Two weekends ago I snuck off to the Houston Tristar card show for a couple hours. In all honestly, it was pretty disappointing. Most vendors packed up early and went home, leaving people wondering around a half empty hall Sunday afternoon, which was of course the day I had time to go. I got there about 1:30 and allegedly the show was open until 6pm, which I swore was what they had listed on the website. When I bought the ticket to go in and handed it to the guy at the door he turned and look at the other security personnel and said “well, that’s probably about all we’ll get, I guess pack up the turnstiles.” What? If I had waited 5 more minutes I could have just walked in, and saved my $12. The security literally left the door when I came in. Ok, “maybe they’re just paying them for half the day”, I thought. I know this goes until 6.
An hour later I’m looking through some dime boxes and the guy starts putting the lids on the boxes I’m not looking through. “Are you leaving?” I ask. “Yeah, I’ve got a long drive and I’m leaving at 3”. Oh, ok. I finish up, pay like $4 for a stack of cards and he throws everything on a dolly and heads for the door. I go to another vendor, start looking through his boxes. He actually makes me an offer on the entire box ($100, didn’t take it) so he won’t have to pack it up. By 3:30 over half the vendors, and most of the ones I was going to look through, were gone.
Aggravated, I walk over to the fudge and beef jerky vendor. Why there’s a fudge and jerky vendor at a card show I’ll never know, but there they are. I ask them what time the show ends. They say 4pm. At this point it’s still 3:30 and I’m determined to at least find something worth the $24 (12 and 12, parking and entry) I paid just to come to this stupid thing. Here’s what I found in the little time I could actually find something to look through.
I wanted to try something a little different with a custom I was working on. For the longest time I’ve enjoyed seeing the work of a fellow by the name of Tyson Beck. You might not recognize the name right off the bat, but you’d probably recognize his work. Topps hired him to work on the “Fire” brand of inserts and cards. The overall look of the “Fire” brand of cards changes from year to year, but on the whole they usually involve both geometric abstracts as well as paint/dust/particle effects. Some would say “paint splatter”, others “grunge and dust”, I just call it fantastic and inspirational. I was using the “Fire” inserts specifically from 2016 Update Baseball as inspiration.
So, with that said, and with literally 100 different “paint” brushes in photoshop, I came up with this…
I’ve said many times before that I’m not a “box buster”. To date I’ve probably opened about 10 in my entire collecting life. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s simply that a $75-100 gamble vs a $2 sure bet is a no-brainer. I’ll buy cheap cards all day long provided I know what I’m getting. Busting a box, to me, is the collecting equivalent of gambling. I just don’t have money to waste, every dollar is precious, so I like to get the most return for my money. That said, it is fun to do, especially when someone else bought the box. This Christmas my parents decided to wonder through my Amazon wish-list and settled on a hobby box of 2016 Diamond Kings as my present. A very thoughtful gift that I appreciated and enjoyed opening. The box guaranteed two hits. In my opinion, I got five. Read on…
The way I approach a custom card might be slightly different than most. For starters, if I’m doing a strait recreation of an existing card, it’s to fill a gap in reality. If a person didn’t get a card in a certain year, or on a certain team, that’s a good candidate for a custom. Second, if I feel like the idea was a good one, but I thought it could be executed differently design wise. That’s the nice way of saying that I didn’t like something about the original. That’s not because I believe in any way that I’m a better designer than any of the artists already employed by Topps or Panini, but merely that they have deadlines and productions schedules to meet, whereas I could take months working on something. The third type of custom is the original custom. I love being inspired by a design and then putting my own spin on it. I’ve got a few of those in the works, but this post is actually about the second type.
Topps created a design for this years Olympics cards that was pretty good, but had, at least in my opinion, a few things that needed tweaking. So, this is my re-imagining of the 2016 Topps Olympic card set.
Seems weird to say “goodbye to summer” in November, but in Texas it’s finally dropped below 80°. Baseball is over for the year, we just set the clocks back, the weather is changing, the summer is most definitely over. I refrained from posting a lot over the summer mostly due to time issues, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t pick up a good amount of cardboard. That said, this isn’t the entirety of what I found, just the highlights, and it’s also representative of May-October, so there’s quite a few. Image heavy post ahead…
I know I wouldn’t classify myself in the same league as most of you who trade cardboard on a regular basis. In fact, most of my trades are done with a tiny handful of people. Not that I wouldn’t mind making more trades, it’s just that I’m horrible at it. I don’t buy enough stuff to readily have things for other people all the time and I feel vaguely inadequate sending flagship base to people. One of the few people I do trade with is AJ from The Lost Collector. Seeing as how he’s a Yankees fan, and seeing as how the two most heavily included teams in products tend to be Yankees and Red Sox, I actually have various Yankees cards worth trading. He probably feels the same way about the Red Sox. AJ’s trade packages are always excellent and I’m always glad to receive one. I’m filling a box full of Yankees as a return gift, but the box isn’t quite full yet, I need to cram a few more in there to get the most out of my postage dollar.
Let’s see what AJ sent…