Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.

(Editor note: If you missed my entry on the 2009 Topps blasters, including how to differentiate between the black borders at Wal*Mart and the Grey backs at Target, check it out here. I now return you to your regular programming.)

With apologies to Timbuk3 and their "Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades."



According to Wikipedia (a source that really isn't a source, but hey, it's good enough for today), this song isn't meant to be a happy song about the future...

(The artist) Pat revealed on VH1's "100 Greatest One-hit Wonders" list that
the meaning of the song was widely misinterpreted as a positive perspective in
regard to the near future. Pat somewhat clarified the meaning by stating that it
was, contrary to popular belief, a "grim" outlook. While not saying so directly,
he hinted at the idea that the bright future was in fact due to impending
nuclear holocaust. The "job waiting" after graduation signified the demand for
nuclear scientists to facilitate such events.

What does this future have to do with baseball cards? Behold:


Perhaps Topps was thinking of the same future as Pat in regards to Corey Patterson.

And because I get a kick out of the write-ups on many "Future Star" cards, here's what Topps had to say about Mr. Patterson in 2001:

Patterson's athletic talen is a beautiful thing. He has outstanding speed,
a strong arm and the bat speed to be an offensive force. But what the Cubs
love most is that he has a ballplayer's instincts and the kind of innate skills
to ebcome a star.


Good luck to National's fans, you're going to cringe everytime you see Patterson's name in the lineup.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Topps Responds! Black Borders and Gray Throwbacks!

I recently sent an email to Topps about the black border confusion at Wal*Mart. It turns out, there are also unannounced parallels in Target packs - but apparently no one has found them quite yet.

Straight from Topps (emphasis mine):

Thank you for your inquiry. Please be advised, the Black bordered cards is a Wal-Mart exclusive.

To assist collectors in identifying the Wal-Mart exclusive “BLACK” cards in 2009 Topps Baseball Series 1, Topps is issuing the $19.99 Value Box’s 9-digit component code. This code can be found directly on the top of box’s bar code.

In addition, Target also has an exclusive $19.99 Value Box, which includes “THROWBACK” versions of 2009 Topps Baseball Series 1 featuring gray-back cardboard stock and the retro Topps logo. These boxes also have an identifiable component code found directly on top of the bar card.

The exclusive limited edition sets include each of the 330 subjects found in the 2009 Topps Series 1 Base Set. The codes are as follows:
Wal-Mart “BLACK” Cards
Code: 1-825-50-13-9

All the base cards found in this version of the VALUE BOX will be “BLACK”.

Target “THROWBACK” Cards
Code: 1-825-50-12-9

All the base cards found in this version of the VALUE BOX will be “THROWBACK”.


As always, please do not hesitate to contact our Customer Service team (By Phone: 800-489-9149, or by Email:support@etopps.com) if you ever have any other questions, comments or suggestions. A customer service representative will be available to answer your questions between the hours of 8:30am-4:30pm (EST), Monday through Friday.
Sincerely,
Consumer Relations
The Topps Company, Inc.


First, I want to publicly thank Topps for answering my email AND for the detailed report as to what to expect. Second, this confirms that the cards are NOT errors as some thought - nor are they all that rare it appears. And now, that mystery been solved!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Black Bordered 2009 Topps - 2 Blaster Review

I headed back to the infamous Wal*Mart just to see if they had any more 2009 Topps blasters. As luck would have it, they had one remaining which I was able to scoop up...and yes, it was another black bordered box.

After opening the box, I decided to put the two black-bordered blasters together and summerize my pulls...

What I opened: Two 2009 Topps Series 1 blasters (from Wal*Mart).

2 Historical Commemorative Patches:
LPR-7: Ted Williams and LPR-40: Reggie Jackson

2 Gold Cards (#ed/2009):
#221 League Leaders (Lee, Hallady, & Matsuzaka) and #315 Hiroki Kuroda

2 Short Prints (both white bordered)
#10: Rogers Hornsby and #30: Jackie Robinson

2 Turkey Reds:
TR25: Alex Rodriguez and TR44: Ervin Santana

2 Legends of the Game:
#LG4: Ty Cobb and #LG25: Cal Ripken Jr.

19 Topps Town Code Cards
(17 silver and 2 gold)

A nice pile of base cards without a single duplicate!

Overall, I definitely think the black-bordered "dark" Topps cards have grown on me. I haven't decided whether I want to chase the black set or the white bordered set...I kind of prefer the black bordered set with the white short print cards, it makes the short prints stand out more.

I really like the short print cards though I know others don't necessarily like them. I think it makes each pack of base Topps feel just a bit more like cracking a pack of Heritage, and I mean that as a compliment to base Topps! I also really like the manufactured patches, though I can't believe in 50 players they couldn't find a single Cincinnati Red to showcase. I'm debating about putting my patches on eBay however, seeing how they are going for fairly insane prices right now and then I could afford some new boxes of cards... We'll see. I do think I want to try to collect all the base variations though...I'm on my way with these two.

The rest of the inserts are alright, there aren't any that I hate so I can't really complain. The Turkey Red cards are nice, but they seem the most out of place in the set...especially if you are opening an "all black" blaster.

Bottom line: I give the "gimmick" black bordered 2009 Dark Topps an 80/100.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Group Break Result: Saints of the Cheap Seats

A few days ago, Danny at Saints of the Cheap Seats ran a group break of a case of 2007 Upper Deck Ultimate Collection. I decided to make the group break my first group break ever since Danny was allowing people to purchase the team they wanted instead of random distribution (obviously I wanted the Reds).

Since he had a bit of trouble filling the break up, I also bought the Pirates, figuring why not...

Well, luck wasn't on my side at all, in fact, between my two teams there was only a single (Pirates) base card pulled, ouch. At least it's Jason Bay.

However, Danny didn't want anyone to go away empty handed, so he graciously included a card of Austin Kearns (Washington Nationals technically, but at least he's pictured as a Red) and a 2008 Allen & Ginter Relic card of Matt Capps.

I've got to say, I think the Matt Capps card is my favorite of the three!

Despite my luck, the case itself was quite good - there were some really nice pulls, but you'll have to check out Danny's blog for the rest of the details. Thanks again for all the hard work and exceedingly quick shipping Dan! And if you decide to do another break sometime, count me in!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What the #@?! 2009 Topps Goes Black?!

I had to go to Wal*Mart today, so (of course) I also visited the card aisle and picked up a blaster of 2009 Topps.

My first pack I opened up a black bordered card (which I thought was a parallel of somet type at first), but then the second card, the third card, and EVERY SINGLE (non-insert/short print) in the blaster was black bordered.

What is going on?

For comparison, here's two Carl Pavano cards, the white card came from packs I bought at Wal*Mart last week. The black bordered card came out of the blaster I bought today.
I couldn't find any other differences between the two cards, so what is going on?!?!

For the record, I really liked the white-bordered cards, but the black-borders are terrible looking...

(and to add further intrigue, I pulled the Jackie Robinson short print card it had a white border).

Anyone know?

Topps American Heritage Blaster - (and trades?)

I usually avoid non-baseball releases, but the Topps American Heritage with the variety of retro-designs and plethora of historical subjects proved too difficult to avoid. As such, I picked up another blaster at Wal*Mart a few days ago (and as an aside, is anyone else having a lot of trouble finding this things in stores still)?

Anyway, here's what I got (16 base cards that I needed, 2 short prints that I needed, plus a number of nice inserts):

1. Mark Twain
2. Harriet Beecher Stowe
5. Nathaneiel Hawthorne (needed)
6. Emily Dickenson
12. William Clark
13. Robert Peary (needed)
14. Daniel Boone
19. Amelia Earhart
20. Christopher Columbus
21. John Paul Jones
22. Davy Crockett
23. George Marshall
24. Douglas MacArthur
25. Winfield Scott
28. David Farragut (needed)
30. George Meade
31. Benjamin Franklin (needed)

33. Paul Revere
35. John Hancock
36. Samuel Adams (x2, one was in the "bonus" pack)
37. Crispus Attucks
38. Patrick Henry (needed)
39. Peyton Randolph
43. George Washington Carver (needed)
44. Alexander Graham Bell
47. Eli Whitney
50. Elisha Otis
51. Martin Luther King Jr.
56. Susan B. Anthony
60. Elizabeth Jennings Graham (needed)
63. Frederic Remington
65. Benjamin Latrobe
70. Frederic Edwin Church
73. Robert F. Kennedy (needed)
77. Charles Sumner (needed)
78. Thurgood Marshall
79. William Jennings Bryan
87. Joe Namath
88. Tony Pastor
93. John Paul Getty (needed)
94. J. P. Morgan
96. Willaim Randolph Hearst
99. Frank Woolworth (needed)

100. Andrew Carnegie
104. The Constitution is Ratified (needed)
107. The Louisiana Purchase (needed)
109. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (needed)
113. Completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad
116. Mount Rushmore is Completed (needed)
118. V-E Day (needed)
121. Hawaii Becomes the 50th State
124. Man Walks on the Moon
125. The Camp David Accords
131. Barack Obama (needed)

145. Barack Obama & John McCain - Second Presidential Debate (needed)

American President:
AP40: Ronald Reagan (needed)

Chrome:
C94: J. P. Morgan (#0750/1776) (needed)

Chrome Refractor:
C16: Jededia Strong Smith (#76/76)! (needed)

American Legend
AL13: Jimmie Foxx (#006/199) (needed)


All told, I was quite happy with my box. I got a few more cards for my set, as well as some nice inserts. I was especially happy to pull the Jimmie Foxx card (and I love the picture, he seems to be completely lost in thought). I also pulled my third American President card, Reagan joins Obama and Gerald Ford in the binder. Finally, the chrome refractor was special since it was the #76 out of 76. I don't think I'll try to collect either the chrome or refractor sets though, so those will be up for trade. Check out my want list for a list of the cards that I still need for this set...

Cards for Trade: American Heritage

Last update: 2/23/09

All cards are from the Topps American Heritage set and available for trade (see my want list here).

Base: 1, 2(2), 6, 12(3), 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23(2), 24, 25, 30, 33, 35, 36(2), 37(2), 39, 44, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 56, 62, 63, 65, 70, 74, 78, 79, 82, 85, 87, 88, 94, 96, 100, 113, 15, 121, 124, 125

Monday, February 23, 2009

Quick Hits - Volume XVII - Leatherpants in Trouble

1. It appears ex-Reds GM (and current Cincinnati East GM) Jim "Leatherpants" Bowden is in trouble again. According to a report on ESPN, Jim Bowden is part of a federal investigation of executives skimming signing bonuses from prospects in Latin America. Also noted in the report is ex-Reds pitcher Jose Rijo who apparently had a prospect in his camp that was listed 4 years younger than his real age.

A cynical outside would expect nothing less from ex-Cincinnati sports figures, right? Looks like the Bengals have some company in the cell block.

2. Found this link on Redleg Nation, it's a profile of everyone's favorite Reds manager, Mr. Dusty Baker. The picture doesn't do Baker justice though since it shows him sans toothpick.

Not a whole heckuva lot interesting in the interview, but at least it's a current Red who isn't in trouble with the law.

3. The 2009 baseball cards are now out. Of course, I'm still trying to finish off my 2008 sets, so any help is appreciated...

4. Thought of this watching TV. How can CBS have a great show like Big Bang Theory and then follow it up with New Adventures of Old Christine. Seriously. "Elaine" in Seinfeld was tolerable at best...the same basic character in Old Christine, too painful to even watch half-heartedly.

5. Finally, a few updates for my blog. I (of course) will be keeping my card information and posts, but I also hope to expand into a few other areas that hopefully people will find interesting. I'm hoping, beginning next week, to be able to have at least one post a day again... Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

2008 Topps Heritage High Series Blaster

I got perhaps one of the most boring blasters (in terms of hits) that I've ever seen. In fact, my blaster contained exactly two inserts, a Chrome card of Vincente Padilla and a Rookie Performer card of Kosuke Fukudome. The good news there was that at least the Fukudome was a card I still needed. I didn't even get a single card numbered above 700. The blaster also produced one of the worst cards I've pulled from a 2008 pack, which you'll have to scroll down to the bottom to see it in all it's putrid glory.

However, my blaster was noteworthy because it gave me a total of 15 base cards and 1 insert that I needed - definitely a record for a single blaster after opening as many packs of Heritage as I have!

The cards I got that I needed included:
506: Takashi Saito

542: Ramon Castro (Green Back Semi-Short Print)
556: Colorado Rockies
573: Andy Marte
581: Gabe Kapler (Green Back Semi-Short Print)

611: Max Ramirez
627: Kansas City Royals
648: Ian Steward (Short Print)
657: Jody Gerut
667: Chris Dickerson

674: Paul Maholm
693: Ramon Hernandez (Short Print)
694: Mike Fontenot (Short Print)
541: Jon Rauch (Black Back)
563: Doug Mientkiewicz (Black Back)
RP5: Kosuke Fukudome (Rookie Performers Insert)


Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this blaster. I never expect to get that many cards that I need from a set, and I even pulled a Red that I still needed (Dickerson). I still haven't pulled a relic or autograph from this set, but I guess that's expected when all I have done is bought blasters and loose packs.

And for the worst card I pulled:

Mr. Corey Patterson, back to haunt me one last time before the 2009 season begins!



Do you have any of the remaining cards I need for trade? Check out my want list and make an offer!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2009 Topps: AKA: Pack Searcher Fail!

A quick visit to Wal*Mart to pick up some yellow padded envelopes for trade mailing allowed me the opportunity to peruse the card aisle. After patiently waiting for a 6 year old to pick the pack of Pokemon cards he wanted (how embarassing to wait), I finally saw (in person) my first 2009 baseball card packs!

I had to choose between a blaster of 2009 Upper Deck or loose packs of 2009 Topps. Normally I'd pick the blaster every time since it wouldn't "searched" but the 2009 Topps design pulled me towards that loose packs. I decided to grab 6 packs from the gravity feeder (and a blaster of American Heritage) and I was off, expecting to get nothing but pretty base cards - but I was wrong!

It turns out, the pack searches failed! I managed to snag a "Career Best" Jersey card of Ryan Howard. This is noteworthy because it was from a loose pack AND because it's one of the rare times where I've actually pulled a relic card from a decent player from a low-end set.


The other 5 packs weren't disappointing either, I ended up with:


2 gold cards (Albert Pujols and Bud Black #/2009):

1 Turkey Red
of Alex Rios

2 Legends of the Game (Pee Wee Reese and Roberto Clemente)

and a bunch of base cards, including:

Johnny Cueto (my only Red)

Brothers In Arms (Saltamacchia and Hamilton)

David Price (much ballyhooed rookie card)

Overall, I really like the Topps base set for the first time in a number of years. I'll be sure to pick up some more of this next time I see it - and I might even buy loose packs again!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Griffey a Mariner Again!

According to an AP source, Ken Griffey Jr. has agreed to terms with the Mariners (which is a bit of a surprise since it was previously reported he'd be signing with the Braves). Apparently, the deal with the Braves broke down and Seattle swooped in and nabbed "the kid."

As a Reds fan (and a Griffey fan), I wish Ken the best in Seattle. I hope the fans there realize what a special player he was/is. Perhaps the greatest untainted player of the entire steroid generation.

Image source:
http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/mcmanamon/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/griffey.jpg

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Delivery Time! Trade with Mike from Ryan's Memorabilia

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a blog written by a husband and wife called Ryan's Memorabilia detailing some cards they had opened up, including an Adam Dunn relic. I mentioned I'd like to acquire the card, and then a few emails later, a trade was agreed to and sent.

I sent Mike a pile of 2008 Allen & Ginter cards, a Brian Roberts relic card, and a few Orioles (you can read about what I sent here). In return, Mike sent me some great cards!

Here's what I got:

2008 Allen & Ginter:

Adam Dunn relic:

I briefly contemplated attempting to put together the complete set of relics (minus the prehistoric bones and other super rare "relics")... Although I scrapped that plan, I still like to acquire any of the relics when I can - this one was an extra bonus since it was a Red!

Minis:

I'm down to only needed 13 different regular backed minis to have the entire mini set complete! That's quite exciting - perhaps I'll be able to finish it off before the 2009 A&G set comes out after all.

Ancient Icons:

Three more Ancient Icons off my list as well. The Ancient Icons insert set is the last of the mini insert sets that I need to complete. I love the A&G set for its quirky cards interspersed amongsth the usual baseball players - and the Ancient Icons insert set is a perfect example of that. After all, what other baseball card set boasts Marduk and Miyamoto Musashi as well as Joe Nathan and Adam Dunn?

2006 Topps:

Reds team base card and Reds/Cubs Opening Day insert card.


2004 Fleer Ultra:

#13: Barry Larkin

A card of one of my all-time favorite players!

Many thanks Mike, and to everyone else - check out Ryan's Memorabilia ... and check out my want list as well and make a trade offer!

Delivery Time! Trade with Scott from Hand Collated

Over the last couple of weeks, I have agreed to a flurry of trades - often involving multiple years and/or multiple brands. One such trade was with Scott from the excellent Hand Collated blog. Scott sent me cards from Upper Deck base, Upper Deck Timeline (one of my favorite sets I think), and Topps Stadium Club. In return, I shipped Scott 1981 Topps, 1982 Topps, 2008 Allen & Ginter short prints, and 2008 Upper Deck. Seriously, where else but on the blogs can you complete a trade like that?!

Here's what Scott sent me:


2008 Upper Deck Base:
58: J.J. Hardy
226: Doug Mirabelli
268: Placido Polanco
371: Freddy Sanchez


566: Justin Morneau
623: Paul Maholm
636: Rich Aurilia
644: Jarrod Washburn
683: David Eckstein
751: Torii Hunter


2008 Upper Deck Timeline:
57: German Duran
93: Hernan Iribarren
159: Jimmy Rollins


2008 Topps Stadium Club:
115a: Brandon Boggs (of Timeline autograph "fame")
133a: Chin-Lung Hu

Thanks again Scott! If anyone else wants to work out a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Delivery Time! Surprise Package from Steven at the Easy Life

The other day I was surprised to find an unexpected package in my mailbox from Steven at The Easy Life blog. I had traded with Steven before (recap here and here) and recently won a contest on his blog and got more great cards (recap here).


After the contest, I had made a note to try and find some cards that Steven needed - but he beat me to the punch again by sending me a yellow envelope full of just under 50 cards that I needed for a variety of sets.


First, Steven provided me with the FINAL card I needed for the 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes set. I'm happy to report that I now have the entire base set (and roughly half the charcoal variation set...but I haven't felt like tackling that set yet). The last card I needed was Justin Upton.


Second, Steven knocked off another one of the rokie card variations from Topps Stadium Club, this one the "a" version of Blake DeWitt.


The remainder of the package was chock full of Upper Deck base cards, which helped put a huge dent in the total number of cards I need for the mammoth set. I won't list every card, but some of my favorites included:


#92 Micah Owings:


Micah has the opportunity to crack the Reds' rotation this year. From all accounts, he seems to be a great guy who also happens to be a really good hitting pitcher - something that he should be able to capitalize on in the Great American Ballpark for sure!

#465 Aaron Harang:

I believe this was the last Cincinnati Red card I needed from the set - plus Harang's been one of my favorite pitchers on the Reds since his arrival in 2003 (even if last year he did horrible thanks to Dusty Baker forcing him to pitch a whole bunch of innings in an extra inning game).

#SQ-31 Adam Dunn (Star Quest Common Insert)

I actually like the Star Quest insert set, especially the shiny SuperRares. I like the Adam Dunn card a lot, though it makes me sad to think that he'll be playing for Cincinnati East (Washington) for the next two years instead of the real Cincinnati team.

Thanks again Steven - and I'll be sending some cards your way soon! If anyone else wants to set up a trade, check out my want list and make an offer!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Topps American Heritage: 2 Blaster Box Review

I went to Target with the hopes of nabbing a couple of 2009 packs of either Topps or Upper Deck (which I still haven't found). I did, however, pick up the last tin of Sweet Spot (which was such a waste of money I realize now why I've never bought any of that set before) and 2 blasters of Topps American Heritage.

Here's what I got in 2 blasters:

Writers (1-10) (I got: 7/10)
1: Mark Twain


2: Harriet Beecher Stowe
4: Edgar Allen Poe
6: Emily Dickenson
7: Walt Whitman
8: Henry David Thoreau
9: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Explorers (11 - 20) (I got: 9/10)
11: Meriwether Lewis
12: William Clark
14: Daniel Boone
15: Zebulon Pike
16: Jedediah Strong Smith
17: John Wesley Powell
18: John Charles Fremont
19: Amelia Earhart
20: Christopher Columbus
Military Leaders (21 - 30) (I got: 8/10)
21: John Paul Jones
22: Davy Crockett
23: George Marshall
24: Douglas MacArthur
25: Winfield Scott
27: Chester Nimitz
29: Nathanael Greene
30: George Meade

Revolutionary Heroes (31-40) (I got: 6/10)
32: Alexander Hamilton
33: Paul Revere
35: John Hancock
36: Samuel Adams

37: Crispus Attucks
39: Peyton Randolph

Inventors (41 - 50) (I got: 8/10)
41: Thomas Edison
42: Orville & Wilbur Wright
44: Alexander Graham Bell
45: Samuel Morse
46: Philo Farnsworth
47: Eli Whitney
49: Clarence Birdseye
50: Elisha Otis

Civil Rights Leaders (51 - 60) (I got: 8/10)
51: Martin Luther King Jr.
52: Malcolm X
53: Harriet Tubman
55: Barbara Rose Johns
56: Susan B. Anthony
57: Cesar Chavez
58: W.E.B. Du Bois
59: Booker T. Washington

Artists (61 - 70) (I got: 10/10)
61: Thomas Eakins
62: Gutzon Dorglum
63: Frederic Remington
64: Gilbert Stuart
65: Benhamin Latrobe
66: Norman Rockwell
67: Winslow Homer
68: Mathew Brady
69: Thomas Nast
70: Frederic Edwin Church

Jurists & Statesmen (71 - 80) (I got: 7/10)
72: John C. Calhoun
74: Daniel Webster

75: John Jay
76: Robert Livingston
78: Thurgood Marshall
79: William Jennings Bryan
80: Henry Cabot Lodge

Entertainers (81 - 90) (I got: 8/10)
81: "Buffalo Bill" Cody
82: P.T. Barnum
83: George & Ira Gershwin
84: Harry Houdini
85: Buster Keaton
87: Joe Namath
88: Tony Pastor
90: Clara Bow
Industrialists (91 - 100) (I got: 6/10)
91: John D. Rockefeller
94: J. P. Morgan
95: Samuel Colt
96: William Randolph Hearst
97: John Deere
100: Andrew Carnegie

Great American Events (101 - 125) (I got: 17/25)
102: The Boston Tea Party
103: The Signing of the Declaration of Independence
105: The Treaty of Paris
106: George Washington's Farewell Address
108: The California Gold Rush
111: The Treaty at Appomattox Court House
112: Seward's Folly
113: Completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad
114: The Treaty of Versailles
115: Women Win the Right to Vote
117: The End of Prohibition
119: V-J Day
121: Hawaii Becomes the 50th State
122: First Televised Presidential Debate
123: Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream" Speech
124: Man Walks on the Moon
125: The Camp David Accords
The Election Collection (126 - 150) (5/25)
129: Barack Obama

136: John McCain
139: Barack Obama
142: John McCain
146: Barack Obama / John McCain

American Presidents: (I got: 2/50)
AP 38: Gerald Rudolph Ford
AP 44: Barack Obama


Chrome ( #/1776)
C7: Walt Whitman (#0330/1776)
C21: John Paul Jones (#0540 / 1776)

Chrome Refractors ( #/76)
C39: Peyton Randolph

Presidential Patches (#/50)
PP-WK: William McKinley ( #48/50)

The two boxes also contained 13 duplicates between them (#2, 12 (2), 17, 23, 37, 46, 49, 62, 74, 82, 85, 115) which are available for trade for anyone who might be interested.

Overall, I like the set quite a bit now that I've seen it in person. There are enough subsets with different designs to keep things interesting, and the selection of subjects ranges from the expected (Martin Luther King, Norman Rockwell, and Mark Twain) to the unexpected (Seward's Folly, Clara Bow, etc). It's a great set for those who like the vintage Topps designs (of course, there's about a hundred other sets based on these vintage designs now too) or for people who are big on history. It's also nice that a pair of retail blaster's netted me the majority of the set, plus a relic (manufactured relic that is) and a few chrome cards.