Saturday, December 22, 2012

1994 Comic Images Blueprints of the Future

"Prophetic Visions From the Art of Vincent Di Fate"
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked this pack out of a cheapie bin at a local card shop. The guy running the place threw it in for free with the other stuff I bought, so at least my curiosity didn't cost me anything. As it turns out, these cards are in the style of 1970s sci-fi paperbacks, the type of which you might find in dozens in a shoebox at a rummage sale. That style of art isn't exactly my favorite. In fact, to me it's the stuff nightmares are made of. I'll try to explain how each card gets under my skin.
Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
26. Ringed Giant
The boredom of reading a story like this frightens me.
There's not really enough going on in our solar system to excite anyone, so a trip to Saturn (stated so on the back) would likely put me to sleep.
60. The Mission to Heaven
The ideas behind this winged goddess frighten me.
The back of the card asks, "Can we one day visit the home of God?" If this maternal being packing a ray gun guards the entrance, I sure hope not. Babes like this in the sci-fi universe are more likely to rip your spine out than fulfill any carnal desires. And are we supposed to believe that that rocket can blast off without any surrounding space equipment?
43. Hyperspace
Space combat frightens me.
49. The Iron Claw
The sterlie, mechanical lovemaking of the future frightens me.
The exterminating machines are no match for human ingenuity, which will eventually expose their tripod design flaw. After the dust has settled, though, all Spaceman Spiff gets is an insertion into the G-valve and a few seconds of rigorous, pulsating pumping. No thank you.
50. Artifact
This card is in landscape format and didn't make the scanner cut. Sure, I could scan it again, but why?

77. The Shape of Things Future
Unsustainable architecture frightens me.
The large, funnel-shaped mass can only be used to store waste. This means the 500-member colony lives in one of the upper rings in 75-square foot chambers. Claustrophobia is the rule, not the exception, of future housing.
69. The Veil
The specificity of basic cable expansion packages frightens me.
This satellite beams 30,000 channels into people's entertainment quarters, 95% of programming being infomercials or on-the-job reality programming about the drudgery of being a southern janitor.
51. Mechanical men.
Jesus, this mechanical man frightens me.
12 Batwing
Technological anachronisms frighten me.
If we are going to be so advanced, why all the antennas? Is over-the-air media going to make a storming comeback?
34. The Red Giant
"Also Sprach Zarathustra" frightens me.
Most of the cards in this pack, and thus the set, are derivative of Kubrick's 2001. New sensations have overtaken me while perusing this pack, chiefly among them the sound of Strauss's symphony and the smell of musty paperbacks.
Excuse me while I head out to the grocery store for a slick, glossy, brightly colored celeb trash magazine to cleanse my suffering palate.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1981 Fleer

I just got this when someone traded me anything.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
405 Ron Hassey
182 Rich Dauer
347 Rich Wortham
575 Tony Armas
384 Eddie Solomon
186 John Lowenstein
351 Rickey Henderson "Most Stolen Bases AL"
579 Brian Kingman
87 Graig Nettles
553 Ken Landreaux
359 Greg Pryor
523 Reggie Cleveland
92 Eric Soderholm
558 Butch Wynegar
30 Paul Splittorff
311 Mike Vail
97 Tom Underwood
I really hoped to come away with more than one Hall of Famer, but the Rickey is a nice card I didn't own before this, so I'm calling it a victory.

Friday, October 19, 2012

2007 Upper Deck Series 1 Retail

While 2007 Topps has certainly grown on me with the passage of time, '07 UD fails to duplicate the experience. This $1.59 pack has been sitting opened since some time during the summer.
Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
305 Kazuo Matsui
In the middle of Hai-Keeba, perhaps?

368 Ben Sheets
241 Roy Halladay
179 Frank Thomas
That A's uniform on him never gets less weird.
418 Khalil Greene
293 David Ross
228 Akinori Otsuka
153 Shannon Stewart

No inserts, but I'm pretty sure there are some of these I don't have. Any 2007 UD cards I have, I have by osmosis.

EDIT: I needed every card except the Stewart. Call it a win.

Monday, July 30, 2012

2009 Upper Deck X

This is one of those products I keep going back to if I find a Target cheapie. I'm working on the die-cut set, so hopefully I'll get one I need.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
65 Alex Rodriguez

34 Garlos Guillen
44 Bobby Abreu Die-Cut (Got it already, dang.)

X3-PF Prince Fielder X3 Xponential (Didn't have this one yet. Even though he's no longer on my team, I still like getting his cards.)

68 Jack Cust
19 Aramis Ramirez

Well, I only needed one of those, but it was a good one. Most likely not my last pack of X.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

2005 Upper Deck Pros & Prospects

It's gone past the point of becoming cliche to point out that no one posts here anymore. In fact, it's now cliche to point out the cliche regarding the lack of posts. So here we go. I'll just tell a lie about each player.

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
35 Jason Schmidt
Mike Schmidt was a well-known practitioner of Onanism. If you've got a test tube and a quick, nimble hand, and you're in the general area when the seed is spilt, you can make a name for yourself in the AI game. Jason, I hate to tell you this way, but this is your origin story in a nutshell.

49 Alfonso Soriano
No fewer than 43 Major League Baseball teams have been disappointed when a post-Yankees Soriano failed to capture lightning in a bottle for them.

32 Ben Sheets
Sheets owns the world record for creating and cooking the world's longest knackwurst on the world's smallest grill.

88 Kerry Wood
Currently hanging above table 14 in a Wilmette, Illinois, Applebee's.

69 Livan Hernandez
Provides the voice for the Car Fox on those Carfax commercials.

29 Jason Kendall
Removes the toilet in each home he inhabits, just squats above the hole.

All of these guys were seasoned pros then, where are the prospects?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Repack Box Remorse - Volume 3

Aargh, not again!

A collector friend who buys so much retail he should own stock in the store recommended the $20 Championship repack boxes to me.  So the last time I was in my local Wal-Mart, there wasn't much of anything else interesting, so I caved and got one. 

The Box

When I got it home, I expected the concealed innards to contain packs of ubiquitous junk wax to contrast the newer stuff that was mounted in the windows. 

The visible packs
What I found was an even worse abomination than just junk wax.  Inside were several "bundles" of junk wax cards that had apparently been created by a previous buyer* who must have returned the box to the store.  They were five card groups of 1987 Topps, 1989 Donruss, 1990 Donruss, 1990 Fleer, 1991 Topps, 1991 Upper Deck, and 1995 Fleer sealed in what looks like penny sleeves closed with a shrink wrap heat sealer.

The inside "wrappers"

I thought it was just a cheesy way to repack old cards.  My friend says that these boxes are usually all more recent packs, so I knew I got screwed.   To make matters worse, I got DUPES in the bundles and a couple of the packs.  The OPC Premier pack only had five cards in it.

Dupes from bundles (top row) and real packs (bottom row)
Needless to say, this tarnishes my desire to ever buy any more repacks, especially from that store.  I'll have to check if their shrink wrap has logos on it normally.  This box was one of only two left along with one football box.  No use trying to return it now, since I opened everything.  More trade fodder at best....

* [Sensitive readers go back to the text now] Previous buyer = fucking douchebag.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

1990-91 Topps Hockey

I can't believe nothing's been posted here so far in 2012. Since I was picking up some supplies at the hobby shop yesterday I decided to grab a pack of 1990-91 Topps hockey to rip. As the final couple of weeks of the NHL season unravel it seemed like the perfect time for a pack of hockey cards. For 50 cents I got 14 base cards and a glossy Team Scoring Leaders insert. I've already got a factory set of this stuff kicking around somewhere, but I still need some of the glossy inserts so maybe I'll get lucky there. Here's what I got:

#360 - Kevin Stevens

I think this is a rookie card. Kevin looked like he was poised for stardom early on in his career, but in retrospect his early numbers were somewhat inflated due to playing on a line with Mario Lemieux. Stevens was a member of both Pittsburgh Cup-winning teams in the early '90s, and went on to play for Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia before returning to the Pens to finish his career.

I think the design on the fronts is half-way decent, but the backs are lacking as far as I'm concerned.

#157 - Tony Tanti

Unfortunately for Tony, he was traded during the '90-91 season to the Buffalo Sabres so he was not on Pittsburgh's roster when they captured the Cup in 1991.

#24 - Brent Ashton

Brent played for the Vancouver Canucks, Colorado Rockies, New Jersey Devils, Minnesota North Stars, Quebec Nordiques, Detroit Red Wings, Winnipeg Jets, Boston Bruins, and the Calgary Flames in his NHL career. How's that for a resume?

#336 - Ray Ferraro

I was hoping to pull at least one Hartford Whaler. Not long after these cards came out Ferraro was dealt to the Islanders, where he would go on to have some pretty memorable playoff games. These days Ferraro works as a broadcaster for TSN...

#68 - Michal Pivonka

Pivonka defected to the United States from Eastern Europe to begin his NHL career, and was a lifelong Washington Capital. If Wikipedia can be trusted he's still the Capitals' career assist leader.

#32 - Allan Bester

#267 - Daniel Marois

Team Scoring Leaders #17 - Mario Lemieux

Great, this is one of the glossy Team Scoring Leaders inserts that I needed. Guess this pack was worth the price of admission after all. Without looking, can you guess who was second in team scoring for Pittsburgh in '89-90 behind Super Mario?

If you guessed defenseman Paul Coffey give yourself a pat on the back.

#376 - Dean Evason

Two Whalers, this pack was officially a win. Evason is now a coach in the Capitals organization.

#363 - Chicago Blackhawks Team Card

I always liked the horizontal team cards in this set. One of the last helmet-less players, Doug Wilson, is lurking in the background of this photo.

#190 - Randy Burridge

#193 - Mark Messier All-Star

Aside from the Lemieux insert, this is easily the best card in the pack. 25 years in the NHL and 6 Stanley Cup championships. The All-Star cards were a separate subset, so each player from the All-Star team has both a standard base card as well as an All-Star card.

#215 - Benoit Hogue

Most notable for being involved in the Pierre Turgeon/Pat LaFontaine swap between the Sabres and Islanders.

#251 - Edmonton Oilers Team Card

Headless Ray Bourque makes an appearance on this card.

#140 - Sean Burke

We finish the pack with Sean Burke, who would go on to be a longtime netminder for the Hartford Whalers.

For 50 cents I wasn't expecting much, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with this pack. A couple of Whalers and a Lemieux insert that I needed made it worthwhile. I opened so much of this stuff as a kid that it was fun to take a trip down memory lane as well.