Saturday, March 19, 2016

Card Company March Madness Finals!

I think we all knew who would be in this final match-up, the two current giants of the industry, the Goliath vs the Goliath.Top of Topps. See what I did there.

The first ever Card Company March Madness final will be Panini America vs Topps.

But, it almost didn't happen. Topps barely snuck by Upper Deck by a miracle last minute vote. Then had a four vote lead over SA-GE before narrowly escaping by one vote. Panini, had 90% of the vote early on vs Cryptozoic, but they upped their game and came back within 3 votes. It's been a crazy last couple of weeks with a few upsets along the way, but it's time to see who the real champion is now.

Oh and thanks to Cryptozoic and SA-GE for their participation in this March Madness and their near meet up in the finals. Will see you guys next year.

Just like in previous voting situations, go to the right of the blog, take a second and vote for who is the best card company of them all. And like I said from the beginning, make sure you are voting on a company who provides the best overall experience and not one that you simply like or dislike. Take everything into consideration. If on a mobile device, view the blog in web version to vote.

Thanks everyone for voting and let's see what happens in two days!

Shared Birthdays

March 19th just like any day comes around once a year, however it stands out above other days as it makes me another year older.

Yes, today is my birthday.

I am not sure what's going on today and what hopeful cardboard surprises I find, but I thought it would be fun to share to show a couple of athletes I share my birthday with. I also share my birthday with Glenn Close and Bruce Willis.

Up first is dominant Dodgers Pitcher, Clayton Kershaw who turns 28 today. Who has won 114 games and lost only 56.

 

Up next, comes a guy from my Giants, Ahmad Bradshaw who turns 30 today. Who has rushed for almost 5,000 yards in his career and closing in on 40 TD's. He is also a Super Bowl winning one as well. Not bad for a guy who was drafted in the 7th round.


And finally, Bills Backup QB EJ Manuel, who turns 26 today. Who has thrown for over 3,000 yards in his career and closing in on 20 passing TD's.
 photo IMG_5376_zps7ff21e73.jpg 
I don't think these are shabby names to share birthdays with.

So who do you guys share your birthday with? Athlete or famous person?

Mail Day Saturday:TTM Carrie Fisher Autograph

I feel like I am a bit out of the loop when it comes to doing TTM's (through the mail) anymore. One, I don't have the time to research addresses. Two, there are sooooooooooooo many I want that I am not sure who to send to first. Three, I don't have the resources for athletes/famous people to always sign other than a white filler card or an index card.

But, when I started seeing Carrie Fisher signing around the blogosphere recently, I said, why not try it seeing the great success rate.

So I grabbed my best Topps Star Wars card I didn't mind having a signature on and sent it in with a nice handwritten note and a SASE.

In a couple of weeks, boom, this arrived! Very nice signature.
 
The only problem with the autograph is, rumor has it that her mom, famous actress Debbie Reynolds, does the signings for her. Not that having an autograph of Debbie is something to complain about, but I would prefer Debbie be Debbie and Carrie be Carrie. If this was Debbie that signed it, wished she has signed it as herself. But, rumors are rumors and you just don't know. For now, I would like to think that Carrie signed it.

However, I would like to point out this was the return address......
 
 
What do you guys think of this? Carrie's? Debbies? Do you like autographs being signed by possibly someone else? Did you TTM Carrie Fisher?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Winner Of The 1/1 Sketch Card

Another good turnout for this Cryptozoic contest. I wished I had another one ready to go but maybe again in the future. But, please take a second out to thank Cryptozoic for their generosity.

Time for the winners and there will be two. Top one on the random gets the sketch card and second one gets some inserts.....

There were 16 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. defgav
  2. B money
  3. Corky
  4. Tracy LeVeaux
  5. Trevor P
  6. Ozsportsfan
  7. Mike Zink
  8. Jon
  9. Matthew Scott
  10. Barry
  11. George G.
  12. Roland Wake
  13. RAZ
  14. Mike
  15. Bryan McCarter
  16. Scott N.
Timestamp: 2016-03-18 13:06:13 UTC, IP: 72.169.81.101
You have randomized this list 7 times.

Congrats to defgav and B money. Defgav, you take home the 1/1 sketch card and B money you get some inserts. Please email me at sportcardcollectors@hotmail.com with your addy and the subject line, Hobbit. You will have 24 hours from now to claim your prize.

Thanks to everyone who entered and STAY TUNED for another GIVEAWAY next week to celebrate 4 years of Sport Card Collectors!

REVIEW:2015-2016 Panini Gold Standard Basketball

For only the second time in my collecting career, I had the opportunity to bust a box of Gold Standard. My first time of opening it, went extremely well. This time...well...eh...you will see.
In every box of 2015-2016 Panini Gold Standard Basketball there is 1 Pack Per Box with 7 Cards Per Pack that includes1 Rookie Jersey Autograph card and 2 additional autograph or memorabilia cards. Boxes run about $150 per. So it's high end.

Every box should come with three numbered base cards. They are numbered to 299. I personally think the base cards look great and I have no complaints on the design. The gold foil shine with color player photo and team logo in the back stand out. However, My player selection was a bit weak.
Along with the base cards, you will also find one parallel per box. Mine was of the great Gary Payton and is numbered to 79. The card is embossed and has a superfractor appeal.
Now onto the hits.

My first autograph is a Mother Lode of Dontas Motiejunas from the Rockets. This guy hasn't played in the NBA much and has spent a lot of his career overseas after being drafted by the Timberwolves then traded to Houston. It's disappointing to find this type of player in a high-end product.

At least the design is nice and sticks with the gold theme throughout the product.
My next find was a Gold Scripts autograph of another Houston Rocket, this time an upgrade in Calvin Murphy. This Hall of Famers autograph is numbered to 99. I must also make note he has a pretty nice signature.
My final hit involves a player from one of my least favorite NBA teams and my favorite college one, Justise Winslow of the Miami Heat/Duke Bluedevils.
Winslow was the 10th overall pick in the draft but hasn't quiet found his way in the NBA yet. His season high in points was actually done this week against the Pacers and that was for 20. Justise is getting there, just taking time.
The design of these rookie autos is familiar to one I had seen in a football product, I am thinking Absolute, but is well done and balances nicely when it comes to layout. I must note the autograph is also on-card and that the card is numbered to 99.

You will find one of these rookie autographs per box.
 
Overall, I am a bit disappointed compared to the only other box of Gold Standard I had opened. It felt very lackluster for a product that costs as much as it does for this few amount of cards. I know every box can't drop a Kevin Durant or Kobe Bryant autograph, but there has got to be a balance somewhere. Pulling a Dontas Motiejunas auto is a bit scary in a product like this.
The product when it comes to just looks, top notch. Cards are golden and are printed on nice card stock. Rookie autos are on-card so that should make many happy. Other than value vs cost I couldn't find much wrong with it.

So in my opinion, if you like to roll the dice, it's a great product and has a ton of sweet cards you could pull. If you are one to be more focused on getting your money back every time, I would hesitate. Gold Standard has a lot to offer, it's just landing the right box. 
For further details and gallery, check out Panini's blog, HERE. 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Art Of Odell Beckham Jr

I follow many artists on Twitter for a variety of reasons, but it's mostly to view their work because each of them is unique in their own way. One of the ones I follow is @daringsharpe and his sports art and design work is really impressive and beautiful. He makes players look so life-like and adds amazing blends of colors that the picture grabs you and won't let you go.

He recently hosted a print contest for the one and only, Odell Beckham Jr. How could I not enter it???

I mean, look at it.....
Yeah, you can stop drooling now. 

Luckily a few days later I came out on top and was the random winner! What a perfect fit for my man cave with the other Giants stuff I own.

A big thanks to Matthew Sharpe for the sports print as it looks great on my wall.

What do you guys think of sports art? Do you collect it? Do you own any? What's the best piece you have? Let me hear ya in comments!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Final Four (Companies)

And then there was four.

We started out last week with nine card companies. Most of the match-ups were pretty even and came down to the last day, now it's down to the Final Four to see who can move onto the March Madness Card Company championship.

This is who is squaring off til Saturday:

Cardboard Division
Topps vs SA-GE
(my prediction has Topps slamming home a huge win here)

And

Acetate Division
Cryptozoic vs Panini America
(my prediction has this one very close, but Panini sneaking out with a win. However, I wouldn't be surprised if Cryptozoic pulls off the upset.)

The polls start tonight and will end on Saturday. Good luck to the companies remaining. Please take a second out to vote because you know what happens when you don't, the wrong ones win.. Polls can be found on the right side of the blog and if using a mobile device, please view the blog in web version to see the polls to vote on.

Any predictions from you guys on who is heading to the finals????

Uniform Versus:Florida/Miami Marlins

I have always had a soft spot for the Marlins. I don't know what it is about them. Maybe it's because I like newer franchises in sports or maybe it's having grown up in the 90's but whatever the reason, I find myself rooting them on in the National League. One of the greatest things I will always remember about the Marlins was their first World Series win over the Indians in 1997. I do however like to ignore their 2003 victory over my Yanks.

So today, I wanted to take a look at their uniform change that took place in the fall of 2011. Yes, they are no longer the Florida Marlins as they are now the Miami Marlins, but it's still the same franchise.

Here is the uniform they played with from 1993-2011. Not too shabby and the logo wasn't the worst...

 
I will have to say the Miami change brought the uniform more to life in my opinion. The logo is a huge upgrade and full of color. The black, red-orange, yellow, blue, white combo of their uniforms stand out much more than the black, white, and teal. I believe when these first hit the market for customers to buy, they were a huge hit.
Comparing the two cards I posted, I think the new uni's look a bit nicer on cardboard. But, since I had a soft spot already for the Marlins, the change doesn't affect my collecting too much. I do think the Miami colors make better jersey/patch cards but I am fine either way in terms of chasing relics.

So what do you guys think? Upgrade? Downgrade? Or are you fine with either uniform?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Frozen Dinners+Cards

You ever have those moments when you are in a grocery store and just want something quick to eat? Well, if you are like me, you hit up the frozen aisle for a quick meal.

Upon searching the aisle, I stumbled upon this....


Yes, it's a kids meal. But, it says some key words on the front, FREE CARD INSIDE. So being hungry and a card collector, I was sold.
 
I purchased the meal and brought it home excited like a child would be. Despite it being a kids meal and Battlecast, I was still happy that I would fill some of my hunger need and I would also get myself a FREE card. The meal also provided me the opportunity to post about it today because it got me to thinking, what would happen if Panini, Topps and Upper Deck did this?


Can you imagine the children they could reach? They may not grab the meal for the free card like us card collectors would, but, if the card companies were to put an all-star caliber player inside the box sort of like cereal boxes of the 90's, a kid might make a connection to it after they open it. If they can make a connection, you never know where that may lead.
 
For those players I mentioned to put in a product like this, I would recommend big names that you see EVERYWHERE. The ones kids see on TV, SportsCenter, product advertisements and commercials and even on Nickelodeon. You know, LeBron James, Derek Jeter, Peyton Manning, and even Russell Wilson. Players they can be excited about and maybe even brag or trade with their friends.

Of course, if the food companies started putting these free cards into Hungry Man meals, they may add to their sales as well. At least from me.
 
I have always seen food as a HUGE target combo with sports cards. Everyone has to eat and nothing is more exciting to a child then getting a special meal like one of these dinners or food from a fast food joint. It's rewarding to them and gives parents a night off from cooking. Double win. Add sport cards, triple win.

So to me, Battlecast made a great move here in promoting their product and I think sport cards would integrate just as well if done right or at least attempted.

Oh, in case you were wondering what card I pulled from the package, here it is. I am not familiar with Battlecast, but seems Pokemon-ish.
 
 
So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think card companies should try this approach? What other food products, not cereal, do you think they could target that would be popular to kids (I would recommend Lunchables)?

Monday, March 14, 2016

March Madness Card Companies Round 1 CONT. (Winners Revealed!)

It was a weekend of epic match-ups for Part 1 of Round 1. It had Topps vs Upper Deck and Cryptozoic vs Leaf and both match-ups came down to the final day. There were four teams but only two could advance.....those two teams both won by one vote.....congrats to....

TOPPS AND CRYPTOZOIC!!

So long to Upper Deck and Leaf. Thanks for participating and good luck next year as Topps and Cryptozoic move onto the next round. Who will they face? Well, that is what today's voting that ends on Wednesday is about.

Here are the match-ups.

Cardboard Division
Benchwarmers vs SA-GE

Acetate Division
Rittenhouse vs Panini America

Good luck to these four teams and please remember to vote. Takes just a second. Polls can be found on the right side of the blog. To vote on a mobile device, you will need to view the blog in web version.

Feel free to make predictions on these match-ups below!

Triple Mail Day Threat!

Saturday was my only mail day of last week and it came packing with goodies!

Up first, one of my favorite mail days, a Grady M one. These boxes have so much great stuff and variety. I will be breaking down what I got inside soon! Unlike past mail days from him, I will try to sum up what I got in two parts instead of seven.

 
Up next, I was a bit surprised to find a PWE in my mail box from @JGfan24ever as I wasn't expecting one. Inside, I found two NEW Odell Beckhams for my PC. Thanks Michael again for your generosity.



 
My final mail day came from @TopShelfBreaks and one of their Gold Mystery Dynamix Boxes that I had won an RT contest of on Twitter. Thanks again guys! I am a big fan of Panini's promo cards and Cracked Ice. As for Graded Cards, this is one of the very few I own now.

 
The card is also limited to 25.
 
Can't complain about this kinda mail day.. Thanks to all parties involved!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Round 1 Reminder (Topps,Upper Deck,Leaf,Cryptozoic)

Don't forget to vote for your favorite card company. Voting is soooooo close so far for Round 1!

Topps leads Upper Deck by 2
Leaf leads Cryptozoic by 1

Voting for this round ends tomorrow.

Right side of the blog is where you vote, takes a second! If on a mobile device, view it in web version to see the polls.

Winners Of The SOA /10 Giveaway

Well, I gotta admit, I was a bit surprised that ONLY 8 people entered a contest for a limited numbered card. These sell for more than some of the autographs and wardrobe cards on eBay so I thought I was upping the ante, guess not. But, this just gives everyone a 1:8 chance of winning. Because we had such little turnout, I will only be choosing two winners.

So here is how the random went:

There were 8 items in your list. Here they are in random order:
  1. Mike
  2. Scott N.
  3. Matthew Scott
  4. RAZ
  5. @IronMan1833
  6. GRADY M.
  7. Matthew Chrisman
  8. mary
Timestamp: 2016-03-13 12:07:30 UTC, IP: 72.169.80.247
You have randomized this list 7 times.

Congrats to our winners! The top two names take home prizes!

Mike, Scott N, please email me at sportcardcollectors@hotmail.com with your addresses and the subject line, SOA. Mike, you take home the 9/10 numbered card and Scott N you take home some inserts.

YOU HAVE 24 HOURS TO CLAIM OR WILL BE GIVEN AWAY IN THE FUTURE

Don't forget to enter my new contest for a 1/1 sketch card! Enter, HERE.

REVIEW:Cryptozoic's Hobbit The Battle Of The Five Armies (1/1 GIVEAWAY!!)

The third and final installment of The Hobbit series comes to not only a finale on the big screen, but to trading cards as well. I think Cryptozoic did a great job capturing all of it.

In every box of The Hobbit, you will find 24 packs with 5 cards per pack. Each box has 1 autograph and boxes will run you about $85. 

The base set is built of 90 cards. That's a big set for Cryptozoic. The cards are full color screen grabs capturing all of the big moments of the film and some closeups. Whether its Bilbo and the Dwarves watching Smaug setting the Laketown ablaze or Bard the Bowman breaking out of prison and Smaug with the black arrow or when Bard and Thranduil's armies gather at the gates of Erebor, offering to trade the Arkenstone for the white gems and gold or when Thorin nearly kills Bilbo because of his betrayal.

The inserts are really classic and fit the theme of the product throughout. Rainbow foil board Character Biography falls 1:12 packs such examples as the Bolg and Bilbo Baggins. The Portraits, top left card, fall 1:48 packs so nice pull there.

Weapons chase set, the Orc, fall 1:4 packs. Silver foil board variant of Base and Weapons chase fall 1:6 packs

Canvas variant of Base and Weapons chase fall 1:24 packs and this one is numbered to 75.

Once again, Cryptomium, think Topps Superchrome technology and love the name too, makes an appearance as a Smaug puzzle chase set 1:24 packs that comes in three piece puzzle.

My autograph from the box was Luke Evans who played Bard The Bowman. These fall one per box.

The product is loaded with autograph signers including the director:
Peter Jackson, Director
Ken Stott as Balin the Dwarf
John Tui as Bolg
Jed Brophy as Nori the Dwarf
Lee Pace as Thranduil
Howard Shore, Composer
William Kircher as Bifur the Dwarf
Stephen Hunter as Bombur the Dwarf
Graham McTavish as Dwalin the Dwarf
Peter Hambleton as Gloin the Dwarf
Aidan Turner as Kili the Dwarf
Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield
Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman
Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel
Mark Hadlow as Dori the Dwarf
John Callen as Oin the Dwarf
John Bell as Bain son of Bard
Adam Brown as Ori the Dwarf
Mary Nesbitt as Tilda
Peggy Nesbitt as Sigrid
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins
Ryan Gage as Alfrid
Sir Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins
James Nesbitt as Bofur the Dwarf
Manu Bennett as Azog
Then my box also had an extra surprise, a sketch/fine art card that falls 1:72 packs. Beautiful one at that.

Back of the card with artist signature
The only disappointment with the card is that the bottom corner had a very slight, probably unnoticeable to most but one with OCD like me, roundedness. If you look at the corner on the right I think you can see it. I would guess during transferring from sketch artist to Cryptozoic that may have happened. But, it's only a guess. It doesn't take away from the card though and that's why I am giving it away!
 
My overall thoughts were that it was a fun product to open. The price is a bit steep for a one hit product as I would have liked to have seen wardrobe addition as well or an extra autograph. But, other than that, inserts look great, and surprises like the sketch card and others such as Lenticular Posters chase set at 1:144 packs, Printing Plates 1:398 packs and redemptions for Oversized Autograph Cards (1:17,280 packs), could be around any corner!
Now onto the contest portion of the review,
Here is how the prizes break down for this one.

1st place, 1st on the random list, will win the sketch card!!
2nd place, 2nd on the random list, will win a handful of inserts and a possible third place winner could as well.
Now onto the small writing and how to enter.
  1. MUST be a U.S. resident to enter. Shipping costs have gone haywire and I can't afford to ship everywhere. Sorry.
  2. Cards will be shipped PWE
  3. Random winners will be chosen after 7 randoms
  4. LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TELLING ME YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PRODUCT. Do you like it? What would you fix about it? What's your favorite part?
  5. Sport Card Collectors or it's owner (person who runs the blog), WILL NOT be held responsible for lost, stolen or damaged mail. Sorry had to add this in since someone tried to scam me once about this.
  6. Contest starts today, ends on Thursday, March 17th 2016. Winner will be announced in a separate post on Friday March 18th.
  7. Please make sure to thank Cryptozoic for their generosity and give them a follow on all social media sites. Please check out their website HERE as well for your trading card want and needs!
Good luck to everyone who enters!