The 2016 National Has Begun!!!

I made it to the National!!!  This is the sixth one I’ve attended.  While picking up my media credentials I was greeted by Nate Berkus, one of the sons of National co-founder Mike Berkus who passed away last year.  He looked very familiar, and it turned out to be the same Nate Berkus who has been seen on T.V. a lot.  He is a really popular interior designer.  It was a fun little Easter egg to start off the National.

During the VIP Party sponsored by Topps, I was able to get former Phillies pitcher Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams to sign my bat.  Art Shamsky, Roy White, and Eddie Giacomin were also signing autographs.  Steve Garvey was suppose to be there, but canceled due to a family medical emergency.  The food is really good.  Convention center pizza is the best.  It doesn’t flop around which makes it easy to eat and look around at stuff.

The show opened at 3:30 p.m. for VIPs.  I handed out a bunch of Sports Card Info pins to various people.  Topps allows you to get your own card made right there on the spot.  Ultra-Pro gave me some free top loaders and penny sleeves which I needed to protect my card.

From what I can tell, Marty’s Sports Card Exchange has the best prices on wax boxes.  He usually does.  Before leaving for the night, I picked-up some packs and a box of 2016 Bowman Baseball to break at the Topps booth tomorrow.  Based on what I saw tonight, it looks like there will be a wait at the Topps booth in order to get your promo packs.  This is because they just can’t break the seal on a box and call it a day.  Topps needs to see each pack ripped open.  When you have people show up with cases, it can take awhile.  If they just broke the seal on a box, people could come back with the packs from the same box and double-dip.

It was a great start to the 2016 National.  Who knows what will happen tomorrow.

 photo IMG_3024_zpsabivgufq.jpg

 photo IMG_3025_zpszxzqlpqp.jpg

Former Phillies pitcher Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams (left)

 photo IMG_3028_zpslw9xw9no.jpg

 photo IMG_3029_zpszxjiy9sl.jpg

 photo IMG_3030_zps38fnsal8.jpg

 photo IMG_3031_zpsjfszrzzv.jpg

 photo IMG_3032_zpszhmi1evb.jpg

 photo IMG_3035_zpstijyimhx.jpg

 photo IMG_3036_zps2rnchl1z.jpg

 photo IMG_3026_zpsypbj12x7.jpg

Got my own Topps card made.  Its an extreme SP.

 photo IMG_3039_zpsqxnapths.jpg

 photo IMG_3033_zpsaqoz6ce9.jpg

Advertisements

Sports Card Info Now Has Pins!!!

Look what Santa brought!!!  Sports Card Info now has it’s own batch of lapel pins.  These were made by Wilson Pins.  I plan to hand these out when I go to events like the Little League World Series and National Sports Collectors Convention.  I’ve got 150 of these bad boys to give out.  Don’t be surprised if you see some popup in the weekly contest(s) as well.

These are probably one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever.  I like items that have Sports Card Info’s name on them.  Especially when I can give them away.  The Sports Card Info pins will be the #1 collectible in 2016!!!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens New Trailer Has Dropped

 photo 1977starwarspack_zpseq2lx8pb.jpg

Has CollectorCrate Gone Out Of Business?

 photo collectorcratebox15_zpsrq5vdeyu.jpg

Has CollectorCrate gone out of business?  This is an excellent question, because nobody seems quite sure.  The CollectorCrate website hasn’t been updated for awhile.  Either has their social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook.  I’ve sent numerous e-mails to them, but have yet to hear anything back.  On their Facebook page there are a handful of complaints from collectors wanting to know what the hell is going on.  So far CollectorCrate has been silent.  This lack of communication from them is not a good sign.  The only bit of communication some people have received is an e-mail stating their package has been shipped.  But that doesn’t seem to mean much.  Its probably some automatic thing just leaving collectors waiting for something that won’t show up.  While going through some of the complaints, it looks like the trouble began in March.  By the looks of it, some collectors that purchased products from them were charged but never received anything.  A lot are trying to find a way to get their money back.  If CollectorCrate went up the tube, the customers are probably last on the list of people to get their money returned.  That is if anyone involved with this company gets any kind of financial restitution at all.

Going out of business is one theory.  Another could be that something physically happened to them.  Perhaps they aren’t able to get in contact with their customers.  The most recent date of usage on any of their social media accounts comes from 4/16.  On that date they retweeted the new Star Wars trailer.  People were asking about their orders before that though.  According to artist Brad Utterstrom, he sent the sketches to be used for April to CollectorCrate.  They were of Cal Ripken Jr., Anthony Davis, and Russell Wilson.  He sent them an e-mail to see if the sketches arrived, but hasn’t heard back.

 photo ripkenaprilsketch_zps5yczmhgc.jpg

 photo davisaprilsketch_zps1es7l9n6.jpg

 photo wilsonaprilsketch_zpszmlbsixk.jpg

Last fall CollectorCrate opened up shop.  For a fee, they would ship you a box of goodies on a monthly basis.  The box included packs of cards, boxes, and all kinds of neat little stuff.  It worked just like Loot Crate, but sports related.  They covered baseball, football, and basketball.  A few months ago they began to include exclusive sketch print cards.  Too bad this whole thing looks to have gone downhill.  I would’ve enjoyed seeing them make some exclusive figures and bobbleheads.  Its an interesting idea that I don’t think should be given up on.  A lot of cool stuff could have been brought to the hobby through this type of business.  Perhaps they weren’t seeing the response from collectors like they hoped.  Maybe collectors realized it was just better to buy a sealed hobby box for the price of a CollectorCrate.

As for right now, I wouldn’t be signing up given whatever has happened to them.  We need to hear something from CollectorCrate first.  DO NOT ORDER!!!

Ant-Man Trailer Has Arrived

 photo antman_zps1820d0c3.jpg

The 35th National Has Begun!

Its official.  The 35th National Sports Collectors Convention has begun.  Autographs, cards, and promos are flying all over the place.  Every single collector in the world should be in Cleveland right now.

I arrived in plenty of time to obtain my VIP and Guest/Media credentials.  Then off to the VIP Party I went.  After eating some pizza and a cookie, the show opened to VIPs at 3:30pm.  Take a look!

 photo IMG_2181a_zps3062ac46.jpg

7x All-Star Dale Murphy signing at the Freedom Cardboard booth.

 photo IMG_2173a_zps434988e7.jpg

 photo IMG_2174a_zps7e8cc2c7.jpg

 photo IMG_2177a_zpsd2ab4d90.jpg

 photo IMG_2187a_zpsceb1d59d.jpg

 photo IMG_2178a_zps07a9a292.jpg

 photo IMG_2189a_zps035a1ecc.jpg

 photo IMG_2191a_zps7b0a8ace.jpg

 photo IMG_2184a_zps58b088ce.jpg

 photo IMG_2183a_zpsd3ed6cec.jpg

 photo IMG_2179a_zps8672268e.jpg

 photo IMG_2182a_zps60ce0ddf.jpg

 photo IMG_2188a_zps5b117cba.jpg

 photo IMG_2202a_zps4d4fd9c7.jpg

Now for the pickups.  While waiting in line for Dale Murphy, I just happened to be standing next to the Topps booth.  I decided to pickup a box of 2014 Topps Minis.  With every purchase of a Topps Minis box, you get a jumbo card made just for the show.  I picked Mike Trout.

 photo IMG_2195a_zps4bda1076.jpg

 photo IMG_2196a_zps017319c5.jpg

These OYO minifigures were actually the first promos I got upon entering the show.

 photo IMG_2198a_zps726d7a89.jpg

I stopped by Marty’s Sports Card Exchange and bought a box of 2014 Allen & Ginter.  The I went to Blowout Cards and bought another just so I could get the Johnny Manziel Beckett Cover card.  Both boxes were unwrapped at the Topps booth and I got my Abreu and Tanaka exclusive National mini promos.  I still need to go through my boxes to see what I got.

 photo IMG_2200a_zps2e1f828f.jpg

What Has TeenyMates Been Up To Lately?

The Party Animal, makers of Lil’ Teammates and TeenyMates, have been working hard to bring some new products to its fans.  After the successful launch of their NFL Series 1 TeenyMates set last year, they’ve decided to roll out a Series 2.

 photo TMNFLS2RareFigs1_zps6f2be42f.jpg

The new Ice Blue chase figure reminds me of Iceman from the X-Men.

2013 NFL Series 2 Highlights:

  • Collect all 32 NFL teams + 6 rare figures
  • 2 Throwback figures, a Metallic Gold figure, an Ice Blue figure, a referee, and a Glow-in-the-Dark figure
  • Each foil bag includes 2 random NFL figures and 2 random puzzle pieces, adding mystery and excitement to each pack
  • Collect all 35 puzzle pieces and build a double-sided puzzle featuring a football field playset and collector mini-poster
  • Packs will cost around $3.99

 photo TMNHL1bundleContents1_zpsad1b9ef8.jpg

Hockey fans will be glad to know that TeenyMates decided to make an NHL set which is new for this year.

2013 NHL Highlights:

  • Collect all 30 NHL teams + 4 rare figures
  •  2 different Throwback figures, a Metallic Gold figure and a Glow-in-the-Dark figure
  • Each foil bag includes 2 random NHL figures and 2 random puzzle pieces, adding mystery and excitement to each pack
  • Collect all 35 puzzle pieces and build a double-sided puzzle featuring a hockey rink playset and collector mini-poster
  • Packs will cost around $3.99

 photo TMKC1ST_RTCombo1_zpsbe02e922.jpg

After the initial release of the Series 1 NFL set, collectors began turning their TeenyMates into keychains and earrings.  It looks like the folks at TeenyMates saw this and decided to create these new Tagalongs.

Tagalongs Highlights:

  • All 32 NFL teams available
  • Each Tagalong costs around $5.99

Judging by their website, it also looks like they will be making TeenyMates for the NBA too.

 photo 994542_605455082828130_265568242_n1a_zpsfe64e271.jpg

If you’re looking for something a little bigger, Lil’ Teammates are now making NCAA and NFL wide receivers.  Plus they have all new team sets.  I would like to see variations made for the bigger figures like we see with the blind packaged TeenyMates.  I’ve got some new packs of the NFL Series 2 and NHL TeenyMates to bust.  I’ll also be holding some contests for a few sealed packs and a Tagalong.