2014-15 Panini NBA Hoops Blaster Break

While picking up the last few things I need for Thanksgiving, I also picked up a blaster of 2014-15 Panini NBA Hoops! I know, I just couldn’t resist opening some packs. This blaster has 10 packs with 11 cards per pack so a total of 110 cards.

2014-15 Panini NBA Hoops

2014-15 Panini NBA Hoops Inserts and Parallels

The James Young parallel is 212/349, Matt Barnes is 39/349 and Paul Millsap is 115/299.

The good news? These are my first basketball packs of the year so I pulled a couple of good rookie cards from the latest class which is as much as you can expect from a low end product like this. The bad news? These cards are SOOO boring and the design looks so much like last year’s NBA Hoops. The inserts are a bit better but I could care less. The parallels though I admit do look good but it is exactly what you expect from parallels these days. Nothing too innovative.

It is only advertised as one autograph or memorabilia card per box on average and of course my hit was in the very last pack.

Rodney Hood Mem Card

And strangely I only pulled one Knicks card in the blaster, Iman Shumpert. Speaking of which, the Knicks are so bad this year. They have like ZERO team chemistry. I can’t believe I am saying this but they look worst than last year (in my opinion). Is Jose Calderon and/ or Andrea Bargnani really the missing piece? I doubt it. Now Carmelo Anthony is having back spasms?? So I guess it going to be a few more years of losing…

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2014 Topps Road to Wrestlemania Blaster Break

I picked up this blaster of 2014 Topps Road to Wrestlemania in the spur of the moment. A why not. It has 10 packs with 7 cards per pack and 1 guaranteed relic card.

2014 Topps Road to Wrestlemania Base Cards

This is basically this year’s Best of WWE and that was a rather mediocre product. Road to Wrestlemania is a low end product and I don’t think you can even pull relic cards and autographs other than the guaranteed Wrestlemania mat card in the blasters. What you can pull are parallels and inserts.

2014 Topps Road to Wrestlemania Inserts and Parallels

In the blaster, you can pull blue (1:2), black (1:24) and gold parallels (1:559). These are not worth you time in my opinion as the only difference between the parallels and base cards is the foiling on just the name. It is barely noticeably if you are not looking for it. I got “lucky” and pulled a black parallel and of course it is of Sin Cara. The inserts come in four flavors, 30 years of Wrestlemania, The Streak, Queen of Wrestlemania and the Ultimate Warrior Tribute. These are probably the more interesting cards in the blaster but that is not really saying much.

My guaranteed relic card is a mat card of Wrestlemania 30 and of Triple H.

2014 Topps Road to Wrestlemania Triple H Mat Card

Triple H lost to Daniel Bryan in Wrestlemania 30 by the way. At the very least, the mat swatch is huge.

The bottom line. I probably should have gotten 2014 Topps WWE Chrome…

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Random Pack Break: 2014 Topps Baseball Update Series

A quick post today. I needed some card supplies from my local hobby shop the other day and picked up a random pack of 2014 Topps Baseball Update Series to make it an even $20.

2014 Topps Baseball Update Base

2014 Topps Baseball Update Inserts and Parallels

I got a gold parallel of Hector Santiago and a Fond Farewells insert of Al Kaline. I am not usually interested in inserts but the Fond Farewells cards tells an interesting story and it something a little different from the usual inserts in similar sets. Of course they mess all this up with foil stamp in the design where a jersey swatch window would be. Is it really that difficult or that much work to come up two separate designs for jersey cards and an insert set?

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MTG Brewer: Legacy MUD and the 2014 Red Commander Deck

I have two red commander decks so it was a no brainer to pick up the 2014 red commander deck the day it was released. I picked out all the good commander cards for my Zirilan of the Claw dragon deck and Krenko goblin deck. Some of the remaining cards were Wurmcoil Engine, Myr Battlesphere and Steel Hellkite and it actually inspired to update my old MUD deck.

The red commander deck came with a Goblin Welder so I own 3 welders now so I first tried a red based MUD deck but you have to play Great Furnace and Mountains and I think that playing a sub par mana base it not worth the splash so I went with a mono brown build.

4 Chalice of the Void
4 Lodestone Golem
3 Trinisphere

2 Mox Opal
1 Grim Monolith
4 Metalworker
4 Kuldotha Forgemaster

2 Lightning Greaves
2 Spellskite
1 Phyrexian Metamorph
2 Wurmcoil Engine
1 Steel Hellkite
1 Duplicant
1 Staff of Nin
1 Myr Battlesphere
1 Karn Liberated
1 Platinum Angel
1 Spine of Ish Sah
1 Sundering Titan
1 Blightsteel Colossus

4 Ancient Tomb
1 City of Traitors
4 Cloudpost
4 Glimmerpost
1 Vesuva
4 Darksteel Citadel
2 Cavern of Souls
2 Wasteland

Sideboard:
4 Tormod’s Crypt
4 Phyrexian Revoker
3 Defense Grid
2 Bottled Cloister
2 Ratchet Bomb

Legacy MUD

Sure this deck isn’t the most competitive Legacy deck but this deck is a blast to play. It can generate ridiculous amounts of mana and it can have some explosive draws. I have killed with a Blightsteel Colossus in the third turn. It can also lock out some decks in the first or second turn with cards like Chalice of the Void, Lodestone Golem and Trinisphere.

The mana base is a little weird as I could only fit nine posts. I like 5 sol ring lands so you can do first turn Chalices regularly, I wanted Darksteel Citadels since I am playing a full playset of Kuthdu Forgemasters and finally I shaved down Wastelands and Cavern of Souls but they are both kind of important. Is it right? Probably not but it works for me at the moment and I am still tinkering with the deck.

Is this deck inconsistent? Yes. Is this deck going too many directions? Probably. Is it better without Cloudposts? Likely. But a third turn Blightsteel Colossus kill! (I also have hard casted Blightsteel Colossus a number of times).

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2013 Topps Archives Baseball Blaster Break

Topps Archives isn’t a set I get excited about year after year so I haven’t opened many packs from this product line. This year’s Topps Archives is interesting because it includes Major League (the movie) cards. I haven’t pull on a trigger on that yet but I thought I’ll take a look at a 2013 blaster since it was 40% in K-Mart.

2013 Topps Archives Baseball

I have to be honest this product isn’t for me. It for collectors nostalgic about Topps 80’s baseball sets. I find those 80’s sets and designs very boring so I found Topps Archives to be incredibly boring. The only interesting card was the Robinson Cano mini card which has weird dimensions (and it is possible this too is a throwback to a previous set).

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Lost CCGs: Buffy The Vampire Slayer Collectible Card Game

Lost CCGs (Collectible Card Game) is a segment on the blog where I take a look at forgotten perhaps overlooked CCGs from years past. At one point, seemingly every collectible, every gaming company was coming out with a new CCG and it seemed like there was a new CCG on the market every week. Then the market crashed…

I was buying dog food on Amazon and needed a couple extra bucks to get free shipping. I looked around Amazon for a cheap board game or card game and I found two starter decks of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Collectible card that would be perfect. I was a huge fan of Buffy and these starter decks were based on the episode The Wish, which had a fun alternate reality story.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer Collectible Card Game

The first starter deck are the good guys (and gals), Buffy and Oz and the second are the bad guys (and gals), Vampire Willow and Vampire Xander. The cards themselves remind me of old fantasy 90’s designs. They are kind of busy, the borders probably weren’t a good idea and some of the screen shots are a bit blurry but I think the cards work for the game. The double sided character “essence” cards though stand out among the other CCGs of the same time.

Buffy CCG Cards

This is truly a dead CCG as I can’t even find the full rulebook of the game. There are few resources here and there but they are scattered and incomplete. I filled in some big gaps and managed to play a “game” or two. But I don’t really want comment on the mechanics of the game since I am not sure I got them right. If anyone has a full rulebook, please, please forward it to me.

Looking up the game I can see how Score Entertainment messed up the game. Score is known for their sports cards and if I had to hazard a guess they were new to the CCG world. The rule book was poorly written and it wasn’t even included with the starter decks which is a horrible idea. You should at least have a small rules insert. There certainly was space for them. But the worst sin is that you can’t even play with just the starter decks (at least the first set). It was missing a few cards so you need to pick up at least few packs just to play a basic game. That is just greedy and short- sighted and I can see how people got frustrated with the game. Again this is based on what I read and not from experience.

There are some fans of this game and there are a lot of Buffy fans in general. The game does sound interesting. If it was better managed, it probably would have seen some success.

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2014 Topps UFC Champions Blaster Break

I haven’t open many UFC packs lately so I thought I will take a chance with a blaster of 2014 Topps UFC Champions. It has 10 packs plus a bonus “relic” card.

2014 Topps UFC Champions

2014 Topps UFC Champions Inserts

I don’t say this too often but I like the design of the base cards. I love how the fighters pop out from the background. The inserts are another story though. They are bit of an afterthought. Anyone can come up with the idea of a insert with a fight poster on front and the fight card on the back. The parallels are the real problem though. I can’t tell them apart. The most common parallel is silver (1 in 2 packs) so I know I have some silver parallels but I can’t tell them apart from the base cards. I think the John Howard card is a silver parallel and the Sarah Kaufman card is a Black parallel (100/188). If you look at the top row, they are just three slightly different shades of black and grey. Under them is the Hector Lombard dark purple parallel (88/88). I also couldn’t it tell them apart from the other cards and I would have missed it if I didn’t noticed the serial number on the back.

Anyways, I did pull a hit.

Jessamyn Duke Mat Card

It is a mat relic card of Jessamyn Duke, one of the self proclaimed Four Horsewomen of MMA. Unfortunately being part of the Four Horsewomen (unless you are Ronda Rousey) has been a bit of curse lately. I am normally not a fan of mat cards but The TUF 18 Finale has some history. It is the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter featuring female fighters.

Here is the pack the bonus “relic” card came in

Bonus Relic Pack

and here is the “relic” card.

Vitor Belfort Commemorative Belt Plate

Is it just me or it kind of misleading to call this a relic card? Topps have been using the phase relic cards to be synonyms with game used cards for year now. This card looks cool and all but it definitely not a game used card. Also I am not a huge fan of Vitor Belfort. How many times has he been caught with steroids as of now?

All in all, it is a strong collectible MMA product but it isn’t like there are any other alternatives…

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