Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's a Mixed Bag

I like variety. In fact, some of my favorite releases of my lifetime are those that provided a very large variety of subsets or inserts (not parallels - I'm talking 1995 Fleer, not 2005 Donruss/Playoff). And for that reason I like those variety repacks you can find at retail stores. Sure, the packs are probably searched and they're all old retail, but I buy those for fun. And occasionally, you pull something like an autograph. Last week, I grabbed a 10-for-$10 pack. So what did I pull?
First pack: 2007 Ultra
For player selection, this was a pretty good pack. Chipper Jones, Dontrelle Willis, Derek Jeter, Chris Carpenter, and Jeff Baker RC.

Second pack: 2008 Stadium Club
Mark Teixeira, Jorge Posada, and three RCs: Nick Adenhart, Jeff Niemann, and Greg Smith (1st Day parallel). I've decided to try to assemble this set by hand, since they never seem to end up on eBay. These cards will be a big help for that.

I have most of the Stadium Club sets already, which I collect for the photography. I liked the photography in the Ultra pack, too, and I think I'm going to go back and put those sets together (or buy them complete) as well. I probably won't actively do this for a while - I would like to finish the Stadium Club and Upper Deck runs before taking on a new run.

Pack 3: Goodwin Champions:
Only three and a half cards in this pack. Brooks Robinson, Kevin Garnett, Daisuke Matsuzaka mini, and a 20th Anniversary that mentions Kevin Garnett.

Pack 4: 2007 Upper Deck:
Nobody important, and no inserts. 8 cards of commonality.

I have the Goodwin set completed already, but I can use at least the Robinson and 20th Anniversary. As for the Upper Deck pack, I will eventually have a complete set. I haven't even begun to fight. But what a bummer. I do like Upper Deck photography though. More on that later!

Pack 5: 2007 Fleer
Prince Fielder, Ivan Rodriguez, and Mike Lieberthal are the highlights in this one, along with a Josh Barfield Rookie Sensations, Ryan Howard Crowning Achievement, and Steve Finley mini.

Pack 6: 2009 Topps Chrome
Akinori Iwamura, Kenshin Kawakami, Manny Ramirez, and Hein Robb WBC.

I recently picked up a factory set of '07 Fleer, but I like this issue because of the inserts. Of course, that always makes it hard to put together a set, when 30% of your cards are inserts and parallels. As for the Chrome, it's Chrome. And it isn't curled. 3/4 of the players in this pack are from a different continent.

Packs 7 and 8: 2008 First Edition/Update
Omar Vizquel, Greg Maddux, Jason Varitek, Ryan Braun, Eric Chavez, Scott Kazmir, Milton Bradley, and Vladimir Guerrero and David Ortiz Starquest

Pack 9: 2007 Topps Series 2
Chase Utley, Juan Uribe, Jose Guillen, Blue Jays, Derrick Turnbow, Kevin Cameron

Now we're getting into the budget stuff. But what amazed me was how good the photography is in the First Edition sets. Of course, they used the same photos as the regular set, but the images look nice and crisp even in this basic release. And the design that year was very minimal, allowing more of the photo to show. But that '07 Topps card wastes so much space with those colored dots. Not really my favorite design. But, look, two players who are actually throwing the ball to finish a double play, Topps! Too bad nobody's there to see Chase throw (look at all the empty stands in the background).

Pack 10: 2009 Upper Deck First Edition
Jake Peavy, Troy Glaus, Johnny Damon, Johan Santana, Hideki Matsui, Casey Kotchman, and David Wright Starquest highlight the last pack.

Finishing strong. Yeah, not really. In fact, I think Upper Deck took a step backwards from the previous year, as there is a lot of "blank" space in the design around "FIRST EDITION" and the position. And four of my 10 cards were New York players (two Mets, two Yankees).

Overall, I like these variety packs. I didn't get a hit, and three of the packs were Upper Deck First Editions, but it still makes for a fun rip, and is great value for collectors who have a low budget.

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