Saturday, November 30, 2019

2019-2020 Upper Deck Hockey

2019-2020 Upper Deck Hockey:  I always look forward to the Upper Deck's hockey release because they do such a good job on their cards between the design and photos.  This year's design isn't a favorite of mine but it is still good.  This Tuukka Rask photo definitely definitely stood out to me.  Between the look in his eyes and the cool mask it is a winner.
Again the photos is something Upper Deck does a great job with.  Both of these are nice.  I'm picturing Matt Murray just finishing off a save there and the Max Domi shot is great with the Red Wings player flat on the ice watching the ice as a nice bonus.
The backs have a picture that  is a smaller/truncated version of the front photo.  Love the color and the colored team logo.  Very solid back.  I know foil logos on the front is an Upper Deck thing but it seems like a color team logo would be nice in some of the designs.  That said maybe the foil lets the photos do the talking while the logos take a backseat.
Some nice work on these horizontal offerings.
I had to add this Rasmus Dahlin photo because it just seems a bit different and out of place.  Dude is having a good year but this photo may not be his best look.  My Young Guns card in the pack was this checklist card below.  This was a fun pack.  May see more of this throughout the season. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
26 – Total Cards
1 – Young Guns

Thursday, November 28, 2019

2019-2020 Hoops Basketball Holiday Box

2019-2020 Hoops Basketball:  After enjoying my Topps baseball holiday blaster I was looking forward to Panini's basketball offering.  I am not that excited about this product.  Last year I thought the basketball holiday design worked better than what we saw with Topps baseball.  This year not so much.
I did have a big pull with this Zion Williamson Rise n' Shine insert.  It has already gone to a good home but it was obviously a nice surprise.  Each of these boxes come with a rookie relic. 
     This year you have a bit of a snow cloud and some very small snow flakes.  Last year's snowflakes were big and had a nice design.  You almost don't notice them in some of this year's cards.
Overall I liked my pull and of course there were plenty of stars.  At a minimum I'd think these are basically "parallels" of the non holiday set.
These inserts are all ones I like.  The snow cloud actually worked pretty well on these.  The snowflakes are hard to discern depending on the background.
These Hoops Tributes are a great nod to Hoops designs of years past.  They also have a great mix of current, young and past stars.  Definitely a fun inclusion.
The rookies are well represented in their own base cards and inserts.  Overall a fun box but the winter theme fell flat for me.  I really liked what Panini did last year and what Topps did this year really upping the Holiday spirit.

88 – Total Cards
18 – RC
7 – Hoops Tribute
5 – Retired Greats
2 – Get Out The Way
2 – Light Camera Action
1 – Arriving Now
1 – Class of 2019
1 – Frequent Flyers
1 – Rise N Shine Memorabilia

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Random Wax: 2016-2017 Panini Threads Basketball

2016-2017 Threads Basketball:  This is another reduced price pack of these cards.  The Greek Freak highlights my pull.  I feel I'm the only person who still calls him that.  The guy is a beast on the court though.  
More star power in this pack.
Not the most exciting pack I've ever busted but for a reduced price I'm not complaining.  
The Front Row Seat and Board of Directors cards are both nice inserts. The latter provided me a nice retired great.  These packs are random finds and I may look for different packs in the future but still a fun bust.  These wood rookie cards (below) are a favorite of mine as well.  They are very thick and just kinda cool.
15– Total Cards
3 – RC
1 – Wood Rookie
1 - Retired Great
1 – Front-Row Seat
1 – Board of Directors

Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 Playoff Football

2019 Playoff Football:  I like this year's offering of Playoff football.  I had to start out with this great Deion Sanders card.  It was a tough decision between this and the Roger Staubach.  The retired greats in this set really scratch an itch for me.  The design is a good one.  Not distracting from the photo.  This Deion is actually a green parallel though it is pretty much impossible to see.  I'm OK with that as the green detracts from the black and red that should stand out on a Falcons' card. 
Plenty of current stars will be found in your packs of course with this trio of quarterbacks highlighting my signal callers.
I'm not sure about either of these inserts yet.  Maybe they'll grown on me.
The backs are nice and colorful.  They could use a few more lines of stats but I'll be happy with the colorful design and duplicate rear photo.  Good to see players in their new unis like Jadeveon Clowney.
Did I tell you I like seeing retired greats on new cardboard?  I think all three of these are great photos but that Staubach really stands out to me.  This was a fun pack.  I'll definitely pick up more.  I'm hoping I'll see a bit more from the inserts though.  

40 – Total Cards
10 – Retired Greats
5 – RC
2 – Green Parallel
1 – Rookie Wave
1 – Thunder & Lightning

Friday, November 22, 2019

2019 Smackdown Live Wrestling Cards

2019 Smackdown Live:    Wrestling cards are always fun and this pack was no different.  Topps is giving each the WWE platforms their own card series this year which is fun.  Some will say it is a little too much and repetitive.  I won't disagree but I do enjoy these cards and like Topps' approach this year.
I like the design of the basic cards and the different inserts.  The backs are simple but have a good write-up.
Plenty of in-ring photos which are always good.  These are all pretty good shots.
The ladies as always get to shine along with their male counterparts.  
This was a fun pack.   Topps does a good job with the WWE brand and this is no different.  I will be curious though if they stay with the set per WWE model next year.

20 – Total Cards
4 – Retired Greats
2 – Corey Says
2 – 20 Years of Smackdown
1 – Green Parallel
1 - SmackDown Women's Evolution

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

2019-2020 Hoops Basketball with Autograph

2019-2020 Hoops Basketball:  My first pack of Hoops for the year and I grab Zion.  Good start.  The design on these is a good one.  Maybe not great but very solid.  I pulled an auto in this pack which is always a great surprise.  It is Ky Bowman (end of post) who is doing alright in his rookie campaign with the Golden State Warriors.    
  The Zion definitely helps any pull but these three also made this a good pack.  The set is 300 cards strong including the Tribute subset so there are plenty of players to pull.  
The Hoops Tribute cards are where you'll find a mix of retired greats, current stars and rookies.
I usually like the Lights, Camera, Action cards.  This version is one that I'm still warming up to.
The backs are the standard boring backs you normally see with Hoops.  Had to get the Mike Scott card in just for the headband he is rocking.  The Josh Jackson photo is a good one as well.
I like the design this year and was happy with my pack.  A Zion and an auto just sweeten the pot.  I seem to pull quite a few auto from Hoops and this continues that streak.  I look forward to more of these as the year goes on and I am seriously considering picking up one of the Hoops holiday blasters I'm seeing in stores now.

30 – Total Cards
6 – RC
2 – Lights Camera Action
1 – Hoops Tribute
1 – Arriving Now
1 – Retired Great
1 – Teal Explosion
1 – Great Significance Autograph

Sunday, November 17, 2019

2018 Contenders Football Fanatics Exclusive Blaster Box

2018 Contenders Football:  The Blowoutbuzz Blog alerted me to these exclusive blaster boxes.  As a fan of Contenders I jumped on one.  This blaster has 88 total cards but a relic or auto is not guaranteed like the standard blasters which have only 40 cards in them.  Autographs are still a possibility at one in five of these blasters.  So there is a trade off and you'll have to decide if this works for you.
With the small set size (100) these exclusive blasters can get you well on the way to a complete set.
That also means there are plenty of stars to be had in each pack.
  The defense gets some love as well.
Plenty of great great hands in these three cards.
Plenty of inserts to be had.  That Sony Michel is a ruby parallel.
The Lamar Jackson is a ruby parallel as well and that Legendary Contenders is my first time pulling one of those inserts.  I like them and might chase the set.
  This was a fun box.  I thought my pull was good and with plenty of stars and some nice inserts.  Really glad I picked one of these up.

88 – Total Cards
4 – Round Numbers
4 – Rookie of the Year Contenders
3 – MVP Contenders
2 – Ruby Parallel
1 – Team Quads

Friday, November 15, 2019

1990-1991 Upper Deck Hockey High Series Box

1990-1991 Upper Deck High Series Hockey:  At the card show last month I went a little out of my normal collecting lane and picked up this hockey box. It was Upper Deck's first foray into hockey and they did a great job.  These have a great design and plenty of subsets.  Even though I'm not a knowledgeable hockey guy this was a fun box and I have plenty to show off.  Where else do you start except with Mario Lemieux and The Great One.
And you can't get enough Brett least not enough of Brett Hull singing Gloria...
These team checklist art cards are a favorite of mine across all their sets.
As expected Upper Deck has some great photos in this set.  The High Series packs have a mix of all 550 cards from the first series and high cards.
All-Star Game cards with in-game photos are great!
The young players were seen in plenty of subsets including the World Junior Champions, All-Rookie Team, and Draft cards.
Eric Lindros was under an exclusive contract with Score but Upper Deck still managed to get him in on cardboard via the World Junior Championship cards.
Plenty of stars in this set.
Retired Greats were also in the set as part of the Heroes of the NHL subset.  Great inclusion.  There were Award Winner cards as well.  
 The inventor of the Zamboni received some love on cardboard and Wayne Gretzky's card commemorating his 2000th point.
Yet another subset showcasing young players with the Star Rookie cards.  This is a great set. It hits all the marks with a good design, plenty of star power, and lots of variety with the great subsets.  For not a lot of money this was too much fun.  I'm glad I came across this box and might seek out more cheap hockey boxes in the future.
This set also featured the first release of Upper Deck's popular Young Guns cards.  

432 – Total Cards
2 – All-Star Game
23 – Young Guns
22 – World Junior Champions
20 – Heroes of the NHL
17 – Team Checklists
14 – Star Rookie
8 – Award Winners
5 – Number 1 Draft
4 – Hologram
3 - Checklists
3 – All-Rookie Team
2 – Accomplishments
2 – Frank Zamboni