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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Another bulk card acquisition

The things in this picture may look familiar to ONE of you out there but to the rest, let me try to explain in the best way I know how...a long, drawn-out, brain drain of a blog post.

I have been on a strange kick these past couple years with my collecting.  I have had my ups and downs just like everyone out there but a couple years ago (or a year, I don't even remember anymore) I fell off my somewhat disciplined collecting wagon and bought a big collection.  It was what was left of two former dealers that had overextended themselves in the late 90s and early 2000s and simply couldn't hang on anymore.  Of course, they were both from Denver so I can't really say how much Broncos and Rockies stuff is in there (but it is A LOT!!!) but nonetheless, it increased my collection 20 fold.  I even attempted to start a blog just about that collection.  That part hasn't come to fruition.  Neither has the goal of unloading it within a year.

About 8 months ago, I picked up another, lesser collection from a guy trying to make some cash during a stint with unemployment.  I made him a decent offer and ended up on the receiving end of another (14) 3500 count boxes of stuff.  There is a ton of basketball stuff in these boxes from what I can tell.  Very few hockey cards, some football, and a decent amount of baseball; but TONS of basketball.  Since I don't follow the NBA, nor collect basketball cards, and basically lost interest after my "heroes" Barkley, Malone, Jordan, and Bird retired, I really have been unmotivated to sort through these.

Fast forward to about 6 months ago, same scenario (unemployment thing) only this time it was for a large, three-row shoebox (are they still called that?) full of hockey memorabilia and autograph cards (I take that back, all but one...there was a Mark Sanchez Rookie Jersey in there too).  Finally...HOCKEY STUFF!!  Again, this is all cardboard I didn't need but what fun it was to sort through? I found some rare Guerin and Jagr GU cards in there as well as some interesting cards from sets I never even knew existed.

April...I think...came another collection.  This time it was another dealer collection from a guy who only did shows and weekend swap meets.  A few years ago he decided to call it quits and started to dump everything.  That was, of course, in a bad financial time for lots of collectors and he couldn't get what he wanted for it.  So he hung on for a while until now when he found a buyer.  Then somehow I ended up with it through a third party transaction and the guy still didn't get what he wanted for it.  This collection is much more sorted and organized than the previous ones but there are also 20 Home Depot cardboard moving boxes (you know the 20x20x18 ones?) full of various sizes of individual count boxes...all marked, numbered, and apparently sorted.  I haven't even begun to pick this one apart yet.

Which brings me to the photo above (I might even be forgetting something in here too).  As many of you know, Voice Of The Collector, and co-host of the internet based Cardboard Connection Radio, Rob Bertrand put out an appeal to the blogging community not so long ago to help him cut his collection down so he could refocus on what he really wanted to go after.  I, being the "high roller" that I now appear to be, piped up on the hockey cards, we worked out a deal, and now I am the proud owner of what you see above.

We have a complete base set of 2005-06 Upper Deck Hockey, featuring a large array of inserts (over 100 in fact) and game used cards, as well as a huge chunk of the Young Guns intact (no, Crosby and Ovechkin aren't there but I still went for it).  I had this on my set needs list but never actually got around to adding what I wanted.  Now, my work is definitely been diminished.

We have a mostly complete 2006-07 Upper Deck Hockey set (about 30 cards or less short), again complete with a large array of inserts (over 30) and game used cards with a big pile of Young Guns to go with them.  I'm not sure I have the missing ones since I don't have a ton of 2006-07 stuff but I'm sure I have a few.

There is also a 2004-05 SP Authentic Hockey base set with a few of the All-Worlds thrown in.  I didn't have any cards from this set at all before getting these.  In fact, I had never even seen them before.  2004-05 was one of those voided years in collector's heads because of the lockout.  There were only a handful of sets produced by ITG, Upper Deck, and Pacific at the time.  I wouldn't mind finding some of those Young Guns Legends SPs from the flagship Upper Deck set though.

And finally, we have an almost complete base 2010-11 SP Authentic base set with, (even though I already knew, I'm just now realizing) a bunch of the Essentials SPs, a couple Future Watch cards and some HoloFX cards.  I have this set completed less 2 cards, already.  But having another one isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I may even have the missing cards in my doubles since I bought a couple of boxes of these last year trying to get those last 2 cards. 

Basically, this gives me at least two more Upper Deck flagship sets to add to my set needs list as well as a ton of inserts and GU cards that I may or may not hang on to.  Another cool thing is that apparently Rob is just like me when it comes to storing sets, in that he cuts up the box labels and affixes them to the boxes.  I bet 40% of hockey collectors do the same thing.  We should do a poll.

It is all great stuff and I am glad I now have it in my collection.  Thanks again to Rob over at VOTC!!  I really appreciate the opportunity to take this off your hands and help you toward your next collecting goal.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Box Break - - 2007-08 Fleer Hot Prospects Blaster Box

Retail is a crap shoot when looking for "hits".  You luck out once in a while but almost always walk away feeling like you missed something.  That can also be reinforced by a poorly collated pack out for a product or simply a 1:3000 chance at hitting anything.

(sorry for the blurry picture.  you get the idea though)

Such was life back in 2007-08 when Upper Deck released the Fleer Hot Prospects set.  These came 4 cards per pack with 11 packs in a blaster box (44 cards).  Sure a hobby box would net you a couple game used cards but good luck finding one of these anywhere now.  And good luck finding them priced at the $7.49 that this blaster was.  Yes, that's $7 and $.49 American.

I completed this base set long ago but have always tried to get my hands on some of the Hot Commodities cards, both the Red Hot (#/100) and White Hot (#/10).  There are also regular issue Hot Commodities (#/999), as well as Rookie Auto Patches both regular and SP and Hot Materials cards.  I have never pulled a GU, Patch, Rookie, or White Hot card from a pack.  In fact, of all of this that I opened in my lifetime (and trust me when I say it was a lot!!!) I have only pulled 3 Hot Commodities cards and 1 Red Hot Commodities.  That's how tough these parallels and inserts were.

As I mentioned, the packs contain 4 cards in the retail version.  Most packs had a "decoy" in them back when they were released but you tend to find these in those "discounted" re-pack boxes now, mostly without the "decoy" cards.  As you can see by the photo to the left, the packs look just like the boxes.  They also tell you to "Find Autographed Rookie Patch Cards".  Oh yeah?  How about you find one and give it to me?  As far as I'm concerned, there were never any in here.

When I checked my box break list, I didn't see this one on here so I figured I'd at least add it to my archive and share with everyone.  So here is what I was able to manage pulling from this $.17/card box.

Base Cards:  42 (with 2 doubles)

Here is a sampling of what the base cards look like.  Nothing real fancy here.  Just an ice themed border with coloring to match the team.  I can't believe I pulled two doubles out of the same box but then I remembered how poorly collated this product was back then.

I don't usually scan card backs but figured why not this time.  The backs repeat the photo from the front only washed out in the predominant team color.  There is a quick blurb about the player and, from what I can tell, a maximum of 5 years of career statistics.  It cuts short 11 years for the two gentlemen featured here.  The players number is also sort of watermarked behind the stats.

Inserts:  0

Well technically that's because there aren't any.  The rookie cards and Hot Commodities are all high numbers in the base set.  I didn't pull any of those, nor did I figure I would.

Game Used:  1

A Game Used card in a retail blaster pack of Hot Prospects???  I'm just as shocked as all of you.  But there it is in all it's glory.  These are numbered #/100 and interestingly enough, this one is number #1 (hey, I could sell this as an "Ebay 1/1"!!!  I know, I know.  I shouldn't even joke about that.)  Unfortunately it's Mr. Tuomo Ruutu and it is a plain black swatch.  You would think that serial numbered #1 cards would have some kind of multi-color or something nice in there for being first.  They would if I was in charge.

Autos:  0

No shock there.

Rookies:  0

Again, no shock.

So overall, I beat the odds on this one for sure.  I just wish I would have pulled a better GU.  I can't knock the fact that it was out of #/100 though.  The base cards I pulled are all doubles/triples/quadruples or more in some cases so if you know you might need any, by all means let me know and I can try to help you out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Some new Penguin PC Additions

I seem to always be busy checking the auction sites when I am in card mode.  I don't know why because I already have more than I know what to do with but I guess that's just the collector in me (or the hoarder).  I have even loaded the app on the phone so I know when any of my player PC guys get new cards.  Ain't technology grand?

I just wanted to take a quick minute and share a few for my Penguins PC that I have picked up recently.  Enjoy...unless you are a Flyers fan.  Then you can go !@#$%%^&

2008-09 Trilogy James Neal Rookie Premiers #/999 -  I think this one goes without explanation.  Neal had his best year ever as a Penguin this season and there is nothing but upside.  Plus, his rookie cards can be had for mere pennies on the dollar.

2011-12 SPx Winning Combos Dual Jersey Mario Lemieux/Sidney Crosby - Another awesome addition to the PC.  Not only is it a Penguin addition but also an add to my Mario Lemieux player collection.  I paid probably a little more than I should have for this one but I couldn't resist.  Especially since these pieces "supposedly" came from 2005-06, Crosby's first year and Mario's last.

2001-12 Crown Royale Rookie Autograph Joe Vitale - I thought I had a Vitale auto already but I guess not.  Now I do.  This one was obtained out of a box (yes I picked up another box).  I was stoked when I saw it since pulling a Pens "hit" is rare in my case (at least this year so far, as in 2011-12 stuff).  Vitale has already shown he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the league for years to come.  As long as he can stay injury free, I think he will have a spot on the Pens roster for some time.  At the very least, he will be here another 2 years for $1.1 million.

 (2) Nick Johnson cards

2010-11 SP Authentic Future Watch Auto #/999 & 2010-11 O-Pee-Chee Marquee Rookie  - The auto was one that I was actually looking for for a while.  I don't know why but I just wanted it.  The other I already had in the set but this is the single for my PC.  Unfortunately, Nick was picked off waivers by the Wild at the beginning of this season so he is no longer a Pen. 

And finally...

2010-11 Upper Deck Exclusives Young Guns Eric Tangradi -  Another crossover as a Penguin PC card and a Tangradi player PC card.  This is the Young Guns Exclusive numbered #/100.  I had a shot at this one numerous times but finally landed it a few weeks ago.  I'd like to get my hands on a 26/100 one.  Why, just because.