Random Pack Break: 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Series One & 2012-13 Panini Absolute Basketball

I was doing some holiday shopping and this rack pack of 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Series One Rookie Edition and this rack pack of 2012-13 Panini Absolute Basketball were on sale for $2.99 so I’m in and here we are.

2008 Upper Deck Baseball Series One

I think I needed the Chin-Lung Hu Rookie Debut insert (which may be a rack pack exclusive) from the pack of 2008 UD Baseball but other than that, I didn’t really get much. But wow 2008 seems like a lifetime ago with players like Orlando Hernandez on the Mets.

2012-13 Panini Absolute Basketball

The cards from the Panini rack pack look a lot more interesting than the “simpler is better” Upper Deck design. The Karl Marlone All-Stars inserts is definitely a rack pack exclusive. I also pulled a nice shiny Carmelo Anthony card and the player the Knicks gave up to acquire him, Danilo Gallinari but not much else for my collection.

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Lost CCGs: World of Warcraft TCG

I don’t have any packs this week since I spent my weekly “budget” on virtual cards, Hearthstone’s newest set Goblins vs Gnomes so I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the World of Warcraft CCG/ TCG.

Unlike other lost CCGs I have highlighted on this blog, World of Warcraft only went out of print last year. It was first published by Upper Deck Entertainment. As we know, Upper Deck made a number of questionable business decisions (like making bootleg Yu-Gi-Oh cards) and lost the license in 2010. Cryptozoic Entertainment then took the mantle only to lose the license when Blizzard decided to make Hearthstone.

Wow Cards

World of Warcraft TCG took a lot of inspiration from Magic and improved a lot of the more unpopular aspects of MTG, namely the quest/ mana crystals, be able to attack allies or heroes and the damage not removed at the end of the turn mechanics. Loot cards were a blessing and a curse. They were a huge draw for collectors opening boxes because they were highly desirable in the World of Warcraft game. But unfortunately they drew attention away from the card game and many people were only opening boxes for the loot cards and flooding the market with non loot cards.

I say World of Warcraft TCG is a lost CCG because it is completely overshadowed by the super popular Hearthstone game. Hearthstone repackaged a lot of the art and mechanics from the WoW TCG. It simplifies some of the mechanics like the mana system and redesigned some other mechanics to take advantage of the computer card game format like putting a random card in your hand. I love Hearthstone but wouldn’t mind playing a game of WoW TCG too (but not right now since I brewing with all the new Goblins vs Gnomes cards).

By the way if you are interested, here is a fun brew I have been tinkering with since the release.

2 Clockwork Gnome
2 Undertaker
2 Frostbolt
2 Unstable Portal
2 Explosive Sheep
2 Snowchugger
1 Unstable Ghoul
2 Harvest Golem
2 Tinkertown Technician
2 Fireball
1 Polymorph
1 Goblin Blastmage
2 Mechanical Yeti
2 Piloted Shredder
2 Sludge Belcher
1 Caine Bloodhoof
1 Sylvanas Windrunner
1 Flamestrike

It is a gimmicky value midrange mech mage deck.

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The Flash Heroclix Pack Break

One of the things I picked during Black Friday was a pack of The Flash Heroclix. I am a huge fan of the Forever Evil: Rogues Rebellion storyline so I am very excited about this set and excited about new figures for the Rogues.

The Flash Heroclix

For the Rogues, I pulled just Captain Boomerang. I guess I will probably buy the Rogues Fast Forces pack in the end to have the whole team. Anyways, it is a small sample size but the sculpts are kind of boring compared the other recent Heroclix releases. How many sculpts are there with flying figures with their wings spread out or an figure standing there just pointing a gun? With that being said, the Gorilla Grodd sculpt is outstanding and the Flash figure is still awesome.

I definitely foresee me buying more The Flash Heroclix packs and/ or singles to complete the Rogues set. Between the base set, the Fast Forces pack and the single pack gravity feed set, there are quite a few different versions of each Rogue.

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2014 Panini Black Friday Packs

2014 Panini Black Friday has quickly become my favorite set, surpassing Topps Allen & Ginter (which I think has been getting a bit stale lately). Panini does a good job year after year to make these packs feel special. They have sort of an aura of exclusivity about them (since you can only get them on Black Friday) while still being obtainable (sort of an oxymoron I know). This year I have twelve 2014 Panini Black Friday packs. Here are all the cards I pulled.

2014 Panini Black Friday Cards

2014 Panini Black Friday Cards 2

2014 Panini Black Friday Cards 3

I think I have a very strong haul this year. No autographs but I have 4 hits, a Aaron Gordon memorabilia card, Le’Veon Bell and Carlos Hyde Christmas themed memorabilia cards and my favorite by far, the Doug McDermott towel card. The Jadeveon Clowney card is 16/499, Arismendy Alcantara is 57/499 and Gregory Polanco is 178/499. As for the base cards, I was hoping to pull a Masahiro Tanaka card but in the end I did pull an interesting mix of players. The Yasiel Puig card by the way serve as sort of a filler card as it was an thick as a memorabilia card. Is this a parallel?

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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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