Wednesday, February 28, 2018

February 2018 Trade Recap

It's been a while since I have been able to post one of these. It's not that I haven't been's just that I haven't been opening my trades. I have been saving everything for my 2018 Card of the Day project, but I think I've got enough of a stash that I don't need to hold on to every trade. I think I've got 4 or 5 I have not even opened going back a few months now. I'm going to open them all up soon, and I'll post a Trade Recap Catch-Up when I do, not sure when it will go live, depends on how quick I get them scanned.

This week I've decided to start opening them as they came in, and I had three come in. The only three I did in the month, actually.

The first to arrive was with TonyZ on the Trading Card Database, which saw 14 cards arrive from 2004-05 Fleer Genuine. This set came out in 2005, and I have not added a single card to the set since it was new, I think I did a blaster, but not totally sure. I know I don't have enough to have done a hobby box, and I know I don't have a single rookie card from the set, which would likely not be the case with a hobby box.
Here are just two examples, the only two I've scanned so far. Vince Carter was the only Net, and Damon Jones was the player I have the least number of cards of in my collection, so I prioritized them for scanning.

You really can't see it in scans, but these cards use clear blobs of goo in the design. There are three raised dots in 4 separate locations on the card front, and they feature a clear glossy border stripe, which is almost invisible in scans, except it shows up as a discoloration on the name bar. These cards were not damaged by the goo blobs but the ones I got originally were- they came out of the packs with indents on the backs of the cards and spots of missing printing on the backs where the goo rubbed off the color. I've never seen one without that damage until I opened this trade on 2/22.

The next trade was a quick trade. Matthew Keppel of the Trading Card Database and Diamond Jesters recently had a cool thing which he called Time Travel Trading, where he bought a pack of 2018 Topps baseball and is trying to see how far back he can get trading the cards he got and what he gets for them. I thought it was a neat idea so I decided to jump in, I sent him three low grade 1978 Topps that I am pretty sure came my way via one of Gavin's card dumps, but were duplicates. None of them were bad enough shape that I wouldn't have considered them part of my collection if they weren't duplicates, but they were. I told him to send me one card out of the pack, I didn't care which one. This is the one he chose:
 I'm a really big fan of team cards, and constantly bemoan the fact that they don't really do them in the NBA anymore, so this was a good choice.

The final trade, which is the largest, was with Shawn Norris. If you are on the Database you know his reputation, but I've never had a problem with him, and we've traded quite often- I don't know how many cards he's sent me over the years, but the number is certainly in the three digits. This one saw me get 33 cards, all Marvel Comics related. I may be a DC fan (formerly) but I will still take Marvel cards in trade...especially when the trade offered was for sending me more than double what I would be sending out.
They were from three sets:

 1994 Marvel Masterpieces, 22 cards. This is my favorite of the three sets. Good artwork. Strong continuity to the set, Marvel Masterpieces was a long running set, and is still going after a hiatus.

1994 Flair Marvel Annual, 9 cards including one insert, not shown. The artwork on the two Flair Marvel sets vary, but trend towards the mediocre to terrible.

1995 Flair Marvel Annual, 2 cards. See what I mean about the artwork being terrible? The perspective is cool on the Hawkeye card, but the execution is awful. I don't know who the artist was, but I'm not sure they ever actually looked at any humans to get an idea. And why is it cropped so oddly, that his head isn't even fully on the card? Just terrible. I've got more than 10 cards from this set in my collection, and they have all come from Shawn over the years. It may be the 1994 set that I took in in trade. I can never remember. I may be complaining about the card itself but the trade went off without a problem.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sets in my Collection #29: 1952 Topps Wings

Been a while since I've posted in this series. I wrote this post in 2015, though I did have to modify some of it to reflect posts I wrote and published long after I originally wrote this one.

Now we have a run of some of my all-time favorite sets. Topps really hit their stride in the early-mid 50s, and the next three Topps sets (Including this one) all ranked highly in my countdown of favorite Non-Sports sets, that I published in January.

Topps did an entire series of sets, over several years, on vehicles. I don't have all of them in my collection yet, but the three I do have are favorites.

The earliest was 1952's Topps Wings, sometimes known as Wings: Friend or Foe. This was a 200 card set, in the slightly larger than current standard size that was standard at the time.

I have an amazing 179 of 200 cards in the set, or 89.5% completion! Once again, I happened to be in the right place at the right time to get these. With 21 cards missing from my collection, and none of them particularly rarer than any others, completing this set is an attainable goal of mine. Someday. Unlike sports cards, with more popular players being harder to find, and none of the cards short-printed like in the next set, it makes none of the cards impossible. Non-Sports cards also don't have the burden of "Rookie Cards" to make them unobtainable.

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

#7. The very first plane I was ever inside- parked!- was one of these at an airshow in 1993.


#19. The set also included helicopters.

#32. I believe this was the first vintage card of any sort I ever added to my collection, circa 1994 or 1995. It was either this or a card from the next set in the series.



And finishing up with a card back. The cards had the standard light brown cardboard for the backs.

This set is commonly referred to as "Wings : Friend or Foe" but that is not actually the name- the name is just Wings, although Friend or Foe appears on every card.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Suble border variants in 2001-02 Topps Chrome scan very differently

Barely noticeable in hand, the subtle border variations in 2001-02 Topps Chrome are very, very noticeable in scans. They are so subtle in hand, I didn't even really notice there was a difference until I made this scan on December 18th...even though I've had these cards since the set was new, or close to new. They aren't new additions.
The Vin Baker and Kenyon Martin cards are NOT Refractors.

That's all for today. Just something interesting I noticed and thought was worth documenting. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

500th Post Contest - win free cards!

This is my 500th post. Quite a milestone! I didn't know if anyone would read this when I started, or if I'd just be shouting into the wind. As it turned out, you all have been reading what I have to say...a lot. I've had a post cross the 1000 view mark and I average about 120 views in the first week of posting a post, although probably about 20 of them are me refreshing to see if there are new comments or a new update to the blogroll, LOL. You seem to actually like reading my work, and I thank you.

So, it's time to give back. Comment on this post if you want to win some cards. If you want Basketball, NASCAR or NHL, I will stuff as much as I can fit into one of the small "If it fits, it ships" boxes and send it off to you. I don't have enough baseball or football or non-sports to do that with, but I can still come up with something to send you, although it's going to be early 90s heavy, because it's what I've got. If you select those two sports, you'll probably get a bubble mailer. Non-sports could go either way, depending on what I can come up with. You can also select Olympics as I have some duplicates available there, too.

You can also select a mixer of various subjects. I have a lot of duplicates that could bear to go into a new home. I probably won't be able to tailor it to your collections, because if you supercollect a team there's a good chance I've already sent you what I have available, in the NBA especially.

To win the cards: Comment on the post, telling me which kind of card you would like to claim.
Since giving extra chances to win is a pretty popular thing to do on the blogosphere, I will give you two bonus chances as well. If you follow my blog, you get a bonus chance. It's just that simple. See the screencap below. Your second bonus chance: Leave me your username on the Trading Card Database. This is a not-so-subtle push to those of you who are not using the very best card website in the history of the internet to start using it, and those of you who already are, I probably know your username already but put it in the comment anyway just to make it easier for me to see who needs to get more than one name on the list. Remember, Cardboard History would not exist without the Database.

That means you can get 3 chances to win. I'll do the standard randomizer to determine the winner, unless only one person enters.
Click the blue follow box for a bonus chance to win!

You can win if you do not live in the USA- I will ship internationally! I reserve the right to give out bonus prizes, but due to unexpected medical expenses I can only expect to afford to ship ONE package so there will be only one winner...this time. I have some ideas for future contests that might be fun, but I will save them for the future. I also reserve the right to disqualify anyone, not that I expect to but I should put it up just in case.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for leaving me comments throughout the years. I don't plan to stop posting anytime soon, so onto the next 500!  You have until the end of February to enter. Any comments datestamped this month count. any made in March don't. That gives you five days.  Good luck, and may the randomizer be with you!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

New record for longest time between getting a pack and opening it

I set a new record shortly before Christmas, that I didn't set out to set but did anyway.

All the way back in 2004, Upper Deck did a 90 card set documenting LeBron James' first NBA season. Each of the 82 games got a card, plus the awards he won got a card, and at least one "filler" card that was used to make the set 90 cards.

They didn't come all at once. As I recall, they would send some in waves. I got the first 55 cards as they came out, and while I don't remember the exact details, I never got the rest. I do remember we had to call them and complain to get them to send the rest of the cards to me. They did...eventually. I don't remember exactly when, but they came in a big clear heat-sealed pack. This was in 2005. Possibly even 2006, but I'm going to go with 2005. that time period, 2005-06, I was starting to lose interest in the NBA. I realize now that it was ME that had the problem. But, whatever, I stopped collecting the NBA in late 2006, but I had been unhappy with the sport and cards for a while beforehand. I didn't open the package that contained cards #56-90 and inexplicably a copy of card #54 but not 55. Until December 23rd, 2017. At least 11 years after I got it in the mail!

When I finished scanning my collection for the Database, I went looking for some peripheral stuff that I could post, and the box from UD- still in the mailing box they used to send it to me- was among the items I found. I finally opened the box and added them to my collection late on the 23rd.

I don't know the previous holder of the record. I used to blow through cards as soon as I got them, but when I was not really in the hobby- 2007 and 2008 - it changed. (I never truly left, but scaled way back, where I only got 14 cards in all of 2008 combined...less then I got new in this box, in fact) When I came back in full force in 2009, I did things differently. I took it slower. Instead of the average box taking me 5 minutes or less to open, I now spread it out over hours or even days. It's not uncommon for me to save packs now to spread out the enjoyment. I still have packs I purchased in 2013 at retail that I have not opened yet. Back then, I would just look to see what I got, but now I actually take the time to appreciate what I've got, and sometimes even read the backs.  The record from 1988-06 was probably about 2 or 3 days, as I would sometimes buy a box and save it to open in Lake George.

As I write this, on Christmas Eve, I know I also  still have some packs saved from a box I bought on Ebay in either 2010 or 2011.  I have two left and will open them in 2018, in theory.  But, that was planned. This LeBron set...totally unplanned. In fact, to be honest, I had completely forgotten I even had them until I opened the box and saw an extremely young LeBron looking back at me.

Here's a couple of examples of the cards that waited more than a decade for me.

There's a lot of gold foil that scans black on these cards.

The funny thing is...I'm not sure I included the first 55 in my official collection count. I had a tendency at that time to not count single player tribute sets. And I have absolutely no way of knowing short of doing a full recount. It's why when I say something about my collection totals, I say it's probably not accurate but I treat it as if it is. I don't think I counted the various oversize sets (except 1976-77 Topps) or the undersize sets either, back in the day. (Like the 1996-97 Collector's Choice Mini-Cards, which I separated) Eventually, when everything is typed into Excel, I will know. I'm going to let the computer count for me because I keep the number in three places and none of them match. I don't really trust my ability to get an accurate count, but the computer doing the real work should solve that problem. Cards #56-90 ARE counted, at least.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Box Break Review: 2016-17 Fleer Showcase (My first NHL Box!)

Sorry this has taken me so long to post- I received this box as an Easter gift in 2017 and I'm just now finally getting around to posting it...the queue is long and growing. I don't know why I've been such a slacker in getting this posted, just not mentally in the game I guess. I'm not even writing most of the post until almost a year later, in February 2018. I'm embarrassed about it, but better late than never, no?

This was, as I say in the title, the very first NHL Box I ever opened. (It has since been joined by 16-17 Ice, 16-17 UD S2, 17-18 UD S1 and 1992-93 Ultra s1, and I have some more I'm working on but have not finished yet!)

Fleer has always been my favorite company, a large part of that because they made Ultra, my favorite brand. Fleer Showcase can trace it's roots all the way back to Flair, which eventually evolved into Flair Showcase, then Fleer Showcase, then Flair and Fleer Showcase were two different sets being issued the same years, then finally Flair Showcase being an insert in Fleer Showcase, which is now part of the Upper Deck family. (whew!) The Fleer Showcase set is now the only set of cards Fleer shows up on, although UD reintroduced some Marvel Comics sets with the Fleer banner last year. For most of the brands that made Fleer great, they appear as inserts in this set.

Enough pre-amble, let's see some cards, right?
Here's the base card design.
It's very gold and the players are all glowy. This one happens to be the only card in my collection showing the Nets-inspired alternates the Islanders wore last year.

Some of the photos really could have used more context, like this shot of Alex Ovechkin, who looks kind of possessed...
...which Anze Kopitar appears to be trying to escape from.
Scroll down below to see the rest of the base cards.

There were two rookies in the box, both numbered.

and Kyle Connor is clearly autographed. In fact, this was the first NHL autograph I pulled from a pack myself, and the second in my collection! I had never heard of him at that time, but I have watched the Jets a little more during the 2017-18 season and he's playing a pretty good role in their actually being good this year. He's put up 18 goals on the year in 50 games, with 35 points overall. Zack Mitchell has not done as well, playing only 21 games with three goals this season, he appears to be on the end of the bench in Minnesota.

The real draw of Fleer Showcase is the retro inserts, however. All the Fleer/Skybox brands live on solely in this set, as I've mentioned, but I was not able to pull all of them from my box.
Ultra lives on only as the mirror foil Scoring Kings, a long-time staple of the brand. Tarasenko was key in the Blues winning the first NHL game I saw in it's entirety so that is cool.
EX features a clear cutout with a cloud pattern printed on clear plastic- a definite throwback to the 1996-97 set.

Flair Showcase showed up with 5 cards, including one parallel of the insert, called Blue Ice, which is kind of funny if you know what that is. The card has an unusual texture on the back, is serially numbered, and sparkles much more than the scan shows.

The most populous throwback insert though, was Metal Universe, which saw 6 cards.

The Crosby is die cut, and the Carlo is fairly low numbered, 50 copies exist of this color Precious Metal Gems. There are also Green, Red and Purple, of which I didn't get any. The big problem with the Metal Universe cards, though, is that they are not etched. With the exception of one series in 1997-98, all the other Metal branded cards are etched foil, which I know Upper Deck has the capability to produce, as they used it in the Black Diamond brand for years.

There was also a Skybox Premium insert but they are numbered and rarer, I didn't get any of them. 

There were also three of the Red Glow parallels, which are not numbered. There is also a White Hot parallel, which is numbered to 25, that I was unable to pull.

I have to admit, I love parallels...I love parallels more than inserts, in fact...but in this case I would have been happier getting base cards, as I got none of these three in base format. It was my first cards of Drouin and Stepan, but being a known Rangers fan, I've gotten more Stepans since.

Overall, I got 71 of the 100 non-SP base cards. All the inserts and parallels I got are shown above.
Since it would be a lot of work to post the other 68 base cards, I'm not going to do that. Instead, here's a little gif of them.
They are in number order, but if you want to see the number and card backs, I suggest going to see the set on the Trading Card Database here. You can see the cards I didn't get there, too.

I don't know if they plan to do Fleer Showcase again in the 2017-18 season, but if they do, I hope I get a box again. There's a lot of nostalgia and the cards are pretty cool, even if they are mostly cutout of a full can still see it in the background.