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

Review

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.  🙂

Portis Paraphernalia

Yet another poor showing for the burgundy and gold tonight.  I DVR’d the game and had no real desire to watch it…but i broke down and sat through the entire game, skipping the punts and timeouts of course.  Everything went pretty poorly after the second score, the Redskins just can’t play a complete game.  Not to mention, they were really screwed on the last drive with the 1st down/3rd down confusion.  Thanks part time NFL refs, you are wonderful

The terrible season has me looking back rather than forward.  One of my favorite Redskins was Clinton Portis.  I picked up a couple of his rookie cards at the last card show in Mall 205.  I always stop by Tom’s table to see what he has to offer first, but one of my new favorite stops has become Kim’s table.  He is super friendly and always has a bundle of Redskins for me…at a great discount too.  It helps to be regular!  Most of the time he will mark down the cards 40%-60%.  He does this for a lot of his regulars as well as the kids that stop by the table…which is pretty cool since the hobby seems to be ignoring this demographic with each new insert and subset.  When i was sifting through the pile of cards he had set aside for me, he was upselling a Portis Jersey card.  Ok.  I pulled this one and didn’t even notice the orange swatch…not really a jersey though.  It’s a Hot Shirt.  No idea what the hell a hot shirt is, but i has one of Portis.

02 TP Clinton Portis Hot Shirt

One thing that always makes me laugh when i stop by Kim’s table is his salesmanship.  He’s always pushing other players from other teams on me, clearly not knowing my single minded focus on this hobby.  Redskins players only…unless they came from other teams of course, like Portis and Moss.  Still a great stop if you like the mid tier cards and crave great deals.  The card below has football dimples on it.  Pretty cool, plus it’s certified, Leaf Certified.

02 LC Clinton Portis Freshman Fabric Footbal cut 11:250

 

 

the PDX Fantasy Draft

Hey kids, big draft tonight in the PDX Fantasy League.  Wish me luck.  The wife wants me to go RG3 for the 6th pick.  Not sure i have it in me to do that…but we will see…:)

-HTTR

1st pick (6) – LeSean McCoy RB…I love this pick, this is the guy I wanted but wasn’t sure he would make it to pick 6.

2nd pick (23) – Robert Griffin III QB…ok, this is really the guy i wanted but couldn’t justify taking him in the first round, kind of wished i had waited until the 3rd, but i wasn’t sure he would make it that far.  Might have been a reach in this league at 23.

3rd pick (34) – Jimmy Graham TE…got a top ranked TE and i love the guy.  plus he doesn’t seem like the murdering type.

4th pick (51) – Montee Ball RB…this is a gamble, i don’t know much about the kid and i know the Broncos have a litany of running backs, plus Peyton likes to throw TD’s, not hand them off.

5th pick (62) – Pierre Garcon WR…love getting Garcon in the 5th.  Hope he can stay healthy and have another great year.

6th pick (79) – Anquan Boldin WR…i was thinking with all of the injuries, i couldn’t go wrong with Boldin, not to mention he is a great receiver of balls to the hands.

7th pick (90) – Seahawks DEF/ST…ok, this was a huge reach.  i’ve never taken a defense this high before.  the only reason i went for it was because of the junk that was still out there…that i didn’t want to mess with.  so i decided i would go for the #1 defense and see what happens.

8th pick (107) – Alshon Jeffery WR…lots of upside here, hope it pans out.

9th pick (118) – Kendall Wright WR…lots of upside here, hope it pans out…and that Locker can get him the ball.

10th pick (135) – Roy Helu RB…I’ve loved Helu since his rookie year, hope he can bounce back from the achilles last year.  he’s looked great so far, the only problem is how many touches will he get?

11th pick (146) – Mohamed Sanu WR…ever since he threw a bomb of a touchdown against my Redskins, i’ve kind of been following this kid.

12th pick (163) – Josh Brown K…i always wait until the very end to pick up a kicker and drop them as soon as they have a bye week.  kickers get no love from me.

All in all, i am really happy with my draft and feel pretty confident.  I’m a little thin at RB which i am every season…so we will see!

100

So, this is my 100th post!

Not bad considering I started around Christmas of last year and do most of my posts after the fam goes to bed at night.  I was looking back at the earlier posts and was quite amazed at how many little adjustments that have occurred in the past 8 months to get the blog where it is today.  I’ve also noticed that i’ve been lacking in my Top #12 Redskins as well as updating my checklists.  Makes it kind of hard to trade with folks when they have no idea what you’re looking for.  Just like life, everything is a work in progress…including my attempts at getting organized.  Now I have a couple of cards I wanted to share and a couple of fun stories…and great memories.

Like most kids growing up, summer was the best time of the year.  You were out of school, your parents were at work and you could sleep in all day long and be unproductive without being judged…you were just being a kid…and i loved it.  I also loved playing baseball, and this was when i got to play the most baseball.  I had a great group of friends that would get together on a daily basis and ride our bikes to a local park and play some type of made up game that would allow 5 or 6 kids to play a modified version of baseball.  One of the most fun games we played though was home run derby on a tennis court/basketball court just down the street from our homes.  The set up was perfect, a big square roughly 80′ at each side and a 10′ tall fence.  We would always start our mornings out with a few rounds of home run derby and make our way back to the house to cool off with a swim at someone’s pool…it was south Texas…hot and humid as hell!  Swimming was a must.  The games were picked up later in the afternoon…you know…the hottest part of the day.  I didn’t say we were smart.  At some point we realized that playing for bragging rights just wasn’t enough.  We needed to play for something bigger.  Playing for cokes and bags of chips wasn’t going to cut it anymore, we needed a bigger fix.  Being the card collectors we were, we thought it would be great to ante up some of our most prized cards.  The cautious kids we were, we started small.  1987 Mike Greenwells, 1986 Don Mattinglys, 1986 Dwight Goodens.  It was fun and no one really went overboard…until a new group of kids joined the neighborhood.

The Moore brothers.

The Moore brothers were about 2 years apart in age, but acted like twins.  Their father sold gum to the local Stop’n Go’s and 7-11’s, but for some reason these brothers has the most amazing card collection.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my mom, who worked for the United States Air Force couldn’t buy me a box of 1986 Donruss, but these kids has 5 Darryl Strawberry rookies and Don Mattingly rookies with a father that sold gum!  What the HELL!  Gum costs 25 cents a pack?  What could the profit margin be on a pack of Wrigleys Wintermint?  Bubblelicious?  At some point I just gave it up as i always had some big league chew in my back pocket, you know i had that watermelon flavor all the time!  The Moore’s lined my pockets with some sweet gum packs, i was hooked!  Anyways, back to the story.  The Moore’s were super competitive and wanted to bring some big dogs to the homerun derby.  And they brought the big dogs alright.  Like a Dan Marino Rookie, some Walter Payton cards from the 70’s, that’s right, the 70’s!  Cards that were almost 10 years old people!  They also had this guy, a 1984 John Elway rookie.

84 T John Elway

To this day, I honestly cannot remember the story as to how i won the John Elway rookie card but it is definitely one of my prized collections.  Had I not been such a die hard Redskin fan at the time, my team today would probably have been the Broncos…mostly because of winning this card and mostly because John Elway was a total badass quarterback.

84 T John Elway Back

So, the next card is my second favorite card (Rickey Henderson RC is #1!) in my collection.  A 1963 Hank Aaron card in pretty nice condition.  Getting this card in my collection was filled with some major controversy.  Although it started in the hands of the Moore brothers, it was eventually lost to my arch nemesis, Alex.  Alex was a big mouth who could unfortunately for me, back up most of his junk talk.  We had the most epic homerun derbies.  If we ever kept records, he would have crushed me…but i managed to get a few big wins off of him.  This was without a doubt my biggest win.  If i remember correctly, i won on an extremely controversial foul ball call that resulted in his final out…bringing Hamerin’ Hank to my collection where it has been ever since.  There were rematch requests and threats of physical violence that never came about.  There was no way in hell that I was putting this card up against anything ever!

63 T Hank Aaron

I had a vintage Hank Aaron card that I would never be able to afford…ever!

63 T Hank Aaron Back

Those summer days were the best.  I learned how to gamble, pitch a guy high and tight or just drill him in the back for talking too much shit.  I drank way too much soda, chewed too much gum and ate way too many cool ranch doritos.  I won two great iconic cards and destroyed my elbow for the rest of my life.  But it was worth it.  I beat Alex.

Colbey – the A&G cards are in the mail monday morning.  Enjoy!

Sam – send me your address and the Texans cards are yours.

A Magic Redemption and Reserve

I came home today to a nice little manilla envelope, no bubble mailer here, just some nice sturdy manilla action.  In it was this guy.  Ronnie Hillman of your Denver Broncos.

12 TM Ronnie Hillman Auto

This is the third Ronnie Hillman auto i’ve received this year and the second redemption (the panini is still outstanding…).  I’m thinking maybe i should have become a super collector for this kid.  I really hope he pans out for the Broncos this year as he should have a nice role with them in 2013.

Today was also my 4th wedding anniversary with my lovely and amazing wife.  She is a wonderful woman and mother.  She is also an extremely patient women, and you really have to be to put up with me…most of the time.  I am a big child and act like it most of the time.  Between collecting cardboard and riding a bike to work, not much has changed since I was 10 years old.  I’m very lucky to have a beautiful woman that is OK with me collecting artifacts that add clutter and debris all over our home.  Not to mention the time spent at shows, shops and organizing.  Most men aren’t as lucky as I am and I understand this 100 percent.

In fact, my wife is so amazing that I also came home to this sweet ass gift.

2013-06-27 18.31.57

We’ve decided to not open it until the Redskins win a Super Bowl…so it should age nicely.

-HTTR!

Box Break: 2012 Panini Prizm

Prizm has had a huge impact on the hobby this year starting with the basketball version, to football and now to baseball.  I picked up the football box a while ago and am just now getting around to reviewing it.  Spoiler alert, i really liked what i saw.

My favorite part of the box is that the cover image of RG3 was removable and created a nice box topper, top box-er of sorts.

12 PP Robert Griffin III Box Cover

Card Design – 5 of 5

The cards for this set are awesome.  Panini did a great job of bringing in the shininess that we like and adding in some texture as well.  The cards have a feel of something from the future and the future is really cool…and shiny.  Everything pops in the card and has a great thickness with the card stock used.

12 PP Andrew Luck Rookie

Photography – 5 of 5

Each image appears to jump out of the card.  The players blend in and out of the border of the card and each picture has a bit of a 3D affect to them.  Again, there is minimal processing and a very high image quality.  The best part for me is the slight recess that traces the border of the player putting the focus on their intensity and emotion.

12 PP Jarius Wright Rookie

Hits – 3 of 5

The hits for me were terrible, but hey, the base cards are great and I don’t think you buy this brand for the hits.  You buy them for the quality of card along with the strong visual and textural quality of each card.  There were a couple of nice inserts in the box that offered a wide variety of players from Page to Peyton.

12 PP Peyton Manning Brilliance Alan Page Dec Dom

The Luke Kuechly auto is really cool and he seems to be one of the next great linebackers in the NFL.

12 PP Luke Kuechly Rookie Auto 201:299

There was a redemption

12 PP Isaiah Pead Auto Redemption

and there was a parallel die cut

12 PP Stephen Hill Rookie Red

Review

This is a great product and something i will be picking up next year.  I’m not a fan of the baseball version since i can’t get over the lack of logos or photoshopped hats and jerseys.  The quantity and quality of cards was great and i was able to get some of the base Redskins cards in my box.

12 PP Fred Davis Pierre Garcon 12 PP Brian Orakpo London Fletcher

Box Break: 2012 Topps Magic Football

A busted box of Topps Magic Football has been sitting on my stack of cards for some time now just waiting to get judged, and now is the time.

Magic was something that i got into (cards, not tricks) a couple of years ago on a whim at Target during a deodorant shopping event.  I saw a blaster box just sitting there and thought it would be a cool purchase and was hooked from that point on.  I loved the retro look and the college unis on simple borders.  Loved it so much so that i ended up buy a few more boxes from Target but never completing the set or buying any hobby packs.  The following year, 2010 i wanted to pick up a hobby box to see if i still had a crush on these pieces of cardboard and sure enough, the love was there.  I loved the photography and simple borders as well as the card stock.  Although i do love shiny cards, i am a sucker for matte finish stuff that is done well.  Again, i bought a bunch of cards, but couldn’t be bothered with completing the set…just wanted the few Redskins and any hits i could pull.  Now, in 2011, it got a little tricky…and extremely annoying.  Magic had become a set that i was tuned in to on when it would be dropping and where i could pick up some good packs.  BUT, as Topps likes to do sometimes, they changed the rules, moved the goal posts and upset this collector.  The only way to get a box of Magic was to purchase them from their online store and pay their exorbitant shipping fees, which was about the same price as the box itself if i remember correctly.  SCREW THAT, no thanks.  I was able to pick up a few singles from COMC and ebay but no packs, since they weren’t really issuing those this year.  I never really found out why Topps decided this was a good idea, but would love to hear the reasoning if someone can help?

After the previous years experience, i had pretty much forgotten about the Magic cards and moved on with my life as we do with Topps at times.  Until, i saw they were going to be releasing a new set and boxes that you can purchase at a store…holy crap!  You mean i can buy cards from a store and not online only?  Normally i wouldn’t be so snotty about this, as i am totally cool with purchasing online, i just don’t want my only options to be online purchases.  Takes away from the fun of busting packs on a Wednesday afternoon after work.

IMG_7695

So here is my take on the 2012 version of Topps Magic.

Card Design: 4 of 5

In keeping with the simple style, Topps has again followed through with the same KISS theme.  Minimal information is on the front, but you get the basics; name, position, conference, team helmet, and a whole bunch of stars that make no sense to me.  The banners blends in nicely with the border and unfolds to reveal the critical information like a scroll with an oversized shield.

12 TM Luck and Richardson

The backs are nice and include some fun little facts with the Magical Memoranda.  You don’t get your typical stats, but they tend to highlight some important information and single game stats for your FYI.  As usual, nice card stock and the lovely matte finish.  The matte finish is nice in a world of glossy cards.  They have become the rarity in the hobby for the most part, save for the vintage inspired sets.

Photography: 5 of 5

The thing that i am most drawn to this set about is the photography.  They have HDR’d the crap out of the photos and really over processed them, but i think it works well for these and tends to give the players a greater level of detail and grit.  My wife is a photographer and she tends to stay away from over processing as it always looks…you guessed it, over processed.  When you are doing family portraits or architectural photography it can become a distraction, but for professional athletes it works well.

12 TM Morris and Cousins

Look at the intensity in those eyes!

12 TM Bush and Vick

Hits: 4 of 5

The hits with this brand are minimal, which is fine with me.  I believe collectors get too hot and heavy about the hits.  If that is your thing, this set isn’t for you.  If you are OK with getting a nice auto or two than you may be happy with Magic.  I ended up pulling 2 autographs and a redemption card.  So, it’s not just Panini that is slapping me with redemption cards, Topps does it too.  I’ve stated my thoughts on the redemption card here before and thought about it a little more.  Still don’t like it, but maybe it’s not that bad…assuming you actually get the card.  There have been times when i forgot about my redemption cards and come home to a manilla envelope.  It’s like a little slice of cardboard heaven when you get one you weren’t really expecting.

12 TM Ronnie Hillman Magic Auto Redemption

There are a couple of subsets in the cards as well.  Nothing to exciting.  As a matter of fact, i must say that the Charismatic Combos is not only a weak insert, but a terrible name.  Charismatic Combos, christ that’s terrible.

12 TM Manning Cruz Charismatic Combos

The ultra mini cards are cool, but a little too mini for my man hands.  If i don’t get these in some penny sleeves quick they will have rounded corners.

12 TM Tannehill and Vick super Mini

There are also the Supernatural Stars, which are not that existential or starry either galactically or professionally.

12 TM Sanchez and Turner Supernatural Stars

Magic also has the Magical Moments inserts which makes sense, because it’s Magic.  Drew Brees is on a 3 Mile Island.  Cute.

12 TM Brees and Murray Magical Moments

I do like the Enchantment cards, especially the one that i pulled…big smiley face for the RG3.

12 TM Robert Griffin III Rookie Enchantment

There were also these other good looking young running backs that have some nice upside to their careers.

12 TM Martin and James

One of the autos i pulled was a Kaepernick.  The HDR affect does his tats some serious justice although his auto is crazy sloppy.  An odd thing about this card is the photoshop flub with his hands.  It looks like the photo editor cloned his left hand over the football…kind of a crappy job for a big time player.  Let’s try harder next time Mr. Topps Photoshop editor.

12 TM Colin Kaepernick Auto12 TM Marvin McNutt Auto

Review

Overall, i do like these cards a lot.  They are simple and clean and the photos are nice.  It’s a basic card and the price point isn’t too excessive for what you get.  I haven’t decided if i am going to build the set, i did manage to get quite a bit of unique cards and minimal doubles, so i will see how i feel about it.  I do hope that Topps issues these cards again next year and does not do the online only thing.

Here are a couple of the Redskins cards i pulled from the box.  Funny that they decided to include Jabar Gaffney since he wasn’t on the team this year and he is wearing RG3’s number.  Technically, there are two Redskin cards with a player wearing number 10.

12 TM Robert Griffin III 12 TM Jabar Gaffney

Topps Magic, I like you.