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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Perfect Blaster - 2014 Allen & Ginter

It finally happened.
After years of ripping blasters I finally got the Perfect one.
This one right here:

Don't misunderstand me here, there are many different varieties of Perfect. If I got an entire Braves team set with inserts out of a blaster that would be perfect. A blaster of all short prints would be pretty perfect. Getting a relic or auto in every pack would be kinda perfect too. A box that was accidentally filled with Hobby packs that had Rip cards and 1/1 minis in them would fit the perfect bill. The whole box being crammed with loose mini inserts would qualify as perfect. A blaster containing a thick wad of $100 bills and a baggie of blue crystals would be perfect as long as Walter or the cops didn't find you. For purposes of this exercise, a Perfect Blaster will be defined as the best possible outcome for the contents of an everyday garden variety blaster that did not contain weirdness or shenanigans.

I haven't done a proper Ginter box break in a long time and I miss posting all the packaging and boolsheet so I'm gonna inflict you with some extra scans before I show you the goods.

Horizontal box front is artistic, Vertical box front is pure capitalism. We got the price, we got the licensees, we got the security warning, we got the age suggestion (who gives their 5 year old a blaster of Ginter), we got the #social #media bugs, we got a handful of mini card examples to show off the wares even though two-thirds of them don't have a chance of being in this box. The probability that I cut the Cabrera mini off the box and put it in my Ginter binder is high.

NPN means no purchase necessary and I mean to hold them to this promise. Everybody go mail in a 3x5 card and get free cards even though I'm the one who bought the blaster. Get those free cards from Topps! FIGHT THE POWER

Here's the wrapper. Very simple design that incorporates the generic 1800's era ballplayer art and the overly elaborate type font used in the card design. It ain't no Old Planter, but it's acceptable. The EXCLUSIVE MLB TRADING CARD LOGO plopped right in the middle is quite gauche. Packs with an Insert (read: humongous mojo hit) can gobble up one to four precious base cards. Suck it, set collectors. Once again, the pack is made of that silky smooth stuff that they make Heritage packs out of that makes @Thorzul's nether regions tingle.


Not on the box,

and not on the pack! Just don't tell me! I don't wanna know how hard it is to get a Pop Star Relic Book!

Here's what ya actually need to know:
  • There are 5 (FIVE!!!) full sized insert sets, they drop 1:2 packs. 
  • There's ANOTHER full sized insert set, these are retail only and fall 1:6 packs.
  • Oh yeah, there's yet another full sized insert set, this is the one with baseball players which has 100 non-numbered subjects for ease of collecting and they hit 1:2 packs.
  • Minis! There are all kinds of friggin parallels and you're sure to get at least a couple in a blaster, sucks for you if you want a base mini set lol
  • Mini inserts! There's 6 (SIX!!!!!) of these insert sets and they all combine to hit 1:5 packs. 
  • Oh yeah, there's also two more mini insert sets I think (now there's EIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!) that hit 1:288 packs that may or may not be retail exclusive I really don't know. 
  • And I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that there are Hobby exclusive mini inserts too and I really really like doughnuts.
  • Oh yeah there's a bunch of relics and autos but you won't get any of those and anyway they've Gypsy Queened most of the relics which really sucks because this product is all about those frames. 
  • Last and most importantly, Short Prints are still 1:2 packs, Thank Goodness.

Make sure you examine those odds closely kids, you never know where a Ginter Code clue will pop up!

That's enough nonsense (and besides I'm bitter that I don't have a box-topper to open) so let's move onto the base cards, shall we?

Let's start off the perfect box with six - count 'em - six legit Hall of Famers. 

How about another Hall of Famer? Horizontal edition.

Awww, why not? ANOTHER Hall of Famer! Different sport edition! This card alone makes this box a winner.

They can't all be Hall of Famers, folks.
Well, unless it's a Hall of Fame themed set like Panini Cooperstown or something. This ain't that.

This is Batting Stance Guy...? I don't even know. Ginter has a quirky quota and this dude fits the bill.


Is Omar Vizquel still a stealth Hall of Fame candidate or have the Stat Geeks sharpened their knives and carved him up already.
Actually with all the asshole BBWAA voters out there Babe Ruth would be a stealth Hall of Fame candidate if he was on the ballot right now. "I JUST DON'T TRUST HIS NUMBERS EVERYONE KNOWS HOT DOGS AND BEER IS A PED"

The obligatory Ginter Bat Pose.

King Felix with the visible Neck Tattoo.

I don't know who this guy is either but I like the trucker hat, bitchin mullet and wrestling pose.

Now I don't have to pay a RC logo tax to my local card shop for these commons just because of that stupid icon on the card.

Base cards not pictured:
Jedd Gyorko
Shelby Miller
Tyler Skaggs
Diana Nyad
Hiroki Kuroka
Jeff Locke
Doug Fister

Even a Perfect box has common cards.What make these cards perfect is this:


I need ALL these suckas for my set. Granted, I haven't bought much of this product but I've gotten doubles out of my first two packs of the year out of Ginter before. Simply getting only cards you need is a Perfect box by set collector standards. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE

Short prints! And I need all these too! Got another Hall of Famer and a moose. Also the obligatory "What the actual fuck is that picture supposed to be???" card that has become a staple of Allen & Ginter sets. Seriously how does that picture represent a polar vortex what the hell is that mess

Set collecting's over. time for the


Let us look at the fun parallels and chase sets that consist of about a third of the cards in the box. Remember in 1994 when we thought Fleer's one insert per pack was madness, sheer MADNESS? How far we've come in that time.

Not gonna lie. I love, no, I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this insert set with it's weird chalkboard design. I think black bordered cards are the #2 cardboard aphrodisiac after shiiiiiiiiiiny for giving collectors that fluttery feeling in their tummy. These things look cool and the four I got out of this box are legit A-List Hall of Famers to boot. Assuming Randy Johnson gets in. Everyone knows height is a PED.

Everything perfect has to have a flaw, and this is the flaw in my Perfect blaster. I would have preferred to get cards from four different insert sets out of the box (since there are five of 'em) but World Capitals ganged up on me. I love World Cup Soccer and Pokemon, so I'm happy with Brasilia and Tokyo.

Giant boulders look like big ol poopies! lololololololololol
You gotta let your inner child come out to play every once in a while, especially when you're opening up packs of baseball cards.

Planes are fun.

This set seems to have as much to do with coincidences as Alanis Morrissette's song had to do with irony but it works very well as a "Weird Shit That Happened That's Kinda Cool" set and I'm always happy to see one of those in Ginter.

There's the inserts, time for the m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-minis!

And these minis kicked ass.

Base minis: SNOOP! and the guy who ruined catching for everyone. Remember when catchers could get away with just calling a good game, throw out some runners and hit a few dingers every once in a while? Dangit Johnny, you made everyone look bad. Snoop's the best even when he's doing reggae side projects. Gotta get that Lion in the mini FrankenSet somewhere even though I technically finished it already.

SP mini: ELVIS. I have a soft spot for Elvis since he's an old Braves farmhand and he didn't make us feel worse about the Teixeira trade by winning a World Series.

A&G minis: Hall of Famers ALL DAY in this box. Joe still annoys the crap out of me even though he's not hurting my ears anymore. Jim Palmer I like as long as he's wearing pants.

Black? kinda border thing with lines... and little squares... in groups of three... for some reason... mini: Pedro! Another Hall of Famer, probably. Also this card should not be horizontal. Horizontal minis kinda suck. You can't tell me that picture wouldn't have worked better with a vertical card.

Insert minis: Got one of the 1:5 Larger than Life cards of William Tell (with bonus photo ganked off of Wikipedia yisss) and a one in 36 blaster mini of some kind of horse lizard. With these Ginter mini inserts, I try to just focus on getting a type set of them all and I did not have cards from either of these sets. I like William Tell too, he's got a cool overture.

Wasn't that a nice little box of Ginter? No doubles, lots of good inserts and a short printed lizard and OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT




no it's not waffles what's wrong with you Brian  




Every year there is a non-sport 'hit' card that I really want (WHEREFORE ART THOU ABE VIGODA) and I never get it because I have no chance of pulling it out of a pack and I can never find it when scrounging around the local shops. Welp, I hit it this time. I got the Silent Bob relic card. Hockey sweater even! NOSTALGIA'D RIGHT IN THE COLLEGE.

God bless you Kevin Smith for your goofy overly talky and somewhat awkward comedies that are really cool or totally lame depending on which way the wind is blowing in Hipsterville at the moment but are fun to watch anyway. And God bless Jay too, I need a little shred off one of his shirts now for the complete set YOU BETTER DELIVER IN 2015 TOPPS DO YOU HEAR ME.

Yes I made a whole lot of fuss about a $5 relic card  but dammit when you're scraping by hoping you can snag a blaster every couple of weeks when you get paid you gotta celebrate such an unambiguous win as this blaster was for me. Was this your perfect blaster? Probably not. You've already opened a box or a case or aren't even collecting this set and you have all these cards anyway and JEEZ this set is so bloated and Kevin's reality show is kinda dumb and it isn't even a framed relic SERIOUSLY. That's fine, you go open your perfect blaster. This one is mine and for a brief shining moment this hobby made me very happy. Which is how it's supposed to work, right?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Joy of a Completed Team Set - 1990 Topps

Equal parts joy and frustration in this one as after searching forever for a %E^@#&!! Tyler Houston rookie card I finally had to bite the bullet and buy it from the dude at the flea market who prices all his stuff according to his 1993 Beckett with Mike Piazza on the cover. A buck and a quarter for a Tyler Houston rookie! Egads! I'm not even all that crazy about 1990 Topps although at least the design is interesting unlike most of the other sets that came out that year. The set is also intriguing because you can see the Championship team slowly starting to gel together after years of dismalness in the late '80s. You can see all the pieces coming into place especially with the Traded cards and the probably mostly incomplete Pro Debut cards I threw on the sheet for the hell of it. Two Hall of Famers, two more potential Hall of Famers and Mark Lemke. Not bad for a team set from the Dismal years.

Hope you enjoy the Joy of a Completed X posts 'cuz I got a lot more where that came from.
(and not much else, sadly)