Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Sticky Situation

Recently, Angus of Dawg Day Cards put up a great review of the new Panini Stickers set for his chosen sport, football. It prompted me to finally write this post, something I've been hemming and hawing on for a while.

The Panini Stickers set...they have been producing them for the NBA since at least 1990, but I have mostly ignored them. Now, I'm having second thoughts about them.

My big question: Do I want to incorporate them as part of my NBA collection? As of right now, I count them as a separate collection. I don't have a paper listing of what I have/don't have, which is something I do for pretty much every card set. They aren't counted as part of my collection. That's a big thing for me, as I am majorly OCD. I don't consider something as part of my collection unless it's got a paper listing and counted.

For many years I didn't count the USA Basketball sets, the Michael Jordan tribute sets, or the Starting Lineup cards as part of my NBA collection. I counted them as separate collections. In fact, I only integrated and officially counted the SLU and Jordan sets in 2014 or possibly even early 2015.

Now I'm seriously debating adding the Panini stickers to my collection as well.

One of the reasons I have not made them part of my official collection is that they are made of really flimsy material and have no real back to them. Basically the backs are all the same but with a different number, every year.

Say I do decide to make them part of my official collection. That opens up another can of worms. Of the 13 years of stickers produced, I only have 2 of the years in my collection. In fact there may be more than 13 years of them made, I'm not totally sure. They were so off my radar, I've never actually researched them. I know for a fact that I only have 1995-96 and 2015-16 in my collection.
All my efforts of having every set represented in my collection would be out the window, at least for a while. That's a fairly small tradeoff, though, and the stickers are not that expensive, so I could probably hunt down multiple stickers for each year for under $20. That's doable. Actually finding them may prove more of a challenge than paying for them, in this case.

I know, also, that the only "card" produced for Elton Brand in the 2014-15 season is the Panini Sticker. They couldn't be bothered to include him in any actual card sets in 2014-15 OR 2015-16. I don't have any stickers from 2014-15, but that is one I would like to get weather I make them part of my NBA collection or not.

The Panini Stickers do have some things about them that I really like. Each year has Team stickers. I'm a BIG fan of team cards, and there have not been any team cards issued since 2010-11.
Here's one from 1995-96 and one from 2015-16.

The team stickers back in the day were much nicer, with a super sparkly affect that looks much better in hand. Now they are just mirror foil, blah.

Here's a base card sticker design from 1995-96 and 2015-16.

The designs are unique and the photos are pretty good. Arguably better than Panini does on actual cards.

One other bonus is that the sets are large- they refuse to make an actual card set larger than 300 cards, but the sticker sets usually go past 400. The 2014-15 set is 470 stickers long. I don't know yet how large the 2015-16 set is, but in the limited packs I purchased I got one numbered 471 so I know it's larger.

The stickers almost act like what a flagship Panini set should be, only they have nothing on the backs.
This is the back of the Mavericks team logo. They are all the same except for the number.
The gray square and line at the bottom is from when my remote hard drive crashed. I was able to recover a lot (NOT everything) but some of them didn't recover properly. I just noticed this when I posted the image, so now I have to fix it. Normally I'd just fix it and not talk about it but I wanted to show some of the stuff I've been fighting with for the past nearly 2 months now.

So, what do you think? Should I add these to my collection officially, with a paper listing and counting them as part of the actual collection, or should I continue to count them as a separate collection?

I know which way I'm leaning but I want to hear some opinions before I say what I'm thinking (it will be in the comments).

One thing I do know for sure...I won't ignore them in the future, and when the new set comes out, I will be getting some every year...maybe even a whole box. They are cheap enough I can afford a box, a rarity these days.

Thanks for reading and hopefully giving me your thoughts.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Better than expected- a single card Elton Brand post

You ever have one of those experiences that is pretty much a no-lose situation to begin with, but turns out to be even better than you expected it to be? I had that recently, and it involves my latest Elton Brand addition.

A few months ago, I committed to buy an Elton Brand card on one of the Facebook card groups. I don't even remember which one. I'm in a lot of them and there is one friend who tags me whenever he sees an Elton card go up for sale. He tagged me when this one came up, and I knew I didn't have it so I committed to buy it. I got talking to the seller but he was in the middle of a move so it was delayed about a month. No big deal.

I didn't really look too closely at the photo he posted of the card. I didn't need to. I knew it was an Elton I didn't have, so that was good enough for me.

After he moves, I send him the Paypal- a grand total of $3. The USPS does it's work, and it arrives in my PO box.

When I get it, I finally see- it's a shoe piece! Wow! This is only my second solo piece of shoe from the NBA, and first Shoe piece from Elton! (I have a couple other multi-relic cards with shoe pieces, but none are of Elton)

For some reason, even though most of the time the players wear each set of sneakers for one game only- sometimes not even a full game- you rarely see pieces of sneakers on cards. The most recent one in my collection is in fact this one, from 2001-02! I know Panini has issued some but I have not been lucky enough to pull any.


The photo is a posed photo, 2001-02 is when he joined the Clippers, Champions & Contenders was a late season release but they chose to use a posed photo instead of action anyway. Who cares, I got a new Elton that's my first sneaker piece :)

Just to give a little perspective, I have of Elton
38 jersey cards
3 multi-relic cards (2 of which are SPx Winning Materials - 2 relics of Elton, one is Luxury Box &1, 4 different players sharing a card)
4 Shooting Shirt
9 Warm-Up
2 shorts
12 unlabeled (but probably jersey- I wish Panini would include what kind of materials you get on the card)
1 Warm-Up Jacket
1 Shoe (This one) 
70 total relics of Elton

I'm 99% sure he has a wide margin over the next closest person in my collection, but I have no idea who that might be, relic wise. Overall cards he doesn't even make the top 10 because he simply doesn't have as many cards as others like Jordan, Kobe, etc. There are still a ton I need, so I'm working on changing that but it takes time when you don't have a lot of money to spend hunting singles anymore. This shoe card is my 463rd Elton overall. The Database lists 3075 of him, so I have a lot of room to expand!

I don't do a lot of single card posts, but this one warranted it for sure. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

An Olympic project that didn't go as planned; Triumph of will power

As you know by now, I love the Olympics. I love them so much I even skipped last night's Truck race...from Bristol...to watch Olympics. THAT is how much I love them.

I knew that I would not be buying a box of the current year's Olympic card set, until it got cheaper. I paid full price for the 2014 Sochi set, and now the hobby box is on sale for $20. Had I waited, I could have gotten three boxes!

But I like to open Olympic cards during the Olympics.

So what to do?

Well...back when I ordered the Sochi box, in 2014, I also ordered a box of 1991 Impel US Olympic Hall of Fame.
I apologize for the crappy picture. You'd think I would have been able to get a good one, I really should have turned the flash on on my camera.

I got it in February 2014. And I didn't open it. For TWO AND A HALF YEARS! That is an amazing display of will power on my behalf. I've gotten better, but I used to have my cards open before leaving the parking lot of the card shop on a regular basis. I once did a box of 2010 Legends in 3 minutes or so, however long it took my mom to pick up a prescription, and nothing more.

So to keep this factory sealed for so long...I'm amazed I did it.

I cracked the seal during the first day of competition,  August 6th. I opened a pack a day. I figured, this is a huge box, so hopefully it will be a huge set right? Nope. It's only 90 cards. The goal was to get me through the entire Olympics and finish opening the packs left during Closing Ceremonies.
It didn't work out that way, as I completed the set on August 15th, and I'm almost at two complete sets, with 15 cards a pack there's a lot of duplicates.

I still have half the box, perhaps a few packs more than half, unopened. There are no inserts to chase- not a single one- so I don't plan to open them. It is now only the second set where I ran out of cards to look for before I ran out of packs.

In the end, I'm a little disappointed with the set. Sure, it's 90 cards, but cards #52 to 72 focus on only two teams, multiple cards of the same players. (They are the 1964 basketball team and the 1980 Hockey team- the Miracle on Ice team). While they are the only cards printed to commemorate those teams, (I think, definitely with basketball) with a long history of Olympics I feel they could have given cards to more athletes...or made the set bigger. 90 cards is never enough for any sport, let alone a set that covers almost 100 years of a sporting event.

The cards themselves are fine. I have only scanned 3, as the entire set is already on the Database, I put aside cards already done there, but I scanned three to have something to post here, no particular reason I chose these three, they just happened to be on top of the stack when I chose to scan.


Card backs- for the people, if not the team cards- are very good. They give a detailed bio and even "where are they now" info on most (not this one, though), plus a listing of their Olympic wins. This is card backs done right.
So the plan didn't work exactly as I thought it would. Reading the cards though has been very educational, as I really started watching the Olympics in earnest with the 1992 Barcelona games, most of the cards in this set cover athletes and events from before I was born. As there aren't a lot of Olympic cards through the years, finding out the histories isn't as easy as the stick and ball sports that get the cardboard love. Honestly, most of the history I know of the NBA came from reading card backs.

But it's not my only Olympic cards to open. I bought a "complete" set of 1983 Topps Greatest Olympians, which I am taking a few cards out of the plastic case each day...if I remember. I forgot to do any on the 17th, so I took out 3 extra today. I did sleep through most of the 17th as I have not been feeling too good so I could use that as an excuse, but in reality I didn't pay attention to the time and just plain missed it. (I have been taking out three a day, the Olympics are going to end before I run out, so I may save the rest for the next Winter Olympics in 2018). I really don't like to buy hand collated sets because I have been burned so often on them, but the price was right ($4 for 99 cards) and I didn't have any from the set, so I felt it was worth the risk. Time will tell but I have already found the big names- Muhammad Ali and Jesse Owens- so I have hopes that it will turn out to be complete. I also have one more pack of this year's set I procured at Target, which I will open during Closing Ceremonies, and I still have one pack left of the 2012 London set that I have not decided when to open.

One other bit of trivia- the photo of Bob Beamon in the 1991 set is the exact same one Topps used in the 2016 set. I don't think he should have been in this year's set- it should have been for current athletes- but that's a different topic, which I've talked about before. The thing is, the Topps card is in color, and the Impel card is in black and white...which makes me wonder what other photos may have been in color in the set and they chose not to print that way.

There is one variation  in the set that I don't have. Card #40 has the image on the back mirrored, I have only the version where the top of his head points left. I don't think I'll open the rest of the cards to see if I find the other version. I don't really chase variations too often but I'm sure it would be cheap enough if I wanted to add this one.

I still enjoyed it, even if it didn't work out like I planned, but I'm glad I was able to complete the set. And I'm truly amazed I was able to keep a box of a set that I didn't have a single card of sealed for more than 2 years! Water Polo just came on, one of my favorite Olympic events, so I guess it's time to stop typing :)

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Siren Song of Allen & Ginter finally takes hold

Every year, I say I'm going to purchase some Allen & Ginter to chase after the non-sports cards inserted into the set, and every year, I don't...mostly because I don't want to spend the money. Yeah, I'm a cheapskate at heart.

Every year, I see them in Target or Wal-Mart and I stand there looking at them, but that's as far as I've gone. I never took the plunge and purchased any.

Well, this year, I was shopping at the local Wal-Mart with my family and mentioned that every year I say that I want to purchase some, but never do because I didn't want to spend the money...they would have none of that, and a jumbo pack was soon in the cart.
14 cards, and I knew most of them would be baseball. I'll be honest- this is the first baseball pack I've ever opened. I may be the only regular card blogger who doesn't do baseball as their main sport...sometimes it seems like it. I have nothing against baseball, I just never got into it. Still, I will give a home to any card, and these are not my first baseball cards...just my first baseball pack.

It turned out the pack I chose was the right one (they had two, I only got one). I knew going in there were about 15 base cards I specifically wanted to add to my collection, and of course the main draw for me is the non-sports stuff. I actually consider the 2016 set's non-sport content to be the weakest since I started learning about the set, but still strong enough that I want them in my collection. Anybody else I got was fine, but I didn't have too high hopes- I mean, what are the odds of my getting even one of the cards I wanted out of a single pack of a more than 300 card set? Turns out, pretty good!

So, let's see the content of my first ever baseball pack, with some commentary on the cards:

The first card out was #298, Jacoby Ellsbury. That makes him the first card from this set in my collection, and also the first from the 2016 MLB season. The card stock is nice and thick, with a good texture. There's a bit of a parchment color tone to the cards which kind of washes out on the scanner. My only dislike is that there is no first name on the card- but I understand that none of the A&G sets have that.
#83, David Wright came out next. Hmm, both New York teams, roughly 60 miles north of the City. I wonder if that was planned? Probably not, as neither team appears again.

#21 Ben Zobrist came next. Even though this looks like an action shot my gut reaction is that this is actually posed. For some reason I've always collected players who have a last name starting with Z- I have no idea why, really, I've just always been drawn to them. If I have an option of two cards that are otherwise equal I will usually pick the one with the Z player.
#16, Trayce Thompson came out next. Yeah! This is the baseball player I wanted to add to my collection most of all out of the set! I'm big into family stuff- you'll see this card again in a future post- and Trayce is the younger brother of Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson, who happens to be one of my favorite players currently in the NBA. (Also son of Mychal Thompson, NBA Rookie of the Year and Champion) I usually try to track down a card of people related to NBA players in other sports, and at some point I was planning to buy a card of Trayce on COMC...now I've pulled one! I'd always rather pull a card than buy one, so I was pretty darn thrilled to get this one. At this point I already considered the pack a winner.
#13, Kevin Gausman came out of the pack next. For some reason, based on the photo I thought he may have been one of the retired legends in the set. Nope, he was born in 1991- my 4th year collecting cards. This is the lowest numbered card in the pack.
#120, Kenta Maeda was next. I don't really know anything about him but I know I've seen him referenced on Night Owl's posts.
The Numbers Game #NG-46 Chris Sale came up next. This is a cool concept for an insert set, based on the jersey numbers the players wear. I enjoy tracking jersey numbers....someday I plan to do a post series about numbers in the NBA. (need to do more scanning first)
Baseball Legends #BL-21 Cal Ripken Jr. was next. He is the only person in the pack who previously appeared in my collection. Yes, I keep track of who is in my collection. You'll read more about that in the future as well, probably in 2018. (hint...)
Mini #269, Maikel Franco came next. I like the mini cards. They are fun. A pain to store, but fun none the less. Off the top of my head I think this is my first mini from A&G.
Yeah! A Ferocious Felines mini came out next! (Literally dropped right out on the floor, thankfully it landed flat and was not damaged!) This winning pack keeps up the pace by giving me a mini insert seeded one in every 15 packs! I enjoy animal cards enough that I gave them their own section on my website, so I was glad to pull one of these- and I would much rather have had any card in this set than any of the Mayors minis, so I was quite happy. But the pack wasn't over!
That sleeping kitty doesn't seem too ferocious to me...
#305, Tyler Duffey was next, and if I have payed enough attention to the blogosphere, any card over #300 is a short print. I dislike the concept of short prints in a base set, as I am a set collector. At least this one looks exactly like all the other cards. Can't say I've ever heard of the subject, but how often does SportsCenter cover the Twins? Not very, and that's where most of my baseball knowledge used to come from...now it comes from reading blogs...where they are covered even less.
Unbelievably, I got ANOTHER of the cards I wanted out of this pack! Ernie Johnson Jr., son of former MLB player Ernie Johnson, has cemented a legacy of his own by being a highly respected broadcaster. As the back of the card states, he has been host of Inside the NBA on TNT for about 2 decades now, and while he does have NBA cards, they are not easy to find- you have the Hoops Broadcasters cards of the 1989-90 and 1990-91 seasons which are so hard to find I've never even SEEN one in person, and then you have the broadcaster autograph sets from the past two years of Threads. Not common cards. I still want to hunt down all of those, but realistically I know I won't. I'm happy to have this one. He's card #203 here.

#196, Josh Reddick was next out of the pack. Don't really know anything about him but it looks like somebody has been chewing on the bat he's holding.
#187, Carl Yastrzemski, was last but not least. After all, how can a guy who's name starts with Y be bad? Yes, like people who start with Z, I chase cards of people with a last name starting with Y...also Q and U. I admit it, I'm weird.

And that's my first ever baseball pack. If I got even one of the cards I really wanted, I would have been happy, and instead I got three. Can't beat that. I think going forward I will have to get at least one pack each year...maybe I will chase the others I want on COMC or elsewhere...but my follow through is not really all that great, LOL. I am glad I finally took the plunge and bought a pack.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Bryan Clauson Memorial

Racing is an inherently dangerous sport. We all know that, fans and competitors alike.

But the competitors put that aside to chase their dreams and do what they love to do.

It doesn't make it any better when a driver is killed in action.

On Sunday, Bryan Clauson became the first driver in my card collection to be killed on track since I began Cardboard History. Justin Wilson was killed in a freak accident in an IndyCar race last year, but he has no cards.

Clauson was only 27 years old.

He was primarily an open wheel driver, focusing on sprints and midgets, but he ran for Nationwide Rookie of the Year in 2008, attempting 21 of 35 races and posting a best finish of 5th at Kentucky. That is what led to his appearing on cards. I have 7 of his cards in my collection, although 4 of them are this card and it's many parallels. This is the Gold parallel which was hobby exclusive. I also have the Silver (base), Blue (retail) and Red (factory set). I do not have the Holofoil serially numbered to 100. He also appears in 2008 Speedway, 2008 Stealth and 2009 Element in my collection.

Aside from his 26 career Nationwide appearances, he attempted 3 Cup races in 2008 but did not qualify for any of them, he also ran the Indy 500 three times, including this year. I do not have stats on the races he normally ran, but I do know his goal was to race in 200 races this year. His final race was #117 on his quest. For perspective, Cup races 36 times a year, Indy only 16 races a year.

It's always a sad day in the world of motorsports when one of the family is killed, and that is what is being felt today.

Rest in Peace.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The sad state of Olympic cards

I love the Olympics. I look forward to each event every 4 years, (both Summer and Winter) and I will watch Olympics almost exclusively during their time. I will watch just about every sport, but I can't get into soccer.

Already today I've watched: Basketball (both men's and women's), field hockey, archery, water polo, judo, table tennis, beach volleyball, gymnastics, and yes, even a few moments of soccer. I know swimming is still ahead of me on the docket. 

As a sports fan and card collector, I'm used to collecting cards documenting the sports I love. True, they fall short of what they should be, but...it's something.

For the Olympics, that is simply not possible.

The Olympics are great because it's all different kinds of sports- not just the 6 that SportsCenter covers. And while I am a supporter of Team USA, there is a lot more to the world of sports than USA.

Especially in the Olympics, which is where players from many various sports come together to represent their country...there are more than 200 countries competing in the Rio Olympics. 200!

There will be NO cards issued to commemorate the events. The winners will have nothing produced to celebrate their wins. If you want to know who won an event in a past Olympics...you're out of luck, because you can't read the back of a non-existent card to find out.

What we do get...is this.
Team Hopefuls. Not even the actual team members! And even if they were the team members... the set is 75 cards. Seventy. Five. The US Olympic team is 554 people! I don't even KNOW how many people make up the Paralympic team, because they don't get any coverage at all other than the cards.  It's probably more than are included in this set.

That's....disgraceful. But wait, it gets worse. Of the 75 cards in the set, at least 10 are not even current athletes, most of the cards higher than #61 are people long retired. They SHOULD be on cards...but they should NOT be part of the set based (loosely) around the current Olympics. An insert, sure, but base cards, taking away spots from actually competing athletes? No thank you!

And the people from the other countries? Forget it. They could be the greatest of all time in their sport, yet they get nothing. Not a single card, ever. If it wasn't for Sports Illustrated for Kids giving a card to Usain Bolt, there would not have been a single card for a non-American athlete in the 24 years I've been a die-hard Olympic fan.

This is not right at all.

There should be an Olympic set that covers each event, with the medalists AT LEAST getting cards, even if the non-winners don't get covered. It'd be better than nothing, which is what we currently get.
And the athletes from other countries besides the USA should get cards. I don't care if they are from countries our government says we should hate like North Korea or Iran. If they compete for a medal, they should have a card. Period!

But we get nothing.

And there's not a darn thing I can do about it... Except make this post, and hope somebody who can make it right sees it.

I know the chances of that are about as likely as me actually competing in the Olympics. Yeah, that's 0%.

But I can't be silent.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Prizm is here! Box Break Review: 2016 Prizm NASCAR

That was a long wait! The last NASCAR release was back in 2014, named as a 2015 set, and we've had nothing since. Until today! Panini got the NASCAR license back in February and the box finally hit store shelves today. I pre-ordered a box, something I rarely ever do, from Dave & Adams, and they got it to me today. Naturally, I opened it up. It was a great box! I really enjoyed the cards, and the Prizms- this is the first time ever that the Refractor/Prizm technology has been used in NASCAR. It did not disappoint, even if all my numbered Prizms were from Joe Gibbs Racing (LOL)

Since these cards take forever to scan, due to their Chromeyness (if Shakespeare can make up words, so can I) and don't look all that good in scans anyway, I decided to take pictures.

First things first, Panini actually includes car cards, which is a great thing!
Not so great, most of them look like they've been run through an Instagram filter. Especially check the #88 and #4 cars. The #4 is supposed to be a black car with a white stripe, there shouldn't be white on the roof and hood. It's a night shot so there is some reflection but it's been messed with too much.

It's still better than Press Pass, which didn't bother to give us cards of cars at all! Unfortunately, not every driver got a car card. That's one of 3 things that keep me from giving this set a perfect rating.


The Prizms! Glorious, glorious Prizms. This is what we've all been waiting for. Like I said, the Refractor/Prizm technology has never been used in NASCAR before, and it was well worth the wait! They fall on average every other pack for base Prizms, as I ended up with 10 of them in 20 packs. I wish I had pulled a Prizm of a car, because that's what I was waiting the most for, but I will be buying some retail to chase the Wal-Mart and Target exclusive colors so maybe I will get one there.

Inserts...meh. The Competitors insert is kind of pointless as the majority of base cards use photos from the official photo shoot done in Daytona at the start of every season and these do as well. Winner's Circle includes victory lane celebrations from 2015's races. I had to pull Kenseth, one of my least favorite drivers.

The inserts all have Prizms, which is nice, and I pulled three from my box. They are hard to photograph, that is the camera flash bulb reflecting on Hamlin's hand. I like the Prizms quite a bit!

Aside from the base Prizms, there are colored parallels which are serially numbered. I love these, especially the two car cards. The Rainbow is SN24, the Blue SN99 and the Green SN199. There are some other colors I didn't get as well. These are truly spectacular and some of my favorite cards from the box.

The only die cut card in the box, I'm not sure if these are all die cut or if that comes with the fact that it's a Prizm parallel. It's a great card either way, and it's the King...the photo dates to 1992.


the green reflecting is my shirt


Here are the base cards. If I counted right I got 55 of 100, and that's one of the of the other things that keep me from giving the set a perfect rating. 100 cards is simply not enough. Especially when some of them are wasted on subsets. The Driver Introductions subset is not needed. We would have been better off if those photos were used for the base cards and the space they took up on the checklist was used for card cards- or more Xfinity or Truck drivers, who only appear in the autograph sets, which make them pretty tough to find as you get one autograph per box. Lots of up-and-coming future stars got their first cards, but appear only on the autograph checklist- drivers like William Byron, John Hunter Nemechek, Christopher Bell and others.

The third thing that keeps me from giving the set a perfect rating is the back of the cards have no stats at all. I didn't expect full stats as Panini simply never bothers to do that, but I expected last season's and career totals- and this is even more important as Racing-Reference.info may be shutting down due to the owner's poor health. (Something I'm very familiar with- get well soon!)

One thing I REALLY like about the card backs is that they include team logos. Off the top of my head I believe this is the first set ever to include team logos. Some sets have had the team name in text, most don't bother to include it at all. This is something that's been sorely missing from NASCAR cards since we first started getting them in 1988.

Now, I bet you are wondering what my promised three "hits" are...

Here they are!
I got some really good ones! The Newman tire was the first I pulled. Tire pieces are the most common relic in NASCAR, which makes sense as they go through a lot of them on race weekend and sometimes even give them away when they are used up.

The Carl Edwards autograph came up next, and it's a Gold Prizm, which means it's Serially Numbered to 10! I got SN05/10.

The Matt DiBenedetto patch came out of the very last pack and is SN 05/25. It's one of the nicest NASCAR patches I've ever pulled, and I've always supported BK Racing...for hopefully obvious reasons! The back of the card talks about his 6th place finish at Bristol this year, the text, while limited, is nicely done on all the cards I've read, although to be honest I have not read all that many yet because I've been working on getting this post and the pack I did on A Pack to Be Named Later up!

Overall, I am REALLY happy with Panini's first NASCAR effort, and I'm glad I was able to get a hobby box of it. It's the first box I've done since (I think) October so it was double the thrill.
There is certainly room for improvement but for the first effort they did a fantastic job. I have not looked forward to a NASCAR set this much in quite some time, and it really didn't disappoint. We need more car pictures, we need stats, we need more cards- 100 cards doesn't cover a sport at all- but what we did get is great.

Panini had three more sets due in 2016, but I don't think I'm going to be able to afford boxes of them; one of them is scheduled to be several hundred dollars for 5 or 6 cards, I wouldn't do that even if I could afford it. It takes a LOT of the fun out of it, (I don't like buying singles, opening a pack and being surprised is the most exciting to me) but I will pick up whatever card is cheapest on COMC just so the set is represented in my collection, eventually. The next set due out is supposed to be a blaster-only set and the cards are going to have a dark gray theme.

Thanks for reading, and thanks to Panini for bringing cards back to the sport!