Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Delivery Time! Remember the Astrodome Remembers Donruss for Me!

So far in 2018, trade packages have been arriving at de Casa de Nachos in furious spurts.  I think I went two weeks where I had at least one package in the mail every day...and then about a month and a half with nothing.  Now, I'm back to getting almost daily packages (which is awesome).  I am willing to bet that it has something to do with my cycle of buying new cards - this year I bought a lot of Topps Series 1 and had plenty of trades but then I sat out Heritage and so trading declined.  Now I'm back on board with Gypsy Queen (and Panini Donruss) and trading is also back.  I know correlation does not equal causation but man, it seems pretty clear to me!

Speaking of Panini Donruss, today's mail day is a PWE from Marc over at Remember the Astrodome.  Marc dropped a pair of Donruss cards in the mail for me which helped me inch ever closer to completing the full base set!

Thanks for the surprise mail day, Marc.  And, as usual, if anyone else would like to trade, be sure to check out my want list and make an offer!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2018 Gypsy Queen: Box 2 - The Box Topper (and it's a good one!)

According to the online checklist, the 2018 Topps Gypsy Queen set has a single box topper called Glass Works.  In my first (of two) hobby boxes, I pulled a Corey Seager card...not the Jose Altuve I was hoping for but still a pretty nice card.  The question for me was, what would box #2 hold?

This time around, I ended up with Anthony Rizzo...but not the base version.  No, this is the much rarer indigo version (numbered 124/150 on the backside of the card).

Very cool - and a great start to box #2.  

I can't wait to rip into the rest of the's hoping for some more fun stuff (and the remaining base cards that I need for my own set of course)!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 599: 1998 Topps Stars - #65 - Bronze parallel (#/9799)

Barry Larkin
Year:  1998
Brand:  Topps Stars
Card number:  65 (#1053/9799)
Parallel set:  Bronze

The 1998 Topps Stars set was distributed to Topps' Home Team Advantage stores only...and because of that, each base card is numbered out of a somewhat weird 9,799 copies (I have copy #1053 in my possession).  Even more confusing, there is a Bronze parallel of each base card that is also numbered to the same 9799.  From what I can tell, my card is actually a bronze parallel and not the regular base card (which I believe has red foil instead).  Even worse, there is a silver parallel (#/4399) and a gold parallel (#/2299).  Finally, there is a gold rainbow parallel numbered out of only 99.  Other than the bronze card you see above, I don't (yet) own any of the other versions of this card...I guess that gives me some new goals to try and track down!

As for the card itself, I guess it is okay. Honestly, it's nothing special...the front features a standard photo with some sort of weird background made up of starry blobs and a blurred out stadium crowd while the back of the car features a mess of fonts with a serial numbered printed over the secondary photo of Larkin.  I will admit that the set design fits withing the "Stars" theme of the set...but it doesn't do all that much for me.  I can't even say that I'm overly keen on trying to track down the remaining parallels...though if they happen to end up coming into my possession I certainly won't complain!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

2018 Donruss: Retail Comparison ($20 Blaster Box)

Yesterday, I went through what I got from a retail hanger box of 2018 Donruss (cost of $9.99 for 60 cards).  Today, we take a look at a retail blaster of 2018 Panini Donruss (cost of $19.99 for only 56 cards).

Is it worth paying twice as much money for four fewer cards?  Read on to find out.

Unlike the hanger box, the blaster contains actual packs of cards inside (7 packs with 8 cards per pack).  That certainly makes the opening process a bit more fun than it was when ripping the single clear cellophane wrapping used for the "brick" of cards in the hanger box.

As stated already, the blaster comes with 7 packs but only 6 of those packs are "regular" packs.  The seventh pack contains blaster exclusive holo blue and crystal parallels so let's start with that pack first!

While none of those cards jumped out at me, I will say the two designs look quite nice.  I'd definitely like to trade for the Barry Larkin cards from the two parallel sets (and the hanger green foil parallels as well).

By now I imagine that everyone has seen more Panini Donruss base cards than they ever needed to and so I won't scan the contents of each pack.  I will, however, show off the highlights.  Before I do so, I should at least mention that I ended up with 39 different regular base cards plus 7 variation base cards.  Of the 39 base cards, I only needed two of them which was definitely disappointing!!

If you are doing the math at home, that only leaves two cards unaccounted for.  The first is a blank back parallel of Elvis Andrus.

The black backs are pretty tough pulls from what I've seen, but unfortunately they don't excite me much (though I wouldn't turn down either of the Larkin blank backs if they were offered to me).  As it is, this is a nice enough pull but it didn't move the excitement meter much.

The final card was exciting, but more so because it was totally unexpected...

That's (yet another) Twins autograph...but from a retail blaster it somehow feels a bit more special.  I don't know a thing about Mitch Garver but based on eBay sales I'm note expecting much out of him.  Still, it's always fun to pull an unexpected autograph!

That's it for the blaster...and so now we have to make a decision as to which is the better buy.  Personally, I think it's clear...the $9.99 hanger box offers more cards for half the price.  I do like the blaster's blue foil and crystal parallels better than the green parallels from the hanger but not $10 worth better.  Heck, I even beat the odds and pulled an autograph...but selling that auto won't recoup the extra $10 I had to spend (and then I'd be down another card).  No, it seems quite clear to me that if you are a set collector that the hanger box is the way to go.  If you are only interested in possibly pulling an autograph, you are probably better off just buying it directly from eBay (or some other site). 

At this point in time, I should point out that I'm still looking for some 2018 Donruss cards for my own set.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

2018 Donruss: Retail Comparison ($10 Hanger Box)

This year, I decided to go all in on the 2018 Panini Donruss set.  Truth be told, I can't tell you exactly why I decided to do so (it probably didn't hurt that Barry Larkin is featured on two different base cards), but that's what I did.

I already bought (and showed off the contents of) two hobby boxes of the product.  Since I was still quite a ways short from the full set, I went ahead and bought a pair of retail boxes as well.  The first box was a small box containing 60 cards for $9.99.  The second box was a typical $19.99 blaster which only had 56 cards in it. 

Yeah, that seemed like fuzzy math to me as well so I had to know what the deal was!  Luckily for you, I spent $30 so you don't have to...  Here's the breakdown of the $10 box and I'll have the blaster contents in the next post.

Retail $9.99 box:


I ended up with 48 of the regular base cards plus 7 variation base cards.  There were no duplicates (which is expected but should still be mentioned).  I ended up with 16 new cards for my base set which wasn't terrible (though I was hoping to do a bit better than that since I am still missing so many cards)!


The final five cards of the box were special exclusive holo green parallels.

I did alright with the "names" of my parallels - though the Twins curse strikes again! 


The 60 cards in the box all came packaged in a single clear cellophane block of cards.  This leads me to believe that you aren't likely to get anything overly interesting in the box - you'll notice that other than the five promised parallels, there wasn't a single insert or numbered card in the box.  The $9.99 box is certainly helpful for base set collectors since you really aren't paying for anything other than base cards...none of that Topps' business with an insert or more in every pack.  On the other hand, I can't say that these are particularly exciting to open since you only get one "brick" of cards with little to no chance of something out of the ordinary (it should also be noted that Panini does not publish pack odds which is infuriating to me)!