Monday, August 3, 2020

The Card Pyramid

*woke up too early, sits down turns on the laptop, forgets coffee, goes to get the most important part of the morning, goes back to sit. Realizes he didn't turn the laptop actually on, he hit the caps lock button. Actually turns the laptop on, takes a big chug of coffee and seems ready to go*

It's another Monday morning. Which usually is a drag for most folks but I don't mind them. Except when I get up too early, then it becomes a drag. Like today may be.

Even though I ate a very late supper, I am already hungry this morning so I will grab what I call my complete meal.

What's in a complete meal?

Let's see,
First you start with the bottom of the food pyramid with your bread. In this case, it's a lightly toasted blueberry bagel. Which the blueberry part covers the next part of the pyramid with your fruit.

Up next, the greatest stuff known to man, Philadelphia Veggie Cream Cheese. This gives me both my vegetable and my dairy.

So I spread the veggie cream cheese on the blueberry bagel, top it off with Coffee with Hazelnut creamer (the cup I already poured this morning) which covers both the Meat/Nuts part of the pyramid and the sugar part and we have a complete meal.

I also know now what you are thinking as well, isn't veggie cream cheese gross on a fruit flavored bagel? Well, I will tell you not at all. I have also put it on a Cinnamon Raisin before. Don't gag too much before you give it a try!

It may sound like an odd pairing, but sometimes the most oddest pairings bring out the greatest things.

*sips some more coffee, takes a bite of his bagel, then another, and maybe another. Then moves onto the card portion of this post*

Another odd pairing is thinking about football players being featured on anything but a football field. You know what though, it works and it works marvelously.





My recent 1998 Fleer Metal additions tells me this. The Fleer Metal cards for 1996-1998 are some of the most unique base cards out there.

Especially the 1998 ones.

Let's take some football players, put some unique background scenes that is based off from the teams location or name that sound obscure but makes them a masterpiece. Who would have thought this genius idea would pan out and be as popular as it is today still.

There were 200 cards in this base set that featured a ton of great scenes and included a few Hall Of Fame rookies.

Let's take a look at some of my favorite cards in the base set,













Barry Sanders with a Lion, pure cleverness.

The rookies on the other hand, don't have such unique backgrounds but instead are out of this world. I mean literally out of this world.



I know one thing, the Peyton Manning and Randy Moss were nailed perfectly with their play because it was out of this world. Two of the greatest to ever play their positions.

However, Ryan Leaf should be shown with a pile of money in the background for what the Chargers spent on him to be their leader. Or maybe a watermark of Peyton Manning's head to show what could have been. I will let you guys decide on that one.

Football players and unique scenes, looks like a well balanced card to me that would fill up a Card Pyramid.

What's a Card Pyramid you may ask? I can see the expression on your face.

A Card Pyramid is similar to the food pyramid. Each section of a card set, base-insert-hits, has it's own pyramid and then has an all together pyramid to make up a product.

An individual pyramid, such as these Fleer Metal cards, has base design as the bottom, player checklist as the middle and back design for the top. Which the Fleer Metal has a well balanced pyramid. A full Card Pyramid would have three parts to make it well balanced. First would be a great base set, followed by unshakeable inserts then topped off with hits. Being a 90's collector, hits are like the sugar to a food pyramid. Not necessarily needed, but nice to have once in awhile in small portions. Though I may have more sugar and hits then I need sometimes which adds a little bit more padding around the collection/waistline.

*finishes up first bagel, moves onto second then takes a sip of coffee to finish up this post*

The big stack of Metal cards isn't a full set. I am still lacking roughly 30 or so cards to completion. I hope to have these wants posted soon.

In the meantime, give the veggie cream cheese a try on a fruit bagel and hope you have a well balanced meal and card pickup today.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Coffee Break:Outlander Season 4

*Got up way too early this morning, it's going to take some coffee IV to be able to survive today. Pours first of what will be many cups. At least I have an early product to open for getting up early*

Well, good very early morning to everyone! Today I am fortunate to be breaking open the latest release from Cryptozoic four days early! That's right! This product hasn't even been released yet as it comes out on August 5th.

*takes a sip, well two, okay three, then continues on his card banter*

Outlander Season 4 trading cards are here, well almost! This is one of the most highly anticipated releases this year by Cryptozoic of the very popular show time traveling Starz show. They have produced cards for Seasons 1-3 as well.

The show keeps you on the edge of your seat as you follow the story of Claire and Jamie and their time traveling troubles and run ins. I bet this box of cards will keep me on the edge of my seat as well. As with any Cryptozoic release, there are always surprises to find.

*finishes up cup number one, see I told you it's going to be a multiple cup kind of day, pours cup two and can't wait to open this up*

Let's get to ripping this.

Each box of Cryptozoic Outlander Season 4 comes with 24 packs of 5 cards.  You can look for autographs and wardrobe cards, but on average I would say you will find one of each. You will also find a bonus pack with 15 cards in the pack. Boxes of Outlander Season 4 currently sit at $110. I would buy it now while they are low. Seems the trend for this product is for these to go up after awhile.

*another sip*

One thing that always grabs my attention about Cryptozoic products is their high gloss base cards with episodic images of a shows season.
Here is the front of the base set

The back of the base card.

There are 72 cards in the base set and one box usually gives you the whole set. I haven't seen too many times where this wasn't the case. This box provided me with the full set.

It seems Cryptozoic continues to build upon more parallels for their products recently.

Here are the parallels that you can find for the base set, Canvas Stock, Gold Foil, Red Foil /50, and Printing Plates 1/1.
These are the canvas parallels. I think you can see some of the canvas appeal from my pics. If not, hold on, I have a better shot of one coming up.

This is the gold foil parallels. It's a touch of gold foil on the bottom border of the base card.

I didn't find any numbered red parallels in this break.

*takes his first shot of the second cup, then moves onto chase/insert cards*

The chase/insert sets in Outlander also have parallels.

You can find the following, Canvas Stock, Gold Foil, Red Foil /50, and Printing Plates 1/1.
Here are the Character Chase cards. These fall 1:3 packs and have 9 cards in the set to collect. Lookie here, I have the set!

I also found a canvas Character parallel. As I told you earlier, hold on I will have a better close up picture of the canvas parallels. You can really see it here.

Father and Daughter is the next insert I found. there is no better bond than a father and daughter. These fall 1:3 packs and have nine in the set to collect as well.

 Canvas parallel of Father and Daughter.

 Frasers Ridge falls 1:3 packs and also has nine cards in the set. Another one down!

Puzzle cards are the toughest to find of the chase/inserts. They fall at a tougher 1:6 rate and you wont' find all nine cards. So you will have to make the choice of buying another box (I mean who doesn't like to rip) or pick up the ones missing on eBay.

*takes another sip or two. Okay, I will admit, it's always three or more. Then continues on to rest of this break*

Okay, we have seen the base, the parallels and the chase inserts. Now we are moving onto the bonus pack of the box. The Playing Cards.
There are 15 of these playing cards in this pack and I can't wait to open them and see what these look like.

Okay, these are really stinkin' cool. I would definitely collect a set that looks this good. There are 54 of these in the set to collect and also some gold parallels.

*finishes up cup number two, didn't realize how hot the next cup was going to be or how hot this box was going to turn out*

Now we have reached the hits stage. On average, as I said, there will be one wardrobe and one autograph but this box was pretty hot as it doubled the average amount of hits.
Single wardrobe of Tim Downie as Govenor Tryon. There are 30 single relics to collect.

Dual wardrobe find! There are 13 of these to chase and they fall 1:48 packs. This one is numbered to 150!

Then onto my one-per-box on card, yes ON CARD, ,autograph. This one is of Ed Speleers who plays as Stephen Bonnet.

This is the overall autograph checklist of 18 signers
  • AK Ajuawak Kapashesit as Raven of Keowee
  • BC Braeden Clarke as Kaheroton
  • CO Caitlin O’Ryan as Lizzie Wemyss
  • CM Colin McFarlane as Ulysses
  • FC James Barriscale as Farquard Campbell
  • FE Flint Eagle as Tskili Yona
  • GS Grant Stott as Captain Freeman
  • KR Kyle Rees as John Quincy Myers
  • LW Lee Boardman as Lieutenant Wolff
  • MG Melanie Gray as Margaret Tryon
  • NS Natalie Simpson as Phaedre
  • SH Simon Harrison as George Washington
  • SM Sera-Lys McArthur as Johiehon
  • TC Tantoo Cardinal as Adawehi
  • TD Tim Downie as Governor Tryon
  • TJ Tom Jackson as Tehwahsehkwe
  • UR Urs Rechn as Gerhard Mueller
  • YT Yan Tual as Father Alexandre
 And out of the blue came this in the final few packs....
Father and Daughter 1/1 printing plate!! WOOOOOOOO!

*burned my tongue on the coffee and my hands from this hot box!*

That was a lot of fun and worth waking up early for. As with most breaks I have done of Cryptozoic products, there are always surprises such as extra hits, parallels you didn't know about, etc. They always put out a great product and don't normally leave you disappointed.

So if you're a fan of Outlander, this one is for you!

Also if you are interested in the overall checklist, you can find that HERE.

Ratings (ratings based on 1-5 🍵)

Design 🍵🍵🍵🍵
Photography 🍵🍵🍵🍵🍵
Inserts 🍵🍵🍵
Hits 🍵🍵 🍵🍵🍵
Price 🍵🍵🍵
Value 🍵🍵🍵🍵

Friday, July 31, 2020

Coffee Break:2020 Topps Series 2 Baseball Blaster Box

*sits down with a cup in hand of fresh brew, well it's actually his wife's cup but it's the biggest one in the house so it will due even though it says sisters on it. But with lack of sleep, the big cup is needed*

You wanna know what's hotter than my first cup of coffee? Topps Series 2 that is!

This stuff is flying off of the shelves!! Mainly because of one card on the base checklist that everyone wants in Luis Robert. The problem is, it's really hard to find any at least in the retail level. I prefer retail over hobby when it comes to flagship as you pay $20 for a blaster with one hit or $90 for a hobby box with one hit and most of the time the hit from the blaster (though manufactured) will be better than the hobby one color swatch.

So my father was texting me what was new from Walmart and mentioned Series 2 and how the distributor must had just filled the shelves because they were empty the prior day. So I told him to grab me a blaster and I would trade for it. I sometimes look back and wonder if I should had grabbed two.

And I did trade for it. Luckily for me he needed a 2011 Topps Chrome Cam Newton rookie for his rookie collection, those things have gone up since he became a Patriot, and I had three to spare so it was a win-win for me.

So he shipped it a few days later and it took a few days to arrive even though we are only one state away from each other. The USPS system right now is in a weird place. Fortunately I haven't had to ship much this year with my trading being down.

With it in hand right now finally, this mornings cup of coffee will go great with this break of 2020 Topps Series 2 baseball.

*takes a sip, begins to rip!*

This box was pretty heavy when it arrived. I was quite impressed for a retail box of 7 packs on how heavy it was. I also hope I don't get caught ripping this right now, it says for Ages 6+ and sometimes I may act or say things below that age. So please don't tattle on me.

In each blaster box of 2020 Topps Series 2, you will find 7 packs of 14 cards with a variety of parallels and inserts to chase. Each blaster also comes with 1 Player Medallion and is $20 a box.

The base set as always picks up where Series 1 ended. This time with a brand new 350 cards to chase. It includes players that were not in Series 1 and of course the hottest card out there right now in Robert. I was happy just to find a couple of Yanks for the PC.

(I assume this is another subset but it caught my eye)

Being a rookie card collector, I was excited to add six more rookies to the PC. But,  I will admit, I got halfway excited when I saw a White Sox in the corner only to find out it was Danny Mendick. Sorry Danny, didn't mean to hurt your feelings.

So if you're wondering and thinking I hid a Robert to post next, nope the wait is over, there was no Robert in this blaster. (seems like everyone but me has one)

 *takes another sip of coffee. Darn this is hitting the spot this morning*

Just like with Series 1, Series 2 has an array of parallels to find. Most at the hobby level but I have seen some surprises in retail before.

This is what you are looking for, Rainbow Foil , Gold Foil, Gold /2020, Advanced Stat /300, Vintage /99, Independence /76, Black /69, Mother's Day Hot Pink /50, Father's Day Blue /50, Memorial Day Camo /25, Platinum 1/1, and Printing Plates 1/1.
Usually in years past, you pull a couple of golds and a couple of Rainbow Foils but this was the only parallel I landed in this box at 1:10 odds. I like the added toughness to the chase and believe this is the first time in a long time I didn't pull a gold.

The inserts have their own parallels as well with Blue, Black /299, Gold /50, Red /10, and Platinum 1/1 to find.
1985 insert that seem to be a staple in this product since 1985, fall 1:4 packs. I could really do without these anymore. This time around there is 100 of these to collect. Wowzahs.

Empire State award winner Pete Alonso set only available in Walmart retail. There are 30 to collect. If you are wanting the Fernando Tatis Jr versions, they are limited to Target retail.

I have had my run on these Turkey Reds as well. These are a retail exclusive with 100 of them to chase. They seemed plentiful in my blaster compared to other inserts.

Same with the Chromed version, except they have refractors. Not sure I could get tired of refractors.

Decades Best makes another return this time with another 100 cards to collect. I do enjoy the design on these however.

And finally, I pulled this Player Of The Decade Mike Trout. It's a Trout dedicated set of 25 cards, though I think 27 cards should have been the number. Congrats to Mike by the way who just left on Paternity Leave.

All I know is that the face of MLB, yes you know it's true, will be missed until he returns.

*finishes up first cup, decides to wait on a second cup and finish up this post*

Okay, so we have reached that exciting moment as we have reached the Player Medallion card. I have seen these posted on Twitter so they look really cool.
What I didn't know was how much they weighed. It was the reason why the blaster was so heavy. Maybe I should do some wrist curls with it to strengthen my wrists and fingers for typing before I move on.

*one up, two up, three up, four up, five getting tired up, six barely making it up, sev......ten. Good enough* 

Same goes with my pushups and curl ups with my counting.

The player medallion checklist is pretty deep so you never know who you will pull with 50 cards to choose from

 But was pretty solid with this one. Can't go wrong with some Bo Bichette.

And come to find out, it was a black parallel /199. Must have to do with the darker color on the front. I wouldn't have known if I didn't look at the back and then looked up if they included parallels.

Overall they have Black /199, Gold /50, Red /10, and Platinum 1/1.

*decided to make breakfast first anyways, Asiago bagel toasting and fresh cup of coffee next to me awaiting it's partner in crime*

I was pretty pleased with my break overall. The only thing I want left from Series 2 is the Robert for my rookie card collection and may seek that out via trade instead of busting more. But, you never know with this blogger.

That's of course if I can find anymore of it as well.

Ratings (ratings based on 1-5 🍵)

Design 🍵🍵
Photography 🍵🍵🍵
Inserts 🍵🍵
Hits 🍵🍵
Price 🍵🍵🍵
Value 🍵🍵