Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018

New printing plate arrival

I really love printing plates. I know most in the hobby don't like them, but I don't understand that. I think they are great. Occasionally I'll look to see if I can find any in my price range, and I usually do...actually there are usually a lot.

2004-05 Topps Total is a favorite set of mine- one of the only sets from the 2000s that made my Top 20 Favorite NBA set countdown I did in 2016, actually. It was also the first set I ever pulled a printing plate from, I pulled the black front plate from Richard Jefferson.

Now I've added a Magenta to my collection. Samuel Dalembert is not a favorite of mine, (he basically got kicked out of the NBA for beating up his wife) but he is part of NBA history and that makes him part of my collection.

I would really like to get an example of the other two plate colors from this set, maybe someday.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sets in my Collection #30: 1953-54 Topps World on Wheels

This is, by far, one of my favorite sets of all-time. I have been a car guy my entire life, I love cars. My family (both sides!) have been involved in every aspect of the automotive world since 1932, so I suppose it was destiny that I would get into cars. I've been collecting scale replicas of cars since I was roughly two years old, and I've only stopped in the last year because I had to- the money to pay for the medicine that keeps me alive had to come from somewhere.

My lifelong dream is to be a classic car owner, but I don't think it will ever happen.

This set was the second of Topps's first trifecta of vehicular sets, following 1952's Wings, and followed by 1955's Rails & Sails, which has proven to be the hardest of the three for me to locate.

This set is 180 cards, and it was issued over two years, with the second year being MUCH scarcer than the first year. The second year was issued in (apparently) late 1954 as it includes 1955 models, but as is well known, cars are labeled for the coming year, not the year they are actually produced.

I was once again lucky to be in the right place at the right time, and I now have 125 of the 180 cards in my collection, all from the first series. My highest numbered card is #159. I wasn't kidding when I said several posts ago that being in the right place at the right time is my best skill!

The set featured a wide variety of automotive subjects. Many of the cards depict cars from the pre-World War I era, which today is the rarest era of automobiles to see, and many people can go their entire lives without seeing anything from this era moving under it's own power. They were mixed in with new cars, concept cars, work vehicles, even some tanks! They really covered the entire world of the automobile, and of the many, many automotive sets that were produced up to around 1996, this one is by far the most all-inclusive. Probably why it's my favorite!

The cards are the same slightly larger than modern standard that was the Topps standard pre-1957.

Since I have so many, and since I love them so much, I am again going to post more than one front scan.


#37. It was either this card or the card I mentioned in the Wings post that was my first vintage card of any sort. I added both of them to my collection at card shows held in the local mall in the mid-1990s. Both of them were added to my collection before I began collecting the NBA, which was February 1996, but I don't remember which came first or exactly when I got either of the two cards. I do have a better example of this card in my collection but being the first this one has not been relegated to my duplicate stash.




The second series cards are, at least in part, available with either red or blue backs. Both are rare. The trip from NYC to Albany, at least by car, now takes about 5 hours.

Completing this series is less likely a prospect than the Wings set, as the second series cards are significantly rare, and can be pricey if they can be found. Overall, this set is not as easy to find as Wings is overall either, adding to the difficulty of completing the set.

Friday, May 18, 2018

100,000 Card Prediction Contest

Let's have a little fun with a contest that I don't actually know what it will take to win...yet.

On Saturday, May 12th, I hit my 90,000th unique NBA card. It's taken me 22 years to reach that mark. but my collection is pretty much my guiding force in life. I don't plan to ever stop collecting, and I know when I hit 100,000 I am planning a big giveaway/contest. (Speculatively, 1000 cards will be the prize, but I may think of something better by time we actually get there).

So here's how to win:

Predict WHEN I will hit 100,000. That's still a long way away as I am at "only" 90,030 as I type this. It will NOT be this year, unless I win the lottery. Give me more than just a year, I need day and month to determine who comes closest.

To break ties, here's some more things to predict:

1. Which TEAM will the 100,000th card be?
2. Which PLAYER will be the 100,000th card? Since this is still a ways off, "Not Yet in the NBA" is a valid option
3. Which SEASON will the 100,000th card be from? I am all over the map, collecting the entire history of the NBA, so there's no guarantee it will be a new card at the time.

Some boilerplate:
Entries MUST be a reply to this post. I'm not going to be able to find them when I hit the 100,000 mark if you post them to me on Twitter, Facebook, the Trading Card Database, etc. I will be putting in a special Label/tag to make this easy to find.

I reserve the right to disqualify anyone for any reason, although that doesn't seem likely.

If you want to send me a bunch of cards to move the process along, I won't complain 😃

ONLY NBA cards count. Not anything else I collect, this is solely NBA.  Duplicates do not count, either.

Entries will be accepted until I hit 95,000 cards, whenever that may be.

I'll make sure the winner gets a great prize. I have no idea yet what it will be, but I have time to determine it.

Promoting it on your blog or twitter or whatnot will NOT get you any bonus chances, Sorry, but it's going to be too hard to track that stuff whenever this milestone gets reached, but I certainly wouldn't stop you from doing that if you choose to. 

To give you a little hint to get started, so far in 2018 I've added 867 new NBA cards in the first 132 days of the year. So, do a little math, do a little guessing, whatever makes you happy. Just give me those guesses in the comments!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Case Disgrace

I've been dreaming a doing a case for years. I never thought I'd be able to afford one, as I noted a few days ago, and I finally found one I could...and it leaves me disappointed and angry.

I finished the case yesterday and the final box did not give me a single new card...I finished the case missing 5 cards, yet I got a stack of 203 duplicates, 25 Chinese New Year duplicates, and the base dupes would have been higher but I also got 36 off-center errors.
These are the DUPLICATES I got!

The set is only 150 cards! How inept can Panini be that they make such a tiny set yet you end up missing cards, but with more duplicates than are in the set, out of a case?

That's a disgrace.

That's Panini.

I know I could easily go buy the missing 5 cards on COMC...I'm sure I'll end up doing just that. But it really ticks me the heck off that I have to spend even more money to finish off this set that Panini was too inept/clueless to do right. It's already cost me $200 with shipping, a lot for me to lay out at one time. I mean, I knew I was going to get a lot of duplicates, but I expected to get the entire base set, too, as it is only 150 cards! If that had happened, I would have been pretty happy with this case. this recap post would have been a lot different because my opinion would have been a lot different.

And speaking of the short checklist, there are some names left off that are baffling...Manu Ginobili? Nope. Jaylen Brown? Nope. Joel Embiid? Nope. Wait, really? Yes, really, the set is missing Joel Embiid...for the 76ers, only Dario Saric, Ben Simmons, JJ Redick and Markelle Fultz got a card. Saric, Simmons and Fultz getting cards makes sense. But choosing Redick over Embiid? How could they make that choice? Redick is a good player, but he's not a superstar. Embiid IS.

It's time to start petitioning the NBA Player's Union and Michelle Roberts to end the exclusive license with Panini. Not take away their license, but to end the exclusivity. (other than the small sets and the fact that you keep getting the same cards, in the same order, I actually like most of Panini's sets) I'm going to be contacting the NBPA to do just that. It probably won't matter, because I don't think they wouldn't have made an exclusive license in the first place if they cared about collectors, but it will make me feel better to lodge an actual complaint. Maybe they don't pay much attention as long as the checks keep showing up?

You know, I'm not sure what's the point of dreaming about anything is anymore...even when it comes true, it just leads to anger and frustration and lots of disappointment.
I have had three big dreams, and this was one of them...it turned out to bring nothing but anger and frustration. My main dream is to own a classic car, and that's caused more pain than anything else- and the worst part is, next year it would have come true naturally but that's getting ripped out from under me, with the loss of the family Jeep. The last one I have left is to go to the National Sports Collector's Convention, and that will probably never happen...but even if it did, I'm at the point where I expect it will probably just be a big pile of disappointment if I ever do.

Story of my life.

I suppose in time the anger will subside, and I will be happy that I added 145 base and 71 Chinese New Year parallels to my collection, when I didn't have a single card from the set previously. (I got less new cards than duplicates, another disgrace) but that time isn't going to be soon. There's too much anger to get past that right now. I'm so angry I don't even want to scan the rest of the cards right now!

These are the cards I am missing from the base set. #116, 121, 126, 131 and 147. I'm hoping I can trade for them instead of having to spend even more money to get them, as I noted above.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Head's Up!

1992-93 Upper Deck #126
I don't think that's the right way to get ahead in the world.

Friday, May 11, 2018

A Case! And trying something new.

I don't dream about much. I know that I can't accomplish what I want to do, I can't fulfill the one dream that's been with me my whole life- classic car ownership.

Card collecting dreams are easier to realize but there was one that I thought would be always out of reach...opening an entire case. I look at case prices and see that they are usually in the 4 digits. I can't do that. But then...Dave & Adam's had a big anniversary sale, and there was a case of this year's Revolution- $180. It was a lot of money to shell out in one go, but I did it...I may never have the opportunity again and I'd socked away $200 just in case a case ever came below that, which was my self-imposed threshold. The case arrived on May 7th, after I had done my card of the day...so every day this week, I am going to be doing a box out of the case.

Unfortunately for me, there's a reason it was so cheap...it's the retail version, which has only one parallel to choose from, the Chinese New Year, which is one per pack, and no inserts. I have zero chance to get any autographs, relics or serially numbered cards, which is kind of a let down...but I should complete the set, and get more than halfway to the Chinese New Year parallel, so there's that. Also, during this case, I should hit 90,000 different NBA cards. Actually, that should come tomorrow, when I'm writing this, but today when I'm scheduling this post for. After the first 4 boxes I'm 19 cards away.

Not be able to get anything numbered HAS put a damper on my enjoyment, but even so, I'm still absolutely thrilled about being able to do a case. And now, writing this when I'm halfway through, I am starting to appreciate it even more...with 4 boxes down I'm at only 82% of the 150 card set. I'm getting so many duplicates I'm not sure I will be able to complete it...the rookies are one per pack and I still need quite a few. In box #4 I pulled three duplicates of the Chinese New Year parallels as well. We'll see how it goes. If I can pull the Donovan Mitchell CNY I will probably work on completing the parallel via COMC but his is too expensive for me to buy as a single. So we'll see. Here's a couple of brief highlights, with more thoughts and scans to come after I've finished the case...

 As is kind of usual for Panini, the veterans and rookies use a totally different design. The Ball is the first card from the set in my collection, and the Brook Lopez is my first card of his with the Lakers. The cards are incredibly bright any shiny- what looks like texture in the background is all different foils and reflective, sparkly stuff. They look much nicer in hand, and I'm going to see if I can get a photo to better capture that when I write up my post-case thoughts.

There are only two players in the set not yet in my collection, and after four boxes, I've seen only one of them.
Bogdan Bogdanovic has been long-awaited for making the jump to the NBA, having been drafted back in 2014. He is not related to Bojan Bogdanovic, who has been in the NBA since 2014-15, with the Nets, Wizards and Pacers, despite the very similar names. I found this card in the very first box I did. The one I have not seen yet is Suns rookie Mike James (the second or possibly third different Mike James in NBA history)

The Chinese New Year parallels, or CNY, fall one per pack, always the 4th of 5 cards in the pack, and every third pack is a rookie parallel. They have a different pattern and the foil is red, where as on base cards it's copper. (both pretty much scan black, though) They too look much brighter and impressive in person. It works best with bright colors and the Celtics green is my favorite look on this pattern. 

 Here's a rookie version:
 While it shouldn't be too hard to tell the two versions apart, here's a side-by-side comparison of the two versions. Base is on the left, CNY on the right.
There's something like 9 more parallel patterns that are available in hobby, but I won't be getting any of them any time soon.

Now, the new thing I'm trying. I can't set up my card listing because right now I'm working on building models, and they use the same space. My skills have mysteriously returned after leaving just as mysteriously in 2010. So, I did the first three boxes with no paper listing. How was I going to keep track of the cards, when I was getting them?

So I made this chart...

 I'm filling in the dates that I get the cards, as you can see if you click on it, I have done the first four boxes at the time of this screencap.

I really like the way this looks, even with only 4 different dates available to choose from. The base cards are in black on the left, the Chinese New Year parallels on the right. I didn't bother to label them because after this week I won't need the chart anymore. Or maybe I will...I like it so much I'm considering making matching charts for all of my collection. I've been keeping track of the dates I got (most) cards since 1998, but I don't have that backed up anywhere, until 2014 when I started entering that info into Excel. And even then, it's backed up only in the order that I got the cards, not by set. So if something happened to my paper listing, all that info currently would be lost. (It's already gotten wet once, although only a very small portion of it)

I need to think about it, though. Do I want to expand out to include the subject of the card? (Usually a person, but not always...further info like SN data? Go full out and list everything, including teams?). That would add a SIGNIFICANT amount of time to the work to get it all onto Excel. I have not decided yet how I will handle it.