Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Collector Crate - So that's whats in the box

Nope not Gwyneth Paltrow's head.

It got here Saturday.  I unfortunately was deep in the throws of tearing up my floors and putting in some nice Pergo.  So that little red box just sat there taunting me, yet I knew when I got done I'd have a nice surprise waiting for me.

I've already seen quite a few box breaks posted of all three levels of Collector Crates. But I promised I'd break open my box and share it with ya'll.

First let me preface this break by saying I paid for this box.  It was not sent to me by the company.  I know they sent quite a few out early and I'm sure that helped them get a nice buzz going.  Second I opted for the cheapest, Bronze level, box. Cuz I'm cheap. But I digress...

The first thing I noticed was how small the box was.  To be honest 10 packs of card don't take up that much room though.  The second thing I noticed was how light the box was.  Again, 10 packs aren't that heavy, but these are the things I notice. After I go through the contents I do plan on doing a price break down to see if it was worth it.



So here's what was in the box.  No the Sharpe was not in the box.


Here's a close up of the box.  Besides the 10 packs of cards and my one auto and relic card I got a nice little A's mini pennant, a plastic mini baseball with the Phillies logo on it, a Blue Jays sticker, two gumballs, a mini "We're #1" foam finger and pack of TeenyMates.

Here are my TeenyMates.

There are a couple  rarer ones to pull. I pulled a Giant and Met. And 2 puzzle pieces.

The packs
2007 Upper Deck Series 2 (Retail, says so on the pack)
2012 Panini Prizm (4 card pack so I know it's retail)
2008 UD Timeline (6 card pack so I know it's retail too)
2012 Topps Chrome (Retail, isn't marked as hobby)
2010 Upper Deck Series 1 (18 card retail gravity feed pack)
2013 Topps Series 1 (5 card retail gravity feed pack) Really a 5 card pack of Topps?
2014 Topps Heritage (Retail, because it's got the security card inside)
2009 Topps Unique (Hobby Only!!)
2013 Panini Golden Age (Not sure if this is a hobby pack or not we'll call it hobby)
and the vintage 2006 UD Future Stars (Hobby, it says so on the pack)

Well it looks like out of 10 packs I got 7 retail packs and maybe 3 Hobby.  The 5 card pack of 2013 Topps really pisses me off.  That's not even a real pack. Were those even .99 cents?  And the inclusion of Golden Age is interesting since it's not really a baseball product.  But I do love the oddball stuff.  So lets see what I got.

I realized I bought the low end box, but this pack is just insulting. I would have rather it had been a pack of Opening Day.
 Not even a rookie card for my trouble.  Well this ain't starting off too good.

Retail Chrome

 At least I pulled a rookie and a refractor.

 Oh how I miss you Upper Deck.  I'm not a hockey collector so I haven't bought any UD since 2010 probably.  Nobody overly exciting in the pack either.
And speaking of 2010 Upper Deck.  We all remember UD got smacked down for putting this out.
 Still I liked the overall design of the set and boxes of this are super cheap.

 I also got a Mat Latos Blue Surpreme foil board card and Biography insert, hazaaa.

How about some more shiny.
 Nice to get at least a rookie a couple stars.  I'm not a huge fan of Prizm baseball, but I will say this year's football looks good.

 Did anyone open any Timeline back in 2008. I might have grabbed a pack, but I was living in the boonies back then. King Felix shows up again.

I quit Heritage 2 years ago.  This set just aggravates me to no end.  I do love the 1965 design though.
 And I pulled a short print, Jean Segura. Sadly I already have it for my Brewers team set.
 Here's a set that got no love.  And to be honest I kind of liked Topps Unique.  I did not, however, like the price tag associated with packs and boxes.  Boxes of this still go for close to a $100. Topps even tried carrying this over to Football, but neither brand got a second year.

 The black borders are cool, but such a bad idea.  They show any imperfection. I also got an insert and parallel.

 Nice to see Warren show up in the pack and make it a little more basebally. The Sugar Ray mini is the basic back.
The oldest pack in my box was this 2006 UD Future Stars. I had seen a few box breaks that had some vintage 90's Bowman, but this was by far the best pack in the bunch.

 Look at that Felix again. Oh that foil board goodness.
 And holy crap an autograph!  And this a cool acetate card too. Too bad it's of Peter Moylan.  He played with the Braves for 6 years and a year with the Dodgers, with a lot of minor league time.  He's also Australian and signed a minor league deal with the Astros this year before being released in March and that's were Peter's trail goes cold or at least were I stopped.

 I hear you asking. So what were my hits? Even the bronze level box gets one auto and one relic card included guaranteed. I saw a few breaks were guys were also getting a Griffey rookie, no rookie in my pack.

I got a 2008 Allen and Ginter Jim Thome  framed relic. At least I know who he is.
I also got a  2012 Bowman Platinum Green Guillermo Pimentel Autograph. Guillermo is still floating around the Mariners minor league system.

And that's it. Was it worth it?  It definitely doesn't feel worth it, but lets do some cost break down.

First I'll see if can buy packs off of blowout.com, if I can I'll use that price per pack, otherwise I'll use the price per pack if you bought a box.  This would be the cost I would have paid, not that Collector Crate paid.

So the box cost me $29.99. Like a dumb ass I forgot to enter the promo code for $5 off.  Shipping was included in the price, but usually for similar products shipping is $6, so we'll knock that off the top and say that if we break over $23.99 we're good.


Contents of box.
A's Mini pennant - $1.50     looking on Amazon these are between $2.50 and $1.40 each.
Plastic Phillies Baseball - .50 - You can buy a full set, all 30 teams for about $14 and these usually go for about 50 cents in coin ops.
Gumballs - .25
Teenymates - 3.99 That was the original price on the gravity feeder found in stores.
Little foam finger and sticker - I'll say about $1
Price of extra goodies $7.24


The packs - Blowout.com's prices
2007 Upper Deck Series 2 (Retail) - $1.29
2012 Panini Prizm (retail) $1.49
2008 UD Timeline (retail) $1.29
2012 Topps Chrome (Retail) $2.99 (couldn't find a pack or box price for a retail box so i'll go for what my local department store usually charges for Chrome
2010 Upper Deck Series 1 (retail) .60 (had to do a price per on this, you can buy a 36 - 18 card packs of reatil for $19.95)
2013 Topps Series 1 (retail) .50 - I'm being generous here for this 5 card pack, you can buy 60 for under 30 bucks.
2014 Topps Heritage (Retail) $2.99
2009 Topps Unique (Hobby) $4 - This is price per pack if I bought a box
2013 Panini Golden Age (hobby) - $1.70
2006 UD Future Stars (Hobby) $1.99
Total pack price $18.84. Let's just round up to $19

The hits 
2008 A&G Thome relic - I could only find 2 that sold recently on ebay and one went for about a buck and the other for two so lets say the relic is worth about $1.50. I picking up Ginter relics at my local card shop for a dollar all the time.  Why not they make great trade bait, but as a hit pretty lame. And I'm not using Beckett pricing, I live in the real world.

2012 Bowman Platinum Pimentel Green auto #d to 399 - People are asking all sorts of money for this card, but the only sale I found on ebay within the last 3 months was for $1.99, so we'll just call it $2.00

I'm even going to add in Moylan auto - sadly I found unsold cards that could have gone for .89 cents and the only one I found sold was for about a buck. $1.00

So lets summarize.  The packs were currently worth about $19. The extra goodies, which I don't care about, are worth maybe about $7.  And my hits including the bonus auto I found amount to about $4.50.

So if I include the extras in the box value that comes to about $30 to 31.  Take the extras out because they are nice, but not something I would collect or buy and the value of the box drops to about $23.50. Right about on the money.

Was it a good deal?  Not really. A good deal would imply I was getting more for my money which I clearly did not.

Was it fun to open? Yes. Who doesn't love opening random packs and other goodies?

Would I buy another one?  Probably not. But I don't regret trying it out. And I'll definitely be putting in for their free box drawings. And I know I only got the cheapest box they offer, but the packs were ones I probably wouldn't buy and the extras were definitely something I wouldn't have spent money on. And maybe it's just the way I choose to collect or the type of collector I've become, but really this box had nothing in it for me. Sure the silver and gold levels might have been better, but I have no problem risking $30 once on something like this to try it out, but definitely not $70 or $100.


 As a matter of fact everything posted here is up for trade, everything.

Are you guys still with me?  I know this post is getting long.
Let's go over the good and the bad and then I have a few suggestions for Collector Crate.

The good.
Nice variety of packs, spread around brands and years.  It was very well packaged. The packs came  well bubble wrapped.  I did hit a bonus auto.

The bad.
70% retail packs!  7 out of 10 were retail!!  Retail sucks. I get that picking up old retail packs might be great for the bottom line, but odds of hitting anything good out of retail are slim.

A 2013 Topps Series 1  - 5 card pack. Are you kidding me? I'm not even sure I'd count that as a pack at all. If it had been thrown in as an extra that would have been cool. It's almost insulting to include it in the box. And don't say, but you got the big old 2010 UD fat pack.  Yeah retail fat pack of an unlicensed product that almost got Upper Deck sunk. A 10 or 8 card pack of Topps would still have been considered low end enough for this box.

The hits were not in top loaders.  They were well packaged with the packs, in penny sleeves and were fine, but it seems odd to have the meat of the box unprotected like that.

The hits where kind of lame.


OK I'm done ranting, now on to some constructive suggestions on how to make the boxes better.

First, get rid of the retail packs.  I would suggest going exclusively hobby, even for the low end.  I'm sure the silver and gold feature higher end packs you can't find at the retail level, but if you want me to move up to the next tier or even buy another bronze, you got to make me want to and after breaking my box I don't want to.

Consider making teamcentric boxes.  Make the extra goodies, like that pennant, and the hits customized to a team collector.  I'm a Brewers fan. Would I have had a better experience getting a Brewers relic and auto in the box?  Yes I would. I would also probably keep the pennant and little ball if it featured my team.

I didn't see the option on the website, but consider being able to give these crates as gifts.  I think these would make a great birthday or Christmas gift. I could even see my wife getting me one.

And lastly, try and bring the cost per box down. I don't see too many people signing up even for the Bronze level over and over again at $29.99 getting blind packs and I really don't see people dropping big money on the unknown.  This might work with kitsch pop culture things at a lower price point, but sports card collectors can be very picky.

Alright.  Lastly if anyone out there opened a box and posted it feel free to link your break in the comments.  I've seen a few, but I know I've probably missed a bunch too.  And I'm curious how others breaks went. Happy, sad, mad, or glad?

cb out.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Life's a bitch sometimes.

How I wanted to spend my weekend.

How I really spent my weekend.
I'll have my box break down soon.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Almost the Easiest World Series Contest on the Web 4 - World Series Round

Well I got to see zero games in the league championships, but I've been checking box scores.

Out of 14 contestants we're down to 5.  Four picking the Royals and only one person picked the Giants to win it all.

Here are the picks going into the championship series.


John Hazen - Baltimore over the Nats 7 games 8 homeruns

hiflew - Orioles over the Cardinals in 6 games. 9 HRs.

Josh D. - Royals over Dodgers. 7 games. 6 HRs

Jeff S - KC Royals over Pirates in 7 games, 5 HRs. pimped

Red Cardboard - Cardinals over Orioles, 5 games, 5 HRs

Ryan H - Orioles over Pirates in 6 games with 9 homers

Paul Hadsall - San Francisco over Detroit, 5 games, 6 HRs, pimped

Jupiterhill -  Royals over the Giants in 6 games, with 5 homers.

Superduperman99 - Cardinals over Royals in 6 and 6 Home Runs

dgao - Cardinals over Angels in 6 games. 7 home runs.

Fuji - Royals over Dodgers, 6 games, 8 home runs

Praline - Orioles over Giants 7 homers, 6 games

Mets Cardboard - Orioles over Dodgers, 6 games, 13 home runs

Wilson - Baltimore over San Francisco, 6 games, 10 HR, pimped


And since we have the Giants and Royals in the World Series why not sweeten the pot with a couple cards from each team.

Unfortunately my secret stash is a little short on great Giants and Royals cards, but I did manage to find a couple cool cards.  First up is the Steve Holm Auto.  Steve didn't have a very long career with the Giants or a very good one, but he does have this auto from 2009 Upper Deck.

I couldn't find any autos for the Royals in my stash, but I did find a nice Mike Sweeney relic from the 2003 Finest set.  Sweeny had a nice long career in the Major and spent 12 years with the Royals. Mike ended his career in 2011 by signing a one day contract so he could end his career as a Royal after playing with the Athletics, Mariners and Phillies.

 Another fun fact about Mike Sweeny is that I am exactly 2 days older than him.

I also plan on added some cards to the winners favorite team and the same for the door prize winner.

Alright here are the final 5.  Good luck guys.




Josh D. - Royals over Dodgers. 7 games. 6 HRs

Jeff S - KC Royals over Pirates in 7 games, 5 HRs. pimped

Paul Hadsall - San Francisco over Detroit, 5 games, 6 HRs, pimped

Jupiterhill -  Royals over the Giants in 6 games, with 5 homers.

Fuji - Royals over Dodgers, 6 games, 8 home runs


5th Anniversary Contest!!!

On October 13th I celebrate my 5th Blog Birthday and what better way to celebrate than to have someone else who also has a blog birthday hold a contest.

Head on over to CaptKirk42s Trading Card Blog for the details.




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

America's Next Top Pilot?

I've been picking up some great oddball stuff from Don's as he tries to liquidate a large collection he's helping sell off for a friend.  My love of oddball sets is pretty well documented on this blog and finding a set of 1990 Top Pilot Warbirds was quite a boon.

Ever since Topps put out it's Air Supremacy insert set in Allen and Ginter this year, I've decided to take my oddball collection in a more militaria - political route.  More on that in the future.

I saw this set sitting on a stack of random pages in his shop and decided to pick it up.  Once I saw that the set had a P-38 Lightning in it I was sold.

The Top Pilot series was issued in multiple sets over many years.  The total set has 246 cards spread out into many different sub-sets.  I'm not sure how these were sold or distributed, but  each subset has a theme and checklist card.  Cards 18 - 48 are the Warbird series and contain a ton of great World War II fighters, bombers, and recon planes, both from the Allies and the Axis.  You can check out the whole checklist here.


Even as a guy who loves the old WWII planes a few of these are pretty new to me.  Maybe it's because a lot of the planes look so similar or that they tended to get overshadowed by more popular planes like the B 17 or that there were just so damn many.  The A20 Havoc and it's successor the A26 Invader fall into the category.




I really love these cards.  Not just for the great photography used, but the information and write up on the back.

The B 17 is one of those iconic planes.  It's been featured in movies and is always an airshow favorite. I remember putting together a model of a B-17 and just being in awe of the firepower when I was a kid. According to the interwebs there are still about 11 planes airworthy.

The B-24 Liberator is another plane that kind of plays second fiddle to the more popular B-17 even though more were produced and used during WWII and other than it's split tail could be confused with the B-17.

The B-25 Mitchell is another iconic aircraft.  Probably best know as the bomber that bombed Japan after Pearl Harbor on the Doolittle Raid.  There are suppose to be over 100 Mitchells still airworthy and one made it's way up to Alaska for the big air show they have up here ever couple of years, Arctic Thunder.  I also got to see it on the tarmac in Ketchikan when I was flying down for work this summer.  Very cool to see one in person.

The Marauder is another one of those planes that fell through the crack for me.

The B-29 is another iconic plane.  With it's sleek and shiny design it's hard to miss, plus it's huge.  Of course the planes are better know for being the model that dropped the first two atomic bombs on Japan.  From what I could find only one plane is still air worthy.

I remember reading an article on the Buffalo, can't remember where though.  I think the gist of the story was how politicians can gum up the works.  The Buffalo beat out the Wildcat, the next card, as the first mono-wing plane to be used by the US navy, but supposedly that was because the Brewster Aeronaut Corp greased some hands, if you know what I mean.





The only reason I know anything about the Corsair is that I use to watch reruns of the Black Sheep Squadron when I was a kid.  That and the plane has a unique bent wing design.

Oh be still my heart!! My favorite fighter plane of all time.  The fork tailed devil.  I really liked modeling, that is building models, when I was a kid.  I'm sure if I had time and less hobbies I probably would still really enjoy it, but one of the first kits I ever got was for a P-38.  This plane was awesome.  Four .50 cal machine guns and a 20mm cannon in the nose, she could also pack 2 bombs or drop tanks and ten rockets.  It was a force to be reckoned with.  Plus the 39 had all sorts of variations, much like today's Topps Baseball cards.  There's a cool P-38 Association that has all sorts of great photos and facts and a list of surviving aircraft.

Don't know much about this guy here either.

The P-40 just has really cool lines.  I always thought it looked like the sports car of fighter planes.



Ah the iconic Mustang. Second on my list of all time favorite fighter planes.  Still an incredibly popular plane at air shows and there are over 200 still registered with the FAA.

The Black Widow wins as the bomber with the coolest design.

The Flying Boat, the PBY-5 Catalina is just one of those great oddballs.  Also Jimmy Buffett owns and flies one, or at least he use to. Yikes I take that back Buffett has a Albatross and a Goose.

Next up we have a series of British fighter/bombers.  I'm not up on my British planes, but I'm glad to see them included in the set.











Of course the one British fighter I know is this guy, the Spitfire.

I was also pleased to see that the set included enemy aircraft, although none of the larger bombers.





And of course if you're going to have enemy warbirds you should include a Japanese Zero.




And there you go.  Wow that's a lot of cards. I hope you enjoyed the show.  I've been contemplating going after the other sets, but to be honest I think I found the best one.