Monday, August 4, 2014

2014 NSCC Show Recap

The 2014 NSCC Show has come to an end.  The sads have already set in, but that is normal, as it always happens to me after attending the show.

Needless to say, i had a great time. it's really difficult NOT to have a great time when attending the NSCC Show.  This was my fifth one, and of course
it did not disapoint overall.

i will say that its times like these that i miss my scanner.  So i will be adding scans at the bottom  of this blog, incase its TLDR :) (Edited to add: This site will no longer allow me to add photos, sorry about that.  please ask me on twitter if you'd like to see pics)
Also, twitter has spoiled me into wanting everything to be 140 or less.  Speaking of twitter, you really need to be on it if you arent already. 
its a great way to interact with people WORLD wide, but thats for another blog post.

This was the first year that i drove to the show.  JetBlue doesnt fly there, and i didnt feel like taking a flight that required a changeover, just not a fan.
i packed up a bunch of commons that a friend said he wanted, rather than me throwing them away.  i also brought some other stuff to move that just
do not fit into my collection, or that i had dupes of that wouldnt be missed.

The drive there was about as smooth as can be.  Left home around midnight Tuesday morning, and got to Cleveland right around 8am. Met my friend
Dustin at his hotel for breakfast, while waiting for our friend Kirk's plane to arrive.    While waiting, Dustin called our hotel to see what time we'd be able
to check in and drop off our stuff.   It was then that we learned the hotel over-booked itself and we were not going to have a room.  Dustin solved that
issue (amongst others :) and we had a room for the week.  Kirk arrived on time, and we just about picked him up on time as well :)

After picking up Kirk, we headed right to the show, rather then dropping his stuff off at the room (his choice).  Tuesday at the show is dealer set up day,
and about 50% of the dealers were setting up, maybe less.  Its a good day to walk around and see old friends and possibly scope out early deals.
First thing i noticed was that the overall space of the place seemed "small".  Now when i say small, we are talking vs past shows, as it was not small
in any sense of the word (TWSS) when it comes to card shows.

My first pickup of the show was a memorable 1! After walking the floor without much success, i was pointed in the direction of a table that was blowing out
"junk wax" boxes, so i went to take a look.  and what did i find you ask? a SEALED BOX of 1991 Pro Set Music, for a BUCK! YUP! ONE U.S. DOLLAR! :)

i had a voucher to use with PSA and wanted to find some Mantles that i am collecting in SGC/BVG form to cross over (as it would be free with the voucher)
after looking around for a bit on Wednesday, i found a dealer that had a nice selection of what i was looking for.  Picked up a '62, '63 & '66.  in SGC 3/3/3.5's
respectively.  Sadly only the '66 crossed over to a PSA 2.5, the other two did not meet the "required" 2 or greater.  Oh well, thats the way these things go. i
may try them again next year, we'll see.  That was the extent of my pickups on Wednesday, so i went ahead and submitted everything to PSA because you
want them to get them back to you at the show asap.

Thursday and Friday turned out to be frustrating on the pickups side of things, as i was not able to find anything.  i know, i know, boo hoo lol   But i was starting
to think that i would not find anything more while i was there.  i was coming to grips with it, i really was (i know you dont believe me:)

On Saturday things started out really well as Kirk worked on a dealer that had a really nice Aaron Rookie.  He got him to lower the price some, but not enough
that Kirk was interested in it, so he passed.  i let him know that i was going to get it if he was going to pass on it (On wednesday, the same dealer that i got
those Mantles from had another that i wanted, but would not accept my offer on it (packaged with the other three mind you), but about an hour later sold it to
Kirk for the same price that i offered).  i guess that the whole thing was a wash as he took that Mantle i wanted, and i was able to walk away with the Aaron.
(price difference in the two be damned! LOL)

Also on Saturday i upped the search for a Paige rookie.  ive been looking to pick up a paige rookie for about five years now.  originally i wanted the Leaf, but
over time i was looking for either the Leaf or the Bowman.  it IS strange that as far as the Registry goes, both are equal weight, even though scarcity and
price differences are huge.  Sized one up that i would want, but the dealer was pretty firm on his asking price, so i let him know i would think about it, and
was on my way.   Having the Aaron in hand, i was totally content with how Saturday ended as far as the cards went. 

Saturday early evening though, mean that Dustin & Kirk were both going to be heading home.  That's always rough for me, the saying farewell.  ive never been
good at it, and i never will be, thats the way it is.  

Saturday evening was spent with card friends old and new, at a local eating establishment, followed by a nice "round table" discussion at the local DQ.

Sunday.  Ahh Sunday.  Sunday's at the NSCC can go either really well, or the opposite.  Last year in Chicago, Sunday was pretty flat/dead right from the time
the doors opened.  Many many dealers had already packed up (or were in the process of doing so) and left, leaving the place looking fairly barren.  That sucked
because i had my flight home in the evening, and with most of my friends having left for home early that evening or the night prior, i was there for the day anyway.
But in Cleveland, the floor still looked pretty good upon opening.  i had my car, so i could leave at anytime if i chose to do so, but i decided to stick around. 
There were still plenty of people around to talk to, and i was all the more glad for it. 

i got to talking to a friend of mine about the Paige, and the pricing that the dealer was asking.  He mentioned amongst other things that i should pony up and
get it.  he made some really good points and essentially talked me into it.  i thanked him, and headed over to the dealer to pick it up.  im glad i did.  its certainly
not the best looking "PSA 1", but its far from the worst as well.  i will go on record here (as i did at the show) that that will be the last "ugly" slab that i purchase.
ive been working on the Post War HOF RC PSA Collection since 2005 and it feels really good to be at 100% for the first time.  (This set grows with every new
inductee)   After picking up the Paige, i walked around some more, but didnt find anything else (and that's ok).  Also took time out to say my goodbye's with everyone and
hoped that id see them in Chicago next year.

in closing, i really had a great time and the best part really was meeting friends, old and new a like.  There are so many to mention, that i would feel awful leaving
anyone out to mention everyone by name here.  You know who you are :)

i hope you've enjoyed my take on this years show, and if i can help convince you rto go next year, that would be fantastic! :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

MTG ... Magic The Gathering

if you've collected sports cards over the last twenty years, you know damn well what MTG is.  Dont deny it, you know it.

As much as most sports card collectors dislike Magic: The Gathering, i have a news flash, it is NOT going away.  Not anytime soon, that's for sure.  i recently started looking at MTG again for the first time in 19 years (you read that correctly).  i was a casual player back in 1994/95.  Revised Packs were $3, and Starter Decks were ten bucks. 

Playing with friends was fun, and i never went in for the tournaments, but i still had a good time.  i started playing friendly matches with other people, and grew bored with playing against people that would for example, use an "all red deck" and be content with ending the game in 5 to 10 turns.  Great, you "won", but damn that was boring and quite unimagineative.  bleh.

So, back in 2003ish i wound up selling all my magic cards (whoopsie).  sure i should have held on to them, because some of them now are pretty big bucks, but it is what it is.

The game now appears to be more popular than ever.  MTG celebrated 20 years of existence last year.  That's pretty crazy when you step back and think about it.  Talking to others about it, its going to continue to get more popular and appears to actually benefit from the online version, go figure.

From the purely speculative aspect of MTG, take a look at all the releases so far, and how many of those releases that are still around in unopened booster (wax packs, essentially) box form sell for less than $100 a box?  Now, im not saying that "investing" in them (or anything really) is a "good idea",
but one has to wonder as the popularity fo the game  grows, what the corresponding pricing will be.

There are a lot of things about the game that have changed since i last played, and that means there are a lot of things to learn, but i seriously have to wonder about the future of the unopened product, as with each passing year, there is less and less of it.

Food for thought.

Modern NHL Rookie Card Discussion

After doing a fair amount of research, i feel that i have a good handle on the current state of NHL Rookie Cards.

Let me start with saying that "The Cup" is hands down, "the best RC" that anyone will have available from 2005 onward.  That being said, there are other options for people that want to collect NHL Rookie Cards, but dont have a huge bankroll to do so.

If oncard auto RCs are your thing, but you dont have pockets for The Cup, then i suggest SP Authentic.  They're numbered to 999, so there are a nice amount of the to go around.  They can get a bit pricey depending on the player(s) you want.

If you want a nice looking Rookie Card, but do not require an auto, and/or individually numbered cards, then i suggest going with "Young Guns".  With all the super premium wax being released each year, UD Series 1 and 2 remain one of the (if not THE) most popularly collected sets across the Hobby.  That's probably why Young Guns rookie cards are considered by so many to be the most popular rookie cards made.  They are readily available, not TOO pricey (debateable) and on top of all that, they LOOK FANTASTIC, featuring an on-ice action shot.  The colors just pop on most of them.
Im a big fan :)

There are other brands as well that have a nice assortment of RCs in them, but honestly the above sets have a long running tradition of quality/history that will continue for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Learning is Difficult (Steppin' back into NHL Cards)

So, ive been to two NHL games this month.  Given my addictive personality, ive begun looking at hockey cards again, because who doesnt love addiction? lol

it's been a learning process for sure.  i was a huge hockey card collector 20 years ago, and even dabbled it in a little back in 2009 when John Tavares was a rookie.  But then it kind of tapered off (again)

So, now its all new and fresh again.  lots of learning.  when starting a new focus, it gives you a fresh start, and you get to do it the way you want to.

NHL Hockey Cards are difficult.  Collectors are very very picky.  Team alliance is STRONG.  almost to the point of them HATING players on other teams.  that leads to a lot of hobby "coldness" for some players that you would think would be popular across the country.  that just doesnt seem to be the case.

There are a lot of really good young scorers in the NHL right now.  i wonder if there will ever be a day when the hobby comes to love a player that is not from North America, specifically Canada.   Sure Ovechkin is popular, but his card prices would be higher if he were not Russian.

Ive settled on two brands that id like to focus on.  Knowing me, this is bound to change.  Hell, it's changed a few times since last week even! ha.  .... Upper Deck Young Guns and SPA Future Watch.   That covers the base card, and the oncard auto card.  Naturally, then will be in BGS/PSA form, but with more desire to own them in BGS form.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Old Is Gold (Talkin' Baseball Cards)

Talking about Baseball cards this time, but i suppose it could apply to all collectables, really.

Sure i like picking up Trout & Harper RC slabs every now and again, but there's something that's just missing (#ThanksTopps).  The baseball card market is just too flooded with Rookie Cards.  What is and what isnt will always be a heated debate, no denying that.

i miss the days when players had one "Rookie Card".  Of course there are exceptions to every rule.  Take a look at Mickey Mantle for example.  His 1952 Topps issue is NOT a Rookie Card (it's his 1951 Bowman), but it will always be the one that is thought of when most people think Mantle Rookie.

What im getting at is that "Old Is Gold".

Hank Aaron's Rookie Card will always be 1954 Topps.  They arent making any more.  What they are making more of is "Relic" Cards containing pieces of jersey/patch/etc with and without autographs.  They'll be making those for the foreseeable future, thanks to sticker autographs.

Willie Mays' Rookie Card will always be 1951 Bowman.  They arent making any more.  What they are making more of is "Relic" Cards containing pieces of jersey/patch/etc with and without autographs.  They'll be making those for the foreseeable future, thanks to sticker autographs.

Frank Robinson's Rookie Card will always be 1957 Topps.  They arent making any more.  What they are making more of is "Relic" Cards containing pieces of jersey/patch/etc with and without autographs.  They'll be making those for the foreseeable future, thanks to sticker autographs.

Tom Seaver's Rookie Card will always be 1967 Topps.  They arent making any more.  What they are making more of is "Relic" Cards containing pieces of jersey/patch/etc with and without autographs.  They'll be making those for the foreseeable future, thanks to sticker autographs.

Rickey Henderson's Rookie Card will always be 1980 Topps.  They arent making any more.  What they are making more of is "Relic" Cards containing pieces of jersey/patch/etc with and without autographs.  They'll be making those for the foreseeable future, thanks to sticker autographs.

i get the "collect what you like" aspect of the hobby, i really do, but to me, Old is Gold, and i wish more people felt the way that i do.   Believe me, ive collected more then my share of the shiny new shit, hell i still do from time to time, but there is nothing like the days gone by.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Going to have to make some major Pull List Cuts

Going to be cutting my Monthly Pulls to 10 titles.

Lately reading floppies seems more like a chore then an enjoyment, which is NOT a good thing.

This is not easy, but it has to be done.

Monthly Books:

The Walking Dead
East Of West
Rachel Rising
The Sixth Gun

TPB Reading:

Five Ghosts
Manhattan Projects
Nowhere Men
Rat Queens
Thief Of Thieves
Think Tank
American Vampire

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Beginners Guide: The Ways To Read The Walking Dead Comic Book

With The Walking Dead TV Show getting more popular then ever, i am somewhat surprised how many of the rabid TV Fans have not read the comic.  As good as the TV Show is (and it's real good), the book is just SO much better IMO.  it is not restricted by AMC restrictions, or the restrictions of TV itself.

i have written up a summary of which ways someone that is new to the book can get started and/or caught up on the book:

Floppies/Monthlies:  Starting in October of 2003, Image Comics released The Walking Dead as a monthly release (meaning that it was released one a month, and it has pretty much remained true to that format for each month since then for the last 10 years.)  The floppies feature full color covers, and after each issue a Letters Column where fans write in and discuss/ask questions about the book.  Some floppies also feature sneak
previews of future Image comics.  These issues, while meant to be read, are also highly collectible, making this the most costly way to read the series.  There are currently 132 floppies. There is no "end point" in sight, and i'd expect it to go at least 300 issues.
Cover price is $2.99

Trades/Trade Paper Backs/TPB : These are released about every six months.  Each TPB contains six floppies.  There are no covers or Letter Sections included, and the individual issues are not separated, it reads straight through.  There are no bonus materials included.  There are currently 21 TPBs of TWD. 
Cover Price is $14.99

Hard Cover Trades/HC : The Hard Cover Trades consist of 12 floppies, with the pages being literally a larger format. Essentially, each Hard Cover contains two TPB's.  There are bonus materials included including a collection of the covers in the back of the HC.  The Letter Section is not included, and the individual issues are not separated, it reads straight through.  There are currently 10 HC Collections.
Cover Price is $34.99

Omnibus/Oversized Deluxe : These collections contain 24 floppies each, or four TPBs/Two HC.  These pages are even larger then the HC, and comes with a slip case.  Packaging overall is Very Well done.  There are bonus materials included.  There are currently 4 Omnibus'
Cover Price is $99.99

Compendium : These Collections contain 48 floppies each, or Eight TPB/Four HC/Two Omnibus'  The pages are the same size as the floppies and the TPB.  There are no special features in the Compendiums, strictly 48 floppies from first page to last. Since these contain 48 floppies, they take years to come out between releases,  48 floppies is 4 years of monthly releases, so its a safe bet (there is nothing set in stone) that a
Compendium will come out about every five years. 
Cover price on these is $64.99

i am a monthly floppy reader, have been since issue 98 i think it was.  i know some people that wait for the TPB to come out, but i have no idea how they have that kind of will power! LOL

When re-reading, i prefer the Hard Cover Trades/HC format.  i feel it is just the right right size when held in my hand, the increased page size is nice, and since its a hard cover, it is just an over all better experience imo.

The most economical way to read TWD would be The Compendiums, but keep in mind that these are HEAVY! i think they weigh about 7 pounds each.

Like anything else, do not be afraid to shop around for the best price you can find.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. i can literally talk about TWD all day.