A Pretty Great Repack Box

2014 Topps Cliff Lee '89 Remix Mini

After I returned my bike, I planned to just get something cheap to break the fiddy dollar bill I got in return so I could re-deposit half of it.  My first four packs of 2015 Topps weren’t very good though, and the dupes were already starting to pile up.  So I bit the bullet and grabbed pretty much the only other thing of interest to me that Target had: a $20, 20-pack (plus bonus) repack box that was almost completely devoid of junkwax.

Here’s the breakdown:

One 1991 Score

Three 2012 Panini Triple Play

One 2013 Bowman Platinum

Three 2014 Topps Series One 8-card blaster packs

Two 2014 Topps Series One 12-card retail packs

Four 2014 Topps Heritage

One 2014 Topps Heritage Jumbo rack pack (20 cards)

One 2014 Gypsy Queen

Three 2014 Topps Series Two 12-card retail packs

One 2014 Allen & Ginter

Bonus Item- Three loose 2014 Topps MLB Chipz

It sounds like a pretty lame bonus, but it turned out to be significantly better than expected.  Take a looksie, won’t you?

Poker chips are a somehow apt metaphor for pack-bustin'..

Poker chips are a somehow apt metaphor for pack-bustin’..

Turns out that gold-bordered glow-in-the-dark Tulo is actually pretty rare and reasonably valuable.  A run through the very few sold listings had them going for $5-20 a pop (with Jeters in $50 range), depending on the player.  The only two gold borders up for the bidding at the time were a Travis d’Arnaud Gold/Glow-in-the-Dark and Jose Reyes Gold/Blue, which sold for $13.01 and the opening bid of $9.99, respectively.  So this seemingly silly, innocuous bonus item was probably the hit of the box.  But this little repack had more going for it than just the bonus.  Much more, as you will see below.

Every once in a while, the gamble pays off..

Every once in a while, the gamble pays off..

Hit #1!  Yeah, there’s more on the way.

Flagship inserts..

Flagship inserts..

Seein' red..

Seein’ red..

Great name, one of only three Cubs, Bonifacio is #'ed 1282/2014, and Keppinger is 228/2014..

Great name, one of only three Cubs, Bonifacio is #’ed 1282/2014, and Keppinger is 228/2014..

Topps Series One proved much more interesting than Series Two even without the sweet Zack Wheeler relic.  Better inserts, and the Target Red parallels aren’t something I see much of, even if there weren’t any huge stars.  Cosart, JD, and the series dos Hoz aren’t too bad though, and everyone is at least pictured (Cosart became a Marlin at the trade deadline) on teams that should trade easy enough.

GQ..

Princert, Altuve base mini, Cuddyer SP, Choice RC..

GQ was meh, as it usually is.  But I never buy it anymore, so it was nice to find a pack in there.  It’s a meh that tastes a whole lot better when it costs $1 than when it costs $3.

Hanson Top Prospects, Gary Brown base, Richie Shaffer chrome..

Alen Hanson Top Prospects, Gary Brown base, Richie Shaffer chrome..

Bowman Platinum is the shiny version flipside to GQ’s old-timey style pointlessness, but it has been fairly forthcoming with the marginal prospect autographs & such for me, especially in 2012.  I don’t buy at full price anymore either, but it also makes for decent repack filler.

1991 Score

Mercifully, the only junkwax..

 

1991 Score wasn’t terrible, as junkwax goes.  A RC of a solid player who had nice, lengthy career that included a couple monster seasons and a stint with the Cubs & a couple late career Hall-of-Famers is the best you can really hope for in a pack like this.

Heritage base..

Heritage base..

My resemblance to Holmberg is uncanny..

My resemblance to Holmberg is kinda uncanny..

The repack was heavily weighted towards Heritage, which is another product I’d never normally buy on its own, but am quite happy to get in numbers in a repack.  Despite my snarking to liven up the uneventful rack pack in my first post in ages over at APtbNL, that’s probably what ultimately made me decide to keep the repack while I was wandering around Target desperately trying to find something cheaper.  The McCutchen is fantastic.

Heritage inserts/SPs/parallels..

Heritage inserts/SPs/parallels..

Outside of the red Yadi (my only complaint about this box is all the damn Cardinals inserts!), there wasn’t really anything all that special in there.  Just low level inserts & a trio of highly trade-able SPs.  I’d already pulled my hits before I got to them though, so it’s cool.

From the rack pack..

From the rack pack..

Quite possibly my only keeper from the entire box came out of the rack pack, so that helped too.

A&G..

Captain Marvel Jr. insert and Giancarlo base mini..

Finally, main event time.  Allen & Ginter is consistently the best, most fun product Topps puts out every year (though 2014 had some legit competition for once, in the form of Finest and Stadium Club).  I’ve pulled a few hits & some rarer minis & other such nonsense (sea monkey card, flower card, World’s Biggest Mini SP) over the years, but the following, while not all that extraordinary, might still be my best pull to date.  Easily top-3.  Feast your eyes…

Kipnis Everdeen..

Kipnis Everdeen..

This Jason Kipnis is the first auto I’ve pulled out of retail in seven years of buying Allen & Ginter packs & blasters, and it is a beaut.  The funny thing about this outstanding repack box is that I had just started carrying that Prosperity Bean TJ sent in my Nerd Week prize pack that very morning.  Maybe it’s legit, maybe I’m just a superstitious and cowardly lot, I dunno.  I’m mostly just happy to have pulled some nice stuff out of a repack after the disaster that was January’s Greatest Chase repack/turd.

Anyway, that pretty much wraps up this post.  Let me know if anything strikes your fancy, and thanks for stopping by.

The Harrowing Adventures of a Nerd Week Contest Winner!

A winner is me..

A winner is me..

The prize for winning The Junior Junkie’s Nerd Week Contest arrived yesterday, and I nearly paid for it with my life!  That’s an exaggeration, but the box was huge (over $18 to ship!), and I was on my way out, so I stupidly decided to carry it over to the parents’ place with me.  Conditions were also way worse than I was expecting, and my main shoes are super old generic Shape-Ups types with no traction left on them.

Basically, it was a recipe for disaster, and, long story short, disaster indeed struck.  I ended up crashing and burning pretty bad on hidden ice patch close to halfway between here and there.  I hit the back of my head on the sidewalk, but I popped back up pretty quickly without difficulty, no wooziness or anything that would indicate being concussed.  A couple of folks I had passed a short ways back quickly came to my assistance helped me get my bearings and everything I dropped.  Very grateful to them for that.

The pain was mostly gone within a couple of blocks of continuing on my way, and any lingering head pain has minimal and infrequent, though I will get checked out if the random, brief little twinges of discomfort persist.  I finally managed to make it over to the parents’ place without further incident, and after getting cleaned up, I was finally ready to cut the tape and dig into the box!

The box in question..

The box in question..

And so I dug, and dug, and dug some more!  There was a LOT more in there than the DVD.  Are you ready to be as blown away by the thought and effort and generosity that went into this amazing prize package as we (the parents were very impressed too) were?

The note..

The note..

Here’s the handwritten note TJ sent, congratulating me and running down the contents.

The original prize..

The original prize..

Of course, the DVD was in there.  Say what you will about Family Guy in general, but the Star Wars specials are always straight up inspired.  Gonna enjoy this. 🙂

Are you ready for some football?!

Are you ready for some football?!

I’m taking this back to the parents’ place next time I’m over, because it is small and plushy and can safely be thrown around over there during the rare lulls when we aren’t skewering anything and everything on TV MST3K-style or talking about generally geeky and/or nerdy things when dad, my little brother, and me are all there at the same time.

Original art by Jason Goad..

Original art by Jason Goad..

I love art.  I am an artist (allegedly), after all.  But I can’t afford much original art beyond relatively cheap sketch cards very often, so this is was a super awesome thing to find in the box!  It’s a fantastic piece and I absolutely love it! 😀

A trio of CDs..

A trio of CDs..

Styx and The Who will definitely get some airplay around here, and I’m not quite as down on Dane Cook as most, so I’ll be giving that a listen at some point as well.

Under the CDs, you can sorta see the corner of one of the pair of monstrously huge Pinnacle screwdown holders.  I swear I took a picture of them along with everything else, but I can’t find it.  Anyway, they are so ridiculously thick and heavy that they might legitimately be able to stop a bullet.

St. Joseph's Prosperity Bean..

St. Joseph’s Prosperity Bean..

I didn’t know what this was because I’m a lazy millennial, but mom seemed to recognize it and thought it was pretty cool.  I read a little bit about them when I got back to my place.  Very interesting, and I will be keeping it on me.

Mardi Gras Beads!

Mardi Gras beads!

I’ve always wanted to go to Mardi Gras (because I’m sure my antisocial arse being around hundreds of thousands of loud, crazy, drunk people for an extended period of time would go just peachy), but thanks to TJ, a little bit Mardi Gras has come to the frozen wastes of the Midwest.  He notes they’re the real deal in the above letter, so I can’t help but wonder what he had to do to acquire them…

Anyway, I’m just glad he sent beads and not the terrifying New Orleans Pelicans King Cake Baby.

The last thing you see before you die..

The last thing you see before you die..

There aren’t enough NOPE gifs in the world… My apologies for the impending nightmares, ladies and gentlemen.  We should probably just move on with a quickness.

Various Asian candies..

Various Asian candies..

There were four different things in pouches, and my trying them out went badly.  I definitely haven’t acquired these tastes yet.  The Lychee was the best in a walk, and it kinda tasted like accidentally getting fruit-scented soap in your mouth.  But the experience was still worth the while and very much-appreciated.

You know, we’ve gotten this far and haven’t even made it to the cards yet!

Three boxes of cards..

Ah, there we go..

But they were there, and they were many.  I tore off the old shipping labels on the outer boxes before I took the pictures, just to be safe.

So many cards!

So many cards!

The top box had tons of Ryne Sandbergs, Mark Graces, and a random assortment of other Cubbies.  The bottom had miscellaneous non-sport stuff and some unopened junkwax era packs, most of which I will be drawing on the backs of at later dates.  Twas also home to the blue and silver beads.

The completely full box was bananas, with large amounts of 2012 Panini Golden Age, 2011 Panini Americana, and 2012 Topps Summer Olympics, as well as some Goodwin Champions, Allen & Ginter inserts, more random non-sport and entertainment cards,  and the occasional hockey card.

The big pack sittling in the middle of everything is a pack of 1986 Donruss All-Stars, which may be posted on A Pack to be Named Later at some point, and the rest will get a post of their own here once I’ve scanned some of them.

Since around half of the set was there, I’m definitely going to chase the Summer Olympics set now.  The other big stacks didn’t have enough for me to justify it, but I’m keeping a Single Page of both Goodwin Champions and Golden Age, as well as the vintage-ish Star Wars cards, and probably a fair amount of other things.

My canvas..

My canvas..

Finally, this card not part of the prize package.  This card is for a commission.  On the back of this 1989 Topps Traded Ken Griffey Sr. card, I will be drawing Ken Griffey Jr. from his RC, the very next card in the same set.  I loved the idea and will get to work on it as soon as my body stops being so creaky and achy.

For this commission I was paid $12, and even the money was worth mentioning.  Check it out!

$2 bill!

$2 bill!

Yes, that is a two-dollar bill.  I’m pretty sure haven’t seen one of those since back in the late-1990s when I got one back as change at one of the last card shows held at the local mall.

The flipside..

The flipside..

Easily the coolest looking piece of US currency that still spends.

There you have it.  This has to be in the running for the single greatest card blog prize package ever made.  The amount of time, thought, effort, and money that must have went into this making it possible boggles the mind.  I know TJ puts a ton of effort into his collection and his posts, so maybe it comes as no surprise he’d go all-out on a prize package, but I am still beyond honored and humbled to be its recipient.

Thank you, TJ!  And thanks to everyone for stopping by!

It was worth the pain…

 

Discount Blaster Keepers

And now for the stuff I’m keeping from those 40%-off 2011 Topps Series Two blasters.

Hawk & The Hurt, coming this fall to CBS..

I needed all four I pulled..

Just base, but a couple might end up in my various frankensets..

I’ve been keeping a few Heywards & Chapmans around. I do like Sale & Uggla too. Feel free to make an off on either though. I might be willing to deal..

Like the Posadas, I pulled two of these as well. Just keeping the one though..

Darwin Barney base and Blackout RCs. They go nice with the Diamond parallel I already had..

And finally, a couple nice King Felix parallels..

I am not entirely displeased with these blasters.  Got a nice stack of things I needed & tons of inserty trade bait.  Base Topps blasters offer so much more random fun crap than probably just about any others out there.  Granted, at least half is always pretty forgettable, but it’s there at least.

Well, that’s all for now I guess.  I’ve got a decent-sized, and growing, queue of complete, or close to it, posts, so I’ll be around quite a bit for the next month or so.  Thanks for stopping by today!

*glomp*

2 40%-off 2011 Topps Series 2 Blasters

From Walmart:

Blackout!

They look awesome, but it sucks how ridiculously condition sensitive these things are.

And the last of the non-keeper Blackouts.

Get ur shine on..

Duos & 60s. Not much to say about these..

The lone gold. Not that it matters much. Let’s have gold parallels look like 2012’s Gold Sparkles from now on please..

Perhaps you like kicking it old school (or hair on the edge of your scan)..

The only original back I pulled. You’d think I would’ve remembered to scan the back, but no. This one is reluctantly available..

Tradercracks claimed these already..

Tradercracks also claimed this..

McCutchen is available though. But be forewarned that the patch is slightly loose on it..

That is all.  Everything not claimed by Tradercracks is available.  Thanks for stopping by!

Spin the wheel, make the deal…

Not the Americana Blaster We Need, but the One We Deserve

A quickie post on the 40%-off Americana blaster I picked up at K-Mart the same day I hit the first Mantle.

There were no inserts, so you'll just have to make do with hotness. 😛

One pack had 8 cards and was just as thick as the hit pack, but the cards were mostly dupes from the very next pack!  Lame.  Anyway, the hit.

Police Woman!

That was a short & sweet post.  Not much of note besides the hit, but the hit was pretty cool, if mildly dinged.  Any version of Americana is great fun regardless of pulls though.  I can’t explain it, it’s just… fun.

Truck Tomatoes

A Blaster of Americana

As promised, a blaster of Panini Americana.  I have a second one too, but scanning has become an arduous process, who knows when I’ll get to it.  Anyway, enjoy this post with minimal jibba-jabba interruption.

I like the base design. Wooooooooo!

It's the usual mix of celebrities and psuedo-celebrities. If you've gotten a previous release, you know what to expect.

There is so much nerdiness of many different disciplines to be found this time around.

Astronauts, wrestlers, Power Rangers that went on to become bigtime voice actors (not in this blaster, alas), stars of nerdy movies and TV, Beadle(!)... the geekiness is strong in this one.

The inserts are meh, but the hits are nice. The poster there is the front. Base card backs are... sparse.

And the back has the swatch, the swatch being something red from Liza Minelli this time. Fun stuff. The Americana blasters were the only cards I bought this month that I genuinely enjoyed. The baseball stuff just felt like going through the motions. This post feels like that too, but whatevs.

Despite the overall half-arsed nature of this post, I really do like Americana and give it a very solid A-.

I’m collecting the base set and will put up a needs list when I get around to it.  Fortunately it won’t be huge.  There were almost no dupes (possibly none at all) between the two blasters.  That was pretty great.  So pretty much everything in the second blaster will different.

Next time, a few more sketch cards.  After that, who knows?  Thanks for stopping by!

That last scan didn’t get edited to size.  How did I miss that?

Flea Market Fail, Retail Mostly Win

The Big Hurt..

So yeah, if you heard on twitter, there was no flea market on Saturday, and apparently there won’t be one at all this month.  It’s okay though, I took my what basically amounted to my entire monthly card budget to Target and Walmart, and had the good fortune of it turning out fairly well.  We all know how hit-or-miss doing that can be, but it can turn out rather nicely at times too.  I picked up a 33%-off ($20 instead of $30) blaster of 2009 SP football (the only dud of the bunch) and a Heritage value box (should’ve doubled up on these) at Walmart, and the last two 3-pack value rack pack things of Gypsy Queen at Target.  So let’s see how it all turned out, shall we?

Just uh, pretend you didn’t read my tweets from Sunday afternoon.  They were spoiler city for this post.  We’ll start with the Heritage Value Box.

The value box bonus refractor. Classy design with rather subtle and subdued refractoring that perfectly highlights without being gaudy. End result: An excellent bonus card.

The only card of note from the Heritage hobby packs..

There weren’t even any SPs that I know of.  Nothing wrong with getting an insert of a legendary pitcher, but the design is snooze inducing, so without chromeyness or a hit (or some sort of super SP variation nonsense), Heritage tends to be… forgettable.  It’s cool though, the regular topps was on point.

Start it off with a much-needed mini, because I think I'm still in single digits on this set, unless this McCutchen gets me to 10.

A Frank Robinson card is ALWAYS a welcome addition to my collection. 60 Years of topps.

A diamond parallel of a star. No longer collecting this set (just Cubs and my other player collections), but Cruz is probably worth one of bigger players I am after, to the right trader.

topps60 > Peak Performance, I'm just sayin'. Fairly classy design. These are for trade..

Another cool insert for trade..

I also pulled two Diamond Giveaway cards from the packs, so I ended up with four instead of two.  That was nice.  Oddly, they were both the same as the two that came with it (’77 Reggie, ’50-something Jackie).  I ended up with an ’88 Tony Gwynn, an ’05 Reds team card, an early ’90s cards so forgettable I can’t even remember which of my three forgettable early ’90s cards was the one I got in this bunch, and a ’70 Don Young (Vintage Cubs!).

Other cards of note were base of Beltre and King Felix for myself, a Steve Carlton/CC Sabathia Diamond Duos, ToppsTown of Mauer, Markakis, Carlos Santana, and two David “I hit a game-winning home run with a broken freakin’ back!” Wright.  Oh, and this:

A jersey card of The Ace of the Angels staff! Weaver is 6-3 with an ERA in the low 2s and a WHIP below 1(!) so far this year. Bonus: It's a nice red swatch. None of that white or gray business here.

Great to pull a great player when you hit on a 1:96 pack card, that’s for sure.  He’ll be added to the For Trade page when I get around to it.

Now, for the dud blaster… Presenting 2009 SP Signature Edition Football:

Purple swatch is nice & all, but John David Booty is so very not worth the price of admission, even at 33%-off.

What can I say?  Even with a better hit, this wouldn’t have been very exciting.  There were Bears base, but this was just disappointing overall.  Why would anyone ever be willing to pay $30 for one of these, when the vast majority of them were most likely just as lame as this one, which stunk on ice at $20?  It was a mistake, plain & simple.  I would’ve been much better off going with a second Heritage value box, even if it turned out to not be any good itself.

Needless to say, only the Bears in the top row are keepers.  The other 57 cards in the blaster can’t be gotten rid of fast enough.

Putting the failure of the day behind us, let’s get to the main course and do us up some Gypsy Queen!

You saw one of my keepers up top.  Frank Thomas with the White Sox is an official player collection now.  I’ll take hits from anywhere he played, but base and inserts and such I’d prefer be of the White Sox variety.

Anyway, everyone always says “Since you’ve already seen the base on countless other blogs, we’ll just skip to the inserts and hits”. No, EVERYONE says this, so no one that doesn’t break down single packs shows the damn base at all (save for the occasional shortprint)!  So here are three more base cards (okay, Markakis is a shortprint).

Kyle Drabek RC, Andruw Jones in what has to be one of the least flattering pictures on a baseball card this year, and a Nick Markakis SP. The base isn't getting as much love as I expected, but it's got style and is anything but boring.

With that taken care of, now here are some inserts.  Was that so hard?

Pujols, Alexei, Rollie, McGee RC, and the Gypsy Queen back is Chris Carter.

I'm suckered in and collecting this set, so if you have any extras, the nine I have will be posted on the set wantlist page later, so you can see what I be needin'. Also, STARLIN!

It wasn’t all Hot Pockets and singing frogs with sombreros in Gypsy Queen land though.  The second of the two value rack pack things had about a half dozen damaged cards, the worst two being the best two cards I pulled from thing.

This is a Gypsy Queen-backed shortprint. Difficult to see, but the damage is visible on my oldass low-def monitor at least. The bottom of the left vertical edge is slightly raised on the front, as if someone tried sticking a finger nail in the edge or something.

Jackie Robinson Framed Paper #'ed 100/999. Then it got worse. The card came out of the pack with that little chunk below the words at the bottom ripped up and barely hanging onto the card. What the hell, pack searcher and/or lollygagging topps quality control person?! Like half of the inserts in this same rack having minor damage on *two* corners, and my short print and Aroldis Chapman base having far worse on one of theirs wasn't bad enough, let's screw up the two best cards too... Will be sending these back for replacements.

Fortunately, there was a saving grace with the Gypsy Queen.  Behold!

The Man!

There was a lot of good in this little binge, and plenty of bad, but it can’t be denied… Retail has it’s occasional moments.  A lot of my better hits seem to have come from retail, and this… well this card is right up there amongst the best of them, team allegiances or not.

That being said, ol’ Stan here is going to be available, seeing as how I am a Cubs fan and have no love for that whiny team from St. Louis, but I’m not in any rush to get rid of him.  You’ll maybe want to set about blowing me away if you’d like to add Mr. Musial to your collection. 😉

So there you go, my latest binge.  I think I would’ve preferred taking another $25 to the flea market, but aside from the SP and what should be replaceable damaged cards, I am exceedingly pleased with the Heritage value box and Gypsy Queen, and it only amounted to $10 more.  We’ll just call SP a $20 learning experience and try to be smarter in the future.

And this overly long post is finished!  Sorry it’d been a couple days without posting by the way.  My sleep got JACKED UP by a linebacker that goes by the name Ray Insomnia.

EDIT: Forgot the Gypsy Queen inserts, and the sign off!  Here you go:

How could I have forgotten these funderfulriffic cards?! These are the undamaged inserts. I am definitely collecting the Sticky Fingers set entirely because the design is so utterly perfect. Just now noticed the spider motif on the Wall Climbers too! I was going to collect it, but probably not now because I'm so utterly terrified of spiders. Admittedly, that is a terrible excuse, because bees are actually the thing I had a traumatic incident with in my youth (one somehow got in my shirt and stung me on the back several times DURING a little league game). My dad lost a toe to a Brown Recluse bite though, so my spider fear isn't misplaced though. Ah, screw it, I'm not collecting either one. Crap.

Now that’s a wrap.  I’ll post up the two insert sets I will be collecting later on tonight.  Thanks, as ever, for stopping by!

Also, I got my new computer, baby!