Sunday, June 21, 2020

2019 Topps Allen & Ginter: Chugging Along

I never thought I'd see the day when I purposely bought baseball cards for my collection. Well, that has finally happened thanks to a set of mini inserts from Topps.

After reading a recent post by Fuji, my love of trains had me doing a quick eBay search for the Shinkansen card. That was where I stumbled onto several cards from the 2019 Topps Allen & Ginter set, which unsurprisingly, I had no idea even existed until right then.

This set of minis is named "Chugging Along" and features different types of trains.

I love the look of this 15-card set set, everything from the artistic look of the photos to the gear designs in the corners. My favorite element might not be as obvious though. If you look closely at the fancy border treatment to the right of the words freight train, it looks just like a track diagram from a real interlocking tower. Click here for an example.

My favorite card in the set is #CA-10, the freight train. These are the types of trains that I first saw in person as a kid, so I've always been  into modern diesels more than anything.

As far as the backs of these cards go, the fancy border treatment is transferred there, albeit slightly modified. The title font is also prominent here. Otherwise the back is pretty straightforward and simple, which works really well for a set like this.

Rather than doing this one at a time, it was more efficient to just combine the remaining 14 cards into a single image. Plus, this gives you a great look at the set as a  whole. I'm even thinking about putting them into a frame and hanging them on the wall. 

I tied to put these in order of favorite to least favorite, although after the first two on top everything kind of runs together for me. All together there is a nice mix of styles and colors. The antique white background really helps complete the look.

These make a great addition to my growing collection of train cards. Hopefully there will be another set like this from Topps in the future. I'm not sure of any other modern sets that feature trains in such a prominent way. Kind of makes me want to just design my own.

Has anyone else collected this particular set of minis? I'm not in the know with baseball or this Allen & Ginter stuff. Are these non-sport minis popular with collectors?

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

SCE Tribute Update

Time for another update on my MVP Stanley Cup Edition Tribute set. I've been on the lookout for these recently, but have been only looking to add them when there is a good deal to be had. Thanks to another purchase, I now have two Super Scripts.

Even though I don't care for this player or team, due to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final vs Nashville, I couldn't pass up card #45 featuring Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It is serial numbered 16/25 on the front as shown above. Also, the rainbow foil looks amazing in person compared to this scan. I wish I had a better way to get that to show in the scans. They all seem to end up looking like this.

This one only set me back $1.95 including shipping. When I saw that was the price I couldn't click the checkout button fast enough. Considering I would end up paying that much any of the Silver Script tributes, this was a steal.

In addition to the Super Script Tributes, I'm looking to add some of the neat Colors & Contours to my collection. These are also based on the SCE design and also look amazing in person. So far I only have the one Larkin I bought at a card show last fall.

I was able to find a lot of three on eBay for $3.49 including shipping. The first was card #58 featuring Roman Josi of the Nashville Predators, which is serial numbered 046/249.

The second was card #70 featuring Ryan Johansen and is serial numbered 113/249. I think the Preds road jersey looks a little better than the home on these backgrounds. 

The third was card #50 featuring Matt Duchene of the Columbus Blue Jackets and is serial numbered 114/249. In this case the darker blue looks great against the background.

While these die-cut parallels are not the focus of my set project, they are pretty sweet and I plan on grabbing some more when the right deal comes along. Who knows, maybe I'll even add them to my official total and go after the full set.

Super Script Tribute Total: 2/100

Sunday, June 14, 2020

SCE Super Script Update

To go along with my last post, I was also able to land another Super Script for my set. These things are still pretty hard to find now, so anytime I can get one its a good day for my collection. Plus, its fun to see some of the names from back then.

This one is card #205 and features Michal Sivek of the Prince Albert Raiders. It is serial numbered 10/25 on the front. Fun fact about this one: the right half of this photo is on the Milan Kraft card from this set. That's something you don't see every day.


One of the fun things about the CHL subset is researching how the player panned out as far as an NHL career. In this case, Sivek was initially drafted by the Washington Capitals 29th overall in 1999. He never actually played a game for the Caps though.

The reason why: Sivek was one of three players sent to Pittsburgh in the Jaromir Jagr trade. He would go on to play 38 games with the Penguins in 2002-03 registering three goals and three assists for six points. That would be it for his NHL career.

He went from there to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in the AHL then onto Sparta Praha of the Czech league where he would play through the 2007-08 season. After that he retired from playing to become an agent for Eurohockey Services.

This one brings me to 83 total or just shy of 38% for the entire Super Script set. It also puts me at 11 out of the 23 CHL prospects subset, so at least that part is almost halfway done.

SCE Super Script Total: 83/220

Saturday, June 13, 2020

SCE Gold Script Update

It's been a little while now since I've had any updates to this project. While they are an important part of my MVP Stanley Cup Edition set, they always seem to take a backseat to the Super Scripts. I do still keep an eye out for them though and was happy to have two of them offered to me for trade on Twitter several weeks ago. 

The first was card #159 featuring Todd Harvey of the San Jose Sharks. This one was serial numbered 081/100. Not the greatest signature from Harvey if you ask me. 

The second was card #185 featuring Andew Cassels of the Vancouver Canucks. This one was serial numbered 061/100. Not a great looking signature here either.

I don't get the chance to trade for these things very often, so it was nice to get rid of some unwanted cards for once. I also want to give a shout out to Off the Boards Cards & Collectibles on Twitter (@OTB_Cards) for helping me add to my set. 

SCE Gold Script Total: 79/220

Friday, June 12, 2020

Metal Universe Update

Here's an update that's been long overdue. I mentioned this 2012-13 Fleer Metal Universe set way back in the spring of 2013 when it was first released. It is a tribute to one of my all-time favorite base sets: 1996-97 Fleer Metal Universe and I've wanted to build it since. 

While it is not as over the top as the original set, these are some great looking cards. I have some good side by side comparisons of the two sets in my previous posts here and here

I hadn't given it much thought until recently as I've had a bit more time lately for card shopping with everything going on. I also wanted to try and build the set on a budget so getting a good deal was a priority for this one. Some of the singles for this set are pretty expensive on COMC and eBay. This is where came in handy. 

I was able to find one seller with a ton of singles for sale. I found 12 that were $0.50 each and placed my order. This was one of my first orders from the site and I was really happy with the results. Definitely recommend this site for set building. 

Let's start things off with someone who was actually playing in the NHL when the original set was released. This one featuring Arturs Irber with the San Jose Sharks is card #12 and has a great look at this famous all white pads and his signature helmet/cage combo.

Up next is card #4 featuring Eric Lindros of the Philadelphia Flyers. He is shown in the Flyers awesome orange road jersey from the 90's. I will always remember him and these jerseys from the 1997 Stanley Cup Final when they were swept by the Wings.

More 90's goodness with card #15 featuring Doug Gilmour of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I love how the background works with the team colors on this one. The centering of the photo is also peferct here as none of Gilmour is cropped out.

The last of the 90's players is card #25 featuring Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings, although he is pictured sometime in the late 2000's as evident by the NHL shield on the front of the uniform. This one also works well with the background.

As far as the modern players go, card #39 featuring Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins is probably my favorite design of the lot. This one has a great action shot of Seguin about to release the puck. It definitely looks a lot better in person than the scan.

Up next is card #29 featuring P.K. Subban of the Montreal Canadiens. This one is a good example of the contrasting background. The black and white definitely make the Habs dark uniform stand out. The red around the set name really pops as well.

Then there was card #27 featuring Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils. I almost forgot he played there. I always picture him with the Atlanta Thrashers. Now that uniform mixed with this set would've made for a sweet looking card.

Card #26 has Ondrej Pavelec of the Winnipeg Jets. I'm not really sure why he was included in this set over some of the other goalies in the league at the time, like Jimmy Howard for example. Oh well, this is still a nice looking addition to my set.

Continuing with the goalies, card #8 features Antti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks. Just like the Irbe above, his white pads really stand out against the darker background of the card.

Card #23 features Jussi Rynnas of the Tornoto Maple Leafs. Again, another guy where I'm not sure why they decided to include him in the set. Whatever happened to Rynnas anyway? Regardless, this is still a great looking card and a welcome addition to my set.

Our final goaltender for today is Pekka Rinne as featured on card #42. This one makes me miss those Preds jerseys. I still think the ones they have now are way too simplified.

Last but not least is the magic man Pavel Datsyuk as featured on card #19. The red really stands out against the darker background here and that makes for a great looking card.

Not a bad start to my set, even if it is a few years overdue. I'll have to get back onto Sportlots to see if there are more good deals like this. I only have 48 more to commplete it now, but there are some bigger names in there, so we'll see how it goes .

2012-13 Fleer Metal Universe Total: 12/60

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

MVP Silver Script Update

Continuing with the 1999-00 MVP project I recently started, this post is all about the Silver Scripts that have been sitting in my collection for 20 years now.

I was 11 years old back when this set came out and received a hobby box of as a gift. Back then it was a big deal for me to get a full hobby box as it only happened once in a while, usually birthdays and Christmas. The MVP sets were a big part of my collection as I got boxes for this set, the original 98-99 MVP and the 99-00 Stanley Cup Edition set.

I always thought the Silver Scripts were pretty cool, so it's fun now to look back at these cards. Brings back some good memories about my early collecting.

We'll start things off with one of my favorite hockey jerseys of the 90's, the Phoenix Coyotes. This Nikolai Khabibulin is card #161 in the set. It has a nice overall look at his goalie gear setup. He definitely had some cool masks to go with those jerseys back then.

Up next is card #152 featuring Eric Desjardins of the Philadelphia Flyers. Here's another jersey that I remember watching on TV as a kid, especially during the 1997 Stanley Cup Final when the Wings swept the Flyers. I was 8 at the time and just getting into hockey around then. Definitely brings back some good memories.

Then we have former Red Wings goalie Manny Legace. He is shown here with the Los Angeles Kings on card #99. This is another jersey I grew up watching, so its fun to see again. Not sure his mask is a good match for it though, might be a good gallimaufry candidate.

Here we have card #54 featuring Chris Drury of the Colorado Avalanche. I have to say this set is really reminding me of my love for 90's hockey jerseys. This one for the Avalanche is far superior to anything they've had since.

Up next is Drury's teammate Milan Hejduk as featured on card #58. If I had to choose, I would say he as the better looking signature. I will always remember these two from some great playoff series against the Red Wings back in the late 90's and early 2000's.

Then there was card #82 featuring Tom Poti of the Edmonton Oilers. He is pictured wearing another jersey I grew up watching on TV. I always loved the shouler patch on those ones.

Here's an example of a 90's jersey that I was never really a fan of. Card #173 features former San Jose Sharks forward Vincent Damphousse. As far as the Sharks go, they should never have changed their inaugural sweaters. Those were sweet.

Up next we have card #102 featuring Vladimir Malakhov of the Montreal Canadiens. The name is vaguely familiar to me, but I can't say I remember him that well.

Then there was card #210 featuring Alexander Mogilny of the Vancouver Canucks. I actually don't mind these jerseys. While completely different than the flying skate, I always thought there was something neat about them. I even had a replica when I was younger.

How can anyone not like the original Mighty Ducks jerseys? I might be biased because I grew up with and loved the Mighty Ducks movies. Card #8 featuring Steve Rucchin has a great look at the home white setup they rocked back then.

Not a bad start considering I only had to sort through some old boxes and binders to find them. I might have a few more stashed away somewhere, just need to check again.

MVP Silver Script Total: 10/220