Tuesday, February 24, 2015

6th card for my 1998 Topps Chrome Refractor set comes in

Here's card # 6 out of 165 cards that I need to complete what I think is an iconic set. I really like how the base cards and the veteran cards are easily identifiable by the side bar (rookies get a wave in the name bar and vets get the curved name-bar as you see above.) This set will take quite a while complete as I'm waiting to get a card in the mail before I bid on the next. Right now I'm knocking out the cheapest ones to allow my funds to build up enough to get the higher dollar cards like the Manning and the Moss. Keeping in mind that these cards came 2 per box I've already gotten the equivalent of 3 boxes worth of these refractors. Westbrook is shown as a second year player here. He was a pretty good rookie as evidenced by being included in such a small set but went on to only have a short career (5 years) before injury or some other factor forced him out of the NFL. Unfortunately Google isn't too much help on what happened to him but this card pictures him as a young star on a Lions team that was pretty decent at the time.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Working through the 2014 Contenders base set

    Today's card is a cool looking 2nd year card of Eddie Lacy. With rabid Packers fans everywhere and this dynamic shot, despite the fact that base cards are rapidly losing their place within the collecting world, this is a pretty cool card to own. With the release of Immaculate this week (1 base card per pack at 375.00) Panini has made come big strides in catching up to Topps and Upper Deck. I initially believed that they would tank hard but it looks like they have finally gotten their collective shit together and started making some really cool cards. The hat cards, nike swoosh cards and locker sticker cards are some of the most colorful and collective pieces I've seen from any company so I'm starting to get my hopes up. The only complaint I have so far is guys who have opened boxes and gotten a 150 point card as one of the hits. To put this in perspective, the redemption store doesn't really have any cards that I would want, this goes all the way to the top item possible. To get any points then is pretty bad because any desirable cards that get put up are snatched up, leaving autographs of undrafted scrubs and has-beens. You have to pay for shipping on top of that. My feeling is that the store will get better with time (We can only hope) and this program will become more widely accepted.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Been a little while but here's today's posting.

Today's card is nothing special, just a base card from the 2014 Contenders that I bought a couple of weeks ago. I do rather like the design on these cards. I even like the large writing for the "SEASON TICKET" even though usually this would be a design no-no, in this particular instance I think it works well. The faded logo in the background looks perfect; couple that withe the flag type pattern and gradient and to me this is a home-run of a design. I think there may be hope for our friends at Panini after all. We had better hope so because in 2016 we may have to rely on all of their brands or just buy vintage. I hear that many people say they won't buy wax when Panini has the sole license but I think many of these collectors are full of it. We'll see what happens at that point but I really don't think wax sales will suffer all that much. Keep putting out cards like this and we won't have to worry about it! 

Monday, February 2, 2015

The hits from my 2014 Contenders box break.

This weekend I decided to open up a box of 2014 Contenders. Here's my review. The fun factor was not as high as some brands like Topps Chrome or other brands where the inserts really stand out. I thought the inserts were rather ugly and or pointless. I did enjoy the base cards. They are a bit thin as Panini likes to do, I think a thicker card stock would have given these a more premium feel to them. 

The inserts, as I said are poorly designed with gigantic letters gracing the front of the card. The parallel autographs are more than a little confusing this year. There are variations and then parallels of variations. All of this is the same tired stuff that Panini has been trotting out the last couple of years. I did enjoy the "Round Numbers" autograph and this was the best card out of the box although I can hardly say that value wise it "saved" the box. I was one of the few buyers that got a mediocre to bad box. I even got a redemption as one of my main hits which annoys me to no end. I already have one open from 2011 that they refuse to answer emails on. We'll see if I ever get this one back.

I understand you can't make your money back on every box but around 50.00 worth of value for a 134.00 box kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I struggle with disparity between the fun and risk reward aspect of opening wax and what I usually pull from boxes as I'm sure many collectors do. I don't sell my big hits though and only buy what I can afford so I wouldn't exactly call it an addiction at this point. Anyone else crack any contenders and if so what was your take on the box (case) or whatever you decided to open?