Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pack Searching 2012 Panini Prizm Football

Another trip to Target and some more cards.  These came from two boxes of 2012 Panini Prizm Football which already looked searched.  In fact, I had been looking at those two boxes of Prizm for the last week or so and didn't even bother searching them because I figured they had either been hit by me or another pack searcher.  On this particular Target trip I had a minute to kill so I quickly searched the remaining packs.  To my surprise I found the inserts!  Apparently this box hadn't already been searched.

Robert Griffin III
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Impact Insert
Retail Odds: 1:24 

I pulled a very nice Robert Griffin III Rookie Impact insert.  Sweet.  Too bad it wasn't a prizm insert.


Peyton Manning
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Brilliance Insert
Retail Odds:  1:24

And I pulled a very nice Peyton Manning Brilliance insert.  What a nice looking card.  Manning's pose fits perfectly into the design of the card.  Again, wish this one was a prizm version but oh well.


Lavonte David
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Autograph
Retail Odds:  1:24

To my complete surprise I also found the autograph too.  Got a Lavonte David redemption.  This is actually a nice player to pull.  Lavonte David was selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2nd round of the 2012 NFL Draft.  He played all 16 games last year and notched 139 combined tackles (112 solo), 2 sacks, 1 interception, 5 passes defended, and 19 runs stuffed!  Wow.  Pretty darn good stats.  Worthy enough to give Luke Kuechly a run for his money.


Dercon Jones
2012 Panini Prizm
Decade Dominance Insert
Retail Odds:  1:24 

Got a Dercon Jones Decade Dominance insert.  I don't know about these black and white Decade Dominance inserts.  The card needs some color.  Even the team logo is black and white.  And what's with the bottom right corners of the card not having any chrome on it?  These are probably some of weirder cards in this set.


Zach Miller
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm
Retail Odds:  1:12

Finally, I even hit one green prizm too!  At the end of my searching I just grabbed two packs which I thought had a green prizm in them.  Well, one of them did.  Not bad.  I know these green prizms are supposed to be rarer than the regular prizms, but I kinda want to get some regular prizms!  I've had the worst time finding regular prizms.

Overall, not a bad haul for $20 or so.  I'll take it.  Panini Prizm is definitely one of my favorite football products of 2012.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Topps Series 1: Logan Ondrusek Camouflage Parallel

Had more free time than usual a few weeks ago so I went out on a small pack searching road trip.  I never go on truly hardcore dedicated pack searching road trips where I'll drive 50 or 100 miles.  In fact, I pretty much stay within a 10 mile radius of my home.  On this occasion I hit up a Target and Walmart in the next town over about 10 miles away.

I tend to stay away from this town because it is further than other Targets and Walmarts which are closer to me, and I know there are pack searchers in that town who got those Targets and Walmarts on lock-down.  On the few occasions I've made it over there everything has been thoroughly searched.  And I mean, thoroughly.  Actually, prior to this trip I don't think I've ever found anything there.

But on this little trip I was pleasantly surprised to see tons and tons of 2013 Topps Series 1 still out.  Yeah, I knew it had to have already been searched for relics.  And they were.  I didn't find a single relic.  But I knew that there was a chance I'd find something a little more difficult to find, something I know other pack searchers don't always know how to find: the parallels.

Logan Ondrusek
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Camouflage Parallel
Rack Pack Odds:  1:79

And I was right.  Found myself a nice Logan Ondrusek camouflage parallel.  I love these camouflage cards.  I think they're cool and unique.  I like paying tribute to the men and women serving our country and protecting our freedom.


Logan Ondrusek
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Camouflage Parallel
Rack Pack Odds:  1:79

As usual these camouflage paralles are numbered to 99.  Even though they are pretty short printed, they're not worth much unless you hit someone big.  Mike Trout camouflage cards are selling from anywhere between $40 to $60 on Ebay.  Crazy!

This A.J. Burnett camouflage numbered 1/99 sold for a whopping $129.99!!!

Man, why can't I hit a big name player like that?  So far I've only hit this Logan Ondrusek and Rickie Weeks.

And I still haven't found a pink parallel yet...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Press Pass Racing: Dale Earnhardt Burning Rubber Relic

Was SUPER DUPER bored on night with nothing to do so I went out to the local Target to see what was new.  Nothing was new.  The same old lose packs, rack packs, and blasters were sitting there.  Nothing new to search.

I tend to stay away from searching some sports because I just don't follow the sports.  For example, I rarely touch basketball products even though there may be autographs and relics in them which I'm sure I could find.  I passed on 2012 Panini Prizm Basketball and I'm wishing I didn't because apparently that set is HOT and those green prizms are selling like hot cakes.  Dammit.  I remember seeing tons of untouched retail boxes in stores when those hit but I just ignored them.  I'm a total idiot.  Only once I started getting word that they were worth the searching did I try and search a retail box, and of course, all the good stuff was gone.

Anyways, so I'm standing at Target just staring at the same ol' stuff wishing there was something new in either football or baseball for me to search.  But there is nothing.

So I focus on those 2013 Press Pass Racing which I see in stores every once in a while.  The cards look cheap and I don't know anything about racing, but I decide that I'll search it anyways since I've got nothing else better to do.  It doesn't take me long to find something.


Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2013 Press Pass Racing
Burning Rubber Relic
#/199

Pulled a Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Burning Rubber Relic.  Nice!  These are sort of different.


Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2013 Press Pass Racing
Burning Rubber Relic
#/199

The cool thing about these cards is that the memorabilia is certified to have come from a specific event, unlike Topps who usually disclaims that the memorabilia is from any specific event, game or season.  This particular tire memorabilia was used by Dale Earnhardt, Jr. during the May 2012 Sprint Showdown.  Pretty cool!

I don't think I'll do any more searching of this product.  Yeah, it's cool.  It's easy.  But these cards just don't mean too much to me since I'm not a racing fan.  I'll still keep this card and add it to my collection but I'm definitely not going to go out of my way to search for more of these.  I'd rather stick with football, basketball, and baseball.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball

Got first dibs on another display of 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball.  Hit up a Target a little further away from which I normally don't frequent.  By pure luck, a Target employee was restocking cards right when I got there.  I saw that there was Heritage in the boxes she was putting out.  I perused the rest of the cards on display for a moment.  The poor employee had no idea where anything went.  She'd pick up a blaster box and look around for 30 seconds before she could figure out where to put it.  At this pace she was going to take an hour to refill the card section.

I decided to come back later.  I went about my normal shopping in the mean time.  When I returned 15 minutes later she was gone.  The checkout aisles had gotten busy so she had gone off to go play cashier.  She had left the boxes of new Excell items open on the floor by the cards.

Seeing as how I'm a nice guy I figured I'd help her out a bit since she seemed so clueless about where things went.  I picked up the card section first.  I put all the random packs of cards which had been strewn about back into their correct retail boxes and gravity feed boxes.  I even flipped the cards all face up and in the facing the same direction.  I grouped like blasters together and straightened them out.  I put loose rack packs back on the correct racks.

Once I was done cleaning up the card section I went for the Heritage.  Rack packs first.  Found some chromes and a Venezuelan but no Real One Autographs.  Still looking to pull a ROA.

I took out the huge gravity box.  Surprisingly there weren't many loose packs in there.  I think there were only about three dozen packs or so.  Aren't there supposed to be like 72 or something?  Anyways, I checked out the loose packs and aside from a few chromes there wasn't anything else all that great.


Aramis Ramirez
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Parallel
#/999
Retail Pack Odds:  1:24

Pulled a Aramis Ramirez chrome parallel.  For some reason I seem to be hitting a lot of him lately.


R.A. Dickey
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Parallel
#/999
Retail Pack Odds:  1:24

Got a R.A. Dickey chrome parallel...


Matt Kemp
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Parallel
#/999
Retail Pack Odds:  1:24

A Matt Kemp chrome parallel...


CC Sabathia
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Parallel
#/999
Retail Pack Odds:  1:24

And a CC Sabathia chrome parallel.  I think it's sort of interesting how there are no periods in CC Sabathia's first name.  His full name is Carsten Charles Sabathia.  Being that "CC" is short for "Carsten Charles" you'd think that it would be spelled "C.C."  instead of "CC".  The latter seems to suggest that his first name is, quite literally, "CC" -- as in two letter Cs back to back.


Marco Scutaro
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Refractor Parallel
#/564
Retail Pack Odds:  1:42

And got a nice chrome refractor Marco Scutaro.  Really diggin' the chrome refractors.  Wish I had more of them.


Aramis Ramirez
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Venezuelan Parallel
Retail Pack Odds:  1:47

Here's another Aramis Ramirez card.  This one is a Venezuelan.  I don't know why I buy packs with Venezuelans in them.  I think I'm going to start leaving them behind.


Bryce Harper
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
SP Base Card

And then the best card of the bunch is probably this Bryce Harper SP base card.  I thought this card had a printing defect because there is a black spot underneath Bryce's left eye.  But then I looked up pictures of Mr. Harper and he really does have a mole underneath his left eye.  Never noticed until now.


Bryce Harper
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
SP Base Card

Unfortunately this Bryce Harper card wasn't an error variation which are 1:1,567 odds.  Oh well.  Overall, not a bad haul for seven packs of cards.

When I purchased the packs at the checkout line the same Target employee who was restocking the cards was also my cashier. She gave me a funny look at first, avoided eye contact with me, and didn't talk to me at all during the checkout process aside from the usual "find everything okay?" and telling me my total.  I think she saw me searching cards.  She probably knew what I was doing.  She was probably thinking "you're a packsearcher!" but was too embarrassed or afraid to say anything to me.  She also probably thought I had destroyed her card section in my search for cards.  I hope she was pleasantly surprised later when she went back to the card display to see that I had neatly organized everything for her and put everything out on display.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part V: 2012 Allen & Ginter Blaster Box

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part I:  It All Started With a Blaster...
The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part II:  Almost Got Kicked Out of Target
The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part III:  Prizm Payday
The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part IV:  First Dibs on Heritage


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

7:40 a.m. - I'm up early ... again.  2013 Topps Heritage Baseball streets today.  I'm going out to Target #1 to see if they're putting it out right when they open up.  I was just there yesterday evening and they didn't have it out.  I honestly doubt that they'll have it out this morning but I can't take the risk of not checking in case they do put it out.  Part of being a successful pack searcher is getting out and beating other searchers to the store.  Early bird gets the worm.

7:58 a.m. - I'm at Target #1.  I always check to see who is loitering outside the front doors before they open.  None of the people look like pack searchers.  Good.

8:02 a.m. - Target #1 is now open.  I'm in the card aisle ready to search this place dry or to rip open any Excell boxes on sight.  But nothing is out.  No Heritage on display.  No Excell boxes for me to rip open.   Frustrating!  Want a Real One Auto (ROA) so bad!!!

8:04 a.m. - I go back to my car in defeat. 

8:05 a.m - I debate whether to check Target #2 for some Heritage before work.  I estimate the amount of time it would take for me to drive there.  About 20 minutes.  That means I'd get there around 8:25 a.m. and I'd only have about half an hour max to search.  That's not a lot of time.  Especially to search Heritage singles which can be a little more time consuming.  Is it worth it to rush over to Target #2 before work?  I weigh the pros and cons.  Cons: I waste my time and gas.  Pros: If there is Heritage out then I would surely get first crack at it. 

8:06 a.m. - Yeah, I need to check Target #2.  To my car!

8:21 a.m. - I stroll into Target #2.  It looks so familiar.  Oh yeah, that's right.  I was just there like 13 hours ago and cleaned it out of its Magic and Prizm cache.   I go over to the card displays.  No Heritage!  When is Heritage going to start hitting the Targets around me???

8:22 a.m. - I scan the card displays with my eyes.  It looks all too familiar.  Nothing is new.  I was just here last night.  I'm wasting my time.  I'm looking over a barren wasteland of cards I've already picked dry.  But wait.

8:23 a.m. - My eyes settle on those discount trays full of blasters marked down to $11.99 which are an "extreme value"!!!  They are.  I just find it funny how Excell (or Topps, whomever) slaps those corny green/yellow stickers on them which scream "extreme value"!   I totally forgot about those blasters.  I saw them last night when I was searching at this Target and I had planned to buy a couple of them but I got so caught up in searching 2012 Topps Magic Football, 2012 Panini Prizm Football, and almost getting my ass kicked out of Target that I forgot about them.  Glad to see they were still here.

8:24 a.m. - I focus my attention on the two blasters of 2011 Allen & Ginter, and one blaster of 2012 Allen & Ginter.  I'm such a sucker for Ginter.  I "evaluate" the blasters to see if there are any which are worth buying.  Immediately the 2012 Allen & Ginter blaster registers as possibly having something of value in it. I analyze the blaster over and over again.  Yup.  This blaster has a moderate to high chance of having a hit in it.  Sure, it might only be a $3.00 relic but whatever.  The blaster is on sale at only $11.99, I love Allen & Ginter, and I have a coupon.  I grab the 2012 Allen & Ginter blaster and also a 2011 Allen & Ginter blaster just for kicks.

8:35 a.m. - I decide to go to work instead of opening the blasters now.  I like suspense.  I like wondering throughout the day if the blaster I have yet to open has anything good in it.  I guess I'm a bit of a masochist like that.  

12:09 p.m. - Lunch break.  Luckily, I live pretty close to my work.  I can often go home for a bit to relax, eat, and bust cards!

12:15 p.m. - I'm at home.  Time to bust open this 2012 Allen & Ginter blaster.  I prepare myself for disappointment.  I mean, I know buying blasters is risky.  I've been burned in the past.  I remember once I bought one blaster which I was sure had something crazy in it but instead it was just a really fucked up blaster with a shit ton of those Ginter Code advertisement cards, a shit ton of base, and not a single tobacco sized mini in the box.  Weirdest blaster box I've ever bought.  It was definitely a big time factory packing error box.  (And yes, it was factory sealed, I checked.)

12:16 p.m. - I open the blaster and take out the eight packs.  For practice, I search them.  First pack I pick up feels like a hit.  Because 2012 Allen & Ginter is out of season now it's been a long time since I've seen loose packs and searched them so I'm a little out of practice.  I search the other packs to compare.  Yup, that first pack has a hit.  I search that first pack again.  It's a relic.  I can tell.  But I'm also positive it's a bat relic too.  I've hit a Mickey Mantle bat relic in the past.  I know how to identify bat relics.  

12:17 a.m. - I rip open the pack.  I'm not sure who to expect.  I didn't bother checking the checklist to see who has bat relics in 2012 Allen & Ginter.  Like you see on all those card break videos, I pull away the cards behind the hit first.  They're just a short print and a mini.  I then pull away the top base card leaving behind one more base card on top of the hit.  I feel like a moron for doing this because I think it's so cheesy how guys do this on their YouTube card breaks, but I do a "slow reveal" to myself as if someone else is watching (but nobody is).

"Oh sh......."

Jackie Robinson
2012 Topps Allen & Ginter
Framed Mini Bat Relic
Odds: Super Short Print

Holy $#^@&.  A Jackie Robinson bat relic!!!  Wow.  I'm stunned.  Look, pulling a Mickey Mantle bat relic is pretty crazy.  Most hobby-only guys on Blowout Cards could probably break cases of Ginter and never hit a Mickey Mantle bat relic.  I hit one from retail in fewer packs than they did and now I also just hit a Jackie Robinson framed mini bat relic too!!!  Insane!


Jackie Robinson
2012 Topps Allen & Ginter
Framed Mini Bat Relic
Odds: Super Short Print

I don't know what to say.  I am incredibly lucky, I guess.  I was fully fully FULLY expecting a crap $3 relic when I bought the blaster.  And even once I knew I had a hot pack and it was bat relic I didn't even bother to think it would be a Hall of Famer.  Wow.  Lucky lucky lucky.

Crazy.  It's so crazy to think how far I've come from when I wasn't pack searching, to when I first started pack searching, to now.  I went from never getting hits, to buying tons of decoys, to pretty much hitting hits all the time now.

I do realize while I am extremely lucky to have hit this card, I know it wasn't completely luck either.  I knew this blaster had a high probability of containing a hit.  I like to think I take my pack searching to almost a CIA-like analysis level.  Well, maybe not quite.  But I have 70 notes on my phone.  50 of those notes are related to sports cards.  A handful of those 50 notes are in regards to store inventories and restocking day info.  The other notes each relate to one specific product.  Each note on a product contains information I've culled from the internet, card forums, YouTube, and my own personal research, on how to find hits, inserts, rookies, and other cards of interest within loose packs, rack packs, blisters, and blasters.  I'll attempt to search anything.  Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes I'm not.  Most of the time I won't hit anything incredibly valuable, but then sometimes -- like today -- I will.  Very cool hit.

... The End ...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Leaf Draft Football: Sanders Commings Autograph

Made a trip out to the local Walmart and found some new 2013 Leaf Draft Football out for sale.  It looked like someone had already bought some packs.  I'm not sure if it had already been searched or not.  The packs didn't look searched but you never know.  I gave it a shot and searched the box.

Man, I have to admit, this is a fairly tough product to search.  I mean, the techniques to search it are the same as everything else but Leaf did a good job making the autographs hard to find.  In the end, I settled on two packs which I thought might have an autograph.  I was pretty sure one pack had an autograph and the second pack was a maybe.

Sanders Commings
2013 Leaf NFL Draft
Rookie Autograph
Odds:  1:10

Pulled a Sanders Commings autograph out of the pack I was pretty sure had an autograph in it.  Who?  Yeah, never heard of this guy.  He's apparently a 6'2", 216 lb cornerback out of Georgia.  He's rated 65 by ESPN and 19th at his position.  My guess is that he's probably a 5th to 7th round pick in the 2013 NFL draft.

The other pack I bought was a dud.  Oh well.  The packs are only like $2.  One out of two isn't too bad.


Robert Woods
2013 Leaf Draft Football
Base Card

These sure are some pretty simple base cards.  I think the front of the cards look fine, but the backs look like an afterthought.  I guess it's hard to put too much detail into the back of the card since Leaf doesn't have a collegiate license; they can't put the college, they can't put the mascot name, they can't put the college logos, and because they can't do all that they might as well just leave off the player's college stats.  Yeah, that pretty much explains why the backs of these cards are so void of any meaningful detailed information.  At least they put the player's height and weight.  Those little one-liners about the player are crap too.  Every one showers praise upon the player and makes them sound like a first round draft pick when they're not.  I'd rather Leaf just cut that crap out and put in some stats.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part IV: First Dibs On Heritage

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part I:  It All Started With a Blaster...
The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part II:  Almost Got Kicked Out of Target
The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part III:  Prizm Payday

March 5, 2013

6:55 p.m. - I'm on my way to Target #1.  Although Target #1 is a little further away from me than Target #2 I like it better because it's newer and generally has a more updated stock of cards.  My thoughts are that if Target #1 got restocked since I was there yesterday, there is a good chance Target #2 might have gotten re-stocked sometime during the day after I had last visited it in the morning.  Recall, that I had been to Target #2 before work today too.  2013 Topps Heritage Baseball streets tomorrow and it's possible that the Excell rep might have come some time during the day.  I can't let other pack searchers have those hits.  I just can't.  They already beat me to all of Topps Magic when that first streeted.  I won't let them do it again.

7:00 p.m. - I roll up to Target #2 and quickly make my way inside.  It's all business when I'm in there.  I walk in and am immediately looking over at the card displays to see if there are any other pack searchers there, or if I see any bright green and yellow Heritage rack packs.  I see neither.  I go over to the cards... and nothing.  No Heritage!  Dammit.  What's up with that?  This Target was good about putting up 2013 Topps Series 1 products the day before the product streeted.  Why are they lagging on Heritage?  Bummer.

7:02 p.m. - I'm slowly scanning the entire card display again with my eyes to see if anything new came in or was put out since I was last here 11 hours ago.  Nope.  Nothing.  Damn.  Might as well go home.

7:04 p.m. - I'm walking to my car now.  I'm tired from getting up early.  I want to go home.  There's a Walmart just right down the road from Target #2.  I was just there this morning before work too.  They didn't have any Heritage.  If this Target doesn't have any Heritage, then Walmart down the road wouldn't have Heritage too, right?  I keep asking myself that question in my head as I walk to my car.  Part of me says yes, but in reality, I know the answer is no.  The Targets and the Walmarts around me seem to be on different schedules.  Just because one store has a product doesn't mean the other will or won't.

7:05 p.m. - I need to check this Walmart again.

7:08 p.m. - I'm already at the Walmart.  It's literally just a minute down the road.  I walk into the store towards the card displays.  I'm expecting there to be nothing new since I was last here about 12 hours ago.  And I'm wrong.

7:09 p.m. - Sitting in front of me on the shelves is what looks to be a brand new retail box of 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, and a bunch of rack packs on the racks.   Am I the first one???  I grab the retail box.  The packs look pristine.  They aren't wrinkled and gouged as if they had been searched.  I count them up, and there are 24 retail packs in the box.  It's a fresh box!  

7:10 p.m. - I see there are Heritage Blasters out too.  They are neatly arranged.  I count them.  Eight of them.  Nobody has bought any of them or even touched them.  I "evaluate" those blasters.  I know there are "hot" blaster boxes of which every pack has a purple chrome refractor.  I know how to find those too.  Those are incredibly easy to find.  But none of the blasters there are "hot" boxes.  Oh well.  I take one blaster which I'm pretty sure has a chrome in it to buy just for kicks.

7:11 p.m. - I grab the rack packs too.  I give them a quick search for relics, chromes, minis and Venezuelans.  I easily find a relic, two Venezuelans, and a chrome!  Yup.  I got first dibs on the cards here!  Nothing had been touched or searched yet!  And good god, searching rack packs for relics, Venezuelans, minis and chromes is ridiculously easy.  Who wouldn't search this stuff?  Now, the search for autographs. 

7:14 p.m. - I think I know how to find autographs in Heritage.  If the Topps packing order is the same as last year's then I'll know how to find them.  Of course, that's assuming it's like last year's set.  I take my time searching the racks.  Real One Autos are only like 1:120 rack packs.  I know that more than likely there isn't an autograph in the 16 rack packs or so which are on display.  Yup.  Nothing.  Damn.  I'm dying to pull a ROA (Real One Autograph).

7:24 p.m. - I'm searching the retail box now.  Retail packs are a little harder to search.  Well, they're not that much harder to search, they're just more time consuming.  Autograph in loose packs are like 1:258 odds or so.  Again, it is extremely unlikely that there is a ROA in this retail box.  I have to be sure though.  I can't miss an autograph if there is one in this retail box and squander my perfectly good opportunity to pack search everything out of this Walmart.  I'm extra careful searching these retail packs.  I'm searching almost every card in ever pack.  I know this is overkill and I'm probably searching cards which I know is where the autograph wouldn't be, but like I said, I have to be sure.

7:50 p.m. - And I'm done.  Nothing!  No Real One Autos to be found at this Walmart.  I'm actually really surprised there aren't more Heritage products out on display.  This Target has tons of cards, and they got tons of 2013 Topps Series 1, tons of 2012 Topps Magic Football, tons of 2012 Panini Crown Royale, tons of all sorts of other shit, but just one little retail box of Heritage and one retail box of rack packs???  Wish there was more so I could have searched it all out.  I take my loot and check out.

8:30 p.m. - I'm at home now opening my spoils of searching. 



Brandon McCarthy
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Clubhouse Collection Relic
Rack Pack Odds:  1:34

First up was the relic out of the rack pack.  It was a Brandon McCarthy relic.  This card is a little boring.  I mean, it is aesthetically pleasing and the design look nice, but at the same time the design is very unimpressive.  The relic is unimpressive.  The picture of Brandon McCarthy is unimpressive.  Too bad. 


Brandon McCarthy
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Clubhouse Collection Relic
Rack Pack Odds:  1:34

I love the back of the cards though.  I'm such a sucker for old-school looking cards.  I don't know why.  I never considered myself to have old-style taste, but for some reason it's baseball sets like Heritage, Gypsy Queen, and Allen & Ginter which hook me the most. 

Next up are the chromes.

Yovani Gallardo
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Parallel
#/999

I pull a Yovani Gallardo chrome.  Not bad.  Wish it was like a Bryce Harper instead.


Matt Harrison
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Refractor Parallel
#/564

Next up was a Matt Harrison chrome refractor.  This one came out of my blaster box.  It was pretty much the only good thing out of my blaster box.  I always wondered why card companies decide to number some cards to really random numbers like 564.  It seems like they usually try to keep it to round numbers like 1000, 2013, 100 or 999, but 564?  That's an odd number to choose.  I speculate, and other people seem to speculate too, that it is probably because of production errors and Topps had to throw out some cards, thus resulting in a lowered amount of cards than they had originally intended to produce.

And finally best hit from Heritage was...


Mike Trout
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Parallel
#/999

This gorgeous looking chrome Mike Trout card.  Oh yeah.  Nice card!  Wish it was a chrome refractor, but this will do! 


Mike Trout
2013 Topps Heritage Baseball
Chrome Parallel
#/999

And man, I love the backs of these cards.  They're so awesome!  I think it's so cool how they even have the little scratch-the-picture thing to show the answer to the trivia question.  Totally awesome. 

The Venezuelan cards were unnotable, as was my exclusive blue-bordered WalMart parallel.  Bleh.  I didn't even bother scanning them. 

In total from today's epic searching, I hit:
1 Topps Magic Autograph from a Blaster
2 Topps Magic Autographs from Retail Boxes
2 Panini Prizm Football Green Prizms
2 Panini Prizm Football Rookie Autographs #/499
2 Panini Prizm Football Super Short Print Rookie Variations
1 Heritage Clubhouse Collection Relic
2 Heritage Chrome Parallels #/999
1 Heritage Chrome Refractor Parallel #/564
2 Heritage Venezuelan Parallels
Pretty awesome day for me.  Again, none of these cards are worth tons of money but I pack search for fun.  I collect for fun.  I like having these cards, keeping them, and reminiscing the day when I found them.  All in all, today was the best single-day pack searching sweep of my amateur pack searching career.

... To Be Continued ...

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part III: Prizm Payday

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part I:  It All Started With a Blaster...
The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part II:  Almost Got Kicked Out of Target

March 5, 2013

 6:45 p.m. - I'm ripping open the retail packs of 2012 Panini Prizm Football.  I start with the packs which I think contain green prizms.  My first one is a...

Hakeem Nicks
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm

Hakeem Nicks green prizm!  Alright!  Not bad. 


Isaac Redman
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm

And my next one is an Isaac Redman green prizm.  Who?  Honestly, I've never heard of the guy.  I guess he's a runningback?  Obviously I don't watch enough Steelers games.  And the rest of the packs which I bought were duds.  I had whiffed.  I was in a rush so I didn't take as much time to find the green prizms but oh well.  I hit two of them out of the four possible between those two brand new retail boxes.  Good enough for me.  Now, for the autograph hot packs.

6:46 p.m. - My first autograph hot pack is a...

DeMario Davis
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Autograph
#/499

Demario Davis rookie signature.  Okay, another guy whom I don't know.  Apparently though, he was a third round draft pick out of Arkansas State.  He's played sparingly throughout the 2012 season and only accumulated 35 total tackles over 16 games.  Not exactly a Luke Kuechly.  Oh well. 


Bill Bentley
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Autograph
#/499

My second autograph hot pack was a Bill Bentley.  Now, I have heard of him.  He was a third round pick last year out of little Louisiana-Lafayette.  He ran a decent 4.43 second forty-yard dash, but is a little on the short side at 5'10".  Unfortunately, he hasn't played much as a rookie.  Perhaps he'll get more playing time in the future. 

6:47 p.m. - Now for the rookie variation packs.  I got crap rookie autographs, so I'm pretty much expecting crap rookie variations too...


Ryan Tannehill
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card Variation
Odds:  Super Short Print

Only instead I see I hit a Ryan Tannehill rookie variation!!!  I'm so surprised I actually say "oh shit!" out loud in my car.  I'm stoked!  I didn't think I'd hit anything good.  Lowered expectations = more surprise when you do hit something good.  I grab the other rookie variation pack and before I open it I think to myself: could things get any better?

6:48 p.m. - The answer is yes.  Yes.  Yes, they can.   I open the second rookie variation hot pack expecting a crap rookie.  Because I just hit a Tannehill rookie card variation, there is no way I'm hitting anything better, right???  Wrong.


Andrew Luck
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card Variation
Odds:  Super Short Print

BOOM SHAKALAKA!!!  OH FUCK YES!  Andrew Luck Rookie Card variation!  Super short print!  My mouth literally drops.  I can't believe it.  This night has just gotten so insane.  Never did I think when I woke up this morning that I'd hit all this stuff.  Today is awesome.  So awesome.  I mean, I'd like to actually search some 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball today, but this will do too!!!

In total, today I hit:
1 Topps Magic Autograph from a Blaster
2 Topps Magic Autographs from Retail Boxes
2 Panini Prizm Football Green Prizms
2 Panini Prizm Football Rookie Autographs
2 Panini Prizm Football Super Short Print Rookie Variations
I know a lot of those cards aren't worth a lot -- the Andrew Luck Prizm Rookie Card variation is definitely the most valuable card -- but still.  I pack search for fun and my own amusement, not for money or flipping.  This is my biggest single store clean-out, and my biggest single-day pack searching sweep to date.

And... I'm looking to continue the streak.

6:50 p.m. - I'm in amazement.  Pack searching and finding one or two hits in a store is fun.  Pack searching and pulling eight hits from a store is crazy fun.  I almost feel like I robbed a bank or something.  I'm feeling the excitement course through my veins.  This addiction is so strong.  It can't be stopped.  I stash away the cards in my car and start my car.  This night won't stop.  It can't stop.  I won't let it stop.  I have to search some more.  I have to go to the other Target across town.  I put the pedal to the metal and drive off in a zone, locked in, determined to find every single hit in my hometown.

... To Be Continued ...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part II: Almost Got Kicked Out of Target

Part I:  It All Started With a Blaster...

March 5, 2013

5:10 p.m. - I'm off of work now.  This morning I had gotten up early to hit a local Walmart and Target to search some 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball.  Neither stores had any in stock.  I debate for a second whether to go check another local Target (Target #2) to see if they have any Heritage.  Eh.  If the first Target  (Target #1) I went to didn't have any Heritage, then I knew that this other Target #2 probably wouldn't either.  Besides, I had been to Target #2 yesterday to search for Heritage and they didn't have any.  If they didn't have any yesterday, there is a good chance they won't have any today.  I decide to go home instead.

6:00 p.m. - I'm chilling at home with not much to do.  Actually, no, I have plenty I could be doing.  But I just abhor the thought of not checking Target #2 for some Heritage.  What if they did get some in stock and for some stupid reason Target #1 didn't get any?   I can't assume that just because Target #1 didn't get any Heritage that Target #2 didn't.  I have to go out and search Target #2.  I grab my car keys and I'm on the road.

6:08 p.m. - As I'm driving to Target #2 I think about what I'm doing.  It's critical moments like these which make or break a pack searcher.  If I arrive at Target #2 and there is some Heritage there, I would have missed the opportunity to search it if I had just stayed at home.  I remind myself that to be a successful pack searcher you have to get out.  A lot.

6:15 p.m. - I'm at Target #2.  I stroll through the front doors and look over at the card aisle for the tell-tale bright green wrappers of 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball.  I see something green.

6:16 p.m. - But it's one of those 100-count generic rack pack value brand re-package deals with has that green and black wrapping.  It's not Heritage.  There isn't any Heritage in sight.  Dammit.

6:17 p.m. - I take a moment to pause and look at the card displays to see if anything else is new.  I've learned that it's important to slow down and take a look at everything.  Often times you can miss a brand new retail box hidden behind another box, or some other hidden packs of cards on lower shelves.

6:18 p.m. - Things don't look right.  When I was at Target #2 yesterday (again, to search for Heritage), I had searched some WoW packs for kicks.  Target #2 barely had any WoW packs.  Pickings were slim.  Target #2 hadn't been restocked in a long time.  There were literally about 12 WoW packs in the entire display.  But today, I look over and there are perhaps a hundred packs on the shelves.  There are WoW packs everywhere.  And there are also tons of those Yu-Gi-Oh! packs which I don't care about or search.  Target #2 had just been restocked since my last visit yesterday!

6:19 p.m. - I feel like a dimwit for not noticing first thing when I walked in that this Target had been re-stocked.  I mean, it's so obvious.  I guess I just got caught up in looking for Heritage.  I look over at the sports card display again.  There's a brand new tray of on-sale blasters.  Some 2011 Topps Chrome Baseball blasters are in there, along with a 2011 Gypsy Queen Blaster, two 2011 Allen & Ginter blasters, and one 2012 Allen & Ginter Blaster.  Nice.  Might pick up a few of those.  But then, I see Prizm.  Oh lordy do I see some 2012 Panini Prizm Football.  I see what appears to be two brand new retail boxes sitting on the shelf.  I think they're new.  They look untouched.  But then again, it seems unlikely that this Target would get more Prizm in because I know they just got two new retail boxes of Prizm in last week also.

6:20 p.m. - I grab the Prizm retail boxes and count the packs.  The cards don't feel like they have been searched.  The packs are all facing the same direction.  None of them are upside down or face down.  And there are 24 packs in each box!!!  Brand new retail boxes, baby!  I grab these two boxes. I think of the other pack searcher who had beat me to the previous two retail boxes of Prizm at this Target last week.  Yeah, screw you, I got these boxes this time.  I get very competitive when it comes to other pack searchers hitting the retail stores in my area.

6:21 p.m. - I also notice a full box of 2012 Topps Magic also sitting on the shelves.  Even though it looks full, I'm pretty sure it's just two old retail boxes -- which have already been searched -- put into one box.  Eh.  What the heck.  I grab it anyways too.  After seeing how easy it is to find autographs in Magic from this morning's blaster box, I'm feeling like it's worth it to check this Magic box anyways.

6:24 p.m. - I'm searching the Magic box first.  I sort out which packs I know can possibly contain the autograph.  One stack here, another stack there.  I do that first because it saves me time rather than using the usual search technique on all the packs.

6:26 p.m. - A Target employee walks by me.  I guess I looked a little suspicious with all those cards in my hand.  "Can I help you find anything?" she asks.  I pleasantly smile back at her and say I'm fine.  I see her look at the packs of cards in my hand and wearily walk away.  She's suspicious.  I can tell.  I wonder if she's going to go get Target security.

6:28 p.m. - I'm now using the usual search technique on the stack of packs I know can only contain autograph cards.  I've weeded out about 1/4th of the packs prior to this point.  And, there it is.  An autograph!  At least, I'm pretty sure.  If it is one, then I'm shocked.  I was pretty sure the other pack searchers had pulled the autographs from this store last week.  I remember I had found two new retail boxes of Magic at this Target last week and they each had one pack missing from it.  I had just assumed that they autographs had already been plucked.  I didn't even really bother searching that box, really.  But perhaps somebody just bought one pack from each box and couldn't find the autographs!

6:29 p.m. - I use the typical search technique again and again on the pack which I suspect contains an autograph.  Yeah, it's an autograph.  No doubt about it.  Awesome!

6:30 p.m. - I decide to search the remaining Magic packs just in case.  Like I said earlier, I'm pretty sure this box of Magic was two boxes put together.

6:32 p.m. - And boom!  I've got another one.  I almost start laughing.  What luck!  I search this second hot pack over and over again just to be sure.  Yup.  It's another autograph.  Freakin' sweet.  My first Magic autograph pulls from retail, and I hit TWO of them in one Target!  Nice.

6:33 p.m. - On to Prizm.  Searching Prizm goes fast.  I can probably search out an entire box for the autograph, inserts, and rookie variations in 90 seconds.  Finding the green prizms is a little more time consuming though.

6:34 p.m. - I'm searching the first retail box.  I find the autograph.  And I find a rookie variation card too.  Sweet.

6:35 p.m. - I hear the heavy footsteps of a man approaching me.  I'm in the middle of searching the second retail box of Prizm.  "Excuse me, sir, can I help you find anything?"  I look over at him.  It's a big burly Target Security guy walking towards me.  I give him a genuinely friendly smile and say I'm fine.  He walks by me and doesn't even stop.  It was a flyby.  He's here to spook me.  To let me know that I'm being watched.  I know that Target employee who saw me earlier must have reported me to Target Security on her little walkie talkie.

6:36 p.m. - I crack a huge grin.  Oh, it's so funny when Target spies on me thinking I'm going to steal or damage the cards.  Little do they know I'm actually an honest pack searcher who doesn't steal packs.  Haven't stole a single pack of cards EVER.  Or a blaster.  Or a rack pack.  Nothing.  Never stole anything.  Nor have I ever opened up any pack or packs of cards in the store without paying for them.  I'm not a crook.  Target Security sure seems to think I am though.  I know I look suspicious.  I grabbed like three retail boxes of cards off of the display and have spent the last 16 minutes searching them.  If I was Target security I would be suspicious too.  But they have nothing to worry about.  I'm not damaging the cards.  I'm not stealing anything.  I go back to my searching.

6:37 p.m. - I've found the autograph, inserts, and another rookie variation in the second retail box of Prizm.  Love it!  I'm truly enjoying this moment and the spoils of victory.  Now, time to search for the green prizms.

6:38 p.m. - I'm in the middle of searching for the green prizms when I hear "sir, what are you doing?"  I look up again.  It's the same Target Security guy.  What the hell?  Wasn't he just here like three minutes ago?!?!  Yeah, he was.  They must really think I'm up to no good.

"Oh, I'm just finding the good cards."  I smile, trying to be friendly.

He says in a stern voice, "oh, I don't think you're supposed to be going through the cards."  The way he says it, he means business.  He takes a couple steps towards me, looking at the pack of cards in my hand, and the piles I've created.

And here is where I actually start to think this guy isn't just going to go away like all the other Target Security people who have bothered me.  In the past when I've been confronted by Target Security I've just told them I was searching packs for the good ones.  For the most part, they just laugh and say okay and leave me alone.  None have ever ever EVER told me I can't do that.  After all, I'm not opening up the packs.  I'm not damaging the product.

As he takes those few steps towards me I realize that for the first time in my pack searching career, I might get kicked out of Target for pack searching.  I wonder if I'm going to be arrested too.  I don't see why I would be arrested.  I know I'm not breaking any laws.  But stranger shit has happened before...

"I can't go through the packs to find the good ones?"  I ask.

"No.  You're not supposed to do that."  He's shaking his head.  He's standing squarely in front of me now.  This is a full on confrontation.

I try again.  "But I'm not opening any of the packs."

"Are those the display ones?"  He asks, peering over at the cards.

"Yeah."

Then, it seems to click for him.  He shakes his head, as if in disbelief.  "Okay," he says, and turns to walk away.  I guess he thought I was opening up packs of cards?  I don't know.  It was a rather odd confrontation.  He came on really strong, like he was thinking I was trouble, but then suddenly he seemed stuck -- like he couldn't do anything.  Yes, like he couldn't do anything because I wasn't stealing or opening packs.

I bet he was shaking his head because he was in disbelief that this loser was going through so much time and trouble to search packs of sports cards.  Whatever, I don't care what he thinks.

As he walked away in defeat, I got cocky.  I called out to him "I'm not opening any packs!  Do you want to come check?"  I wasn't completely trying to rub in the fact that he couldn't do anything to me.  I actually did want to show him that I wasn't opening up any packs so that he wouldn't be so suspicious of me.

"No, it's okay," he said.  He didn't even look back at me as he said that.  "I can see."

I can see.  He must have been watching me from the eyes-in-the-sky.  I knew that Target Security did that.  I knew because I had sort of befriended one Target Security guy a long time ago, and he had told me about the capabilities of those video cameras in the ceiling.  But if this guy could see all along that I wasn't opening up packs, then why the fuck was he out here bothering me?  I'll never know.

6:39 p.m. - I went back to my searching.  I was pretty unnerved by the situation.  I really did think for a moment that he was going to kick me out for searching packs.  I decide that searching packs isn't worth getting kicked out of Target or getting arrested.  I quickly finish searching the second retail box.  I hastily conduct a search for green prizms.  I'm not sure if I've found them because I'm in a hurry now, but whatever.

6:42 p.m. - I'm back in my car now to open up my loot.  I'm excited and I'm feelin' pretty bad ass.  I've never hit this many autographs all at once from one store.  I grab the two Magic hot packs.  I have to see if I was right, and that there were two auto hot packs left behind by earlier searchers.  I'm 99% sure they are hot packs, but I just have to know right now.  I rip the first pack open and ...

Nick Fairley
2012 Topps Magic Football
Base Autograph
Odds:  1:24

I pull a Nick Farley autograph!  Sweet!  I mean, it's only a $3 card but I seriously couldn't give a shit.  I'm totally stocked I finally found an auto in Magic from retail!

I grab the second Magic hot pack and rip that one open...

Matt Moore
2012 Topps Magic Football
Base Autograph
Odds: 1:24

and out pops a Matt Moore autograph!  Nice!  Again, not the greatest player, he's not even the starting QB for the Dolphins any more, but whatever!  I'm just happy I found autographs.  (The card is actually worth about $10 too which isn't bad.)

6:45 p.m. - I grab the Prizm packs now.  And as my fingers begin to tear open the first pack, little did I know just how awesome tonight was going to be...

... To Be Continued ...

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Quest for 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball, Part I: It all Started With a Blaster

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

7:00 a.m. - I'm up early.  Earlier than I like to be.  But today is a special day.  2013 Topps Heritage Baseball streets tomorrow and I'm going out before work to search.  It's my hopes that a local Walmart and Target will be fully stocked today in preparation for release day tomorrow.

7:40 a.m. - I'm at a local Walmart.  It's open 24 hours, which I like.  It means I can search at odds hours of the day and/or night.  I like early-morning searching because there is hardly anyone in the stores to bother me or spook me.  I find it much more relaxing.  What few employees are around are still sleepy-eyed and it's too early for them to give a shit about somebody searching the cards. 

7:41 a.m. - I look at the time as I walk into Walmart.  I have 19 minutes to search before Target opens.  I'm hoping to hit both this Walmart and another local Target this morning.

7:42 a.m. - Much to my disappointment, there isn't any 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball out for sale at this Walmart.  That's surprising because it's a newer one and it seems to get lots of cards fairly often.  Hmm.

7:45 a.m. - I drive to a Target which is just minutes away and park my car.  I'm waiting for them to open.

7:55 a.m. - I sit in my car reviewing my notes on my phone in preparation for searching Heritage.  I've done a lot of scouting in preparation for today.  I've perused the internet.  I've checked out YouTube.  I've been all over eBay.  I'm confident I know how to find the minis, chromes, and autographs in Heritage even though I have yet to hold a single pack of it in my hand.

8:00 a.m.  - It's go time.  I stroll into Target like a bad ass mutha.  I'm thinking to myself, I'm going to clean this place out

8:01 a.m. - I walk over to the card aisle.  Nothing.  Nothing is there.  Nothing.  No glorious fresh box of 2013 Topps Heritage is staring at me waiting to be searched.  Wtf?!

8:03 a.m. - I take a few minutes to see if anything new has popped up since my last visit.  Ooo... some 2012 Panini Contenders blasters.  I'm dying to get a red zone rookie of the week die-cut prizm.

Want this one sooo bad.

8:04 a.m. - I take a moment to search the Contenders blasters.  None worth buying.  I put them back on the shelf. 

8:05 a.m. - I see some 2012 Tops Magic Blasters.  Hmm.  It's really bothered me that I haven't pulled a single autograph from Magic since Magic hit the streets.  It's not that I don't know how to find them.  I do.  But I've been super busy lately and all the other damn pack searchers have been beating me to the stores.  Bastards.  I decide to buy a Magic blaster just for kicks.  It's a stupid decision.  I know it is.  More than likely I'm not going to pull an autograph card.  I don't know why I decided to buy a blaster.  I guess it was to make up for the fact that there weren't any Heritage packs around.

8:06 a.m. - I "evaluate" which blaster to buy.  I know it's pretty much impossible to know which blaster contains an autograph, but I've learned that you can assure yourself greater odds at hitting an autograph by carefully selecting which blasters you buy.

8:10 a.m. - I'm in my car now and I decide to open the blaster.  Why not?  I got time to kill before work.

8:12 a.m. - Disappointment slowly creeps into my mind as I open the packs.  Dud, dud, dud.  I knew I shouldn't have bought this blaster.

8:14 a.m. - I open my second to last pack.  I'm pulling away the top card, and before I can even see it, I can feel the static electricity of the autograph card.  I remember this sensation from when I hit my Kaepernick autograph from the first blaster I bought.  I remove the card covering the autograph.  Yup.  Boom!  It's a hit!  It's a Jeremy Kerley autograph!  Nice.  That was totally unexpected.  I know this card isn't worth a lot but it totally makes up for buying this blaster.  Now I don't feel so bad at all.

Jeremy Kerley
2012 Topps Magic Football
Base Autograph
Odds:  1:24

8:17 a.m. - I'm holding the hot pack in my hand.  The gears are turning in my head.  I've never actually "felt" a Magic hot pack before.  Like I said earlier, I've just never hit one because I've been beat to the stores.  So for kicks, I practice searching the pack with the Jeremy Kerley autograph in it.  I'll admit, I've never been that great at what is perhaps the most common technique to find autographs.  I've always had to resort to additional other methods to find autographs (and I have been successful).  But even I'm surprised how easy it is to feel the autograph within the pack.  Like REALLY EASY.  Mind boggling easy. 

8:18 a.m. - I make a mental note about how easy it is to find autographs in Magic.  I'm going to have to find some fresh Magic to search some time.  For now though, off to work.

8:45 a.m. - I arrive at work.  I quickly check the Blowout Cards forums to see if people near me are posting retail hits from Heritage.  Nope.  I check eBay too to see if there are any retail Heritage listings where I live or in surrounding cities.  Nope.  Nearest Heritage listing on eBay is still over 100 miles away.  Doesn't look like Heritage will hit in my area today.

... To Be Continued ...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pack Searching 2013 Topps Series 1: Carlos Gonzalez Chasing History Relic

Picked up this nice looking Carlos Gonzalez Chasing History Relic card from a rack pack at a local Target.

Carlos Gonzalez
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Chasing History Relic
Retail Pack Odds: 1:125
Rack Pack Odds:  1:47
Hanger Pack Odds:  1:24

I thought the Chasing History relic cards were all vertical cards, but this one is horizontal.  I'm a little more partial to the vertical design rather than the horizontal design but this card still looks good.  The relic piece in this card has a nice pin stripe in it.  It must be from the pants.

Carlos Gonzalez
2013 Topps Series 1 Baseball
Chasing History Relic
Retail Pack Odds: 1:125
Rack Pack Odds:  1:47
Hanger Pack Odds:  1:24

It looks like this relic is one of the nicer ones.  A lot of the other Carlos Gonzalez Chasing History Relic cards on eBay are single colored cards and not all of them have a colored pinstripe to them.  Yeah, still not a valuable card, but whatever.  I collect cards because I like them, not because they're worth more money than the pack in which they came.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

MOJO Hit

Out Pack Searching 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball.

Hit a big one today.  It might be a while until I can get a scan up.  Been busy with work and running around trying to pack search the shit out of 2013 Topps Heritage Baseball! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pack Searching: 2012 Panini Absolute

On one of my last visits to Target I noticed that the card aisle seemed to be very neat and organized.  Either the Target employees or the card re-stocker person had been there recently.  I checked to see what had been re-stocked.  I almost didn't even notice it, but a whole new gravity box of 2012 Panini Absolute had been put out.  The packs were all nicely stacked and faced the same way.  Unless a previous pack searcher was really OCD about putting the cards back into the gravity box nice and neat, then this was a fresh box.

Not one to let a fresh box of cards go un-searched I grabbed the entire thing and went about searching it. 


Robert Turbin
2012 Absolute Football
War Room Relic

It most definitely was a fresh gravity box.  All the thick packs were still in it and were in random locations throughout the box.  I've noticed that most people only buy thick packs when they buy cards.  The presumption is, of course, that the thicker packs contain the hits.  Sometimes they do, but most of the time they contain decoys.  Nevertheless, people in my area seem to always just buy the thick packs anyways and so they're actually pretty rare for me to find.  Alternatively, if the thick packs are still there, they're usually all clumped together because somebody else has searched the cards and put all the thick packs together.

Anyway, first hit was a nice Robert Turbin War Room relic (not numbered).  It was in excellent condition.  I love fresh boxes of cards.  Love finding the hits and love the fact that the cards aren't all jacked up from other pack searchers. 

I really like searching 2012 Panini Absolute for the numbered rookie hits too. 

Marvin Jones
2012 Panini Absolute
Blue Spectrum Parallel Rookie Card
#/100
Found a nice Marvin Jones Blue Spectrum rookie card numbered to 100.  The card definitely isn't worth much but whatever, I'll take a numbered rookie card from retail any day.

Also found a Brandon Hardin gold parallel rookie card, numbered to 399.

Brandon Hardin
2012 Absolute Football
Rookie Card #/399

Not bad.  Again, I'll take it.  I'm a sucker for numbered cards no matter how worthless they may be. 

Still have only found one autograph card from 2012 Panini Absolute Football.  Autographs must be pretty rare. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Pack Searching: 2012 Panini Prizm Football

I've been buying way too many cards lately.  Between eBay and searching here and there, it adds up.  It sort of sneaks up on you.  It's only $5 here and $10 there... and then sometimes like $40 another day.  But it adds up.  So I've been trying to be good and not spend as much money.  I even didn't go out searching one week.

Not going out that week was tough.  I'm dying for more 2012 Panini Prizm Football.  Absolutely dying for some.  It's been about three weeks since Prizm hit the streets and I've only seen two retail boxes between the six retail stores around me.  Ridiculous.  Everyone must be buying up the whole retail box before I can get there.

For the prior two weeks I was good about hitting up the retail stores hoping that another shipment would come in and more Prizm would hit the shelves, but nothing.  So I had sort of given up hope that I would ever see more Prizm any time soon.

So that one week I didn't go out, I didn't go out on the day I knew the card rep usually comes if he's coming.  You see, the retail stores around me only get replenished once every two to three weeks.  Often, you can skip a whole week of visiting the stores and be pretty confident you didn't miss anything.  So that one day I decided not to go out, it was the day that I knew the card rep usually visits but I was like, nah, he's not coming this week.  I was stupid.  I was trying to be good.  I was trying to save money. 

But then the next day I had some extra time to kill during my lunch break.  So I figured, what the hell, why not go to the Target on the off-chance that the rep actually showed up this week to re-stock the store.  So I went to Target, and sure enough, the card rep showed up.

And just my luck, they had dropped off two new 2012 Panini Prizm Football boxes.  But one quick look at the boxes and I knew they had been searched.  Dammit!  I knew I should have gone out searching the day before!

I grabbed the boxes and proceeded to count the packs.  Yup, a couple of packs missing from each one.  I bet another pack searcher had plucked the autographs and just bought a few more packs for kicks.

I examined the boxes for more signs that the packs had been searched.  Yup.  It had been searched.  All the packs containing inserts were clumped together.  Clearly, somebody had been searching this box.

Shit.  So I had missed out on the two autographs from these boxes.  I knew that if this Target had new stock, then most likely another Target across town would have new stock too.  I searched these two boxes for the inserts, green prizms, and the regular prizms and bought those packs.  I made a promise to myself to hit up the other Target after work.

As soon as I was done with work I jetted over to the other Target across town.  Sure enough, it had been re-stocked.  Two new Prizm retail boxes were sitting on display.  And again, they had already been searched.  Fuuuuuu@^@$%&(!(&%

I got beat again.

I checked the boxes.  Yup.  Searched.  Autographs missing along with a few more packs.  I reluctantly searched the boxes for the inserts, the green prizms, and regular prizms and bought those packs.   The entire time I kept cursing myself for not going out searching on the day I knew the rep usually re-stocks the Targets around me.  I'm such a fool.

Here's the loot from four already searched 2012 Panini Prizm Football retail boxes which each had two to three packs already missing.


Calvin Johnson, Jr.
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Prizm Brilliance Insert

I actually hit one of the prizms for once.  This is actually the first one I've hit out.  Yeah, it was an insert, but oh well. 


Michael Vick
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Prizm Brilliance Insert

And hit another prizm insert.  Unfortunately, it was of Michael Vick.  Not exactly the most popular player in the NFL the last few years.  Not exactly my favorite player either.  And not exactly a brilliant year for him in 2012. 

And the greens.  I've been shooting about 75% with greens.  I'm not 100% accurate at picking them out, but I can narrow it down enough to where there's a decent chance I'm going to hit them if I buy four packs from a box.  


Ronde Barber
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm Parallel

Hmm.  Got a Ronde Barber green prizm parallel.  I was surprised to see this card.  I thought this guy was retired.  Or maybe I'm thinking of Tiki Barber.  Or did Ronde Barber retire then un-retire?  I don't know.  Seems like this guy has been around FOREVER. 


Jared Allen
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm Parallel

Pulled a sweet Jared Allen green prizm.  Great condition.  Nicely centered.  Maybe worth $5.00?  Just looked it up on eBay.  Worth all of maybe $3.00.  Really?  Geez.  Talk about disappointing. 


Vernon Davis
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Green Prizm Parallel

Got a nice Vernon Davis green prizm too.  Nice picture.  Again, probably worth all of $2.00.  Oh well.  I like the cards.  I keep them instead of selling them.  I don't really care about their street value. 


Damaris Johnson
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card Green Prizm Parallel

And got a Damaris Johnson rookie card green prizm.  Who?  Have no idea who this kid is.  Okay, just looked him up.  He's an 5'8" undrafted free agent.  Had 30 targets, 19 receptions, 256 receiving  yards and zero touchdowns last year.  Not great.  The fact that he was undrafted, made the team, and is seeing playing time as a rookie is a positive sign though.


Kendall Wright
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card Green Prizm Parallel

Nice lookin' Kendall Wright green prizm rookie card.  And he's one of the top rookie WRs from this year's class too.  104 targets, 64 receptions, 626 receiving yards, and 4 touchdowns is definitely NOT a bad start for a rookie.  There could definitely be a big career ahead for Mr. Wright.


Keshawn Martin
2012 Panini Prizm Football
Rookie Card Green Prizm Parallel

And, finally, a Keshawn Martin green prizm rookie card.  Disappointing.  What's strange is that all these rookie cards came from one Target, and all the veteran green prizms came from the other Target.  Not sure if that is pure coincidence or if that is something meaningful. 

And the last card is perhaps the one I'm most proud of.  When I was searching the two retail boxes at the second Target after work, I noticed something strange about this box and its packs.  Something wasn't quite right.  This box and its packs had an abnormality.  There was something special in this box.  It turns out it was a rookie variation card.


Melvin Ingram
2012 Panini Prizm
Rookie Card Variation (SP)

It was a nice Melvin Ingram rookie variation card!  Awesome!  I've been trying to find these variation cards.  Now that I have found one and I know what to look out for, I hope I can find more in the future.

Even though this card isn't worth a lot, I'm pretty proud of finding it because I totally knew that something was weird about the retail box which it was in.  

So how'd I do between these two Targets and four retail boxes?  Well, I hit six green prizms, two regular prizms, all 12 inserts, and one rookie card variation.  Not bad!

Keep in mind there were packs already missing from the boxes I bought from.  The autographs were already gone, as well as a few packs.  It's entirely possible those two other prizms I missed were already gone.  Or I just missed them.  I don't know.  Like I said earlier, I'm shooting about 75% on hitting green prizms.  It's good enough for me.  I'll take it.