either don’t find on a card or only find on the back.  Panini has also managed to incorporate the teams colors in the left bar ‘tickets’.  I personally like the Redskins cards, but am partial to the Burgundy and Gold on cards…I think it makes them punch really nicely.  What’s up with Carolina Panthers and their 1984 Trapper Keeper font?  I’m glad they finally decided to dump it and go with something more contemporary.

12 PC Cam Newton

One design piece that i don’t think is that successful is the ‘super graphic’ last name ghosted in the background with a very subtle shadow line.  My problem with this is that they already have the players full name on the card, so adding the last name again is simply redundant and unnecessary in my opinion.  I would also like to have seen the team logo on the top right be a little larger and the helmet on the ticket gone…or maybe this could be where the larger logo occurs.  It’s just a little redundant to these eyes.

12 PC Richard Sherman

Contenders does a nice job on their subsets and have continued with the die-cut love fest.  The Rookie of the Year Contenders are quite nice and the die cut works well here as they fit nicely in my gentle, yet manly grasp.  These types of die cuts don’t work well in sleeves or top loaders and always seems to lean to one side or another.

12 PC Doug Martin ROY Contenders12 PC Mark Barron ROY Contenders

Another subset is the MVP Contenders and are really nice looking.  The die-cut and supergraphic MVP font work very well, even though none of the guys i pulled had any real shot at winning the MVP, it’s still a nice subset for player collectors.

12 PC AJ Green MVP Contenders

Photography 4 of 5

Panini has managed to gather full length photos of each of the player for the majority of the cards, keeping their knees, ankles and feet in tact!  Football cards tend to be overcropped these days so it’s nice to see a full body shot of the player on his card.  Each photo is crisp and there is no clutter with unnecessary background action…just the player for whom the card is representing.  The photos on the back are a simple blow up of the one on the front of the card.  Kind of wish they would use a different photo, maybe a portrait shot or something…different.

12 PC London Fletcher

Hits 4 of 5

The box advertises 5 autos per box and that is pretty much what you get.  I happened to get what i believe is an extra auto with the dreaded redemption card, an Alshon Jeffrey Rookie Ticket RPS.  As i’ve stated in the past, i really hate redemption cards.  I understand why they do it and that it just needs to be done sometimes…it’s just disappointing to have to wait months for your hit.  Sometimes a guy just needs a hit.

12 PC Alshon Jeffrey Auto Redemption

The second pack I opened in this box had an awesomely shiny  Redskins rookie card Autograph numbered 66/99…Kirk Cousins. I was really hoping for the other rookie Redskins QB, but this guy might end up being the guy…somewhere.  I believe i have 5 Cousins autos now…and zero RG3 autos…FML!  Here’s a fun fact.  No matter what orientation you lay the card out, the serial number always says 66/99…fun with sixes and nines you kinky freaks!

12 PC Kirk Cousins Auto 66:99

The other autos in the box weren’t that spectacular and quite frankly i think the kids these days seriously need to work on their penmanship.  They are probably signing hundreds of items, but the Chris Polk auto is just begging to be forged by a man of lesser character.

12 PC Chris Polk Auto

I got a kicker auto, that’s a little weird.  Zeurlein had a great season, but he’s still a kicker.  I’m just really i didn’t pull yet another Dontari Poe auto!

12 PC Greg Zuerlein Auto

The Bucs and the Cardinals guys are not on my radar, if anyone has an idea who they are or just needs them for a PC, let me know.  Otherwise they are ebay bound.

12 PC LaVonte David Auto12 PC Jamell Fleming Auto

This Panini product seems to give you a good number of autos, but nothing spectacular.


All in all i am pretty happy with the box.  I managed to get quite a few Redskins, no RG3, but i did pull a serial numbered Kirk Cousins auto.  By the way, i used to write just like Captain Kirk when i was in the 5th grade.  At least his auto is clean and legible…looking at you Chris Polk!  Contenders is a box that i tend to buy each year and will continue to do so…but one a year is more than enough for me.  The cards are great and you get a good amount of inserts, I just don’t know if the price justifies the cards you pull and their value.

This years subsets look great as usual.  I mentioned the MVP Contenders and the Rookie of the Year Contenders, but the subset I love is the Rookie Stallion cards…the name is a little…um…weird.  But the photos are great and i love the layout and use of fonts.

12 PC Justin Blackmon Rookie Stallions12 PC Bruce Irvin Rookie Stallions

Not too crazy about the Legendary Champion cards, nice idea and great player selection, just don’t love the design.

12 PC Tom Brady Legendary Champtions12 PC Drew Brees Legendary Champions 18:100

Here are the Redskins from the box!

12 PC Santana Moss12 PC Pierre Garcon

That’s it folks.  I have a couple more breaks to cover and i will be caught up!  Hope you enjoy the reviews.