Saturday, September 29, 2012

2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball Hot Boxes

You've heard of "hot packs" -- packs of cards which contain a hit.

But have you ever heard of "hot boxes"?  Those are supposedly boxes of cards (typically hobby boxes) which are loaded with extra hits.

In 2012 Topps Chrome, there are hot hobby boxes which contain all base refractors.  In fact, there are even hot blaster boxes which contain all refractors too.

Little did I know that there were also hot retail boxes of 2012 Bowman Platinum which contained all gold parallel base cards.  I didn't realize this until I had actually stumbled upon this box.

Zack Greinke
2012 Bowman Platinum
Base, Gold Parallel
Found in a hot box
I was pack searching -- as usual.  And I ended up buying a few packs from a retail box of 2012 Bowman Platinum because I thought they might contain some chrome cards in them.  And they did.  But every single base card in all the packs I bought was a gold parallel too.  Pretty sweet.  I think I ended up buying four packs.  Every.  Single. Base. Card. Was. Gold.

That cannot be a coincidence.  That cannot be dumb luck.  It had to have been a deliberate move by Bowman.

I wasn't planning on trying to put together an all gold base parallel set but it seems as if I'm practically a third of the way there with all the gold parallels I picked up.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pack Searching: 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen

I went to my favorite Target store in town.  They had a retail box of 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen out.  It actually must have been two retail boxes because the box had over 24 packs in it.  I had already searched this box before for framed mini relics.  But at the time I had searched it, I wasn't really looking for anything else.  Since I hit framed Lou Gehrig not too long ago, I decided that I needed to search this box again in case I had missed a full-sized blue frame parallel card.

Eric Hosmer
2012 Topps Gypsy Queen
Full-Sized Blue Frame Parallel
#/599
Sure enough, there was one in the box.  Pretty nice little hit there.  Look at the big stupid grin on Eric Hosmer's face in that picture.  What's making him smile so much?  Did he just hit a home run?  Did he just save a lot of money on his car insurance by switching to Geico???

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012 Topps Chrome Baseball Cutting Edge Stars Die-Cut

Found another one.  Love these cards.

Giancarlo Stanton
2012 Topps Chrome Baseball
Cutting Edge Stars Die-Cut
Odds: 1:24
For a moment I was debating whether to try and complete the die-cut set.  But then I checked the checklist and saw that there are 50 of these cards in the 2012 Topps Chrome set.  That's a bit too many to either find in retail boxes or buy off of Ebay.

Still hoping to find a Mike Trout or Yu Darvish die-cut.  Maybe some day I'll get really lucky and pull a die-cut autograph.  Actually, the odds for pulling an autograph die-cuts are 1:19,675 in retail packs so there is a good chance I'll never pull one from retail. 



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pack Searching: 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball

I've noticed that in some 2012 Bowman Platinum retail boxes the chrome refractors are harder to find than other retail boxes.  I realized this when I was using my chrome refractor finding technique to search a retail box... and I couldn't find any.  The box was a fairly new box.  There were 20-22 packs in the retail box (it comes with 24 packs).  So I knew there were four to five chrome cards in the box.  It's not that the chrome cards weren't in the box, it was just that I couldn't find them for once.

So I tried a second search technique I've devised for chrome cards.  I think this same technique might work for finding autographs too, but unfortunately I haven't hit an autograph yet.

After slowly searching the box, I had located a few packs I was pretty sure had the chrome cards, and a few packs I wasn't quit so sure about.  It sort of sucks to buy a pack without being 100% sure it has exactly what you're looking for.  I guess once you get used to pack searching and knowing that you'll get exactly what you want, as soon as there is any doubt in your mind that you could be wrong you really start to hem and haw about if you should buy that pack.  Inevitably though, I always end up buying the pack.  I hate living with the idea that I might have missed out on some epic hit just because I wasn't sure and I didn't want to spend an additional $3.00 to buy the pack.

So I ended up buying the packs I wasn't quite 100% sure about, and I ended up going four out of six (over two retail boxes).  I whiffed on two packs.  I thought they were chrome cards, but they weren't. 

Will Middlebrooks
2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball
Chrome Refractor
Odds: 1:4
Bryce Brentz
2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball
Chrome Refractor
Odds: 1:4
Johnathan Schoop
2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball
Chrome Refractor
Odds: 1:4
Martin Perez
2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball
Chrome Refractor
Odds: 1:4
What was more frustrating about this situation was that one of the packs I whiffed on, had already been opened by another pack searcher.  They had slightly opened up the top of the pack to peek into the pack.  I didn't notice it when I searched the pack.  I only noticed it after I had paid and had left the store.  Lesson learned, right?  Check every pack you buy to make sure it hasn't been discreetly torn open by another pack searcher.

I guess karma is getting me back.  Some might say I screw over other hobbiests by "pack searching".  Well, now I got screwed over by a true pack searcher who is downright damaging the product on the shelf.  As unscrupulous as some people might consider me, I'm not a criminal -- unlike those other pack searchers who are.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Pack Searching: 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball

Sigh.  Still searching for an autograph from this set.  Haven't hit a single one.  Either people have been beating me to the punch or I just can't find them.  At first I thought it was the former, but now I'm starting to think it's the latter.  I had devised a way to find the chrome cards in Bowman Platinum.  I thought the same method might work for the autograph cards.  But now, as I've done more research, I don't think that method will work for finding autographs.  So all along when I was pack searching I might have been holding a pack with an autograph in my hands, but I just didn't realize it.  Damn.

On a more positive note, I can still find die-cuts just fine.  Anyone can find die-cuts though.

Paul Goldschmidt
2012 Bowman Platinum
Cutting Edge Stars Die-Cut
Odds:  1:10
Ryan Braun
2012 Bowman Platinum
Cutting Edge Stars Die-Cut
Odds:  1:10
Do people not care for these die-cuts?  I think they look awesome.  But time after time I come across retail boxes of 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball which have been searched, but the pack searchers before me have left behind the die-cuts.  I guess they don't want the die-cuts.  That's fine.  I'll take them. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pack Searching: 2012 Topps Football

Every time I see packs of 2012 Topps Football, I have to search them for more coin or medal cards.  I still haven't found another one but I did find a relic card.

Darren McFadden
2012 Topps Football
Prolific Playmakers Relic
Odds:  1:340
I'm not exactly a Raiders fan, but nonetheless, a decent low-end hit.

Darren McFadden
2012 Topps Football
Prolific Playmakers Relic
Odds:  1:340
Once again, the Topps guarantee on this card is pretty weak.  It says: "The relic contained in this card is not from any specific game, event or season."  It's not even quite clear that this relic is an actual game-used relic.  As I've said before in a previous post, I think it would be totally cool if Topps made a card set which guaranteed that the relic cards were from a certain game, event or season.  What if, for example, this relic was actually from that October 24, 2010, game against Denver where the Raiders won 59-14, and Darren McFadden scored four touchdowns?  That would be much more cool. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pack Searching: 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen

For the longest time I've been wanting to hit up this one Target about 20 minutes away from me.  I drive by it all the time, but I've never had the time or opportunity to search it.  But finally, one weekend, I had some time to kill so I decided to go search it.

The Target was a newer one but for some reason its card section was small.  Nevertheless, the card section was jam packed with retail boxes, gravity boxes, blaster boxes, and rack packs.  I looked at all the cards in front of me and figured that if I searched all the sets I wanted to search, I could easily be here for an hour and a half.

As with every Target I go to, I know that each one has probably been searched already.  And within moments of starting my search, I could tell it had been hit by another pack searcher.  As I've said many times before, you can often tell the packs have been searched by the way the cards feel and/or by the way the packs are arranged.  Still though, perhaps the pack searchers before me missed some stuff.  It's happened before.  I've pulled hits from retail boxes and gravity displays that other pack searchers had missed.

So I started searching some 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen.  The pack searcher who had been there before me had done all the work for me.  I barely had to do anything to search the packs.  He (or she) had already manipulated the cards so I could just look at the pack to see whether it had a hit or not.

I think they were looking for one of those framed mini relic hits.  Those are what I usually look for too because they're the easiest to find.  But one thing about the Gypsy Queen set is that they have some other pretty cool insert and hit cards which aren't framed mini relics.  And unless you're looking for those cards, you could probably pass those cards right up if you're just keeping an eye out for the framed mini relic hits.  And I think that's what happened to this person.

One pack I picked up clearly didn't have a framed mini relic hit.  I was just about to set it down when I felt something slightly different about it.  I paused and took a closer look at it.  It definitely didn't have a framed mini relic in it, but it had something else.  It wasn't a regular relic card either...

Lou Gehrig
2012 Topps Gypsy Queen
Full-Sized Blue Frame Parallel
#/599
It was a Lou Gehrig full-sized framed parallel serial numbered to 599!  Awesome!  Talk about a nice looking card.  The blue frame frames Lou Gehrig very nicely.  I also like the old-school filter or effect they used on the picture.  Cool card.

My first inclination was to get this card BGS graded.  I know it's not a super expensive card or an autograph card, but I like to grade other cool insert or parallel cards I get.  Unfortunately, the top front edges of the card were slightly bent forward (probably from the factory packing), and one of the back bottom edges had slight damage to it (probably from the pack searcher who searched this pack before me).  Oh well.  Still a super cool card to get.

Once again, pulling hits that other pack searchers missed.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

2012 Topps Platinum Football

I picked up a few 2012 Topps Platinum Football rack packs over the weekend just to see what they were like.  What is nice about this set is that you do get one rookie card per pack.  So you're not ever going to get totally screwed with a pack which has just base cards.

Ryan Broyles
2012 Topps Platinum Football
Rookie Card X-Fractor
Odds:  1:4
And the rookie cards are kind of nice looking. 

Coby Fleener
2012 Topps Platinum Football
Die-Cut Rookie Card
Odds: 1:24
The die-cuts are pretty cool looking too.

Mike Wallace
2012 Topps Platinum Football
Veteran Ruby Parallel
Odds: ? (retail)
But what the fuck are these stupid ruby parallel veteran base cards about?  They're so uninspiring and pointless.  Are collectors supposed to go crazy for these cards because the background has a little red in it?  Or because the cards are printed on thicker card stock?  Lame, lame, lame.

Why don't card companies make these rarer and (supposedly) more desirable parallel cards actually ... more desirable?  I mean, these ruby parallels don't contain anything which makes me want them more than the regular base cards.  At least use a different picture of the player or something.  Or make the card a chrome refractor or something.  Do something to the card -- other than merely changing the stupid background color -- to make the card more desirable.

I'm sure everyone will agree with me, right?  These ruby parallel cards are crap.  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pack Searching: 2012 Bowman Platinum Baseball

I was on my way home from a small day excursion when I came across a Target store.  It was a newer one.  Probably only been open for about a year or so.  I decided I needed to search it.  I parked my car and strolled into the store.  I walked up to the card aisle and was welcomed with the sight of a plentiful bounty of retail boxes and gravity boxes.  This place was stacked with cards.

I knew that this place has probably been searched many times over.  Even so, I decided it was worth the effort to check everything for any leftover hits.

I looked around at the cards, trying to decide which set to start with.  I decided to start with 2012 Bowman Platinum.  This set has become somewhat of a small obsession for me.  Mostly because I haven't cracked it yet.  I haven't pulled an autograph card out of a retail blaster box, and I haven't been able to successfully pack search an autograph from the retail box.  I'm determined to find autograph cards in this set.

Wil Myers
2012 Bowman Platinum
X-Fractor
Odds:  1:20
I picked up some packs from a fairly 3/4ths full retail box and went to work.  To my disgust, the first few packs I picked up were opened.  Somebody had opened up the top to peek inside the pack.  Some of the packs even had a card missing from them.  Cards had been stolen.  I set these packs aside.

I grabbed some more packs and started searching them.  Suddenly, I heard some footsteps approaching behind me and a voice say "so, what's the technique?"

I calmly stopped what I was doing, turned, and looked at who it was.  It was a tall Target security officer.  I was busted.  I told him the usual lines.  The simple stuff.  I do this, I do that.  He listened and just stood there.  Any moment now I was expecting him to ask me to leave.  But he didn't.  So I just kept talking.  I asked him if he sees a lot of people come in here and search the packs.  Yup.  He does.  When he first started his job, he thought people were stealing cards and when he confronted them, they would tell him they were just feeling to find the good cards.  So he knows what I'm doing.  But he doesn't care.  In fact, he seems more interested in seeing if I can actually find anything.

Rymer Liriano
2012 Bowman Platinum
Chrome Refractor
Odds:  1:4
I show him the packs which have been opened by other pack searchers and warn him that I've noticed a lot of people doing this now.  He's surprised.  Interestingly, he says he's never noticed this before.  I tell him that a lot of times people will either open up the tops or bottoms of the packs to peek inside or steal cards, or that they'll rip open the tops very slightly to peek in.  He confiscates the packs which have been opened.

And we start talking.  He's not here to kick me out or stop me.  He just wants to know how I do it.  I explain to him I'm just okay at it.  I explain a few methods I use and why those methods work.  In return I ask him some questions related to how security works at Target.  I ask him about the cameras on the ceiling, whether he uses them, and how powerful they are.  As you can probably guess, the answers are yes, and that the cameras are quite powerful (I'm not saying how powerful though).  I ask him if he's seen people use scales before, and he says no.  I ask him what he does when he sees someone stealing.  It's all very interesting.

Finally, I ask him if he wants to see the hits.  He grins and nods.  Yeah, he does.  He's probably never had a pack searcher offer him that.  He wants to see if pack searching can be done.  I promise him I'll show him the hits before I leave.  He goes back to work and I go back to my searching.

Anthony Ranaudo
2012 Bowman Platinum
Chrome Refractor
Odds:  1:4
I search, and search, and search.  I utilize my latest pack searching techniques on the 2012 Bowman Platinum retail box.  I find what I suspect to be four chrome card packs.  The rest of the card sets have already been cleaned out.  I can tell based on how the cards feel as I searched them myself.  I pay for the four packs of card.

The security guard is by the door waiting for me.  I ask him if he's ready to see if I was right.  He seems very eager to see the results of my searching.  I'm feeling a little bit of pressure to perform.  I certainly wouldn't want to not pull anything and disappoint this guy.

I open packs.  I go four out of four.  They're all hits.  They're all chrome cards, including one green chrome refractor (numbered to 399).  The security guard is very impressed.  He even states that he wants to learn how to do it.  I tell him all he needs to do is go online.  There is plenty of free information on the internet for anyone to learn how to do it.  I warn him though, that it may take a while to get good at it.  I explain how when I first started out, I wasn't that good at it and I was buying a lot of packs which contained countermeasures meant to fool pack searchers.  Still though, he seems undeterred by my warning.

Gerrit Cole
2012 Bowman Platinum
Green Refractor
Odds:  1:98
We say our goodbyes.  He seems thankful for me telling him so much about pack searching and for showing him the hits I pulled.  I am thankful for the information he told me about the store operations and Target security.  I don't plan on stealing cards from Target, but it's just nice knowing this information since I'm sure I've often been under the scrutiny of Target security for pack searching.  I tell him the next time I'm back I'll say hi and show him the hits I pull again.  By the look on his face, I can tell that he likes this idea a lot.

On my way out of the store I feel happy.  It's not every day Target security wants to be your friend rather than harass you or kick you out.  But at the same time I'm also feeling a little bad.  I feel like I've turned another good innocent person to the dark side -- to pack searching. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Relic Guarantees

Do you ever wonder if the relic piece on that relic card you just pulled is actually from that player pictured on the card?  I mean, you have no reason to assume otherwise?  The player is pictured on the front, and there is a relic on the front.  That relic is of that player, right?  Right???

Gordon Beckham
2012 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Golden Moments Relic
Odds:  1:72
Take a look at the above Gordon Beckham relic I pulled.  The back of the card specifically states:

"THE RELIC CONTAINED ON THIS CARD IS NOT FROM ANY SPECIFIC GAME, EVENT, OR SEASON."  

Okay.  Great.  That's fine.  Sure, this relic may be from a jersey that Gordon Beckham wore around the house, or out to the grocery store some Sunday afternoon, or wore back in 2010.  But there is no explicit guarantee that the relic was worn during a game.  That kinda sucks if this jersey wasn't actually a game-used jersey.

What's more concerning is the fact that the guarantee doesn't state that the fabric is even belongs to Gordon Beckham!  It doesn't even say.  For all we know, that could be a Jesus Montero relic on there.  Not good.  Even worse, the guarantee doesn't say that the relic was even worn at all!  Topps should really make their relic guarantees more specific.  The more specific the relic guarantee, the more meaningful the relic.

Ray Lewis
2012 Panini Prestige
Relic Card
For comparison, take a look at the relic guarantee of this Ray Lewis card I pulled.  The back of the card specifically states: 

"The enclosed player-worn material is guaranteed by Panini America, Inc."

Hmm.  This guarantee by Panini America isn't much better than the Topps one.  It's slightly better than the Topps guarantee in that Panini is guaranteeing, at least, that the player actually wore the material.  But like the Topps guarantee, there is no guarantee that the material was actually worn during a game or that the player pictured on the card is the player who actually wore the material!  I mean, I guess we are to draw our own conclusions that since this is a Ray Lewis card and it is a "player-worn material" that it was worn by Ray Lewis.  But shoot, if we wanted to mince words and their meaning then the Panini guarantee doesn't really guarantee much.

Phil Pfister
2012 Topps Allen & Ginter
Framed Mini Relic
Odds:  1:28
So far, the best guarantee I've seen is from Topps on its Allen & Ginter set (disclaimer:  I haven't pulled a ton of relics from many other sets so perhaps some other sets have more specific guarantees).  The back of this card states:
"THIS TOPPS ALLEN & GINTER RELIC CARD CONTAINS USED MEMORABILIA OF PHIL PFISTER, WINNER, WORLD'S STRONGEST MAN COMPETITION.  THE RELIC CONTAINED IN THIS CARD IS NOT FROM ANY SPECIFIC GAME, EVENT OR SEASON."

Again, there is no guarantee that the card is from any specific game, event or season.  Fine.  But at least on this card Topps explicitly guarantees that this is a Phil Pfister used memorabilia.  Topps is guaranteeing that the relic on this card actually belongs to the person pictured on the card! 

So we can be sure the relic on this card isn't a Jesus Montero underwear fabric.  Yay!  And Topps is guaranteeing that the fabric was actually used (although not from any specific game, event or season).  More yay!

In my opinion, I think card companies should be more specific about their relic guarantees.  Imagine if Topps or Panini made a set of cards which guaranteed that the relics on the cards were from a specific game or event.  For example, imagine you pull a Matt Cain relic from a pack, and the guarantee states that the relic is from the very jersey that Matt Cain wore on June 13, 2012, the night he pitched a perfect game.  Wow!  Wouldn't that be cool?  That would be much more cool than any old typical Matt Cain relic.  Demand for those relic cards would go up.  The prices for those relic cards would go up.  Interest in that card set would go up!  The card companies could make more money!  Seems like a win-win situation for everyone. 

It is my hope that card companies make more specific guarantees on their relic cards, or that they make card sets which feature very special relic cards which are guaranteed to be from specific game or event. 

Perhaps I'll email this suggestion to Topps and Panini. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

2012 Topps Football Mini Box Break

I'm still dying to get another one of those coin cards (or a medal card) from 2012 Topps Football.  As you may recall, I pulled one a month ago from a retail box at Walmart

So on one of my visits to a local Target, I figured I would search the mini rack boxes of 2012 Topps Football.  The rack boxes contain a bunch of cards within them instead of individual packs.  Even though you can't feel the cards (like you can of cards within a pack), I figured I would handle each box one to see if one was particularly heavier or anything than the rest. 

Lo and behold, one box felt moderately heavier than the others.  I kept weighing that one box in one hand versus another box in another hand.  Then I would switch hands with the boxes.  The weight difference wasn't huge, but I still felt like it was noticeable.  

I was so sure that I had another coin card or a medal card.  But when I got home after purchasing the box I opened it up and to my disappointment, I discovered there wasn't a coin or medal card in there.  Bummer.  But by strange stupid luck, there was a relic card in the box! 


Ndamukong Suh
2012 Topps Football
Prolific Playmakers Relic
Odds:  1:340
Did I actually find this card based on its weight?  No.  Not at all.  It was just pure dumb luck.  I was looking for a coin or medal card.  I was probably imagining that this box weighed more than the others.  I guess I was just lucky. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2012 Topps Series 1 & 2012 Topps Heritage Value Pack

So, despite searching loose retail packs, I still do purchase (without searching) retail blaster boxes and sometimes retail rack packs.  One product which has caught my attention recently are those 2012 Topps Series 1 and 2012 Topps Heritage Extra Value boxes. 

For $15 you get five retail packs of 2012 Topps Series 1 Baseball, two hobby packs of 2012 Topps Heritage, and one Golden Giveaway card.  I'm not sure it's really a 40% extra value as Topps claims.  After all, those Series 1 Baseball packs are only worth about $2.19 each, the Heritage packs are worth about $3.19 each, and the Golden Giveaway card is probably worth about $1.00.  All together that's about $18.35 worth of cards for only $15.00.  That's about a 20% savings, not a 40% savings.  Putting that point aside, what really sort of interested me about this box was getting those two hobby packs of Heritage.

It's been at least eight years since I bought hobby.  Part of that reason is because I've been out of the sports card collecting hobby for a good eight years.  But another reason is because hobby boxes can often be really expensive and thus I just don't buy them.  So to me, getting my hands on some hobby packs without actually having to buy a whole hobby box is sort of a big deal.

Frankly, I was keeping my expectations for this box pretty low.  I knew that the odds of hitting anything in the Topps Series 1 packs was slim.  Relics are inserted at odds of  1:72.  So the probability of hitting a relic with those five packs is 6.85% (5/73).

As for the Heritage hobby packs, a hobby box of 2012 Topps Heritage has either one autograph or one relic per hobby box of 24 packs.  That means the odds of hitting a relic or autograph per pack is 1:23.  Or, in other words, the probability is 4.17% (1/24).  Considering this box has two hobby packs, then the probability of hitting that autograph or relic is 8.33% (2/24).  Needless to say, the odds are not in your favor when you buy these boxes.

When I opened up the box of cards, I quickly felt up the Series 1 packs for a relic.  This only took a few seconds total, but I relished those few seconds.  It's not every day that I get to pack search packs in the comfort of my own home without having to worry about someone watching me or interrupting me.  And in those few seconds, I realized I had a hit. 

Johnny Damon
2012 Topps Series 1
Golden Moments Game-Used Memorabilia
Odds:  1:72
I sort of chuckled to myself a bit because the odds of getting a hit were so low.  Like I said earlier, the probability of getting a relic hit with those five Series 1 packs was a mere 6.85% but I had beat the odds.  In one of the packs was a nice Johnny Damon Golden Moments Relic. 

Well, seeing as how I had hit something in the Series 1 packs, I knew for a fact that I wasn't going to hit something in the Heritage hobby packs.  I mean, I couldn't be that lucky, right?


Daniel Hudson
2012 Topps Heritage
Bat Relic
Odds:  1:23 (hobby)

Well, maybe I could be.  To my amazement, I pulled a Daniel Hudson bat relic from one of the 2012 Topps Heritage packs.  Yeah, talk about beating the odds.  The odds of getting a relic or autograph in hobby packs of 2012 Topps Heritage is 1:23 or 4.17%.  With two packs the probability jumps to 8.33% and I had just beat those odds too.  Crazy.

I know I was lucky.  Despite knowing that I was lucky, I really really want to buy another one of these Extra Value Boxes.  I can never just stop.  When I get a taste of victory (a hit), I want more of it.  And I chase it.  There is little doubt I'll probably be buying myself another one of these boxes very soon.

This addiction never ends.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fake Yu Darvish Signed Mini: Insane or Stupid?

The hype surrounding Yu Darvish has been crazy.  What's been more crazy is the fact that people are knowingly willing to pay for fake autographs of him.  But not only that, people are knowingly willing to pay for fake cards (with fake autographs on them) of him.

If you've been perusing Ebay since the release of 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter, you may have noticed a lot of auctions selling "hand cut" (so fancy!) signed mini cards of Yu Darvish taken from the tops of hobby boxes.

Here's what the signed Yu Darvish mini looks like:

Yu Darvish
2012 Topps Allen & Ginter

Here's what a 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter hobby box looks like:


Do you see the Yu Darvish mini card on the right side of the box?  Yeah.  That's what people are selling.  Mind you, that's not a real card on the top of the hobby box.  It's a printed image on the hobby box top.  I repeat, it's not a real card!  But people are carefully hand cutting (everything sounds more special when it's "hand cut", right?) that image of the signed Yu Darvish mini, and selling it on Ebay.

Insane.

And what's more insane, is that people are actually buying that stuff!

And what's even MORE insane, is that people are actually paying lots of money for it!  Or perhaps they're just stupid.  I don't know.

Check out this ebay auction:


Somebody bid $49.88 for this fake Yu Darvish card, with a fake autograph on it!  Wow.  Like I said, I'm not sure if that person is just insane or an idiot.

For $50.00 you can almost buy your own hobby box of 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter.  Then, not only can you cut out the image of the Yu Darvish signed mini card on the box top yourself, you actually get a whole box of 2012 Topps Allen & Ginter hobby packs too!

I'm totally perplexed by why people are paying so much money for an image of the card.  It's nuts.  Totally nuts.  And it's not just one person paying so much money for these fake cards.  There are tons of people.  Past ebay listings show that other "hand cut" (omg, so fancy!) Yu Darvish signed mini hobby box top "cards" have been selling for $20-$30 too.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Championship Collection Blaster Boxes

Ever see any of these Championship Collection blaster boxes at Walmart? 

Brand: Championship Collection
Blaster Box
MSRP: $19.98
They caught my attention because on the cover of the box is a BGS 9.5 graded card, along with an autograph card, and the blaster box advertises itself as offering:

"1 Graded, Rookie
Game Used, 
or Autograph Card
plus 
10 
football packs inside!"

The above text is copied exactly as it appears on the blaster box.  When I read the text, I interpreted it to be offering one graded rookie game-used card OR one graded autograph card.  The key to this interpretation lies in the fact that there is no comma after the word "Rookie."  Because if there was a comma after the word "Rookie," then it would seem to be offering one graded rookie card OR one game-used card OR one autographed card. 

I don't know about you, but the thought of getting a BGS 9.5 (or even a BGS 8.5 or 9.0) graded card Rookie game-used card or a BGS graded autograph card for only $20 is pretty tempting.  So, I bought one of these blaster boxes.  

I'll just spoil things now and say that it was a mistake. 



Yes, you do get 10 football packs inside.  They can be seen in the above picture.  Some of the packs aren't bad.  Prestige isn't bad stuff, neither is Elite.  Heck, even Absolute Memorabilia and Donruss Classics isn't horrible.  The chances of getting something good in these packs is probably pretty low though.  I didn't get anything good. 

But what really got me to buy this blaster box was the chance at getting an awesome BGS graded rookie game-used card or an autograph card. 


Instead, all I got was a BCCG Graded Rookie Card.  Disappointment ensued. 

I think there was a little bit of false advertisement here by Championship Collection.  First of all, as I pointed out earlier, the text on the front of the blaster box advertised that the blaster contained either a graded Rookie game-used card, or a graded autograph card. 

In reality though, the blaster boxes contained either a graded rookie card, a graded game-used card, or a graded autograph card.  This difference is achieved by merely excluding (whether on purpose or by accident) a comma. 

"1 Graded, Rookie Game Used, or Autograph Card" ...

is much different than...

"1 Graded, Rookie, Game Used, or Autograph Card"  
(Note that the latter quote has that extra comma between the words rookie and game used.)

That comma makes all the difference.  That's what tricked me.  And I think Championship Collection meant to trick the consumers like that too. 

More trickeration by Championship Collection is obvious by the fact that they show a BGS graded card on the front of the blaster box, but the cards are actually only BCCG graded.  Everyone who has had a card graded knows the difference between BGS and BCCG -- the former is better than the latter.  So Championship Collection advertised themselves as offering a card graded by the better service when in fact they really weren't offering any cards from the BGS Grading service.  

Frankly, I'm sort of torn between being pissed at Championship Collection for their shady advertisement practices and me for buying this blaster box in the first place.  This blaster box did seem a little "too good to be true."  And as the saying also goes, "if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn't true."  

But it's hard for me to turn down (what appeared to be) a good deal.  I fell for the advertisement trap.  Good job, Championship Collection.  You got my money.  And oh yeah, screw you guys.  You guys are shady. 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Championship Collection Value Packs

I'm a sucker for deals.  And if you've ever gone to Walmart or Target you've probably seen some of these Championship Collection (that's the brand name) 100 card "Super Value Packs" being sold for only $5.00.

Brand Name: Championship Collection
Cards in pack: 100
Worth Buying?  No!

Quite a deal, right?

100 cards for only like $5.00?  That's hard to turn down.  Even if the cards are mostly base cards.

I've never bought one of these packs before.  I figured that most of the cards in there were probably from retail packs which went un-sold in the very retail stores where this value pack was being sold (i.e. Target & Walmart).  This company probably bought all those packs, opened them up, and was re-selling their contents for a discounted price.

I knew that the chances of there actually being any good cards in these packs was close to 0%.  This company, Championship Collection, probably took out the good stuff for re-sale, and then put all the crap base cards in this pack.  So I had no reason to buy a pack.  But my curiosity got the best of me and I bought a pack.  Like I said earlier, I'm a sucker for deals.  Unfortunately for me, this wasn't a deal. 

I figured most of the cards would be only 2-3 years old, max.  Nope!  Some of the cards in there were from 10 year old sets.  There were a few rookie cards in there.  But I got crap rookies.  There were no autos.  No relics.  Just base base base, and a few random inserts.

You're not going to see any pictures of what I got in this pack because it really did contain nothing of value.  It was just all worthless crap.  Save your money.  Don't buy these Championship Collection Value Packs.