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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Two Boxes of 11-12 SPX Hockey - Sidney Crosby Shadowbox!!!!!!!!!!!

Just out of curiosity, and also partly due to the fact that I haven't bought a whole lot of Upper Deck this year, I decided to pick up two boxes of this year's SPX product. Each box contains a total of five hits, one of which is a "Rookie Materials" card, and one of which is an auto/relic from one of this year's rookies. It's a little odd to me, maybe since I'm not much of a prospector, but it seems as though I'd advertise the potential of relics from players who already stars, instead of those who may not ever amount to anything in the NHL.

Anyway, here's a look at what I pulled.

Base: I like the look of the base cards. It straddles the line between the look of a regular issue card and the look of an insert set, which I like for a product like this. Foil is used for the team logo and brand logo, as well as the player name, but I don't think they went overboard. The fact that most of it is concentrated on the square that contains the team logo works really well.

Each box also contains a five-card box topper of Upper Deck Ice cards. Four of those are base cards, and one is a serial numbered rookie. I was satisfied with my first pack, but underwhelmed with the second pack, and I'm sure you'll see why.

The only difference were the rookie cards of John Moore and Andy Meile. Great looking cards, but the fact that I bought both of these boxes from the same LCS within a week of each other means HORRIBLE collation by Upper Deck.

Anyway. Enough with the base cards and the throw-ins. Here are the goods:

From box #1:
Legends of Hockey: Bobby Clarke 491/499
Rookie: Brendon Nash 5/499

The Hits:
Winning Combos: Ryan Getzlaf & Bobby Ryan
Winning Materials: Mike Richards
Throwback Fabrics: Kari Lehtonen
Autographed Rookie: Matt Frattin 542/799
Rookie Materials: Craig Smith

The Winning Combos card has already been promised to the Blogosphere's biggest Ryan Getzlaf fan, Greg Zakwin, but the rest are for trade. The Lehtonen is a two-per-case hit, I think, and although I'm sure no one has hear of Frattin, it's always nice for me to pull a hit from a UND kid.

From box #2:
Legends of Hockey: Ted Lindsay 23/25, Patrick Roy 496/499
Rookie: Robert Bortuzzo 495/499
Not only do I pull a /25 card of a hockey hall of famer, btu I get a serial numbered rookie card from my favorite team!

The Hits:
Winning Materials: Henrik Lundqvist
Autographed Rookie: Tim Erixon 81/799
Winning Combos: Nikolai Kulemin & Clarke MacArthur
Rookie Materials: Erik Gudbranson

The only good one here for me is Lundqvist, but that's ok, because in the LAST pack in the box contained JUST ONE card:

For those unfamiliar with the Shadowbox concept, Upper Deck basically uses three layers, with space in between to create one of the coolest-looking and most sought after cards in the hockey market. These are pretty much the case hits of the products, and the Programme of Excellence versions fall in just one in every 1,058 packs, and the fact that I ACTUALLY pulled a Crosby makes it extra special.

As tempting as it is to cash in on my box-busting luck, for THIS Penguins fan, this card is going NOWHERE!

2012 Topps Series 2 Box Break

Wanting to basically just get an automatic complete set with a few hits, I picked me up a jumbo box of 2012 Topps Series 2. I like Topps base, mostly out of just pure tradition, but this way, I can bust open a set, and move on, without buying pack after pack after pack after pack. Plus, I get plenty of cool inserts, which Topps is not shy about providing. Anyway, here's what I got.

Black: James Darnell /61
Gold: Brandon Inge, Juan Rivera, Joey Votto, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Motte, Joe Mauer, Martin Prado, Ervin Santana, Clint Barmes, Freddy Sanchez

Golden Moments: Josh Hamilton, Andre Dawson, Carlos Gonzalez, Pablo Sandival, George Brett, Reggie Jackson, Mark Teixeira, Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, Steve Garvey

1987 Minis:Cole Hamels, Jacoby Ellsbury, Justin Verlander, Bob Gibson, Joe Mauer, Alex Rodriguez, Nelson Cruz, Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Palmer, Tom Seaver

Gold Standard: Willie Mays, Andre Dawson, Joe DiMaggio, Mike Schmidt, Chipper Jones

Gold Futures: Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Randall Delgado, Dellin Betances, Jason Heyward

Mound Dominance: Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Dwight Gooden, Bob Feller, Phil Niekro

Career Day: Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Ryan Braun, Al Kaline, Joey Votto

Cut Above: Ken Griffey Jr., Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken Jr., Roy Halladay, Dustin Pedroia

Auto: Jordan Zimmerman
Relic: Jeremy Hellickson
Manufactured World Series Pin: Reggie Jackson

A decent auto, a pretty good relic, and a REALLY good World Series pin. I know that the odds are the same, but I find it weird that with the two boxes I have opened for myself, and the two I opened for my group break, I pulled FOUR World Series Pin manu-relics, and NO rings. Oh well, I guess those are the odds. I do like the Reggie though. The card actually looks pretty cool with the green coloring.

As always, if anyone is interested in anything, be sure to let me know.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Group Break: A Few Addresses Needed

Hey, everyone. I got most of the teams from my group break out in the mail today, but I realized that there are a few teams that I do not have addresses for. I still have the Tigers, Reds, and Royals sitting here next to me, waiting to get sent out. So, Superduperman99, Mr.Kelsey, and Shawn Welker, please e-mail me your address at matt-pederson(AT)hotmail(DOT)com and I will get them sent out soon.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Just the Hits, Ma'am - 2 Boxes of 11-12 Contenders

A couple of weeks ago, I picked up 2 boxes of Panini Contenders cards, just to see what was in there. I've always liked the base card design, and with a three-hit guarantee, I figured it was worth a look.

At 100 cards, 2 boxes should get you pretty close to the base set, if not getting you all the way. I was four cards away. There are also a few inserts, all serial numbered, but you don't get overloaded, which is a good thing. The title of most of these hits are either "Calder Contenders" or "cup Contenders." Despite the fact that, let's be honest, a lot of these rookies might not play more than a season in the NHL, much less "contend" for the Calder Trophy their rookie season, I know what they're getting at, so I can forgive it.

Anyway, let's get to the goods!!!

The big hit was an on-card auto of Avs left winger Gabriel Landeskog, who not only "contended" for the Calder, but WON the damn thing! (The Calder, for those of you who are hockey illiterate, is the NHL's rookie of the year award) I pulled this before the award was announced and I love when hits you pull actually get better as time goes on. Usually it goes the other way around.

Each box seemed to have one big hit, which is lucky, because I'm sure not all boxes of Contenders are built that way. Next down the line was a SWEET looking autographed patch card of Roman Horak from the Calgary Flames. He hasn't been making too many waves, but these cards are doing EXTREMELY well on the secondary market. Most seem to go in the $30 range, which is pretty good for a guy who hasn't done  a whole lot quite yet. Plus, the 100/100 ebay-1-of-1-ness should add a couple of bucks, right?

The next four cards are the obligatory "blah" hits. I pulled autos of Calvin De Haan and Slava Voynov from the Calder Contenders set, serial numbered to 800 and Marcus Kruger and Cody Eakin from the NHL Ink set. Not the biggest names you'll find, but I will say this, all six autos I pulled......on-card autos. There has to be something positive to say about that.

Here's what I pulled from the serial numbered insert. From Cup Contenders, I pulled James Neal and two Patrice Bergerons, all /999. From Calder Contenders, there was a super-thick version serial numbered to 100 of David Ullstrom, and the regualar version serial numbered to 999, of which I got Ben Holmstron and Patrick Maroon. Finally, I also found a Contenders Legacies /999 of Bryan Trottier and a foil parallel /100 of Ray Whitney.

Overall, I was very happy with my two boxes. Of course, a big part of it was pulling two pretty awesome hits, but still. The base set looks nice, and by not overloading the inserts (are you listening, Topps?) it makes the few you get pretty special.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

11-12 Panini Past & Present Box Break & Review

I'll start off by saying I'm not a huge basketball fan, but I do, every so often, decide that I need to at least maintain my b-ball collection. With all of the fuss surrounding Panini's Past & Presents product, I figured I'd give a box a shot and see that I came up with.

First of all, the hits.

Hassan Whiteside Jersey
Never heard of him, but I like the large jersey swatch. Most products to for a square, but there's something striking about a longer solid piece of fabric that really grabs your attention. Maybe that's just me.

Autos: Avery Johnson & Lawrence Funderburke
Another Sacramento Kings hit. Whatever. The Avery Johnson one is cool, though. He's really making a name for himself as a coach and had a respectable career as a player.  I like the idea of this auto set, though, which basically puts together autographs of players who haven't really had any auto cards in recent (or any) sets. It reminds me of Topps Archives baseball. Actually, a lot of this set reminds me of Topps Archives baseball.

Redemption: 2011 Draft Pick Auto Redemption
My fourth hit is a redemption for an autographed card of a player from the 2011 draft. Due to licensing restrictions from the lockout, there aren't any rookie cards issued for this year, so they are skirting around that by producing those cards at the beginning of the next NBA season. Could be Kyrie Irving. Could be Jonas Valanciunas. 

For the base set, there are four different designs, paying tribute to current and former players. I'm not sure if these are old designs or not, but I do like the fact that two of the designs are for current players, exclusively, and two of the designs are for retired players, exclusively.

There were also some interesting inserts including the "Bread" die cuts. I'm not sure of the story behind these, but here's a look at the Bread for Energy, Bread for Health, and Bread for Life cards that I pulled.

And here's a look at the remaining inserts:

Breakou: Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Derrick Favors, Serge Ibaka

Changing Time: Lenny Wilkens, Monta Ellis, Connie Hawkins, George Gervin

Firework: Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo

Raining 3s: Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson

Like I said earlier, I'm not the biggest basketball fan, but this was simply a fun product to open. There were great players, some REALLY cool looking inserts, and some really nice hits. If you're in the market for some basketball cards, I would DEFINITELY give Past & Presents a shot.

I'm holding on to the rookie auto redemption for now, as well as the Griffin and Durant, but everything else is up for trade. If anyone is interested in any of these cards, let me know.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I Almost Forgot: Reggie Jackson Group Break Pimpin' Giveaway.

Sorry for neglecting it in my last post, but I did promise to random off a Reggie Jackson Bat Card from Panini Century Collection to any participant who advertised my group break. The five who had plugged the break on their blogs or facebook pages are: BA Benny, Dan, Baseball Dad, WickedOrtega, and Shawn Welker. After putting the five names in the ramdomizer (at and clicking "randomize" three times, the winner is.......

List Randomizer

There were 5 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. WickedOrtega
  2. BA Benny
  3. Baseball Dad
  4. Shawn Welker
  5. Dan
Timestamp: 2012-06-21 02:30:27 UTC

Congratulations to WickedOrtega. The card will be concluded in your group break package.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Best of 2012 Topps (So Far) Group Break - Part 5: 2012 Gypsy Queen

Here we are with the conclusion of our box break. I hope you have enjoyed it so far, and have been satisfied with what we have pulled.

Like I said with the first posting, I will be opening both boxes of Gypsy Queen. Since I purchased them from Atlanta Sports cards, utilizing the sponsorship discount, I felt that it would be dishonest of me to not use it for that purpose, even though I hadn't sold all of the teams.

I had intended on splitting the two boxes up into two days worth of posts, but I ended up mixing the single cards together before scanning them in, so I decided to join the videos and scans together for one giant post.

I won't spoil anything, but these prove to be the best two boxes of the break, so let's get things going!

SP Variations: Joe DiMaggio, Curtis Granderson, Roberto Clemente, CC Sabathia, Stephen Strasburg, David Freese, Ryan Braun, Mickey Mantle, Carlos Gonzalez, Matt Moore, Miguel Cabrera, Mariano Rivera

Glove Stories: Ben Revere, Endy Chavez, Dewayne Wise, Ken Griffey Jr., Jeff Francoeur (x2), Josh Hamilton (x2)

Moonshots: Albert Pujols (x2), Albert Belle, Frank Robinson (x2), Evan Longoria, Jim Thome (x2), Frank Thomas, Prince Fielder (x2), Nelson Cruz, Reggie Jackson, Ryan Howard, Willie McCovey, Ralph Kiner

Sliding Stars: Dee Gordon (x2), Ian Kinsler (x2), Jose Reyes (x2), Jemille Weeks (x2), Matt Kemp (x2), Ryan Braun (x2), Starlin Castro (x2), Elvis Andrus, Nyjer Morgan

Mini:Mariano Rivera, Derek Holland, Matt Kemp, Ben Zobrist, Phil Hughes, Jason Heyward, Matt Garza, Bud Norris, Bobby Abreu, Jacoby Ellsbury, Roy Oswalt, Brandon McCarthy, Dee Gordon, Josh Reddick, Joe DiMaggio, Mike Moustakas, Jemile Weeks, Howie Kendrick, CC Sabathia, Cal Ripken Jr., Prince Fielder, Rod Carew, Tim Lincecum, Ryne Sandberg

SP Mini Variation: Alex Avila, Josh Hamilton, Tommy Hanson, Ichiro, Jeremy Hellickson, Josh Johnson, CC Sabathia, Mickey Mantle, David Wright, Ian Kennedy, Jered Weaver, Ken Griffey Jr., Wade Boggs, Evan Longoria

Red Back:Ryan Zimmerman, Justin Upton, Mike Carp, Josh Beckett, Max Scherzer, Brennan Boesch, Ubaldo Jimenez, Elvis Andrus

Straight Cut: Craig Kimbrel, Ricky Nolasco, Rickie Weeks, Albert Belle, John Axford, Cameron Maybin, Colby Rasmus, Luis Aparicio

Sepia Tone /99: Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Cain
Green Border: Juan Nicasio, Sergio Santos
Black Border: Mark Reynols, Ryan Lavarnway, Yovani Gallardo, Alcides Escobar

Glove Stories Mini: Trayvon Robinson, Ben Revere
Moonshots Mini: Josh Hamilton, Babe Ruth
Sliding Stars Mini: Derek Jeter, Starlin Castro

Blue Border /599: Robinson Cano, Matt Kemp, Jacoby Ellsbury

Full-Size Relic: Steve Garvey, Brian McCann
Mini Relic: Andrew McCutchen, Tim Hudson

Autos: John Smoltz, Daniel Hudson, Jordan Zimmerman, Marlon Byrd

And last but not least, the big hit of the break:

Adrian Beltre Black Border 1/1

Congrats to the Rangers for the big hit. Even though it wasn't a Yu Darvish auto, I'm sure it's a nice consolation.

Congrats also to the Braves, who had the most hits with FOUR!!! We had these three from Gypsy Queen and the Randall Delgado auto from Series 2.

Well, I hope everyone had a good time. Give me a few days to get these cards sorted out. With all the time it has taken to record, upload, scan, and write, I still haven't had the time to sort the teams out. I hope to have them out by the weekend, but I will certainly keep you all updated.