Sunday, February 28, 2010

My other collection

Ever since my 30th birthday I've started this new collection - Jordans. I don't know how it happened or why it happened, but having a collector's mindset, you are always susceptible of buying in on something you want to invest in. Normally when you say invest, you think of something that will increase in value over time, normally in a monetary sense. With this particular "collection" it serves more of a nostalgic investment.

In my early years of high school I absolutely loved basketball, played it all the time. You're looking at a Freshman B-team reserve! Haha. That only proves how much I liked to play. I could have just quit because I was a scrub on the B-TEAM, but I didn't. As long as I got to play everyday during practice, I was a happy kid! I found actual playing time in the PBA [Philippine Basketball League] in Chicago. My parents knew that being in high school, it was important for me to have my own identity through my own thoughts as well as with what I wore. Even then, basketball shoes defined me. I did have issues though having my parents spend a boatload on shoes for me though. My dad splurged on me and agreed to buy me some Jordans. I couldn't believe it, so he bought the Jordans from that year:


Back then I believe they went for over $140. I wore them once, and then couldn't wear them again, they were just too expensive. We went back and returned them for a pair of Air Max's, which weren't as expensive - closer to $100. $40 was a lot to a high school Freshman back then! And by then I was able to pay for most of it with allowance money. There was part of me that really wanted the Jordans, because the Bulls were my team and Jordan was the man. But I felt I didn't deserve them.

Fast-forward to my 30th birthday last year. Until that point in time, the only pair of Jordan's I owned were the Jordan 8s my dad bought me for a couple of days. Why not splurge on myself, especially since I received a bunch of gift cards for my birthday. I picked up the Jordan Sixty-Plus. Not a design MJ ever wore in a game, but still a pretty sick shoe in my opinion. There are different color variations, but I'll always stick to the Black and Reds.

Or so I thought...I find out that the Jordan retro 11s were being released, also known as the "Space Jams". I remember seeing them back in the day and loving them then! So I had to get a pair of those too! And as you can see at the top of this entry, I got them :)

I thought for sure I was done...nope! January comes, and I find out that the Jordan Retro 6s were coming out. C'MON SON! Can't I get a break? These were the ones that Jordan wore during his FIRST championship with the Bulls. After finally getting over the hump that were the "Bad Boys" Detroit Pistons, the Bulls beat the Lakers. Had to absolutely get those! So here are these three together:

Three months, three new pairs of Jordans. Something just seems wrong to me about it. Honestly it is better than what I used to spend monthly on boxes on top of boxes of cards. Plus I am guaranteed to like what I have here! I couldn't wear any of these to actually play ball in (imagine that, basketball shoes I can't play basketball in?) so I had to get one more pair of shoes because my old basketball shoes had already played their last game, several months ago. So what did I get? Yup, another pair of Jordans. This time, ones I could scuff up and not worry about too much: Jordan Schoolin'

I'm done right? Nah, just getting started! My next conquest, the Space Jams 25th Anniversary edition, that's right, all white!


It just all spun out of control, but I am enjoying these everytime I wear them or look at them. And I remember the first time I saw them back in the day. It just brings me back like the smell of home cooking does. Ultimately, I want a pair of those Jordans we returned for the Air Max's. That ugly looking carpet icon on the tongue still makes me shake my head, but it makes me remember the days of B-Team and PBA, when basketball was purely about fun, and not about exercise and NOT getting hurt like it does today. Yeah, that's where I'm at in my basketball career.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

RE-DO contest for the Donruss Americana hits

Had to re-do the contest because a mod won the contest, way to go SacKingsR1! :)

Anyways, here's the new CONTEST LINK


SPA Football case rip party @ "Addicted to Sports Cards"

This was up on our YouTube channel, but I just wanted to post it on the Blog. It was at the "Addicted to Cards" shop in Niles, IL [suburb of Chicago]. Just wanted to thank Dave at the shop for including us in on the party as well allowing us to record the break during the party.


I wish all shops would do this. Over the past 6 years since I have been back in the hobby, this is the first time I ever took part in something like this at a shop. There was a feeling of a brotherhood between the customers. I had never met most of them, but they seemed to be very into the party. Dave also provided pizza and pop to keep up with the party theme. As you could see in the video, Dave had a few contests for items like McFarlane figures as well as jerseys and autographed items. Dave definitely knows how to keep his customers happy and keep them coming back for more. In conversations I've had with him in the past, it sounds like he and a couple of other local shop owners in the area formed a type of group to get better and competitive prices on the products they sell from wholesalers. And it's true, they are pretty close to online prices. I definitely hope that Dave and his shop stay in the industry for a long time!

- joe

Thursday, February 25, 2010

1/1s = one of many

(I am sure this topic has been mentioned before, but now I have a blog, so it's my turn!)

ONE of ONE?!?! You mean this card is the ONLY ONE of its kind?! Wow!

That is what I would have said 6 years ago. I remember pulling a Jonathan Bender printing plate from 04-05 Topps Finest and I was pretty excited! I could have cared less WHO it was I pulled, I just pulled a 1/1! Now there are 1/1s for every card, parallel, patch, jersey, auto, etc. I have shied away from collecting one person, but when I was still collecting Tyrus Thomas and Thabo Sefolosha [Yeah, sad I know!] it was damn near impossible to get a master set of any of the cards. I went after Thabo's rookie year topps finest XRC set. How many 1/1 superfractor parallels was I on the lookout for? Let's count: Regular superfractor, framed superfractor, framed x-superfractor, red superfractor, green superfractor, gold superfractor, black superfractor, and of course all of the printing plates: cyan, blue, yellow, and black. That's right ELEVEN 1/1s to go after in just ONE set! I found myself looking EVERY day on Ebay trying to find any of them I didn't have. this was as far as I got:


I remember losing the green superfractor and being superpissed about it, but that was the fun of it back then. I ended up selling most of these for roughly about how much I bought them for, so it was fun trying. I think I may just have one of them left, just for remembrance, haha.

It was around this time (2005-06 products) that the parallels were getting ridiculous. In addition to all of those 1/1s, you can't forget the "regular" parallels you had to go for. In this particular set there was base, base refractor, base x-fractor, red refractor, red x-fractor, green refractor, green x-fractor, gold refractor, gold x-fractor, black refractor, and black x-fractor. If memory serves me correctly, 2005-06 was the first year that each color refractor had a corresponding 1/1 superfractor. I mean seriously, it's enough to drive any player collector crazy! And ever since then, the subsequent products all followed suit.

1/1s should be reserved for the most sought after cards of the set. We really do not need one for every base card or every parallel. In fact, kill off all of the parallels, maybe just ONE parallel numbered to 10 or something like that. I even liked what Exquisite did, one base version, one jersey card version #d to 25 and patch version. With the pricing of Exquisite always being crazy, they also had to put in a patch auto 1/1 version of each base card too. Oh yeah, like this?


Yeah...I pulled that :) Was I happy? Hell yeah! At least Al Jefferson was a decent player! If it were Mike Bibby, I would've been upset (sorry Vanson!).

But now let's pretend the only 1/1s you could get in Exquisite were cards that really deserved to be called "Exquisite 1/1s" like logomen or one sweet Jordan, Kobe, or Lebron card. Make it really worth something. Now I know Upper Deck is in it for the money, so if these rare 1/1s were pulled early in the release, no one would want to buy Exquisite anymore. BUT, if these cards were not pulled early, imagine the hype Exquisite would get then! It doesn't have to end with Exquisite. If every product did have those limited set of chase cards, people would continue to buy the product, as long as they were available.

Unfortunately [or actually fortunately for my wallet], Upper Deck cannot produce anymore NBA cards for the next few years, so any new Exquisite will be gone in the basketball. Once Panini's license is up, who knows what will happen. But in looking at some of the products that Panini has released, the "popularity" of 1/1s will stay where it is at in new basketball products.

Today, if I pulled that same 1/1 Jonathan Bender printing plate, I might not even put it in a top loader if I didn't have any available. For all products and for all card companies...please bring value back in our cards, by not completely saturating the market with words like 1/1. It's up to you to make our cards "one of a kind".

- joe

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sun-Times show in Chicago

Here's information on the next big card show in Chicago: Sun-Times Show

This show is mostly known to have A LOT of baseball, both new as well as vintage. If I was that kind of collector, I would be in heaven! But as it is, I am a basketball collector, mainly Bulls of course! Since the show is held in Chicago [in Rosemont if you want to be specific], then you know all the dealers will be bumping the prices for all local products [Cubs, Sox, Bears and Bulls]. Back when I first started getting back into collecting in 2004, I used to try to pick up as much stuff as I could, regardless of price so I can have it for my collection when I could have gone home and logged onto ebay and got it for 1/2 the price. There is just something about getting the

card you want, RIGHT when you see it. Now, I am more interested in getting autographs of players who show up. Now this can get pretty expensive as well, but I figure you are paying for the experience. There are just some athletes who just charge so much! For instance Bill Russell was at a show I went to last year, and he charged $500 for an autograph! Um, no thanks! Obviously I was not around to enjoy Mr. Russell's game, but still, WOW! Obviously someone who I would pay that kind of cash for is the man Michael Jordan. I would imagine if we were ever fortunate enough to have Jordan sign at an event, it would easily be $1000 per autograph. Ironically, Jordan has no idea of why someone would want an autograph of an athlete as he stated on the Leno Show.

Some autographs I'd love to get this time around would be the newly announced to the HOF: Andre Dawson [Cubs, NOT Expos], Chris Johnson [Titans], Adam West [Batman], Keith Hernandez [Mets and Seinfeld, haha], and of course Derrick Rose [Bulls] and Emmitt Smith [Cowboys]. Will I actually get to get these? I have no idea, depends on the cash flow for that week. I do have the Shamrock Shuffle 8K that Sunday, so I would probably only be going on Friday and/or Saturday.

If anyone wants to meet up, let me know! Here are some of the autographs I have gotten at past shows:

TYRUS THOMAS [when he was on the Bulls]


Monday, February 22, 2010

Donruss Americana box break CONTEST!

Win the hits from this free box of Donruss Americana by logging into your HobbyKings account and give a shot at the contest! Here is the CONTEST LINK

Good luck and Happy Monday!

- joe

Blake Griffin RC AUTO goes to...

rocketsfan86 for guessing the total points+assists+rebounds by Lebron James during the Cavs/Magic game on Sunday! Congratulations!!

Be sure to check back often for more contests hosted by HobbyKings!!

- joe

Friday, February 19, 2010

Win a free Blake Griffin RC Auto

First off, thanks to Scott from Panini for the opportunity to work with HobbyKings so we could get free products for our members. Also, thank you to the member who got us in contact with Panini to start off this relationship. I am not sure if he wants to be named, so I will not say who it was, but thank you! We really appreciate it!

Anyways, here is the awesome break from Panini!

If you want to enter the contest to win one of these hits. Sign into your HobbyKings account, and enter here: CONTEST LINK