Sunday, January 29, 2017

Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes #7

It's Royal Rumble day! You know what that means, it's time for another round of Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes. These are the last of the scans of the tapes that I have in my collection so if I continue this on, it'll be pictures I've found via the internet.

Super Slams (1995)

This is one of those tapes that was released by someone other than Coliseum Video. While they produced the tape, it wasn't released by them. Regardless, these tapes always had some interesting matches and were always an easy watch since they clocked in at just around 60 minutes each. This particular tape has a pretty interesting match with Undertaker vs. Tatanka and Jeff Jarrett facing Adam Bomb. The front of the box is pretty cool with the big action shot of Jeff Jarrett getting tossed into the ropes. The back though is pretty bland with just some text and a few stills.

Global Warfare (1993)

I bought this tape long ago right off the shelf at the local Family Video, one of the few video chains still in existence. A friend and I were killing some time one day so we decided to stop in just to browse around. The place was empty aside from the guy working the desk. As we looked around, I noticed a section with a ton of VHS for rent. There was a sticker on it that said ($2.99 rental/$5.99 purchase). I had no interest in renting it as I was probably never going to go back so I just decided to buy it outright. I've watched the tape a few times since then. It's not the best tape in the world but it does have a pretty fun match between Mr. Perfect and Samu. The whole theme of the tape is that it's matches filmed around the world with songwriting tips in between each match from Jimmy Hart, which I could do without.

UFC 18: Road to the Heavyweight Title (1999)

I know this isn't a WWF tape but it didn't feel right to leave this out so I decided to include it here. I picked this up for a mere two bucks from the awesome used DVD/video/game store next to Maverick's card shop in Dayton. This is from a pretty dark period in UFC history, as they had been kicked off all major cable outlets completely due to the perceived brutality of the events and were only available if you had satellite. This was part of the "Road to the Heavyweight Title" series in which UFC determined a new Heavyweight Champion after Randy Couture vacated the belt. Quite a few big names including Pat Miletich, Tito Ortiz, Mark Coleman, and Pedro Rizzo competed on the card. It also featured Bas Rutten making his debut in the United States dispatching Tsuyoshi Kosaka via TKO.

In Your House: Ground Zero (1997)

I could be wrong on this but I believe this was the first tape that WWF distributed in house, without using Coliseum Video. By this time, Coliseum Video was starting to be phased out with the final Coliseum releases coming in November of 1997. This tape was never released in stores to the best of my knowledge and was only available by ordering through the WWF magazine. The card on this wasn't too impressive either, with Bret Hart defending the WWF title against the Patriot, a four way tag match for the Tag Team titles, and a Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker main event which was probably the best match on the whole show.

Bashed in the USA (1993)

I found this tape buried in a bin of miscellaneous stuff one day while doing some cleaning and organizing. I haven't watched it in years but I would really like to watch it someday. Maybe when I have some downtime, I'll fire up the VCR and pop this in. The line up looks pretty interesting with  a 40-man battle royal, Razor Ramon vs. Big Boss Man, and a pretty wild six-man tag. I'm not sure what the title of the tape has to do with anything though, perhaps it was released around the 4th of July? Not sure.

That does it for this round of Wacky Wrestling VHS boxes. While I've run out of tapes in my personal collection, I might continue this series provided I can find pictures of some interesting VHS boxes online. Enjoy the Rumble everyone!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Then, Now, and Forever

 Happy Royal Rumble weekend everyone!

Then, now, and forever. That's what the WWE states and the end of the signature of every one of their programs. Last fall, Topps released a set using that same name. This is basically their version of an update set for WWE. You get ten packs, plus one relic card for $20.

The base cards use the same design as the baseball set. Of the two big "rookie cards" included in this set, A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura were the two I wanted the most. I got the A.J. card but no Nakamura. I'll settle for Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper cards I suppose.

As is the case with the WWE sets, a good amount of legends are included. I like the fact that they went way back with the Peter Maivia card all the way up to more modern legends like DDP, Yokozuna, and Vader, who was always one of my favorites to watch back in the day.

Cards for the NXT stars are also thrown in to the mix and there was one of these every other pack (at least from what I can remember ... it's been about a month since I opened this). Of the NXT cards included, these are the four people that I enjoy watching the most on that show and it's really cool to see Austin Aries in a WWE card set.

These are bronze parallels that I believe were seeded everyone other pack as well. Basically, if you didn't get an NXT card in the pack, you got one of these. 

Rivalries is the main insert of the set and one of these came out of every pack. I like the design on these but a lot of them are already dated. Plus there were some pretty lame ones like Lana vs. Nikki Bella.

Tribute cards to The Rock were also included. This was an insert set carried across all the WWE brands this past year. Also included but I didn't scan it was a Triple H tribute card.

The box promises one relic card and here it is. What could be inside? Something good? Something bad?

It's a Jimmy Uso card. Not exactly what I was hoping for but then again, I've been spoiled the last two WWE blasters I've opened with really good pulls. I supposed it's time I got a lame one. At least it's a big orange patch and not a standard white patch.

This was a fun, quick break but I think it'll be a while before I invest in a WWE blaster box again. Next time, I'll get packs from the card shop.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Real Cardboard Clubhouse

Something I've been meaning to do for a while is show off how I have my collection is stored. Finding the time to do it though was another matter. Luckily, the "Card Cave Contest" that is being run by Judson at My Cardboard Habit was enough to give me some motivation to finally take some pictures and write about my card room.

The primary room I use for my card collection is our spare bedroom. Never mind the Pikachu comforter on the bed, it belongs to my son as this room will one day be his once we get a few minor electrical things fixed up in here. He has his own room currently but he's starting to outgrow it. As of now, we share the "blue room" as we call it, he plays with the trains in the floor or other toys he brings in and I sort, scan, and organize cards. It's a win win and also gives us some "boy time" as my wife calls it.

Any card room must have a TV right? Normally I'll have hockey, baseball, or an old pay-per-view show from the WWE Network on. However, sometimes I'll put cartoons on if my son wants to watch them. Oh, and yes, those are rabbit ears you see behind it. That's because we don't have cable hooked up in the room. Behind the TV we have a Roku hooked up and we can watch stuff on cable that way. Under the TV is my trusty scanner that I drag out and sit in the floor next to my laptop whenever I need to do a mass scanning session, which has lately been on Sunday afternoons.

I keep all my binders on the shelf in the closet along with my trade/supply box and a spare 600-count box for whenever I need it. Here are a few close ups.

As you can see, nearly each binder has a card or sticker on the side of it. The ones with cards I know have been gone through and organized. The ones with the paper labels still need to be gone through.

The Topps binder is where I keep all my pre-1980 cards. The binder with the Biggio card on it is my 90s binder and the one with the Rollie Fingers card is my 80s binder. The other two as I mentioned earlier need to be gone through to weed out duplicates and any other cards that don't fit in the collection.

Here's the trade box. As of right now it's pretty light but as I've been going through my binders and plucking out cards that don't really fit, if they fit with someone on my trade list, then in the box it goes. The box on top of that is empty and I keep it for whenever I need it. Mostly it's the box I take with me when I go to card shows.

The bed I showed earlier has three cubbyholes in the headboard which I use for quick storage, mainly of stuff that needs to be scanned. The empty Pokemon packs belong to my son. He's really gotten into  Pokemon cards and loves opening new packs.

The bed also has two sliding drawers in the bottom of it. Sometimes they're not the easiest things to pull out but they provide some much needed extra storage. What you see above it the left side drawer with my Starting Lineup figures, extra pages, and a bunch of misc stuff. Under the figures is where I've got my 1984 Topps set at. It's all paged up and just needs a binder right now.

The right side drawer is where I keep my football/misc binder and my wrestling binder. Eventually I'll combine them into one. The random stacks you see there are just that, random stacks of cards that either need to be put away or gone through. As of this writing, I have done just that.

The other half of the the drawer is were I keep any boxes or packs I'm waiting to tear into, a freezer bag full of top loaders and penny sleeves, and my old Reds programs from when I was a kid.

This box is a liar. It says it's the "to be filed/organized" box but currently, it's where a lot of my cards from 2010-present are as I really don't have any binders to put them in. So I guess the organized part is right. There's also a good sized stack of 1993 Donruss in there as I don't have any place currently for those either.

Not only are there cards, but it's also where I store my wrestling VHS collection along with a few random wrestling DVDs. The Headliner figures on the top of the shelf came as part of a trade last winter.

On the walls I've got my Reds banner, a certificate from my son's first Reds game, and a pennant I bought when I visited spring training back in 2011.

Here's the other pennants that adorn the wall. The blue 1988 All-Star and the white Reds one I had in my grandparents basement when I spent summer days there as a kid. The others are ones I've added over the years but the Devils one belongs to my wife.

That's it for the "blue room" but there is one more area to show off.

The giant bookcase in our master bedroom. It's filled with my wife's Funko and Pokemon collection. Some of the Funkos are mine but they are mostly hers.

Here's the bottom portion of the bookcase. My blu-rays and our video games are towards the bottom where you see the jack-o-lantern box. Look closely, you see that Reds box? That's where all my good stuff like relic cards, autograph cards, and misc cool cards are housed.

A close up look, lets peer inside ...

Just like I said, relic, autograph, and other misc neat cards live within. To be honest, the box is almost full, but there's always room for more.

Hope you enjoyed this tour around the actual cardboard clubhouse. I definitely enjoyed showing off how I store and organize everything.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Holiday Blaster Box Battle: Walmart vs. Target

Prepare yourselves, this is going to be a war.

You might recall that over the holidays both Walmart and Target had "holiday value boxes" from Topps. Each one had some sort of gimmick to entice you to buy them and were displayed prominently in the card aisle of each chain. Since I got my hands on both, I though it'd be fun to compare the two in an all out duel to see which one comes out on top.

First up in this battle, (most) everyone's least favorite retailer ... Walmart.

2016 Topps Walmart Holiday Box

I'd heard of these showing up in Walmart stores across the land but seeing as our Walmart stores where I live are usually about a month or more behind the times (looking at you, Ecto Cooler), I was skeptical that these would be in any store near me. If they were, great. If not, I sure wasn't going to go tracking them down either. A quick check of my local Walmart while the family and I were grabbing some groceries and I found these in a giant pile on the bottom shelf so grabbed the first one I saw.

I'm sure everyone has seen these by now. It's just the standard 2016 design except the smoke effect has been replaced by snowflakes. I'd say this is a pretty healthy batch of young stars right here.

Here are a few nice horizontal cards. I really like the Ichiro card and it probably could be a picture on a Stadium Club card if you take away the snowflakes.

You can't really tell from the scans but these are what I call the "sparkle" cards but in reality they're called "metallic snowflakes" and are parallels. I kind of like them as the snowflakes actually stand out from the card and have a bit of texture and sparkle to them.

Each box promises one hit and here's what I got ... Jorge Soler, late of the Cubs and now with the Royals. It'll be interesting to see how he fares in Kansas City. What's not so interesting is that this is a plain white patch. Oh well, at least it's a semi-decent player.

Overall grade: C+ ... I'm still not the biggest fan of the 2016 design. Adding snowflakes to the card seems to take up a bit more of the actual picture than compared to a standard card (see below). Still, even with the promised hit, this amounts to nothing more than a blaster box with no inserts except for the metallic parallels.

Next up ... the holiday mega box from Target.

2016 Topps Holiday Mega Box

I've seen next to no mention of these on any of the blogs I follow but I got this (along with a WWE blaster and some repacks) for Christmas from my wife. This box doesn't promise any hits but it does promise two packs of Chrome Update cards, which are exclusive to these boxes.

Here's the layout, five packs of Update and two packs of Chrome Update as promised.

Nothing exciting here, just you're standard base cards. These were the best of the batch that came out of the Update packs, I think my favorite here has to be the Adam Duvall card, despite the All-Star uniform.

This is interesting, two Jay Bruce cards and each one has him with a different team. His production dropped off severely after his trade to the Mets at the deadline last year. 

These are the insert cards, two of the 3000 hit club cards which I really like, one Aubrey Plaza first pitch card, and one Kirk Neuwenheis gold parallel. 

Here's the first of the Chrome Update packs. Only four cards per pack, which is typical for Chrome. For all its faults, I will say that the 2016 design chromes up pretty well. Nothing extraordinary in this pack though.

The last pack of Chrome yielded an Eddie Murray 3000 Club insert and a Miguel Sano rookie card. I liked this pack better than the first, primarily due to the Eddie Murray card.

Overall grade: B ... The inclusion of the Chrome cards, the fact there were insert cards, and a lower price point than its Walmart brethren gives this one a better grade but not by much. 

Despite the fact that the Walmart box includes a hit, I can't really give it a win. Mainly due to the fact that there are no insert cards aside from the parallels ... none, zero. At least with the Target box there was a decent variety of All-Star cards, base cards, and inserts. Also, the Walmart box was $5 more than the Target box. Aside from that, most everything else is a push.