July 30, 2016

Card Aisles I Have Known

My life has been one of transition these past few weeks as I've been moving houses and traveling around the north east. I've been to many a card aisle in my time but I don't think anything compares to the Target card aisle I found while stopping off in the city of New Hartford in upstate New York. The card display on the right continued on for several more feet with wax boxes from new and older products from more than a year. Appropriately, I came upon this lovely group of cards before heading over to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. 

July 12, 2016

Three All In The Family Board Game Cards

My favorite cards pickups from the comic and cards show in Virginia this past weekend came from the 50 cent box of non-sports cards at one of the tables that specializes only in non-sports cards. These are three of the cards that came included in the board game created by Milton Bradley for the All In The Family TV show and feature the characters Archie, Mike, and Gloria. The cards have a playing card feel with the numbering in the card's corners and they are shorter and narrower than a standard trading card.

Here is the reverse side design featuring the show's logo.

All In The Family is probably my favorite 70's sitcom and if you haven't seen many episodes, you should, just to get an idea that today's America is not that far removed from that of the early 1970's. We tend to think we are experiencing new difficulties today but in truth they have been going on forever here. Here is a collection of some of the shows best clips:

And here's what the original board game looks like that I took from eBay. It seems that you can get complete games from $10-$20, depending on the condition of the box. Collector interested in the cards can also find an All In The Family card in the 2011 Topps American Pie set #107

There is of course an Edith card that was included in the game but I didn't find in the 50 cents box and I will have to track down as well. This is also a wild card in the game called the "Ding Bat" card which refers to Archie's nickname for his wife. Here's a clip of Mike and Archie debating Edith's time on a jury.

July 10, 2016

The Problem With This 1966 Batman Card

I've been slowly picking up any 1966 Batman cards I come across at card shows as they are some of my favorite non-sports cards ever made. I picked this Batman "red bat series" card at a card show in Annandale, Virginia today as it seems like an appropriate card for my time living in Washington DC.

The reverse side explains the action on the front as Batman has traveled to the nation's capital to help catch a bank robber who only stole pennies. The robber made his way to the Lincoln Memorial in what I imagine is in honor of Lincoln being memorialized on the penny coin.

But taking a look at the card again, you will notice that the top of the Washington Monument sticking out over the top of the Lincoln Memorial. If you've ever visited the Lincoln Memorial you'll know that this particular image is impossible. 

Here's the view of the front of the Lincoln Memorial and as you can see there is no Washington Monument visible. 

This is because the Washington Memorial is located directly in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Here is the view from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking across the reflecting pool.

I thought maybe the artist used the reverse side of the Lincoln Memorial for the design of the card. But again you can't see the Washington Monument and the card features tourists and sidewalks, both of which the reverse side doesn't have. 

I think the artist of the cards (the famous painter Norman Saunders) included the second monument on the card to make it more clear that the setting was Washington. Either way, it is one of my favorite 1966 Batman cards now after spending some time in the capital. 

July 7, 2016

I Don't Think That Is Ryne Sandberg's Signature

You may have seen this image floating around Twitter and trading card new sites/blogs for the upcoming 2016 Topp Tribute set featuring a Kris Bryant and Ryne Sandberg dual autograph. Seeing it again today on Twitter, I realized that the Sandberg autograph on the card looks nothing like how he typically signs. His signature is notoriously messy and it is sometimes hard to find even one letter in the signature that corresponds with this name. Here are some Topps produced examples:

I realize that these cards are sort of prototypes and preproduction ideas of what cards will look like but I would be incredibly surprised is Sandberg's autograph will look anything like that.

I'm a little baffled as to how that got on the card as it is almost like how someone might think Sandberg would sign his name with a perfectly legible signature. It is almost like forging a check. 

July 5, 2016

This Week In Politics: The U.N. and A Supreme

On today's episode of This Week In Politics, where I share some recent political card pickups, we have a fairly recent Upper Deck card and a vintage political card from an obscure Bowman set. Let's begin with this beauty from the 1951 Bowman Wild Man Picture Cards set which you might think by its unique name might be a set about the wild west or maybe a 50's horror movie. Instead it shows famous moments in the history of mankind like "Hannibal Crosses the Alps" or "Atilla and the Huns." But it also features cards with the unconventional taglines like "The First Murder," "Concentration Camps," and "Poison Gas." This is not your typical political trading card set! Take a look at the set's slogan that appears on the back of each card.

MAN'S PAST is stained with BLOOD; His FUTURE can be bright with PROMISE -- If in the PRESENT he will wage PEACE.

Now this is a set I can get behind. The card I recently picked up, card #31, features a architect's painting of the United Nations that was under construction when the set was released. The peaceful nature of the painting might not clue you in that it was constructed in New York City. 

While Topps gets a lot of press for their celebrity First Pitch inserts, Upper Deck had a few of those in their Season Biography insert set from their 2010 set. These cards fell one per pack and this one is card #SB-191 and features Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor throwing out the first pitch at a New York Yankees game. She was born in the Bronx and has been a life-long Yankees fan. 

July 4, 2016

Let's Celebrate Our Independence Day By Freeing Some Finest

I've been setting the Finest free since 2010 and I've built up quite a few Finest cards since the last time I peeled off some plastic covers. My first subject is an semi-patriotic looking card of Bash Brother Mark McGwire which is from Pinnacle Certified rather than Topps Finest but a plastic sheet is a plastic sheet. 

If you haven't "freed any Finest" (which means peeling off the plastic protector that Topps and Pinnacle frequently used in their late-90's Chrome, Finest, and Certified sets) I highly recommend it. The cards look so much better afterward and don't toys (and cards) deserve to played with outside of their packaging!

The final result is so satisfying!

Let's rip off some more plastic!

And here is another card that has been kept in its plastic prison for far too long! This one is a 1992 Sportflics Kellogg's Tom Seaver that demands to be free!

I really like the reverse side of these cards and the amount of detail that it gives the collector.

Happy 4th everybody! 

July 3, 2016

What's More American Than Jets, Rockets, and Spacemen?

I recently was able to finally add my first card to my collection from the 1951 Bowman Jets, Rockets, and Spacemen set. I like to think of this as Bowman's version of the Mars Attacks set as it deals with the outer space and aliens and is an equally hard set to build. 
Shop for professionally graded Jets, Rockets, and Spacemen cards on eBay.
The set follows the adventures of a rocket ship called 6X52 and over the course of the card storyline they get a new ship 6X53. Dr. Zara and Captain Argo are the main characters and my card (which is #9) tells the story of the 6X52 ship that needs repairs after it ran into some space debris.

The set was released over three series with a full checklist of 108 cards. As is usually the case, the first series is the most available to collectors. I was able to pick this up up for a few bucks from COMC.com

July 1, 2016

Joy of the Completed Insert Set: 2013 Topps Allen and Ginter Palaces and Strongholds

As has become my yearly habit, I'm slowly working through the insert sets of Topps Allen and Ginter. I typically wait a year or two to work on them as buying packs to get these inserts proves too costly and tedious. Today's insert set is the Palaces and Strongholds from 2013 Topps Allen and Ginter. There are 20 cards in the set that features famous castles, forts, and palaces from around the world.

There are two located in America (the Alamo and Fort Knox) but I haven't been to either of those locations. I have made it to one of the palace featured, Buckingham Palace, which is in London, England and home of the Queen of England.

Here I am in front of Buckingham Palace. This was from my trip to England in 2013 and as you can see from the flag on the pole on top of the palace that Queen Elizabeth II was there that day. 

Topps organized these by letters instead of numbers on the checklist and so I don't have the patience to organize these in alphabetical order. Here are the other 19 cards in the set in a random order with the country they are/were located in. 

Topkapi Palace (Turkey) and the Palace of Versailles (France)

The Summer Palace (China) and Alhambra (Spain)

Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany) and Schonbrunn Palace (Austria)

The Forbidden City (China) and Mysore Palace (India)

Peterhof Palace (Russia) and Pena National Palace (Portugal)

Potala Palace (Tibet) and the Taj Mahal (India)

The Alamo (United States) and The Bastille (France)

Leeds Castle (United Kingdom) and Gyeongbokgung (South Korea)

Hohenschwangau Castle (Germany) and Chateau de Chambord (France)

Fort Knox (United States)