About Me

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

When is a Short Print not really a short print?

I suppose that the cards that are listed as short prints are always technically short prints, but its not quite that simple. Some are more short printier than others. Thus Murad and Allen and Ginter are pretty easy and I didn't find the set difficult to finish. I don't really consider the Murad (12% difference) and Allen and Ginter (20%) to have short prints in the classic sense. Where Masterpieces football ( 51%) baseball (40% difference) and 09 Heritage baseball (27% but with a 10.6% completion rate) are shit for completing sets. The Heritage, Masterpieces Football and Baseball are true Sp's


Topps Murad:

230 cards in the set
200 base set, 201-230 are SP's or are they?
I'll get into the Rookie Variations later.
There are 6 cards, 4 regular, 1 mini and a checklist action card
Bear with me.
4 cards X 24 packs = 96 cards
SP's are 1:3 packs = 8 Sp's
88 base cards and 8 Sp's per box
Rookie variations are 1:6 = 4 Rookie variations per box
84 base cards, 4 Rookie Variations, and 8 Sp's
84/200 = 38.2% of the set per box
4/20 = 20% of the Rookie Variations per box
8/30 = 26.7% of the SP set per box

2008 Topps Allen and Ginter

350 cards
300 base set, 301-350 are Sp's
There are 8 cards, 6 regular, 1 mini and a state card
6 cards X 24 packs = 144
Sp's are 1:2 packs = 12 Sp's
132 base cards and 12 Sp's per box
132/300= 44% of the base set per box
12/50= 24% of the set per box
One Note, in some boxes I got 13 sp's which would be 26% of the set

2008 Masterpieces Baseball

120 cards
90 base set, 91-120 are Sp's
There are 6 cards, 5 regular, 1 framed, auto, Yankee Stupidity, or Jersey
5 cards X 12 packs = 60
Sp's are 1:2 packs = 6 Sp's
54 base cards and 6 Sp's per box
54/90= 60% of the base set per box
6/30= 20% of the sp set per box
Ouch a 20% Sp Rate

2008 Masterpieces Football
I won't go through the math but you get 20% of the rookie SP's and 11.1% of the Time Warps

2008 Heritage Baseball
500 cards
425 base set, 426-500 are Sp's
There are 8 cards, 7 regular (average after inserts and such)
7 cards X 24 packs = 168
Sp's are 1:3 packs = 8 Sp's
160 base cards and 8 Sp's per box
160/425= 37.6% of the base set per box
8/75= 10.6% of the sp set per box
Good god, and this is a set builder's set?

Allen and Ginter is Sorted

The case is sorted. As I said, 4 base sets with 5 to 8 of some cards. I will fill the want lists at the same time I send out cards from the 2009 Topps Finest Baseball group break. Topps has pushed the release date to April 22. Hopefully it goes no more than that.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 11 of 12

Box 11

9 more spots left in the Finest Case Break. Since it is getting close to pay day, I would assume that it might fill up shortly.

The Jersey:

The Auto: The Baseball Car Gods Mock me with:

The Rip card: My second of the case

Monday, March 30, 2009

2009 Donruss Elite Football

Nice looking cards. That Sayers is Sweeeeeeeet! Wouldn'tmind pulling that Georgia Dual auto either.
Release Date: Jun 10, 2009

Pack SRP: $6.00

Master Configuration: 5 cards, 20 packs, 12 boxes

Direct Configuration: 5 cards, 20 packs, 6 boxes


3 Memorabilia or Autograph cards (with at least one autograph)

2 Rookies

1 Parallel

Collecting value - Heritage

I have had a couple comments on the Murad break that some people aren't sold on it. I can see why and agree with the assessment, the design is a bit interesting. I do like murad however and when a value comparison is done, it can't be beat. What else is out there for Basketball?

However, value can be good or pretty bad. Consider the 2009 Heritage Break over at Voice of the Collector.

I don't want Rob to take this the wrong way, but I couldn't disagee with his opinion more. Rob States:

"All in all it was a fun box that I would tell anybody to purchase."

First, I am glad Rob enjoyed the box. Second, he paid $79 for the box, ouch. Third, his hits were a bat card of Miguel Tijada and a jersey of Kevin Mench. Wow. I know that Heritage isn't about the hits, but for $79 you would expect a bit more than that. Plus he beat the odds, most of the time you get one relic.

In contrast, I averaged 3.6 hits in my Allen and Ginter Case and almost 3 per box in my Murad case. I also got complete sets out of both cases, whereas Heritage case breaks have been coming up 15 SP's short. And, and the boxes were $25 less.

Again, I am glad Rob enjoyed his box, but Heritage just isn't a good value at all. Which is a shame because I like the set. Sounds like Retail Heritage is the way to go. If you are a Heritage guy, 2008 High Number can be had for $42-$45 if you find a sale.

My ultimate point is, you put out a good product and the price doesn't matter so much. What is value to me, is not to someone else. Why did I keep you hanging? I have no idea. So as I like Murad's price and design, others don't. The trick is to find enough people that find value in your product. Sometimes design is enough as long as the price isn't too excessive. Maybe the manufacturers should give this some thought. The one component I think Heritage misses out on is Execution. Of course, Topps is making money hand over fist on this product, so maybe they executed Heritage just how they wanted to. I'm just not sure if they will get away with this next year.

The Odyssey Begins

As I mentioned earlier, I was shorted an auto in two out of my 12 Murad Boxes. I sent the following message to Topps:

I recently purchased and opened a case of 2008-09 Topps Murad Basketball. I understood that each box was guaranteed an auto and a relic card. In 2 out of the twelve boxes I didn't receive an autograph card. In one of the boxes I got a relic card only. In the other I got a relic and a silk parallel. How do I go about receiving my promised autograph cards?

Topps Answered:

Thank you for contacting the Consumer Relations department for Topps.

We are sorry to hear that your recent purchase of a Topps product was missing cards Please note that the policy of the Topps Company regarding the request for missing product items requires that the consumer include the following items with their submission:

1) A letter of explanation
2) A copy of sales receipt
3) All pack wrappers & or mini boxes from the product
4) The UPC code (bar code) from the Main box

This should be sent to:

The Topps Company, Inc.
ATTN: Consumer Relations
401 York Ave.
Duryea, PA 18642
ATTN: Consumer Relations

We will then review your issue and begin taking steps toward rectifying it, please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. As always, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service team (By phone: 800-489-9149, or by Email:support@etopps.com). A customer service representative will be available to assist you between the hours of 9:00am - 4:30pm (EST), Monday through Friday.

Consumer Relations
The Topps Company, Inc.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 10 of 12

Box 10

11 spots left for the 2009 Topps finest group case break

An ok box,

I have been sorting my cards and think I have 4 complete base sets. Some cards I have 8 of.

The Jerseys:

The Autos: Yes 2 in the box.

I have a box of Murad that makes me think that the redemptions aren't either packed correctly, or they don't count as a hit in a box.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This is just stupid.

You ever find it funny that car salesman, realtors, bankers, lawyers (I am one) always wear suits while doctors, nurses, oil riggers what have you wear whatever they want to.

Its because car salesman, realtors and their ilk are trying to make you have a good impression of them while they are ripping you off. Their only incentive is to sell sell sell. Lawyers and bankers are the same way, they are trying to get you to give them your money, nothing more nothing less. If they spent as much time acting ethically and doing the right thing as they do "looking professional like" then they wouldn't have the reputation that they do.

I show up in nice jeans, a button down, nice shoes, I look clean, neat and groomed. I have bigger problems to worry about (like the current legislative session) than getting my suits to the cleaners and back. I do have my shirts pressed now. If I go to court, I put a suit on.

I get it if the team wants to bar distractions like friends and family and have conduct agreements in their contracts. Hey no riding motorcycles Ron Gant.

Its just silly.

99 cents? Really? and too much shipping.

I think the auction speaks for itself. Griffey Aroid Thomas Glavine? Awesome!

I am waiting to see what happens with this auction. As this posts the auction will be ending. Tony Perez; Tony Oliva; Gaylord Perry; Johnny Mize; Al Oliver; Bruce Sutter

2008-09 Topps T-51 Murad Box 1 of 12

Box 1 of 12

I paid $645 for the case. That's $53.75 a box, shipped.

Leading off the case. 24 packs/6 cards. 1 auto and 1 jersey a box.
sp's 1:3 cards 201-230. I didn't find these to be SP's at all as I got 5 of each. Lebron is one of them.

Rookie variation 1:6 Some of these I got 4-5 of some and 1-2 of others.

Murad SP mini: 1:12 I got 3-4 LeBron's

Mini Rookie Variation 1:18

Mini Black Border Parallel 1:12 These are not black bordered like the Allen and Ginter. The ink of the lines is black. At least I am pretty sure that's what these are because I didn't get any with black "borders".

Murad Coupon: 1:3623. I didn't get one of these. These were found in the original set and if you collected the coupons from the cigarettes you got a listed card of one of the listed individuals. I imagine this might be the same now. I have yet to see one show up on Ebay. Here is an auction of an original.

Framed Silks: 1:34 I got quite a few of these

Leathers 1:737 None

Press Plates 1:184

Group A Magic, Bird Russell: 1:2300
Group B 1:141. I demolished, well beat, the odds
Group C 1:67
Group D 1:99

Parallel Autos: These are kind of stupid
Black: 1:156
Silver: 1:389
Leather: 1:3700

Black: 1:89
silver: 1:455
Leather: 1:3700

The Base Set: I didn't get any doubles. I like the base set a lot although it is difficult to tell who the player is sometimes. Quality control was good. I found the backs of the cards to be generic in a good way. White back with a purplish tint to the printing. There are rookie variations and SP's are numbered 201-230.

The minis: Unlike my Allen and Ginter case, the minis were in great condition. These minis are slightly larger with only one parallel set and none of those additional sharks, world leaders, horses, ships and other crap that Mayo and Allen and Ginter have. It would be nice if these were two per pack.

The silks: These are /25 and an interesting insert. Very difficult to tell who the player is. In addition, these cards are slightly thicker and require a 100 pt toploader. The autos and jerseys fit into a 75 pt toploader.
Rasheed Wallace

The Jerseys:
These look nice and I actually like the mini encased format that Murad, Mayo and Allen and Ginter have. In one of my later boxes, Topps is up to some Relic shenanigans. I won't tell you what it is, but I was sorely dissappointed.

The Auto:

Yep, these are stickers. I can tolerate these because of the encasement, but this is an expensive product to be using stickers especially given the small checklist.
Who is that you ask? Yeah, it doesnt matter. It's Mike Miller by the way.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

2008-09 Topps T-51 Murad Case - First Impressions

My case arrived on Tuesday late afternoon and was ripped by 9.

Some boxes were very good, others absolutely sucked. Topps promises 1 auto and 1 jersey per box. Not on average, it is a guarantee. In one box I got 1 jersey, in another I got a jersey and a silk.

In one awesome box I got 2 or 3 autos. I suppose that over the case the autos averaged out, but that is not the point. One jersey and one auto per box guaranteed period. Topps will be getting a complaint letter. In fact I just sent them an email to see if I can get some satisfaction.

Base set and Collation: Collation was very good. I don't recall getting any doubles in any of the boxes and I ended up with one full set with variations and 2-3 cards short of a complete second set of variations. I will have to find a list of variations to confirm that. I like the set a lot. Very nice. The metalic looking inks and the old school appearance really work.

Quality control: Pretty good overall. In each pack you get a thick filler card that is a checklist with an action shot on the front. Many of the cards were white on the back and others had a tanning effect around the edges. Interestingly enough I received the following "variation"
The one on the left is the only Yao that I got with a clear back, while I got 5 of the one on the right that had a significant printing defect. The reason why I refer to it as a variation is because it was repeated over and over again. One funked up copy does not a variation make. Five on the other hand is a different story.

Here is a pic of the mini v. regular:

Minis: I like the minis in Murad much better than Mayo and Allen and Ginter. The design seems to lend itself to the mini much better than the others.

Box Toppers: The box toppers look silly because they are blown up versions of the regular cards. Duh you say, but the problem is they really are blown up meaning that the resolution or picture quality looks bad. I did get a /10 silver parallel. They ae 1:48 boxes.

The hits: I did very well. No Bird, Magic or Russell auto.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 9 of 12

Box 9


Abreu Bat


The Auto: Does anyone actually like the Yankees?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Future Case Breaks

Screw the boxes, might as well keep going for cases.

What cases under $800 do you want to see busted? I was leaning toward two retail mayo. I want to complete the mini set anyway.

Frankly I don't see much in the way of UD that I want to bust. I was looking at 2007 UD Black, but after watching a couple on Youtube, that's probably not going to happen. Exquisite is a possibility. I though Justin was going to do one, we will see. Icons and heroes are still a bit too much. I like manufactured patches,but not for $100 a box.

National Treasures is a possibility, but that's 900-1300 depending on if you can get one cheap.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 7 of 12

Box 7

Did someone say 2009 Topps Finest Baseball Group Break? The case is already ordered you say? $24.50 a person? How can you go wrong?

The Hits:
Bat. Ugh.

Big Papi
but not as cool as
Yup, out of box 12

The Rip Card:
and it holds

3 hits. This has the makings of a good case. Too Late, it is.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Uh oh its Magic

I deserve to be beaten for that.

Topps Magic is coming to shelves in, as of today, June which means by September we will see it. I'm not going to lie, it looks pretty cool given the checklist. Of course we have been down the checklist highway to hell before with Mayo.

Check out Beckett Blog Here.

3 autos per box, $4 a pack.

1-2 cases for me.

Who are these guys?

Some "players" keep showing up in my packs, and for the life of me I have no idea why they make their cards.

Why do I keep pulling John Beck, Kevin Kolb, and Paul Williams?

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 6 of 12

Box 6

The Bat Card: Yeah, I don't like these.
Jeff Kent

Lisa Leslie
The piece is too small and slides around inside the card. I wonder if the person that cut this knew they screwed it up and just didn't say anything.

Richie Sexson
Richie broke my heart. I liked him as a player and he just sucked last year.

Jim Thome:

No auto this time, but another 4 hits. The Leslie is a tough pull apparently.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

2007-08 Topps Finest Basketball Redemptions, 2008 Topps Finest Baseball Redemptions

2008 Topps Finest Baseball Redemptions

Consider this public service. Before I bought my 6 boxes of 2006-07 Topps Finest Basketball Boxes, I looked and looked for the expiration dates of the redemptions. I cam up empty. When the boxes arrived and I opened them, I realized the redemptions had expired. Because I usually show up in the first page or two of searches I thought I would put this post out there.

The 2008 Topps Finest Baseball Redemptions expire April 30, 2009. These are mail in only and not online redemptions. Topps must receive the redemption by this date or they are no good.

2007/08 Topps Finest Basketball Redemptions, 2007-08 Topps Finest Basketball Redemptions 2007-2008 Topps Finest Basketball Redemptions, 2007/2008 Topps Finest Basketball Redemptions

These expire June 30, 2009. They are online redemptions.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 5 of 12

Box Five

No plug for the 2009 Finest Group Break this time. oh wait....

The Jerseys:



The Auto: Former Brave-Jo
Jerod Salty la mock e a

Those autos sure are slick. They all look nice. The window is well placed. Notice I am back up to 4 hits in this box after going 4,4,2,2. Crushing the odds.

Monday, March 23, 2009

2008-09 Topps T-51 Murad Case

My case should arrive here shortly. 12 boxes/24 packs

Here is my comment on the prospects of a 2009 Topps Allen and Ginter Case:
I can say that I do see a case of 2009 in my future although I do hesitate because the big hits have to be worth it. When 3/4 of the rip cards have junk in them, that is not a product I will be to anxious to open.

In contrast, 2008-09 Treasury had 1 rip card per box, but they become the equivalent of a single color jersey hit if they all have a measly numbered mini in them. I was very happy with my Thome Rip Card that sported a Ryan Howard Red Ink Mini auto /10. It is still safely in Jim Thome's warm embrace.

Murad caught my attention with a hobby case run of 599 and an awesome auto checklist. I will be dissappointed if I don't get 2-3 nice autos out of the case. I know there are retail cases out there, but we must remember that the insertion rate is lower and it is still a basketball product. I doubt Topps made that many retail cases. Mayo Football and Heritage Baseball seemed to have a much higher retail run and people have been getting some good pulls out of Mayo Retail including ryan autos and printing plates. I am actually considering 2 cases of Retail Mayo as they sell for the same as a hobby case. In addition, I will get twice the number of minis to build a set and close to the same number of hits overall.

If anyone wants a piece of a Mayo retail break or this Murad break, drop me a line. It would probably be structured as 30 spots. For every hit (parallel, auto, jersey, what have you) it would go to a spot. Each spot would be $20. Regular cards would not be part of the spot. Kind of odd, but allows you to get some good cards without messing with the base.

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 4 of 12

Box 4

Slowly but surely the 2009 Finest case break is filling up. $24.50 a slot, Twofer $46

This box was blah and I would have been pissed if I would have dropped $55 on it and it alone. God forbid I would have paid MSRP for this. I can say that I do see a case of 2009 in my future although I do hesitate because the big hits have to be worth it. When 3/4 of the rip cards have junk in them, that is not a product I will be to anxious to open.

Two bland jerseys:

Case Update: This is box 4, the first 2 had 4 hits the next two had two. Very inconsistent on Topps' part. I was getting SP's at a rate of 12-13 a box.

Group break scams

If you are reading my blog you have seen reports of two group break scams by boomboxjesus and melbournecowboys. I have a solution for any of you that are concerned about my breaks or hesitant about joining. I invite anyone in the Portland Oregon Salem Eugene area to come and supervise. I have to of course know you from a blog or something. I think groat, rod from padrographs and a few
Others are in the area. If you want to come take part drop me a line.

Update: Rod emialed me and said with a couple days notice he will join me for the break. I wouldn't mind if two or three people wanted to come join in the case break carnage.

Exquisite Case Breaks - Just a thought

I don't have much hope for this given the cost.

2008 Exquisite Case: $46 a slot 32 slots or $79 a slot 18 slots and everyone gets a "hit" The base card would be randomly assigned.

2007 Exquisite Case: $35 a slot 32 slots or $71 a slot 15 slots and everyone gets a "hit" The base card would be randomly assigned.

2006 Exquisite Case: $35 a slot 32 slots or $71 a slot 15 slots and everyone gets a "hit" The base card would be randomly assigned.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hi, my name is Joe Collector

and I like Manufactured Letters

Some of you hate the principle of them others collect them. I have stated before that they must be autographed for me to like them, but I was wrong and here is why.

If you are a player collector, how cool is it to be able to spell out the last name of your favorite player autographed or not. Don't get me wrong letters like these that spell out some random phrase that look cheap are just silly. I am not going to try and spell out The Ryan Express, Ryan maybe, Sandberg, Boggs, Gwynn. If Topps is going to try and make that flag fly, they should be one two per box. I mean how much do they cost to make $.50 a buck? Make them Jumbo exclusives. Dropping a Hamilton on a pack should get you something, dropping 12 of them should get you a lot.

Anyway, I am talking about patches like this, this and that. How cool are those from a collector's perspective?

Even the non-auto are nice collectibles but should not be marketed as huge hits by Topps and UD. Also, not every jackass that once sat on a bench should get them. If you must, take the top 10 ERA, Wins, K's, HR's, RBI, Average guys and make those. Even the Yanks should be limited to A-Roid, Jeter, and a couple others at most

The Letters have been overdone by being put into every product or have sticker autos put on them. God those are an abomination.

What do you like or dislike about manufactured Letters?

2008 Topps Allen & Ginter Box 3 of 12

Box 3...

and the Mandatory Plug for the 2009 Finest Case Break. Again, the case has been ordered and the break is going to occur whether I am able to get 18 more people or not, so you can join in without having to worry about whether I can fill it up. I will take any unused spots. The cheapest I have seen boxes on ebay is $80 and that is not a buy it now that is opening bid.

It should be noted that Finest has been delayed until 4/22/09.

Only two hits in this box:
The Jersey:
The Auto:
This is a Level A Auto apparently, Dean Karnazes: