Archive for the Box / Pack Break Category

2019 Topps Series 2 Blaster Break #1 (results)

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

When it comes to Topps Series Two, I am usually not one to overly indulge. By the time this set comes out every year, the luster on the Topps base set has worn off and there are lots of products available from which we can choose, so it’s somewhat of a secondary option.

This year, the feeling is a bit different since there are key rookies in Series Two including rookie cards of Pete Alonso, Eloy Jimenez and Fernando Tatis Jr.; a short-printed Vladimir Guerrero Jr. release (technically not an official rookie card). Also, the set features new cards of two of my favorite players, Clayton Kershaw and Roger Clemens. So it seems natural for me to open at least one blaster to chase the aforementioned, as well as to casually complete the Series Two set to go along with the first series my son and I have nearly completed.

I checked a few Targets this week and managed to find blasters of Series Two at only one store, so I grabbed the first one I saw and headed to the register. Each box contained seven packs of 14 cards, and one manufactured relic card for a total of 99 cards. Here are the overall results.

The manupatch for this blaster bore one of the hottest names in the hobby, Vladimir Guerrero. However, it is of the Hall of Famer Vlad Sr., not the son, Vlad. Jr., whom hobbyists are currently swooning over.

The seven packs contained the following:

Key rookies: Pete Alonso, Eloy Jimenez and Yusei Kikuchi — which really could have been much better if Topps could have used an image from his debut during the Opening Series in Japan, but I’m sure they’re saving that for the Update Series. This photo on the Kikuchi is the same that was used on the Opening Day rookie card.

Short Print: Veteran, Dale Murphy — I dig these horizontal short prints.

Parallels: Rainbow Foil Raisel Iglesias, Gold Carlos Carrasco

Inserts: Aaron Judge Exclusive (#23); 84 All-Stars Alex Bregman and Rickey Henderson; 84 All-Stars Blue Roger Clemens; Franchise Favorites Tony Gwynn and Jose Altuve; Iconic Card Reprints: 73 Topps Carlton Fisk; 150 Great Moments Bartolo Colon.

Comments: This blaster was better than I expected as it held two of the key rookie cards in the set, a short print and a insert parallel of one of the guys I collect.

As for the base cards, I’ll be building a list of needs in the near future. I’ll be more than happy to trade most of the inserts here within for base cards that my son and I need to complete this set, or cards of Kershaw and Clemens.

2019 Finest half-box break makes a case for sticker autos

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , on June 5, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

We all want hard-signed autos, right? Welp, here’s an argument for stickers.

I opened a half-box of 2019 Finest baseball today (6-packs in a sealed inner box) and the auto I pulled was a Justus Sheffield blue refractor, serial numbered to /150. Not a horrible auto. Just one problem: Sheffield is shown as a Yankee even though he was traded from New York to Seattle in November.

The blue refractor technology would have looked great on a Mariners auto of Sheffield, but instead I am looking at yet another auto of a player who no longer plays for New York. But we all know why this card exists … it exists in this form because Topps made the card before the trade and had Sheffield sign them instead of re-making them. (Jake Bauers is also shown on his old team on his Finest auto.)

This is why Sheffield is a Yankees on autos in Bowman as a Chrome auto, in Definitive, and in other Topps products released to date. I don’t blame Topps entirely for this; I mean we the collectors are the ones lobbying for more hard-signed autos. And in order for that to work, the company needs to produce these cards and send them to athletes way in advance to have them signed and returned before pack-out. (For the record, the Sheffield and Bauer base rookie cards do show the players on their current teams.)

Of course, this puts us consumers in an interesting spot: Would we prefer the hard-signed autos showing players on an old team, or would we want to a sticker that can be placed on an updated card of the player showing the player on the current team?

If you ask me, this could have been a good use of a sticker. But how would Topps have known that the trade was going to happen? And what would Topps do with a backstock of hard-signed autos if they did re-create the cards and had Sheffield sign a new batch?

I agree with Topps in releasing the cards; it’s what they had as of the deadline they had for the product and it’s just not a smart business move to not release (i.e. destroy) inventory that was already created. It’s really just unfortunate that it exists in this format.

Fortunately for everyone it wasn’t one of the higher-valued prospects who was in this situation.

How was the rest of the break?

Refractors: Kris Bryant, Marcus Stroman

Blue Refractor: Cody Bellinger

Prized Performer: Justin Smoak

Mariano Rivera Die-Cut MR2

Blue Chips: Miles Mikolas, Trey Mancini

Rookies: Eloy Jimenez, Cedric Mullins, Corbin Burnes, Touki Toussaint, DJ Stewart, Steven Duggar, Ryan O’Hearn, Rowdy Tellez

Base: Mookie Betts, Salvador Perez, Marcus Stroman, Paul Dejong, Jose Abreu, Willy Adames, Whit Merrifield, Josh Bell, Mitch Haniger Ozzie Albies, Ronald Guzman, Kris Bryant, Trea Turner, and Max Scherzer

Anyone have Kershaws from this set? Everything above is available.

Second round of discount Prizm NBA from 7-Eleven leads to “Points are poop” chant from kids

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , on May 9, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

A few weeks ago I scored big time when I stopped at 7-Eleven and located a ton of retail NBA Prizm prices at 99 cents a pack and nailed a Trae Young silver, Trae Young auto and a Luka Doncic Pink Pulsar, which has since been sent off to BGS. (See post here.)

Today, I went back to the 7–Eleven to pick up a case of water and much fo my surprise and delight, they found more Prizm in the back room. You know I had to buy it all. I again left the Hoops behind.

Well, I had my kids and my nephew with me, so I decided to turn this as an opportunity for a family #PrizmRipParty

I couldn’t pass on these at 99 cents a pack when that’s like a third or even a quarter of what these would cost online or even at the card shop.

We all took turns opening packs, one at a tome. I’m a collector, my son is new to collecting, my daughter (the oldest of these three kids) has been opening packs and and off with me for years and my nephew? Hello, he STILL has not opened the half box of 2018 Topps Big League I gave him for Christmas hoping that he and my son would start trading cards. Nonetheless, I included in this family break. I really didn’t care what I pulled from these proverbial lottery ticket packs, this break was all about the kids and their reactions.

And as it turned out, my nephew actually did really well. In terms of notables, he pulled a Malcom Brogdon auto pretty early (I believe it was his first hit ever) and ended up hitting a Luka Doncic Base Prizm Rookie.

My daughter participated for about half of the break and didn’t pull anything of real note other than this Trae Young insert silver.

My son was acting the whole time like a jaded collecting veteran, I really think he was expecting us to pull another Pink Pulsar Luka. His big hits were a green Derrick Favors (numbered 15/25 — his jersey number) and a Panini Points Card which actually has now become a priceless peace of Cardboard Icon’s collecting history. (See below)

As for me, I’ll hang my hat on a green Prizm Trae Young Rookie parallel, a Joel Embiid Pink Pulsar /42, and a Purvis Short autograph, which promoted a second classic reaction.

But that just PART of the story. Remember the Panin Points listed above?

I explained to the kids what the appoints program is and how instead of an actual autograph in a our, the company put this Points Card inside so that we could go choose a hit from the Web site. Their reaction?

“Points are poop!”

I had to break out the phone to record the second wave of chanting, but I had NOTHING to do with their reaction. They were very disgusted with the idea of points, so much so that when we were opening the last of the boxes I explained there should be one more autograph and they collectively said “Or more Points!” Then the chant continued again. And because of their reaction, ’tis card shall remain in my collection forever. Seriously.

Another giant take away from this break was my daughter’s reaction to my Purvis Short autograph.

Daughter: “Wait, does that mean the player actually held that card?!”

Me: “Well, no. This is a sticker autograph. They signed the sticker, and it was put on the card.”

Daughter: “That’s just dumb!”

Again, I did not prompt this response. I As a seasoned collector know why the sticker autographs exist, and can understand to some degree why the points could be appealing. But, it should not go unnoticed how innocent people who do not know the intricacies of the hobby react to things. As a friend of mine said: “Thats some great market research!”

So, overall how was this break? In a vacuum it was kind of rough. But you also have to realize this was probably the remainder of the case of blasters and retail packs from my break a few weeks ago, and THOSE packs yielded some great cards.

It sounds silly to call this a priceless experience, but in many ways it was. Now if only I can get my nephew to open the damn cards I bought him.

And lastly, don’t go hunting at all your 7-Elevens for these cards, almost every store will have. I idea what you’re talking about. Most don’t sell cards.

Sometimes you just gotta buy it

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , on May 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

After dropping off the kids at school on Monday I stopped at a Walgreens nearby in search of one of the Walgreens exclusive 2019 Topps Series 1 hanger packs. I’ve seen shelf space for them at two different stores but to date I have yet to actually see any of the packs in person.

This Walgreens didn’t have any of the yellow exclusive packs, but they did get a new batch of the 100-card repack boxes priced at $4.99. I know some people swear by these and buy them often. I often don’t buy them and just walk away … unless something showing on the front intrigues me.

On this date I was intrigued … by a 1987 Fleer Roger Clemens card.

I could have walked away. I mean I already have a copy of this Clemens card in my collection. And for $5 I could buy a dozen of these. But it’s not every day that you see a 30-plus old card of your favorite player on the front of a repack, so it almost feels like an omen when you find one in the wild. So I had to own it … right?

As luck would have it, there were actually TWO identical 87 Fleer Clemens in the box, so now I have an extra, one I shall give to my son for his collection.

How about the remainder of the box?

Started strong with a cool 1987 Fleer Limited Dale Murphy right behind the Clemens cards.

A solid vintage 1979 Topps Julio Cruz. Condition is great condition. Yes, it’s just a common, just nice to see I. A repack.

I’ve always been a fan of the early 1990s Minor League releases.

I bet it’d be fun to be a Jim Edmonds collector. He was a great defender and his actions were often captured on his cards, like this 1998 Topps release.

Oh look, it’s a chrome prospect auto. I guess I got the 1:4 box hit. Luebke was a solid MLB pitcher for a year or two, totaling 200 Ks and a near 3.50 ERA over his brief career.

Bro, it’s Steve Balboni and his mustache on bright white paper stock used for the 1989 Topps Traded set. You know I have to post that.

This 1991 Donruss Diamond King Edgar Martinez ain’t worth much of anything, but Inhave always been a fan of these. This was the last of the basic Diamond Kings before Donruss turned them into chase cards the following year.

Fred McGriff on this 1990 Fleer Card looks like he is ready to break into his patented finger point like he did in the Tom Emanski baseball video.

Oh look, it’s a 1997 Leaf Cody Bellinger Card … I bet these are 1 in every box now.

Here’s a 2018 Topps Indians team set Yan Gomes Card. I have a cool piece coming up that touches in Yan Gones and his concussion-like symptom from a few years ago.

This Gregg Jefferies Future Stars Card from 1989 Topps is one of my childhood favorites. It may be worthless, but it made me smile.

The sealed pack in this box was a 1990 Upper a deck that was very uneventful, save for a Bo Jackson All-Star Card.

There are dozens of other cards in the box, but we’ll wrap this up with three 2011 Topps Update cards, which suggests that perhaps maybe … and I mean maybe … there is a box out there containing one of Mike Trout’s Topps Update rookie cards

Was it “worth” the $4.99? Depends. The resell value probably isn’t there, but trips down memory lane are always fun and sometimes priceless.

Small 2019 Bowman break and some thoughts

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , on April 30, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

There was a time when I would anticipate the release of Bowman as the true beginning of MY card collecting year. At the time I didn’t value Topps flagship the way many other do. I was all about the rookie cards and what better place than to start the card year than with the self-proclaimed “Home of the Rookie Card.”

But times and collecting habits have changed. And really our hobby has changed as well as finding Bowman on retail shelves “in the wild” has become akin to a Hot Wheel collector seeking the elusive Treasure Hunts.

I shop at Target a lot. Not just for cards, but for pretty much everything I need. So every time I go in I take a look at what’s new. And while I no longer hunter Bowman the way I had say in 2010, I am still keeping an eye out for a blaster or two just to try my luck.

Well, the stuff is gone. Period. I’ve not seen a single blaster, and up until yesterday I had not even seen a “Value pack,” one of the 19-card types for $5.99. All I had seen to that point was an occasional loose pack from a gravity feeder.

Feeling as if I had found some sort of gold by simply locating two Value Packs, I decided to buy them, as well as a single loose pack. I’ll tell you, that $3.99 price tag on Bowman retail is mighty ugly.

If there is one thing I have learned from Bowman in recent years its that unless your card has ink on it or is shiny and bears a low serial number, odds are the secondary market doesn’t care a whole lot. And while as a collector that market shouldn’t matter, it still creeps into MY head when I am shelling out a few bucks — in this case $3.99 for 12 Bowman cards — and it does make think more before pulling the trigger on any said purchase.

Anyway, Bowman is what it is — the lottery ticket of the baseball genre of card collecting. It’s not what it was in the 1990s; it’s really about the Chromes embedded within the backs, and the variations thereof.

I won’t tell you how to collect or spend your money; hell, evenm I get a little wrapped up in this gamble. Which is why I bought the two Value Packs and the loose pack, the results of which I shall share below.

The loose pack had a nice Green Refractor /99 inside of a top prospect Nico Hoerner, who has had Bowman Cards before. It’s a nice hit for 1:141 packs, even cooler since this is a local guy for me. Sadly, this card does bear some scratches on the surface. Ugh.

The first Value Pack sort of picks up where the loose pack left off. Does the name on that Refractor look familiar? Yeah, it’s Nico Hoerner again, this time /499. Surface isn’t bad, but I’d have to balk if someone asked me the age-old Chrome speculator question: “Will it gem?”

The last Value Pack had the biggest name in out hobby right now — aside from Mike Trout — on a good-looking prospect insert. Vlad Guerrero Jr. is THE guy to chase/own/sell and this is a good looking card that would probably net me a whole $1 at auction. I’ll just toss it in the small stack of other Vlad’s I have sitting around.

I definitely beat the odds with the few packs that I found, but unless I find a blaster in the wild, I probably won’t be buying much more of this. (I did buy five Bowman loose packs but haven;t written about them — nothing big in those either — and no Clayton Kershaw cards either.) I have no intention on paying full hobby box prices, or paying $3.99 for a loose pack at this point. This isn’t MY scope of collecting any more.

What The Luka?! Pink Pulsar Prizm /42 unwrapped from discount packs at 7-Eleven

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , on April 21, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Two and a half months ago I stopped at a 7-Eleven half way between my house and the home of my ex wife and was surprised to find the retail hotness that was 2018-19 Panini Prizm.

I had picked up my kids for their days with me and we stopped there for milk. I managed to fight off the urge to buy any packs — at the time the packs were $2.99 each and Blasters were $19.99 — so it wasn’t a tough decision.

I hadn’t returned to that particular store since that day. But on Easter Sunday I again found myself in a similar situation as I needed milk whilst taking kids to/from their moms house. I decided to stop at 7-Eleven as my brain began wondering if the Prizm packs ever sold; and if they had not had the store discounted them?

Well, by now you know the answer.

They sold some of the stock that was there in February, which I documented in a post. (Here)

But there were three blasters, seven sealed retail boxes and some 20 loose packs sitting around. After confirming the price — 99 cents for each retail pack and $9.99 for the blasters, we were off to the races.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

After the clerks settled their confusion as to how to ring up the sealed boxes and stopped asking why I wanted all the Prizm, the transaction was done — they had their money and I scored a great price on a product that remains in demand from basketball fans.

Now before you go stopping at every 7-Eleven looking for the same deal, I am fairly certain this was an anomaly. The store manager told me that her son used to collect — “he was always buying cards looking for a Michael Jordan…”– and explained that these had been sitting here for months.

And as you may know, each 7-Eleven is franchised so there exists some opportunity to sell some site-specific merchandise. That’s why some stores carry knock-off hats and other kitsch items and others don’t.

I brought the Prism packs home, occasionally ripping into a pack at each red light. And when I pulled into my parking garage I decided to open a few more of the loose packs — that’s when Luka (/42) appeared, like the prize of an Easter Egg Hunt.

My son and I had bought a fair amount of Prizm blasters — he has really taken to basketball, almost the way I had baseball when I was his age. And to date we had not pulled a basic Luka Doncic Prizm, let alone any sort of color. So when the Pink Pulsar Prizm Luka showed from behind a common, I was completely taken aback.

I had thoughts of reselling the retail boxes and basically accepting the double profit before even contemplating what to do with the Pink Luka. But I decided we should just open it all — besides, my boy was still working on the Prizm set, the cost was relatively cheap and I figured we’d never had this opportunity again.

Luka was clearly the prize here, but there was more good stuff to be had. We picked off a pair of Luka base Prizms; a Trae Young auto, a Young silver Prizm, and more. I did laugh at the 150 Panini Points though — that was a first for me.

MLB’s soft season opener means another year of tradition

Posted in Box / Pack Break with tags , , , , , , , on March 20, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

The 2019 Major League Baseball season kicked off early this morning With the Oakland Athletics facing the Seattle Mariners in the first of a two-game Opening Series showdown in Japan.

It’s essentially MLB’s soft Opening Day. The League-wide official Opening Day comes March 28.

Tradition in my household includes opening packs of cards on Opening Day. Seeing as how the first games were played today, I had to keep up the tradition and as luck would have it, Target received its allotment of 2019 Topps Opening Day Mega Boxes, which is one of a few new ways Opening Day is being presented to collectors.

Thankfully I remembered that I had a coupon in my wallet for $1 off — there were coupons on select Series One blasters — so it made this purchase even better.

For $14.99 you get 16 basic Opening Day packs and one pack of seven exclusive red foil parallels.

The Reds are actually quite nice; sadly I didn’t get the Clayton Kershaw I needed for my collection.

The standard packs appear to have the same odds as single retail packs.

My box started off strong in Pack Two as it contained two timely names: Mike Trout and Alex Bergman, both of whom signed extensions yesterday, as well as this sweet Andrew Benintendi Card.

This pack was followed up by one that contained the rookie of card Seattle Mariners pitcher Yusei Kikuchi, who coincidentally will start Game Two against Oakland before the two teams head back to the United States to continue and complete the exhibition season before the official Opening Day.

This Mega Box contained two blue foil parallels, which are seeded 1:13 packs, so I managed to beat the odds there.

Also two Team Traditions and Celebrations (1:10 packs) and two Opening Day cards, seeded 1:7 packs — the Royals one is neat since it has a Salvador Perez cameo on the big board.

I also received the allotted four Mascot cards (1:4 packs) including the unnamed Baltimore Orioles mascot, and one of Mariner Moose, who looks like he is flipping people off.

And the standard 8 150 Years of Fun cards, seeded 1:2 packs. There was the Trout shown above as the following seven.

This was a fun, cheap way to celebrate the soft opening of the season. I’ll have to find something else to open next week before I head to Oakland to watch the A’s take on the Angels and the sports richest player Mike Trout on the real Opening Day.