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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

12 Packs of Panini Black Friday

Well, just like last year, I was sure to make a Black Friday stop at my LCS. Unlike last year, though, it was the only Black Friday stop I made, as I let my wife deal with the late-night shopping, while I stayed home and watched a couple movies.

Anyway, my Black Friday purchase consisted of three boxes: 2013-14 Prizm Hockey, 2013 Limited Football, and 2013 Playbook Football. I'll post on those this week, as time, energy, and "feeling-like-it" permits, but that purchase was good for 12 of Panini's Black Friday promotional redemption packs. Considering these were all, basically, free cards, I'd say I did pretty well, but here's the pack-by-pack breakdown of what I got.

Pack 1: Mike Trout Cracked Ice, Peyton Manning
Ebay sellers have the Cracked Ice parallels listed as /25, even though they are not numbered, but I have not seen anything about Panini confirming that.


Pack 2: Sidney Crosby, Troy Tulowitzki, Snoop Dogg HRX
An awesome pull for me with the Crosby. Anytime I pull a card of his, it's just one more that I don't have to search for on the secondary market.


Pack 3: Denard Robinson Printing Proof, Steven Stamkos
The printing proof cards look like printing plates, but are on cardboard and have a blank, white backing. I'm not sure what these are supposed to represent, or what the point of them is, but it's still a pretty cool pull. Most Ebay sellers have these listed as /5, but again, take that for what it's worth.


Pack 4: Kevin Durant, Anthony Bennett, Tupac HRX
The HRX cards feature Snoop Dogg, Tupac, and Notorious B.I.G., and are always inserted as the third card of a two-card pack. The backs of these cards contain a QR code, which can be scanned for some special video features.


Pack 5: Kevin Garnett, Wes Welker


Pack 6: Yadier Molina Cracked Ice, Yadier Molina, Notorious B.I.G. HRX
Two cards of the same player? Would have been much better if it was Crosby.


Pack 7: Alex Galchenyuk, Tuukka Rask
An all-hockey pack? Can't go wrong with that!


Pack 8: Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard
There appear to be two different sets, with different designs, and different numbering, which is fine. My only issue is that there are no set names to differentiate the two. It may not matter to most, but for me, when it comes to organizing these cards, it would be nice.


Pack 9: Guy Lafleur Select Red Prizm 1/35, Tuukka Rask
This is an awesome card of Lafleur, it's rare, has a low serial number, and the red color matches the Canadiens sweater perfectly. 


Pack 10: Anthony Davis, Victor Olidapo Score Hot Rookies, Tupac HRX


Pack 11: Jonathan Huberdeau, Adrian Peterson, Snoop Dogg HRX


Pack 12: Blake Griffinm Snoop Dogg HRX, Greg Zuerlein Breast Cancer Awareness Football Relic
Hey, a hit! Even if it is of the Rams' kicker, I'll take it.


Well, that's it for the Black Friday redemption pack portion of my Shopping weekend. I'll post the individual boxes as I am able to, but I work another three 12-hour night shifts before my next day off, so don't hold your breath too long waiting for them. I didn't get anything worthy of my Top 10 Pulls of 2013, but I did get some pretty cool cards, especially from Playbook.

See you all then!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

2012-13 Prime Brooks Orpik/Ryan Miller Quad Prime Jersey /50

We don't always get great relic cards of a player from our favorite team, along with one of our favorite players from a different team, but I have found one such card. This one is a quad prime jersey card of Ryan Miller and Brooks Orpik from 2012-13 Panini Prime, numbered 4/50.


Of course, I'm a HUGE Penguins fan, so picking up a jersey card of Orpik was a no-brainer, and Miller became one of my favorite goaltenders after his show-stealing performance at the 2010 Winter Olympics. The four swatches spell out "WC08," which is in reference to the 2008 Winter Classic game between the two teams at Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Penguins won 2-1 in a shootout, with Sidney Crosby scoring the shootout-winning goal.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

2013-14 Upper Deck Series 1 Box Break

With the release of 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 1, I had to at least give my hands on one box and have the opportunity to acquire some of the most prestigious rookie cards of this year's "Double Rookie Class." As far as non-autographed rookie cards go, the Young Guns cards that Upper Deck produces are definitely the ones to get. They are all short-printed, but at a rate of six per box, they are still obtainable.

Anyway, each box contains 24 packs of 8 cards, six of which will be Young Guns rookie cards. As far as hits go, there are guaranteed to be two game-used jersey cards, and case hits include Signature Sensations and Clear Cut cards.

Here's a video of the break, with scans to follow:


Pittsburgh Penguins Base Cards: Sidney Crosby, James Neal, Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz, Brooks Orpik


Young Guns: Ryan Murray, Mikhail Grigorenko, Cory Conacher, Nathan Beaulieu, Joakim Nordstrom, Damien Brunner


Canvas: Patrik Elias, David Legwand, Teddy Purcell, Brian Elliott


Hockey Heroes 1980s: Patrick Roy, Peter Stastny


MVP: Sidney Crosby, Roberto Luongo, PK Subban, Ron Francis, Nathan Beaulieu


Shining Stars: Pavel Datsyuk, Nazem Kadri


Case Hit: Clear Cut Stoppers - Roberto Luongo


UD Game Jersey: Ray Bourque, Taylor Hall


That's it for this box. I didn't want to get too wordy about it, so I just kind of let the cards speak for themselves. I am working on the set, though, so check out my needs list and see if you have any to spare. Other than that, all the inserts and hits are up for trade, so if anything catches your eye, feel free to let me know.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

2013-14 Select Box Break #2

Here's a quick look at the second box of 2013-14 Select that I picked up from my LCS last week. I posted Box #1 yesterday, if anyone hasn't taken a look at it yet. I won't go into too many details about the product, since I've done that already, so let's just jump in with the good stuff:


Pittsburgh Penguins Base Cards: Mario Lemieux & Evgeni Malkin


Rookies: Nicolas Blanchard, Steven Pinizzotto, John Muse, Steve Oleksy


Parallels: Gold - Steven Stamkos 10/10, Prizm - Matt Duchene, Al MacInnis, Christian Ehrhoff, Brenden Dillon. The Stamkos is a FANTASTIC pull, and I love those mid-'90s Blues jerseys MacInnis is wearing.


Inserts: Fire On Ice: Henrik Lundqvist, Nick Bjugstad, Cornerstone - Alex Pietrangelo, Double Strike - Pavel Datsyuk. It looks like I was shorted one insert from this box, which sucks, but it's not enough of an issue to raise a stink over.


Autograph: Ryan Stoa Select Signatures
As you'll see, the hit collection of this box, while of different players, is almost identical to Box #1. We start things off with a sticker-dump auto of a player featured in an Avalanche jersey, who now plays for another team. Stoa was traded by Colorado to the Washington Capitals He last played for Colorado during the 2010-11 season, where he scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 25 games. He played the entire 2011-12 season with Colorado's AHL affiliate Lake Erie Monsters, before signing with the Washington Capitals and spending the 2012-13 season with their AHL team, the Hershey Bears.


Autograph: Ryan Garbutt Youth Explosion
At least with this one, you get to see what the Youth Explosion autos look like, as my Andrew Shaw from Box #1 was a redemption. Garbutt was a part of the 2012-13 lockout-limited rookie card class, after playing 20 NHL games during the 2011-12 season. He earned himself a permanent spot on the 2012-13 regular season roster, where he scored 3 goals and 7 assists in 36 games.


Autograph: Sean Collins Rookie Prizm Auto 33/99
I was lucky enough to pull two parallels of my base rookie cards from the two boxes. A 2008 seventh-round draft pick in 2008, Collins finally made it to the NHL during the 2012-13 season for five games, where he went scoreless. So far in the 2013-14 season, he has already matched his games played total from last year, and has picked up an assist in the process.

Autograph: Beau Bennett Jersey Auto 155/199
One of the biggest things I was looking forward to this collecting year was the chance to pick up some rookie hits.  I may not always be the biggest rookie collector, but since most of the hits lean that way, is nice to have a much bigger chance to pick up some extra cards for my Pittsburgh Penguins collection. So far, I already have Bennett's autographed Score and Prizm rookie cards, so this makes number three. There's just one problem...


As you can see here. the bottom of the back side of the card is significantly damaged. It appears as if the back layer of the card got caught on something and dinged it pretty badly. I know that Panini is good about replacing damaged hits, as I have had to utilize it in the past, so I'll just have to wait a few weeks before this card is replaced by a brand new, perfectly conditioned version of itself.


That's it for Select for me up to this point. I may pick up some more, as the hockey selection is somewhat limited this early on in the collecting season. I've updated my needs list with the cards I still have left for this set, so if anyone has some Select to spare, check it out, and let me know what you've got.

Monday, November 25, 2013

2013-14 Select Box Break #1

Being one of the first products of the 2013-14 product year to feature both sides of the Dual Rookie Class, I had to get my hands on a couple boxes of 2013-14 Panini Select to try and hit it big with one of the many major names available.

The rookies include those from last year that we've already seen so far this year, like Nail Yakupov, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Brendan Gallagher, plus it includes the new rookies, like Nathan MacKinnon, Seth Jones, and Tomas Hertl. Each box is guaranteed to contain four autographs, and the majority of those are rookies and younger players that (most likely) Panini is hoping to get rid of some stickers for. In addition to that, there will also be six inserts and four Prizm Parallels.

Here's the video for box #1, with scans to follow:


Pittsburgh Penguins Base Cards: James Neal, Kris Letang


Rookies: Drew LeBlanc, Anders Lee, Cameron Schilling, Carter Bancks


Parallels: Gold: Erik Gudbranson 5/10, Prizm: Erik Gudbranson, Devan Dubnyk, Mike Cammalleri, Andrej Sustr. I seemed to pull Gudbranson all over the place during his 2011-12 rookie card year, and he seems to have followed me into 2013-14.


Inserts: Fire On Ice: Pekka Rinne, Claude Giroux, Alex Galchenyuk, Select Future: Jonathan Huberdeau, Cornerstone: Claude Giroux. Man, Panini really did a great job with all of these inserts, as each one is quite different, but fantastic-looking all the same. Although, I must say, the Select Future cards remind me an awful lot of Fleer Metal from the mid-'90s.


Autograph: Cameron Gaunce Select Signatures. This is what I'd call a sticker dump. Gaunce was in the 2011-12 rookie card class, and played for the Colorado Avalanche at the time. He was traded to the Dallas Stars earlier this year at the trade deadline, but is still pictured as a member of the Avalanche, as he has not played an NHL game with his new team.


Autograph: Andrew Shaw Youth Explosion Redemption. Here's an autograph of someone who at least has some more recent significance. Shaw is mostly known as the guy with the stitched-up face in the 2013 Stanley Cup finals. He was sliced open with an opponent's stick in the first period, and returned, with stitches, in the second. When he hoisted the Cup at the end of the game, his wound was still bleeding, and it was alter revealed that he played in the finals with a broken rib. During the off-season, he auctioned off those stitches, and raised $6,500, which was donated to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.


Autograph: Nick Bjugstad Rookie Prizm Auto 63/99
This is actually a parallel of Bjugstad's base rookie card, which is numbered to 399. Even the regular versions are autographed, but the refractor surface gives this one that extra bit of rarity. Bjugstad is a decent pull for me, as he is a Minnesota boy, attending Blaine HS in Blaine, MN, before attending college at the University of Minnesota. He was selected by the Florida Panthers in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft (19th overall) and made his NHL debut during the 2012-13 season, scoring one goal in 11 games. So far this season, he has  greatly increased his productivity, picking up 2 goals and 7 assists in 18 games.


Autograph: Nick Bjugstad Jersey Auto 67/199. Each player has two versions of their rookie card: one with a jersey swatch and one without. For Bjugstad, I got both versions, which would otherwise be frustrating, if I wasn't hoping to pick up a couple autos of his this year anyway.


That's it for box #1. Considering the price for four autographs is just a slight amount higher than most product with one auto and two jersey cards, Select packs quite a bit of value. Of course, there's always a great amount of risk involved with any high-rookie-content product, but the potential out of Select is worth the gamble.

I'll be posting Box #2 tomorrow, so stay tuned...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Six Rookies for a Buck

Well, I'm certainly on a posting slump. After two whole months of daily postings, I've put together a grand total of THREE so far in November. This will be #4. I've always found that when I get in some serious daily post streaks, once I break them, I break them hard. I don't know if it's burn out, a lack of time, or just plain laziness. Either way, I've still been keeping track of my new acquisitions, and have them set aside to write on. In the hopper currently, I have 15 posts in rough drat stages, which include two trades, two box breaks of 2013-14 Select, one box break of 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 1, the results of my six-card Panini redemption replacement request, and plenty of new Dominion hockey cards, not to mention whatever else I get my hands on in the next couple of weeks. I just need to buckle down and hammer these babies out.  

Anyway, here's a look at an EXTREMELY affordable group of rookies that I acquired off of Ebay. All six came together for the ridiculous price of $1.04 + $3.99 shipping. From 2005-06 Upper Deck Victory, I have rookies of Alex Ovechkin, Henrik Lundqvist, Max Talbot, Ryan Getzlaf, Jimmy Howard, and Brent Seabrook.


This just goes to show how loaded a "double rookie class" like this year's can be. Apart from these six great players, 2005-06 also gave us rookies of Sidney Crosby, Mike Richards, Dion Phaneuf, Corey Perry, Alexander Steen, Zach Parise, Cam Ward, Duncan Keith, Jeff Carter, Mikko Koivu, Ryan Suter, Thomas Vanek, Jussi Jokinen, and Mike Green.

Monday, November 18, 2013

2010-11 Panini Zenith Box Break

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up a box of 2010-11 Panini Zenith from my LCS at a discounted price. Zenith was a one-and-done product from Panini, and the fact that two weeks went by without me feeling the need to brag about what I pulled, should tell you all you need to know about how good of a box I had.

Anyway, here's the video of the break:


I did, at least, manage to pull three Penguins: Marc-Andre Fleury, Kris Letang, and Jordan Staal. I already have the Sidney Crosby base card from this set for my Sidney Crosby Collection, so not pulling him wasn't as big of a disappointment as it would have been otherwise.


As far as parallels go, I pulled a Trevor Gillies Rookie numbered 704/999, which isn't really a parallel, but the Ruby Teemu Selanne is. I also pulled a variety of inserts, with a Ryan Malone Gifted Grinders, Jonathan Toews Z-Team, Joe Thornton Chasing the Cup, Carey Price Crease is the Word, and a Ryan Malone/Victor Hedman/Steven Stamkos Mosaics.


My three hits were an autographed rookie card of Eric Wellwood, a Rookie Roll Call jersey card of Anders Lindback, and a Winter Warriors jersey card of Zach Bogosian. Nothing too special, but at least I got some fodder for my Trade Bait folder.


Lastly, I pulled a jumbo-sized box-topper of Henrik Lundqvist. Not a bad one at all, but upon further research, I discovered that each one of these jumbo cards were "Dare to Tear" cards. Basically, inside of each of these jumbo cards is a regular-sized one, which could be an insert, or it could be an autograph. Well, I hate trying to store these over-sized pieces of cardboard, so I ripped it open.


The card inside was an Epix insert of Henrik Zetterberg. It wasn't exactly a disappointment, but I am a bigger fan of Lundqvist, so I would have been better off leaving that card intact, but those are the chances we take.


This definitely wasn't the best box of cards I have ever opened. It may have just been my bad luck, but it left me feeling as though my money would have been better spent elsewhere. I won't get too down about it, though. I've had enough good luck this year to more than make up for it.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2013 Topps Tier One Box Break

With no new hockey products out when I was at my LCS earlier this week (I think Upper Deck has come out since then), I decided to go a bit outside of the sport and pick up a box of 2013 Topps Tier One Baseball. I haven't opened this product before, but I have picked up a few singles on the secondary market, and the cards always look pretty nice, and every autograph is on-card, which is always a plus.

Topps really keeps it simple with this product. Each box contains two autographed cards and one memorabilia card...and that's it. No base cards, no inserts, just the hits. But really, when buying a product like this, that's really what we're looking for anyway, right?

Here's a video of my box break, with scans to follow:



Pedro Alvarez Tier One Relic 223/399
Thanks to the Pirates finally getting their due with a successful season, this card became just a little bit better now that the team is no longer MLB's laughing stock. In fact, the Pirates have put together quite the young team, with Alvarez and Andrew McCutchen leading the way, and a bright rookie crop that includes Starling Marte and Gerrit Cole. Alvarez, himself, had a pretty good season, hitting .296, with 130 hits and 36 home runs. Just yesterday, Alvarez was awarded his very first Silver Slugger award.


Tommy Milone On the Rise Autograph 379/399
A 10th round 2008 draft pick of the Washington Nationals, Milone made his way to Oakland as part of the trade that sent Gio Gonzalez to Washington. He began the 2012 season as the #3 pitcher in the Athletics' pitching rotation behind Brandon McCarthy and Bartolo Colon. He finished the 2013 season with a 12-9 record, 126 strikeouts, and a 4.14 ERA.


Brian McCann Crowd Pleaser Copper Rose Parallel Autograph Redemption /25
Up until now, McCann has spent his entire career with the Atlanta Braves, but is now exploring his options as a free agent. In 2013, McCann hit .256, with 20 home runs and 57 RBIs. He is considered to be the best free agent catcher on the market, so you can expect quite a few teams to be calling.


It's a redemption, which doesn't really bother me, especially considering that live copies of this card are already on Ebay, so I'm guessing that McCann has already returned these cards to Topps. The Crowd Pleaser parallels are all done with a black background, with the rarity designated by the color of ink used to sign the card. Copper gets a red ink, and is numbered to 25. It'll definitely be a cool card once I get it in hand. Here's a scan of one on Ebay, just to give you a glimpse at what the card will look like.


There you have it. Overall, I'd say this is a decent product for most baseball card collectors. Of course, there's a certain hit-or-miss element to this product, as I'm sure you'll find some better boxes than the one I opened, and some worse boxes than the one I opened. Either way, if you're just looking for some great-looking hits, this is a good product to try out.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Help a Breaker Out: 2013 Triple Threads Case Break at My Cardboard Habit

Hey, everyone, real quick here. J.Meeks at My Cardboard Habit is trying to get a case break of 2013 Topps Triple Threads Baseball and is in need of participants. There are still plenty of teams available, including some good ones like the Mets, Phillies, Pirates, Giants, Rays and plenty more. So go to THIS LINK and sign up for it! It should be fun!