Sunday, September 29, 2019

Pack Sampling: 1998 Collector's Edge 1st Place

Earlier this year, Andy, from Stadium Fantasium, ran a contest in conjunction with the Rose Bowl. It was a multi-tiered affair, which allowed for multiple winners (these are the best kind of contests IMO). I didn't think that I would do too well, what with the not paying much attention to current sports happenings and all, but it sounded fun, so I entered, and wouldn't you know it... I actually won something!

I don't remember what place I came in, but I did do well enough to get one of the main prizes, as well as two picks from the long list of secondary prizes, one of which was used to get today's pack of 1998 Collector's Edge 1st Place.

I hadn't ever heard of the 1st Place line before, and still don't know anything about it, but I saw "pack" and "Collector's Edge", and that was good enough for me.

1998 saw the big Leaf/Manning draft, so I would imagine that a pack like this could yield plenty of interesting things, although with only six cards in the pack, one has to work a little harder to find said interesting things. From a personal standpoint though, when it comes to a pack like this, I'm just happy with getting the opportunity to open one -- especially since I have never done so before, and the odds are pretty low that I'll ever come across any more.

The first card out of pack... and I've never heard of him! A quick search of the old interwebz tells me that he was drafted by the Oilers in 1990, made a Pro Bowl in '96, and played his final season in 1998, with the Carolina Panthers, which just so happened to be their inaugural season.

Not a hit per se, but I always enjoy coming across Jeff Blake cards. He was one of the few players that I actually tried to keep up with during the 90's, and if he didn't have so many darn cards (well over a thousand), I'd probably actively seek out his cards more often.

The backs certainly have a lot going on, but I like it. The notes here mention Neil O'Donnell's signing, which is a bit funny because, well, you'll see why in a second.

If hadn't been for series of injuries, David LaFleur probably would've been a more familiar name, but as most of us know, things don't always go as planned.

See! The pack told me what was coming #PropheticPack. Unfortunately Neil was stuck to the back of David LaFleur, the results of which can be seen at the top of the image, but no worries...

... because there was another Neil right behind the damaged Neil! It's been long time since I last pulled two of the same card from a pack, I don't really mind it in this instance though, as I was a fan of his, and now I can add the undamaged copy to my team binders.

Woot? This is kind of a weird looking card, to me it would've been a little more visually appealing had the logo been centered properly, the logo being bigger wouldn't have hurt either, but no matter, I'll still be keeping it. Don't know if anyone cares or not, but flipping it over reveals that it's a...

... checklist! Even after a brief search, I still don't know if this is supposed to be an insert, or if it's just part of the set? I did see that COMC has individual cards with this number that feature both the Chiefs logo, and the Seahawks logo, but again, I don't know if that was intentional, or if it's an uncorrected error of some sort.

This wasn't too bad of a pack overall, ended up with three keepers, and had fun opening a pack from a set that was new to me -- can't ask for too much more than that! Many thanks again to Andy, not only for the fun contest, but also for adding this pack to the list of prizes.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

COMC Shuffle #28

Another week, another ten randomly selected cards from last year's COMC Hoard!

1997-98 Upper Deck Teammates #T59
I don't look for MJ inserts very often, and almost never on COMC, but at some point last year I happened upon this one from seller who was looking like they were trying to get out of the COMC game. For around $3, I figured why not? I used to see cards from this set in dime boxes on a fairly regular basis, nowadays I only ever come across Shaq's card (#T25), so I've got like 5 or 6 copies of that one, and maybe 5 or 6 individual cards from the set.

1999-00 Upper Deck HoloGrFX NBA 24/7 AuSOME #N14AU
Know matter how long I live, I will never be able to own enough of the AuSOME parallels, especially those of the 24/7 variety.

2013 Panini Black Friday Panini Collection #20
Panini seemed to have had a brief infatuation with DJ Kool a few years back, it didn't last very long though, I think Biz Markie unintentionally ended up stealing his thunder.

1968 Topps #327
One for the "Telstar four" collection. Also, did Tony Taylor ever age? Judging by his cards, I'd say no... must've stayed away from those cigars that his country his so famous for.

2014-15 Panini Prizm Yellow and Red Mosaic Prizms #28 (x2)
Twin towers?

1999-00 Skybox NBA Hoops Decade Draft Day Dominance #8 DD
Like MJ, I don't look for Kobe inserts very often, but I love me some Hoops Decade, and can't get enough of it's inserts (even the one's that scan poorly), so yeah, Kobe!

2013 Panini Cooperstown Collection Green Crystal Shard #96
The bad thing about deciding not to finish a set that you're pretty far along on, is that you end up having a lot of unwanted cards (like this one), and no idea what to do with them. I did pull out half a dozen or so, but still have a rather large pile to deal with.

2014-15 Panini Prizm Yellow and Red Mosaic Prizms #183
I didn't think it would ever happen, but I've actually to regret a few of my Prizm purchases. I'm just not feeling some of the color combinations anymore, Karl here is a perfect example of that, purple doesn't exactly mesh with red, white, and yellow so well. After going through my current COMC holdings, I found a few more that I'm no longer overly fond of as well, and those have been put back up for sale -- one of which, sold almost immediately right after I relisted it, even made a ten-cent profit on it!

1962 Topps Mars Attacks! #35
I absolutely love the original Mars Attacks! set, but that doesn't make me immune to the fact that most of it's story, and imagery, were pieced together from - or inspired by - other works. This card is really fantastic, but it was clearly inspired by Them!, which is okay, because Them! is awesome, but still... a little bit more originality would've been nice.

2013 Panini Father's Day Progressions - yellow #38
It fitting that the randomizer would choose this card to finish off today's post, as it just so happens to be the final piece of my Chris Kreider Progressions rainbow.

In case you hadn't noticed, today's post isn't so great writing wise, my apologies for that, but this Saturday is one of the bi-annual super mega card shows, and I've been busy trying to align the stars, so that I might be able to go -- which has really taken me out of blog mode, hence this hastily thrown together offering.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Friday, September 20, 2019

COMC Shuffle #27

Another week, another ten randomly selected cards from last year's COMC hoard!

1995 Collector's Edge - EdgeTech Quantum #1
I don't think that I'll ever fully grasp all of the different Collector's Edge inserts/parallels, but since I only buy the cheap stuff, I don't think I really need to know all of the in's and out's, as a lot of it will forever be out of my price range anyway. Also, is it just me, or does Dan not bear a striking resemblance (in the face) to John Madden on this card? I only just now noticed it, and it's kind of weirdin' me out.

2013-14 Panini Prizm Red, White, & Blue Mosaic Prizms #186
I've heard/read plenty of Blazers fans say that the team is better off without LaMarcus, I'm sorry, but those fans don't know what they're talking about. Perfect example: last season's playoffs, they would've been a lot different (i.e. successful) if L.A. had still been around.

2013-14 Panini Prizm Red, White, & Blue Mosaic Prizms #102
Poor T-Rob, finally found a home in Portland, became a fan favorite, then was traded (along with Will Barton) for a guy (Aaron Afflalo) who spent 25 games doing diddly squat... and it's been all downhill for Thomas ever since!

1971 Milk Duds
If one were to look at Jim Hickman's career as a whole, his inclusion into the Milk Duds set might have seemed like an odd one, but if you look at his numbers from the previous season, it's not hard to see why he would've been added to the checklist. Jim had a career year in 1970, .315 BA, 162 hits, 115 RBIs, 32 HRs, all done in 514 at-bats. He also made his only All-Star appearance that year, also finished 8th in MVP voting. Nowadays if somebody had such an anomalous season like that, some sort of monkey business would be suspected, but I don't think people care enough about the past to go around lobbing accusations at a guy who had one really good season almost fifty years ago.

1996-97 Topps Stadium Club Matrix #18
This may look like a run of the mill Matrix, but it's actually one of the uber-rare Dome'z (yes, with a z) parallels. What, you've never heard of Dome'z before? You need to go look 'em up then, because they were totally a real thing, and most weren't just made up three seconds ago by me :)

1933 Goudey #75
One of the best third basemen of his era (THE best according to Chief Bender), Willie Kamm accomplished much during his thirteen year career, certainly more than I could do justice -- I also happen to be putting this post together at the very last moment, so I'll just take lazy way out, and refer you to his SABR page. On the plus side though, I think that his bio on there, written by a fellow called Joseph Wancho, might be one of the better one's that I've seen. As a quick aside, being from Oregon, I'm always interested in learning about any athletes/celebrities who have ties to the state. So I thought it was kind of neat to see that in 1918, a then 18 year-old Willie, briefly worked at, and played for a shipyard league in St. Helens, Oregon. When I have some more time, I'll have to go back and try and find some more info about this brief time in his life.

2015 Panini National Convention VIP Cracked Ice #10
I kind of liked this set back when I got the card, but that like has since worn off, so if anyone's genuinely interested in a #'d to /25 Trey Burke, don't be shy about saying so.

1998-99 Upper Deck Ionix Reciprocal #R17
I just recently opened my ever pack of Ionix (future blog post), and even though I didn't pull any SICCCCCCCCK HITZ, it sure was fun to finally open one after all of these years. If I had some lottery money, I might actually consider buying a box -- but until then, I'm quite content with just picking up the occasional cheap Reciprocal every now and then.

2013-14 Panini Prizm Red, White, & Blue Mosaic Prizms #224
It's really great that DJ has made it into some modern sets, and while I certainly don't mind him being shown as a Celtic, I'd be lying if I said that part of me didn't want to see him as a Sonic. So, what about it, Panini? Next year's Prizm, DJ in his old Sonics gear?

2012 Topps Black #174
I've already professed my love for Nick Barnett's 2012 Topps card in the past, knowing that nobody else feels the same way, I won't go into it again -- but I will say that this black bordered (#'d to /57)version is boss, and I got it for practically nothing, so, yay me!

Oh, and one more thing that I wanted to mention real quick, looks like yesterday was this blog's anniversary -- apparently I've been doing this for four years now! As per usual, thank you to everyone who's ever taken time out of their day to stop by, and a special thanks to everyone who's ever been motivated to leave a comment, without those, I wouldn't be doing this. I'm not gonna make any promises about me doing this for another four years, but I can say that I've got at least another year in me, so...

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A trip to Big Lots pays off big

Seven or eight years ago I was living in Vancouver (WA), and there was a Big Lots right down the road from me, dare I say, the greatest Big Lots store that has ever been.

It wasn't the biggest location, but it was well stocked (unlike most of their locations), and it was always full of people (also unlike most of their locations). Even though there were plenty of other businesses around, including a mall across the street, for all intensive purposes, this particular Big Lots was the place to be.

Most folks seemed to be going there for food items, and other household goods, but not me. No the draw for me was their DVD section, which was stocked on a weekly basis, and because of this, one could find me there on a weekly basis, not surprisingly, on the day that the new shipment of DVD's were put out. It became quite the routine for me, every week is Big Lots, followed by Value Village.

I can't tell you how many DVD's I bought from that store, but I it was a lot, as I rarely walked away empty handed. I would've been completely content to have continued this routine for the rest of my days (especially since Value Village was my absolute favorite place to go), but some genius at the Big Lots corporate offices had to go and muck everything up.

I can remember it like it was yesterday, I stopped in for my weekly visit, and there it was, plastered all over the windows, a big banner that said "Moving sale!". This was quite disheartening, to say the least. I would quickly learn that it was decided by some corporate jackass that they were going to consolidate this location with the much bigger store that was about ten miles away. There wasn't actually much of a sale either, as most of the good stuff just got sent over to the bigger store, and within just a few weeks, my, and everybody else in the area's, beloved location was closed.

Following it's closing, I had very little interest in traveling so far out of my way to go to the "superstore", but eventually I decided to give it a go, and surprise, surprise... it was terrible!

Sure, the location was multiple times bigger, but all of the shelves were half empty, and worst of all (at least for me), the DVD section was the sh*ts. Oh, and you could hear a f*cking pin drop in that place, there was nobody there, it was like being in a crematorium... except less fun :)

I think I ended up going to this giant monstrosity on three separate occasions over the next year or so, things never did seem to improve, and they certainly weren't stocking their DVD shelves on a weekly basis, so there wasn't much reason for me to keep trying to go there.

Fast forward a few years, and life has me moving to Tennessee, rural Tennessee. Almost right after moving here, I found, and went to, a Big Lots that's about twenty minutes away from me, it too sucked. And hasn't improved much over the almost five years that I've been here now. The shelves are rarely stocked, and the DVD section is abysmal, well, that is unless you want to own twelve copies of Borat (I don't even want to own one!).

Because of my history with the store, I hadn't really been on the lookout for any other locations, but I did notice earlier this year that there's a store just a couple of blocks from the Goodwill that I frequent, the only problem is that it's usually not open yet by the time I get out of Goodwill, and I'm not the sort to sit around and wait for somewhere to open. Earlier this year though, I did finally go in there, and it wasn't too bad. Decent amount of stuff, decent amount of Blu-Rays and DVD's, I think I picked up two or three at the time. I had fully intended to go back at some point, but hadn't had much luck in doing so, in fact I didn't go back in until two weeks ago.

I don't know if things have gotten better, or if I just went on the best day possible, because there Blu-Ray/DVD display, which is a four-sided multi-shelf type of set-up, was completely full, there had to be at least 500+ movies there. This certainly was a welcome sight, but was even better was that one whole side was full of clearance items, most of which were half-off. And if that wasn't good enough, they were also running some kind of sale, which I've already forgotten the details of, but it was something like "Buy 1 (or 2), and get the 2nd (or 3rd) half-off". Since I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, it didn't take long for me to start what would end up being a rather long search through everything, and I mean everything, I didn't leave a single case unturned. Thankfully this lengthy search paid off, as I did end up bringing a few things home with me:

The first thing that stood out (besides the fullness of the shelves) once I started looking through everything, was that they had a plethora of foreign films to peruse, especially those of the Asian variety. There was a time when my brother and I were seeing multiple films a week in the theatres, a number of which were foreign, with a decent amount of those being from the martial arts genre. But that was like 15+ years ago, and I really haven't kept up with the genre since then. When it comes to watching martial arts flicks these days, I usually just end up going with 70's kung-fu yarns, or a silly ninja movies from the 80's. That being said, I'm not opposed to the newer stuff, I just don't get a chance to see much of it anymore.

As an aside, I purposely photographed everything in today's post with the price tags showing, just in case anyone was curious about the clearance stuff, although as already mentioned there were other discounts applied to these as well.

I have high hopes for this one, if I hadn't been so busy lately, and wanting to keep the blog up to date, I would've already watched it by now. I'm only planning on doing two posts next week, so that should free up some time to watch it.

As you can see, I did take this opportunity to pick up a few of the newer martial arts films, and I would've gotten more had they all been discounted, $5 is just too pricey these days for something that I haven't seen.

I remember watching the trailer for this before it came out, liked what I saw enough to even contemplate paying the absurd amount money it costs to see a film in the theatres these days, but ultimately decided against it -- and boy (or girl) am I glad I did, because this was terribly disappointing. Since it's still relatively new I won't go and spoil anything, but I will say that if you've seen the trailer, than you've already seen all of the funny parts (yeah, it's one of those films). There was a bit of a twist at the end, which wasn't unpleasant, but it wasn't enough to make up for the rest of the picture.

Seeing as how we're approaching the futuristic year off 2020, I figure it might finally be time to upgrade my Jurassic Park VHS (multiple copies actually) to DVD. Looks like my Jurassic World movie ticket expired though, that's probably a good thing, I gave that one a go a few years back, only made it about fifteen minutes before I turned it off -- it was the kids, I just couldn't handle those kids!

Oh, and since everybody knows what Jurassic Park is about, I didn't think it was necessary to snap a pic of the synopsis.

You know how I was just talking about my brother and I going to see a sh*t ton of pictures? Yeah, well during that stretch we went saw both Ju-On, and it's American remake, The Grudge, as well. I enjoyed both of them at the time, but haven't seen either again since. And I don't what the deal is, whether it's that they printed off way too many DVD's, or if people just aren't feeling the film, but I've been seeing this everywhere for the last couple of years now, and it keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. I don't know if I was really looking to own it or not, but $0.94 was a little too cheap for me to pass up.

At this point I was done. What I thought would be a ten-minute stop at best, turned into a 38 minute marathon. But the DVD gods had other plans, because as I turned to head towards one of the main aisles. there it was, and cardboard display of DVD's... mostly of the horror variety by the looks of it!

This cardboard wasn't overly big, so didn't take me to too long to get through everything. There wasn't much of interest in there either, but this one here certainly made those extra couple of minutes of looking well worth it. I've seen Hammer's version of The Phantom of the Opera many times, but had never come across a physical copy of it, so finding this was kind of exciting. The stuff on this display wasn't part of the sale, but I'd buy any Hammer film that I don't already own for $3 any day of the week. Heck, I'd buy any Herbert Lom films that I don't already own for $3 any day of the week!

When all was said and done, between the time spent searching, and the drama queen that was ahead of me in line (I'm not even gonna go into it), I was there for a total of 52 minutes. Was it worth it? I'd say so. Will I be going back again soon? That's the plan, although I won't be expecting the next trip to be as fruitful, I just don't see how that could be possible.

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Tales from the Thrift Store vol. 15

I had so much success last month when I went to Goodwill the day before the 50% off sale, that I decided to forgo this months sale, and go the day before again.

Spoiler alert: I wasn't quite able to duplicate last months success, but I can assure you that it wasn't for lack of trying!

Last month, all of the video shelves were completely full, and so was the spinny rack of DVD's. By comparison, the video shelves were only half full this time, and the DVD rack was only about 40% full. It was a little disappointing to walk in and see that, but since it takes me 35 minutes to get there, I'm still gonna try and get my money's worth -- besides, just because the shelves are only half full, doesn't mean that there still can't be some good stuff in there.

Having not had cable/satellite for a number of years now, I'm a little out of touch with what all of the various stations have been up to, for example, is TNT still making westerns? I remember back in the late 90's and early 2000's, they seemed to have a new original movie practically every week. Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but they did crank out more than a few. The only that I watched at the time, was Purgatory (has since been bought on DVD too).

I like westerns, so I don't know why I didn't watch more of these films? Maybe I can just use my standard "There were too many other things to watch at the time", it works in most cases when talking about shows/movies from that era because it's true. Anyways, never saw Crossfire Trail, at least not until last week when I brought these home. Good movie, standard fare as far as westerns go, if you've seen a few of them, you can kind of guess how this one's gonna play out. Everybody did a good job acting wise though, you can really tell that Mark Harmon enjoyed getting to play a bad guy.

I have the whole series on DVD, but Amazing Stories is one of a handful of shows that I'll still buy episodes on tape of, even if I already own them in another format... if only because they remind me of my childhood.

I didn't watch a lot of Disney when I was growing up, especially the live-action stuff, as such there's quite a lot of that I have never seen, or even heard of -- No Deposit No Return being one of those. I may not have ever heard of it before, but it didn't take much to sell me on it, seeing Darren McGavin in his Kolchak suit was all that was needed for me to pick this one up.

I don't recall where I was, but a couple of weeks after I moved here to TN, I found volume IV of this series, Greatest plays, and hadn't seen another one since. It's kind of neat to finally find another one, especially one that looks like it's going to be really good.

At this point I had looked through all of the videos, since I was holding four tapes, I figured I might as well go back through them and see if I could get to the 5/$2 threshold (they're fifty cents apiece otherwise) -- but before I could start doing so, a woman that works there came out from the back with a cart of videos (how fortuitous!). Since there was no one else looking at videos, I figured that there was no need to crowd her, so I moved over to the DVD's while she unloaded the basket.

As I already mentioned, the DVD rack was only about half full, and about half of those were leftover from last month, but I did find one thing of interest though. The Equalizer and John Wick came out within a month of each other, so it's almost impossible to read about either online, without seeing a comparison to the other. You'll find plenty of "debates" over which is better, although more often than not, these "debates" just end up devolving into name calling... this is how our modern world works after all! Personally, I like John Wick more, but I'm a fan of the more traditional revenge pictures, so that's probably why I lean the way that I do. The Equalizer is still a solid film though, my only real complaint is that I wish it would've been a little bit more like the television show, but I'm guessing that's just a me thing.

After taking what felt like forever, the gal finally gone done putting out the rest of the videos, and now there was three more shelves worth of stuff to look at, as well as some competition in the form of two guys (one of whom was a hipster wearing a kitschy video store shirt) that showed up seemingly out of thin air once she got done. Thankfully though, I'm a seasoned vet when it comes to scanning VHS titles, so before they could even finish the first of the newly stocked shelves, I was already grabbing the only thing worth taking off of the third shelf (eat it, hipster!).

Look at that beauty! You don't see a lot of tapes like this in the wild anymore, as most of them, as well as pretty much all of the big box horror, are in private collections (or sitting in eBay stores). I have more than a few obscure horror videos, but 99% of those were acquired decades ago, back when almost nobody cared about such things. Most of the 80's slasher pics were not very good, they're made up of mostly just boobs and blood, but almost always had great video covers, which is where most of the value lies -- (most) people don't collect them for the film itself, they do it for the covers, as they remind them of being a kid/teen and wandering down the horror aisle(s) of their local video stores. In a way, it really is nostalgia in it's purest form. I sure am glad that I waited for that woman to put those tapes out (I almost didn't), because finding this one really made my day. And I almost forgot, the best part about this particular tape? It's not an ex-rental, which is pretty darn rare for something like this.

I may not have found as many videos as last month, but overall I don't think that I did too bad, I mean it was certainly worth the trip, and in the end that's all I really care about... getting enough to justify me going out. I also made a somewhat rare (at least for me) stop at Big Lots that morning as well, a stop that yielded some surprising goodies, which will be covered in Wednesday's post. And yes, I know, two video/DVD posts in a row, deal with it!

Thanks for taking a moment to look at my page.