Monday, August 29, 2016

Three Packs of 2015-16 Upper Deck SP Authentic

I was up at Maverick's card shop recently and saw this was one of the few hockey products they had on the shelves. None of the baseball stuff they had interested me so I opted for three packs of this. The fact they were 20% off and a new release also had a lot to do with swaying me in that direction. I'll break this down pack by pack.

Pack #1

This was a pretty solid pack in my opinion. Quick, Subban and Hudler are pretty solid and I really like the Bobrovsky card of him in the Blue Jackets civil war blue uniform. I'm still not sure if that's classified as an alternate uniform or a throwback uniform. Seeing as this is one of the last releases of the season, there are also Young Guns insert cards to be found as a compendium to the Upper Deck main set with the main one being Matt Murray. Alas, for me, it was not to be.

Pack #2

The second pack was pretty solid as well with base cards of David Backes and Ryan O'Reilly. I was pretty hyped to pull a Bobby Hull legends insert card as well. I'm not to optomistic about how well the Blues will fare this upcoming season with Backes signing with Boston and Brian Elliott being shipped off to Calgary. At least they still have Tarasenko. Speaking of which ...

Pack #3

Vladmir Tarasenko leads off pack #3 with some pretty good company in Braden Holtby and Filip Forsberg. The Caps were my pick to win it all last year but they couldn't pull it out. You're probably thinking, were there only four cards in that pack? Nope, I saved one for below ...

Behold a  Connor Brickley Future Watch autograph numbered out of 999. I'm not too familiar with him but I'm keeping an eye on the Panthers mainly because Jaromir Jagr is still playing down there and perhaps they can surprise everyone again with a run like they had last year.

These were normally $6 per pack so with the 20% off per pack discount, I'd say I made out pretty well. I might have to pick up a few more packs next time if that sale is still valid.

As a reminder, this will be the last trading card post until Novemberas Project Halloween starts on September 1st and runs until Halloween. Hope everyone enjoys it!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Four Packs of 2016 Topps Pro Debut

I'll preface this by saying that minor league cards aren't really my thing. I know the prospects inside the Reds system and the major prospects around baseball because of MLB Network but that's it. I was looking for something new and fairly cheap to rip recently as I stopped at the card shop to get some supplies. Nothing really interested me until I saw these for a fairly decent price per pack so I grabbed four of them. I was pretty unimpressed when I opened the packs to be honest as I had no clue who most of the players were. With the help of's Top 100 prospects, I'll show off the cards of the guys who appeared on the list.

The smoke effect still rings through on these, just like it does on Series 1 and Series 2 and just like it will on Update this fall. To me, it'd be a good idea to use a whole different design and not recycle the same design from the flagship set. Having the same design as flagship makes these feel like and extension of the same, much like Update.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not familiar with any of these guys as I'm not really a prospector. One of the things that drew me to buying these packs though is getting cards of people who play for some really interesting teams, such as Bradley Zimmer who appears as a member of the Akron Rubberducks, who I somehow have never heard of despite having family living in that area for years.

Another crazy team name, this time it's the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Justus Sheffield is now part of the Yankees organization and Anthony Alford is the #3 prospect in the Blue Jays organization.

Finally some people I've heard of! Almora recently got into 34 games with the Cubs earlier this year before being reassigned back to the minors. Hessman is the minor league all-time home run king so it was pretty cool to get a card of him. Lastly, the lone insert I got out of the four packs, a Louisville Bats superhero card. This makes it the one of the few Louisville Bats cards in my collection and I'm always on the lookout for more.

For a prospector, this would probably be a fun break but for someone like me just looking for something cheap to rip, I'd stick with some flagship as this is pretty much the minor league version of it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2014-15 Panini NHL Stickers

I'm not much of a sticker person to be honest but a bunch of these packs were thrown in as a free gift from the same Dave & Adam's order that produced the Ghostbusters and Donruss boxes. There were eight packs taped together. I'm only going to open one pack here so this will be short and I probably won't have much to say about these.

Eberle was probably the best thing I got out of this pack. There's something about the western Canada teams I like, mainly because they're mired in relative obscurity since NBC doesn't carry their games. This must be some sort of insert or parallel, not really sure. Regardless, it'll go in my hockey binder.

Nothing exciting in the remainder of the pack with these cards. The players I know I kept and the rest went to my son so he can start a collection of them. I've saved the remaining packs for him as he really liked getting the stickers so it's a reward he earns when he's good. Overall, I wouldn't have gotten these but seeing as they were a free gift, I won't complain too much. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes #5

Tonight is SummerSlam, WWE's self-proclaimed biggest party of the summer. As is tradition here, anytime one of WWE's four tent pole events happens, I look at some old wrestling video boxes. For this installment, I'm going to go way back in the archives and check out some of the old non-PPV tapes that Coliseum Video released. Let's dive in!

Even More Unusual Matches (1987)

For the majority of their early releases, Coliseum Video issued tapes in these large, plastic clamshell cases, similar to what Disney would release their tapes in during the 1990s (Lion King for example). This particular tape was a sequel to one of the first round of tapes released by Coliseum Video and the WWF in 1985 and contains all sorts of crazy matches taped in arenas in Canada and the U.S., however most of the matches came from the monthly Madison Square Garden shows that were broadcast on the MSG Network. Some of the more fun matches on this tape include Randy Savage vs. Bruno Sammartino in a Lumberjack Match, a Bunkhouse Battle Royal, and a series of Texas Death Matches between Hulk Hogan and Harley Race. Personally, I like these older tapes more than the more common ones from the early 1990s as these are much harder to find in playable condition and just in general, they are a lot of fun to watch.

Inside the Steel Cage (1986)

Long before TNA Wrestling (or Impact Wrestling or whatever they're called these days) had their annual all cage match show, there was this tape chronicling some of the best cage matches from around the WWF. In particular, there are a few matches on here that haven't really seen the light of day much on current DVD and Blu-Ray releases such as Andre the Giant vs. Kamala from Toronto and a tag team cage match with Randy Savage & Adrian Adonis facing Bruno Sammartino & Tito Santana. Any tape from this era featuring a cage match also has to include the extremely overrated, at least in my opinion, Don Muraco/Jimmy Snuka cage match where Snuka dives off the top of the cage. As I mentioned previously, these older tapes are really a lot of fun to watch, if you can find them that is.

Andre the Giant (1985)

This particular tape I picked up years ago at the local flea market and I've watched it maybe once. For modern fans, this should look familiar as it was re-released in the late 90s on both VHS on DVD, which makes it the only Coliseum Video tape that wasn't a pay-per-view to be re-issued. The tape is only an hour long but there are a lot of things stuffed in here, especially an especially hard to find boxing match against Gorilla Monsoon from Puerto Rico. 

Wrestlefest '90

The Wrestlefest series ran for most of the Coliseum Video lifespan, debuting in 1988 as a release of a house show at Milwaukee County Stadium (which is a really hard to find tape by the way) and continued with this release. By this time, the switch had been made to the oversized slip covers from the plastic clamshells. I personally prefer the slip covers and the designs are much better. Take this for example as they've taken pictures, presumably from action on the tape, and laid them against a backdrop of the crowd from WrestleMania III. I'll admit, some of the matches on here like Ultimate Warrior vs. Dino Bravo are pretty boring, but popping in a tape like this should take anyone back to being a kid again sitting in front of the TV with a big bowl of popcorn ready to watch some WWF action.

Hope you enjoyed this round of wacky wrestling tapes! Enjoy SummerSlam and there will be more tapes coming up in November when Survivor Series rolls around.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A 2016 Topps WWE Blaster

I bought this on a whim during a Target run where the family and I had to some household items and a few odds and ends. This was the only blaster box of WWE cards they had on the shelf. It was sitting by itself in the dark, shunned away by the other baseball and basketball boxes because of what it contained. Like a lost puppy, I rescued it and brought it home.

I normally shy away from blasters as I've been burnt way too many times, but in my experience WWE ones usually have a good return on investment and provide a little more bang for your buck than a baseball blaster would. This particular one has 10 packs with 7 cards per pack and a bonus pack featuring a mystery relic card and a Triple H tribute card. Seeing as SummerSlam is coming up this weekend, I felt it was appropriate to rip into this. As you'll soon see, I got more than my money's worth out of this.

First up, some current stars. All of these will go in my wrestling binder but the four people I primarily collect in this group are Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, Cesaro, and Paige.

The nice thing about the WWE sets is that they contain a good number of past stars and this blaster was no exception going from the mainstream of Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage to lesser known (at least to WWF fans) Barry Windham and Kevin Von Erich.

Of the 10 packs, I got six NXT insert cards. I'll admit, this crop isn't anywhere as great as last years group with Finn Balor but at least I got Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn.

It took me a bit to figure out what these were but after doing a quick bit of research, I found out they are bronze parallels. I got what amounted to one in every other pack in this box. 

In every pack there was either an "Anti-Authority Ring Report" or "Authority Database" insert card. I'm not sure what the difference is but seeing as it's the only Sting card I got out of the whole box, I'll take it.

The box also comes with two tribute cards, one to the Rock and another to Triple H. These are fine I guess if you're into collecting the whole tribute set of these. At least they have somewhat of a different look and feel to them from the mainstream and regular insert sets.

Bonus pack time ... you're guaranteed one memorabilia card per blaster. Let's see who it'll be, will it be a scrub or a superstar. It's ...

Samoa Joe! Holy crap! That's definitely not who I was expecting to be staring back at me in the bonus pack! I had this feeling that I'd get some lower card dude like Tyler Breeze or Stardust, not this! Joe is one of my favorites going back to his Ring of Honor days with his no-nonsense hard hitting style. Without a doubt, this is the best think I've ever pulled out of a WWE blaster box.

For picking this up on a whim, I'd say this was a success. If you're into wrestling cards, I'd strongly suggest getting a blaster of this (or any WWE product). It gives you a good sampling with some pretty fun cards plus each box guarantees a relic card. You can't really go wrong with this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

National Baseball Card Day Recap

Apparently last Saturday there was this thing called National Baseball Card Day. My wife, son, and I had already made plans to go up to Dayton to have lunch and go shopping with some friends for the afternoon. Luckily for me, one of our friends wanted to go to Mavericks to get some comic books. I wasn't sure if they were a participating shop or not as they weren't listed on the official Topps list of participating shops but sure enough, I walked in and right on the front display case was a sign stating they were a participating shop.

I knew a free pack was involved and I also knew I had to spend at least ten dollars to get the coveted Kris Bryant card. I asked if the ten dollars had to be spent on Topps products and the owner, a nice old fellow, said technically yes but since I'm a regular customer any purchase of ten dollars or more would do. So I scanned the display cases with the baseball packs but nothing really caught my eye. However I did manage to grab a few things while I was there.

First up, these five packs of 2016-17 Upper Deck MVP hockey. I was completely unaware that this was out so I was pretty excited to see the first hockey release of the year already in stores. The last few years the design of MVP hasn't really done much for me but I needed to get above the $10 quota for the Kris Bryant card so I asked for five packs. Normally, the shop owner doesn't let people behind the counter to pick out their own packs as a way to keep people from pack searching, but he let me grab the packs I wanted since there were only a few left. I'll show off the results of the packs down the road as I've got the remainder of this month already scheduled and September and October are already set aside for Project Halloween content.

I also spotted a good selection of Starting Lineup figures with more than fair prices in another display case. I was surprised there were some hockey ones, mostly of Wayne Gretzky, along with a few others. I purchased the Gretzky figure above to go with my hockey packs simply because it was the only one that stood out to me. It doesn't hurt that it's also a Starting Lineup convention exclusive from 1999 and has him in an unfamiliar New York Rangers uniform.

So, I got free baseball cards, bought hockey packs and a Wayne Gretzky Starting Lineup figure to get over the $10 for another exclusive card. I'm not sure Topps would have been pleased with my purchases somehow. As for the National Baseball Card Day pack, here's what I got ...

As I opened the pack, my wife asked me if there were any autographs or jersey cards that you could get. I told her yes, but they were extremely hard to pull. Funny thing though, the moment I said that, I pulled this out of the pack ...

I'd say it was a pretty successful day.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

One Super Shiny Pack of Topps Marketside

Back in the spring, these were all the rage amongst fellow card bloggers. I finally got a pack of these in with some breadsticks bought from the deli of the local Walmart. Everyone has seen these before so I won't go into great detail. Three cards per pack, so this will be quick. Let's see what I got ...

Giancarlo Stanton ... the 2016 Home Run Derby champion. 

Luis Severino ... not having a good year with the Yankees with an ERA approaching 7.00

And finally ... Buster Posey, one of the cornerstones of the Giants.

I really like the design of these. It's a simple design that wouldn't seem out of place as insert set in either the flagship sets or in Stadium Club. I probably won't be chasing these at all but if I happen to buy any more pizza or breadsticks that have these in them, I won't complain. 

As for the breadsticks that accompanied these cards, they were better than I thought, especially after you dress them up with a little extra cheese.