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Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Little Bit of Patience Gets Me My Newest Crosby at a Fraction of the Original Price

When Panini Prime was released earlier this month, like many other hockey collectors, I was clamoring to boost my player collections with cards from the product. I was able to seriously strengthen my Sidney Crosby hits collection, or at least I will when the redemptions get filled, but I kind of stood in the background when it came to his base card from the set.

Luckily, I was patient. When first released, Crosby's base card, which is serial numbered /249, was going for anywhere between $10-$13 + $3-$4 shipping, which is way more than I really want to pay for a base card. After all, I can get a jersey card of his (albeit from a different set) for the same price, so why wouldn't I do that?

About a week ago, I stumbled on an auction for one of these cards that was minutes away from ending, and was still at a pretty low price. At close, the card only cost me $3.54 + $3 shipping. The card was mine, three weeks after release, and at about a quarter of the release date price.

Sometimes, people, patience pays off.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Great Deal On Some Goodwin Champions Relics

For some reason, jersey cards from Goodwin Champions usually go for DIRT CHEAP. It must be something about the brand. I remember getting 7 or 8 of them last year from one seller for under 20 bucks. Either way, a card is a card and a jersey card is a jersey card, so I'll take whatever great deals I can find.

My most recent group of Goodwin relics came from a single seller, and for the low total price of $6.98 + $6 shipping, I am now the proud owner of these SEVEN cards:

Sidney Crosby

Mario Lemieux, Ray Bourque

Mike Bossy, Dale Hawerchuk

Luc Robitaille, Annika Sorenstam

So, that's five hockey hall-of-famers and one player who is sure to go in when his playing days are done. Each and every one of these seven cards went for $.99, with the exception of Bourque, who was $1.04. A month or so ago, when this set was released, that Crosby alone would have cost me more than this entire lot.

I know that the Sorenstam seems out of place, but for a buck, I figured I'd pick it up and see if I could get anything in trade for it. Actually, I might be willing to part with any of the others (except for Crosby and Lemieux), so if you see anything you like, just shoot me an offer.

That just goes to show, if you wait for the right offer, you can really luck out on a great deal.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Group Break Loot From The Daily Dimwit

Most of my baseball card buying nowadays revolves around my participation in group breaks. I've already seen a majority of the products opened that are involved in these, but the most recent group break at The Daily Dimwit provided me with something new: a box of 2005 Topps Pristine Legends. 

Pristine Legends features five hits per box, plus a one-per-pack insertion of encased "uncirculated" cards. I wasn't fortunate enough to pull either of these, but I did receive a serial numbered Joe Carter (1868/1999) that featured him in his college uniform. These are great looking cards, which have a Topps Finest-like finish to them. I'd definitely recommend giving this product a shot if you've got some money to burn.

The other two boxes didn't give me much. I had the White Sox as my second team, which gave me a Michael Jordan card from 2007 Masterpieces.

2007 Artifacts didn't give me much of anything, though. The feeling went all around though, as I'm pretty sure Sam swore off this product for good after opening this box.

That's all for now. The Daily Dimwit runs group breaks like these every month or two, featuring a variety of different products, so go check him out and see what comes up next.

Monday, September 24, 2012

2011/12 Panini Prime Case Break Loot

I laid down some serious Paypal a couple of weeks ago on a case break of 2011-12 Panini Prime on Ebay. After waiting a day or two for the payments to all get in, and the breaker to record and post the video, I finally was able to determine how wise, or foolish, my investment was.

The video went along, for eight boxes, and I had pulled nothing more than two base cards, up until the VERY last card of the break, which turned out to be one of the best cards I have ever been lucky enough to pull out of a group break.

Despite being a redemption, I will soon be a proud owner of a Sidney Crosby Prime Signatures card. Now, this version is the Holo Silver variation, which is serial numbered to just five copies! This is exactly why collectors join breaks like this. I would never pony up the cash to purchase something with this rarity on the secondary market, but if you get lucky on a case break, these cards are well within your reach.

The only two other cards I got from the break were base cards of Mario Lemieux (63/249)...

and Kris Letang (34/249).

I guess that is always the risk with breaking high end product. You can hit it big, like I did, but the number of items you get back is usually few. Still, I was VERY happy with what I got out of this. I also bought into a case break of The Cup, which I got a big fat ZERO cards from. That was a shot to the gut, but sometimes you win big, and sometimes you lose big.

Dominion should be out later this week, and I'll likely be buying into a case break or two of that. Hopefully my Prime luck will cross over into that product, as well.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Yet Another Sidney Crosby Patch

I got my greedy little hands on yet another Sidney Crosby patch card. This one came from 2011/12 Pinnacle and is about as clean of a patch as you will be able to find with the space given on the card. It is serial numbered 18/30 and pays equal attention to the white of the jersey and the gold and black of the patch. There's not much else to say about it, so I'll just let the card speak for itself.

Be sure to wipe the drool off of your keyboard.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Panini Comes Through Big With Redemption Replacements

I know everyone hates redemptions, and I do, too, but every now and then, you can turn those negatives into positives, as evidenced by my most recent three redemption replacements from Panini. After breaking away from my typically-exclusive hockey & baseball buying habits and venturing into the world of football & basketball, I became the not-so-proud owner to three redemptions:

-2011 Limited Troy Aikman Material Monikers /30
-2011 Plates & Patches Von Miller Rookie Signatures /499
-2010 Black Box Vlade Divac Flag Patches /149

Now, I don't care whatsoever about Divac, and truthfully, I was hoping it wouldn't get filled, so that I could try my luck at a replacement that I would better enjoy. Miller was 2011's second overall draft pick. That card in 2012 would be Robert Griffin III. What a difference a year makes. The Aikman was the only one that worried me. You could give me almost anything for the other two and I'd be ok, but the Aikman is a low-serial-numbered autographed relic card of an NFL legend and that one could easily result in a disappointing replacement.

Last week, I called Panini's customer service department to get these three cards replaced. I wanted to speak to a person, so it took me a couple of tries, but I finally got through. I figured I'd go for broke, and try and not only get these cards replaced, but get them replaced with card for my personal collection. I asked the CSR if I could get them replaced with hockey cards of players for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the CSR said she couldn't guarantee anything, but would see what she could do.

Well, today that package arrived in the mail, and here's how Panini did.

2010 Black Box Vlade Divac Flag Patches /149 became:

2011/12 Limited Phenoms Silver Spotlight Joe Vitale 43/49

This is the rare parallel of the regular "patch" card which features the player's autograph on a piece of fabric near a team logo. The regular versions are numbered /299. The silver is not only more rare, but the auto is next to an alternate team logo, which is embroidered into the fabric. It's a great card, and the cool thing is, it's pretty much identical to the card originally redeemed, with both being on-fabric autographs. I definitely ended up getting the better card on this one. (Although it was funny hearing the CSR mispronounce the name on the original card as "Vlaid Divik")

2011 Plates & Patches Von Miller Rookie Signatures /499 became:

2011/12 Limited Select Signatures Ron Francis 20/49

First of all, as I said, what a difference a year makes, as one year later an autographed card of the #2 pick would have been RG3, not Von Miller. It also would have been immediately flipped on Ebay, not redeemed, hoping for a replacement. But looking at what I could have gotten, we have a mid-range serial number and a sticker auto. In return, I got a low-serial-numbered on-card auto of a hockey hall-of-famer who won two Stanley Cups with the Penguins, and ended his run FOURTH in career points (1,798) and SECOND in career assists (1,249). Of the three cards I received, this one ended up being the biggest leap forward, in my opinion, for quality and value.

2011 Limited Troy Aikman Material Monikers /30 became:

2011/12 Limited Private Signings Paul Coffey

This one I wasn't too sure about, until I did a little bit of research. Now as a Penguins fan, and a hockey fan in general, I love Paul Coffey. He won four Stanley Cups (one with Pittsburgh in 1991) and three Norris Trophies (league's top defenseman), was named to 14 All Star teams, was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2004, and holds the single-season record for goals by a defenseman (48 in 1985/86). Come to think of it, when you look at the numbers, Coffey really doesn't get the hobby love that he should. What made me unsure, though, was that I was going from an autographed card with a piece of fabric and a low serial number, to an autographed card with no memorabilia and no serial number. In doing research on these two cards, they seemed to be going for the same dollar amount on Ebay, which is good. Also, the Material Monikers cards are all sticker autos, whereas all of the Private Signings cards are on-card. But the real kicker here is the rarity. The Coffey is actually a variation of the "regular" Private Signings card, and the Penguins version is listed as an "XSP." I'm not entirely sure what this means for the rarity, but if the XSP is more rare than the "SSP," and the "SSP" is more rare than the "SP," then maybe the production is actually close to the 30 that my almost-Aikman had, just without a serial number. Either way, I'm VERY happy with the card.

What I discovered with this experience, is that sometime you win, and sometimes you lose. My last redemption replacement wasn't nearly as positive, and fellow blogger Scott S. at Sports Cards Ate My Brain had a negative replacement experience as well. The only thing I can recommend when getting a replacement is to call up Panini's customer service and speak to a person. It may take a few attempts to get past their answering machine (it took me 3), but be polite with the CSR and lead him or her in a specific direction as far as sport and team, and you might get lucky. It worked for me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Trade With Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle

I just recently completed a "Surprise Me" trade with Greg at Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle. The basic idea of the "Surprise Me," is that I first send you a bunch of cards. Then, you send me some cards in return. You don't tell me what is in there. I don't know what is in there. I had acquired a bunch of Ryan Getzlaf cards and was going to send them to him regardless, but this way I could get something in return. Anyway, here's what he sent:

Two Pittsburgh Penguins hits:
2010-11 Zenith Chris Kunitz
2011-12 Crown Royale James Neal


Other PC hits:
2005-06 Power Play Teemu Selanne
2011-12 Upper DEck Ryan Miller
2010-11 Pinnacle Ryan Malone 298/499
2011 Prestige Matt Schaub & Andre Johnson

Some Penguins & PC base & inserts
2010-11 Zenith Red Mario Lemieux
2010-11 Zenith Gifted Grinders Ryan Malone
2010-11 Zenith Ovechkin
07-08 Heroes & Prospects John Tavares
2010-11 Zenith Cal Clutterbuck, Mikko Koivu, & Niklas Backstrom

I also received the goods from a trade bait draft that he put on recently. The main reason I joined was due to the high number of hockey hits he had in the collection. I'll just show the hits, but I go SIX from hockey and three from other sports.

2011-12 Pinnacle Logan Couture
2010-11 Limited Anze Kopitar 82/99
2008-09 Champ's Drew Stafford
2010-11 Contenders Nick Leddy
2010-11 Limited Jonas Hiller & Curtis McElhinney 117/199
2007-08 Heroes & Prospects Peter Mueller

Baseball & Basketball:
2010 Allen & Ginter Ryan Braun
2010-11 Donruss Amar'e Stoudemire 57/399
2010-11 Donruss Chris Paul 77/299

I've updated my trade bait links on the right side of the page, so go check them out and let me know if you're interested in anything.

Thanks for a great trade, Greg. I'm sure we'll have more real soon.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Panini Redemption Replacements On the Way

I called in some replacement redempions from Panini yesterday. After a product has been released for a certain amount of time, and autographs still haven't been sent in, I start to wonder if these autos will ever come in.

I had three redemptions that passed the four-month barrier that Panini wants you to wait before requesting a replacement. Of those three, two were football, and one was basketball, and I wasn't particularly attached to any of them.

Here are the three redemptions:

-2011 Limited Troy Aikman Material Monikers /30
-2011 Plates & Patches Von Miller Rookie Signatures /499
-2010 Black Box Vlade Divac Flag Patches /149

The only one that worries me a little bit is the Aikman. It is a cool card of a great player, with a low serial number, a piece of jersey, and an autograph. I'm putting a lot of faith in them that they'll give me something good.

When I called them up to request the replacement, I figured I'd give it a shot and ask if I could get hockey cards as a replacement. The woman in customer service I spoke with that that wouldn't be a problem. I then had to see if I could go one step further and see if she could send me replacement cards of players from the Pittsburgh Penguins, to which she said she would see what she could do.

I hope to have these in hand next week. We'll see how Panini did.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Now I Am Happy As A Little Girl (Sidney Crosby Panini autos ready to ship out!)

Over the past couple of weeks, I have managed to get my hands on a couple of Sidney Crosby auto redemptions from Panini Prime. I knew I was taking a risk in acquiring these, since so far, Crosby had not returned his autos from ANY 2011-12 Panini Products.

However, yesterday I checked my Twitter feed (@Matt_Pederson) and my eyes beamed when I saw this:

Crosby's auto's from the yet-to-be-released Dominion set are in.

Now, there was no mention of Prime in this tweet, but worst case scenario, this at least let me know that he was getting them sent back in at some point in the (hopefully) near future.

Still, I figured I'd check just to see if Prime came into Panini headquarters, just so that I would know what to expect. I left tweets to The Panini account (@PaniniAmerica) and to Panini Marketing Manager Tracy Hackler (@TracyHackler), plus a comment on the Knights Lance post. After an almost immediate response from Panini's Twitter account saying that they were checking on it, I looked at the blog post later in the day to find this:

Those cards, one of which is a Silver parallel numbered to JUST FIVE COPIES will soon be mine. I can be patient, knowing that one SICK Crosby card will soon be in my hands. Oh, happy day!

Also, I know that Panini, just like any card companies, has its share of detractors, but I like the fact that if I have a question about a product, I can get in contact with one of the top brass within the company and have it personally answered that day. I'm sure that other companies have similar accessability, but customer service like this makes me a pretty loyal Panini hockey collector.

And don't worry. Once that card is in hand, I'll make sure that EVERYONE knows about it, hears about it, and sees it until they are sick of Crosby and sick of me.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Pretty Good Deal On A Sidney Crosby Dominion Relic

Timing is everything when it comes to Ebay. The best way to find the best deal possible, is simply to go for auctions that end in the early morning, as evidenced by the newest addition to my Sidney Crosby Collection (Base/Hits).

I got this All Decade jersey card from 2010-11 Panini Dominion, serial numbered 80/99. Most cards from this super-premium set fetch quite the high dollar amount, due to high demand and low supply.

This one?

$7.37 + $3 Shipping.

As they say, timing is everything.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Panini Prime Additions From Ebay (Including Another Crosby!!!)

I picked up a few Panini Prime cards from an Ebay seller. As most of my Ebay transactions go, I find just one card I like and then add a bunch of others to it to save on shipping. The ironic thing is that I always end up spending a TON more than I originally intend on, just to save a couple bucks on shipping. Oh well.

Here's what I got.

The main card, of course, was a Sidney Crosby Autographed Letter Patch /25. I purchased this card before pulling this bad boy out of a group break, but that's ok. At least they're different Crosby autos from Prime. The only bad thing is that just like most Sidney Crosby autographs from 2010-11, it is a redemption. Maybe the only silver lining to the possible lockout is that he'll have more time to sign his cards and send them back in.

I also picked up a Simon Despres/Jordan Staal card serial numbered 3/225. I'm still a fan of Staal, even after he was traded away, and Despres is one of the Penguins' brightest young stars, so this is a definite keeper for my Penguins collection.

I picked up this card of Brett Bullmer & Devin Setoguchi numbered 40/50, because one, the Wild is kind of my home team, and two, these are some sick looking jersey pieces.

This card of Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and Vincent Lecavalier numbered 1/150 is just a great looking card and I'm a fan of all three guys, even though I don't care at all about the Lightning.

This card of Bobby Ryan & Ryan Getzlaf numbered 189/225 will be heading over to Greg Zakwin at some point in the future, I'm sure.

Panini did a fantastic job with Prime this year. The cards look great, and they really made an effort to ensure that this would be a cool product. Job well done.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Commence Drooling: Panini Releases Photos Images of 2011-12 Dominion Cards

Earlier today, Panini released 70 images of some of the special and unique cards that will be found in their 2011-12 Dominion release. These are easily some of the coolest cards out there, and as a Sidney Crosby fan, cards that I will never own.

Anyway, here's a look at some of my favorites.

Commence drooling.

Trade With Play at the Plate

After busting open a box of 2012 Goodwin Champions, Brian from Play at the Plate contacted me about a couple of Military Machines insert cards that I pulled. I sent him those two cards, JUST TWO, and here's the bounty I found in my mailbox yesterday.

From Goodwin Champions, he sent 35 cards, including 3 SPs

From 2011 Heritage, there were 5 cards, including 3 SPs.

From 2012 Heritage, there were 10 Cards, including 3 SPs.

Lastly, he also threw in some retail-exclusive Cubs cards from 2012 Allen & Ginter. The Ernie Banks cards is from the Hallmark Heroes insert set, and the Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney cards are gold-bordered mini parallels.

This trade was an unexpected display of generosity from Brian. Thanks for a fantastic trade!