Random Review: End of the year Upper Deck E-Pack sale

I have had my eye on Upper Deck E-Pack for the past 500 days or so. Like most collectors, I didn’t know what to make of it.  I didn’t like that every pack didn’t guarantee you a physical card; then again I am a fan of breakers who ship their common cards. Today, I finally jumped in with my first foray into buying packs from the program. It helped that they are having an end of the year sale.

My purchase:
2 – 2017-18 AHL Hockey packs
$3.99, Buy one, get one free
1 – 2016 Goodwin Champions
$4.99, not on sale
2 – 2018 USA Football Packs
$9.99,  Buy one, get one free
Tax was charged on top of it

I was sold by the USA packs because they guaranteed a hit. For them, I was expecting the worst: a plain cheap jersey or a Canadian player Sorry Canada but there just isn’t many pro prospects with your players. Instead, I hit 2 USA high school players. One does not seem well regarded as he is 68th in the state at his position; and he doesn’t live in a big state like California or Texas. Still I feel that I didn’t do too bad by hitting 2 autographs.

The AHL packs did not offer much. Here is where I wish that I could get my base cards. These are the types of players where it would be fun to track their progress.

I didn’t hit a Ben Simmons in the Goodwin product but it was still fun. Bret Hart made an appearance; another one where I wish that I could get the base card. I got a mini of a water polo player.

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I was able to transfer 4 cards to my COMC account. I was expecting a wait but this was done instantly.

I am not sure that I will be buying more from Upper Deck E-Pack program. I would rather buy these cards in a card shop. Still, I can see myself jumping at a sale or two like today. I could have shipped my hits home instead of directing them to COMC. However, given that shipping is similar in price to PackRip, I would rather go with them for the time being. This is still a decent platform if you like Upper Deck products and are not a fan of accumulating base cards in your house.

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Angry: Prevalence of Panini Points lately

As some of you know, I have a love/hate relationship with Panini points. They are good when I can fill needs for random players in my collection but they offer no value and shipping is atrocious.

Lately though, it seems that there has been an abundance of points in new product released. It has hit embarrassing levels. For example the 4 boxes on Youtube that I have watched opened on Twitter of Contenders retail have all had points replace the autograph. This is is also in line with numerous football hobby releases. Every case seems to have two or more boxes of points replacing an autograph.

When I buy a product, I want a card from that product. I don’t want a hit from another product that I have to pay an additional shipping cost on. I don’t want to have to add those up to get a better hit. Collectors want instant gratification for the most part. Contenders football updated their base cards and the base cards are something that I can get excited about. I was thinking about buying a box of them from Target until I saw all of the boxes had points replacing the autograph.

The rise and prevalence of points is at the point where I am genuinely worried for the hobby and Panini as a whole. They have a new football release every week. They are oversaturating the market. I understand that this is part of the contract with the NFL and NFL players association but to me it is clear that they have not learned from the mistakes of the 90s. The industry is a period where it has risen and collectors have come out of hiding. Also people are buying more product when they buy now. Instead of buying packs, people are buying boxes to chase hits. Parallels are a dime a dozen and feel like the new base cards; don’t get me started on those. On top of the fact that football cards do not age well because of short careers and injuries decimating every team every season. My point is, I genuinely worry is Panini is overproducing base cards again to meet demand. I worry that this is why we are seeing more of those awful points replacing hits. Aren’t there enough autographs to go around so that points aren’t needed? If not, why aren’t there?

Random Review: 2018-19 NBA Hoops Holiday Edition Christmas Edition

I got retail packs for Christmas but picked up this second Hoops blaster a few weeks ago. I opened it today figuring that I wouldn’t want to open it after Christmas. For a more detailed review on this product, check out my last review of it: Random Review: 2018-19 NBA Hoops Holiday Edition

This was a more typical box. I liked that the jersey card had a winter theme on it, something that my hit last time did not.

The rookies from this pack were pretty bland. As of right now, I didn’t pull any big rookies but the rookie class is fluid so who knows what I might come back to in a year or two.

The jersey card is a typical hit in these boxes. This box was very typical overall and not flashy; just like the Hoops brand. Nothing flashy but a healthy amount of base and rookies. I might keep my eye out and grab one or two of these if they hit the clearance rack. The winter theme is a nice change of pace for a product that doesn’t offer much.

A non winter themed card slipped by; the Maurice Harkless card. For comparison check out the card next to it to see how the base card should look with the winter theme.

Random Review: 2018-19 NBA Hoops Holiday Edition

Today’s Random Review is a blaster of 2018-19 NBA Hoops Holiday Edition. Unlike other products, these have been readily available in my area. I have seen them at Target and WalMart for the typical $19.99 price point.
You can find 11 packs in them with 8 cards per pack. It has a guarantee of a relic card.

The ends of the packs have a green holiday theme.

All of the cards have snowflakes on them; well except the autograph that I pulled. In the picture above, you can see that the snowflakes pop in some cards versus others. The picture doesn’t really show what I mean with the P.J. Tucker card as I had a hard time seeing the snowflakes when I had it in my hands at reading eye level. I put a card in the background for comparison to show the difference.
There are purple parallels in the box. As stated in the last paragraph, the autograph did not have any holiday theme on it. I am not really complaining as it was nice to pull an autograph from a Hoops blaster. Interestingly, despite being a $3 autograph from a player who currently plays overseas, it is Mangok Mathiang’s first autograph card.

I had fun with the inserts and rookies. A good 30% of the box was inserts and rookies. All of these were holiday themed and helped make this a fun box to open.

Overall this was a fun rip. If the base set wasn’t 300 cards, I might even consider doing a set of these. For an entry level product, this is a great product. I would love to see more holiday themed products of other sets. I can only imagine the potential for the snowflakes on a set like Optic or Chrome.

Random Review: 2018 Panini Black Friday multi sport packs

@GoGTSLive & @fatpacks year end survey is out. In a sea of great blogs, don’t forget to vote http://AngryCardCollector.com  as your favorite for question 67. Incidentally, my old playing number when I was an all star football player. You can vote here: https://t.co/hQNsulFWi8


Random Review: Vault Card Club

This was a fun break and at $30 with guaranteed hits, I think that I might do it again.

I gave my nephews the cards. They told me that next time they want Yankees cards. I bet Yankees team sets are fun the past few years. (Their mom is a Yankees fan.) In my house the teams are like this Dodgers > Angels, Mets > Yankees. When I am not wearing Dodger blue, I have been known to throw on a Tigers or Mets cap.

How was your day: Being Thankful in Misery

This post has one line about cards. I know that a lot of you don’t live in California and am putting this down here for historical purposes. If you skip it because you want to read about cards, thank you for getting this far. As a lot of you know, I live in a community that was deeply affected by the fires and recent mass shooting. I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The genuine outreach from the card community during this craziness has been amazing.

 

Tuesday November 6th: Election Day and my birthday. Nothing major. Just weird that this week happens on my birthday.

Thursday November 8th: The craziest day of them all.
3 am or so: My phone goes off in the middle of the night with Facebook notifications and press releases from the local Sheriff department. They don’t appear to be urgent so I ignore them. At the time I think that it is just a post on one of the social media sites that I run, getting more traction than normal.
7 am: When I wake up, all the alerts end up being about the shooting and people sharing stories, some involving people they know. I also see my sister who lives in Chico sharing stories about the fire there. I have to be on the 101 freeway for work. During my morning routine, I see the news of a shooting in Thousand Oaks. I don’t have time to read it but I catch the gist of it: 12 people died. I also get local Nixle alerts about the shooting with freeway ramp closures. I will be passing these ramps on my way today. I am alarmed but desensitized a bit and am more concerned with how this will affect my drive.
10 am: I am coming back to Simi Valley and traffic coming back gets me caught up in the procession for the dead sergeant. The side of the freeway that is closed is not the one that I am on. I pass it directly coming back. It felt wrong to drive during this, so I pulled to the side of the road, on the side of the carpool lane no less.
After 10 am: Stories from the shooting are coming in. Between the procession and reading the stories, it sinks in how crazy the shooting in. Also the fact that I go to the place to see punk bands play hits home with me. The stories are insane. I have friends who lost friends. Someone I know lost their best friend in the shooting. I have friends that are neighbors with the shooter. I know tons of people who hang out at the place normally. If it happened on a Friday or weekend, I would have definitely lost friends. I work at a church at people are reaching out to see how they can help. Other church’s are making sure that we didn’t lose congregants and if so, can they help.
3 pm: I have found myself in the Woodland Hills area conducting more business. On the way home I see major fire. It looks like it is near my house. I brush it off as I think that the people that I live with will tell me if it is close. I say major fire but at the time, I have confidence that it will be put out by the time that I plan on arriving home in a few hours.
6 pm: I walk outside for the first time in a few hours. The sky is red and there is some ash being rained down. ‘Oh crap, this is insane.’ I drive home praying to make the craziness stop.
6 to 8 pm: By this point, the day is insane. I have one glimmer of hope: my favorite team is playing Thursday night football. They get slaughtered. I don’t even care. I still zone out and relax as best I can.
During all of this time, I am keeping tabs on the fire. My community is still glowing from the fire. Facebook statuses of friends read ‘make it stop.’ The worst is yet to come.
9:30 pm: A map is posted of where the fire is and where it is going. I get scared beyond belief when my tiny street is shown on these maps. My sister, who I live with, makes the decision to keep the kids home from school and she will stay home from work.
10 pm: The school district announced that all schools are closed. I look outside and my house is glowing. I freak out and start packing. I have food, medication, clothes, and pet stuff packed and ready to go. I question what cards I would take and limit it to just my Prestige autographs and memorabilia cards. I forget that I kept a storage box close by with my Miguel Cabrera autograph ball and a few other goodies in case this happens. I do not tell my household as I do not want to scare anyone.
Midnight: Somehow I fall asleep. I wasn’t expecting to get good sleep but I think the mixture of the shooting and the fires has worn me down.

Friday November 9th: I wake up and see the fire from my house still. I can see Firefighters are in the hills doing some work. We are all on edge and trying to stay together for the kids. They know what is going on. We have friends who are evacuated. We talk about where we will go. I look a few days later to the city we talked about and see that it was in the danger zone. Internet goes out. I don’t care. I do care because it is my only information about the fire but I don’t mind being away from this craziness.
This fire is huge. The same fire affecting me has caused friends living 20 miles away in Woodland Hills to evacuate. The two places that I have roots in Simi Valley/Thousand Oaks area and the San Fernando Valley are now being devastated.
One wind shift and my house is as good as gone. The hills and mountains on fire, are my backyard literally.

Saturday November 10th: The past two days have felt like a month. We keep getting messages throughout the day that evacuations are still in effect for parts of my town. Internet is still down. I get a call from someone who is evacuated and offer to let her stay with me. Her daughter took a high school yearbook and the shooter is in it. That story to me paints the best picture of what my community has gone through.
Internet comes back around 8 pm. We also get a message that evacuations have been lifted.

Sunday November 11th: Now comes the bad part of being active in a church: I get to hear all of the stories. I had no idea that friends lost homes. In one case, they found out while watching news coverage and their home was on fire on television. I also find out that someone that I know in the Woodland Hills area has lost their home. By the grace of God, my house was protected. With the internet back, I go a little crazy buying into breaks. For me that means spending $30 but I need to zone out bad. I didn’t hit anything.

Monday November 12th: I was in Los Angeles in the early morning. At around 10 am, another fire pops up closing both sides of the freeway going in and out of my town. I also get news that Stan Lee died. As my sister comes downstairs, I tell her to go back up and lock herself in the room. She wants to go back to sleep because this nightmare isn’t ending and only got worse.
At around 3 pm, the fire is taken care of and the freeway is open. Naturally there is a fatality accident closing it again.

Thursday November 15th: I am in Thousand Oaks for the first time since the fires. It is also my first time driving by the 101 since this time last week. The firefighters did an amazing job. There are hills on fire but at the top are houses that are still standing. I don’t know how the firefighters did it but they saved those houses. The hills by the 101 are absolutely insane. Where there was once miles of green, is now miles of black. It is so sad. The morale in the Thousand Oaks area was better than I expected. Normally when I drive around after a traumatic event, you can feel the cloud of sadness. That is not the case here. It is nice to see things turning around.

Despite being two weeks ago, this feels like a good few months ago. I definitely have aged that much.