Monday, April 30, 2018

Black Friday Box Breaking - 6 Box Breaks, 1 post! (and 3 years!)

Last year, I remember looking at Dave & Adam's Black Friday sale, and seeing the great discounts and not being able to take part. Seeing some of those boxes that I really wanted marked down to 75% off the original price in some cases, and not being able to get any...not going to lie, that hurt some.

2015 was a different story. I was able to take part, and I got some spectacular cards, even adding two sets to my collection that were totally absent before. (Well, I had gotten a couple of inserts from 14-15 Totally Certified, but only in the week before Thanksgiving, so, close enough)
Of these sets shown, the only one I had opened a pack of previously had been Galactic Files 2, which I had gotten a box of for Christmas 2013. The biggest reason for me to buy that box, aside from the fact that it's my favorite Star Wars set of all-time and I had only around half of them, was that the poster/checklist is one of the items that I lost in the flood on February 5th. When I wrote up the post I linked to here, I hadn't even discovered yet that the poster was destroyed. (I have since replaced about 1/3rd of the damaged cards in the post)

The very first pack out of the box turned out to be the best...
A major card! I have not looked at what it sells for on Ebay, but I doubt I could have afforded it as a single! (Ok, I just looked, I won't spend more than $20 on a single card, so this one is indeed out of my price range, with the cheapest one I saw at $35). This is only my third Star Wars autograph, and my first from the original trilogy.

I did very well with the blue parallels as well, pulling 9 of them. It's also what I pulled from my first box, and none were duplicated. They are Serially numbered to 350.

As you can see, the blue is REALLY hard to pick up in a scan.

There was also one red in the box, just as in the last box and the box of Series 1 I did. I was not lucky enough to pull a gold, which are SN to 10. The cheapest one on Ebay is 50 bucks so I won't be having any of them in my collection anytime soon. The Reds, which I now have three of, are SN35.
The red doesn't scan much better, but you can see a little bit of redness.

This was the first new card in the box.
One of the Olsen twins went to the Dark Side.
Although I've only shown two colors, each movie, and each subset, has it's own border color. Green is clearly Return of the Jedi.

Next up was 2014-15 Totally Certified, which I always found to be too expensive at it's original MSRP for the few amount of cards you get. You only get 20 cards in the box, 4 packs of 5 cards each. However, marked down to 1/3rd it's  original price, I got a box. It's a great set, and in my first pack, I pulled a green parallel of Shabazz Napier, serially numbered 2 of 5! Panini always uses green for it's second rarest parallel, and with green being my long-time favorite color, I was happy to pull it.
Here is a base card..
This is actually a variation, and it's the worst variation ever. This is version A. Version B is the exact same photo...but shows his knees. That's the only difference!

Here is the Green Napier I mentioned...
But I think I actually like the Red version better, which is the most common, SN to 279.
The Clear Cloth insert is nice. My scanner can't pick it up totally accurately but the square where the player's picture is is clear acetate. The orange in this relic is bright orange, brighter than it shows. I think that it's from a warm-up or shooting shirt, rather than the alternate orange jersey, based on the texture, but Panini doesn't tell you so you are left to guess what the material is.
Here is my box's autograph, Noah Vonleh.
Writer's Note- I wrote up to this part in 2015, then didn't touch this post again until 2018! The next four photos were placed in 2015, but the captions were written in 2018.

Next came the box of 2012-13 Panini Marquee. This holds the record as the largest Panini set...kind of. It's 540 cards long, but it only has about 200 unique people in it. All the rookies, and the 2011-12 rookies Panini didn't give real rookie cards, each have 5 different designs. They have a Swirlorama, a Black Holofoil, a die cut, a clear plastic, and a leather, in order of rarity. (You got only one or two leathers per box, I don't remember at this late date.)
The die cuts are kind of cool, and possibly my favorite of the Rookies and not-rookies-but-called-rookies.
There it is held up in front of my computer, you can see my logo showing through.
The base cards are all holofoil, which is cool. Just a player cutout in front of nothing. not so cool. I got all 100 active players in my box.
I even got an error card, which is rare from Panini! And one of the biggest names in the game, even rarer. This was actually my favorite card of the box. I think. That was 3 years ago. If it wasn't my favorite at the time, it's the most memorable to me now.

2014-15 this point in time, I don't really remember what exciting cards came out of that. For some reason the 2014-15 season is not really something I store in my memory, I even had to look up what the Hoops design was that year, even though I have most of them.
Let's see what my Excel collection chart shows for December 2015...

Here's a Serially numbered parallel. 
. I also managed to pull #1 pick Andrew Wiggins' rookie card, one of only two rookies from the box (the other being Erick Green, a player no longer in the NBA)
As you can see, when I got these cards and scanned them, I was using a scanner that didn't play well with Panini cards. Even after I finish scanning everything, I might have to end up re-scanning a lot of what I've already done. That's a mess to deal with some time in the future.

The Swirlorama cards were sure cool.
A throwback to one of the greatest jerseys in NBA history sure doesn't hurt either!

The base cards look very similar to the Statline parallel.
Man, that one looks even worse. Those lines across everything are sure bad. I'm going to have to do a lot of re-scanning.

I pulled two jersey cards and one autograph out of the box...the auto was a good one...
 but it's my third different auto of Tracy's, I think. Maybe fourth! But it's die cut and serially numbered, so it's cool.

I pulled one more serially numbered card from the box...
Another Andrew Wiggins! I've done pretty well pulling his cards over the years. Not a bad thing by any means, I definitely consider myself a fan of his.

Overall, though, this set is not all that memorable to me. The 2015-16 Donruss set is one of my favorite Panini issues ever, but at the time I busted this box, I don't even know if it had been released yet. I gotta get my stuff in order so I remember the stuff as I'm writing about it!

Past & Present was a set concept that was cool...but could have been so much cooler. (if that isn't the Panini era's motto, it should be, as they constantly come close to greatness but end up failing miserably...moving on). The set was a mixture of modern players with some retired players, but as usual there is almost no representation of anyone pre-Magic & Bird other than token appearances by Wilt Chamberlain and George Mikan. This box had some pre-Magic & Bird, in fact my first card out of the box was Willis Reed.
Always cool to get one of the rare, lost teams, like the Cincinnati Royals. Did you know there are actually 9 teams in NBA history that have never had a single card issued? Granted, they were all early in the league's history, but still. (The most recent was the 1950-51 season)
But the title is Past & Present...those two are the past, these next two are the present, and that gets you all four designs used to make up the base set.

Most of the cards I got out of this box have not been scanned yet. That's a good thing as a few months after I bought the box, I bought a new scanner that can handle Panini cards (and more than a few other brands as well) MUCH better than the one I used to make the scans shown in this post. I'm not really a fan of the faux distressing but I like the set anyway.

Besides the base cards, this set had some interesting inserts. The Elusive Ink autograph set is a favorite of mine, because Panini tracked down some pretty rare people to sign for this set- there are some players who have their only card ever in this autograph set. (I need to look for more of them on COMC or Ebay or fact, when I did these boxes I wasn't aware of COMC yet, that came in 2016!) I didn't  get any of those rare players in that box, but I did get someone who I saw many, many times and have lots of memories of.
Brian Grant has a few hundred cards in my collection but I believe this is the only autograph...and he's one of the few players who has followed me on Twitter!

The Changing Times insert is structurally the best- it's about how the game has changed over the years, and is largely based on ABA players. If I have not made it clear before, preserving ABA history is very important to me.
Breakout features an unusual, almost rubbery texture on the card front. I don't know how to accurately describe it but I like it.
I also got a jersey card, something Panini really does not do a whole lot of.
It also features that rubbery texture.

The last box was 2012-13 Timeless Treasures, another set that at it's original price point, is way out of what I will justify. These went for like $100 for 5 cards. No way, no how, can I justify that when my medicine costs $500 a box and a box lasts 9 days. When it's marked down to about $30....that is more my style. Still a little too high for what you get, but I'm glad I did least once.

Base cards, meh, another set where it's just the player superimposed over nothing. Something I generally do not care for (yet it doesn't bother me in Past & Present for some reason, when it really should)
 I am not impressed.
I didn't get a single jersey card, but I did get two autographs and an insert...

 The autographs are actually pretty cool, because they are signed on a clear sheet in the card. However, neither of them were actually rookies, and it's not glass but plastic. Both were rookies in 2011-12 but once again, I have to say this- Panini didn't bother to give rookie cards to the rookies of 2011-12, but crammed them into 2012-13 and called them rookies even though they were not.
 This insert is die cut and serially numbered.

I also got a redemption card. My track records on redemptions is not great. One thing I will say about Panini, they do Redemption cards better than anyone else in the hobby's history. Yeah, sometimes they take a while to get to you, but they will honor them even if they have "expired"...this one did, and I got the card anyway. I wish the other companies did as well with redemptions as Panini does. I give them a lot of grief over their tiny sets but they deserve nothing but praise for this.

And here is the card that arrived in the mail. I opened the box and redeemed the card online on December 2nd, 2015. It arrived to me on December 29th, 2015. Fast service, and yes, it is on-card for those of you that care.

This turned out to be my biggest Black Friday splurge ever with Dave & Adams. 2016 gave me only one box, and 2017 saw only two boxes, but one of the was A Great One. The other, not so much. I don't know what the future holds, but hopefully it won't take me three years to write up a simple post like this again!


  1. That Tmac auto is cool for sure and you can go wrong with Boba Fett

  2. Sweet cards. Green is my favorite color too! Nice pick ups...hopefully this year will be more favorable to you on Black Friday. Can't believe you had this in your queue for 3 years!!!

    1. I am working through some old posts...I have one coming later this week that I wrote but then decided not to post because it wasn't up to my usual standards...but I was going through my drafts and decided to resurrect it. I think it also dates to 2015.

  3. I'm not really a basketball collector but I gotta say those are some pretty nice looking cards. That Past and Present set looks fun and while the autos and relics are nice, I definitely dig that Jerry Lucas card ... probably my favorite card of the whole break.

    1. You gotta start collecting so I can send you stuff, LOL

  4. That T-Mac auto is sweet! I'm hoping that James Harden and Chris Paul can do what McGrady and Yao Ming never could by bringing a title back to Houston.

    1. I think they have a really good chance of that this year. I'll be curious to see how it plays out.

  5. Sweet Boba! When it comes to Star Wars collectibles, Bulloch dominates my PC. I don't collect basketball... but if I did, I'd collect Past and Present. Great base card design.

    1. Like I said to Adam, you gotta start collecting (again) so I can send you stuff :)

  6. You did very well I'd say. The T-Mac auto and Napier #d/5 are the highlights, but there's a lot of great autos and inserts. The Raptors retro purple jerseys are always a welcome sight. And a LeBron pack roller error (or whatever you'd call it) is definitely unique.

    And I enjoy seeing cards of past franchises, ABA included. Jerry Lucas looks like he's getting ready to grapple with someone in a wrestling ring.

    I dont know anything about Star Wars cards but that girl definitely looks like an Olsen twin.

    1. I consider any time I get new cards to be a successful break, hah! I posted a scan of the LeBron error just a couple days back in my Error Gallery project- but the photo really shows it better.

      I've long been a fan of the forgotten franchises in the NBA's history. There are 9 teams that don't have a single card issued, ever. Someday I hope to correct that.