Archive for Topps

2019 Topps is like 10 days old … now what do we buy?

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on February 9, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Funny thing happens every year. The new Topps flagship hits stores and we buy like crazy.

Then the newness wears off and some of us are left wondering what else we’re going to buy.

My son and I just went to Target to get some groceries and I grabbed three 2019 Topps Series One packs and put them in the cart.

Then something happened. I started thinking that I was going to spend about $9 on three Topps packs when I only need like two cards for the set, and I’ve been buying Kershaw parallels on eBay. In short: I didn’t NEED these packs.

As we returned to registers to pay for our items, I told my son we’d put one pack back and then he and I could each open a pack and then make a trade. However, when my son learned a pack was for him and not for me, he asked for a pack of Prizm basketball instead. I wasn’t too keen on spending $2.99 on four Prizm cards from a loose box that likely had been searched in some fashion.

So we talked and I wound up putting my Topps pack back, talked him out of the Prizm — we opened a fair amount during the holidays — and grabbed a Panini Contenders blaster instead. He remembered these cards were designed to look like a ticket and we hadn’t opened any this year.

I let him open the blaster and keep everything. He didn’t do too bad; he even pulled two Steph Curry cards, which is perfect timing because I’m taking him to his first Warriors game tomorrow against the Miami Heat.

In Memoriam: Frank Robinson (Aug. 31, 1935 – Feb. 7, 2019)

Posted in In Memoriam, Misc. with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

1957 Topps Rookie Card.

**Updated** The issue of Not-So-Authentic “Topps Certified Autograph”

Posted in Collcting Clemens, Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

**Updated: see the end **

Late Monday I was doing a search for Roger Clemens items on eBay and came across a newly listed autograph that was portrayed as a 1998 Stadium Club Co-Signers Card with the 7-time CY Young winner and Cardinals pitcher Matt Morris.

I’ve seen the cards before on eBay and COMC, but this particular copy stopped me dead in my tracks — and it wasn’t because of the price tag. It caught my attention because the damn thing looked fake as hell.

The card is actually being sold through consignment site COMC and offered on eBay through the optional service COMC provides its sellers. The card is actually listed on COMC at a slightly lesser price. (I already contacted them about “questionable authenticity.”)

I digress, the signatures on the card do not look authentic to me. Hell, the ink on the cards is just wrong.

Look at these other five different examples of the same card:

What’s scary is the card in question bears the “Topps Certified Issue” Gold Foil seal on the front of the card. And it is that seal alone that really sets that card apart from the numerous “proof” (read: fake) unsigned Co-Signers cards hitting eBay in recent months.

The issue with fakes has become so rampant among collectibles that it really turns folks away because we collectors have to question everything. No longer can we simply accept that a card is what it is.

I know this Clemens card doesn’t look right so I won’t be buying it. And odds are no one else will either. But someone might. And that one sale is all it takes.

The issue of fakes has really hit home lately with the 2011 Topps Update Mike Trout cards — some are legitimate Reprints, where as some are basically prints of high-quality scans. The same can be said for the 2000 Playoff Contenders Rookie Ticket Tom Brady, serial numbered 012/100, or even the basic version really.

Fakes kill collectible markets.

Do not buy them. Do not sell them. Do not create them and call them art, or reprints.

They’re not authentic issues released by a licensed source and were created for one purpose only: To make money on gullible buyers.

Don’t be a victim.

**Update: COMC has removed the Clemens card from active status and it is no longer viewable on COMC or eBay. COMC has said via Twitter it will try to recognize suspicious autos even on “Certified” cards in the future.**

First Kershaw 2019 Topps parallel has arrived

Posted in Collecting Kershaw with tags , , , , , , , on February 4, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

One of the first things I did on Wednesday after sorting my 2019 Topps hobby box was check eBay to see how much the new parallels of Kershaw were going for. And just as I suspected, some were selling really cheap, like for the price of three packs, because some folks were looking to strike while the iron was hot and sell whatever they could to get back some of the money they spent.

As you know by now, 2019 Topps pack prices increased to $2.99 retail (or about $3.50 a pack for hobby in some places) as the card company decided to change some of its pack specs: Topps bumped up the number of cards per pack, and decreased the number of packs from 36 packs to just 24. It’ll take some time getting used to, but I don’t hate the change. Although there have been varying opinions from persons who who buy and break in quantity as it has changed the landscape for building complete sets or even master sets.

I digress. The Kershaw base card and parallels of it are the ones that I really had my eye. So I decided to pounce on a half dozen eBay listing featuring the parallels at a price point I was comfortable with.

The first of those purchases arrived over the weekend, and it was the Vintage Stock serial numbered to 99 copies, which I managed to get for under $12 shipped.

I have a few more on the way; I’m sure I’ll post them, especially the Independence Day one that should be here mid week. I really like those Patriot parallels.

Some will win, but many more will lose

Posted in Collcting Clemens with tags , , , , , , , on February 2, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Yesterday I wrote about my latest 2019 Topps purchase which consisted of a retail blaster that set me back $19.99. While the contents weren’t bad, the shame I felt gave me such a feeling of guilt that I managed to channel those emotions into something positive: I rearranged my home, in particular my office/card area. While the space is “still under construction,” it’s shaping up to me a much more sufficient and welcoming area. I’ll show off pictures later.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is two fold. The first is to show off a new Roger Clemens cards that arrived yesterday, and secondly discuss the nature of the Clemens card itself and relate it to those feelings I had yesterday.

In the mail yesterday was a 2018 Topps Dynasty Roger Clemens signed patch card serial numbered 1/5. I have a thing for Clemens patch cards, especially those featuring Boston Red Sox colors. The newer Clemens goes well with the 2017 version I purchased last year, which is serial numbered to 10 copies. And those two pair nicely with my 2016 Dynasty Clemens which features a gorgeous swatch from the Astros team name and is numbered also /10.

And now here comes the serious business …

While I sometimes scold myself for buying retail Blasters, I thank my God that I am not buying higher-end products at the same clip, or even at all. Take this Dynasty product for example. These Dynasty products are priced at $389.99 on Blowout Cards — or $374.99 with the current sale — for one card … ONE. And with few exceptions, namely Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and a hand full of other guys, these products are grossly misrepresented by players whose secondary market value are often less than a quarter of the purchase price. And yes, Roger Clemens is one of those guys. I feel fortunate that my favorite player doesn’t have a major following any more … otherwise I would not have been able to acquire these three Dynasty cards over the years for a collective price that is still less than the cost of a single Dynasty pack.

I know that these so-called “one-hitter quitter” packs really cater to the Breaking culture, and in some ways a lot of us player collectors benefit when they look to sell off their unwanted hits to cut their losses. But looking at things from a bigger picture perspective, these one-hit/one-card products are damaging to collectors and their pocket books if they are buying them as unsealed products — and I know there some who actually do. Thankfully, I’m not one of them.

That moment when you buy a blaster … and instantly feel shame

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Commentary with tags , , , , , on February 1, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

I made a Target run this morning for a few grocery items and while there I found a blaster of 2019 Topps. I’ve already bought a hobby box and a few extra packs on the side. But the newness of the product has triggered my addictive state so I “had” to buy the blaster.

As soon as I cracked the seal on the blaster I instantly felt shame. I knew I should not have made the purchase.

It wasn’t a bad blaster. I Got a Max Scherzer patch relic (1/blaster) Shohei 150th parallel (1:8 packs retail) and the allotted inserts.

The cards bring me shorterm pleasure, but the shame in knowing that I didn’t “need” these cards is tough to deal with sometimes.

The one saving grace mentally is that the blaster did have 17 of the 19 cards I needed for the set. So I suppose I could “justify” the purchase, but that is a slippery slope.

The struggle is real. Gotta do better tomorrow. I’ve got to stay the hell away from retail.

2019 Topps release and the World Series relics

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Today sparks the beginning of the new card collecting year as 2019 Topps is released in most hobby shops and online. And like every year for the last 10-plus years the set will feature an insert set honoring the World Series champions complete with relics and autographs

There should be some excitement for Boston Red Sox fans as once again they have championship cards to collect. But in some ways, the relics in the new Topps release feel second-rate based on what was offered months ago directly from Topps.

The reason I say this is because while the 2019 cards themselves commemorate the champions, the relics within the cards are not from the World Series. Hell, they even say as such on the front of the card.

Now, this is NOT breaking news. Over the last decade, Topps has refrained from identifying the year in which the items was used, and sometimes even don’t identify the fabric embedded in the card. And my point of this post is not to complain, or to poke fun at Topps. Rather, this post is to highlight the greatness of the Topps Now program.

Because if you as a Red Sox collector wanted a legitimate piece of the World Series, there were pieces available directly from Topps a day after the Red Sox claimed the title at Dodger Stadium. Topps made available a team celebration card that featured a small chunk of a base from Game 5. It was limited, but it does in fact feature a piece of baseball history.

The 2019 Topps World Series champions cards do indeed look nice, and I’ll reiterate that this post is not to disparage them. Heck, if I can get a few of them at a decent price at some point I will probably pounce on them. But for me, the smarter money was spent in October after the title when I secured my piece of the game. And to my surprise, the card arrived in relatively quick fashion.

My specific card is the Purple version, serial numbered 10/25. It features a white base swatch bearing hologram number JC698628  the authentication certificate via MLB then refers to the original hologram for the entire base
JC334202 which indicates the base used in this relic card was second base used during innings 5 through 7 of Game Five of the 2018 World Series, which means the base was actually stepped on by League MVP Mookie Betts and JD Martinez, who both homered in that game, in innings 6 and 7, respectively.

Of course, this relic from Topps Now is a bit more special to me than most. I managed to attend Game Five and see my favorite team of more than three decades hoist the World Series Championship Trophy before my very eyes.