Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Random Wax: 2019 Topps Big League Baseball w/Artist's Rendition

This Wilson Contreras card from a random 2019 Topps Big League Baseball pack really stood out to me so he'll lead off tonight.  This year's Big League Baseball offering is a favorite of mine so when I saw Target restocked I didn't hesitate.  I love the design with the flag and wood grain.
That Pirates' uni really is nice and even better on a gold parallel.
 Some decent star power in this pack though some of them were on inserts and were duplicates of cards I've pulled before so I didn't show them off.
This is the third Artist's Rendition I've pulled.  They are #/50.  It will be interesting to see if Robbie Ray is still a Diamondback come the end of the trade deadline.
Freddie Freeman and the great Nick Markakis on the same card?  Win!  Truthfully though it was hard to see Markakis go down with a broken wrist.  Dude has been so consistent for the Braves.  Another fun pack.  Now that I know where some are in stock I may be picking up more.

30 - Total Cards
3 - Gold Parallel
3 - Stat Kings
2 - Award Winners
1 - Highlights
1 - RC
1 - Blast Off
1 - Wall Climbers
1 - Artist Rendition
1 - Star Caricature Reproduction

Sunday, July 28, 2019

I Went to a Concert: Alice Cooper and Halestorm

Me and the 19 year-old daughter took in the Alice Cooper, Halestorm and Motionless in White concert Thursday night.  It was a great time with all three bands putting on a good show.  Alice Cooper's show was a huge theatrical presentation.  While I've always liked Alice I'm definitely not a hardcore fan nor did I know many of his songs prior to getting ready for the concert.  He sounded really good and I think this vocal style helps his vocals stand the test of time.  He is 71 but really you don't see it in the show.  I'm sure it is different from what he put on 30, 40, 50 years ago but we thought he had a lot of energy and rocked the stage.  
Alice had a great band and everything you expect from an Alice Cooper concert - guillotine, giant baby, teen Frankenstein, a decked out set and all the trimmings.  It really made for a fun show to watch.  A couple of videos folks have uploaded to YouTube from the show:  Poison and School's Out (Lizzy Hale joined Alice on stage for the finale)
 Alice played 21 songs (setlist here) but it seemed to go very quick.  He doesn't interact with the audience which I don't think I've ever seen at a concert which probably plays into the pacing.  He never talked to the crowd until the end when he introduced the band and thanked the crowd.  It isn't a negative.  Just different.  So glad we had this opportunity and for the first song of the encore (Under My Wheels) he came out in the stage in a customized St. Louis Blues jersey (#19, Cooper).  Nice nod to the local crowd which everyone loved.
If Halestorm wasn't on the bill I probably wouldn't have gone to this concert.  It isn't anything against Alice Cooper but I am a big Halestorm fan and that tipped the scales.  Lizzy Hale and the boys were great.  A ton of energy and great music.  As an opening act they were only able to play 11 songs (setlist here) which was the only negative.  I really wanted more.  I just can't say enough them and my daughter and I both agreed they were the highlight of the night for us.  A few videos folks put up on YouTube from the night:  Familiar Taste of Poison, Love Bites, I Get Off  
Motionless in White look and sound like a Marilyn Manson family reunion.  And that wasn't a bad thing.  They play very hard and we both really enjoyed them though we had no clue who they were prior to them getting on stage.  I won't go search out their music but again they were good onstage and I liked their energy and driving music.
The venue is top notch and everything was a win for us.  Getting to see a classic in Alice Cooper and a personal favorite in Halestorm made for a great night.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Star Wars Black Series 6" Padme' Amidala Action Figure

I've been looking forward to this Padme Amidala Star Wars Black Series 6" figure.  While there are few who call the prequels among their favorite Star Wars movies there were plenty of characters to like.  Padme was one of those for me even if her lack of chemistry with Anakin was not that great onscreen.  I don't think Natalie Portman is to blame for that.  Still I liked the character and was happy to add her to my collection.  I really like the figure and think they did a pretty good job.
This specific look comes from Episode II Attack of the Clones.  She comes with two weapons.  A blaster and a smaller pistol/blaster.  Her cape is not real flexible but looks good on her.  In fact she looks much better with it on as opposed to off.
The articulation really helps with poses though her feet are fairly small and not the easiest to work with.  
Quick shout out to the She's Fantastic blog.  They do a wonderful job looking at female action figures and did her own look at Padme in March.  If you like action figures she's well worth the follow.

That's my quick look at this pretty cool and fun figure.  I've picked up a few more Black Series 6" figures lately so as soon as I get a chance to get some photos done I'll throw those up on the blog as well.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Basement Find: 1986 and 1987 Fleer Baseball Mini Sets

Part of my basement find were the 1986 Fleer Mini and 1987 Fleer Mini baseball sets.  There are 120 cards in each set with the '86 set having 16 stickers and the '87 set having 18 stickers.  I'm not a mini guy but maybe I was back in the day.  I don't remember picking them up but that was a long time ago.  These are up for trade.  I may not get them out until the beginning of August but just let me know.  It was fun looking through these sets as the players from this ear are huge in my baseball fandom and baseball card collective as a whole.
Some of my favorites from the era.  The '86 set was in order by team rank order from the previous season so Royals and Cardinal players were the first two teams in that order.  I always liked how Fleer did that.
Nice photo of Reggie hitting in his Angels uni.  He really only had one good year with the Halos but he was still mashing.
Some more greats from the eighties.
The '87 set ordered the players by last name.  Not sure why Fleer departed from their norm.  The regular sized set still had the players grouped by team based on the previous year's finish.
That's a good photo of Dwight Gooden.  There didn't seem to be as many action shots in the '87 set compared to the '86.
Just had to get Mark Langston and his hair in the post.  These were all fun to look at but I won't be keeping them.  There are some individual cards I like but again minis aren't my thing.  Side note:  I'm on twitter if anyone is interested at Bulldog2189.


Sunday, July 21, 2019

2018-19 Panini Chronicles Basketball Cards

Chronicles gives you a look at cards across the Panini spectrum some of which never made it to the market.  I've never seen these packs before so I was excited to pick up this pack of 2018-2019 Chronicles Basketball.  This Karl-Anthony Towns card is one of three actual Chronicles cards you receive.  It's a clean design which is growing on me.  Autographs (including past greats) and relics are a possibility with Chronicles but I wasn't that lucky.
Again you'll get cards from across the Panini spectrum of basketball.  These here include Essentials, Luminance and Elite.  The non-Chronicles cards were all rookie cards.  While not a bad thing it limits who you'll get in your pull.  I didn't hit any big names but did pull some good names.  I like the Luminance design.  The other two are OK but don't excite me.  
The Score and Playoff cards are some I've never seen and I don't think hit the market.  The Playoff design is OK but that jersey Collin Sexton is wearing has to go.  Maybe it was a summer league thing.
 The Panini design is pretty boring but they do give you plenty of room for the photos and I like both of these.  Needs a team logo as well.  This was a fun pack due to the great variety and having no idea what I'd find.  I would have liked seeing more veterans but that isn't the focus here.  So if you like basketball cards I think these are worth taking a look at.  

This Obsidian card is kind of cool.  It's thicker than the average card and shiny which I know appeals to a lot of collectors.

15 – Total Cards
3 – Chronicles
2 – Score
2 – Luminance Rookies
2 – Panini Rookies ( 1 – Bronze Parallel)
2 – Playoff Rookies
1 – Essential Rookies
1 – Elite Rookies Bronze Parallel
1 – Obisidian Preview Rookies

Saturday, July 20, 2019

2019 Topps Allen & Ginter

Allen & Ginter is always a fun product with their diversity in subjects.  I won't pick up a lot of it due to the price point but I do like grabbing a pack to see what it has to offer.  This 2019 Topps Allen & Ginter pack was fun but not much wow factor.  This card of Vincent Stio, a 10 year-old who loves umpiring is a great example of how you'll see topics aside from standard baseball players within this set.  I'm all for it.  The design here is solid classic look and I like it.  The backs have the standard stats written out which is standard for this set.
    A few retired greats here help this pack out.  I seem to pull a ton of Cal though I'm sure I don't have as many as I think.  Luis Gonzalez helped power the 2001 Diamondbacks to their only World Championship and finished with over 2500 hits!  Nice career.
This History of Flight card has pretty cool art and speaks to the Boeing 707.  Overall I like these cards and will probably pick up some singles from the set.  There are plenty of retired greats to choose from and I'd like to pick up the Jose Canseco in his Tampa Bay Devil Rays jersey among others.

This is my mini from the pack.  I don't care for minis but I know going in there will always be one in my pack. 

6 – Total Cards
1 – Mini
1 – History of Flight
2 – Retired Greats

Friday, July 19, 2019

Random Wax: 2019 Topps Series II Baseball

Some Random Wax here in the form of 2019 Topps Baseball Series 2.  I'll start off with the big guns and Chris Sale.  If the Red Sox are going to get back into the playoff picture in earnest this guy will be a big part of it. He's struggled this year as has many Red Sox pictures and they need him to be much better in the second half.  
 A nice Austin Meadows 150th Anniversary Future Stars card.  Those fall 1:6 packs.  He's having a great year and was acquired in the Pittsburgh Pirates trade for Chris Archer.  Tampa Bay really looks like the winner in that trade right now.
  The Historic Through-Lines cards are fun and another ballpark card.  Seems like Camden Yards was one of the first of the new ballparks that helped kick off the era of newer better stadiums.
After Sale there wasn't a ton of stars found in this pack but it was still fun.  Never thought of Ticket Stubs as a technological advancement but it makes sense.
Nice photo and I think that is Andrew McCutcheon photo bombing in this card.

16 - Total Cards
3 - RC
1 - Ballpark
1 - Future Stars
1 - Technology Evolution
1 - Historic Through-Lines
1 - 150th Anniversary 
1 - Topps All-Star Rookie

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Random Wax: 2017 Donruss Football

Today's Random Wax is a pack of 2017 Donruss Football.  I like these cards and never pass them up when I see a pack that's discounted which was the case here.  A big draw for me is the retired greats.  This press proof Dan Marino has a nice photo of Danm one of the greats of the game.   
A few good stars here help the fun in this pack.  Love that all three are in their dark team jerseys which match the border colors.
Young stars are a big part of the set even if they don't always work out.  Jameis Winston is still trying to figure it out.  I'm not sure he will but I've always rooted for the dude to get his act together.
That retro Redskins jersey is cool and some Broncos love here.

30 – Total Cards
4 – Press Proof Blue Parallel
3 – RC
2 – Retired Greats
1 – Rated Rookie
1 – The Elite Series

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Random Wax: 2019 Topps Baseball

A random pack of 2019 Topps Baseball on tap for today led off by Christian Yelich.  This guy is having another monster year.  The Brewers aren't quite as good as last year but we'll see what they can do at the trading deadline.  Rumors have it they are looking at starting pitching...as is every other contender.
  A few youngsters and how can you not like the Lourdes Gurriel Jr. photo?  The Cal Ripken is an Iconic Card Reprint.  I do like those.
Well if I have to pull Yankees players at least they weren't common players.  Michael Brantley is an All-Star this year for the Astros which is looking like a great offseason signing.
A couple nice photos though finding a photo of Nicholas Castellanos playing good defense must have been tough.  Sorry to my Detroit Tiger fan buddies.
These ballpark cards are so simple but love the photos and nice looks they give us of the different stadiums.
16 – Total Cards
1 – RC
1 – Ballpark
1 – Stars of the Game
1 – Future Stars
1 – Topps Now
1 – Iconic Card Reprints