Sunday, June 18, 2017

Old School Box Break: 1991-92 Upper Deck Basketball

I know I know.."junk wax" but this is a box I've always wanted to open some day just because of what it meant to me back in the day when I first started collecting. I started collecting basketball cards in 91-92 and bought so much Hoops and Fleer with the occassional Skybox thrown in too, but Upper Deck? It was THE card set of that year, fueled by the best rookie cards of Larry Johnson and Dikembe Mutombo. As a kid, I don't remember even seeing much of this product anywhere much less getting myself to pay so much for 1 pack of cards (when packs of Hoops were like 50 cents). I might have opened 1 or 2 packs ever of this stuff (I know for sure 1 pack). Since today is the 1 year anniversary of me being back in the hobby after a 5 year break, I thought it would be cool to finally cross this off the list. For $8, the memories alone are worth it to me. Back to a time where there were no serial numbered cards, no SP's, no Game Used Cards, to a time when you bought boxes to complete sets...where even common player base cards meant something and weren't just treated as filler. A simpler time that sometimes I miss.

Rookies of Note
Dikembe Mutombo
Stacey Augmon
Terrell Brandon
Steve Smith

Award Winner Holograms

Detlef Schrempf (X2)

Overall Thoughts: Obviously this break was purely for nostalgic purposes as these were the cards I would buy when I was in 2nd grade. Before this, the earliest old school box break I had done recently was 96-97 Topps Series 2, which I was in 7th grade when those were released, so to open a product from the year that started it all for me was pretty damn cool. The names brought back a smile to my face. Now it's not all sunshine and smiles. Honestly, 8 year old me would have probably been SUPER frustrated with the collation (of course 8 year old me wouldn't have known that term and would've been angry and said "I keep getting REPEATS..AND TRIPLES...AND 4 CARDS OF THE SAME PLAYER). Honestly I complain about Panini's collation problems but here we are some 26 years earlier and this box took the cake. With 36 packs in a box and I only pulled two insert cards (not that there are many to pull, I believe for regular packs it's just Award Winning Holograms and Jerry West Heroes) and the Detlef Schrempf Award Winners Hologram is literally the worst of the small 9 card set..and I pulled 2! Hilariously and ironically..I distinctly remember out of the couple of packs I opened of this..I pulled guess it Detlef Schrempf 26 years later..and it's the only Hologram I've ever pulled lol. My main goal was to pull the Dikembe and LJ rookies, the Team Checklist, Base, and All Star card of MJ and possibly an MJ Award Winning Hologram. Got the Dikembe which was sooo cool. I know it's literally like a .10-.25 card but that card was SUPER hot back in the day and it's one of the cheap white whales I always wanted to own but just never did until now. I really wanted to pull the LJ too but no avail which is disappointing considering the collation issues. All in all though a fun trip down memory lane and well worth the 8 bucks and time sorting it all out. Sorry for the long read about such a boring product and just in case you want a trip down memory lane yourself, here's some pics of the cards I pulled.


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 16-17 Donruss Optic Jaylen Brown Rookie Signatures
#3- 16-17 Donruss Optic Larry Bird The Champ Is Here Gold Holo (#4/10)
#4- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#5- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Celebrating My 1 Year Anniversary of Coming Back To The Hobby

 photo 20160617_172629_zpsvvxpdqvq.jpg 
Last Summer after a 5 year hiatus from the hobby, I all of sudden got that itch again. Once I opened that door again..I knew things would never be the same again and these would be the boxes that restarted it all (had I known how POPULAR Prizm would end up being I would've bought a hell of a lot more than 2 Jumbo Boxes). So here we are, 1 year later, and still in this crazy hobby. I've had my ups and downs in the box breaking department, and though nothing will top my first stint in collecting (too many memories over a 20 year span) I've still enjoyed being back in the hobby and part of me wishes I never quit (especially the part of me that was a MJ/Lebron collector!). Here's to many more years hopefully and more nice pulls and great Ebay Buys!!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Old School Box Break: 99-00 UD Encore

 So here's my most recent Old School Box Break. A box of 99-00 UD Encore. The 99-00 season was one of my favorite seasons ever thanks to Vinsanity. Vince Carter was on FIRE this season and it was the year of his EPIC dunk contest. I also remember really loving this draft class with Elton Brand, Steve Francis, and Shawn Marion leading the way. Decided to take a shot at this since there's always that super slim shot of MJ autographs or memorabilia. The odds are super long but I felt it was worth the gamble.

Basic Set Info
99-00 UD Encore
15 Packs Per Box
6 Cards Per Pack
120 Card Set
30 Rookies Numbered to 1,999

Electric Currents (1:3)
Electric Currents Encore F/X Cards (# to 150)
Jamboree (1:6)
Future Charge (1:6)
Upper Realm (1:6)
Upper Realm Encore F/X (# to 150)
High Definition (1:15)
MJ A Higher Power (1:90)
UD Game Jersey F/X (1:300)
UD Game Jersey F/X Autograph (# to player's jersey)
Michael Jordan Master Collection Redemption Card (1:525,000)
MJ's Final Floor Level 1 Card (1:2500)
MJ's Final Floor Level 2 Signed (# to 23)
MJ's Final Floor Level 3 (1 of 1)

Let's get to it!

Electric Currents (1:3)
Paul Pierce
Shareef Abdur Rahim
Keith Van Horn
Michael Finley
Derek Anderson

Future Charge (1:6)
William Avery
Andre Miller

Upper Realm (1:6)
Vince Carter
Karl Malone
Shaquille O'Neal

Jamboree (1:6)

Karl Malone
Grant Hill
Jason Kidd

High Definition (1:15)
Paul Pierce

Trajan Langdon (#1173/1999)
Evan Eschmeyer (#1708/1999)

Overall Thoughts: Yikes..there's no way to spin this...even by 99-00 standards this was pretty brutal. There's plenty of inserts but they are all at easy odds so nothing really worthwhile there. The rookies were beyond brutal. I was hoping for at least one semi decent pull. I know Game Jerseys are impossible at the time, but I was hoping for at least a F/X Parallel, a MJ Higher Power insert..just something extra. Instead, it was a pretty by the numbers box break. Oh well, win some lose some! Here's some pics


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 16-17 Donruss Optic Jaylen Brown Rookie Signatures
#3- 16-17 Donruss Optic Larry Bird The Champ Is Here Gold Holo (#4/10)
#4- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#5- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)


Sunday, June 11, 2017

Box Break: 2017 Topps WWE

It's time for one of my once in a blue moon box breaks of Wrestling. Thought I'd take a stab at getting an auto of The Undertaker or Goldberg and for $60 bucks felt it was a low risk chance. I typically get bored with these boxes since the inserts are typically bland, but hey, you never know what could be in these packs! Here's what I got

Bronze (1:2)
Leilani Kai
Terri Runnels
Charles Robinson
Mojo Rawley
Eddie Orengo
Shinsuke Nakamura
John Cone
T.J. Perkins
Greg Hamilton
Billie Kay

Silver (1:30)
Tommaso Ciampa (#14/25)

Total Divas (1:2)

#1 (Nikki Bella)
#2 (Brie Bella)
#4 (The Bellas)
#6 (Natalya)
#7 (Nikki Bella)
#9 (Alicia Fox)
#11 (Brie Bella)
#14 (Daniel Bryan)
#16 (The Bellas)
#13 (John Cena)
#17 (Nikki Bella)
#20 (Nikki Bella)

WWE Breaking Ground (1:4)
Tyler Breeze Shares Pointers with Women's Division
Scott Hall
Tyler Breeze Called up To Main Roster
Tyler Breeze Reflects on How Far He's Become
Baron Corbin

Stone Cold Podcast (1:4)
Triple H
Brock Lesnar
Big Show
A.J. Styles
Dean Ambrose
Edge & Christian

John Cena Tribute (1:6)
Card #11 (Wins WWE Championship in a TLC Match)
Card #13 (Defeats Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 23)
Card #18 (Cena Wins I Quit Match Over Orton)
Card #20 (Wins 2010 Raw Elimination Chamber Match for WWE Championship)

Autographs (1:50)
Leilani Kai (#65/99)

Shirt Relics Blue Parallel (1:734)
Xavier Woods (#27/50)

Overall Thoughts: the good thing is a box should get you a complete base set (it did for me). But man, the inserts are just so bland. I mean none of them stand apart outside of the Cena tribute cards. Would it kill Topps to make SOME insert sets a little more tougher and innovative to find? Does anyone card about pulling 1:2 and 1:6 insert cards especially when the Stone Cold Podcast, Total Divas, and Breaking Ground inserts look allllll the same? Although the Xavier Woods is a super tough pull, I don't think it's worth too much and the Kai auto is cool to me as a legend, but definitely probably not the best of box breaks of this. There's just no way though I could break more than 1 box of this. It's way to boring. Once you hit your hits, there's literally nothing to look forward to. I knew what I was getting into, but this is a reason why I rarely break WWE product. Here's a look at some of the cards.


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 16-17 Donruss Optic Jaylen Brown Rookie Signatures
#3- 16-17 Donruss Optic Larry Bird The Champ Is Here Gold Holo (#4/10)
#4- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#5- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Old School Box Breaks: 2002-03 Fleer Premium Basketball Hobby Box

Trying another Fleer box from the 2002-03 season. Again, the allure of game used cards is close to non existent save for patches/logomans, but in 2002, they were still very much in demand, so card companies started cranking them out like regular insert cards. It's crazy how short a time span it went from a game used card being a "holy grail" pull at 1:2500 packs to just a few years later being a 1:6 pack pull. Despite the easier odds, it was still the beginning stages of overproduction so pulling a game used card of a superstar still was considered a big hit here. It's definitely an interesting time seeing right before your eyes the devaluation of the Game Used Card. Anyways, not really anything too earth shattering to pull here. Possibly an MJ Ruby parallel would probably be the best pull in the entire set. Yao, Manu, and Amare rookies can be pulled too and they are numbered to 1,500, with Ruby parallels as well.

Basic Set Info 
84 Base Cards
11 All Rookie Team
15 All NBA Team
30 Premium Rookies (numbered to 1,500)

Emerald Parallels (numbered to 300)
Ruby Parallels (numbered to 100)
Skylines (numbered to 2,500)
Skylines Ruby (numbered to 100)
Prime Time (Numbered to 1,500)
Prime Time Ruby (Numbered to 100)
Premium Power (Numbered to 1,000)
Premium Power Ruby (Numbered to 100)
Triple Threats (Numbered to 250)
Triple Threats Ruby (Numbered to 100)
Prime Time Memorabilia (1:20)
Prime Time Memorabilia Ruby (Numbered to 100)
A Cut Above Memorabilia (1:25)
A Cut Above Memorabilia Ruby (numbered to 100)
Court Collection Memorabilia (1:40)
Court Collection Memorabilia Ruby (numbered to 100)
Premium Gear Memorabilia (1:72)
Premium Gear Memorabilia Ruby (Numbered to 100) 

Here we go!

Michael Jordan Base

Emerald Parallel
Lamond Murray (#127/300)
Wally Szczerbiak (#52/300)
Donyell Marshall (#19/300)
Richard Jefferson (#119/300)

Ruby Parallel

Kwame Brown (#51/100)
Jermaine O'Neal All NBA (#35/100)

Allen Iverson (#384/2500)
Michael Jordan (#1863/2500)
Amare Stoudemire (#64/2500)

Skylines Ruby Parallel
Jared Jeffries (#98/100)

Premium Prospects
Qyntel Woods (#0591/1500)
Chris Wilcox (#737/1500)
Yao Ming Redemption (Arghh..forgot that Fleer would make some of their base rookies REDEMPTIONS..even though it's just a plain ol' card!!)

Premium Power
Chris Webber (#634/1000)

Prime Time
Stephon Marbury (#701/1500)

Prime Time Memorabilia (1:20)

Stephon Marbury Game Worn Shooting Shirt

Court Collection (1:40)
Shawn Marion Game Worn Shorts

A Cut Above (1:25)
Quentin Richardson Game Worn Jersey

Premium Gear (1:72)
Morris Peterson Game Worn Warmups

Overall Thoughts: This would have been a so so break back in 2002-03. Shawn Marion and Stephon Marbury still had some hobby love back then so it was hit and miss with the memorabilia cards. Pulling a serial numbered Jordan insert, a serial numbered Amare Rookie insert and a Yao rookie (still can't believe Fleer couldn't just ya know.....MAKE THE DAMN CARD!!) would've been good. Wish the ruby and emerald parallels would've at least had one superstar player. I'd say a pretty average break for the time, but definitely fun! Here's a look at the hits.


Top 5 Pulls of 2017

#1- 2016 Donruss Optic Gold Vinyl Cam Newton 1/1
#2- 16-17 Donruss Optic Jaylen Brown Rookie Signatures
#3- 16-17 Donruss Optic Larry Bird The Champ Is Here Gold Holo (#4/10)
#4- 2016 Donruss Optic Derrick Henry Rated Rookie Autograph (#43/150)
#5- 2016 Donruss Optic Kenneth Dixon Rated Rookie Holo Autograph   Redemption (# to 99)

Friday, June 9, 2017

Old School Box Breaks: 2002-03 Fleer Platinum Basketball Hobby Box

This is one of the more unique Fleer releases in the early 2000s as they went with the "Old School" Variety by giving collectors a sampling of 3 different pack types (Wax, Jumbo, Rack). There are exclusive rookies in each pack form. There really are no huge hits in this. You get 2 memorabilia cards per box, which back then was the selling point of these, but in today's world...memorabilia cards don't exactly set the world on fire. Nonetheless, I thought this would be a fun break and decided to bust a box. 

Basic Set Info
140 Basic Cards
20 Unsung Heroes
10 Rookies (1:4 Wax Packs, 1:2 Jumbo Packs, 1:1 Rack Pack)
10 Rookies Numbered to 750 (Wax Pack Exclusive)
10 Rookies numbered to 350 (Jumbo Pack Exclusive)
10 Rookies numbered to 250 (Rack Pack Exclusive)

Platinum Finish (# to 100)
Guts and Glory (1:4 Wax, 1:2 Jumbo, 1:1 Rack)
Inside the Playbook (# to 400)
Platinum Portraits (1:14 Wax, 1:8 Jumbo, 1:4 Rack_
Inside the Playbook Jersey (# to 250)
Vince Carter's All Stars Dual Jersey (# to 250)
Platinum Portraits Jersey (1:21 Wax Packs)
Platinum Portraits Patch (# to 100)
Nameplates (Serial Numbered 1:8 Jumbo)
Freshman Fabric (1:2 Rack)

Here we go!!!

I'll list by configuration

Wax Packs

Rookies (1:4)
Dan Dickau
Vincent Yarbrough
Marcus Haislip
Chris Wilcox

Guts and Glory (1:4)
Elton Brand
Richard Jefferson
Ben Wallace
Reggie Miller

Inside the Playbook
Tim Duncan (#356/400)

Platinum Portraits (1:14)
Shane Battier

Platinum Portraits Jersey (1:21)
Dirk Nowtizki


Michael Jordan Base

Rookies (1:2)
Tito Maddox
Mike Dunleavy

Rookies (Jumbo Exclusive)
Rasual Butler (#133/350)

Platinum Portraits (1:8)
Shaquille O'Neal

Guts and Glory (1:2)

Rasheed Wallace

Nameplates Patch

Amare Stoudemire (#274/315)

Rack Pack

Rookies (1:1)

Nikoloz Tskitishvili

Rookies Rack Pack Exclusive
Juan Dixon (#39/250)

Guts and Glory (1:1)

Ben Wallace     

Overall Thoughts: Fun little break. This would've been a great break back in the day, especially the Amare Nameplates patch. Cool to get a Duncan numbered insert too. Rookies were weak, but the best ones are the toughest to get. Here's pics of the hits!