Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Blog Bat Around: What I Collect

Night Owl decided to host the next Blog Bat Around with the topic being "What Do You Collect?" 

I think this is a great topic and I'm definitely looking forward to Night Owl's cumulative post where he culls together everyone's entries.  I think it will make searching out potential trade partners much easier if nothing else!

Enough jibber jabber though, let's get to it.  Here's what I collect (in order):

1.  Baseball Card Sets
I have an extensive want list of sets that I am currently working on (found here).  My goal for the current calendar year is to eliminate more sets on my want list than sets that I add onto the want list.  As it stands currently, I'm sitting 3-1 in favor of sets completed versus sets added so that's good news!

2.  Barry Larkin Cards
I am actively trying to collect as many different Barry Larkin cards as I can.  I am also slowly writing a post about each and every different Larkin card in my collection (here's that series of posts).

3.  LEGO
Yes, I include LEGO as something I collect.  I have my own LEGO train table in my "man cave" which I love to fool around with when I have the chance.  I also collect minifigures from the blind packs and older sets from my childhood (late 80s, early 90s stuff).  You can find a lot of my LEGO content on my LEGO-centric blog.  I'm also more than happy to trade baseball cards away in exchange for LEGO related goodies, it's something that I've done a few times already and hope to continue to do so as I aim to clear out more of my excess baseball card inventory!

4.  Reds cards
I'm actually not a team collector much at all.  In fact, I recently downsized my "random Reds" pile substantially, basically putting aside cards of certain players plus a large pile for my eventual Reds Frankenset that I hope to start someday.  I have more or less completely stopped trading for assorted Reds cards, instead I much prefer to focus on collections #1, 2, and 3 from above.

Those are my main hobby collections, but I also collect cookbooks, woodworking tools (and books), and board/card games as well as video games (PS4 & Nintendo Switch currently).  I'm always up for swaps that include things from those collections as well!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 594: 1995 Leaf Limited - #49

Barry Larkin
Year:  1995
Brand:  Leaf Limited
Card number:  49

The 1995 Leaf Limited set reminds me a patriotic credit card (make of that what you will).  The front of the card has plenty of stripes while the backside of the card is silvery gray just like many credit cards.  The good news for this card is that it is most definitely not the ugliest Larkin in the set (that "honor" goes to this card).  The other good news is that this is the second and final card from the 1995 Leaf Limited set which means I don't need to see this set ever again (Larkin was not included in the partial gold parallel set thankfully).

Monday, March 19, 2018

Delivery Time! Blog Reader Brett P. Sends an Awesome LEGO Set!

Whenever I get a package in the mail from a trader or blog reader, I do my best to get a post up publicly thanking the person in a reasonable amount of time.  However, there are definitely times where I do not get a post up quick enough (today's package is one such example). 

In short, it took me much longer than usual to write today's post because it was a big one - and I mean that both literally and figuratively as the package from Brett was quite large.  Large enough, in fact, to hold an unopened LEGO set, set #2000446.

Now, this wasn't just any old LEGO set (though I am always happy to get any LEGO in the mail), this is a special edition set that was only available in Singapore.  Brett was over in Singapore (I believe) and he asked me if there was anything unique that I'd like him to grab for me.  I had no idea (I didn't know this set even existed at that time) but I'd say that Brett knocked the ball out of the ballpark for me.

First, a word on the set itself from Brickipedia:
It can be built into either Gardens by the Bay, Changi Airport or Cavenagh Bridge. The set contains 244 pieces. The set is given to all students and teachers and they are encouraged to build their vision of Singapore in the future. As part of SG50 celebrations the students and teachers were given this set. Currently it is unavailable for sale.
Even more interesting to me, the set that Brett sent my way was the Special Commemorative Edition which was apparently even more rare than the "regular" set (though from what I can see, the only difference is the outer packaging).

Someone that is only in LEGO for the money would probably leave this box unopened (copies of it are listed on Bricklink for about $80 US right now for example) but not me.  When I get some LEGO in the mail, I build it and enjoy it for what's worth!  (and now you can see why I needed substantial time in order to truly write the proper post for this set).

The set itself contains 244 pieces and it has instructions within it to build three different iconic Singapore landmarks.  I've never been to Singapore, so this my first exposure to all three structures.

First up, the Gardens by the Bay.  According to the single manual included in the set, the Gardens by the Bay captures the essence of Singapore - this is a "premier tropical garden."  The second build is the Cavenagh Bridge - the oldest bridge in Singapore (built in 1868).  The third and final build in the set is the Changi Airport, which the manual says is the sixth busiest airport in the world today.  

If you are interested in seeing the actual LEGO models from the set, I encourage you to click on over to my LEGO-centric blog where I discuss each of the builds in detail (this is what took me so long to write this particular post)!  

Thanks again for the awesome package, Brett.  I hope that the delay in getting a post up is at least somewhat mitigated by your kindness appearing on two of my blogs in a few day's span.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Delivery Time! Results of a Random Two Team Group Break from The Iron Lion

I've mentioned a new hobby store (via Facebook) a couple of times on my blog now - it's called The Iron Lion and they do some pretty neat stuff including a bunch of group breaks via Facebook.  Now, most of their breaks seem to gravitate towards the higher end stuff (better profit margins I suppose) but that type thing doesn't suit my collecting style or budget so I sit those out.  Once in a while, however, they post a "cheap" baseball break and I've been fortunate enough to get in on a couple of those.

Today's mail day is the results of one of those breaks.  The way the break worked was that they sold 15 slots and then they assigned all 30 teams randomly.  At first, I thought that was kind of cool - but I quickly learned that no one wanted to trade teams so I had no shot at picking up the Reds (the only team I was truly interested in).  Even worse, I did two of these breaks and both times I got the Twins as one of my teams...and virtually no one out there collects Twins cards.

So yeah, in concept it's kind of a cool break idea but the two times I joined it definitely didn't work out for me.  In this particular break, I ended up with both the Twins and the Orioles...neither of which have a big following on the blog (at least not on my blog) so these cards don't have much use for me in terms of my own collection or as trade bait.  Still, should you see something that catches your eye let me know!

The break was for a box of Bowman, Bowman Chrome, Bowman's Best, and Panini Chronicles.  For the Bowman's Best (a set that I found out that I liked quite a bit), the Orioles got completely skunked but I did land a pair of Twins.

For the Chronicles, the Orioles also got completely skunked but I did pick up a pair of Twins including one of the few keepers (for me) in the break - a Bartolo Colon card that may make its way into my Frankenset when/if I ever get around to completing that task.  The Sano is a green parallel numbered out of 199 should someone be interested in that.

The regular Bowman sucked, as regular Bowman pretty much always does...I mean, the card design isn't the worst but I didn't get anything that interested me out of that box (but at least the Orioles were represented finally).

That leaves us with the final box - Bowman Chrome.  The Chrome box was the best of the four for me, though that isn't saying a whole lot.  I did end up with a refractor of Ryan Mountcastle plus two colored parallels.

The blue Torres is not numbered but the green Palka is out of 99 making that the highlight of the break for me.

In the end, the cost definitely didn't justify what I got.  I know some of that is the nature of a group break but I think when both teams are random it makes it even worse, especially if it isn't a set (or sets) that I plan to collect.  I don't think I'll be jumping in any more random team breaks...let me claim my Reds outright and then give me a second team at random, that's a break style I can get behind (and, not so coincidentally, that's how I run the vast majority of my group breaks that I host)!

I have another Iron Lion group break package to show off at some point soon - and at least that one has a hit in it...even if it is a Twin.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Barry Larkin Collection 593: 1987 Topps - #648 (Error card)

Jose Canseco / Barry Larkin
Year:  1987
Brand:  Topps
Card number:  648 (error card)

The 1987 Topps set has a pair of well-known Barry Larkin printing error cards.  I managed to grab both copies from the same eBay seller not all that long ago.  I already showed off the first error card here (with Larkin on the front and Canseco's stats on the back).  Today, we get a look at the other version - basically the subject on the front and backs of the card are flipped.

I don't generally have much interest in error cards (printing errors or otherwise) but I guess I felt the need to make an exception for my Barry Larkin Collection (I consider many of my 1980s sets complete if they have one copy of a given base card, all the various error cards aren't necessary in my book).  Still, for Larkin I make exceptions and so I find myself purposely buying error cards from eBay.

The things we do as player collectors, am I right?!