Saturday, January 10, 2015

Breakin Wax: 1991-1992 Upper Deck Hockey Pack Break

Feels like Upper Deck hockey has been around forever, well, it has. With the recent news of Upper Deck locking down the NHL license all to themselves, I thought it would be fun to dig back in time and check out what the NHL has loved about Upper Deck hockey cards all of this time. Well, I know what I like about them. Do you agree...we will find out.

Every pack of 1991-1992 Upper Deck hockey comes with 12 cards per pack. There were chances at 3-D Award Winner Hologram cards and Hockey Heroes cards. Both of which I did pull but first you will have to check out the base card gallery.

Just like I recently mentioned about Upper Deck basketball cards, it's not every often you see UD use borders on their base cards. Seemed to be an early 90's thing. The one thing that separates UD from other companies no matter if they use border or not is the unique photo's they capture. It's almost like you are at the game. Just check it out for yourself.


Can't go wrong finding these three in a pack including my favorite in The Great One.

You gotta appreciate a good mullet.

For those of you who have been following my blog reads for awhile now, you know how much I dig this next card and for once my camera caught it at its greatest view.
Overall, pulling three star players including Gretzky, a Hockey Heroes of Brett Hull, and a pretty sweet hologram of Ray Bourque, I call this a really solid pack break.

90's Flashback:1993-1994 Stadium Club 1st Day Issue Brian Leetch

90's inserts. Some are bold and colorful, some are as simple as a small stamp. In any form, they are always fun to pull.

Here is one that I pulled from a pack lot at a yard sale I went to three years ago. It not only serves its purpose as a 90's PC item, but as a Rangers one as well.
 


Stadium Club 1st Issues were not easy pulls back in the day usually falling at a rate of one-per-box. Some of the better players such as Wayne Gretzky hold a premium price even in today's market and are tough to find.

I not only like the card for the two reasons above, but you have also got to appreciate the great crystal-clear photography as well.

Friday, January 9, 2015

I wANNA Build A Rainbow!

Skittles always claims that you wanna taste the rainbow, well, I wanna collect one.

For many years I have been pondering about putting together my first rainbow and which product to do it with. I finally have narrowed it down to Topps Chrome and Panini Prizm. Both of these products make spectacular looking parallels that are both eye catchy and look good in sheet pages. The next step was figuring out which player and year to do so of. So I did some eBay pricing on both Topps Chrome and Panini Prizm and began searching players off from the NY Giants and NY Yankees to attempt to find the best priced players I could build a rainbow of. I knew I couldn't ever afford a Derek Jeter or Eli Manning type rainbow, so my focus was on lesser to mid-tier players.

However, that didn't narrow my search enough with so many players to choose from on both teams and prices that were about even. I didn't know what to do next so I sat back and tried to think of another way to do this. Then it hit me...why don't I just see what I already have first, then the one that is started the most wins as long as it was affordable. Why didn't I think of this first?!?!?!

Well, after an hour of digging and more sorting, here is the winner....drumroll please....Mr. Dean Anna. Now, he is no longer playing for the Yankees as he was signed by the Cardinals in November, but to me, he is still a Yankee on this cardboard and in this rainbow.

This is not the greatest start with only three parallels as I believe there are roughly eleven variations to add. I might not bother with the SuperFractor because it would be outta my price range, but if I could get the other ten, I would call that a rainbow.

Well, here is the start:

Base Card:

Refractor:

X-factor:

Orange (retail only) refractor:
Hopefully I can continue to add to this and update you as I go along.

Wish me luck!

Breakin Wax: 1992-1993 Upper Deck Basketball Pack Break

Who remembers the joyful sound of opening Upper Deck NBA cards? It was the sound that made you realize that something special was about to happen.

I wanted to hear that sound again. So ripping a 1992-1993 pack was on the agenda.

In 1992-1993 Upper Deck basketball, there were 15 cards per pack. There were chances at Larry Bird Basketball Heroes inserts and Rookie Standout inserts.

In one of the rare times that Upper Deck used borders in their base card set, they still did a tremendous job of capturing the game with their amazing photography. Please also excuse some of my pics here, I didn't realize they came out so blurry.



I really like these All-Star game shots. They really capture the emotion.

Found three rookies in this pack as well. Nothing big, but for a rookie card collector like myself, any rookie is good.

This photo caught me off guard a little. I wasn't sure if he was getting ready to drive to the hoop or catch a deer in a field like a lion.
Overall, nothing big here. No Michael Jordans. No star players and no good rookies. But, it was just the magic of the base card photos that made it worth opening.

Breakin Wax: 2014 Upper Deck CFL Football Cards Box Break

Sometimes trying something new can be fun. When I saw that Upper Deck was releasing a CFL product I said hey, that sounds like a fun bust. So I was able to bust a hobby box. Here is how I did:


Every box of 2014 Upper Deck CFL has 24 packs. There are 6 cards per pack and two hits per box. Mine came with three. Boxes of this average just under $75. Most online stores DO NOT carry this product so you would most likely have to find it at the Upper Deck Store.

The checklist for this set is a variety of CFL and former NFL players such as Brandon Banks. Speaking of that, anyone remember Brandon Banks when he once played for the Washington Redskins? I do. Very fast guy. The base card design for the product is typical Upper Deck with minimal border and bold colorful action photos. It doesn't matter the sport, Upper Deck just knows how to make great base cards.


Star Rookies are a fun collectible add in this product. They are even a bit of a pull falling at a rate of 1:4. I like this idea. Helps make it fun for set chasers and adds value to the set. The design is similar to ones used in the past and works well with this product.

This Star Rookie below is of former outspoken Bengals WR Chad Johnson. Some people just don't know when it's time to retire.

O-Pee-Chee retro cards fall 1:3 packs.

Then the infamous UD Game Jerseys can be found in here as well. There are two hits per box. Most boxes have memorabilia cards I believe from what I have seen. At least they are game worn!

Bonus hit! Kinds cool!
Overall, the price point is a bit steep for the box value, but I like where Upper Deck is going with the CFL license. A lot of collectors, especially those up north, love the product and the opportunity to collect players from their favorite CFL teams. I like to collect former NFL players in it as it makes a unique add to a players collection.

I am interested to see where Upper Deck goes next with this. Can you imagine how great it would be to see an Sp Authentic CFL product? I bet it would take off...are you reading this Upper Deck? Hint, Hint.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Hobby This Week

It's been a rough week in the hobby, at least in my eyes.
First, we get the news of Press Pass closing their doors on Monday. Today, we get the news that Panini has gained exclusive access of the CLC license taking a big chunk of what Upper Deck does away.

Up until this point I have shrugged off things like this looking for the positive in the hobby, but for some reason it has got me to thinking tonight, does this mean the hobby is falling apart? Is it time for me to finally walk away after twenty-four years of collecting?

I can admit that this is the first time I have ever had these thoughts, but with the way this week has gone it  worries me a little about the hobbies future. Losing a company like Press Pass, yeah, they weren't a powerhouse, but they provided some amazing NASCAR products among other products and had been for twenty plus years. Now gone. This was a company I relied on getting the first football cards of the year from and the occasional NASCAR cards. Now I can't. No more of this amazingness:




Then you bring on the Panini news, don't get me wrong as I am a big Panini fan, but I am also a fan of variety and of Upper Deck. By grabbing that license away, that takes away some of my favorite go to football products like Spx, Sp Authentic (I like basketball for this one too), my NEW favorite Flair Showcase and flagship UD. You know, all of these:



I just know that Upper Deck won't be the same without some form of license as I have seen what unlicensed cards are like and this has me concerned about the future of the once hobby giant too. This kind of loss hits UD in many ways spread across many sports and products.

In closing, will what happened this week worry me enough to say I am done with the hobby right now, probably not. Does this make me more aware of things possibly to come, absolutely.  In the meantime I am going to continue on collecting like I have been and will have to adjust when the time comes.

How do you feel about the recent hobby news?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Breakin Wax: 2013 USA Football Hobby Box

USA football. This product is the Bowman baseball of football cards with untapped rookies with lots of potential waiting to be shown in a few years. In the 2012 USA product alone were stars from this past seasons College Football in Jameis Winston and Todd Gurley.

In every box of 2013 USA Football is 24 packs with 5 cards per pack, unlike the 2012 edition that came as a full set. There are also 6, yes I said 6, hits per box for only $50. It's a great deal especially for those prospectors.

The base card designs go as follows. They seem to fit the theme here which is a must for a product like this. A new add to this years set is Football Canada which seems a bit out of place for a USA themed product. But, it helped add more depth to the base set.


Team Canada has a yellow color to it's background as opposed to the bluish/white in the USA's.

There are also player trio cards in the base set for both Canada and USA.

Now onto the hits! You should get two-three of each memorabilia and autographed. You will also get a autographed patch card numbered to 49 or less which adds even more value to the break.

Future swatches! I must mention these are all GAME WORN!

Now the autographs. I found my box to be loaded! I call a trio autograph hit to be three autograph hits. I got three sets of three so technically it's nine hits to me. Love looking at some of their signatures as well. If any of these guys become big, it will be interesting to see if they improve on their autographs down the road.


AND A LITTLE BOOM here at the end. A sweet GAME WORN PATCH Gold Parallel WITH AN R numbered 5/5. It's too bad it had to be a defensive lineman, but I will take a nice looking card like this any day no matter the position.
Overall, great value. I won't know how much value til I see how these guys careers go. But, just by getting the six hits for $50 alone is worth it. Especially when you get nice looking autograph and game worn jersey cards.

There are a couple of things I would tweak a little but nothing too serious. One, add some form or insert/parallel to the product so you aren't busting base cards in 18 of the 24 packs in the box. Also, if you are going to add Canada to the product, think of a better name to serve both countries in the box.

Breakin Wax: 2014 Topps Heritage Baseball Pack

In this edition of Breakin Wax, I am breaking something newer thanks to my last CollectorCrate.

Topps Heritage is always one of those fun brands to break. I like the throwback feel and design of the base cards. The inserts are a little boring, except the chromed ones, but I still enjoy the product for what it is.


In each pack of 2014 Topps Heritage, barring you getting a hit, there are 9 cards per pack. 2014 sported the 1965 Topps design which I think looks better now than it did back then. I always appreciate the way Topps uses photos on this product as they are nothing like the other Topps products.

Now onto checking out this design and photography as here is what my 9-card pack yielded:

Not many big names in this pack other than Bautista and maybe Alexi Ramirez.

And my rookie from the pack. Nobody I know, but you just never know. Gonna file it away in the rookie PC.
Overall, other than a great design, nothing too spectacular here. No Yankee PC adds but at least a rookie PC was added.

Little Bit Of Everything Mail Day

Another awesome, but late shout out mail day. That's what I get for holding so much for the blog do-over.

So, time to show off the goods I received from @TheAdamTing from his Twitter Contest. Not only did he giveaway a sweet original lot, but he also covered all ends of my PC as well with bonus cards.

First up, some NY Giant adds. I really like the 1,000 Yard Club Cruz. Haven't ever seen one of those up close before. 

And of course I was a fan of this Randle add!

Now onto some Yankee adds including Jeter.


A couple Ken Griffey Jr's including his Donruss rookie.

Love this one!

He also included an unopened pack of 2013 Topps baseball that included four Yankee cards including the gold pictured. Guess he picked out the right pack.


Those were just the bonuses. Here was the original contest lot.

Big booklet fan.


And then this sweet rookie jersey card of Russell Wilson. I may be a Giants fan, but I have a lot of respect and am a big fan of what Wilson has done in the NFL so far. You gotta his hold his stuff. Already a Super Bowl champ with a lot left in him.

I just wanted to say sorry that it took me so long to get this posted @TheAdamTing. I just wanted to post it at the right time. Thanks again for this awesome mail day I really appreciated it!