Breaking Box

Some of you kids, if not most of you have heard of Collector Revolution.  It’s supposed to be a revolution for collector’s in that it’s not ebay…or feebay as some like to call it.  For those that don’t know, it’s a place where collector’s can sell their goods to other collectors online.  Not a new concept, but a pretty cool place to find some good cards at a good rate from people you can sorta trust.  I still prefer COMC as my #1 online shopping for singles, but collectors revolution is something i may be looking into in the coming year.

One thing they have that really intrigued me was their online box breaks.  The intriguing part for me was that they are fairly inexpensive for good product…the drawback is that the breaks are all random, at least the ones i’ve seen.  If you are into big hits, which i tend to not be, than this is something you may be interested in.  For me, I like a little more focused collection process.  I don’t have a ton of money to spend on the hobby so any dollar I have to spend on product is stuff for completing sets or chasing players i like from teams i like.  That said, i wanted to give the breaks a few chances.

I was a little weary about the breaks at first, so went with a lower end football break of 2013 Leaf Certified and Platinum Football as well as a break of 2013 Topps Triple Threads.  I picked up two spots on the football break and one for the baseball break for a total of $30.  As i expected, I got teams I wasn’t excited about – San Diego Chargers and Indianapolis Colts.  I was hoping for a Luck auto…but the best card i received was this Dan Fouts serial numbered card.

13 LC Dan Fouts Immortals 68:999

The baseball break was a little better.  I got the Tigers and received these two very nice cards.  An Al Kaline serial numbered card…

13 TT Al Kaline 55:125

…and a Prince Fielder Largest Card memorabilia card.  Nothing too exciting, but nice cards no less.

13 TT Prince Fielder Largest Card 16:36

Me being a glutton for punishment, i went in on a 4-box break for 2013 Topps Chrome…and pulled the Jacksonville Jaguars…i know…

13 TC Denard Robinson 86 Refractor

Not wanting to go out on a bad note, i thought i would buy a spot for the Topps Five Star for $14.50.  I figured, i would never buy this product ever and may end up getting lucky.  I was essentially buying 7 mega millions lottery tickets…and I lost.  I pulled the Astros and ended up not getting anything in the box.  When you go hitless in the box break, you name is added to a special bonus box break…which has yet to happen…i’m hoping it happens soon though!

All in all, I like the idea of the box and case breaks but not the random teams.  I’d rather pay a little premium to get the Redskins or Yankees or Nationals.  I guess at the end of the day it’s no different than buying a pack or box of cards in that you have no idea what you will get.  You could end up with a short print auto relic or you could end up with a 7th round offensive linemen…it’s always a gamble.  One that I will probably avoid in the future as it doesn’t fit my collecting tendencies.

PS – If you are interested in any of the cards above, let me know as they are up for trade!

PPS – as a side note and something completely unrelated…my favorite album of the year Run the Jewels from El-P and Killer Mike was noted as Okayplayer.com top album of 2013.  There are a few other albums on their I need to dig deeper into before I can agree with the ranking (Earl, Tyler and Chip).

Box Break: 2013 Bowman Football

I’ve been sitting on this box of bowman football for a few weeks now and decided that I want to post the results.  Bowman football is something that I kind of like…and kind of don’t.  Just like the baseball set, they have loads of rookies and prospects for your prospecting desires, which I don’t typically desire.  I desire the Redskins players and rookies.  The last couple of years i’ve only picked up a few packs but decided a box was needing to be purchased for this season.  I’m chalking it up to my hangover excitement to the Redskins winning the NFC East last year…and having some nice draft picks.  Most of what i’m going to show are the guys from my favorite team, but if you are putting this set together, let me know and i may have some cards to complete your sets.

Card Design: 3 of 5

The card designs are nice and simple white bordered cards with all the typical info you’d expect on a nice piece of cardboard.

13 BO Robert Griffin III Alfred Morris

The backs are pretty simple as well.  You get stats from last season, where the guy was drafted and the school he received a degree from attended.  The vet players have a short write up under ‘The Next Coming:’ where they tell you how great this guy can be and how well he runs routes, or something.  They are often compared to another player, sort of a changing of the guard commentary on the player in hand.  The rookies on the other hand are titled ‘Next in Line:’ which makes sense, although pretty similar to the next coming.

13 BO David Amerson Bacarri Rambo

At this point, i’m not really sure what line some of these guys should be in?  If you didn’t play much in your rookie season, would that make you the next in line or next coming?  I’m confused.

13 BO David Amerson Jawan Jamison Black Border

Photography: 2.5 of 5

I gotta knock the photos a little on this set.  The veteran cards are ok, but nearly every player is chopped off at the ankles again.

13 BO Pierre Garcon Base Black Border

If you’ve read my previous box break posts and as someone who enjoys photography, you will know that this drives me insane.  Cropping in important and can be the difference in a good and a great photo.  These photos are just good.  Now, the reason why i’m knocking these guys down even more is the photography and weak photoshop work on the rookies.  Lots of airbrush work that created some soft imagery on the cards.

13 BO Jawan Jamison

You would figure that if Topps can muscle their way in to being the only show in town for MLB, they could work some magic and get their NCAA license locked down to show the schools logos and proper colors.

13 BO Brandon Jenkins David Amerson Minis

Just a thought…

Hits: 4 of 5

The hits for this box were good, not great.  I did pull a very pretty TJ McDonald sparkle card of some sort that is significantly nicer than the weird looking scan.

13 BO TJ McDonald sparkle 20:50

I also pulled this sweet ass Alfred Morris.  This is more than likely, at least from what I can remember, the best Redskin hit i’ve ever pulled from a box of my own.  This card is a beauty in person and with it being numbered to 99, i am pretty happy with the pull.

13 BO Alfred Morris GU Memorabilia 83:99

There are minis, which aren’t really much of a hit, but this one was.

13 BO Matt Scott Mini Autograph

Bowman did do a great job of having some good second or third tier college guys put their autographs on cards.  With 5 autos in the box, i was quite happy…although some of my Cal friends probably won’t appreciate the two Stanfurd autos 🙂

13 BO Zach Ertz Chrome Autograph

13 BO Alex Debniak Autograph

 

13 BO Tyler Wilson Chrome Autograph Orange Border 19:25

13 BO Matt Elam Chrome Autograph

Review

I jumped on the pre-sell of my jumbo box from Dave and Adams Cardworld pretty early on, so I didn’t have to pay the outrageous prices that the boxes inflated to.  I have no idea why these guys went up so high so quickly.  The rookie selection this year wasn’t nearly as great as last years was.  At least not now.  The overall look and feel of the cards was good, not great, but you really can’t go wrong with 5 autographs and a memorabilia card.  I really did love that I pulled a ton of Redskins too, don’t typically get them in the boxes I break.

13 BO Brandon Jenkins Orange 206:299

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.

Review

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.