Today I had to go to K-Mart today to pick up a few staples I knew they would have cheap. I also saw that Night Owl had posted about new Topps Chrome being out, so I knew that these two pieces of information would come together to make me drop my disposable income on a blaster. As I have posted before, I have a disturbing predilection to Chrome, mostly because of the shiny. OOOooooo....shiny...
Since I have a page of Chrome going back to its 1996 inception, first things first, let's look at the page I created from that blaster:
A very nice mix of team colors and players with a couple of my obligatory catching poses. I would have liked a Pirate or an Athletic to break it up a little more, but oh well, the purple of that Tulo will have to do. This page nicely keeps my run going.
Now let's get to the shiny. SHINY!!!!
The blaster came with a bonus 4 card pack of purple refractors (which is why I chose the blaster over the rack packs - extra colorful shiny!). I got three stars and a rookie I have never heard of before. The blue Trumbo there is numbered to /199. I was hoping to get a Met since those look so nice in blue, or a Dodger to trade to the aforementioned Night Owl. The regular refractors of Cabrera and Pill are in the 'meh' column. The Ackley is an X-fractor and those always look better in person, but trust me, it is plenty shiny. The cream of the crop here is the Mike Trout. I have decided to keep all Mike Trout cards I pull and I am going to try and trade and or buy all I can. The kid is the goods. The other 8 cards here are all available for trade if you want them.
Just for the sake of completeness, here are the rest of the cards in the blaster. They are also available for trade if you see something you want/need:
The two hiding there are Stephen Strasburg and Hunter Pence. Man, I got a lot of players traded during the season in this blaster.
Here is the blaster box, which will be cut up for some homemade card(s). Of course, I couldn't just buy one thing, not when I had some time to kill. As you can see, I also bought some of the new Triple Play.
I remember Donruss Triple Play from my youth. It came around in the early 90's while I was in my mid to late teens, so I think I was a little out of the demographic they were going for...I still am, but I am glad they brought the name and notion back; there should be more cards specifically for kids.
Panini, of course, cannot use Major League team names or logos, but they worked around that in a pretty nifty way, with stylized cartoons of the players instead of photos. I kinda like this idea.
This is the page I made from the four packs I bought. The Posey and the Longoria are especially nice. But what is the point of a cartoon of a head shot? I mean, OK, for someone as known and cartoonish as Big Puma Lance Berkman or The Freak Tim Lincecum, sure, it works. But I couldn't pick Carlos Santana out of a line up (unless it was the guitarist) nor Brett Wallace for that matter, so those seem a very poor choice. On top of that, the only reason I know what Justin Verlander looks like is because of that video game commercial he was in with Kate Upton that they played at the beginning of the season ad nauseum. And to be honest, I wasn't looking that closely at him during it.
Since the Triple Play brand is for kids, they put "kid" things in the packs, like giant puzzle pieces:
Since I like the caricatures, I would like the puzzles too, though I doubt I will never put one together. I think they could have made the puzzle pieces a little more interesting on the front (or is that the back) other than a repeat of the original card picture over and over again. (and what is that Bruce Bochte card doing there? Well, he was laying on the floor of the K-Mart, no doubt a refugee from a busted open repack. So I picked up Bruce and put him in my pocket. I have a collection of mangled found cards, and while he is not really mangled, he will find a good home with those misfit cards. Technically, I guess this is stealing, so I guess Bruce is not only a refugee but a fugitive too!)
Since I couldn't make a full puzzle, I made an odd little collage that sort of looks like a baseball player:
I also realized I could never flip it around to scan it, so I had to take a picture of it sitting on my scanner. How meta.
There were other "kid" things like stickers and an insert set called focus:
OK, as a kid I loved stickers, so those are a winner, but the "Focus" inserts are kind of silly. A close up of the intensity of a cartoon? Someone did not think that one through. That kind of nonsense barely works with actual photographs. Overall, my inner 8 year old was very pleased with these cards, and at a buck a pop, my 37 year old wallet was pleased as well.
I almost got out with just the Chrome and the Triple Play, but then I looked down and saw the discount blasters. One of them was a tin of 2005 Topps Football for $5.99. I can't resist really cheap cards and in a tin to boot, so I grabbed it without thinking about it much
Oh, caveat emptor. I forgot that the 2005 draft was not very distinguished, so the rookies I got were underwhelming to say the very least. Even the stars I got were less than exciting. I did get a Drew Brees All Pro card, but in 2004, Brees was still on the Chargers. I may as well have set this six bucks on fire. Damn you, lack of impulse control. I don't think I will even make a page out of these.
Last but not least, I saw one of those dispenser display boxes of Mars Attacks. OK, I am obviously going to be helpless to the allure of alien cartoons on cards. Plus, I had been meaning to pick up a few pack of this to make a page:
They do not disappoint. Aliens, spaceships, flames, lasers, giant bugs, dogs in distress, tractor beams. Needless to say, I am tickled to death with this page. Plus, as a neat bonus, I pulled one of those 1/1 sketch cards out of these three packs (not shown); those are a 1:96 pull, so that was certainly unexpected. Since Matt from Heartbreaking Cards of Staggering Genius is kind of obsessed with these things, I will surprise him and send it to him.