Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Old School Box Break: 1996 SPX Football

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Well, after getting a little fed up with today's current product, both the price of boxes and content, I decided to go a little old school and pick up a box of 1996 SPX Football. Why SPX Football? Well, one it was relatively cheap, and two, the SPX brand was one of my favorite brands of the 90's and I thought it'd be fun to bust a box of something that back then when I was a kid, could only afford a pack or two of at a time. We'll start with a little background history on this product.

Some Background: When Upper Deck came out with it's SPX brand across all sports in 1996, it definitely was a game changer and to me, one of the predecessors to the Super High End cards that we see today. At the time when super premium products were just starting to gain traction (products like SP, Topps Chrome) here came an offering that was an all holographic base set with the kicker being, the packs having one card per pack. This was relatively unheard back then and some people scoffed at paying $5 or more for a 1 card per pack product. I thought it was an awesome concept, and I couldn't wait until Basketball hit the shelves so I could try a pack. I've always been a sucker for Upper Deck's holograms, and that combined with a slick die cut design sold me on the risk of buying a 1 card per pack product. I remember paying $6 for a pack of basketball at my local shop and pulling a Hakeem Olajuwon base. I ended up buying the Penny base at a card show (still have it) because the cards were soooo cool. I never bought football and baseball SPX packs (though I do have a couple Griffeys I bought off Ebay) and the SPX series basically lasted 3 years before evolving into to something else (SPxFinite) but it definitely left a lasting impact on the hobby.

What To Look For: Remember that this is 1996, so the "chase cards" might not seem that awesome 20 years later. To me though, the "chase cards" were the base cards themselves (along with the gold parallel that falls 1 per 7 packs). Remember you only got 1 card a pack, so to me you're chasing the base cards of the superstars of that era. Emmitt Smith, John Elway, Dan Marino, Barry Sanders, etc. There were also two tribute cards that were seeded high, one of Joe Montana and one of Dan Marino. The "biggest" and most hard cards to get are autograph versions of the Marino and Montana, one of the earlier examples of early to mid 90's products having autographs inserted into packs. There's also a HoloFame insert set that falls at 1 in 24 packs. All in all though, the inserts are limited to the 1 per pack format of the set and the key base cards in the set seem to me at the time to be just as "coveted" as chase cards themselves.

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Basic Set Info
1996 SPX
50 Card Base Set
36 Packs Per Box
1 Card Per Pack

Gold Parallel (1:7)
HoloFame (1:24)
Dan Marino Record Breaker (1:91)
Joe Montana Tribute (1:95)
Dan Marino Record Breaker Autograph (1:433)
Joe Montana Tribute Autograph (1:433)

Alrighty...enough typin, time to see what I got!

Notable Base Cards
Emmitt Smith (Cowboys fan so happy about this!)
Shannon Sharpe
Marshall Faulk
Warren Moon
Drew Bledsoe
Tim Brown
Steve Young
Jerry Rice
Joe Montana
Joey Galloway
Isaac Bruce

Gold Parallel
Kerry Collins
Sherman Williams
Ki-Jana Carter
Frank Sanders
Darnay Scott

Holofame Collection

Jerry Rice
John Elway

Overall Thoughts: So much many memories. Seeing guys like Ki-Jana Carter, J.J. Stokes, Tyrone Wheatley brings me back to a time where those were considered "hot players". Huge fan of the set design and the HoloFame cards (which I beat the odds and got 2!) are super nice. This is exactly why I bought this box. The memories and nostalgia alone make it worth it. I pulled an Emmitt Base which makes me happy! This was basically $1 a pack so it was well worth the price of the box. Here's some of the better cards as we stroll down memory lane! 

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Top 5 Pulls of 2017
#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)
#4- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Devontae Booker
#5- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Paul Perkins


Friday, January 13, 2017

Box Breaks: 2 Boxes of 2016 Panini Contenders Football

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One of the most hyped products of the year, Contenders is popular year in and year out, but with Dak and Zeke leading the way this year, this year's offering was as hot as ever. Boxes quickly escalated from $130 a box to nearly $170 a box. I had to give into the hype and bought a couple of boxes at the $130 price (luckily I got mine at still pre sale price). The boxes came in yesterday and I got to open them today and here's what I got.

Box 1

Rookie Of The Year Contenders

Dak Prescott
Joey Bosa
Christian Hackenberg

MVP Contenders

Blake Bortles
A.J Green

Touchdown Tandems
Andrew Luck/T.Y. Hilton

Touchdown Tandems Gold
Eli Manning/Odell Beckham Jr. (#185/199)

Round Numbers
Corey Coleman/Josh Doctson
Jordan Payton/Rashard Higgins

Legendary Contenders
Dan Marino
Barry Sanders

Championship Ticket
Andrew Luck (#83/99)

Digital Contenders Gold Ink Signature
Jalen Richard

250 Panini Rewards Points (absolutely HATE this program and that these stupid things replace a hit)

Rookie Season Ticket Autographs
Vonn Bell

Rookie Playoff Ticket Autographs

David Morgan (#59/199)

Rookie Championship Ticket Autographs

Jonathan Bullard (#56/99)

Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS
Paul Perkins

Box 2

Touchdown Tandems

Tony Romo/Dez Bryant

MVP Contenders

Derek Carr
Todd Gurley

Rookie Of The Year Contenders
Jared Goff
Paul Perkins
Braxton Miller

Round Numbers
DeAndre Washington/Wendell Smallwood
Jordan Payton/Rashard Higgins

Legendary Contenders
Archie Manning
Brett Favre

Playoff Ticket

Tyrod Taylor (#66/249)

Digital Contenders Gold Ink Signature
Tavon Young

Rookie Season Ticket Autographs
Robby Anderson
Johnny Holton
Vonn Bell ( gotta be kidding me)

Rookie Playoff Ticket Autographs

Nick Vannett (#61/99)

Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS
Devontae Booker

Overall Thoughts: Gross...pathetic....frustrating...yeah notice "fun" isn't an adjective I'm using to describe this break. Pardon my language, and honestly, this is all on me, I KNOW how this works, yet I give in anyway, but holy shit does Panini love to BUTTFUCK their customers. Two boxes...two boxes..that's all I opened, and the rookie autograph checklist is absurdly large, full of no name scrubs, and I get the SAME NO NAME SCRUB TWICE...that's inexcusable in my book. On top of that..a shitty Panini Rewards card replaces one of my hits. I bought these boxes for CONTENDERS AUTOGRAPHS..not Panini Rewards Cards..which are by far the biggest crock of shit there is in this hobby. Rewards cards should be bonus hits not replace hits in my opinion. I seriously don't get Panini's rationale..I know they gotta make money and for the billionth time, I understand not every box is a "winner", but when you spend this much on these boxes...just wow. I'm not blaming Panini for the spike in prices (that's not their deal, but THANK GOD I didn't pay $170 a piece for these shits), but even at $130...this stuff is god awful. I got my Optic and Contenders fix now, and I can honestly say this was the last football I'll be breaking in a long while (I don't break football much to begin with, so I know this is a promise I can keep, lol). These breaks are looking more and more like they are going to drive me to just going back to picking up singles and avoiding box breaking altogether, even though that's supposed be part of why I love collecting so much. I just can't keep taking these giant losses on these breaks at the prices I'm paying for this crap. Just beyond disappointed. Here's a look at the cards

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Seems like I forgot to take a picture of the rest of the autos..but I'm NOT going back to do that..ain't worth the time.

Top 5 Pulls of 2017
#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)
#4- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Devontae Booker
#5- 2016 Panini Contenders Rookie Ticket Autographs RPS Paul Perkins

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Maildays of 2017-Zeke Prizms Galore!!

Well, here's the first few maildays I've gotten in 2017.

2016 Prizm Ezekiel Elliott Green Prizm RC
I picked up the regular base version of Zeke's Prizm rookie card towards the end of last year, and I'm a big fan of Prizm Parallels so I decided to chase some of the Zekes. This is the Green Parallel that I believe is exclusive to retail products.

2016 Prizm Ezekiel Elliott Pink Prizm RC's the theme of the break. Another Zeke Parallel, this time the Target Exclusive Pink Parallel.

2016 Prizm Ezekiel Elliott Blue Wave Prizm RC (#87/149) (BGS 9)

All Zeke, all the time. This Blue Wave Parallel is numbered to 149 and graded Mint 9 to boot.

2016 Prizm Ezekiel Elliott Purple Scope Prizm RC (#30/99)

And the last of my Zeke Prizm pickups recently, this is the Purple Scope Prizm numbered to 99.

1993 Topps BlackGold Ken Griffey Jr
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And we'll end this mailday with a sentimental cheap pickup. I was browsing the Blowout Cards Message boards and came across someone who had received a Topps BlackGold Autograph buyback card of Griffey. It was a 1/1 and it looked really sharp with a gold signature. It reminded me of being a kid and wanting ToppsBlackGold cards sooooo bad. I went on Ebay, found this for a dollar and picked it up. I probably overpaid, but that's ok, it's a cool looking card in my book!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

First Box Breaks of 2017: 4 Boxes of 2016 Donruss Optic Football

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So here we go with my first box breaks of 2017. My football breaks have been limited and have been hit or miss for the most part. The last football product I busted was Prizm and that was GOD AWFUL. So this is Donruss Optic, which has caught FIRE recently for two reasons. 1) Collectors are equating it to Panini's version of Topps Chrome. Unlike Prizm, which is basically a standalone brand that has unique design and photography, Optic is a chrome version of Panini's flagship brand Donruss, which is why it's being compared more to Chrome than Prizm was. 2) On Card Rookie Autos. It's the one thing Prizm didn't have. The prices of these have spiked HUGE. I pre ordered my boxes for $75 a pop....they'll now cost you $105 a pop. Unreal, but that's what Zeke and Dak have done to the football market this year. So is it worth $105? Is it even worth it at $75? Here's what I got. 

Box 1

Peyton Manning's Top Targets
Edgerrin James

Peyton Manning Tribute


Gridiron Kings
Luke Kuechly
Devonta Freeman

Legends Of The Fall
Michael Irvin

Legends Of The Fall Blue Holo

Tom Brady (#134/149)


Russell Wilson


Demaryius Thomas

The Rookies
Paul Perkins
Cardale Jones

The Rookies Red Holo
Paxton Lynch (#95/99)

Base Holo
LeSean McCoy
Ameer Abdullah
DeMarco Murray
Todd Gurley
Cody Core RC
Austin Johnson RC
Will Fuller RC
Trevor Davis RC

Aqua Holo

Derek Watt (#175/299)

Orange Holo
David Johnson (#130/199)
Adolphus Washington RC (#57/199)

Blue Holo

Alex Smith (#14/149)

Red Holo
Roberto Aguayo RC (#31/99)

Rated Rookies Autos

Derrick Henry (#43/150)

Box 2

Fans Of The Game

Skylar Astin (WHO?! LOL)

Peyton Manning Tribute

Gridiron Kings
Jameis Winston
Cam Newton

Gridiron Kings Blue Holo
Blake Bortles (#60/149)

The Rookies
Will Fuller
Sterling Shepard

Legends Of The Fall
Kurt Warner

X Factor
Carson Wentz

A.J. Green
Larry Fitzgerald

Base Holo
Alex Smith
Victor Cruz
Justin Forsett
Jameis Winston
Nate Sudfeld RC
Keanu Neal RC
Jacoby Brissett RC
Derrick Henry RC

Aqua Holo
T.J. Green RC (#67/299)
Austin Hooper RC (#154/299)
A.J. Green (#243/299)

Orange Holo
Tyler Boyd RC (#124/199)

Blue Holo
Jordy Nelson (#87/149)

Carolina Blue Holo
Steve Smith Sr. (#41/50)

Rated Rookies Autograph
Braxton Miller Redemption

Box 3

Fans of The Game
Skylar Astin (Again)

X Factor
Carson Wentz (Again)

Peyton Manning Tribute

Legends Of The Fall
Thurman Thomas

Legends Of The Fall Blue Holo
Steve Young (#29/149)

The Rookies
Braxton Miller
C.J. Prosise

The Rookies Blue Holo
Darron Lee (#26/149)

Gridiron Kings
Adrian Peterson
A.J. Green

Joe Haden
DeAndre Hopkins

Base Holo
Doug Martin
Aaron Rodgers
Jeremy Langford
Latavius Murray
Kelvin Taylor RC
Vernon Davis RC
Trevor Davis RC (Again)
Will Fuller RC (Again)

Aqua Holo
Jeremy Hill (#258/299)
Wendeall Smallwood RC (#149/299)

Orange Holo
Sean Davis RC (#40/199)

Blue Holo
Jihad Ward (#33/149)

Rookie Auto Holo
Mackensie Alexander (#43/99)

Rookie Auto Blue Holo
Carl Nassib (#50/75)

Rated Rookie Auto Red Holo

Nick Vannett

Rated Rookie Autograph Holo

Kenneth Dixon (# TO 99)



Pulled a Zeke Base RC too in this box

Box 4

Fans Of The Game

Marisa Miller

Peyton Manning Tribute

Legends Of The Fall
Terrell Davis

X Factor
Doug Martin

Andrew Luck
Kirk Cousins

Gridiron Kings
NaVorro Bowman
Matthew Stafford

Gridiron Kings Red
Matthew Stafford (#33/99)

The Rookies
Leonte Carroo
Malcolm Mitchell

The Rookies Blue Holo

Vernon Hargreaves III (#128/149)

Base Holo
Drew Brees
Doug Baldwin
Chris Ivory
Joe Flacco
Vonn Bell RC
Yannick Ngakoue RC
Ricardo Louis RC
Pharoh Cooper RC

Aqua Holo
Tom Brady (#133/299)
Ricardo Louis RC (#123/299)

Orange Holo
Michael Thomas RC (#67/199)

Red Holo
Brandon Marshall (#96/99)

Carolina Blue Holo
Tyler Ervin (#44/50)

Rated Rookie Auto
Malcolm Mitchell (#92/150)

Overall Thoughts:  So first of all let's talk about the cards themselves. LOVE them...even more than Prizm honestly. I dunno, Chrome is my weakness and these cards look great. All the inserts, parallels, base cards. There is one minor gripe (though I've seen a lot of people say it's a MAJOR gripe for them), the posed Rated Rookie Cards. Using the chrome finish, I wish Panini could've used action shots for these cards, instead of the posed shots they used for their original Donruss set. I know it's supposed to be a direct parallel of Donruss, but it wouldn't have hurt to change up the pics for rookies. I think it would've made the on card auto'd rookies THAT much more awesome. So what do you typically get in a box? You get 10 rookies (which, for the most part, are the lesser known rookies) and 10 rated rookies (this is where you get the main guys like Dak, Zeke, Wentz, Goff Etc) per box. There's 50 of each in the set, plus the vet base set is only 100 cards. You also get 1 auto a box, with hot boxes of 4 autos randomly inserted in cases. I got a hot box, but it wasn't that hot honestly. Also, from what I've seen of hot boxes, most of them aren't. Of course that's going to be the main problem with football sets..the large ass rookie auto checklist. This set has 83 of them....which means with autos falling at 1 per box, there's a solid chance your auto can suck. For me, the autos ranged from average to bad. Getting autos of Derrick Henry, Malcolm Mitchell, and Kenneth Dixon (redemption) isn't TOO terrible. At least they are guys who seem to have some kind of upside. The rest of the graphs were pretty bad though and have little to no value on the secondary market. I was also disappointed to only pull 1 Zeke card and no Dak's out of 4 boxes. Not even a base Dak rookie, or insert. It's funny that I actually did pull a really nice card with a 1/1 Gold Vinyl Cam Newton (Basically Panini's version of a Superfractor, so my 2nd Superfractor pull) and still feel underwhelmed with the break. I think part of it is going to Blowout's message boards and reading box breaks and seeing all the good stuff people are getting. It's really a stupid and petty thing to complain about, I know, but I really wish more people would have the courage to post all their box breaks at Blowout, good and bad, not just the good ones. A lot of people tend not to, maybe embarrassed to plunk down so much money and have little to show for in return, I dunno, but it leads to really skewered results and false confidence in buying products. I post all my break from the very worst to the good ones. It's just when you read the breaks and you see your own break that's underwhelming, you ask yourself.."surely I don't have the worst luck in the world?". Honestly value wise, outside of the Cam (which could possibly recoup my costs of this break if I sell it) I think you can take the 7 autos I pulled from 4 boxes and you probably wouldn't even get the cost of a single box (and that's at the $75 price point). The parallels are either a)not numbered low enough to sell well b)low numbered but not of collectible players so you won't get much from those either. Don't get me wrong, it was a fun break..just finished the break feeling a little underwhelmed. I seriously can't believe I pulled a 1/1 Cam Newton and am sorta complaining lol, but I am. I was hoping at least one of the auto's would be decent enough to carry some weight, but it really doesn't look like that's the case. All in all, this is a very fun product to $75. If you can maybe wait a few months and see if the hype dies down and prices come back down to earth, I would recommend checking out a box or two. At $105 freakin way would I buy box of this. If you ain't hittin Dak or Zeke (or a supertough Gold Vinyl of a superstar player) the value just isn't there at that price point in my opinion. Here's a look at the cards.

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Top 5 Pulls of 2017
#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#3- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)
#4- 2016 Donruss Optic Malcolm Mitchell Rated Rookie Autograph (#92/150)
#5- 2016 Donruss Optic Ezekiel Elliott RC

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Final Maildays of 2016

So I waited until almost everything came in before I posted my last Mailday of 2016. So here's what I got!

96-97 Fleer Total O Michael Jordan BGS 9.5

Don't have many, but this a nice card to pickup before the end of 2016! MJ's are expensive as hell, but I really like the look of this one and it being graded 9.5 to boot is very nice!

15-16 Immaculate Kyrie Irving Patch/Auto #15/60

Actually won this during Kyrie's heroics in the 4th quarter of the Christmas Day game against the Warriors. Nice patch, on card auto, awesome card!

2016 Strata Signatures Ken Griffey Jr. #34/35

Sooooooo stoked I got this in Friday! It was the redemption I pulled from my horrible Strata break last month.  This card is AMAZING looking and is by far one of the best looking cards I own.

15-16 Gala Starring Role Signatures Anfernee Hardaway #30/50

A sweet on card auto of my favorite basketball, Penny Hardaway

96-97 Flair Showcase Row 0 Allen Iverson RC

Flair Showcase Parallels are some of my absolute favorite looking cards so when I saw this AI I had to get it

2008-09 Topps Chrome Russell Westbrook RC

Russell Westbrook is my favorite NBA Player in today's NBA. This guy is unbelievable and is putting eye popping numbers, triple doubles almost every game. As expected, it means his stuff is SUPER EXPENSIVE, but I couldn't resist. I had to get his Topps Chrome Rookie Card to add to my collection. Chrome is always a favorite of mine and even as high as it's gone to, I think it has even more room to grow as Russ continues to be a one man wrecking crew this season.

15-16 Immaculate Sneaker Swatches Karl Anthony Towns #37/39

I love Shoe cards and already have the Penny and Grant Hill in this set. Decided to add KAT as well.

15-16 Prizm Gold Prizm Russell Westbrook #4/10 BGS 9.5

I love Gold Prizms and Russ is my guy, there is no way I wasn't going to win this card. Being graded 9.5 is an added bonus as well.

16/17 Prizm First Step Gold Prizm #6/10 Russell Westbrook

Another Gold Prizm of Russ

2016 Prime Signatures Auto/Patch Ezekiel Elliott #10/15

Being a HUGE Cowboys fan, there was no way I was going to let the year go by without adding a nice Zeke to my collection. Numbered to 15, absolutely love the look of this card. It's a sticker auto..but it works on this card, plus I love the patch on it. Hoping the Cowboys do big things in the playoffs this year!

2015 Panini Prizm Rookie Autographs Green Prizm Jameis Winston RC #4/50 BGS 9.5

Another guy I had been wanting to add an autograph rookie card of Jameis Winston. He was on my fantasy team this year so I saw a lot of his games and he's really developing into a pretty solid QB in only his second year. Again, I love Prizm, and this Green Parallel numbered to 50 was a no brainer to me. Again, the grade is cool.

2016 Panini Prizm Ezekiel Elliott RC
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So all the base rookie cards in Prizm Football have a refractor finish which really make them stand out. Another one of those "have to have" cards for me.

And that'll finish off 2016! Happy New Year's to everyone and here's to a great 2017!