Hobby Oddities: 1999 Fleer Tradition Spectra Star All Star Baseball Kites

Spectra Star was a toy company known for making marbles, flying discs, yo-yos, and kites.

In 1995 they were purchased by now defunct Toy Biz.

Most of their products featured the images of licensed properties – Star Wars, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc…

One specific line of kites they sold jumps out to me. Spectra Star released six kites that have baseball cards on them. Specifically six cards from the 1999 Fleer Tradition set. The players they made kites for are Ken Griffey, Jr., Greg Maddux, Mike Piazza, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Derek Jeter.

The kite measures 28″, and is a sled style.

Included with the kite is a matching baseball card.

The card looks just like it’s normal counterpart found in the regular 1999 Fleer Tradition set except for one tiny difference.

You can see the card that comes with the kite has a different number.

Kite cards are numbered “X OF 6”. This Derek Jeter kite card is numbered “6 OF 6”. Derek Jeter’s regular base card found in packs of 1999 Fleer Tradition is #5.

2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Blaster Box Break

Blaster Box time!!! This time we have a Blaster Box of 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball from Walmart.

Inside you will find (7) packs with (14) cards per pack. Every box should also come with (1) Manufactured Commemorative Patch card.

With Hobby Boxes being so expensive, breaking Blasters and picking up singles is the best way to go right now.

Here is what I pulled:

Team Logo Patch:

  • Jose Altuve


  • Scott Barlow Rainbow Foil #9
  • Kyle Wright/Julio Urias/Yu Darvish ’22 NL Wins Leaders Royal Blue #284


  • Fernando Tatis Jr. Home Run Challenge #9
  • Pete Alonso 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary #74
  • Rafael Devers 2022 Greatest Hits #7
  • Cedric Mullins Welcome To The Club #17
  • Jose Ramirez Topps Chrome Stars of MLB #7
  • Mike Trout Stars of MLB #2
  • Francisco Lindor Stars of MLB #28
  • Adley Rutschman Stars of MLB #22
  • Julio Rodriguez Stars of MLB #16
  • Luis Robert Stars of MLB #6
  • Christian Yelich Stars of MLB #11
  • Aaron Judge Stars of MLB #13


  • Vinnie Pasquantino #302
  • Josh Smith #37
  • Kody Clemens #176
  • Matthew Liberatore #52
  • Brandon Hughes #97
  • Ivan Herrera #58
  • Adley Rutschman #250
  • Buddy Kennedy #135
  • Lenyn Sosa #140
  • Miguel Vargas #163
  • Triston Casas #92
  • Nolan Jones #129
  • Evan Lee #243
  • Gunnar Henderson #206
  • Jeter Downs #165
  • Davis Martin #188
  • Michael Grove #15

2023 Topps Chrome Baseball Cards Slipping Out The Backdoor

2023 Topps Chrome Baseball isn’t due out for months, yet a few singles have popped up on eBay.

eBay user truf2228 had two 2023 Topps Chrome Baseball Autographs up for sale. One of Livan Soto, and the other of Spencer Steer.

The Soto autograph was sold on 4/11/23, and the buyer left positive feedback. The Steer autograph was taken down before the sale was completed.

In addition to both of those cards the same seller had a Nelson Rada 2023 Bowman – Chrome Prospect Autograph Orange Refractor #’ed/25 up for sale with a missing signature. It too was taken down before the sale could be completed.

A few months ago in a now deleted Reddit post an individual mentioned they were gifted cards, and wanted to know what they were worth. The pictures they showed were of 2023 Bowman and 2023 Topps Chrome Baseball cards. Before the post was deleted Card Shark Brian posted a link to it on Twitter.

Fake cards? Authentic cards slipping out the backdoor by an angry employee? You be the judge.

Stuff like this has been happening for years.

I’m not fully convinced the signature is authentic. Compare it to Soto’s signature from his 2019 Bowman Chrome Prospect Autograph.

Card of the Day: 1999 Original Hand-Painted Baseball Art by Monty Sheldon – Sandy Koufax #20

2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hanger Box Break

I don’t believe I have ever opened a hanger box before. Well, there is a first time for everything.

Every 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hanger Box comes with (67) cards. You can look for at least (1) regular insert, and (4) retail exclusive inserts. The Royal Blue Parallels are also a retail exclusive.

Here is what I pulled:


  • A.J. Minter Royal Blue #159
  • Matt Chapman Rainbow Foil #260


  • Alek Manoah All Aces
  • Kris Bryant 1988 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary
  • Bryce Harper Stars of MLB
  • Wander Franco Stars of MLB
  • Shohei Ohtani Stars of MLB
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Stars of MLB


  • Jeter Downs #165
  • Brett Baty #89
  • Darick Hall #209
  • Jermaine Palacios #56
  • Lenyn Sosa #140
  • Brandon Hughes #97
  • Oscar Gonzalez #119
  • Nolan Gorman #16
  • Cal Mitchell #313

Scott Rolen Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Bat Arrives

The Cooperstown Bat Co. has been making Hall of Fame Induction Bats for a long time.

When I heard that Scott Rolen is getting inducted this year I knew that I had to grab one for my collection. I sold my Goose Gossage 2008 Hall of Fame Induction Bat that I picked up in Cooperstown to make room for the Scott Rolen bat.

In 1996 I attended my first card show at a mall in Lebanon, PA. Scott Rolen at the time was about to make his MLB debut or had just made his MLB debut. That day he signed autographs for show attendees. Over the next few years I was able to meet him at some other shows in Harrisburg, PA.

The Scott Rolen bat came out really nice. It measures 34″ long. Scott Rolen played for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and Reds so it makes sense the bat would be red. Engraved on the bat are his career stats, Induction logo, facsimile signature, and jersey number.

When comparing the Scott Rolen bat to my old Goose Gossage bat I noticed that they changed the serial numbering. Both are limited to (500) bats. All of the Goose Gossage bats have “1 of 500” printed on them. The actual number out of (500) is on the bottom of the knob. Scott Rolen’s bat has the actual number out of (500) engraved on the bat with nothing on the knob. My bat is “009 of 500”.

2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Super Box Pin Checklist

The 2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Super Box is an exclusive retail product.

Inside you will find (10) 2023 Topps Series 1 Packs, (1) Exclusive Oversized Card and Companion Card, and (1) Exclusive 5-Card Pack containing Silver Patterned Foil Parallels.

Also included is 1 of 10 exclusive pins.

Here is the pin checklist:

  • Mike Trout
  • Julio Rodriguez
  • Pete Alonso
  • Juan Soto
  • Aaron Judge
  • Bryce Harper
  • Adley Rutschman
  • Ronald Acuña Jr.
  • Shohei Ohtani
  • Mookie Betts

I know that Topps wants to get more involved with Little League Baseball. For a few days last year the Topps Truck was at the Little League World Series handing out promo card packs to kids. That’s cool, but pins are the collectible everyone is after during that event. The next time Topps attends the Little League World Series they should have specially made pins to hand out. Pins that look like baseball cards is a great start. Perhaps making some Parallel Pins would give collectors something else to chase.

2023 Topps Series 1 Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set

The base set consists of (330) total cards. Parallels include Gold Foil (1:2 Jumbo), Rainbow Foil (1:10 Hobby), Royal Blue (1:10 Retail), Gold #’ed/2023, Green Foil #’ed/499, Advanced Stats #’ed/300, Orange Foil #’ed/299, Red Foil #’ed/199, Vintage Stock #’ed/99, Independence Day #’ed/76, Black #’ed/72, Mother’s Day Hot Pink #’ed/50, Father’s Day Powder Blue #’ed/50, Memorial Day Camo #’ed/25, Platinum #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1. (100) cards from the base set also have a Clear parallel #’ed/10.

For 2023 Topps really changed the way photo variations are done. Every card in the (330) base set has (1) Gold Mirror Variation. Topps made it very easy to identify them too. The Topps logo on the front of the Gold Mirror Variation is printed in gold foil. Turning the card over you’ll see “SSP” printed in gold foil as well. You can use the CMP code which is #585 for the Gold Mirror Variations compared to the base #565, but it really isn’t necessary this year. In the past Topps would pick perhaps (100) players from the base set and issue multiple photo variations for each. Some more difficult to pull than others. Topps has said that the (1) Gold Mirror Variation for each base card will also apply to Series 2 and Update.

Gold Mirror Variation odds:

  • Hobby – 1:454 packs
  • Jumbo – 1:46 packs
  • Hanger – 1:203 packs
  • Blaster – 1:1,360 packs

I’m a fan of the 2023 flagship design. All of the main upgrades are in the nameplate. Collectors get to enjoy a head shot of the player with the team logo in the background. We will see this design used for Series 2, Update, Chrome, etc… I think it will look really cool on Chrome stock.

The 2023 design also makes it easy to read the player’s name. You’ed think being able to read the name easily would be a common feature from year to year, but that isn’t always the case. The 2021 design used smaller font for the name.

A hobby box will come with (1) relic or autograph, and (1) Silver Pack box topper.

A jumbo box will come with (1) autograph, (2) relics, and (2) Silver Pack box toppers.

Popular rookie cards include Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson, Michael Harris II, Vaughn Grissom, Brett Baty, Nolan Gorman, and Riley Greene.

A lot of these first rookies and Gold Mirror Variations will come down in price. As the year progresses many more baseball products will be released giving collectors more options. Waiting to buy that new base rookie or Gold Mirror Variation traditionally should save you some money.

Be sure to check the backs of your 1988 Topps Baseball 35th Anniversary inserts. The Real One Heritage Stock #’ed/88 parallel wasn’t printed on Heritage card stock like they were suppose to be, but do contain the serial number. Without looking at the back you could easily mistake this parallel for a base insert.


Here is what I pulled:


  • Jose Altuve Major League Material


  • Luis Robert 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary Black #’ed/299
  • Vinnie Pasquantino RC Gold #’ed/2023
  • Yordan Alvarez Rainbow Foil
  • Caleb Kilian RC Rainbow Foil


  • Sandy Alcantara All Aces
  • Mike Trout Home Run Challenge
  • Shane Bieber/Triston McKenzie One-Two Punch
  • Adley Rutschman 2022 Greatest Hits
  • Manny Machado 2022 Greatest Hits
  • Mookie Betts Welcome to the Club
  • Willie Mays Welcome to the Club
  • Jackie Robinson 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary
  • Cal Ripken Jr. 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary
  • Javier Baez 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary
  • Shohei Ohtani 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary
  • Luis Robert 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary
  • Seiya Suzuki 1988 Topps 35th Anniversary
  • Salvador Perez 1988 Topps Chrome Silver Pack
  • Don Mattingly 1988 Topps Chrome Silver Pack
  • Buster Posey 1988 Topps Chrome Silver Pack
  • Javier Baez 1988 Topps Chrome Silver Pack

2022 Topps Gallery Baseball Blaster Box Break – HUGE HIT!!!

Last fall I opened a Monster Box of 2022 Topps Gallery Baseball and pulled a Julio Rodriguez RC Orange Parallel Auto #’ed/25.

I decided to test my luck again this time with a blaster box. All I can say is that the luck continues. Big hits are 100% possible from retail stores such as Walmart. This box is proof.

As a big Phillies and Bryce Harper fan I’m seriously thinking about redeeming it. I’ve never owned a Bryce Harper autograph before.

Here is what I pulled:


  • Bryce Harper Modern Artists Autograph Parallel Redemption


  • Ryan Vilade RC Rainbow Foil #84
  • Steven Kwan RC Rainbow Foil #166
  • Shohei Ohtani Printer Proof #190
  • Juan Soto Printer Proof #101
  • Romy Gonzalez Printer Proof #109
  • Pedro Martinez Printer Proof #10


  • Freddie Freeman Modern Artists #MA-14

2022 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Update Series Baseball Box Break & Review

Collector Type: Set/Rookie/Parallel Fan

I had never opened a Sapphire product until now. In the past I have purchased various Sapphire products to flip.

When the regular 2022 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Baseball was released it debuted at $249.99/box. That was a bit too expensive for me considering there aren’t any autographs. So I made the decision to skip it.

After hearing that 2022 Topps Chrome Sapphire Edition Update Series Baseball included on-card autographs everyone expected the price to be very high. Turns out that wasn’t the case. Boxes debuted at $129.99. Topps can be all over the place when it comes to pricing. Sometimes its high. Sometimes its low. Sometimes its right on.

The base set consists of (330) cards. Parallels include Green #’ed/75 (1:9), Gold #’ed/50 (1:13), Orange #’ed/25 (1:26), Purple #’ed/10 (1:64), Red #’ed/5 (1:127), Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:1,598), and Padparadscha #’ed 1/1 (1:1,039).

Autographs are #’ed/25 or less. Parallels include Orange #’ed/25 (1:817), Purple #’ed/10 (1:2,043), Red #’ed/5 (1:4,085), Superfractor #’ed 1/1 (1:20,013).

The autographs are difficult to pull. But at least this product has them. And with a small autograph checklist when one is pulled it is usually of a top rookie.

On-card autographs are always better than stickers. Collectors were hoping not too many of them would be packed-out as redemption cards. So far the only redemption autograph looks to be of Jeremy Peña.

Each box should contain at least (2) parallels. I’ve seen some with (1) and others containing (3).

I bought this box because it had a reasonable debut price, and wanted to open a Sapphire product. The chance at pulling an autograph was also a nice bonus.

Seeing that this is the only product where you can find on-card Sapphire autographs of top rookies from 2022, box prices could skyrocket if any of them work out. On the other side those players could flop, and box prices could tank.

No Julio Rodriguez, Bobby Witt Jr., or Spencer Torkelson rookie cards found in my box.

As I mentioned before, this is the first Sapphire product I’ve opened. This is also the first time I’ve seen Sapphire cards in-hand. I can see why collectors go crazy for them.

2023 members of the Topps 582 Montgomery Club will receive (1) 20-card set, and the factory set this year. It would be really cool if that 20-card set would be printed on Chrome Sapphire card stock. The set should consist of subjects that haven’t had Chrome Sapphire cards made yet. Off the top of my head Mickey Mantle, Phillie Phanatic, and Mike Schmidt would make great additions.


Here is what I pulled:


  • Adam Frazier Gold Refractor #’ed/50
  • Hunter Renfroe Green Refractor #’ed/75


  • Jason Krizan RC #US65
  • Felix Bautista RC #US225
  • Ryan Pepiot #US109
  • MacKenzie Gore RC #US81
  • Brendan Donovan RC #US150
  • Jack Suwinski RC #US236
  • Shane Baz RC Rookie Debut #US240
  • Nick Allen RC #US117
  • Bryan Lavastida RC #US317


  • Nick Castellanos #US266
  • Garrett Stubbs #US315
  • Michael Lorenzen #US84
  • Andrew Stevenson #US173
  • Matt Chapman #US235
  • Cole Sulser #US103
  • Sergio Romo #US322
  • Sean Manaea #US48
  • Jace Peterson #US12
  • Drew Smyly #US138
  • Opening Day Bronx Bash #US45
  • Boston Flex #US11
  • Cole Irvin #US292
  • Luis Guillorme #US107
  • Robert Suarez/Steven Wilson #US239
  • Jurickson Profar #US69
  • Archie Bradley #US98
  • Andrew Knizner #US329
  • Brad Miller #US91
  • Kyle Cody #US96
  • Adam Engel #US323