Hey, I went to a card show!

Yup, I’m still alive over here. Spent pretty much all of September on home renovations and sorting out cards to sell (more on that soon). Did find out about a card show within driving distance, though, so I stopped there today.

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Here’s what the room looked like, about an hour after opening. People were still moseying in, and it was a little quiet, but there were a good number of dealers there, and they all seemed to have someone or other going through stuff at their tables. A handful of the dealers at this show were coin dealers, but the rest seemed to deal primarily in cards of some sort. There’s a row of dealers to the right of the shot here, too. Really need to remember that things like panoramas and 360 degree photos exist nowadays.

I went in mostly to check out the show, see how much dealer space was available, and if it looked like there’d be enough foot traffic to justify setting up there. Didn’t have a huge budget today, and didn’t want to spend my entire day looking through boxes of cards, but I looked through some, though, blast it all, there were two nickel boxes (!) at one dealer’s table, and the guy who got to them first bought both boxes in their entirety!

I noticed that most of what was at the show in terms of vintage cards was higher end stuff, but I found one box in the corner of a dealer’s table with unpriced, lower end ’50s-’70s cards, and we came to an uneasy agreement on ’em after a little back and forth (I probably would’ve gone easier on him, but I have a buncha stuff to cover this month), while also debating the importance of Kyle Okposo to the New York Islanders. (I still say he was pressing this past season, and picked a bad time to do it…here’s hoping Buffalo’s more relaxed for him, and that he has some fun with Matt Moulson out there.)

Anyway, here’s some of what I got…

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First playing-era Brooklyn Dodger in a while, even if it’s a rough one! Also: ’60 Leaf! ’63 Fleer! Mudcat! Hondo! A near-high-number ’66!

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A ’67 checklist with floating head Frank! A buncha ’68s! (I cut 36 in total off my want list today. The Santo is rough, but the rest of the ’68 stars are pretty good, and these ended up being near-quarter-box prices, anyway.) A couple of ’69s! (NICE.)

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Some ’73 high numbers, bringing me over the 600 mark on the set! (Also: MOAR HONDO!)

I paid a *little* more than I’ve been spoiled into believing I should be paying for these kinds of cards today (I’ve been having some really nice flea market finds), but I’m happy overall with how I did. My ’68 and ’69 Topps sets are getting close to the 400 mark, where I never thought I’d be on a ’60s Topps set, and where they are probably going to stall FOREVER.

If you want to check the show out, the next 2 shows at the Chicopee, MA Boys & Girls Club are November 6th and December 4th, 2016, from 9 AM-2 PM.

Topps Bunt Physical Trading Cards

Yes, I’m doing a dedicated baseball card post over here! (For those wondering why this is a big deal at all, I have another site where I usually do this. I may eventually just move all that other stuff here.)

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After a false start yesterday, I found packs and blaster boxes of 2016 Topps Bunt! For those unfamiliar (I’ve written a bit about it on this site already), Bunt is Topps’ digital baseball card trading app. If it seems like a weird idea to you, trading JPEGs or PNGs or whatnot, you’re not alone, but that’s another conversation. Anyway, this week, for the first time, Topps has issued a crossover physical card product in the Topps Bunt line, and so far, I’m having a lot of fun with it. It’s priced affordably (a buck a pack, or 11 packs in a 10 dollar blaster box), the cards (while a bit fragile) look nice, there’s good names in the set, fun insert cards, and you can also get code cards in the packs (I was promised 3 on the box, and I got 4!) that unlock digital packs back on the app, with (I believe) exclusive insert cards (again, digital) in them. Here’s some of how I did.

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These were the best of my base cards. As you can see, a solid if unspectacular base card design (definitely better than Topps’ flagship base design this year, though, and better than the planned design for next year, as well). Cool mix of current players and veterans in the set. I got a bunch of my favorite players, and I ended up putting together 1/6 of the set in 11 packs with no doubles!

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These were my inserts. Loving the Lightforce set (which they’d done a variation of in the digital Bunt product already), and happy to get some decent players. The Alex Gordon is for trade, and I know I have a Gordon collector who reads my other site, so hopefully they’ll jump on it.

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This is also available for trade! These come at a rate of 1:105 packs, so getting one in my first 11 is pretty good, I reckon!

As I mentioned, there were scratch-off code cards in 4 of the packs (they mercifully keep the number of insert cards in each pack to 1, for optimal set building), and I’ve redeemed those already. Let’s have a look at what happened there…

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This is what it looks like when you successfully redeem a digital pack via your web browser. Over in the app, the packs show up in your “Bulletin” dropdown. I opened them, and here’s the best of the best…

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Hey, it’s a platinum Nolan Ryan! Now, to me, the platinum cards just look like the base cards, but they’re super-limited (there were just 21 of the Ryan last I looked). I’m not a Ryan collector in physical or digital (I’ll keep a great looking card of his here and there and I keep the ones I need to finish sets, but mostly I flip his stuff for cards of different players who I do collect), so this is being made available elsewhere, along with the cards below that I mention as being stuff I’m unloading.

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Billy Hamilton, on the other hand, I do like a bunch! Always did like base stealers (the rookie card of Rickey Henderson, whose cards I’ve just started formally collecting again, was in my first pack of Topps cards, after all). Keeping it!

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The confetti you see in this James Shields picture is what happens when the app is like “HOLY SHIT YOU GOT SOMETHING GOOD!”. It’s a fairly limited card, but I don’t collect Shields. Unloading it.

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Love Jose Fernandez! Keeping this.

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I think Stephen Piscotty’s a pretty solid ballplayer, and I’ve had him on and off my fantasy team a few times now, but I’m not collecting him (I generally don’t collect Cardinals players; I’ve had a grudge dating back to Davey Johnson’s Mets…). Unloading it.

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Hey, it’s a Lightforce! I don’t collect Gonzo, though, and I’ll probably have a real hard time finishing the digital set, as these are hella limited. Let me look at the checklist and figure out what I’m doing here.

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Dee Gordon screwed up this year (or got caught for it this year, anyway), but he has always been a fun player to watch, and this is a fun card. Keeping it, and hoping he keeps his shit together from here out.

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BO. Keeper.

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These cards score 3X in the Bunt contests (kinda like fantasy baseball, you create a lineup on the app and your players score according to what they do in the day’s games), but I haven’t been playing contests lately (not enough hours in the day, and the freeplay ones have gotten weak), and I’m not a Votto collector. Unloading it.

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Hey, it’s one of them new Cubbies that isn’t Kris Bryant! Let me put it in the hands of someone who’s a bigger fan than I am.

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Sometimes, the app gives you “HOLY SHIT” stars, too! Severino’s available.

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I’m not sure where Boston and their fans are on Henry Owens, who seems to have stalled out a little, but hey, it’s a limited card. I’ll see what the open market will fetch. Update: it moved before I even finished this post! I guess folks still like him!

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More confetti, and I haven’t seen enough of Ozuna to really be a fan just yet. Unloading it.

So, remember how I had that Lightforce I was gonna try and trade for another Lightforce (the Luis Gonzalez) up yonder? Well, I found out that Bernie Williams was in the Lightforce set, so I made a trade offer to a few people on the Bunt app, and minutes later…

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YAY BERNIE

And that’s how I did!

Well, I got a bunch of “base” Bunt digital inserts too (they look like the base physical cards, but are not like the Bunt base, which still resemble flagship; the synchronicity between app and cardboard still needs some work), but you’ve seen what those look like out here in meatspace already, so there’s not much to see there.

So, did I get my $10 worth?

Absolutely!

Best time I’ve had opening a new trading card product in some time. Lots to like, lots to do. Well worth your money, if you just like to crack open packs and have a good time with this stuff.

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The world, it done ate me.

I’ve been crazy busy, but the worst of what was scheduled to be crazy busy is done now (and hopefully, there isn’t much unscheduled crazy in the offing), and I’m actually doing hobby-type things at the moment.

Among them:

Preparing to sell a bunch of cards, from the 10,000 or so I’ve gotten in lots that I decided not to keep or already had.

Setting up a proper room for my hobby stuff, once it’s painted and whatever we decide to do to the floors there is done. (This also entails moving the literal ton of stuff I have in the room next to it, after the painting and flooring is over.)

Figuring out where my focus is going to be on these hobbies of mine, both short-term and for the forseeable future.

It’s coming along, all of this.

Oh, and if you want to get chatty with me, I am on Twitter, at @INeedNewHobbies. I should be a bit more active there in the coming days. Follow and engage!

May 2016 Brimfield Antique Show Finds

This morning, I spent some time at the first Brimfield show of the year. If you’ve never been, this will begin to give you some idea as to the scope of it, but hardly The way I’ve described it to people is this: imagine a good-sized, busy flea market with a few hundred vendors or so. Then imagine about a dozen of those (in total, there are 21 dealer fields at Brimfield, but they’re not all open simultaneously; some only operate on certain days of the week), lining either side of a highway for about a mile, right next to each other, with nothing but the good stuff. This was my 3rd show and 5th trip out there overall, and while rain and sleep dep (it’s been a long week at my house, lots going on) cut today short just slightly (I was going to check out one more field), I had a lot of fun, and picked up a couple of great things.

I’ve never had a Mego Spock before, and he’s my first new original Mego in close to 30 years. Missing his belt, insignia and accessories, but he’s a clean lookin’ figure without much wear on his joints or costume. Welcome home, Spock!

The card to his left is from the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams card set. I’m *very* slowly building the set (not even in double digits yet on an 80 card set with one very tough card in it), and this is one of the cards I wanted the most from it, as it’s a picture of Ted with Jim Thorpe. It’s a gorgeous picture, one of the best in the set, and, again, it’s Ted Williams and Jim Thorpe on the same card. Here’s a scan, for more detail…

It can admittedly be tough to find bargains at Brimfield (though the window shopping is unparalleled, even if you decide not to buy much; you are guaranteed to see something amazing that you’ll only see once in your life, every single time you go there), because in an environment populated by about 6,000 (not a typo) antiques dealers, everyone tends to know what they have and table fees are higher than they’d be in a local flea market, but both of these finds were very affordable.I probably won’t make it back out there this weekend, but I’m already looking ahead to the July show, which is happening between the 12th and 17th.

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