Friday, December 30, 2011

My Mavs Are Disappointing, But Holy Crap, Panini Actually Made Me Happy!

Well, the Mavs are of to an 0-3 start after Kevin Durant stuck a dagger in us at the buzzer tonight. I'm not worried, though. I have faith that Dirk and the rest of the Mavs will right the ship before the end of the season. What I don't usually count on is Panini producing a product that I actually want. They have an exclusive though, so if it's NBA cards you want, it's Panini you're stuck with. So it was a bit of a surprise while killing time on ebay that I ran across this gem.

Nice, right? This comes from their Black Box product which is quite simply, another in a long list of sets made by Panini that I will never buy a box of because it is too expensive and frankly not worth it. Thank goodness, for secondhand singles though. I must give Panini props, however, for at least producing several cards of my second all time favorite Maverick Mark Aguirre this past year. It's good to see that he's retired but not forgotten.

They even used a different photo on the back, something they've gotten much better at doing lately. So while I'm still not totally on board with Panini and their products, it's nice to at least know they are capable of surprising me every once in a while. Hopefully, when what appears to be their only affordable set this year (HOOPS) arrives in March, it will be full of surprises. If nothing else, the Mavs ought to be back in the thick of things by then, and that will be no surprise to me. MFFL! Later.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm Back With A Rant! NBA Action Is Almost Here And Panini Blows! (But You Already Knew That, Didn't You?)

Well, I've been gone for a while, but today I read something that I had to post about and even though it's Christmas Eve, I'm afraid it's kinda negative. Tomorrow the World Champion Dallas Mavericks will tip off what I hope to be another successful season. I couldn't be more excited for the NBA to be back. I'm also ready for some new basketball cards to collect, but unfortunately for me, it doesn't look like I'll get to do much of that this season. Panini recently released their plans for NBA cards this year and guess what? They are gonna put out a whopping FIVE sets! WOW! Now I get that the NBA season is shortened and they are getting a late start with all the roster changes and what not, but still isn't 5 sets kinda low? The number of sets, however, isn't what's got my blood boiling. The problem is the makeup of those 5 sets. Here is what Panini says they are putting out.

Preferred - 4 cards per pack @ $200 per pack. Supposed to be all autos and the previews show plenty of empty white space and gradients! Whoopee!

Hoops - $1 packs retail and $2 hobby. Not sure how many cards per pack, but I'm gonna guess around 7 based on their other low end stuff like Score. The Hoops previews that came out last year looked pretty good to me.

Limited - Not sure what's in store for this season but I'm sure it will follow season's past. Something around 7 cards per pack for around $100.

Past & Present - Totally new concept. Who the hell knows.

Gold Standard - Again, no info for this year, but if we go by last year we can expect 12 hideously blinged out gold cards for around $150. I think Donald Trump may like these, but probably not very many other people.

So what is the problem you ask? The problem is, Panini doesn't put out anything for the regular joe to collect, and I'm a regular joe. I can barely stomach most of Panini's designs as it is, but when the prices are as high as they are it makes it even worse. The only set I'll be able to buy packs of for sure is HOOPS and MAYBE Past & Present. Won't know on that set until more details come out, but the other 3? No way! I'll try to grab singles here and there, but that's about it. I just don't get high end, I guess. Are there really that many people that blindly throw that kind of money around for hopes of pulling something good? Whatever happened to COLLECTING cards, not buying cards and then hoping to SELL them for a profit? I really feel like that is the only purpose of high end stuff. I want to collect my favorite players and teams but I'd like to have a chance to get more than one card of each guy. This high end stuff, especially something like Preferred where every card is an auto, means most likely, I won't get even ONE card of any player from that set. So that puts me realistically at only being able to get cards from 4 sets this season, and that isn't much variety to keep me interested. I guess we'll see.

Anyway, sorry to ramble on, but I have to wonder if anyone else is equally frustrated with the state of NBA cards since Panini took over. All I see on Panini's blog when they show new stuff is people gushing over their product so I feel I'm in the minority for sure. I can't wait for their license to end. Pleeeaase NBA bring Topps and Upper Deck back! Well, that's all I got for now. Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Go Mavs! Later.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Anyone Wanna Trade Stickers?

Nobie is getting somewhat close to filling his 2011 MLB sticker album so I told him I'd post a want list. Let me know if you've got anything we need or if you'd like to get a hold of some or our doubles. Later.

This is what we need: 5, 7, 11, 20, 39, 49, 70, 80, 89, 98, 107, 109, 111, 119, 121, 123, 128, 130, 133, 137, 145, 147, 151, 154, 158, 183, 185, 208, 211, 214, 216, 222, 227, 230, 232, 233, 238, 244, 248, 254, 255, 264, 284, 288, 291, 303, 305, 307, 308

This is what we have to trade:
2, 3, 9, 16, 18, 21, 31, 37, 38, 41, 43, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51, 52, 53, 55, 66, 69, 74, 75, 77, 81, 84, 85, 91, 96, 100, 101, 105, 106, 108, 110, 112, 115, 117, 126, 127, 129, 134, 140, 141, 142, 146, 146, 148, 152, 153, 155, 156, 157, 161, 163, 164, 168, 170, 171, 179, 181, 192, 194, 198, 200, 202, 210, 212, 218, 219, 220, 234, 235, 236, 240, 241, 251, 252, 258, 268, 272, 273, 280, 285, 287, 293, 294, 296, 298, 300, 304, 309

Monday, September 19, 2011

Wanna See Where I Work? A Cubicle Tour.

Ok, so I said I was gonna mix it up a little so here we go with something a little different. Like a bunch of people in this country, I spend 8 hrs a day in a cubicle. Thankfully, my employer let's us pretty much decorate them however we want. Some of my co-workers have plain Jane cubes, but I wouldn't be able to stand that, so mine's pretty well covered with stuff to break up the monotony. Let's take a look, shall we?

This is the outer wall as you approach my cube. It's sufficiently Mavs championshiped up thanks to the pages of the Dallas Morning News. I'll give you a tour of the interior beginning with the view from in front of my computer and continuing to the left as I spin in my office chair.

The wall behind my cpu has a poster of Devil's Tower in Wyoming which is one of my absolute most favorite places ever. I spent a lot of summers in Wyoming as a kid with relatives and I never go there without visiting the tower. Next to that I've got a Michael Finley Sprite poster. Fin would rank third all-time on my favorite Mavs list. On top of the computer we've got Spidey, Deadpool and Hambone. What a cool superhero team they would make!

Behind my twin monitors (us artists need lots of work space) there is a Mavs team poster from 2008 I believe.

On the left side of my desk sits my scanner which doesn't get used a whole lot anymore, but it does a pretty good job of holding a Rangers schedule, an SI NFL preview issue and an Amazing Spider-man CD of comics that I'm borrowing from a co-worker. On the desk itself is a recent issue of Spider-man and the jug I bring my milk to work in for my morning oatmeal. Yummy, right?

The shelf above the scanner holds photos of the wife and kids along with bobbleheads of Cuban and Dirk. There is also a Smurf for some reason, which was given to me by the same co-worker that loaned me the Spidey CD. Two more Mavs team posters cover the wall behind the shelf.

Here is the only large interior wall of my cube which gives me some room for a couple of full-sized posters of the Mavs and a Humberto Ramos rendition of Spider-man.

As, you walk into my cube there is a pillar on the right with a little room for some full sized movie Spidey and 2 Dirk game giveaway posters.

This is my window to the outside world that I'm lucky to have. Most people in the office don't have one. Another Spidey stands watch on the ledge. On the desktop is a stack of Sports Illustrated, Playstation and SLAM magazines, a plush Snoopy and Spider-man, my fan and an old monitor that doesn't really work anymore. I've also got 2 more of the Mavs giveaway posters featuring the Jet and the Matrix. The orange you see between the desk and wall is the bottom half of a talking Ricky Rudd Nascar Tide standup. His top half is behind the bottom half and out of view. I had to take the batteries out and dismantle him to keep my co-workers from constantly making him talk. I haven't had it together for at least 5 years, but I still remember what he says, "Hi, I'm Nascar driver Ricky Rudd. On the track or off, Tide takes the checkered flag. So remember, if it's got to be clean, it's got to be Tide!" That's how many times that danged button was pushed!

The right side of my desk hold my Mavs water cup, my radio that is constantly tuned to Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket and a sweet poster of Mark Aguirre dunking in his short shorts. This is also where I tack my calendars to keep track of those precious days off.

Finally, the last part of the cube tour is the shelf above my desk on the right. I used to have about 2 paper boxes full of various toys filling my shelves, but with my last cube move I cut it down quite a bit. Now I've just got these few Mighty Muggs figures of Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, Wolverine, Black Suit Spider-man and original Spidey. Oh yeah, and a sweet Chewbacca figure that appears to be threatening to blow Spider-man's brains out with his bowcaster.

So there you have it, your own personal tour of my home away from home. I hope it meets your approval. Later.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why Invincible Really Is "The Best Superhero Comic Book In The Universe"

With all the comic book pub lately being heaped upon DC for their New 52 #1's and Marvel for their black Spider-man and X-men Schizm, it's easy to forget there are other publishers out there. One of those "others" is Image comics which just happens to be home to my favorite book, Invincible.

Invincible is written by Robert Kirkman and drawn by Ryan Ottley and it is "The Best Superhero Book In The Universe!" It says so right on the cover of each issue and I'm here to tell you why.

It's not the action.
It's not the romance.

It's not the crazy super villains.

It's not the hot, alien chicks.

It's not even the brutal beatdowns. No, what makes Invincible "The Best Superhero Comic Book In The Universe" is this...

it got my wife to read it. After all the years I've tried to get her to read a comic, Invincible finally pulled her in. She'll probably kill me for posting this photo, but I love it. Nobie and I came home the other night and she had already fallen asleep reading in bed and what do you know? There she is all snuggled up with an Invincible trade. Awesome! That is simply the clinching reason why Invincible really is "The Best Superhero Comic Book In The Universe". I dare you to prove me wrong. Later.

So, Where Was I?

So, you're wondering where I was for the last month right? Well, the answer is nowhere. I've been here all along. I just haven't been posting for lack of subject matter/want. See when I started this blog it was to keep up with other collectors and to make trades and such and it's been great for that. The problem is, we just aren't buying all that many cards anymore, especially packs, which means we don't have much to trade. Besides MLB stickers, we haven't bought much of anything. I was posting my singles purchases, but I figured I was pretty much boring everyone with just my Mavs, Rangers and Cowboys stuff. Sorry, that's about all I'm bothering with lately. My last several posts where not even about card collecting sports at all, just soccer though I tried to tie it in with some EPL customs. So I think it's time to retool a little bit. I'm gonna follow my buds TJ and Guy from Obsessive-Recreation and blog on whatever the heck I want to. Maybe cards, maybe comics or music or soccer or whatever. I'm hoping that by broadening my subject matter, I'll be more likely to keep up with it. We'll see. Later.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Don't Worry, I'm Still Alive!

Some of you were probably beginning to wonder what happened to me. Or maybe not. Anyway, it's been a whole month since I last posted and I didn't want anyone to get worried, so here's proof that I'm okay.

That's me holding the first issue of the all new Ultimate Spider-man featuring Miles Morales in the Spidey suit. It just came out today, so there's your proof. In case you've been out of the loop of comics, this issue is somewhat controversial as Miles is not your typical Spider-man. A while back when it was announced that Peter was gonna die and he'd be replaced by a new Spider-man, all the buzz was about Miles' skin color. That's right folks, he's not white! OMG! First the White House and now our beloved superheroes, what could be next?
Well, guess what? It's no big deal to me what color our new Spidey is. Sure I'd love for Peter to still be around, but not because he's a white guy, he's just familiar. I think the change is pretty cool though. See I don't think superheroes should live forever. I think they should die off, retire, grow disinterested or just altogether quit every once in a while. We don't need 80 year old Bruce Wayne running around trying to still be Batman. He's had plenty of apprentices that can take up the mantel and run with it, or how about this? Create an all new character every once in awhile to replace the departed ones. I kinda wish that's what they would have done here instead of giving Miles the Spider-man name, but I also realize that he wouldn't be getting near the publicity if he was named Arachno-boy or Wonderwebs or something.
Speaking of names and people being too hung up on Miles' skin color, I read a post on a forum somewhere today where someone was complaining about Miles' last name being Morales. They said, "If his dad is black and his mom is Puerto Rican, why does he use his mother's last name when they are married?" They seemed very concerned that a black guy wouldn't have a latino last name. I guess they must not watch very much baseball. Ever hear of David Ortiz for one? Just because his dad is black doesn't mean he can't be Puerto Rican or Dominican or something. Who cares what color his skin is or what his name is, as long as the stories are well written and enjoyable, and so far, it is. In fact, the biggest difference so far between the two Spider-men is not their names or races, it's their powers. **Spoiler Alert** Miles can turn INVISIBLE! Now that's got me interested. Later.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

EPL Kickoff! Big D Custom Soccer

I thought I'd kickoff the soccer season with some fresh customs. Since my man Guy has no team playing to root for today, I'll start with his Everton squad.

First up is USA goalkeeper extraordinaire, Tim Howard.

Next, is pretty boy Mikel Arteta. I think Guy is gonna name his son after this fella if he gets the chance.

For those of you who don't like pretty boys, here is his hot wife instead.

One of Guy's other favorite players is Marouane Fellaini. Whoops, I got my photos mixed up...

here we go, this is the right one.

Captain Canuck is also an avid EPL fan. His favorite team is ManUre. Oops, sorry just a little typo there. ManUtd is his favorite. My bad.

Rio seems like he's been around forever. I miss his braids.

Maybe once Rooney's hair transplant is all grown in, he'll get braids instead.

Nani likes to go by one name and pretend he's from Brazil. He's really from Portugal.

Last buy certainly not least are my Magpies of Newcastle!

Ben Arfa missed almost all of last season due to a double fracture in his leg. I expect great things from him this season.

Even though the back of his jersey says Jonas, he is not the fourth Jonas brother. Jonas is actually his first name as in Jonas Gutierrez.

The final Toon player here is Joey Barton who has done his darndest to get himself shipped out of Newcastle lately, but for now he'll remain on Tyneside.

So, there you go. Are you in the mood for a little association football now? Later.

Friday, August 12, 2011

One More Day!

Tomorrow is opening day for the EPL. Newcastle will open the season home at St. James Park against Arsenal. These two team met in a classic game last season in which Arsenal jumped out to the lead early and lead at halftime 4-0. I don't know what went down at halftime, but the second half of the game was all Newcastle. The game ended in a 4-4 tie capped off with this goal by Cheik Tiote.

Hopefully tomorrow's game will be just as exciting but end up with a Newcastle win. The Magpies have changed out quite a few players during the offseason and while they didn't really add a superstar with the money from selling Andy Carroll, they did pick up several players that will hopefully fit in nicely. I guess we'll see starting tomorrow! Good luck to you and whoever you root for. Later.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

EPL Followers, Let Me Hear From You! State Your Affiliation

Just kinda curious how many soccer fans are out there amongst us bloggers. Of course, this will only tell me how many there are who also happen to check out my blog, and therefore, won't be all that many, but oh well. In case you can't tell, I'm a Newcastle fan and I'm anxiously awaiting Saturday's game vs. Arsenal. What about you? Later.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Season Kickoff Up In Flames?

The 2011-12 English Premier League is set to kickoff this Saturday, but at least some of the games could be in jeopardy. Why, you ask? Well, because of a bunch of punk assholes is why.

If you've been up with the recent news in London at all, then you've seen images like this. The town is a mess. All hell has broken loose and the police are having trouble getting it contained. I still can never believe it when I see people treating their own neighborhoods this way. I just don't get it. The riots seem to have started in Tottenham due to the killing of a man by the police last week, but there seem to be plenty of other issues that have the people pissed off. I doubt very seriously that the majority of them even know why they're doing it. They just want to be part of the mob.

I feel bad for all the innocent people who are having their lives torn apart. Hopefully the authorities can get everything under control soon and keep the damage and injuries to a minimum. The EPL is monitoring the situation to decide the safest way to proceed with this weekend's games. Let's hope the thugs decide they'd rather watch a little football than tear up their own neighborhoods some more. Seeing as how Everton is set to begin their season at Tottenham near where the riots started, I know at least one Guy who has his fingers crossed! Later.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Blog Makeover

I was messing around with the look of my blog the other day and completely lost my old look. I can't figure out how to get it back. I think it was a discontinued template or something. Anyway, I figured it was a good time for an overhaul, so I decided to get ready for the new English Premier League season by going with a Newcastle United theme. What do you think? Later.

I've Got Mine, Do You?

I just love how that looks! Dallas Mavericks 2011 NBA Champions! Panini put out this nice box set for the Mavs, so I had to get one. I'm not sure if they've done this before, or did they just do it for the hometown Mavs. (Panini's headquarters are down the road in Irving.)

Mavs Big 3, Nowitzki, Kidd & Terry. The set has the same layout for all 18 player and 1 coach card.

Most of the backs show the player posing with their championship trophy. Some of them just show a repeat of the front photo.

All 4 of these guys started at some point during the season and were major factors for the Mavs this season.

These guys were the invaluable role players. Caron of course, was a starte, but missed the second half of the season and the playoffs. Bummer.

This is the Mavs "future". These guys saw very little action for various reasons, but they are the young guys on an old team.

These are the guys you forget were on the team at some time during the year, but they were, so they get a card. Oh yeah, they also managed to squeeze Coach Carlisle into his own card as well. Barely.

Each win in the playoffs also gets it's own card. Here is the first round vs. Portland...

The Round 2 sweep vs. the Lakers...

The Western Conference Finals vs. OKC...

and of course, the Finals win against Miami Thrice.

Rounding out the set is this nice MVP card of the one and only Dirk! Man, I really hope the lockout doesn't ruin the season. I'm gonna miss my Mavs. Later.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pack Rip - 2011 Score Football

Score's football release actually came a couple weeks before Topps' did, but I've got them out of order. Oh, Well.

Score's wrappers are better because they've got Tony Romo of America's Team on them and they red, white and blue. What could be more patriotic than that? Let's see what's inside shall we?

These are what the base cards look like. Nice use of team colors and I like that they players are not cut out of the backgrounds this year. The Score logo at the top could be a little smaller, it seems like there is too much white space up there. Overall, though I give the design a thumbs up.

Here are the backs. Not bad, but not great either. Same photo as the front, but we get more than one line of stats, so that's good. Acceptable.

We got 2 rookie cards, one base with a dude in his training gear and one Hot Rookie insert with a player in full uniform. The insert is much better as a result, plus it's got flames! Neat! 7 cards for $.99 is a decent deal for these so Score yourself some packs of Score. Or, try a rack pack. 52 cards for 5 bucks, can't beat that. Later.