There has been a Pokemon TCG card shortage so it is rare to find any Pokemon cards for retail price and it is even rarer to find any packs for under retail price. There are tons Magic cards but no Pokemon cards in all the usual places. I have never seen anything like this before. In fact, I haven’t open any Pokemon packs since shortly after Christmas (excluding the McDonalds or General Mills cereal packs) but today I found this Sword & Shield Battle Styles Pokemon TCG 3 pack blister for 20% off. I would have gotten more but there was only one left on the shelf.
It is always nice to pull a V or V Max in a 3 pack blister and I got a Necrozma V. I am also pretty excited about the foil Rapid Strike Energy. Because of the Pokemon cards shortage, I actually haven’t been following the Pokemon TCG news as closely as I have in the past so I don’t know what are the good cards in the set. But Necrozma V seems pretty strong since it can deal 220 for only 3 energy without that big of a drawback. Orbeetle also seem pretty strong and it should some powerful combos possible. At the very least, Orbeetle should be the glue for a fun deck revolving around underutilized Stage 2s.
As exciting as finding this blister pack is, the set I am really excited for is Shining Fates. It really feels like that set doesn’t exist at all…
Wrestlemania weekend is right around the corner again! I was going through my WWE cards and I found this buried in my drawer.
It is, in my mind, the rarest Deuce ‘n Domino card ever… but I am getting ahead of myself.
Deuce ‘n Domino was a short lived tag team in the WWE. They had a greaser gimmick and even won the WWE Tag Team Championship once. But their career trajectory was like in fast forward for the 1.5 years they were there. They debuted against jobbers, had their first feud against Brian Kendrick and Paul London, won the tag team championship, lost the championship against MVP and Matt Hardy (in which they weren’t even the focus of the story line), became jobbers, broke up and then released. Again all this happened in less than 2 years.
Anyways I think every wrestling fan has a weird favorite wrestler and Deuce ‘n Domino were mines. I watched wrestling only sporadically as a kid and a random Deuce ‘n Domino match was my first match that got me hooked years later when I was in high school. I was just randomly looking for something to watch on TV and their “cool” entrance and brawling style caught my attention. I absolutely love Deuce, Domino and their valet Cherry’s throwback gimmick. I always thought they were super underrated and WWE gave up on them way too soon.
So as I was saying, I was in high school, was a huge fan of Deuce ‘n Domino, wanted to get some cool memorabilia of theirs and didn’t have a lot of money. Deuce ‘n Domino only had one card as a tag team and I have the 1/1 Topps Vault blank back variant of it. I also know it isn’t a good picture of them since they look like they were about to lose the match.
Topps Vault is their ebay store and it sold whatever they had laying around. I don’t know if they still do it anymore but they use to sell blank back cards that I believe were test prints and they were 1/1. I don’t think are many other 1/1 of Deuce ‘n Domino cards especially with both of them on it so that is why to me I have to rarest Deuce ‘n Domino card ever!
I recently found one of my white whales of board games, Perplex City at a thrift store. Best of all, it was only $3! It is a good trivia board game with a very interesting story.
So Perplex City was a big global Alternative Reality Game (ARG) with a lot of innovative ideas. It was sold in booster packs like a Trading Card Game (TCG). Each card had puzzles which leads to a seemingly endless rabbit hole. Due to the collectible nature of the game and the fact many puzzles are very hard (one of the puzzles was just solved, Finding Satoshi), it encouraged people to work together. Also it had a cash prize which definitely help build the buzz around it. Long story short, the Receda Cube that was invaluable to Perplex City was stolen and it is hidden somewhere in our world. The person who first finds the cube and returns it to Perplex City will get the big prize. The game started in 2005 and I wished I knew about the game then. This type of game is right in my wheelhouse and it would have been so much fun. I am pretty sure there hasn’t been anything like it since.
To be clear, this board game is not part of the ARG but it has some story elements and references to it. It even has its own puzzles that seem to lead to its own scavenger hunt but unfortunately all the websites that this game points to are no longer active. In the rule book, I count at least seven websites to explore, one email and a couple of other puzzles that probably lead to something bigger. I tried the Wayback Machine to check out these sites but with a quick glance, it seems to be missing too much to go any further.
I have been trying to track down anything related to Perplex City at a reasonable price but I had no luck until now. Despite how innovative the game was, it only had one season (the second season was teased but was never live) so everything related to Perplex City has been long out of print. I am happy to find the board game but I will also continue to look for the cards relating to the ARG.
I go thrifting at least once a week and every once in awhile I come across something that really excites me!
So I have been picking up whatever Goosebumps books I can find lately. I had a ton of them when I was a child and I like to collect and read them again. I was super surprised to find one of the books I picked up was actually signed by R.L. Stine! He has a very inconsistent autograph but when comparing it to other signed books on eBay it looks legit in my opinion.
I recently found a huge box of Lego with at least 5 sets and 8 minifigs for only $10. It was probably my best thrift store find in a very long time (well up until I found the R.L. Stine signed book). I found another Lego set just this week, the Lego Ninjago Spinjitzu Training. It is not as big of find but I love the Ninjago theme and it is always exciting to come across Legos while thrifting. Again Lego usually sells quick in any thrift store so it is rare to find.
I also got a bunch of books, DVDs and minis for Dungeon & Dragons including this “ugly” goblin from TSR in the 80’s.
Finally I found this fake/ bootleg/ knockoff Ninjago minifigure. I was curious how it differs from a real Lego minifigure and it was cheap enough to check it out. I compared it with the Ninjago figures I just got.
The minifigure feels like it is made with a cheaper plastic and doesn’t have all the Lego logos. The arms and the hands are the easily thing to spot being different when building it and there are some flaws with the paint. But I can easily see someone mistaking this for a real Lego piece if they are not careful or don’t know what to look out for. Also with the name Pin Ba I wonder if it is a bootleg of another famous Lego bootleg, Lepin.
More and more Pokemon products and promos are coming out in celebration of their 25th anniversary. I have picked up a couple of Pokemon TCG packs from McDonald’s Happy Meals already (I am 17/25 in completing the set and no foil Pikachu yet). I have been also looking at the cereal aisle for the General Mills cereal Pokemon TCG packs and I finally found one supermarket that had it. They only had Cinnamon Toast Crunch though and I honestly have never tried it.
The pack comes with 3 cards and one of them is guarantee to be a foil Pikachu with the 25th anniversary logo which is a great thing, saving me from having to buy boxes and boxes of cereal I don’t really want. Also a Galarian Ponyta in the set is exclusive to Cinnamon Toast Crunch boxes.
So in my pack I got a Pikachu, a promo Gossifleur and a Yamper. I actually own a couple of copies of the Gossifleur promo and the Gossifleur in this set has a slightly different foil pattern. Pikachu is the only card in the set with the 25th anniversary promo and you can’t tell the reprints apart other than the foil pattern. (Non foil cards are identical to cards from the original sets.)
With the lockdown restrictions extending to almost a year, one hobby I have been picking up is collecting Lego sets. It is the perfect hobby when you are stuck indoors and have a lot of time to kill. Best of all, I have gotten most of my sets for really cheap!
One of the best advice I got about starting a Lego collection is to have a focus since there are so many tempting sets out there. I decided to go for a Harry Potter theme and I have gotten the 2020 Harry Potter Lego Advent Calendar for $12 and the Fantastic Beasts Lego Dimensions for $10. I also picked up a few Harry Potter minifigs here and there.
Another Lego theme I have been collecting is Lego Spinjitzu Slam. They remind me of Beyblades. You can definitely make a little game out of these sets. The Jay Tornado set (which I got for $4 each) even has a little launcher so you can battle with two of these minifigures and have a third party control the launcher as sort of a hazard for the arena. I also admit I have used the Harry Potter minifigs with the Spinjitzu launchers to have a little wizard battle!
Finally I still like to check thrift stores here and there and I was very excited to find a huge box of legos for only $10. There are at least 5 sets in the box but there are also definitely a lot of missing pieces. Still I got 8 minifigs, 2 base plates and 1 lego box which to me is already worth it. I have spent over a week cleaning, sorting and seeing what I can build from these lego bricks.
I also picked up a couple of Mega Construx sets for really cheap so maybe that is a post for another time.
Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate, I got this Lego Year of the Ox Chinese New Year set.
This set was a gift with purchase so I “had” to buy a couple of other Lego sets at the Lego store to get it but I absolutely loved how it looks and it was a fun build. I wished I knew about these Lego Chinese New Year Zodiac animals earlier and gotten the sets from years past but I will look out for them from now on!
2021 is Pokemon’s 25th Anniversary and they have a lot of exciting things planned this year. One of the first things on their calendar is the McDonald’s 25th Anniversary Pokemon TCG set. You can get them with a Happy Meal and I got two packs today.
I love the Pikachu Happy Meal box and that it is comes with a little deck box for the cards. A holo Pikachu card is the chase of the set which I didn’t get but I am pretty happy to just start collecting the set. From what I hear these packs are going to be sought after so it may sell out. I am not sure I will be able to collect the whole set (25 cards) but I will try!
I needed to buy a cheap item to use a coupon the other day and I couldn’t think of a better item than some baseball cards! This is the repack that has 80 baseball cards, 1 pack and 1 in 4 chance of a hit. You see them a lot in stores like Duane Reade and Rite Aid.
You have to expect a lot of 1980’s and 1990’s cards in these repacks but sprinkled in are some interesting rookie cards and some cards from weird sets like random minor league ones and my repack is no exception. I pulled a Wilson Alvarez minor league card, Jeff Cirillo, Grant Balfour and Zach Davies rookie cards, all from different sets. The most interesting card of this bunch though is this rookie card of Fausto Carmona.
The name didn’t ring a bell to me so I wikipedia it and I found out he is really Roberto Hernández. I vaguely remember this being the news on SportsCenter. Long story short he lied about his name and about his age to the Cleveland Indians. What is interesting about this card is it obviously came before all this was revealed so it uses his false identy including his fake birthday of December 7, 1983. (He is in fact 3 years older.) So in sense this is a rookie card of a player that never existed??
My pack in the box in a 1991 Donruss Baseball Series 2 and I didn’t pull anything in that worth talking about.
I have a couple of Pokemon TCG packs left over from Christmas. I have 3 packs from a Flareon promo blister, 4 packs from a Polteageist V Box, 4 packs from a Copperajah V Box, and 5 packs from a Zamazenta V tin.
I pulled a few of staples that I still needed but for me I was just looking for foil trainers, secret rares, Vs and V Maxes from these sets. I did OK and pulled a Salamence V from the Flareon blister, a Cinderace V and a foil Sonia from the Polteageist V box, an Aolan Ninetales GX and Falinks V from the Copperajah V Box and a Ninetails V from the Zamazenta V tin.
I have two Standard Pokemon TCG decks now (a Sirfetch’d V deck with Bea and a Turbo Zacian deck now with a Zamazenta V) but I have no idea when I can play them in person. Probably not for awhile. Of course I can play similar decks online and I just got a bunch of digital packs to trade to get the cards I need.