My birthday was Memorial Day. Please, please, no need to regale me with good wishes (though I will always accept cake). This year I didn't do much of anything on my birthday as most people were having barbecues and such in reverence for war dead and I just felt like sitting around drinking and eating baked goods. So that I did. I also watched my Mets beat the Yankees; it was a good day.
So a few days later, I found myself in Target looking for some new shorts because it is suddenly July hot. As I was walking towards the men's department, I saw the little card nook. I thought to myself "hey, it was just my birthday, I deserve a little treat," so treat myself I did. I saw rack packs of Triple Play, and I liked those a lot last year, so I grabbed one of those. I also saw some of the new shiny Panini Prizm, so I procured some of that as well. And while I was standing there, my 8-year old impulses kicked in. I saw a box of discounted non-sports cards for .99 cents a pop and I went a little hog wild. I also snagged a couple packs of Topps Opening Day and a repack, because, hey, birthday!
There is the little pile I gathered on that Wednesday and I got home a tore them open and ate my lunch and had a ball. Let's take a look at what I got:
The caricatures were cool last year and they look even better this year. I also like the clean design to allow the art to pop. As a way to get around not having an official license, this is by far my favorite. I don't even mind that Matt Harvey looks like the kid from Napoleon Dynamite.
Here are some more of them, along with the nick-knacks:
I got both the card and the sticker of Starlin Castro, pity I am not a Cubs fan. I also got some Derek Jeter stickers. Meh. Those all-star cards, though, are wonderful, I may have to make a second page of this stuff just to highlight those. Those Dodgers on the bottom have a destination, but if there is anything you really really have to have, drop me a line and I am sure we can trade - and that goes for any of the stuff we will look at here...
The Opening Day...
...was exactly what I anticipated it would be. Getting both a Bryce Harper and Steven Strasburg makes me wish these packs had gone to a Nats fan, but oh well. The picture on the Miguel Cabrera is magnificent. And as much as I would like to keep that Manny Machado card, I know someone else who wants it more.
Now for some heartbreak...
I had such high hopes for Panini Prizm, but man, do these work better in theory than in practice. I know Panini is trying to make the best of not having a MLB license. I mean, look, the players association logo is right on the front, so they are kinda official, right? (I have never seen that before) It just seems that the airbrushing and logo obscuring poses just don't work on a chrome-like set. No matter how nice they try to make these look, they still look cheap. And it's a shame, because it's not a terrible design and lord knows I love me some shiny.
I bought 4 packs of this stuff and it just doesn't work and didn't grow on me and now looking at it a week later, I really feel the weight of that disappointment.
They have old time players involved in here too, and they have the airbrush/obscuring thing going on as well. That is fine for 1989 Cap'n Crunch cards but not for modern $3 a pack cards. I see Panini is putting Extra Edition cards in here too. Does that mean they won't do a separate set of these like they have in the past? So many questions. This set is a noble effort but a tremendous failure. I don't think I will even make a page of these.
Let's cleans the palette by taking a look at some highlights of the repack:
There was the usual odd mix of cards, some new stuff, a chunk of 80's junk, some 90's junk, and some real surprises. I had forgotten all about the 1990 Starline set. I remember the posters were quite popular in the late 80's, but I never saw they did a card set until well after the fact and I don't own any of them. I got 4 cards from the 40 card set in here, including a Met, Frank Viola. Overall, though, this repack seemed like a real dud until I got to the second to last card, that's where I found that Frank Thomas Supermarket Rookies card. Thomas is one of the players who shares my birthday; I also did not own this card. Sounds like fate to me.
I decided also upon a couple packs of last year's Star Wars Galactic Files set:
This was described on it as "the definitive set" full of the original trilogy, the prequels and some canon stuff. I got a real interesting mix of all three.
There were a couple names I didn't recognize, so I googled them, this may have been an error in judgment when it comes to one of them...all I can say is the internet has far too much time on it's hands when it comes to female characters in sci-fi. SMH. Anyway, the center card is a Memorable Quotes insert with the best two words in all of the Star Wars universe. This is the page I made out of these cards.
And then there were the .99 packs. First off are some Mario Cart cards. I had no idea such a thing existed. So much of my time in the last 20 years had been elegantly wasted playing Mario Cart. Now I have some in card form:
I bought two packs so I would have 10 cards to make a page from.
These are some leftovers...I have no idea why I stuck them here. Moving on.
Next to the Mario Cart packs were Super Mario Wii packs. I bought my brother that game for Christmas a couple years ago and we spent a good amount of time playing it proving that we do not work well together. We also had a ball...
I bought two packs so I would be sure to be able to make a whole page out of them.
A few years ago, a Super Bowl commercial introduced me to the most overplayed song of the decade and Yo Gabba Gabba. Not having any children, I was unaware at the time I was being introduced to Yo Gabba Gabba, I just thought the toys in the ad were the work of some trippy marketeer. I was wrong.
I actually kind of enjoy the completely drugged out nature of this show. I will never have kids, but if I did, I would totally let them watch this. I felt I should own a page worth of their cards. Plus, there were 10 in a pack, so I only had to buy one. This made my inner 8-year old very happy. I even continued the childish non-sports bonanza buy picking up a pack of Bill Nye the Science Guy cards on Listia. You can see how that turned out here.
The other highlight of the afternoon...
White Castle! I rarely make it down far enough on Route 17 to indulge in these treasures. But on this day, since I had designated it Birthday present time, I decided to go hog wild. Luckily, the shorts I bought at Target have an elastic waist band.