Tuesday, September 29, 2020

3 Boxes Of Ginter, Just For Laughs

I've probably run it into the ground at this point, but Allen & Ginter has become my new flagship set.  After 2020, instead of rather blindly committing to build the Topps flagship set every year, with or without all the rather pedestrian inserts, I'm switching to Ginter, which for the most part has been much more enjoyable to break and collect.  Instead of more than one overbloated star card rehash, along with the annual old design redundant tribute, and 1000 base cards that seem to be 73% rookies and guys I've never seen and one or two super short printed legends that I try to trade for the couple I need for PCs, I'd rather build a nice 300 card base set with bunches of retired players, some diverse subjects, and some easy "short prints" that are actually obtainable, plus some regular- and mini-sized inserts that generally have several times the thought put into them.

So to complete my first trifecta of consecutive Ginter set builds, I got three boxes from my favorite Baltimore area dealer for about $20 off at the time.  And being so close, I got two day shipping for the regular price.

So here's what came out of the first box...


Nice box topper pull ... at least for someone.  I like Polar Bear backs on T2o5s, but Pete belongs with a Mets fan.

Continuing with the decent trade bait, only the Mattingly is spoken for here.  This is how I conmplete my insert sets, etc.  All minis can go!  (Except for Palmer, Mussina, Torre & Fisk if you have them!)

Cool selections in A&G back minis too.  Probably the best luck I'll have pulling Bichettes.  Dobbins shows up again later, and Pedro with the 'Spos (is that how you spell that?) is very cool.  Flipped Ms. Scurry from the futbol net to show the back.

And the black borders.  Gotta love the Cubs Fergie, but I guess Correa and Castillo probably carry more hype in the mainstream crowd.

REALLY love the Monster minis!  They have subtle glow-in-the-dark images too.  This is the best of the Ginter committee's imagination at work this year.  The other stuff isn't bad, but doesn't maintain the same level as the last three years or so.  The Safari ones seem to all be printed down and in to the right handed batters.  And the castles is a mini version of a similar regular size set I'm still working on from a previous year.

The regulation size inserts.  Can't complain about any of these.  Nice to have a catcher tribute set.  The Debuts are elegant and a mix of old and newer guys instead of the same old ones.  And the Longball Lores put some graphical power into a familiar theme.

Down On The Farm leads off a couple of the more mundane inserts this year.  These seem aimed at the school age crowd, which I don't have a problem with.  I'll trade for the rest of these, but I won't buy them.

Same with these rockin' inserts - Digging Deep.  OK, rare minerals are sorta interesting, but not really that photogenic that they should be on cards.

The full bleed postcard looking inserts that follow last year's effort History Of Flight, Reach for the Sky features skyscrapers, which are also a previous year subject, though I like these better.

2020 Ginter's most noticeable shift that I see is the number of comedians and writers who got cards.  In past years, they would be mixed in with athletes from obscure sports, racehorses, historical figures, and the occasional contest winner collector.  Guess this is "standup-routine-worn?"  More on this in a bit.

My best hit is what turns out to be the only framed mini relic out of all three boxes.  For once, I get a hit of one of the big name guys, though at this point, I imagine Vlad is on the downslope of his Hype Machine domination.   But still good enough for me.  I might be persuaded to trade him for one of my local teams or player collection guys.  I'll have to go over the list. 

And finally, Simone here was the first hit I pulled, and she was in the first pack.  In fact, all of my hits came in the top packs of all three boxes.  Kinda killed the suspense, but I'm not in it for the hits anyway.  This was also the only autograph I got out of all 9 "hits".  Funny thing, there is no list of the regular size autographs in either the database or CardPedia.  There are all the Dual autos, book cards and regular size relics, but no list of the autos.  

A quicker look at boxes 2 & 3 next time!

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Impulse Engines Are Back Online

 Well, the ol' Collective drive system is still leaking plasma, but hasn't completely ceased running yet.  I've managed to go the entirety of September with one total post.  Like I said last time, it's not that my collecting interest is waning, it's just that my work schedule has been so random, and I've fallen into the routine of waking up, working, coming home (in the middle or at the end), and turning on "the news" (PTI) and whatever follows, and going to bed, repeating the same the rest of the week.  Hasn't been all dull and routine, with some side work here and there and keeping in touch with friends.

The purchases that I mentioned previously are all in now.  I have only put away a small fraction of the earliest ones, so I recorded the rest to show here.  It's a lot, so I'll at least finish the month with a few posts before it's all gone, even if they're the "Looky what I got" type that seems to be falling out of fashion lately.

I'll jump right in and show what seems to be the most anticipated one from my preview.

This came out of the package and I thought, "Did I get the wrong shipment?"

But when I opened it...

Ah Ha!  The 1976 Star Trek set!

I was very thankful for this purchase, not only because it was a great example of the set, but the price was a lot lower than a few previous efforts.  I had tried to submit offers to other eBay sellers, but was ignored multiple times.  One seller had it for $140.  I think I offered like $115, and didn't get any answer either time I tried.  No rejection, no counter offer, and no notice that the seller was away. Just crickets.  If you're not willing to deal with offers that aren't your full price, then don't put the option in your auctions, people!

This set is fully documented on the Database at the link above, so I won't scan and show my whole set, but here are some of my favorites.

Card #1, the shot of the Enterprise from the show opening sequence.  Each card has the little yellow Enterprise by the caption.  Guess they could've had a little figure corresponding to the subject that represented the crew, aliens, or other things kinda like '73 and '04 Topps baseball.

City On The Edge Of Forever - starring a young Joan Collins - was written by Harlan Ellison.  Regarded as one of (if not the) best episodes of any in the three seasons.

Parallel Spock from the Mirror, Mirror episode, one of my personal favorites.  Even as a conquerer, Spock has the cooler head and does what's right.  And the goatee just works...

The rare appearance for the "space suits" in what is my #1 episode, The Tholian Web.  The suspense just keeps building in this one.  The captain is surely lost and the rest of the ship is about to fall to hostile aliens.  Very well done show.

Here's the back of one of the cards.  Nice that they include the show title where appropriate on the bottom right.  Just wish the numbers were a skosh bigger.

Now that I have the set, I just need to find a good deal on the 22 stickers!

And just because I downloaded it to put on the outside of the binder, here's what a wax box looks like...

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Found On The Side Of A Transwarp Conduit

Well, the ol' Borg cube has almost crashed and burned, but is still sputtering along at half impulse power.  Between the beginning of the school year adding volume and chaos to my job, and the pandemic allowing me to flex my schedule to avoid crowding the office (and waking up early), as well as the start of football (and subsequently fantasy) season, plus playoff 8-ball tournaments out of town (and 9-ball in the same place next weekend), my blogging time and energy have been diverted in several directions.  

My average is 11 posts a month - roughly three times a week - but August got only 5.  But a sudden positive development ~ many of those posts have triple digit readership.  Not sure if that's a result of recent Twitter promotion for my post on Covid-ized classic cards, or just bots branching out into other words besides "cardboard".  If it is Twitter, thanks to Fuji and any of the rest of you for spreading the word!

I have been very active on a couple different buying sites, though.  I'm awaiting a SportLots order that is just over 300 cards.  That was a binge to beat all binges.  I started with some cheap football and found a seller that had a ton of my want list hits for 25- and 50¢ each, and it just snowballed.  I came into some cash a little while ago, so I turned off any restraint I had this time.

I also have been perusing eBay as well, usually loading up a cartful from a seller that has a few things I'm looking for and then another bunch of singles for a buck a shot - then I end up comparing prices on Sportlots and finding a lot of them cheaper so I only end up with about ¼ of what I started with on the 'Bay.  I did find a bargain and used a rare eBay coupon to knock the price down another 30% on a non-sport set I've been making offers on that go unanswered.

Enough talk,  Here are some quick previews of what I have incoming.  These are just samples of the big batches that are inbound.