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 🍵🍵

Thursday, July 30, 2020


*sits down with first cup of coffee in front of the keyboard after sleeping in til 7:15 for the first time in almost 20 years, feels great and ready to go. Let's start the day in style*

Good morning coffee lovers! Collectors, you too!

*toasting my mug to you, holds it for a second waiting to hear an invisible clang because you return toasted*

I gotta admit something to you today, I am easily influenced. Not in a bad way. If I saw you shove your hand up a bees nest because Winnie The Pooh could, I won't do that. Or if you were to lick a toilet seat to prove to the government a virus is a hoax, I won't do that either. Or if you added laxatives to your water bottle to help with your diet and exercise and get yourself to runs, sorry run, more, I won't do that either. Now I am starting to sound like Meatloaf (the singer not the scrumptious piece of meat covered in my special topping).

On the other hand, if my spouse tells me to try an un-coffee drink from Dunkin' because its what she has been drinking, I will try it because it's your spouse and there should be some trust there. Though you may question it because everything you have really ever had from Dunkin' has been in coffee form. So this could lead to trust issues later on.
Fortunately for her, she was right. This pineapple drink (I don't know the technical name for it) was delicious and made a great mid morning drink. Could I picture myself waking up to this? Nah. It was good, but I need that aroma of coffee in my house in the morning when I wake up. Then that nice first hot sip, especially in the winters here.

*takes one of those warm sips, then moves on to discuss cardboard*

One of the easier things I am influenced by is cardboard. And I mean easily influenced.

All across the card world, I spy either a card I forgot I wanted to once, a new card release I want a card or cards from or as in today's case, a card I never knew existed but knew I had to have.

I can't remember who posted it on Twitter, but someone tweeted out a  1991-1992 NBA Hoops Will Smith "rookie card" and being the 90's nostalgic loving freak I am, I sought it out.

For $1.50 each and .50 shipping total, I landed both copies in the set. This is the first card of the two and you can tell by the design, it's totally 90's and I am totally in awe. This is Bodacious!

Back of the first card

If I was to pick the true rookie between the two cards, it would be the first. The second one is more like the team photo subset.

Speaking of that second card,
This one features Will Smith joined by a group of students who had perfect attendance as apart of Stay In School promotion.

Back of the card gives more details on that.

I have been a Will Smith fan starting with The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, adding these unknown made cards were solid additions to my non sport PC and I believe are my first Smith cards to my collection.

Also taking a look at these made me remember how much cards were used for promotions/ads like this and things like Don't Do Drugs, etc. It may not hurt a card company today to do something similar today with so much going on. Of course, I would put it in a kid-type product. I don't think too many would be happy to find a cards like these in National Treasures.

*takes another sip, hopes they don't ever create one that says "don't drink coffee". Then takes a bigger sip just in case*

This isn't the first time I have been easily influenced by cardboard, every day I find myself wanting something, then something else and something even more. The thing is and it's a hard realization, you simply just can't have it all. There is too much out there. Just pick and choose which ones mean more to you which once again is a battle in itself.

I have also learned that lesson the tough way with non cardboard and when I think about which coffee creamers I want to try. Just because I am influenced by something new and the word Snickers on the bottle, doesn't mean it's going to be good. Believe me, it's not. Choose wisely folks.

*another sip of non Snickers flavored coffee, now breakfast time*

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Coffee Break:2020 Luminance Football

*pours himself a cup of coffee, finds a bug floating in it, holds back not wanting coffee, dumps out first cup, grabs a new cup and nothing floating. All is good, let's get to blogging*

Last year I was able to break open a box of Panini's newest line of football line in Luminance and I was hoping to be able to repeat that this year.

Of course it will be hard to top my big pull last year in a Saquon Barkley autograph /75, but I am hoping for the best.

This years product from previews looked pretty much like it had stayed on task in comparison to last years product so I will be curious if there is any new kinks added or changes to this years product.

So sit down, grab that fresh cup of coffee and enjoy another Coffee Break with me.

Every hobby box of 2020 Luminance football comes with 4 packs per box with 10 cards per pack. Boxes come with 3 autographs and 1 memorabilia card. Boxes are roughly $210 right now. With the high price, only 40 cards per box, you are hoping there is something decent to be found.

This years base set is built up of 200 cards. 100 rookies and 100 veterans. Within that 100 veterans includes players with their updated teams like one of the biggest ones in....
Tom Brady as a Buc. It's his first card as a Buccaneer. This will take awhile to get used to.

The design is almost a clone to last years look with the rough surface, photography and no border look.

Same goes for the back. I am not too much of a fan of the way the stats are designed. Maybe it's just my hobby OCD.

I wanted to show off a couple other base so you get an idea of what kind of photography that Panini used.

I like the Jackson one.

I also pulled my first Austin Mack rookie base for the Giants undrafted free agent rookie snag.
The rookie cards feature players still in their college uniforms

While the backs tell us which teams they are on. I do like that a lot. First product of the year that offers this information.

I will say though, finding the top rookies are not easy. My best rookie pull was Jalen Hurts from this box.

*takes another sip of coffee, thinks about the Giants offense with Jones, Barkley, Lewis, Shepard, Tate, Slayton, Mack, Engram, and a new oline. Smiles, then continues onto the parallels*

There are two different forms of parallels in this product. One for veterans, one for rookies. Here is what you will be looking for,

Base Parallels: Gold /299, Blue /99, Green /75, Orange /50, Red /25, Pink /10, and Platinum 1/1.
Rookie Parallels: Gold /250, Blue /99, Green /75, Orange /50, Red /25, Pink /10, and Platinum 1/1.
 Green rookie /75

 Orange /50

Gold rookie /250

Gold veterans /299

*sneaks in another sip, continues on*

The inserts I wasn't overly impressed with last year, but this year, much different story. The designs and color schemes pop off of the card.

Inserts include the following parallels, Orange /100, Green /10, and Platinum 1/1.
Dynamic CeeDee Lamb. Honestly, I am hoping he isn't Dynamic #GiantsPride. There are 20 of these to collect including rookies and veterans.

Flash. There are 20 of these to collect as well that includes veterans and legends of the game. I really like the look as if cameras are taking the pictures of the featured players.

Light Speed. Faster than a speeding McCaffrey. Featured player in the front moving at Lightspeed to the blurred players in the background, well done. There are 20 cards of these as well in the product.

And finally, Lights Out. By far, my favorite of the group. These look so, so good. I was hoping that Jones or Barkley were in this set to chase, but they aren't. At least LT is in here and I will need that without a doubt.

*stops to drink more coffee and grab a bite to eat before taking a look at the hits*

Luminance stays true to itself whether it's base cards, inserts or even hits. You get that feeling throughout the product. I know that sounds weird, but some products look differently at their different levels.
My first hit was this Cris Carter Vintage Materials relic. Not too shabby. I always felt he was underrated.

Oh my goodness!! What a hit a Lamar....oh hold on......yeah, different Lamar Jackson. I find the back of the card numbering odd on these. They are the same card numbers as the rookie cards in the base set. Usually companies will give these different numbers or include these as the rookie cards.

Michael Pittman is my next hit. What an odd autograph.

And finally, some strong brew to end this break, a Spotlight Kyler Murray autograph /25.

*coffee mug still shaking in my hand after that last card. My current appearance looks like someone who was up all night and had too much caffeine*

I once again was impressed with this product. Think even more so this year because of the insert improvements over last year. This box wasn't looking too promising at first then the Kyler came and that changed the entire outcome value wise in here.

If you're looking to take a gamble on an early product for this years rookie class, I say look no further than Luminance.

*done typing, gets up to stretch and grab another cup of coffee before the days chores begin*

Ratings (ratings based on 1-5 🍵)

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

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Coffee Break:2020 Panini Absolute Baseball

*fresh pot of coffee brewing hits my nose senses, not even blocked by the amount of growing nose hairs as I get older, walks out to the kitchen, grabs a cup and gets ready for the next Coffee Break*

I have let it be known across all social media places I post including this blog that I am a fan of Panini baseball products. No logos or not, their stuff is top notch. I know some of you readers have got to agree with me or maybe after a break of this you will.

I am not saying I don't like Topps baseball cards, I do. But, I think it's time for a share of the MLB logo pot. Upper Deck can be tossed in to, but Panini for sure and you will see why.

Today's Coffee Break comes via of their latest baseball product offering in 2020 Absolute baseball.
In every hobby of 2020 Absolute baseball you will find two mini boxes/packs. Each of those comes with 10 cards and each hobby box overall comes with 4 autographs and 2 memorabilia cards for a total of 6 hits. Boxes have dropped some, but started out around $200.

So it's a high end nostalgic brand. Panini baseball products are usually really fair priced so seeing something a tad higher is intriguing.

*takes a sip, then begins to rip. I should make that a Copyrighted saying for here*

The base cards in Absolute have 100 cards in the set and it appears no rookies are on the checklist. That's kinda rough. But there is a nice mix of legends in there so that's a positive.
Base card design

Back of card that features a write up along with stats

and found a legend in my box of the great Joe DiMaggio! The photo on this one is superb. I wonder if rest of the legends are done just as well.

There are two different forms of base card parallels to find in Absolute.

This includes:
Parallel Cards of Silver /199 and Printing Plates 1/1.
Spectrum Parallels of Blue, Red /99, Gold /10, and Black 1/1.

I found two silver parallels in this break /199.

*takes a sip of coffee, remembers the old days of Absolute baseball for a second, then continues on*

The inserts in Absolute also have their own parallels as well. Those include, Blue, Silver /99, Purple /25, and Black 1/1 for each offering.

Rookie Roundup comes with 24 of this years best rookies. Keep in mind I said the base set doesn't have rookies, but they do come in other forms in here. Also before you check yourself, yes, Robert is in this set.

I always like an Unsung heroes insert or base card subset. Those guys like Gio Urshela don't get enough love. Well, 15 of them in this set do.

Introductions has 15 of those young hitting studs of tomorrow from the past years including this guy, Tatis Jr.

20 card offering of Absolute Heroes has players of today and yesterday on it's checklist

*takes another sip, considers looking for a breakfast offering but decides to continue on as he is on a cinnamon roll. Okay, enough with the breakfast thoughts, on a roll with hot butter and to press on...because I am on a roll with sausage and egg in know what, give me a few, I will be back*

We have made it to the hits section of this post. There are a lot of fun offerings in Absolute with many great looking swatches.

Here's a Dylan Cease relic. There wasn't much to this Rookie Materials card but has a solid design.

But this Grip It-N-Rip It card of Ozzie Albies is insanely beautiful. Wow. I believe those are glove swatches.

Jonathan Hernandez autograph jersey card. Solid patch, but I like the overall shine attraction it brings, the card itself is very reminiscent of the 2000's Absolute.

These Rookie Baseball material autographs are actually apart of the base set, but for me, a base set is base cards. So I didn't include them in my base card write up. These are more like hits and not base set finds and yes I am old school like that. First one of these  I pulled was a sad auto by Edwin Rios.  It's like going to a therapist and they hold up that picture and ask you what do you see. You could do that with his signature and I bet you don't see Edwin Rios written in there.

Second was this Brusdar Graterol (try to spell that) that is also a gold parallel (look at the baseball stitching)

I do like the look of cards like these rookie baseball materials, but I really worry about autographs fading over time. I have a few football ones that were signed on faux leather from Panini that have either faded or ran over time. Positive part, these are on card and maybe Panini has found a pen or sharpie to fix that problem.

My final hit was the best of the box, but didn't appear to me in card form just yet.
an Iconic Ink Materials Spectrum Purple card /10 of Barry Larkin but it's a redemption. So going to have to wait this one out.

*finishes up his breakfast, that wasn't anything to do with a roll but delicious regardless. Takes a sip of coffee before finishing up his coffee break*

The price point is a bit steep on this product, but there are some amazing hits to be found so a risk here could pay off. The checklist of hits is loaded with veteran, legend and rookies and with 6 per box, you could be find something very worthy of paying that steep price.

I enjoyed the overall look of the product, especially the hits. And yes, I can ignore the logoless on their helmets. You can't tell me you don't like the look of that Albies especially. There is more hits like that in here especially with the Tools Of The Trade swatches that's a tribute to the older Absolute products.

Before I close, I will also toss this in, there are a lot of people scooping up the retail version of this product and reselling it for a lot. To be honest, I haven't seen much come from those retail boxes. So remember this cautionary tale. Stick with hobby on this one and don't overpay for retail.

*done typing, gets up to stretch and grab another cup of coffee before the days chores begin*

Ratings (ratings based on 1-5 🍵)

Design 🍵🍵🍵🍵(especially the hits)
Photography 🍵
Inserts 🍵🍵
Hits 🍵🍵🍵🍵
Price 🍵🍵
Value 🍵🍵