Monday, June 30, 2014

Danny Amendola Blue Wave refractor in the books!

Another sweet card came in the mail today, #38 Danny Amendola from the Patriots. While I'm enjoying this card I really didn't enjoy the horrific letdown this guy had for me when it came to fantasy football. The hype at the beginning of the season was that he'd fill in nicely for Welker being Brady's number one target. If I would have looked at the long-term stats I would have realized that he has a hard time staying on the field.

 I'm now down to needing 205 cards from this set (so 75 down) with this addition. I added a few more regular Topps Chrome RCs and base cards but from now on I'll just be documenting the cards needed to build this particular set as well as any autos or game used I add to my collection. Got a surprise basketball autographed rookie card coming in the mail. Had to jump on this because I got two cards for about the price of one so I'll just sell the other on Ebay and hopefully get a free card. That's the way to do it right? I'm sure you all know that buying lots is the way to go because most people don't want to take the time to sell on eBay, even if they are avid collectors.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

New cards in the mix. Going to 2 a day!

Here's 6 more cards I'm adding to my collection. We have 4 rookies here and 2 of the better Quarterbacks in the game today. I especially like the Manning. I've noticed that I always disliked him before because he always seemed to bounce the Broncos from the playoffs. Now he's on our team I can't help but enjoy the fact that one of the best ever is now in Denver. he's produced far better than what many critics including myself thought was possible.

I figure I've got so many cards waiting to be added I better step it up to a couple of cards a day. I may even be adding some cards from the other 3 sports in the future. I've got some really old cards from the mid nineties that I broke that somehow never made it as part of any sets and have been gathering dust. I really enjoy basketball and hockey (baseball not as much but it is fun going to games). Baseball is where I started out as a kid and I'll always love the 1987 wood bordered Topps set. I may end up breaking some other boxes from other sports in the future. It has been at least ten years since I've broken anything but football. If you look at basketball there are some cards that are worth so much more than anything but the highest order of football cards (like Walter Payton 1/1's jersey patch cards, Unitas hardsigned cards) can be purchased for about the same price as some of the top basketball high end rookies. There's really nothing that compares to Jordan auto jersey cards or Lebron James Exquisite rookies in football. May be time to check out some other boxes sometime soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

2 more Topps Chrome Base!

Two more cool cards go into the collection today! Unfortunately Darius Slay isn't one of the hottest players from last years draft as evidenced by this auction. If your 1/1 contenders printing plate auto is going for less than 50.00 it's safe to say that most of your rookies are going to only be worth 50 cents or so. Autos will be going for 1.00 to 2.00 plus shipping. Good action photography from the combine and as a set collector I value all cards pretty much equally unless we're talking about something truly extraordinary. The Smith card I like because I've had him on my fantasy team 2 out of the three years he's been playing. As far as truly great cards it's obviously great to pull an autographed hall of fame card out of a pack or to find a great lot on Ebay with those hidden gems that you can sometimes find. I've stuck to my plan of always having a blue wave refractor card in the works and this weekend I won another one. Should be here in a couple of days.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A few new cards including a Blue Wave refractor

Here are my last three days of additions folks! The Hakeem Nicks is a nice addition because it brings me up to 75 of 280 total Blue Wave Refractors that I need for my set. On the days that I don't have one of these guys in the mail I'm adding the Topps Chrome cards from a break I did earlier this year. I sort of enjoy the 1 card a day add because it allows me to really focus and appreciate each card I add to my collection. Interesting how free agency is so prevalent in today's NFL that 2 of the three players here are now on different teams (Nicks with the Colts, Chris Johnson "C2K" is now with the Jets). There are rumblings out of the Andre Johnson camp that he wants out of Houston and personally I can't say I blame him. What star in their 30's wants to wait out a rebuilding period? That being said, Houston was in the playoffs the year before so their glory days are not that far removed. Since personally I believe in being loyal I can't see the benefit of moving to a whole new team, a whole new system and possibly a no-better situation than before. If he went to a team that needed that missing piece (San Francisco would be a perfect fit for  Andre Johnson) he could get that coveted SuperBowl ring. It would take exactly the right team and circumstances for it to be worth it for him to leave. Today's players just don't seem to think about anyone but themselves and it has to be frustrating for die-hard Texans fans to hear about this.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Going back to the Topps Chrome Base cards for the last few days

All of my additions this week have been of the regular 2013 Topps Chrome base variety. My count on that set is up to 20. The base set happens to have more than the 220 cards that the Blue Wave Refractor set has and this is because the base set has variations. The A variety is more common than the B and this is seen sprinkled through the set not just among rookie but among star veterans like Arian Foster and Larry Fitzgerald.

Went up to Vail this weekend, would have loved to visit a card shop or show up there but they just don't have this to my knowledge. I passed some of my downtime at the hotel looking for deals on Ebay but with the slow connection I just stuck to reading when we weren't dining out or riding bikes. This is probably one of my favorite cities in the world because it has some of the best food you've ever tasted, the coolest buildings you've ever seen and some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. I'm going to try to get out there again in July and do some white water rafting.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A couple cool cards for the collection!

     A couple cool cards here. My JJ Watt  #159 came in the mail just 2 days after winning it so we've got another one of these in the books. The other one is a 1999 Topps Gold Label (I've added the black version but the regular one is pictured here). I think this was the most confusing parallel set of all time because many times the only thing that differs on these cards is the little logo (Topps Gold Label) at the top. The 1998 was even more difficult to discern. I have put together both of these base sets but for some reason I dumped all the parallels in a box and it has sat for just about 15 years. Going through your old box and pack breaks can be fun because you can forget about the pulls you made if you set the cards aside you don't need for sets like I did. I remember being really enamored with the Topps Gold label design because of the rainbow look, at the time this printing technology was pretty innovative. We were just starting to get away from the super thin and unattractive sets of the 80s and 90s. I think that 1999 really sparked it off as to what sets would become although one could make the case for 1998 being that year with the huge cards that came out of 1998 SP Authentic. I remember breaking a few packs that year hoping for a (don't laugh) Brian Griese RC. I obviously should have been wishing for a Peyton Manning RC but I think the best card I got was a Stephen Alexander RC nuumbered to 2000. Back then I believe these packs were going for around 20.00 apiece. This was at the very top of high end at the time and set the precedent for this hobby going out of the kid friendly prices and into the savvy investor/adult collector realm.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Alas, no more blue wave refractors....

Today's addition is just a regular old chrome card, #16 D.J. Hayden. I went through all my Blue wave refractors that I had and now it's time to add more box break cards to the collection. Thanks to my Topps Five Star break I'm a bit short on cash for the collection so I have a method that will net me more cards for my Blue wave set that won't break the bank. I'll bid on the cheapest card possible that I don't have, wait for it to get to me in the mail, rinse and repeat. This means I'll probably get about 3-5 cards a month for that set and the rest of the time I can focus on adding cards that I bought earlier in the year. I've seen the previews for 2014 Score and while this is the first real product of the year I'm not impressed with the photos or the design so I'll pass on breaking any of this. Upper Deck doesn't look that impressive to me anymore either although there are a few nice subsets here and there. The Letterman are pretty cool cards and if you pull a Bridgewater, Manziel or Bortles you more than made up for the box cost. It's a pretty sick gamble otherwise and many smart collectors are saving their money for better products later on in the year.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Another Autograph for the Blue Wave Set!

Normally I don't get all excited over an autograph of an offensive lineman and you shouldn't either. I do like to get cards for my set that I could have easily overpaid for at their true value though. I think this one falls under that category. Last month I was thinking about hitting the BIN on a card just like this for 15.00 and free shipping. Seems fair for a card numbered to 50 AND hard signed, right? I also know that these cards will dry up the longer I wait. Luckily there are so many cards to chase of every top draft pick every year that Chiefs fans have far too many cards to worry about of Eric Fisher to really drive up the price on this. For that reason I waited a little bit and found one as an auction format ending for less than half of what I might have paid for it.

For all of you aspiring card dealers out there, this is precisely why BINS can be a good idea. You may have a collector like me who occasionally loses patience with the auction style and they may be willing to sacrifice getting the card at a cheaper price in favor of getting it now. I've gone this way in the past quite a few times, especially when I'm near the end of completing a set and I just want to put the final pieces into my collection. It has been a while since I've completed a lengthy and difficult set, the last one I did was the 2008 Spx football main set and it took me 4 years to do. For a while I was considering putting together the holy grail of football collections, the 1997 UD Legends autograph set. I realized with some cards coming in at over 800 dollars (the Walter Payton comes to mind) it probably just not doable right now.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Today we've got a couple outstanding on card autographs

Today is something my collection doesn't see often and that is two autographs in a row. I'm wondering if these two cards are essentially two case hits. I may have to get on You-Tube and see if I can find any case breaks to figure out if this is indeed how often you'll get the Blue Wave Autographed Refractors. There are some more rare autographs to be sure and with the type of configuration that Topps Chrome offers it may be difficult to say what the actual case hit is. There are so many varieties and parallels this year that it may just be in the eye of the beholder, that is unless one pulls one of the coveted SuperFractors. These are one of the most chased inserts out of all the sports that offer them. I know I'd love to see Topps Chrome get back into the Basketball products and I know I'm not alone in this. I think Hockey would also be a great sport to get licensing as well but these things are easier said than done. This year a Nathan McKinnon Auto Superfractor RC would have probably fetched more than a small car. It's a shame sometimes that contracts and money issues get in the way of card companies making something great. Has Panini improved vastly over the last few years? In some cases yes but competition just makes things better for your average joe collector like me.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ridiculous amount of Blue Wave Refractors added to the fold.

     Lots of cool cards I've added over the last week or so. A huge shout out to Mike's Stadium Sports Cards in Aurora, CO for getting me a good deal on all the Buffalo Bills cards. Mike got them off the internet for me, somehow at cost and kept them at the shop for me until I was able to pick them up. Kudos to brick and mortar shop owners cause they are few and far between these days. Mike runs lots of promotions, is heavy into social media (Constant Contact, Facebook) which you really have to do in these times or you just won't survive. He also runs trade nights/pizza nights/case breaks which are super fun and attract all collectors young and old. You get a good mix of folks on these nights anywhere from 8 year old kids to guys in their sixties.

    I now have all the base blue wave refractor cards from the Bills team. Most notable is the EJ Manuel who had quite a following throughout most of the year. Being the first QB selected in the draft helps your value regardless of your first year results. 

I've had good luck getting some autographed Blue waves in, I've got three now in hand that I'll show over the next few days. After that, the 2 months straight of a blue wave a day, alas, will be over. I will be on the hunt for some more good deals and in the mean time, showcase and finally add to my collection some of the cards I've gotten from box breaks and Ebay over the last couple of years that haven't been cataloged and organized yet.