Thursday, August 27, 2020

Topps Rails and Sails

Vintage cards are one thing that I never really had any interest in, until recently. Now that I'm actively on the hunt for more train cards, I've been looking to add some stuff from the 1955 Topps Rails and Sails set. There are some really cool cards in that set and they would look great with the other train stuff I've accumulated so far, especially the tea cards.

First, a little background information. Rails and Sails was released by Topps way back in 1955. The set has 200 total cards with the first 130 depicting various locomotives and rolling stock. The remaining 70 cards feature various types of boats and ships.

Since I am a train guy and well, my collection my rules, I am only going after the first 130 cards of the set. I could even refer to it as simply "Rails" moving forward, but I think I'll keep labeling the posts with the full name of the set because why not?

As far as the design, the Rails cards have painting-like color photo taking up a majority of the card. Along the bottom there is a brief description of the equipment shown along with name of the railroad that it belongs to. The simplicity is perfect for this type of set.

The backs are every bit as good as the fronts. Unlike most cards I post on here, I am going to make sure I scan and share the back of each card. They each have something unique and the bright colors work very well with the artwork on the fronts.

To get things going for this set, I was lucky enough to find a great deal on eBay my first four cards. I paid $2.99 plus shipping, which worked out to $1.79 per card. Based on some other completed listings I've seen, this was a pretty good deal. Hopefully the first of many.

Up first is card #5 featuring the Southern Pacific Daylight streamliner.

Next is card #3 featuring a Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 type electric locomotive.

Card #4 features and S-type electric locomotive from the New York Central Railroad.

Last is card #6 featuring a camelback locomotive from the Central Railroad of New Jersey.

Now that I have officially have a good start to this set, I thought it would be neat to track my progress and overall spending on it as I go. It will be a kind of challenge to myself to see how cost effectively I can put the whole thing together.

I'm not usually a big spender on singles or small lots, so it will be interesting to see how it goes building a vintage set like this. I care more about the subject matter than condition so I won't be getting hung up on finding mint condition cards, because that would get way too expensive for me very quickly. As long as they're not completely terrible, its all good.

Since this is not just some box set I can buy outright, I'll be doing this the fun way by scouring eBay and other places for the best deals. Maybe even card shows whenever I can get back to doing that again. Its been way too long since I've been to one now.

Rails and Sails Set Progress:  4/130 = 3.1%
Cumulative Cost (including shipping): $7.14
Average Cost per Card: $1.79

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Predators: MVP Postseason

At this point I would consider the Predators to be my #3 team behind the Red Wings and Golden Knights. That doesn't mean I'm not still on the lookout for more Preds cards, I just don't put as high of a priority on it. Plus, my main source of new stuff, card shows, haven't been an option around here for months now because of the whole pandemic thing.

When I do find something I want on eBay, it will usually have to be more than regular base cards for me to be able to justify the shipping costs. In this case I was able to find a great deal on two cards I've been after for over two years now.

First is 2017-18 Upper Deck MVP Postseason #PS8 featuring Pekka Rinne.

Second is 2017-18 Upper Deck MVP Postseason #PS2 featuring P.K. Subban.

I was able to get the pair for under $9 delivered. Not a bad deal considering I've seen them listed for quite a bit more in the past. I know these are short prints, but not what the actual print run would be, so its difficult to judge what they should be going for.
While its unfortunate they lost to the Penguins, that Predators 2017 playoff run was some of the most fun I've had watching hockey in recent memory. Having several cards dedicated to their appearance in the Stanley Cup Final is pretty cool.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Jimmy Howard: The Cup RPA Gold Rainbow

While the regular Cup RPA I just posted is considered Howard's true RC for this release, there are several parallel versions: Gold Rainbow, Platinum & Black Rainbow. I've only ever seen a few copies of the Gold and one copy of the Platinum for sale. The Black Rainbow is 1/1 so who knows if I'll ever see it, so I'll be focusing on the others for now.

Luckily, the same seller where I got the regular RPA also had a copy of the Gold Rainbow version for sale, albeit for quite a bit more money. I was hesitant at first because of the starting price, but decided that I couldn't pass this one up and put in my bid.

Talk about a gorgeous card, I'll let the scan speak for itself:

Like I said, this one was a bit more than the regular RPA. It ended up costing me $73. That is the most I've ever spent on a single card for my collection. Typically these are a little out of my comfort zone spending wise, but with the extra funds from my Ticketmaster refund I figured why not get something big for a change?

I still can't believe I actually have one of these now. I've always wanted one and I figured it would forever be one of the white whales I would never actually end up getting. This along with the regular RPA are now the two main centerpieces of my Jimmy Howard collection.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Jimmy Howard: The Cup RPA

Finally, I can knock off one of my most wanted Jimmy Howard cards. That would be his Autographed Rookie Patch card from 2005-06 Upper Deck The Cup. I've wanted this card for as long as I've been collecting Howard, which is around 10 years now.

These have always been a bit too pricey for me whenever they are listed on eBay and what not. I'm also not big spender when it comes to single cards. I think the most I've ever dropped on a single Howard card was $40 for a Black Diamond 1/1 years ago. 

Fortunately for my collecting budget, I recently received a refund from Ticketmaster for the cancelled Nickelback concert I was supposed to be at on July 3rd here in Detroit. Yes, I do actually like them. I'll never understand all the hate they get. 
While I was looking forward to the show, I figured I would do a little splurging on cards to make up for it. Here is card #136 from 2005-06 Upper Deck The Cup. It is one of Howard's official RC's and is serial numbered 037/199 on the front.

This one cost me $43 plus shipping. Not too bad all things considered.

While it isn't the nicest patch I've seen on these, it does have a hint of white stitching along the left side. Even if it was just plain white, I would still be happy to have it. After all, other than the main chest logo, its not like there are many colorful options on a Wings jersey.

This definitely takes over as my favorite Jimmy Howard card so far.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Jimmy Howard: Titanium Game-Worn Gear

Anyone else remember Pacific Private Stock Titanium from the early 2000's? I thought those sets were awesome when I was a kid, especially the '00-01 version of the game-worn gear design. That was the one with the cool diamond plate design on top of a lava-like background. Click here to see an example from TCDB. 

Fast forward about ten years and Panini brought back the Titanium name with their own take on the game-worn gear set. I've known about Howard's inclusion in that set since it came out, I've just never found a copy for the price I was hoping for. Thanks to another eBay find, I was finally able to get one for myself recently. 

Here is 2011-12 Titanium Game-Worn Gear #72 that I got for $2 including shipping.

While it isn't as over the top as the version I mentioned above, this one has a really nice look to it. My favorite part is the diamond plate pattern along the top and bottom. Even with a plain white swatch, this is still a really great looking card.

The only bad thing about it is a slight crease on either side of the swatch window. It wasn't really visible in the listing photos, but was pretty obvious when I held it up to the light. I guess I should have looked closer at the listing on a bigger screen. Oh well, its not very noticeable from a distance and for a $2 card I'm not super worried about it. I'll just try to upgrade to a better copy down the road, hopefully one with a red swatch.

Friday, August 7, 2020

Jimmy Howard: OPC Platinum Seismic Gold

The streak is at 10 now for new Jimmy Howard posts on here. At some point I'll get to something other than my main player collection, but for now let's keep it rolling. I've been on the hunt for Howard stuff more in the last few months that probably the previous few years combined. Not really sure why, probably because buying cards online is easily done from home and I've been home a lot more than normal this year so far.

My latest pickup was inspired by two other recent OPC Platinum parallels. Getting those two cards made me want to start going for the rainbow so I wanted to see if there were any good deals on the other parallel versions. I found one on eBay for $6 plus shipping.

Here is 2014-15 OPC Platinum Seismic Gold serial numbered 16/50.

I love how this one shows up in the scan. While you lose some of the brighter gold foil look, the rainbow part of the design really pops here. Almost as good as in person.

As far as rainbows go, OPC Platinum is probably the best for player collectors, or worst depending on which side you're on. I love sets like this that have a ton of parallels for player collecting as it gives me more to chase and they look amazing when put together. 

For my Howard stuff, I believe this is the closest I am to any complete rainbow that consists of more than three cards. Since I still need six more to complete this one, I thought it would be neat to create a visual checklist grid that I can update as I go.

Other than the Golden Treasure 1/1 this should be relatively easy to finish, I just like to wait for the best deals possible so who knows how long this will take to complete.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Jimmy Howard: UD 30th Anniversary Buyback

Today's post is all about something I haven't gotten for my Jimmy Howard collection in over nine years now: a 1 of 1. This was definitely an unexpected addition as I wasn't even aware that Howard had one of these buyback cards until it popped up on eBay.

This one is a base card from 2018-19 Upper Deck. It was card #69 in that set and is serial numbered "1 of 1" on the front of the card just below the UD logo. They also added the 30th anniversary stamp at the bottom. A lot of silver foil on this one that's for sure.

After some back and forth offers with the seller on eBay, this one ended up costing me $16 plus shipping. Not too bad considering this is a 1/1 after all. I was more than happy to only pay this much for something no one else can have in their collection.

How does everyone else feel about these 1/1 buybacks? I know they are probably not the coolest thing out there, but hey at least it is something unique for my Howard collection.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Jimmy Howard: OPC Retro Black

So this will be eight posts in a row for my Jimmy Howard collection. I'd have to actually go back and check to be sure, but I'm guessing this is the longest streak for any one category on here. What can I say, this year has made me want to buy a lot of cards. A lot of them just happen to be for my primary player collection.

Continuing with the O-Pee-Chee theme, here is a retro black parallel from 2019-20. This is card #153 in the set and is serial numbered 021/100 on the back.

This one ended up costing me $1 plus shipping. Not bad for a card numbered out of 100.

These OPC retro designs are hit and miss for me. This is one of the better looking ones I've seen for Howard in the last few years. The black border just makes this one better.