Friday, May 19, 2017

2014 Guardians of the Galaxy Trading Cards

Found this random pack of the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy movie trading cards.  It was a nice little find at the local Dollar Tree sitting all by itself with the other trading cards.  With the sequel out it seems like a good time to look at them.  They are cards with a simple design.  Screen shots from the movie accompany the movie logo.  While simple it works for me.
The backs are colorful with a short write-up explaining the front and the front photo is shown again in smaller scale.
Apart from the base cards I also pulled a Concept Series card as well as a Behind The Lens card.  Nice cards if not overly exciting.  I did enjoy the movie and these cards were a nice find considering the sequel was about to be released.  Probably won't seek out more of these but that isn't due to the cards themselves which are a very nice. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

2016 Topps Update Baseball Cards

Saw other bloggers look at the 2016 Topps Update baseball cards and I liked the All-Star Game cards I saw so I wanted to try a pack.  The 2016 base cards were a favorite of mine so how could this go wrong.  Well it didn't. I really liked the cards and it was highlighted not by an All-Star card but by the Brandon Moss card showing him rounding third base with the stadium and video board prominently displayed in the background.  Great photo and card.  I enjoyed the rest of the cards as well and pulled a Matt Kemp card showing him in his Braves uniform.  The All-Star Game cards were fun as well.  The first pitch cards are always fun as well.  It was a fun break and would enjoy grabbing more if I have the opportunity. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Baseball Cards

Grabbed some of the 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen baseball cards some time back.  I always enjoy the throwback look when action photos are part of the deal.  The design this year is another good one.
  I liked my pull grabbing a few Red Sox (Ortiz, Sale), Alex Gordon and Lou Gehrig.   I've really liked the Gehrig cards I've pulled in the past and again this one is a hit with me.     
The green parallel doesn't do anything for me as it isn't a good look for these cards in my opinion.  The hand drawn art reproduction didn't do much for me to begin with but is growing on me.  Not a Mets fan so I'm thinking that is the reason it didn't initially appeal to me.  The Fortune Teller  card is a non starter for me.  I don't like odd shaped cards, or minis, so those are cards I would rather they put the time and effort into making as regular size cards.  Overall nice cards and I'll pick more up in the future.   

Friday, May 12, 2017

Hawks fall to Wizards in the First Round

The Atlanta Hawks were eliminated in six games by the Washington Wizards in the first round of the NBA playoffs.  This wasn’t a surprise.  The Wizards are clearly a better team and John Wall has elevated himself into the discussion of “best point guard in the NBA”.  Still it was good to see Dennis Schroder step up with a huge series averaging 24.7 pts and 7.7 assists.  Paul Millsap also had a big series putting up 24.3 ppg , 9.3 rpg and 4.3 assists per game.  After that though there just wasn’t enough help.  Taurean Prince had a small coming out party.  With the need for wing scoring on this team he would be a great help moving forward if he can continue to develop.  Tim Hardaway Jr. and Kent Bazemore didn’t shoot well and Dwight Howard wasn’t a factor. 
I’ve said it before.  This team doesn’t have a real identity nor does it have that go to guy.  This was Schroder’s first time putting up big points consistently and Millsap is normally an 18 PPG guy.  Millsap is also a free agent after this year (he won’t pick up his player option).  Atlanta rolled the dice by not trading him during the season.  Even keeping him has its issues as a max or near max contract would not allow the Hawks to make other changes that may be necessary to actually get better.  I do like Schroder but there just isn’t that much else on this team unless a few players take some big leaps forward.  To be honest this run the Hawks have had, 10 straight playoff performances, is probably over.  We’ll see how the offseason plays out but it feels like they’ll be fighting just to get an eight seed next year.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Trail Blazers Swept by Warriors

The Portland Trail Blazers were swept by the Golden State Warrior 4-0 in the first round.  After sprinting to an eighth seed in the Western Conference at the end of the season this was to be expected.  Golden State is loaded with more weapons than is fair.   As a team they shot 40% from three and are good on the defensive end of the court making every opponent work for all 48 minutes.  Portland had no answers shooting only 39% overall and 32% from three.  While both C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard both had a good series (though their shooting was off) they are still a two man team.  Jusuf Nurkic was a good addition to the team but he was hurt and only available for 17 minutes in the series.  Not that he would have made a difference.  The Trail Blazers were an eight seed for a reason. 
Last offseason big contracts were handed out with the expectation of players taking their play to the next level.  That didn’t happen in the case of Allen Crabbe or Evan Turner whom they traded for.  They make $19M and $17M respectively which is way too much for a combined 19.7 points per game.   This team has two stars and some nice pieces but they need more from their front court.  Nurkic should be a solid piece moving forward but they need to get more dynamic elsewhere.  They aren’t good enough to compete with the better teams in the Western Conference.  Their first priority will probably be getting under the luxury tax threshold which doesn’t necessarily align with the team getting better.  They bet some of these young players would be better this year and lost.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

2017 Panini Donruss NASCAR Racing Cards

Grabbed a couple packs of the 2017 Donruss NASCAR racing cards.  The design looks like classic Donruss and I like these cards.  There are ten cards per pack.  Would like to see a few more for my buck but this seems to be the trend here.  There is a mix of car and driver photos.  Driver photos can't normally be action shots it is nice to see some with drivers in non-standard poses or looks.
  I love the '84 Donruss design and it is utilized here in the retro design cards.  You'll also see the Rated Rookie cards.  I was pretty happy with my pull with the Kyle Busch, Danica Patrick car, and '84 retro Chase Elliot being my favorites.
Race Kings and Race Queen are part of the set.  I didn't pull any but love these subsets across all the sports in Donruss sets.  I'll definitely go looking for the Kings subset  Again I really enjoyed these cards and I'm sure I'll pick up another pack or two this year. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

2017 Topps Road to Wrestle Mania Wrestling Cards

Grabbed a pack of these.  I don't follow wrestling like I did when I was younger but I do enjoy checking out these cards each year. 
The cards this year are ok for me.  I like the photos but there is something about the design that doesn't quite make them stand out to me.  Still there are some nice cards I think folks will like. 
The packs contain seven cards which is always tough for me.  Hard to put pick up any pack knowing I'm only getting seven cards. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

2017 Topps Heritage Basebball Cards

I did it again.  Again!  Every year I think I won't pick up the Heritage brand cards but here I am again after picking up a pack of the 2017 Topps Heritage baseball cards.  I again was disappointed.  My issue isn't with the design.  Taken for the 1968 Topps these aren't bad  looking overall.  My issues is head and torso shots.  When getting older designs on cards I prefer an updated take on the photos - this would include in-game or action photos.  This is self inflicted.  I know I don't care for these but I keep going back.  The Stephen Vogt card stood out to me from this pack.  Nice phot that just seems to fill up the card.  Aside from the base cards I also pulled the following:  team, World Series, 2017 Rookie Stars, disc and New Age Performer cards.  The disc cards like minis are smaller than normal cards which I am not a fan of.  I don't know what to do with them and I'd be ok if they just go away.  The World Series cards are pretty nice cards.  I love cards that document the past World Series.
I won't go looking for these cards but I know there are collectors who love this stuff.  I am truly happy they enjoy them but this niche isn't for me.  I normally enjoy the archives cards Topps puts out as there is more variety and you get better looking photos.  I hope others enjoy these but I'll pass.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Flea Market Find: 1997-1998 Topps Basketball Box

 I was very excited to find a box of 1997-1998 Topps basketball cards at the local flea market this month.  This was pure fun.  I didn't collect much in the nineties so these are cards I am not familiar with.
I paid $12 for the box which was probably a bit much but I wasn't disappointed.  There are a ton of cards that'll go into my personal collection.  I love cheap boxes of cards.  The design is ok.  There is no position or even the team name or logo on the cards.  This is a cardinal sin for me but I'll let it go.  They are cheap cards for a reason.  I like the backs with a new color photo, career stats, write-up and player information.  This is how backs should be done even if I do need a magnifying glass to read them. 
The inserts were fun as well.  Not spectacular but for the time I think they did a good job.
I will say there were tons of doubles which was a bit disappointing.  I still managed to get the big stars, not counting Hakeem Olajuwon, who was the player featured on the box.  Go figure.  Would I buy these at price equal to today's cards?  No.  Again I look at this purely from a fun standpoint and the cards themselves are all a bonus.  I'd do it again in a heartbeat though at this price.   
384 Total Cards
7 Hall of Fame Stamp
 3 Topps 40th Anniversary Cards
2 NBA Draft Redemption Cards (#17 & #18)
2 Checklists
1 Pressure Points
1 Shooting Stars
1 Fantastic 15
1 Rock Stars

Hawks vs Wizards and Trail Blazers vs Warriors NBA First Round Playoffs

Dwight Howard
Atlanta had a decent enough season (43-39) to get the fifth seed in the NBA's Eastern Conference playoffs but I can't say I really know who this team is.  They'll play the Washington Wizards in the first round who are a much better team.  And more than anything they know who they are.  I'd be surprised if Atlanta wins this series but who knows.  The Hawks will need the entire team to play at a high level every game.  That is not something that has happened consistently this year.  They still don't have that go to player to score when they need it.  I'd love to say I know how this game will go but I just can't get a good read on this series.  I am definitely leaning towards Washington though and think they'll probably take the series in six games.  I hope I'm wrong but Atlanta will have to play much better for something like that to happen.
C.J. McCollum
Portland really came on late in the season and grabbed the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.  The addition of Jusuf Nurkic at the trading deadline was a big part of the reason Portland raced into the playoffs.  It is currently unknown if he'll actually be able to play after breaking a leg near the end of the season.  This is a big blow.  The team still have stud Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum but this team need a miracle to win multiple games and playing short handed isn't going to help that happen.  I think Portland can win a game but Golden State is so, so talented that a sweep is a definite possibility.  I just have to believe their great play at the end of season can continue and they are able to steal a win or two.  I just can't make myself believe they can win this series. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

2016-17 Donruss Basketball Cards

The 2016-2017 Donruss Basketball cards have been out a while and with the playoffs starting today it is a perfect day to post some basketball cards.  I do like these cards.  Not as much as the Prestige cards from this year which I really love but as an overall set I'm very happy.  The design is a typical Donruss style that I'm good with.  I will say I think the photos are better than Prestige which seemed to be nothing but players dribbling.  More diversity here.   
The backs are colored in the team's primary colors and are fine with me.  They have the standard write-up, player info, last year's stats and career totals.  I will say I don't need total points as a stat.  Who really uses that stat anymore?  Plus steals and blocks were totals as well - no per game averages.  Fail.  Again it is all about per game averages.  This isn't the sixties.  It's not that I need them doing math for me.  It is all about putting the stats in a relevant form.  Plenty of inserts and parallels with the Champ cards sticking out to me. These cards highlight some of the all-time greats and their championship(s).  There are only 15 players in this set and I wish there were more. 
I really like the "Kings" cards across the Donruss sets and these are no different.  I pulled one Court Kings and one Hall Kings.  Great looking cards that have current and former players highlighted.  I'm also a huge fan of All-Star cards in general and these are pretty cool.  I received a Kobe Bryant that looks to be from an All-Star game of the past.  I like it.  Overall I'm very happy with these cards.  I'll probably pursue the insert sets more than I will the base cards but I think they were worth picking up.     

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

2017 Donruss Baseball Cards

These are the 2017 Donruss baseball cards.  I like the base designs.  These harken back to past sets put out with this one actually reminding me of the 1988 Fleer baseball cards.  Not important as these are nice looking cards.  As always with Donruss nowadays there is the distraction of not having the license for the teams.  That stinks but I've learned to get past it.   
The designs on the back aren't bad but I really think just a bit of color could have made them sooo much better.  So they get the ole neck shrug from me.  I was pretty happy with my pull as well.  Baseball sets can be pretty huge so you never know what you might get.   
Some of the cards featured retired players on the current design as well as on cards with the 1983 Donruss look.  Current players also were featured on the 1983 designs.  That set isn't one of my favorites but I'm as nostalgic as the next guy and enjoyed these cards too.  I also pulled a relic card.  Not bad looking and Reed is a rookie this year.  Nice cards.  I won't go looking for these cards but if they happen to be there for me I will definitely consider picking up more.   
A.J. Reed Diamond Collection Relics Card

Monday, April 10, 2017

2016-2017 Panini Prestige Basketball Cards

I love these cards.  It isn't often that I get to say that but I really enjoy this set.  The 2016-2017 Panini Prestige basketball cards hit my local Wal-Mart not too long ago.  I was hesitant to pick up a pack but I'm so glad I did.  Pretty simple design but it really pops for me.  I don't normally gravitate towards cards where the background is muted/faded but this seems to be a case where the other players in the card are muted/faded into the background while the player featured on the card and the rest of the photo still pops with color.  The backs are also fun for me.  I like the color tones for each team.   
They come 30 to a pack and these photos are from the first pack of the four I've now purchased.  The pulls have been great and I only have a handful of doubles from the 120 total cards I now have.  I've gotten most of the big stars and I can't name an NBA "Superstar" I haven't gotten already.    
 The inserts in this pack were a Franchise Favorites, Rookie Class and rainbow parallel.  Nothing too special but I do like the Jimmy Butler card.  If I had to pick out a negative it would be the foil on the player and team names.  I don't like anything where I have to look at it at the right angle to read it.   
I'll probably grab more of these as my budget allows.  Besides the Rogue One Series One cards it has been a while since cards have really wowed me.  I like the simple design and the format choices Panini put out here.  Love to hear what others are saying about these cards.  I'll also post a few cards from the other packs later.  Mostly other inserts but I'll also show off some of the stars. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Baseball Repack Box

The baseball repack box I picked up had 100 cards as well as an unopened pack.  I don't remember what the pack was but I believe there were six cards in it.
While the pack had cards from sets I'd rather forget - '87 Topps or '89 Donruss - I was happy with the variety.  There were plenty of cards and sets I had not seen or collected.
Probably 20-25 of the cards I pulled will end up in my personal collection. 
I'm thinking I'll take another shot on these some day.  I won't rush out to get them but I definitely won't shy away from them either. 

Football Card Repack

A while back I purchased my first repack boxes - a baseball and football at a Walgreens for $4.95 each.  This is the football box.  With the football cards I did get many cards from sets I've never actually had before so that was definitely a bonus. 
There were 75 cards in the box as well as one unopened pack.  I'd never opened repacks before but had a good idea of what I was in for.  Not a ton of stars but I won't complain.
I probably knew 95 % of the players and there were plenty of names to make it fun.  The Jadaveon Clouney card was definitely a nice surprise but unless you are O.K. with just opening these for the fun of it, I would move along. 
Is it worth the money?  No.  But I enjoyedit and pulled probably 10 cards I'll add to my personal collection.  My next post will look at the baseball repack box.       

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Atlanta Falcons NFC Championship Swag

I displayed my old sweatshirt at work in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
I am, for the most part, over the Super Bowl loss hangover dished out on my Falcons.  As you never know what the future holds for Atlanta or any team I picked up some new swag.  Above left  is a sweatshirt I purchased back in 2000 after the Falcons lost to Denver in the Super Bowl.  To the right is my new hoodie that showed up today commemorating last year's NFC Championship.

I also grabbed a t-shirt as well.  Again you just never know when these things will happen.  I waited almost 20 years for this one and it may never happen again.  Hard to believe that I know but there are plenty of teams who have waited longer.  Anyway I just wanted to show off some of my new, and old, gear.