My wife has been working a lot lately. Early mornings and late nights at times too…lots of time away from the family. One of the few benefits of this is that i get some one on one time with my boy. At times, he’s an amazing kid and at times…he’s a toddler. I’ve been slowly showing him my card collection and McFarlane figures…or dolls as he calls them.
THEY’RE NOT DOLLS!!! THEY ARE COLLECTIBLE ACTION FIGURES!!!
Anyways, another benefit of the spouses extra work time is that i get to drop off my kid to school in the morning. Tuesdays and Thursdays he has a later class, it starts at 10am…which is kinda cool since i get to stroll in to work around 10:30. I also, apparently get to be home to receive FedEx packages from Topps…which is what happened this morning. Thankfully our overprotective dog alerted us to the scary FedEx guy or i would have completely missed out on this!
A nice little package from Topps…but what the hell is it? I’ve been a little negligent in tracking my outstanding redmemptions…so which one is it? Oh yeah!
It’s Andy Pettitte! From my box of 2017 Topps Series 1. That was crazy fast…especially considering i’ve got other cards that have been out for over a year. This one took just over 2 months.
As Topps has been doing with some of their redemptions, i also received another card from the fine folks at Topps.
My favorite part of this card is that it’s a Meaningful Material Prime Relic Card…very meaningful i would imagine, maybe a Sunday game? Not complaining, just thought it was kind of funny.
I also received this thoughtful thank you card from Topps…that everyone else has received…not i’m part of the gang guys!
My patronage will definitely continue.
Now, here’s some music that you may or may not like…you should all love Brother Ali though…
Just like you, I hate redemption cards. Why? Well, let me tell you a story…
On June 17th of 2012 i purchased a box of Panini Rookie Signatures from my local card shop, The Sports Room. When i opened the box in front of Rick he quickly noticed my disappointment in the cards i pulled, and of course the freakin 80pt white card with a scratch off code. I pulled a redemption card, which meant I didn’t get my full hit on the small box of cards i purchased. Not to mention it was of Dre Kirkpatrick, the Bengals (then) rookie cornerback. Nothing against Dre, i’m sure he’s a wonderful kid with a great family and loving parents but i’m not super excited about a Bengals CB. Now, if it was Dr. Dre, that would be a different story, sign me up for that auto. No big deal though, i’ll post it to ebay when i get the card back…if, i get the card back.
As time slowly dragged on I began to wonder if i would ever get my Dre card in the mail.
Dre Day never came. But there will always be this.
A few months later, and by a few months later, i mean 10 of them, I stopped back in to Ricks’ shop. He asked me if I ever received my redemption card and I told him, ‘nope!’ He then informed me that i should give them a call and ask for my card, or better yet, ask for a Redskin. I thought he was crazy, you mean I can actually ask for my own redemption card! WONDERFUL!! Not wanting to talk to someone over the phone (if you knew me, this would make sense…) i sent them an email. A wonderfully worded email of course that very politely asked for a replacement card of Washington Redskin…an RGIII would be great. That was on April 8th of this year. This is when i got the ‘players schedule crap and being busy…’ blah blah blah. I get it. These guys are professional athletes and can’t be bothered half the time. The thing is, if you don’t have an autograph session with them locked up, don’t put them in your packs and boxes!
Anyways, more time flies by and so i decide to give them a call. Scary. I very politely ask for a Redskin card and they oblige. I get an email that my Phillip Thomas Spectrum Autograph is on its way!
AWESOME! HAIL TO THE REDSKINS! #HTTR
I start tracking the card, excited to write a post about the card and whattayaknow? The card is sent to freakin Ohio. Ohio! Who the hell lives in Ohio…Westernville, Ohio? Who lives there? Seriously, who? Not me. This kid lives in Portland F****N Oregon. There is a shirt that says that. Ok, time for some more phone calls and emails over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Then today, after 512 days from the initial purchase. I am the proud owner of a shiny, non serial numbered sticker autographed rainbow-y Phillip Thomas Rookie Card. Nice. I am happy. All good things come to those who can wait…and wait…and wait…
Most of you may not know this, but Phillip Thomas caught a lisfranc injury this preseason and was placed on injured reserve before the season started. The whole lisfranc injury is interesting to me. It sounds so harmless, like it was named after some sweet old lady that fell down the stairs to her root cellar and got a small fracture on foot. “OH NO, I LISFRANCED MYSELF!
This got me wondering’ as i tend to do, my mind floats off into multiple tangents. So i wiki’d the Lisfranc injury and it sounds painful as hell. But wait, it gets better. Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin was a pioneering gynecologist. I guess if you get a foot injury named after you and your daily task is to study vaginas, that’s pretty pioneering…or possibly just weird? He also removed rectums and amputated cervixes, so there’s that…jack of all trades i guess.
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.
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.
We’ve decided to not open it until the Redskins win a Super Bowl…so it should age nicely.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Luke Kuechly auto is really cool and he seems to be one of the next great linebackers in the NFL.
There was a redemption
and there was a parallel die cut
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.
It only took 167 days and it was this beauty, Dontari Poe. I know, I know…you all want a piece of this cardboard. Well he is definitely available for trade and at the very least he will find himself on ebay in the next few months. I was getting a little inpatient with the redemption and just like Cardboard Conundrum was hoping i could swing another auto, so i emailed Panini about getting a Redskins auto or…really…anything. I just wanted my redemption redeemed. Within a week, this guy showed up in my mailbox.
This card brings a lot in to focus for me. It exemplifies the problem with higher end packs and boxes. This was my big hit last November in a box of Prime Signatures that i purchased from The Sports Room. I opened the pack in front of Rick and he could see the disappointment on my face when i not only pulled a redemption auto, but i pulled Dontari Poe. A Defensive Tackle with the Kansas City Chiefs, who at the moment is most known for practically kissing Roger Goodell on draft day.
Rick looked at me and said “wasn’t really worth it, now was it…” Disappointment happens when you purchase these kinds of products more than excitement, at least in my experience. It was still fun to open though.
Getting back to Poe, he has the potential to become the next great DT in the NFL. As far as collecting goes though, DT’s don’t typically get you excited or draw major demand.
PLUS, he wears #92, the same number Big Fat Albert Haynesworth wore…and all Redsksins fans can feel my pain when they see the gif below from the Monday night massacre against Philly and Vick. Jackass.
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.
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.
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.
Look at the intensity in those eyes!
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.
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.
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.
There are also the Supernatural Stars, which are not that existential or starry either galactically or professionally.
Magic also has the Magical Moments inserts which makes sense, because it’s Magic. Drew Brees is on a 3 Mile Island. Cute.
I do like the Enchantment cards, especially the one that i pulled…big smiley face for the RG3.
There were also these other good looking young running backs that have some nice upside to their careers.
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.
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.
Those immortal words were spoken by none other than the iconic Christopher Walken on the classic SNL skit…and now, I have a fever. I don’t need a cowbell, just some sleep and the ability to breathe through my nose again…such a simple task when healthy. I’ve become one of those neanderthal mouth breathers you find at your local gymnasium flexing in front of the mirror and twitpickin’…you know the type!
Another little bit of fever I caught today was some Spring Fever cards from the electronic bay of two of my favorite players. Both guys are players that i collect and play(ed) for the Yankees, one a legend and one well on his way.
Here they are in all their glory!
There are a couple more players that i’m chasing for my PC with this set, but these are great cards for starters. Unfortunately, these cards didn’t scan quite as nicely as they appear in person. These are the first Spring Fever cards i’ve seen in person and am quite impressed with them. I love that Topps has been doing these inserts with their new flagship releases (football kickoff cards). It gets you in to the card shop and supporting your local shop. Unfortunately when i went to the shop last week, i forgot my one redemption card…and as i talked to Rick, he had actually run out of packs. Too slow on my part i guess.
I should have a nice post or two this weekend with some COMC mail but that’s it for now!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Not too crazy about the Legendary Champion cards, nice idea and great player selection, just don’t love the design.
Here are the Redskins from the box!
That’s it folks. I have a couple more breaks to cover and i will be caught up! Hope you enjoy the reviews.
The final piece to the Panini America order that i received last week is two boxes of Limited Football. If you read the previous post you noticed there was an asterisk next to the order…well for some reason or another i ordered one box of Limited and was sent two. Not really sure why, i assumed it was due mainly in part to Panini’s love for their customers and a way to buy a great review…i kid! Either way, i am greatly appreciative of the extra box and will now take the time to review what i received!
Limited is another one of those one pack, great hit or not so great hit products. With each box, you receive 7 shiny cards in one pack that looks like it should have some pop tarts in it. I’m really hungry and it’s way past my bed time…Looking at the back of this box i see a significant amount of inserts and parallels…significantly more than the Crown Royale box. The base set contains 235 cards with 100 commons, 50 legends, 50 phenoms and 35 material phenoms. I’m going to guess that a phenom is a rookie…possibly a second year player? i don’t really know, just spit ballin here. Either way, it’s going to be a difficult set to collect with the amount of boxes i plan on buying…unless Panini wants to keep sending me some free product. BIG SMILEY FACE!
Card Design – 4.5 of 5
Gotta say i really like the design of these cards. Love the grid action in the background, very architectural…which is great since that’s what i do for a day job, makes me feel comfortable. Plus the grid pattern fades to silver at the bottom of the card which is can or cannot be sexy…this one is sexy. There is a constant theme on the cards, whether they be parallels or base cards. One thing i’ve noticed about a lot of cards from Panini is that they like to have the edited photo on the front of the card and the unedited game action photo version on the back. Kind of like this, makes for some nice consistency…plus a great way to show off the staffs great photoshop and photo editing work…oh crap, i’m seeping in to the other portion of the review…
Photography – 4 of 5
As i was saying…the unedited photos on the back are great! The photos are once again crisp and focused on the player which i truly do enjoy. One interesting shot is the Jack Lambert card and how sharp it is. The Mean Joe Green card from the Leaf Signatures wasn’t nearly as crisp as this one…wonder why? The photos were probably taken from around the same time…thoughts? Love the photos. Panini managed to get to the knees for most of the players…but still no feet…wonder how Rex Ryan would feel about that?
Hits – 4.5 of 5
Oh the hits. As i mentioned in my last post, you have to look at the hits you got, not the hits you wanted…or else you will be a miserable person. As my mom would say, ‘suck it up buttercup’. That said, I pulled a redemption Jumbo Jersey Signature of Joe Adams. First off, i have absolutely no idea who Joe Adams is…haven’t googled him yet, maybe i missed something this year, but this guy is way off my radar. Second, i really HATE redemptions. HATE-HATE-HATE! It’s like waking up on Christmas morning as a kid at 8am and being told you have to wait to open your presents after your grandparents arrive…and they aren’t coming until 3pm…your just standing there looking at your wrapped gifts wondering what in the hell it could be! Just waiting…It is what it is though…at least i didn’t pull another Dontari Poe auto! On the flip side of the redemption…i pulled an Andrew Luck jersey card numbered to 25, pretty dope. Not a big Luck fan only because he doesn’t play for the Redskins, but a great card and a great guy/player. I pulled a couple other autos that are OK, nothing too exciting. BUT i also pulled a Len Dawson game used card. My first look at the card was, great…a jersey from an old guy…but then i looked closer, you have to do that kids, look closer! It’s a game used helmet! A GAME USED HELMET! I didn’t even know that was a thing with cards? Had no idea they were doing this and I think it’s wonderful. The card is pretty cool. I keep tapping it with my nail, probably not a great idea, but it’s just so cool.
Len Dawson Stadium Stars Game Used Helmet 13/55
Case Keenum Phenom Auto 191/249
Vincent Jackson Autograph 2/25
Vernon Davis Limited Threads Jersey 14/25
Andrew Luck Blue Chip Jersey 5/99
That’s it, both boxes have been looked at. I really like this product…a lot. The cards are fantastic and the hits i pulled were not bad at all…except for the redemption…but i’m dealing with it. As with Crown Royale, not sure if I will purchase any more of this product due mostly to the cost but I can definitely see myself buying one next year. If i could offer up only one suggestion, it would be that they wrap the cards in something a little nicer than the silver package…but that’s really it…well that and try to minimize the redemption cards. -HTTR!