Random Pack Break: 2017 Bowman Baseball

MLB had a stand in a street fair in my neighborhood and they had packs of 2017 Bowman Baseball. I picked up a single pack and I was quite lucky!

2017 Bowman Baseball


Josh Ockimey Autograph

It is not everyday that you pick up a single pack and it has autograph!


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Awesomely Awesome Board Games: Mouse Trap

OK Mousetrap is a terrible game. It is just a roll and move game that takes way too long to set up. Plus if you like me when I was a kid, it doesn’t get to to the good part, springing the trap fast enough. BUT McDonald’s has a line of mini Hasbro games and this version of Mouse Trap is way better.

Mouse Trap Happy Meal Toy

It is essentially a Russian roulette game. Player takes turns removing mouse pieces and hope the trap doesn’t spring. Each mouse piece has a slightly different weight to it so it isn’t the same every game. I just changed one small rule to give players some semblance of strategy. Players can take one or two pieces during his or her turn.

For $3 for a Happy Meal with a small board game, I think this is a great deal. I haven’t played with all the games in the line but I think Mouse Trap is the best of bunch. It is the only game that really works with more than two players. I may use this as a way to determine who the starting player is for a bigger game.

On a side note, does anyone else find the Happy Meal mascot kind of creepy…

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Board Game Night: Zombies!!!, Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot & Karma

I was looking to mix things up a bit for board game night with some new games. I took a look around my local board game store but none of the newer games excited me. So I went thrifting around New York City and I think I got a pretty good haul.

First up I got Zombies!!! new and sealed for $4. I actually own this game (and I think Run, Fight or Die is a better zombies game) but this was too good of a deal to pass up. Someone in my group will want it.

Zombies Board Game

Second is Killer Bunnies and the Quest of the Magic Carrot, a chaotic card game for $2. I wanted this game in the past but cool off on it. But for this price it is definitely worth trying out for the next board game night.

Killer Bunnies Card Game

Finally I got Karma for $0.50 and… I own the pocket version of this game already. But I think for a card game like Karma the bigger cards are a huge upgrade. I haven’t play this in awhile but I remember it being fun.

Karma Card Game

So in total a couple of new games to try out or trade for $7!

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Lost CCGs: Universal Fighting System Collectible Card Game

I don’t think it is fair to say Universal Fighting System Collectible Card Game aka UFS CCG is a dead CCG just yet but it is definitely a dying one. There are still UFS CCG sets being released but most of the local gaming stores near me don’t stock them any more. The packs or decks I do find are usually for sale. I got 10 packs of UFS Red Horizon Tides of Vengeance and a Dr Wiley starter deck for $12.

Universal Fighting System Cards

What piqued my interest in UFS initially is their licensed sets like Megaman and Street Fighter. UFS mimics classic fighting games (like Street Fighter) and the goal is to land enough attacks to knock out your opponent’s character. What I think is the strongest element of the game is the push your luck mechanics. For example, each time you play a card you have to see if the difficulty is less than or equal the control number on the top card of the library (which you discard). If you don’t pass the check, you have pay the difference with foundation cards that you played earlier. Each additional card you played also increases in difficulty. This make you think about the order you play card and even how to build and balance a deck. I also like how fast you go through your deck. You draw back to the starting hand size every turn and you also discard a lot of cards because you have to make a lot of checks.

So why did UFS fail? UFS sets were released too fast and there were way too many broken cards. Their banned list is huge. It is no fun to see the deck you invested in banned and it is also not fun to play against broken decks every round in a tournament. Also there are a lot of Japanese/ anime theme card games that is has to compete against. Just to name a few: Weiss Schwarz, Dragon Ball Z TCG, Final Fantasy TCG, Force of Will and Buddyfight. You also got the big 3 when it comes to CCGs: Magic, Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh. It is tough for any CCG.

Also I have to admit I have not gotten to play a full game of UFS. I goldfished the game a bit but it is hard to find someone to play with. Everyone in my gaming circle would rather play either Magic or a board game instead. Learning a CCG is a commitment. Sure the rules could be simple but there is a lot of reading and a lot of ambiguity when you first start any CCG. I also find it takes a couple of playthroughs to just “get” the game. It is a tough sell for any CCG.

All in all I still like collecting lost or dead CCGs. They are usually super cheap and I kind of just like building decks without really expecting to play with them…

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Some Rookie Cards from a Baseball Card Repack That I Like

Is it just me? I kind of like buying those baseball cards repacks with a ton of bulk cards just because I like sorting cards. I would go through the cards a couple of times and put them in various piles. Perhaps there is one pile of cards to just throw away, one pile of cards to keep for futures trades and one pile of cards that piqued my interest (probably less than 1% of the cards). You just never you what you can find and I have found some quirky cards in the past that I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. Here are some interesting rookies cards and inserts I found in my most recent repack.

Random Baseball Cards

I like how Livan Hernandez’s rookie card is so blue and I like how Roy Oswalt looks pretty much the same in his rookie card compared to ones from further down his career. One card that immediately drew my attention was the Andrew Jones SPX card. Upper Deck used to make some really nice looking cards. I also pulled a Junichi Tazawa card I needed for my collection and I am too lazy to pull that card out.

If you are curious here are the rest of the cards which I deemed as bulk. To be honest I am very picky with what I keep. I recently cleared out my bulk cards and I don’t want it to pile up again.

Bulk Baseball Cards

There really is a wide range of cards in repacks and they usually don’t cost that much. Sure you never going to pulling anything really valuable but you just can’t get this kind of diversity in a regular pack of cards.

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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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