Tuesday, April 14, 2020

COMC Blaster - Not Just Sports, but Autos, Dinos & Star Wars

I think you'll agree that this latest "COMC Blaster" post is a candidate for my most diverse blaster yet!

The ground rules for these posts are simple, dive into my backlog of to-be-posted COMC goods and see how far $20 in store credit that could have been spent on a retail blaster was used on the site instead...

Here's a cool one right out of the gate!  This is from the 1968 Brooke Bond History of the Motorcar release.  These were mini cards included in packages of Brooke Bond Tea over in England.

I picked this one up because it reminds me of my dad, actually.  Back in the late '90s he was one of the first people to buy a new Beetle when Volkswagen revived the model.  That purchase allowed his previous car (a Chevy Cavalier) to be passed down to me to become my first used car.  I can still remember some of the first cruises around town we took in my dad's Beetle, and what a fun car that was.

Here's a look at the back.  No way I was passing this card up for just 98 cents!

While I'm at it, here's one other mini/tobacco-sized card for today, a Xander Bogaerts from the "dark mode" Allen & Ginter X release.  Not much to say about this one, just a cool addition to my ever-expanding Bogaerts collection for just 70 cents.

The card I'm most bored by in today's post would have to be this 1994 Bowman's Best Gregg Jefferies.  Like a few other singles I've shown off in these blaster posts in the past, I picked this one up because I'm planning a future Stat Kings post on the 1994 baseball season, and wanted to feature cards that I actually own as part of that series.  My cost for this card?  55 cents.

Okay this one got me particularly excited.  I loved the Norwich Navigators back in the day.  My family would attend at least a few games a year starting with the inaugural season, and it was always a great way to spend an evening outside watching live baseball.  I have a lot of great memories from summer nights spent at that ballpark.

There aren't a ton of Navigators cards out there, period.  When I discovered this hard-signed Nick Johnson autograph courtesy of the 2000 Just set, I pounced.  Maybe the most rewarding $1.25 I've spent on a baseball card in some time.  For all I know, my brothers and I could be lined up right behind the fans in this photograph waiting for our chance at an autograph!

Let's visit the world of soccer for a couple of cards.  I really, really, really hope they find a creative way to finish the 2019/2020 Premier League campaign.  My favorite team, Liverpool, is practically a statistical lock to win the table after many years, and it's tantalizing for that championship to be in jeopardy right now.

I thought this Ambiance insert from 2016 Topps Premier Gold that showcases Anfield (their home stadium) was a cool addition to my small soccer collection for just 85 cents.

How about a new card featuring arguably the most talented young player on the globe?  I've already got a few Kylian Mbappe cards, and I didn't really need to add this one truth be told.  The only reason I grabbed it at the time was that, having looked at his available cards on the site from time to time, it seemed awfully cheap at just $1.60.

I guess my instincts were good in this case, as I just looked and the cheapest copy available on the site at the time of this posting is north of $25!  Man, I'd let this one go for $20+ in a heartbeat.  Should have kept it in my inventory instead of shipping it home I guess.

I bet you wouldn't have guessed that the most expensive card in today's post would be a Star Wars card?!?!  I'm a sucker for acetate cards in general, and I enjoy the Star Wars High Tek release.  Something about Tek and sci-fi tech just jives.

I'd become aware of these relatively rare (#'d /25) "Orange Magma Diffractors" when I grabbed a Xander Bogaerts from the baseball release, and was keeping half an eye out for a complimentary example from the world of Star Wars when this Grand Moff Tarkin appeared for $3.25.  Sold!

Am I collecting the 1970-71 Topps basketball set?  I continue to answer that question with a no, however they seem to be starting to accumulate around here.  I love the "tallboy" format, and it seems particularly appropriate in a basketball set featuring very tall human beings.

I scooped up this Bob Rule for a buck, probably due to a little bit of surface marking/scuffing that you can see up top against the black background.  I've got four of these now, and will certainly keep my eye out for more dollar-or-less pick-ups like this one going forward...

I always feel compelled to show the backs of these, since they're laid out so nicely and feature a cartoon.

Pumped to fill a hole in my '60s Topps Red Sox collection with two-sport star Gene Conley's 1961 release.  At 39 cents it's practically criminal that I didn't get to this sooner.  Conley is a fascinating athlete that's worth reading into if you're not familiar with him.

No big surprise here, another addition to my precious Hartford Whalers collection!  I've got well over 1,700 Whalers cards at this stage, but I did not have this Ruby parallel from 2012-13 Upper Deck Black Diamond (#'d /100) until now.

I like adding rare parallels like this to that particular team collection, and like the basketball card above this one was available for an even dollar.  I sometimes think to myself while browsing COMC "if I saw this card in a dollar box at a show or shop, would I grab it?".  The answer here was unequivocally yes!

If I'm being honest, I'm not all that jazzed up about this Rhys Hoskins RC from 2018 Topps flagship.  I paid $1.50 for this, and have no recollection of doing so.  I think he's a promising young star and all, but dude swatted a dismal .226 last season.  Yikes.  There's a guy who desperately wants the 2020 campaign to get underway so he can put last year in the rear-view mirror...

On the other end of the spectrum, here's a card that I'm absolutely pumped to have grabbed, and for 25 cents less than the Hoskins RC above (which makes me annoyed about that purchase even more so).

The more I see of the 1954 Bowman release, the more I absolutely love it.  I think it's a superior set to what Topps churned out in '54.  I love the Chicago jersey with the jarring red stripe, as well as the stadium background, on Warren Hacker's card.

I'm up to 31 of these cards now, and fully plan to continue to pick up more in the future.  Completing this set would be a lifetime hobby dream for sure.  As they say, I'm enjoying the journey and the satisfaction that each new pick-up brings along the way.

My main years of collecting baseball cards as a kid fell in the first half of the 1990s.  Because of that, there are certain sets, parallels and players that are absolute favorites of mine to this day simply because they were a big deal at that time.

One of those parallels would be the 1st Day Issue cards from Topps Stadium Club.  There were supposedly around 2,000 of each produced, though they are not serial-numbered.  The 1994 Stadium Club set in particular are really my favorites.  I was just 11 years old in the summer of '94 and recall fondly just what a big deal this set was to me.  These one-per-box parallels were like cardboard gold among my group of collecting buddies.

I search these out from time to time to this day, and bought this Ryan Klesko immediately when it turned up with an asking price of just 39 cents.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I have more cards of Wayne Gretzky in my organized collection at this point than of any other human being.  Here's one more for the pile, a nice celebratory shot from Upper Deck Masterpieces for $1.85.  I think these were short-printed, as the cheapest example on the site right now is listed for more than $10.  This might be a better Gretzky card that I realized when I first grabbed it!

Speaking of tallboy format cards, here's a fantastic one courtesy of Parkhurst.  They put out a variety of sets in the mid-'90s that were supposed to be throwbacks to what some of their missing sets from the '50s and '60s could have looked like.

This particular release is entirely in tallboy format.  I really need to pick up some more of these, but storage is a bit of a pain with hundreds of them.  For now, I happily shelled out 62 cents for this amazing Charlie Hodge so that I have at least one example in my collection.  Love that mask, and the brown pads!

I love lenticular cards, and I also love dinosaurs.  When Upper Deck combined the two for a 42-card insert set in their 2015 Dinosaurs release, I knew I'd try to build it.  When I can find one I need for under a dollar (or more than a dollar in the case of the short-printed cards) I'm usually game.  Prosaurolophus here was 89 cents, and gets me close to the halfway mark for the set overall.

Next up, a couple of shiny baseball additions.  From the 2019 Topps Chrome set, and because I'm a total sucker for the various colored refractors in Chrome, a Chris Sale Green Refractor.  At a dollar even, I happily scooped this up using my "would I purchase this from a dollar box?" logic.

Another one bites the dust in my quest to complete the 2014 Topps Finest set in X-Fractor format.  Matt Kemp here was had for the paltry sum of 43 cents, and puts me at 55 cards down out of 100 now!

Closing things out for this edition, here's an interesting Pedro Martinez insert from 2001 Fleer Ultra.  I think I learned about these music-themed Greatest Hits inserts on another blog long ago.  The card is actually die-cut to look like a CD coming out of a sleeve, so the white portion at the upper and lower right of the card around the disc is actually my scanner bed.

Somewhat cheesy?  Yes, but I'll take this over most Topps inserts coming out nowadays.  Just 40 cents, too!

With that, our running total is up to $19.90, so we'll call it a blaster for today.  Hope you saw something that interested you, and thanks as always for stopping by!


Shlabotnik Report said...

I bought a fair amount of 2000 Just Minors, but never saw an autograph before. I always thought the design with the colored bar going through the middle was an odd choice, but seeing an *autographed* card made me realize that the set was more or less based on the auto insert. It's cool that Nick Johnson's card shows him signing autographs as well.... I'm pretty sure I have (or had) the base version of this.

I've got a different card from that Brooke Bond set. I might have to go back and get more.

Elliptical Man said...

I do like the Grand Moff Tarkin card, and older cards like the Conley and Hacker are always nice.

Tim B. said...

Really cool additions! I've had a base copy of the Nick Johnson sitting in a pile that I've thought of as a starter stack for another package to Send you. It's been far too looong a time since I've sent anything your way.

Nick said...

That Nick Johnson is an autograph card...of a guy signing autographs! I love it!

Fuji said...

That VW Bug is awesome! Never seen that set, but I went over to COMC to see the other cars in the set. The Bug and the Morris Mini are my favorites. If I ever add more money into my COMC account, I might pick these up.

Billy Kingsley said...

Nice variety here! I have about half of that Brooke Bond set waiting in my COMC box...someday I'll be able to ship them home.

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