Interesting 1990’s Baseball Card Gimmicks

The 1990’s was sort of boom for baseball cards and there were are all sorts of companies trying to stand out from the rest which mean some interesting gimmicks. I was sorting through some of my bulk baseball cards that I have gotten from various sources (but a lot from repacks) and I came across some of these interesting 1990’s baseball card gimmicks.

The first gimmick comes from 1992 Leaf Triple Play.

Leaf Triple Astro vs Dodgers

It is a little mini game where you scratch out little blocks to see the result of an at bat. It is probably a lot of fun and I wouldn’t mind if they brought back this gimmick today. The problem of course is that you can only play this once which brings us to 1995 Topps Bazooka.

Topps Bazooka Baseball Card

1995 Topps Bazooka cards look normal in the front but had another little baseball game in the back. Each pack came with a piece of Bazooka gum, rules for the game and a spinner. As you can probably guess you put the spinner on the back of the baseball card and spin it to see the result of the at bat. You can even play this game with your friend to see who get the gum. I am going to be 100% honest. I don’t have the full rules of the game but it is very intriguing to me. I am so tempted to buy a box of these cards to explore this further.

Finally the internet was a huge thing in the 90’s which led to 1998 Pacific Online baseball card set.

Pacific Online Baseball Card

Why try and fit all the stats on the back of the baseball card when you can just share the URL of the baseball players profile page and you can have all the stats you can ever hope for! Unfortunately the URL is just sort of display across the top of the baseball card in probably the most unflattering way possible. But if I read it correctly 1998 Pacific Online as had web cards with codes for the Pacific website which gave you a chance to win prizes. I am not sure if they were first to do something like this but they were still way ahead of their time as Topps does this all the time nowadays.


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USA Olympic Curling Team Signed Hat

The USA Olympic curling team is the ultimate underdog story and it is hard not to root for them. I was actually curious about curling a few Winter Olympics ago and I always look out for it during Winter Olympics broadcast. I would also have at least tried to play it if there was a curling rink nearby. It seems like a ton of fun and it is my kind of game. Anyways I found out about a last minute meet and greet with the USA Olympic curling team and I just had go.

USA Curling Team Signed Hat

As you can see the event was sponsored by Cheetos. I am very excited that my schedule worked out so that I can attend the event.

I hope the inevitable feel good sports movie about this curling team will be awesome! Maybe in the same class as Cool Runnings!

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404 Not Found Coloring Book Signed by The Oatmeal

I found this 404 Not Found coloring book signed by The Oatmeal (or is it just Oatmeal) in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. It was only $3.75!

404 Not Found Coloring Book

The Oatmeal Autograph

I am a big fan of The Oatmeal’s webcomics and I was actually very pleasantly surprised that his game Exploding Kittens was actually a lot of fun. So this is a big find for me and it shows how you just never know what you can find in the bargain bins!

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Awesomely Awesome Board Games: Fantastic Gymnastics

Fantastic Gymnastics is probably the weirdest board game with a mass market release. It is released by Hasbro Gaming and you can probably find it in most big box stores with a toy section. The thing though with this game is it probably a huge flop for Hasbro if all the negative reviews you can find on the Internet is any indication. So why was it so negatively received and why do I think this game is so awesomely, awesome?

Fantastic Gymnastics Box

Well the first thing you have to know about this game is that it is insanely difficult. You have to press a button to rock the gymnast back and forth until it picks up enough speed and then when it goes round and round the bar you have to release him with another button just right so he can stick the landing. The game is not intuitive. Unfortunately it is marketed as a kids game and most kids (and probably most adults too) will probably lose interest fast especially since you won’t see much progress until you spend A LOT of time with it. But this game is wildly addictive and it SOOOO rewarding when you finally do stick the landing.

Fantastic Gymnastics

Similarly, is this game a dexterity/ party board game or is it an unusual puzzle to be solved? I really think this is not a board game you can bring to your next board game meet up since if you don’t practice the motions you definitely won’t score. So you will probably end up scoring 100 points while everyone else will be waiting for game to be over. But when you finally “solved” and “mastered” Fantastic Gymnastics, it has the same a ha moment that you get when you solve a good puzzle.

So I wonder if Fantastic Gymnastics was marketed as a solo puzzle and not a kids/ party game, will it help with the image of this game? Fortunately it has often been compared to Looping Louie, a kids game that eventually had a cult following. I wonder if Fantastic Gymnastics can do the same years down the road. Anyways it is listed as a board game and I love, love Fantastic Gymnastics.

By the way if you are wondering if I am any good at Fantastic Gymnastics well I am proud to say I can stick the landing generously 1 in 5 times but I am working on it!

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Random Pack Break: 2017 Topps WWE Then Now Forever Rack Pack

The Royal Rumble is right around the corner and I haven’t opened a pack of WWE cards in awhile so I used some of my reward points to picked up this rack pack of 2017 Topps WWE Then Now Forever.

2017 Topps WWE Then Now Forever Cards

First off I don’t think I am sold on the name Then Now Forever as a name of a set. Second off these cards are kind of boring. There are no interesting gimmicks, no interesting inserts. But definitely the pull of the pack is the Shinsuke Nakamura “rookie” card.

Anyways is it just me in thinking that there are way too many wrestling card sets? The rosters don’t change as much as in say baseball or basketball so each set is churning out the same wrestlers over and over again. How many R- Truth or Curt Hawkins cards do we really need?


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Random Pack Break: Star Wars Destiny Legacies

Star Wars Destiny is a game I really enjoy playing but I am having a hard time finding people to play it with. Also I think if I played it competitively or in a tournament it wouldn’t be as fun. AND it cost a ton to play. Despite all that, the new set Star Wars Destiny Legacies has a lot of interesting characters, characters I want to collect. So I bought a couple of packs to see what I can pull before I buy any singles.

Star Wars Destiny Legacies

The most interesting pull is the only character I pulled, Wedge Antilles. Wedge seems like a fun card to build around especially since I have a lot of spare vehicle dice lying around. Also force throw and pirate speeder tank are legendary cards & dice but I don’t really have a deck in mind for either of them yet.

Overall not a bad couple of packs but unfortunately because the way the game is designed you can never have enough cards and dice you so have to keep buying more and more packs. Ugh.

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A Possibly Awesomely Awesome Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Baseball

So a deep freeze has been settling in New York City which means I am sort of cooped up indoors with a lot of free time to kill. So with that in mind I was shopping around New York City before it got too cold for some interesting board games to try. One of the board games I picked up was Strat-O-Matic Baseball.

Strat O Matic Box

My copy is of the 2011 season. Strat-O-Matic is a board game I have heard a lot about. It is renowned for its accurate simulations of a baseball game and if you do enough games, a baseball season. I admit I haven’t tried it yet and it is quite intimidating going through all the pieces. There are a ton of charts to influence the result (for example, there is even a chart for the ballpark effect). Each player has his own card and with all the cards and pieces just keeping everything organized is a game on its own. Also the instruction manual reminds me of a old college math textbook…

Strat O Matic Charts

The very short answer on how to play Strat-O-Matic is that you roll three dice. One dice determines which chart to use (pitcher’s or hitter’s) and the other two dices determines the result using that chart.

Strat O Matic Board

Strat-O-Matic reminds of MLB Showdown, role playing games and maybe war games (but I haven’t played any real war games). But I love statistics so this game should be a lot of fun. I am going down the rabbit hole that is Strat-O-Matic.

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