Card of the Day: Pat Burrell 2010 Topps Update Series #293

Under The Tree: 1986 HG Toys SPORTFREAKS Series 1

As a kid my #1 toy to play with were action figures.  I had bins full of Batman, X-Men, Star Wars, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Power Rangers.  If only I could go back in time and convince my younger self to keep all of them in their packaging.  Yeah right!  Like that would’ve worked.  I never kept them mint in box.  Those little pieces of plastic were released from their clamshell prisons and immediately thrown into an adventure I had conjured in my head.  I lost a Rambo figure while visiting the beach.  The ocean took it away.  I like to think he’s still hanging out at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean with all of those unopened cases of 1952 Topps Baseball High Numbers.

HG Toys released a line of action figures in 1986 called SPORTFREAKS.  If you’re looking for accurate figures that resemble your favorite sports heroes, these might not be for you.  SPORTFREAKS are the total opposite.  They’re crazy looking, mutant-like creatures that enjoy playing various sports.  They came in three sizes – 2.5″, 7″, and 15″.  Each size has their own set of figures.  In other words, you won’t find the same 15″ figure in 2.5″ or 7″ size.  The 15″ figures have some articulation, but the 2.5″ and 7″ do not.

15″ Pinetar Pete – Other figures in this size include Pigskin and Hoop Dribbles.

7″ Ox – According to Ox’s bio “Ox snorts fire, hoots the ground, gets down on all fours and stampedes through the line.  Ox is a vegetarian who hates the idea of steak and hamburger, can you blame him.”  The 7″ line is the most common.

2.5″ Team Pack – Figures in this size also came packaged individually.  Like the 15″ figures, these aren’t the easiest to find.

I don’t believe this toy line was successful enough to see a Series 2.  If you came across a prototype figure that some HG Toys employee took home with them, that could hold some value.  For the most part, these creatures have been long forgotten.

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