Sunday, August 30, 2009

And it continues...

Just when I thought the guy with the million dollar 1991-92 Upper Deck hockey set couldn't say/do anything else ignorant, it happened.

Yesterday, I sent the seller a message after discovering his listing.

"This listing is a joke right? That lack of hologram doesn't enhance the value of these cards at all. Second, this is definitely not the only set of 1991-92 Upper Deck hockey in the world. You'd be lucky to get $10 out of this set. Good luck though."

I wasn't overly mean about it or anything, just a simple, what in the world are you thinking? Well, here was is reply in a nutshell.

The Gibson is one of a kind and a true error, therefore the only one in existence. He also said, this is Gibson's only card.

Now this guy tells me most error cards are run for a partial set until the error is corrected yet he knows for sure his is one-of-a-kind. I just don't follow the logic there. What's to say there's not thousands of the Gibson card out there?

Secondly, this is not Gibson's only card. He actually had five produced, including a second major release in 1991-92 Pro Set.

I don't know why I keep going on and on about this listing. It's obvious this guy will never sell it. I guess it just amuses me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ignorance at its finest

Something I like to do on a fairly regular basis is search all of the Sports Cards and Memorabilia category on eBay, then sort the results from highest price to lowest prices just to see what kinds of things people are trying to ridiculous money for. And today, I may have found the best example yet.

For a cool million, you could be the proud owner of a one-of-a-kind hockey card set. Here's the catch, this isn't some big time patch/auto set from Sidney Crosby's rookie season. In fact, there are no autographs, no patches and no jerseys in this set. It's just a bunch of base and low-end inserts from 1991-92.

First off, let me throw a name out there to hockey collectors: Don Gibson. How many people actually know about him?

I do not consider myself to be up on hockey at all so it's natural I haven't heard of this guy, but I'm sure some buffs out there have. Here's the thing about him though, he only played in 14 games, yet is the reason why this set is priced at $1 million.

It turns out, the seller pulled a Gibson rookie card from a pack that did not get stamped with Upper Deck's hologram. I mean, I was only five, but accidents did happen in 1992 too, right? That's not just a new trend is it? But even better, the seller claims this is the only set of 1992-92 Upper Deck in the entire world.

No seriously, look for yourself.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Basketball players suing Topps

Several NBA stars are suing the Topps company for failing to pay up on autograph deals, TMZ is saying.

Players on the list reportedly include:

Tracy McGrady
Brandon Roy
Derrick Rose
Russell Westbrook
D.J. Augustin
T.J. Ford
Antaawn Jamison
Anthony Randolph
DeAndre Jordan

The nine players are suing for $300,000 - a modest amount compared to what most of the listed players earn in a given year.

I can't really comment on this to be honest. What's there to say? Greedy athletes are suing Topps for a couple bucks they didn't get for signing autographs. Yes Topps was wrong, but for all but three of those players, the little extra money in their pocket won't do them any good.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cracking a BGS case

I need some help everyone. How can you break a card out of a BGS holder?

I am now the proud owner of the card below, but I want to put it with the rest of my Jacobs cards, and the BGS holder is too massive for it to fit in the same box. I know people have broken them open before, so what is the best to do it?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Illinois card shop scheduled to close

Another sports card shop is going by the wayside.

After a 15 year run, Suburban Sports in Homewood, Ill., will be closing at the end of the month, the Neighborhood Star is reporting.

The shop will remain open until Saturday, and the final event for the store is a fantasy football draft Friday.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Trending: 2009 Topps UFC

As a card collector and new UFC fan, 2009 Topps UFC just makes sense to be something I am interested in. While a little too step for me pricewise at the moment, the cards and how well they sell on the market facsinates me.

Despite 2009 Topps UFC Round 1 dropping in Feburary and a second series on the horizon, it is still a very sought after release. And with the Ultimate Fighting Championship's popularity growing with every new match, the product is likely to remain popular for the foreseeable future.

While many people are dropping hundreds of dollars on autographs of superstars like B.J. Penn some non-autographed cards are bringing in quite the share too. And while not as significant, base and parallels are selling better than what they do in other sports. For example, a Royce Gracie silver parallel numbered to 288, recently sold for almost $20. Meanwhile, a 2008 Select Gold Zone Tom Brady /50 recently garnered just one bid for $0.99. Yes indeed, UFC is here.

And just as is the case in Topps football and basketball, a red ink autograph variation is the card to get. Finding a star will make your investment in a box worthwhile.

After Penn retained his lightweight championship belt at UFC 101, there was a spike in his autographs sales, with the highest one selling for $305 the night of the fight. With UFC 102 a week away, Randy Couture and Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira as the main draw, the winner should see a small spike in card sales. Because this is not a title bout, I don't see autographs spiking as much as Penn's did.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Houston area collector gets sets back

Being a news reporter myself, this story bugs me to no end because all of the loose ends, but a collection of older baseball card sets have been returned to an Houston area collector.

The collector - Allan Richardson - said he spent many years compiling the sets and lost them all in some sort of con artist's scheme involving the printing of 1800s images on coins. The report said Richardson lost money, his cards and other things to the con man, but doesn't go into any further detail about the deal and how all the details worked out.

Eventually, the con man was found and authorities were searching his home and found the cards with some missing - appearing in the video to be 1974 and 1975 Topps as well as 1975 Topps Mini sets. However, the report never explains how Richardson was tracked down.

The report also calls the cards valuable - which many appear to not be. A common mistake among non-collectors, so the station does get a pass on that. I'm just glad no one quoted the Beckett prices.

Recollections on the past

I wasn't around for the big trading card boom of the late 1980s and early 1990s I know my first packs of cards were from 1991 Topps, but I don't really remember buying packs of cards until 1993 Topps Series Two - a time when the packs were some $0.79 at K-Mart. While the overall boom was still its latter stages at that time, I didn't know it. I was six.

As I got older and watched the card market fall and fall and fall, I started to understand just what had been happening to make the 1990 Donruss cards I had acquired so undesirable. Crazy how things work sometimes.

I ran across an article from Vinyl Dependent Magazine this morning discussing the how independent music stores are holding tightly to their last string as vinyl has seem a recent spike in popularity. Later on in the article, the writer discussed other popular trends from recent memory. Among them? Baseball cards. Below if the first excerpt on cards.

Unfortunately for the shops, all crazes, whether it be tulip bulbs, baseball cards, Beanie Babies, or bundles of over-leveraged assets, must come to an end. And when they do, they usually take the markets with them.

While the baseball card craze - so to speak - may be over, they still have a very large market. Shops may be closing one by one, but different kinds of shops have opened in the past years that will keep cards a float for many years to come: online shops like Blowout Cards and eBay. Unlike the Beanie Baby craze, cards stayed afloat long enough to benefit from the Internet. Sure it's killed their value, but it's at least allowed collectors to continue collecting. I'm sure there's someone out there with hordes of Beanie Babies still wishing there was a regular place he/she could buy, sell and trade them. But how long can the Internet continue to make cards a significant piece of popular culture?

As a young kid, I participated in the baseball card boom. A male childhood rite of passage went mad as Boomers sought out the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantles their mothers threw away. Card producers knew a good thing when they saw it, so they began to issue more and more card lines with limited production lines. Card shops popped up in mini-malls all over the country. Soon enough, you'd hear tales of Ken Griffey Jr. rookie cards going for $100 a pop. Huh?

The sports card industry consumed itself quickly. At the end all you had were vacant stores and angry middle-aged men who couldn’t believe their 100 Gregg Jefferies rookie cards were more valuable as coasters than investments. The card industry never recovered.

I don't quite think it's fair to say the card industry never recovered. It's never gotten back to its glory days, but it's also not on its last legs. For retail, yes cards on their last legs as finding a hobby shop is impossible. But because the industry has benefited from the Internet, it did recover to a certain degree. However, Gregg Jefferies rookie cards did not.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Why would you sell this on eBay?

I don't know about you, but if I had Joe Jackson's most famous bat in my possession, I would be selling it somewhere else besides eBay.

A comment on professional grading

Mario over Wax Heaven had a nice post this morning about graded Michael Jordan rookie cards and how crazy some people get when a perfect copy hits the secondary market. And that reminded me about stupid I really think getting cards graded is.

Sure it's nice to get a card in a nice holder that will hold its condition forever, but if you take good care of your cards, you can do that without paying whatever fees the grading company may incur to you. Truth be told, a grade is just a number. Is there really that much difference between a 8.5 and a 10? Doubt it.

If you are a true collector, condition shouldn't really matter that much. Do you want the prize of your collection to have creases and rounded corners? Well, of course not. But I'm not paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars more for a card just because it's graded gem mint or pristine. Give me the one with the same chips in the edge, please.

However, grading isn't all bad. The graders are able to spot counterfeits and cards that are tampered with which is a positive. This is why I support buying a graded version of any card that is known to be a popular counterfeiting item. But is it worth getting this card graded?

The funny part is that I am actually bidding on a graded card on eBay right now. But if I win it, I'm going to crack that case off and out the card in a plastic sleeve like all the rest of my Omar Jacobs cards.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Retail can fun or a dud

I am officially moved into my new room at Bowling Green State University for my senior year of college. Seems like just yesterday, I was walking across the stage in high school.

Anyway, as a "going away" gift of sorts, my dad picked me up a pack of 2009 Donruss Classics football at Meijer. I never anticipate much from a retail product, but when I got my pack, the first thing I saw was "Significant Signatures" on the front. Hours later, I opened it up to see what was inside. In this order, the pack included:

Reggie Wayne
Larry Fitzgerald
Marques Colston
Bernard Berrian
DeAngelo Williams

Good players, but all base. That's just the way it goes sometimes though.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

We can't always be right

And around this time last year, I wasn't.

But, I'll put out another bold prediction for this season. The biggest quarterback bust of the draft will be Mark Sanchez.

1) The number 13: that is the number of career starts Mark Sanchez had good numbers in during his one year as USC's starter. Here are three other quarterbacks who also had just 13 strong starts in college: Ryan Leaf, Rex Grossman and Derek Anderson.

2) Matt Leinart: Yesterday I talked about Matt Leinart's failures in the NFL and how is a party type who uses his celebrity every chance he gets. Sound familiar Mr. I was in GQ?

3) USC: USC is in the Pac-10, arguably the worst of the major conferences. USC just happens to have the best set of talent in that conference. Which leads me to my point, USC hordes individuals and surround their players with stars. Sanchez was surrounded by too many playmakers at USC and played against weak competition last season so there was never really a good indication of his abilities. Chances are if you want to be good in the NFL and played college ball at USC, you better hope you were on defense.

Nevertheless, collector's are like USC in that they are hording Sanchez's cards and paying nicely for them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The "Leinart's" Tale

Everybody loves Matt Leinart, right? And because we all love him, we will pay whatever it may take to get his signature, right? But would Matt Leinart's own grandmother even bid on this auction?

Just a hunch, but I'm going negative on that one.

Truth of it is though, there has been talk this preseason about Leinart losing the backup role in Arizona to Brian St. Pierre and for intents and purposes, his best days are behind him putting him in the ranks of Ryan Leaf, Tim Couch, Akili Smith and many more in the Draft Bust Hall of Shame.

There is a chance Leinart could leave the Cardinals though and turn things around. Sometimes certain environments just don't work out for certain players. Brandon Phillips filled out nicely when he left Cleveland for Cincinnati, Randy Moss found his old self when he went from Oakland to New England, etc., etc.

I'm not personally a Leinart fan (he's too party-hardy for me) but I always hate to see someone who showed so much potential go to complete waste because he is in a bad environment for his skill set. Where would he be good fit? Who knows? Cleveland and Detroit seem to perennially need quarterbacks. Or could he possibly land atop the depth chart in San Francisco?

What I thought was a good idea

It's not very often I am that guy on the trading forums who just changes the title of my thread daily just to get more people to look at it even though it includes the same tradelist as it did yesterday. But, I am always looking for new ways to promote my cards that I have for trade and sale. Recently, I decided to give YouTube a try.

I've posted three videos so far, gotten a lot of interest for the caliber of cards I have available but have made zero deals. And here are the reasons why.

1) Uncertainty

I agreed on one trade already. However, the guy had no references from anywhere so I am waiting for him to send. He told me he was sending Monday but now is sending this Monday. And he can't get it through his head I will send after I receive since I have 700 references.

Doing business on YouTube is risky. There is no feedback, no one to hear your dispute. It's all trusting your fellow man. Which I put trust in people, but I've also been burned so I do proceed with caution.

2) Book value

It seems to me that those who trade over YouTube are all in the 12-16 yard old range and love book value. Those so called "Joe Collectors." Now I have no problem going even book value - to a point. I don't like to get nickel and dimed. So what if my total is $0.25 more than yours? I don't. But apparently some people still do.

3) Lack of organization

Many people pointed me to their trade videos which were just a scattered, jumbled mess. Like this. Am I saying my videos are the greatest ever? Well, no I am certainly not, but at least you can get a good look at the card you may be getting.

So for now, I'm leaving my videos up since they've only been posted for a week or two, but if things don't start looking up, my days with YouTube trading will be done forever. Yeah, the forums tend to be streaky for me since I don't deal with high-end, but I would rather take a few deals here and there that are secure than waste my time dealing with someone over 20-some PMs and then not receive what I was getting anyway.

Anyone have good or bad YouTube trading stories?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Something I never did before

I have, what I consider, a very strong personal collection of the now no-name Omar Jacobs, former BGSU star and Pittsburgh Steelers draft pick. It was never a secret I collected him, but I never once linked my havelist. I don't have a gallery or anything like that, but please, if you see anything not listed on my havelist, please let me know so we can try to work out a trade or sale. Thanks a lot.

Omar Jacobs PC

The guarantees of life

Boy did I come back to blogging at the right time. There are exclusive contracts being given out like samples at Sam's Club, a new football season is just around the corner and there's good old fashioned blog war going on about Exquisite basketball. Let's start there...

You know there's two guarantees in life, death and taxes right? Well, I've come to conclusion of late there are actually three guarantees in life: death, taxes, and Gellman shooting his mouth off.

Something you may not know is that I don't link to his blog, his posts or anything else he does, and I never will. There's a couple reasons for it: 1) I don't like the frequent use of off-color language 2) I don't agree with 90% of what he says. And the current war he waged on Wax Heaven is just another example.

Exquisite basketball just released and from what I can tell, many people are disappointed. And how could you not be when you get five cards for $665? A quick completed listing search of "08-09 Exquisite" brought back just three cards that sold for over the SRP. Yes, they are several cards that are bringing in $100-$300, but what good is that going to do for you? (unless you are this guy)

Because let's be honest, most people who buy these high end products are looking for an investment or a quick resale. Yes, some people do buy these products because they collect high end of whoever they can take because they like autos and multi-color patches. Here's the difference. The people on side one can't always afford these products and are just ignorant to sale value. The folks on side two can afford and don't care about resale value. That is that.

Now the war that has raged was brought about because Mario made a post suggesting other things that one could spend $665 on. Nothing wrong with that. In no way did Mario bash the product or bash the people who buy the product. In case you've never noticed, many professional media outlets will show what you could buy with the amount of money the government spent on something or how much money a team spent on a free agent in sports. It's a normal thing to do in the media. And if we, the bloggers, really are media like Gellman likes to say, then there was nothing wrong with Mario's post. Just imagine if this guy had stuck it out.

So what was Gellman's response to Mario's post? Allow me to quote the introduction.

Every time a super high end product comes out, many of the blogs tend to focus on how terrible it is solely because of the cost. Not because of design, not because of content, but because of how much you spend for the amount you get. The problem is, many of the bloggers are one sport baseball collectors, who have grown up collecting cards in a vastly different fashion. So, rather than hear about the evils of high end from people who dont really collect it, I think its time to see some different opinions from someone who is a part of this hobby because of how great it is.

And by many of the blogs, he provided one link to Mario then proceeded to bash him for things his post never said.

Criticizing others' works is part of this whole blogsphere (obviously since that's what I'm doing right now), but you better do it responsibly or you just look like a fool.

Welcome back

Hey all,

I've picked up an advertisement (left side) so I figured I should come back to blogging on a limited basis (I won't be posting nearly as much as I have in the few days of re-existence).

A lot has changed in my views since I left the blogsphere almost a year ago so the type of posts on Cardboard Mania will definitely be different than what you remember. I'll still be bringing you the goofy stuff like I used to, but no more defending Beckett.

I've very interested in seeing how the blogsphere has changed in the past year. I know when I started there were hardly any of us, but now, there's everyone and their brother (or father) running a blog. So I hope I haven't lost my touch and hope everyone welcomes me back with open arms. And most importantly, enjoy.