Consumer Probe: 1992-93 Case XX Racing Series Knives

No.  You’re not imagining anything.  This was a real product sold in stores.  What is it with racing fans and knives?  They seem to go hand in hand with each other.

A few different companies came together in order for this product to reach the shelves – Little River Knives, Case XX Racing Collectibles, and Maxx Racing.  From what I can find, at least three different sets were released between 1992 and 1993.  As you can clearly see, inside each package is a fully functioning folding pocket knife and an exclusive Maxx Racing card.  The cards come with red, blue, and black borders.  They also contain the Case XX Racing Collectibles logo in the corner.

I think we can all agree the most interesting thing here is the knife.  You just don’t see knives packaged with cards.  Its down right odd.  Each knife matches-up with the driver pictured on the card.  You’ll even find a facsimile signature engraved on the blade.  This has got to be one of Irwin Mainway’s products.

Anytime something is labeled “Collectors Edition” in this hobby the odds of it being worth anything are low.  All of these knives were massively overproduced and can easily be found today.  Most can be bought for $10 to $20 or less.  What they do have slightly going for them is the conversation piece factor.

Its ironic that you probably need a knife to get into the package.  No mystery here folks.  This product gets straight to the “point”.

Card of the Day: Anthony Rendon 2013 Topps Update Series #8

2019 Topps Update Series Baseball Hobby Box Break & Review

Of the three flagship sets, I believe Topps Update Series is the biggest one collectors look forward to the most.  It features players in their new uniforms if they were recently traded, and newly called-up rookies.  I’m not one to think of modern-day sports cards as investments, but have you seen the price of last year’s Update Series?  With rookies of Juan Soto and Ronald Acuña Jr. those boxes have skyrocketed.  A sealed hobby box now goes for over $200, while jumbos have topped $300.  As I said, today’s cards shouldn’t be thought of as investments, but price increases can happen.  Just because 2018 Update Series has gone up in price doesn’t mean 2019 Update Series will.  Collect what you like, and don’t worry about the money.

2019 Topps Update Series consists of (300) cards.  Parallels include Purple (Meijer), 150th Anniversary (1:6 packs), Rainbow Foil (1:10 packs), Gold #’ed/2,019, Vintage Stock #’ed/99, Independence Day #’ed/76, Black #’ed/67 (Hobby/Jumbo), Mother’s Day Pink #’ed/50, Father’s Day Blue #’ed/50, Memorial Day Camo #’ed/25, Platinum #’ed 1/1, and Printing Plates #’ed 1/1.  (100) subjects have Clear (Hobby) parallels #’ed/10.

You can’t have a Topps flagship set without a few photo variations.  There are a bunch to look for.  Luckily they tend to be located near the center of the pack.  I tend to use the CMP codes:

  • Base – #010
  • SP Variation – #055
  • SSP Variation – #057

Autographs include 1984 Topps Baseball Autographs, Legacy of Baseball Autographs, 150 Years of Professional Baseball Autographs, Bryce Harper Highlights Autographs (Walmart only), Est. 1869 Autographs, Iconic Card Reprints Autographs, Shohei Ohtani Highlights Autographs (Target only), The Family Business Autographs, and Cut Signatures.

Autograph Relics include All-Star Stitches Autographs, All-Star Stitches Jumbo Patch Autographs, All-Star Stitches Dual Autographs, Topps Reverence Autograph Patch (Hobby/Jumbo), 150th Anniversary Manufactured Medallion Autographs (Hobby/Jumbo only), and 150th Anniversary Manufactured Patch Autographs (Relic Blaster only).

Relics include All-Star Stitches Relics, All-Star Stitches Jumbo Patch, All-Star Stitches Dual Relics, All-Star Stitches Triple Relics, Major League Material, Own The Name Nameplate Letter Relics (Hobby/Jumbo), 150th Anniversary Manufactured Medallion Relics (Hobby/Jumbo), and 150th Anniversary Manufactured Patch Relics.

Inserts include 150 Years of Professional Baseball, 1984 Topps Baseball, Bryce Harper Highlights (Walmart only), Est. 1869, Iconic Card Reprints, Perennial All-Stars (Retail only), Shohei Ohtani Highlights (Target only), The Family Business, All-Time Great Redemptions, and 1984 Oversized Box Loaders (Hobby/Jumbo).

One of the best things Topps did was insert the Silver Packs inside the actual box.  In the past these were meant to be handed out at hobby shops and online retailers.  Hobby boxes come with one, and jumbos are packed with two.  Having them packed inside the box guarantees that you’ll receive them.

A single hobby box will come with (1) hit.  That hit will most likely be a relic.  As you’ll see that wasn’t the case for me.  There are tons of high-end hits to pull, but Update Series has really become about the rookies.

Its time to say goodbye to the 2019 Topps Baseball flagship design.  2020 Topps Baseball Series 1 will be here before you know it.

Checklist

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Carter Kieboom 1984 Topps RC Red Parallel Auto #’ed/25

Silver Pack

  • Brendan Rodgers 1984 Topps RC Blue #’ed/150
  • Griffin Canning 1984 Topps RC
  • Rafael Devers 1984 Topps
  • Gary Sanchez 1984 Topps

Parallels

  • Matt Chapman ASG Independence Day #’ed/76
  • Miguel Cabrera 1984 Topps 150th Anniversary #’ed/150
  • Ronald Acuña Jr. Home Run Derby Rainbow Foil
  • Josh Donaldson Rainbow Foil
  • Shane Green ASG Gold #’ed/2019
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu ASG Gold #’ed/2019
  • Josh Naylor RC Gold #’ed/2019
  • Ian Kinsler 150th Anniversary
  • Kyle Bird RC 150th Anniversary
  • Josh Harrison 150th Anniversary
  • Walker Buehler ASG 150th Anniversary

Inserts

  • Ken Griffey, Jr. Iconic Card Reprints
  • Cecil Fielder The Family Business
  • Javier Baez 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Jackie Robinson 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Bert Blyleven 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Willie Mays 150 Years of Professional Baseball
  • Corbin Martin 1984 Topps
  • Nelson Cruz 1984 Topps
  • Adam Jones 1984 Topps
  • Willie Mays 1984 Topps
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 1984 Topps
  • Paul Goldschmidt 1984 Topps

How To Spot A Fake Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update Series RC #175

Browsing the Blowout Cards Forums attempting to get a beat on the daily hobby pulse I came across an interesting post by user CoachBruno.  Within this post are some tips for spotting a counterfeit Mike Trout 2011 Topps Update Series RC #US175.  Rookie cards of Mike Trout aren’t cheap.  Even his mass-produced base rookies.  It shouldn’t surprise you that this card of his and the accompanying parallels that go with it are being forged.  Some of these are being sold as reprints for a few dollars, while others are being used to trick unknowing collectors.  Someone recently spent $1,200 for a counterfeit Diamond Anniversary parallel of this exact card.

When buying this card online, the best place to look at is the back.  This card’s front, especially the Diamond Anniversary parallel, is easier to identify a counterfeit in person.  The counterfeits are nowhere near as shiny.

A majority of counterfeits contain these features.  Its very possible that better counterfeits exist which don’t.

Authentic – Features “ANGELS OUTFIELD” in red.  Grey trapezoid beneath the Topps logo.  Color MLBPA logo.

Counterfeit – Features “ANGELS OUTFIELD” in black.  Missing/faint trapezoid beneath the Topps logo.  Black/white MLBPA logo.

Card of the Day: J.D. Drew 1998 Donruss Signature Series #129

I Traded A Jar Of Peanut Butter For A Pin – 2019 Little League World Series Pin Pickups

The 2019 Little League World Series is in full swing.  Baseball fans from all over the world have found their way to South Williamsport.  Pin trading is bigger than ever.  Corporate sponsors and local businesses have pins for everyone.  Some you need to buy, while others are freebies.

This is the first year that I did not visit the Little League campus.  Obtaining pins from the corporate booths has really become an activity for kids.  Years ago pins were easily handed out for filling out a survey or lining up at a booth at a certain time.  Over the course of a few years mobile apps and registering electronic bracelets for the Family Fun Zone has become a requirement.  That’s not something I’m interested in doing.  Personally, I think it adds a bunch of unnecessary steps.  I suppose it keeps the kids busy though.

Just because I skipped the Little League complex doesn’t mean I missed out on adding some new pins to my collection.  Between Dunkin’, Dairy Queen, various businesses on 4th street, and Williamsport’s Golden Strip, I came home with (22) pins.  Between the Chamber of Commerce and Dick’s Sporting Goods, I was able to pickup the pins I would’ve purchased over at Little League anyway.  Some places which traditionally have pins like Pennsylvania College of Technology and The Crazy Tomato don’t have them this year.

I’m not going to show off all (22) pins.  But I will show you some of the pins I got which I haven’t seen popup online yet and/or I find unique.

Woodlands Bank – in order to get this pin I had to trade-in a jar of peanut butter.  Woodlands Bank will donate the peanut butter to the Central PA Food Bank and Firetree Place.

Bullfrog Brewery & Restaurant

Kinley Jewelers

Dolly’s Diner

River Valley Transit

2019 Topps Archives Signature Series Baseball (Active Player Edition) Hobby Box Break & Review

“Wouldn’t this card look nice with an on-card autograph?”.  That’s the question Topps answers each year with the release of Archives Signature Series.  That goes for the Active Player and Retired Player Edition.  I’ve had quite a bit of luck with this brand before.  In 2017 I pulled a Mike Trout autograph #’ed 1/1.  Last year I got a Starling Marte autograph #’ed 1/1.  No duds for me.  Now I didn’t get another 1/1 autograph this time, but it is a decent card of a pitcher doing well this year.

Buyback autographs are what keep the heart of this product beating.  Each box contains (1) encased buyback autograph of a currently active MLB player.  Just under (100) different MLB players have autographs in here.  Many with multiple cards.

For those of you unfamiliar with what a buyback autograph is, here’s a little refresher.  Topps will buy up a ton of cards they issued in the past.  They then get players to sign those cards.  Topps then foil stamps the cards with the “Archives Signature Series” logo.  The cards are then placed in BCW holders for their protection.

A single box will cost just under $50.  If you think that’s too expensive for one card, I’d recommend sticking to picking up singles on the secondary market.  Its amazing how far an on-card autograph on a simple base card can go.  Lots of past Topps designs are improved with an on-card autograph.

Very simple and to the point.  I’ve always said cards with a simple design are the most attractive.

Wondering if your favorite player has cards in here?  Take a look.  The amount of cards per player and the serial numbering varies.

Here is what I pulled:

Auto

  • Michael Soroka 2015 Bowman Draft Buyback Auto #’ed/79