Parallel Paul

Yesterday was another Super Bowl that didn’t include my Washington Football Team.  At times I feel like it will never happen and I should just give up, but then I think to myself…when it does happen (and it will…at some point…it’s inevitable) it will be the greatest thing ever.  That’s assuming they win, of course, and not just make it to the Super Bowl. 

I know a lot of people really HATE Tom Brady, and I can generally understand it.  I just don’t really get why people hate on greatness so much.  The guy has been to 10…TEN…Super Bowls in his 21 year career and won 7…SEVEN of them.  Just insane.  Hate all you want, but that’s Greatest of All-Time material.

Anyways.

When I rebooted the blog, my goal was to make it something more than a “look what I got today” blog.  I wanted to be able to find a twist or some other way to make this medium more entertaining or readable…but alas.  Work and life.  Life is work these days and will be for the next few weeks.  So, I’d like to apologize in advance for the dull posts.  But, hey.  Dull posts are better than no posts right?

One of my favorite guys at our monthly Portland shows wasn’t at the January show.  Normally that’s a sign that the guy had decided to give up the hobby or just fuckin died.  Well, neither of those were the case with Paul. 

Thankfully. 

I like Paul.  He’s a fascinating guy.  Every time I see him, he’s got some new kind of gadgety thing that you get from some mail order catalog.  It’s like an Inspector Gadget of card collection.  Lots of times he’s there with his kid who seems to be in on the family business.  What Paul deals in isn’t your ordinary kinda cards.  He’s a parallel man.  You know the kind; variations, colors, dots, lasers, patriotic colors, refractors, glossies, not so glossies and super slick glossies.  He’s a veritable one stop shop to get your parallel fix.  Parallel Paul.

That day, I was planning to spend cash at three tables.  Bill, Terry and Paul.  Here’s the Paul portion of the morning.

As I mentioned, Paul goes for the gusto on the parallels and all modern stuff.  I like going through his stuff because I can pick up Washington guys on the cheap.  The majority of his cards are $1.  He’s basically charging you for his cost of retail unless there is something really dynamite about the disco parallel you’re picking up.  But he’s got ‘em all.  Here’s a nice blend of Randy Moss’ kid, Thaddeus Moss.

Ya’ll remember when we used to make fun of blasters and show of a stack of cards for $20?  We’d go “…for the cost of a blaster, I got…”  Well this stack of cards (minus the baseball and relics) cost a tick under that price point.  The sad truth though, if you can find a blaster in the wild it would cost you $20…but you ain’t finding no blasters in the wild.  They’re gonna cost you at least $75 for a box of Prizm. 

I’ve watched a lot of folks rip those Prizm boxes and to be honest, if I paid more than $20 for them I’d be really really really upset.  The hits are rare and the ones you get aren’t that amazing.  I like to stand on the sidelines and wait for disgruntled box break investor flipper guy run through a bunch of Washington guys, toss ‘em to the side so I can grab them for a buck.

Like this group of disco sparkles

Prizm does a nice job of the parallels and including a wide variety of great guys from the past. I was able to pick up the Theismann from Paul today, which i hadn’t added to my collection yet. This one is green…i think…

Also picked up some laser show zippity zappity zoom prizms…stupid dad jokes man…

I was able to chat with Paul a bit.  Again, super friendly guy and incredibly helpful.  I overheard him saying most of what he rips is retail…or something like that.  Maybe there was some percentage I missed in the conversation.  The point is, he’s got the small sales from small investments dialed in quite well.  I doubt he makes a killing each show, but can imagine he’s doing far better than recouping his table and boxes cost.  Nice little income for him.

Along with the parallels paul sells, paul puts pride in presenting player worn garments…i really tried to keep that alliteration going.

There were also a few baseball cards ready to be sorted through. I took a quick pass and found a few gems, these were not included in the “…cost of a blaster…” portion of the story, they were a little more than that, but part of the PC. So, felt compelled to grab them.

Honestly, at this point i’m picking up each and every single Rickey Henderson card I can find these days. I’m never certain if he’s incredibly popular or unpopular, but the cards of his that i don’t already have are hard to find.

As always, thank you for reading and extra special thanks to those that comment to let me know your reading. I really do appreciate it. The last few weeks of work have been rough and i don’t see them getting any easier. I’m very happy that i am fully employed, but sometimes…it’s just more difficult to get motivated to something that doesn’t quite interest you.

Thank you,

Cardboard Hogs

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This video is a few years old, but really cool. Made with 100% Solar Power…take a look.

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.