Wednesday, August 29, 2018

My Unofficial Goodwin Champions Collection Vol. 3: The Hottest Hits of 2016

Time for the third installment in Goodwin Champions collection breakdown.  We're getting back to the hits in this one.  As the title implies, today is about my hits from the 2016 set.  There's a lot to get through, so let's jump right in!
The Hitman!
This is arguably my best hit from Goodwin Champions period.  Crazy to be able to get an on-card auto of one of the five greatest wrestlers of all-time for $9.99 (insert WWE Network joke here).  This is the most expensive Goodwin Champions card I've bought to this point, so I managed to amass the huge mess of stuff in this series without ever paying double digits for any of it.  I didn't even realize that, but it's a pretty cool stat.  Oddly, this is one that could have qualified as one of those high-numbered inscription autos, but for some reason it didn't get the hand-numbered treatment.
This one did though.  I mentioned I had a couple of the other super high numbered inscription, and this is one of them.  I love the arrow in her signature.  That's a great little personal touch.
Not enough licensed SI swimsuit issue model autos out there..
Melissa Baker makes her return from the previous episode, this time in autographed form... does Kaylyn Kyle.  There will be a lot of repeats from the red & blue post.  The six in her signature being at the same odd angle as the one on her shorts is amusing the heck out of me for some reason.
One of the cooler cards you'll see in the whole series..
It's not all autographs, I have a couple relics too!  There aren't enough pink swatches in this world.  Also, what a kickass photo choice!
This may look like an ordinary plain white swatch, but I assure you, it's so much better.  I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it has a rubbery feel to it.  That was a super exciting revelation back when I was organizing the shipment it came in for scanning.  I'd consider doing a whole page of this relic (and the DiGiulian in all its forms cuz the photo) if I can find 'em cheap enough.
Haley Anderson auto..
Back to the autos.  I have two of Haley, because I can I guess.  I suppose one could be available for trade if anybody has a mighty need.
More Inscriptions!
I have two of Paige Selenski too, but I need them both, because the latter is another inscription!  This one is more representative of the typical rarity for inscriptions in this product.

And that does it.  I have a few more from 2016, but they'll be showing up in a later installment.  You'll understand why then.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next...

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Summer of Sketch Vol. 2: Legends of Lucasfilm Lore

Today's edition of the Summer of Sketch is an impromptu celebration of George Lucas and the folks at Disney carrying his legacy forward & putting up with the asshole unpleasable fanbase he cultivated, while he gets to enjoy his retirement by rolling around naked in the numerous piles of money and cocaine he got for selling out.  Enjoy that mental image!

Four of today's five-spot of cardboard curiosities hail from a galaxy far, far away, and the fifth belongs in a museum (of bad art).
My beloved Hera... 😍
Rebels came after Lucas sold out, but it's probably my favorite tale from the entire history of the franchise, and Hera is probably my favorite character.  I couldn't pass this up, though even being marked down a decent amount, it was still a lot more than I would normally pay for anyone not named Raven.
George "Mac" McHale by Zack Giallongo..
I was probably being a too harsh with that museum of bad art line for this.  It's very simple & couldn't possibly have taken more than a few minutes to do, but the Indiana Jones sets (and the rest of Topps non-sport lineup from around that time) were infamously overloaded with much, much worse than this.  And seriously, I only paid $2.25 for it, so I can't complain.

Mac (as portrayed by the great Ray Winstone) is also arguably the best character in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so that's cool.  I may catch hell for this, but I watched this movie almost exactly a year ago, and I genuinely enjoyed it.  Having seen all four Indy movies, it probably ranks as my second favorite after Temple of Doom.
I don't know who this is..
Yeah, no idea.  I thought it could be Hera.  Rebels was on the air by this point and I've seen sketches of other characters from the show in this set.  But no goggles, so I dunno.  I've never been all that into Star Wars, if we're still being honest.  I think the quartet in this post came pretty close to doubling the size of my Star Wars sketch card collection.  Couple cheap Ahsokas, the Phasma I hit in a blaster, Luminara, and a forgettable Padme from forever ago was about all I had before, so yeah.

But anyway, whatever.  This was pretty cheap, it's the only High Tek sketch I own, and it's easily my favorite card I've ever come across by Bruce Gerlach.  I'm just not typically a fan of his style.
Battle Droid by Jessica Hickman..
Here's another kind of whatever sketch card.  I only care very much about a select few Star Wars characters (pretty much just the crew of the Ghost, Ahsoka, Rey, Finn, and Rose), so a random battle droid doesn't do much for me.  But this was under $5, is very nicely detailed as Star Wars pencil sketches go, and Jessica Hickman is an artist I like & I feel fortunate to already have a couple other sketch cards by her.  Anyway, this & Mac might be available for trade if you have something I might like better.
Zoinks! Yung Obi-Wan by Carla Rodrigues..
Finally, I also lucked into this phenomenal sketch for under $5 as well!  I love the somewhat cartoony art style.  It sort of reminds me of the classic Scooby-Doo art style a little bit, and that is a wonderful thing.  I wasn't sure until I got into my saucy little mitts, but this one is definitely staying in my collection.  It is fantastic.

And that wraps up the second volume in my Summer of Sketch series.  Hope you enjoyed it, and thank you for stopping by!

Until our next...

Thursday, August 23, 2018

My Unofficial Goodwin Champions Collection Vol. 2: Red vs. Blue

2016 Royal Red Aly Raisman & Stefanie Johnson..
The second part of my unofficial Goodwin Champions PC series is all about the parallels.  There isn't much extra going on with the base set, but 2016 & 2017 featured photo variations, shortprinted black & white high numbers, and the red and blue parallels I'm here to give you the good word on today.  So strap in because, the formatting is about to get hella wonky! 😆
Royal Blue Xue Chen, Carla Esparza, & Wu Minxia..
Told ya!  There wasn't much rhyme or reason to the direction of how I scanned things, and there won't be much rhyme or reason to where they go in this post.
Paige Selenski horizontal...
...and vertical!
Because of my editorial laziness, I don't even have enough blues to switch the colors on & off.  Oh well...
Royal Blue Quincy Davis B&W & color, and Eugenie Bouchard..
I do like the blues a lot more than the reds though.  The reds are actually kind of painful to look at, while the blues are much more welcoming, despite still being a fairly bright shade.  Also, Eugenie is in Allen & Ginter this year, after being in Goodwin Champions in 2017.  Topps got scooped!
Royal Red Kaylyn Kyle & Melissa Baker..
But why are they all women, you seem to be asking.  And to that I would answer, why not?
Vertical Aly & Melissa..
Most of these ladies are world class women of sport, but Melissa Baker is a model.  Thus is the mystery and wonder of Goodwin Champions.
You can find all manner of athletes, celebrities, historical figures, politicians, random animals... It's one of those sets, and I am grateful for its delightfully strange and borderline incoherent existence.
2016 Royal Red Haley Anderson..
I hope to have a supplemental installment of a page worth of the aforementioned random animals to show you somewhere on down the line.  Athletic beauties and exotic animals are pretty much all anyone need in life, tbh.
2017 Royal Blue Felice Herrig..
One last blue to close it out, and that does it for episode two of my Goodwin Champions collections series.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next...

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Summer of Sketch Vol. 1: Baseball!

As noted at the top of my latest post, my small-but-legendarily-mighty August shipment from COMC has arrived, and with it, 24 new sketch cards have officially entered my collection.  So I'm gonna show them off over the course of a five part series that will switch on & off with my unofficial Goodwin Champions PC posts and maybe a couple other things.  We'll start it off with a bang with my haul of 2009 Topps baseball sketch cards!
Kenji Johjima by Jay Pangan III..
This amazing Kenji Johjima was the second cheapest card of the quartet, and my absolute favorite of the bunch.  It's just a an amazing, highly detailed, full body pencil sketch by one of the very best in the business at drawing realistic, portraity sketch cards.  I know there are some folks out there with particular fondness for collecting Japanese ballplayers and geared up catchers who will likely enjoy the heck out of this card.  Looks like there's a play at the plate about to happen too.
Nick Markakis..
Nick Markakis is still getting it done!  While always a durable, reliable, and all-around competent player, he's pretty much never been a standout performer.  After a couple of rough seasons where lingering issues from old injuries didn't keep him out of the lineup, but likely significantly hampered his production, dude's having a borderline career year at age 34.  He finally made his first all-star team in his 13th season, with a batting average hovering around .320 or better all year, and is currently leading the NL in hits & doubles.  With a healthy and generously slow decline as he enters the twilight of his career, he has a very real shot at 3000 hits, having just passed 2200.
Brandon Webb..
I must admit, I'm terrible with artist's signatures and I've never been especially good at sniffing them out on my own, so I don't actually know who the rest of the artists are, even though 2/3 of them are at least legible.  This Brandon Webb sketch is only one I can't begin to make out.  The benefit of buying sketch cards on COMC is they tend to have the artist (and character or player) listed at a much higher rate than sellers on eBay, but no such luck with these.
Chris Young..
The last one I had to figure out the player on myself too.  I think I was somehow able to hunt down the image this was likely based on in order to confirm that it was Chris Young & not, as I initially thought, Justin Upton.  If I was that good and/or lucky with figuring out the signatures, I'd really be in business!  I really like that each of these cards manages to have their own unique artistic voice under the very limiting circumstances of this type of set.
Here are what the backs of these cards look like, for those interested.  No major superstars here, and there don't seem to a whole lot from this set in general.  It seems like Topps was weirdly coy about doling out photo reference of the top guys.  Everybody in this bunch had their moments though.  Webb was a legitimate ace who won a Cy Young & made three all-star teams before pretty much vanishing without a trace at 30.  Johjima was outstanding in his first couple seasons with the Mariners & managed to post positive WAR even after his offensive production fell off a cliff after that.  Young never quite put it all together, but had a few nice seasons early in his career, earned an all-star nod, & became a reliable power bat & above average defender at all three outfield positions off the bench after that.  And as noted above, Markakis could very well sneak into the Hall of Fame discussion before it's all said & done.

That's wraps up another post.  Hope you all enjoyed it, because outside of a buyback post, there most likely isn't going to be much more major sports action around here for the foreseeable future.  So if you're still planning to check out what I'm posting in the coming weeks, I am especially thankful for you stopping by.

Until our next...

Saturday, August 18, 2018

My Unofficial Goodwin Champions PC Vol. 1: Older Hits

2009 Goodwin Champions Evelyn Ng Autograph..
After picking up things on COMC here & there over the years, it finally clicked with me sometime last year just how incredibly cheaply you can score a lot of great hits from Upper Deck's long-running Goodwin Champions brand.  Not only that, many of the subjects are hard (and usually much more expensive), if not impossible, to find anywhere else.

I've accumulated enough from the brand for it to almost qualify as a collection unto itself, and I am going to treat it as such here.  So strap in and enjoy.  This is the first in an at least five part series documenting everything I have scanned from the Upper Deck Goodwin Champions brand in my collection so far.

Most of what I've accumulated so far is from 2016 & 2017, but there are a few things from older sets, and that's what the first post will be about.  I know I have a blaster or two and a bunch of older base I won in a contest back in the day floating around here somewhere as well, but none of it seems to be scanned (or they died along with an old computer, I dunno which), so yeah, just the hits right now.
2012 Goodwin Champions Sonya Thomas Autograph..
Goodwin Champions started out as a baseball product in 2009 (the Evelyn Ng at the top of the post is from the OG set), essentially Upper Deck's answer to Topps' offbeat ultra old school brand Allen & Ginter.  It wasn't until UD lost their MLB license that it was eventually retooled into the even more offbeat than Allen & Ginter multi-sport/non-sport hybrid we know & mostly love today.
2011 Goodwin Champions Natalie Gulbis Relic..
I think I have an absolutely terrible looking Warren Moon relic from one of the earlier sets too, but I don't have a scan of it handy either.  This Natalie Gulbis from 2011 looks fantastic though!  She appears to radiating energy with the force of a thousand suns.
2013 Goodwin Champions Mimi Knoop Autograph..
I don't really collect any minis at all anymore (though I'm seriously considering a page of those magnificent Thor: Ragnarok minis you get out of the Dyson Cards), so I don't really have any from any year of Goodwin Champions to show.  They often have cooler and more diverse (& attainable, despite being technically rarer) parallels than A&G can usually muster, but very few, if any, mini inserts to offer.  They aren't typically one-per-pack either (usually 1:2-1:4, iirc). Win some, lose some.
2015 Goodwin Champions Miki Sudo autograph..
Closing out episode one with a trio of autos from 2015.  Like I said, I don't have a ton of pre-2016 stuff, but there will almost certainly be more in the future.  I'm especially fond of the design of these 2015's autos.
2015 Goodwin Champions Alana Beard Autograph..
Alana Beard is a name I knew, as is the final card in this episode (which is why I got them).  But for whatever reason, Goodwin Champions hits are exceptionally inexpensive.  The checklist is usually pretty quirky, but it's pretty much all on-card, and some years you aren't even guaranteed an auto in every box.  Crazy.  I think the Evelyn Ng up top might've been around $5, but I don't think anything in the rest in this post cost me over $2.
2015 Goodwin Champions "Ironman" Ivan Stewart Inscribed Autograph #'ed 4/298..
Much like A&G, you don't tend to find a whole lot of numbered stuff in Goodwin Champions, but a lot of it will be hand-numbered when you do.  The inscribed autos are usually much rarer (often /50 or less), but some signers just naturally have the inscription as part of their signature, and most of them get counted as count as part of the Inscription parallel.  I have two others like this numbered much higher in later episodes, and also a couple of the normal, much rarer variety.

That's it for part one.  I hope to be able to open a box myself someday, but they are typically well out of my price range.  I'm going to keep getting singles whenever I can though.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next...

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dyson Here

Incredible Hulk #104..
The only relatively major non-sketch card pickup I added to August's just-arrived art-heavy lineup was the above Dyson Card from Thor: Ragnarok.  They are basically rip cards, though much, much easier to pull than Allen & Ginter.  Lot cheaper too.  This one was the cheapest on the site at the time and set me back a cool $3.75.
The back (I didn't scan it until after I already opened it)..
I'm glad the cheapest one available was from the best Hulk story ever imo.  Planet Hulk is where Bruce Banner's story ends as far as I'm concerned.  As you can see, it's all perforated & much easier to open without obliterating your card than A&G rip cards tend to be as well.
Open card surgery..
Here it is open.  According to Cardboard Connection's checklist, the basic pull is "Mini Comics" (1:2 Dyson Cards), with an ever-so-slightly rarer acetate parallel (1:3), Comic Creator Autographs fall 1:6 Dyson Cards, with acetates at 1:11, and the big score: Actor Autographs falling 1:39 (Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson can both be hit in there, as well as director Taika Waititi).  COMC shows non-autographed characters from the movie too, but I don't see them on the checklist anywhere, so I can't give you any odds on them.

Anyway, my pull came in a mini sleeve glued to the inside of one of the flaps that open up.  That's mighty sporting of them.  So what did we pull?
The mini(s)?!
Immediately I noticed there were two cards in the sleeve.  The card itself, and a COA, which means...
Mini backs, feat. auto goodness!
We hit a Ron Garney mini acetate autograph!  He is a fairly prolific artist and very occasional writer, almost entirely with Marvel.  It's hard to tell in the scan, but this is a sticker auto.  It's all on it though and he has pretty solid penmanship.

There are some huge legends on the creator checklist (Walt Simonson, Sal Buscema, etc), so this isn't the biggest pull.  But it's probably an $8-10 card, which more than double what I paid for the Dyson card.  I think almost anything you pulled would probably be at least worth the price of admission though if you pick one up for under $5, so there's no fear in breaking these the way there is with A&G.  And the potential to hit a monster is still there.

But enough pondering of the potential monetary value of things.  I'm not inclined to part with this right now, since it looks rad as heck fits nicely into the unofficial mini-PC I have going of creator autos from various Marvel products (I also have a few from that one CBLDF set from... almost a decade ago now).  I've barely bought anything but singles this year, so this probably qualifies as my best pull of the year to this point (looking it up, this is only the second auto & 4th "hit" overall that I've pulled in 2018, which is actually not terrible for how little I've opened).

I need some food and then some sleep, so I guess that's enough jibba-jabba for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Free Group Break Haul

Near the end of July, Colbey of Cardboard Collections fame held a free group break on Twitter/Periscope of a couple retail jumbo boxes of 2016 Donruss Optic baseball.  Of course, being that late in the month, I was too broke for even a free break (it was just $4 to cover shipping).  But, he let me pay up in August, and I ended up being able to get a team.  That team was the White Sox.  They barely exist within the set, with five base cards total and no rookies, but I still somehow managed to do pretty well.  So let's have us a look, shall we?
Blue Holo/Prizm/Refractor/what-the-heck-ever...
One auto was pulled from the two boxes, but the sox that player wore were the wrong color.  I did manage to hit one of the dozen-ish numbered parallels that came out of the break though.
 ...#'ed 134/149!
I'm pretty happy with that.  I have a few versions of Sale's Diamond King now, the rarest being the Carolina Blue /50.
I also pulled the basic shiny version of Abreu & Sale's base cards for the PC...
Purple people eaters.. well as a trio of purples!  Eaton and Frazier will definitely be available for trade, but I might hang onto this version of Sale's Diamond King too.  Maybe I'll eventually stumble my way into a rainbow or something.
So six out of my 13 cards were parallels, but I was also still able to complete the base team set, such as it was.
Couple more Abreus..
There were two base Abreus, which is nice. And we'll end the post like we started it...
Base Diamond Kings..
...with more Chris Sale Diamond Kings!  I just noticed as I was posting this that the one on the right much brighter & sharper.  I checked because I thought it might be a scanner quirk or that I missed a parallel or something, but it looks like that in real life too and doesn't have a refractory shine to it or anything. They're both just pretty freshly pack-pulled base cards and one has super vibrant colors and the just... doesn't.  Even the above parallels don't look that bright.  Yet another cardboard oddity...

So that about wraps up this post.  Thanks again to Colbey for holding the group and allowing me a little extra time to pay for the shipping.  Watching was a nice way to kill an hour on a lazy Saturday night, and doing well in it was a nice added bonus.  As ever, thank you for stopping by!

Until our next...

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Oversized Action

My first COMC shipment in June had an unexpected $3.99 off, so I was able to clear out all my oversized items and have it still come to pretty close to the same price as a normal shipment.  And so here they are.  Well, all the actually oversized ones.  There were a few that were just regular sized that cost more because they were already top loaded or encased or whatever.  Anyway, let's do this.
Heritage 5x7" Mookie Action Variation #'ed 22/49..
Leading off with a monster of a Mookie.  I dunno why they didn't do the burlap pattern on these jumbos, but whatever.  This has a couple minor dings that weren't mentioned or visible on COMC, but at $2.80 I was happy to get a nice Mookie for well over $4 less than any other card from this release was available for at the time (and possible still may be, I haven't checked in awhile), and I doubt most of the rest were all that minty fresh either.  It just happens with oversized cards sometimes.
1964 Topps Giants trade bait x1..
There's a lot of vintage in the middle of this post.  These first three are available for trade.
1964 Topps Giants trade bait x2..
They aren't in the best condition, but they don't seem to be outright poor like the COMC claimed.
1964 Topps Giants trade bait x3..
That likely made them much cheaper though.  I wouldn't likely have even noticed them at all otherwise.   But anyway, stake your claim.
1964 Topps Giants keeper..
Billy is a keeper though.  He cost me a little more, but was still plenty cheap enough.
1971 Topps Super Fergie Jenkins..
Fergie is also a keeper.  He is also super thicc for such an old card.  I didn't know these things were so solid & sturdy.  Like, the card is genuinely hard.  You could use it as a coaster if you wanted to.  You could do some legitimate damage flinging it at someone's face.  Are these analogies getting weird?
Chico Carrasquel Exhibits..
I'm on the fence about whether or not to keep Chico.  Condition-wise, he's got a bit of water damage but otherwise seems to be holding up remarkably well.  While it's not as hard or thick as the Super Fergie, these are definitely made of a good solid cut of cardboard.  I'm tempted to commit some blasphemy and draw on the blank back, so I guess you better take this off my hands if you want to save him from my mediocre art skillz. 😂
Cool backs, bro..
Speaking of that, I guess I might as well show off the backs of ye olden timey jumbo cards, since they are pretty nifty.  They have that newspapery article feel to them.  For you younglings, newspapers were basically papery political & sports blogs, just without a comment section full of swearing and name calling.  Anyway, those are the trader baiter backs.
Mr. Freshman..
This card is weirdly misshapen..
And here are my dudes.  I guess I should post the back of Chico too while I'm at it.
Empty! For now...
There's nothing there right now, but only you offering up something for it can keep it that way. Mwahahaha... Although, I suppose you could also offer up something for me to draw on it for you too, now that I think about it.  I dunno, are you also feeling blasphemous today? 😉
Gold Label 5x7" Papi Class 2 #'ed 11/49..
Finishing it off with the other Topps Online exclusive I found around the same time as the Mookie at the top of the post.  This one was also similarly dramatically cheaper than the rest of its set-mates.  It also has no visible damage and only cost me 50¢ (+ the buck for shipping)!  I'm not keen to give up this or Mookie, but I could be talked out of them, I suppose.  I don't really have anywhere to put them right now unless I slide them down the front of a binder or something.

Let me know if any of the actual or potential trade bait hooked ya and maybe we can work something out.  That's all for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

Until our next...