I picked up one those packs that packaged four retail packs of 2014 Topps Baseball Series Two and a Power Players card at Target the other day. This one got a Norichika Aoki Power Player card. I figured at the very least I have a new card from my PC and I also have a random player for my Power Players locker. Although, I doubt Nori Aoki would help me win anything.
I pulled Bartolo Colon, Curtis Grandson and Vic Black for my Mets collection and in addition to the Aoki card I added Kyuji Fujikawa to my PC so I can’t complain about these packs.
Is it just me or does Aoki look like he is in pain or maybe he struck out on his card?
I found this premium pack of Shards of Alara in a repack. These normally go for about $20 and I picked this one up for $3. Basically it was a no brainer and unfortunately I only found one for sale. The premium packs has cards from the Shards of Alara block and all 15 cards are foiled. It is a gimmick Wizards try once so I guess it didn’t do so well.
Right off the bat, Wild Nacatl and Path to Exile draws my attention. Both cards see a lot of play and I should be able to trade them for some cards I need. Wild Nacatl foils are about $4- $5 but the foiled Path to Exile can go for as high as $20. As for my rare, I have a dragon EDH deck (Zirilan of the Claw is my commander) so I am always open to dragons foils although I really doubt Predator Dragon would make the cut.
Overall this is as good of a pack as I can hope for.
It is almost a sure thing that I will pick up at least a box of Allen & Ginter every year. I just love the weird and eclectic mix of characters in the set and I probably have more fun breaking these boxes any any other products in the past. First the box topper.
Jose Canseco is popping up in more and more products lately and I always seem to be pulling his cards, autographs, etc…
The Base Set:
There aren’t many products that have both Snoop Lion and The Iron Sheik in it and the cat mini subset is really out there. One thing I did noticed though is a lot of the minis are mis-cut. They are all slightly different sizes. Like in years past, there is so many parallels and inserts and I really have to look them up to see if I pulled any super rare ones. Speaking of which is this Desmond Jennings base cards and Yogi Berra mini no number parallels? I am assuming the Yogi Berra is a short print and the Desmond Jenning cards is an error. Here are the backs with a card to compare.
My first two hits I pulled are kind of meh.
They are game used memorabilia cards of Ryan Zimmerman and Adrian Beltre. The last hit in the box is a lot more interesting though.
It is a event used card of wrestler Anthony Robles. I wikied his name and his story seems familiar. He is a wrestler with one leg who overcame great odds in his sport. What makes this card interesting though is the piece of fabric on the card is actually signed. It is the ANT of Anthony. As a collector, I thought is shame that this autograph is cut up to probably at least four pieces. I kind of wish they kept item as a whole or at the very least kept the autograph in one piece on a card with a larger window. As is, the card is still the most exciting pull in an admittedly a rather lackluster box.
There really isn’t much that sets Tristar TNA products apart. They tend to have the same hit ratios and since wrestling rosters don’t change as much as say baseball teams, the cards tend to be of the same people year after year. That being said 2010 Tristar TNA Wrestling Icons is probably the weakest of the Tristar releases. The designs were OK, nothing special but there are a lot little things that kind of bug me. For example, I am huge fan of Mick Foley but his excerpts from his book cards feels a lot like ads in the set.
But you can get 2010 Tristar TNA Wrestling Icons blasters for pretty cheap nowadays and it is guaranteed an autograph so it can still make for a fun, cheap break.
I did say that wrestling rosters don’t change much year to year but comparing 2010 to the present, it is interesting to see how many wrestlers are no longer with TNA. Speaking of which for my guaranteed autograph I got Desmond Wolfe aka Nigel McGuinness.
Desmond Wolfe started off strong in TNA but suffered from some health setbacks. He is an interesting character and I don’t mind adding this autograph to my collection.
Topps Power Players is Topps’ big promotion this year. Like in years past, card with codes are randomly inserted in Topps base set and input in the site to unlock virtual cards that can potentially be real cards. I may be a bit late to the party but I finally decided to take a look at the Topps Power Players site.
Topps Power Players is an interesting gimmick but unlike say Topps Million Card Giveaway, Power Players seem unnecessarily confusing with a bit too many hurdles to go through. With Topps Million Card Giveaway, in theory every card is a winner. With Power Players you have cards with codes, which unlocks the player in your “locker” and when you unlock a player, you can choose him to be active or not. Twice a week, Topps will select a player of the week, which can be for whatever reason. For each Player of the Day, each person with that player active and unlocked will be entered in a drawing and a winner will be randomly picked.
There is also a small chance by entering a code you can be an instant winner but for the most part (unless I am missing something) there really isn’t many winners. I wonder if it really worth to actively try to collect these cards. If you start late, you are pretty much at a disadvantage. Plus someone with a really good player has a better chance of winning than a locker full of average players.
Even if you do win, I wonder if you even want your card. There are big prizes for like collecting the whole set (which is a mammoth task) but the most common prize is probably an exclusive gold parallel. Given that shipping it to you is almost $3, I would be hesitant to do so.
I always thought Topps Baseball Series Two was a tough sell for Topps. Sure you have set builders but it is hard to keep Series Two fresh and exciting, coming out after Series One which is so similar. It is rarely first in anything but this year there is a very strong rookie class led by of course Mashiro Tanaka and Jose Abreu. Throw in there is a couple Mets rookies in the checklist and sure, I will pick up a blaster.
I have to downside my Mets collection a little bit so the Matt den Dekker card is probably the only I will keep.
Inserts and Parallels:
I always hated the inserts set that is clearly the design for a game used card without the game used piece. And that logo in the middle of the box…. SOOO ugly and it is SOOOO lazy. But one is of Matt Harvey so it will probably be in my Mets PC.
Every blaster has a commemorative patch card and my pull is Yoenis Céspedes. Interesting player but it is hard to find commemorative patch cards exciting in general.
After a long week of work, I got to end it with a TNA Impact Wrestling taping in New York City. It was actually sold out and it was electric. TNA Wrestling has some misses the last couple of years but this card reminded me why I am a fan of them in the first place. I have to say between the three NYC tapings it seems like they are firing on all cylinders.
One thing I am most excited for it is the X-Divison, one of the things that set TNA Wrestling apart in the past, was interesting again.
There were a lot of people who showed up representing TNA and wrestling past like
and Team 3D.
The Hardy Boys vs Team 3D ended the night and wow when they hit their groove, it was a lot of fun.
Here are bunch of random pics from the event.
I had a great time with my friends and we are definitely going to try to attend at least one of the tapings in August.