Monday, October 25, 2021

Topps Rails and Sails Update

Time for another small update on my new favorite train related card set. Topps Rails and Sails is an awesome vintage set that I've been working on for a little while now. It's actually been over a year now since my last update. I'm only looking to pick these cards up when the price is right, so they are likely to be few and far between.

A little while back I was lucky enough to grab a lot of three new cards from eBay for just $8 including shipping. That ends up just over $2.50 per card, which is right around where I want to be as I'm building this set. It's nice to finally be able to show them off.

Up first is my favorite of the lot: card #26 featuring a diesel switcher locomotive from the National Railways of Mexico. The green paint scheme provides a nice contrast with the rest of the card and the artwork surrounding it is excellent. I love the logo in the lower right-hand corner as well. The cards in this set with actual logos look much nicer.

Up next is card #27 featuring a very odd looking rack-rail locomotive from the Mount Washington Railway. There is some really cool engineering going on with this design, especially the way the boiler remains horizontal while the wheels are on the incline.

The last of the three is card #28 featuring an electric coal mining locomotive. This is another one of the oddball locomotives included in the set. While I prefer the standard diesel-electric locomotives that common today, it is still neat to have cards like these.

While progress on this set has been slow, it is definitely one of my favorite side projects. These cards are the oldest in my collection and are a ton of fun to look at and sort through. While having 20 of them is great, there is still a long way to go for me to complete the set.

Rails and Sails Set Progress:  20/130 = 15.4%
Cumulative Cost (including shipping): $32.21
Average Cost per Card: $1.61

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Jimmy Howard: BTP He Shoots He Saves

It isn't often anymore that I can say I've added something new and unique to my Jimmy Howard collection. There are only so many different types of cards out there. Today's post is about something you wouldn't consider to be a traditional card. I'm referring to the He Shoots He Saves redemption points that used to come in packs of ITG Between The Pipes.

If you're not familiar with these, they are just like the puzzle back cards that Upper Deck has done with MVP lately. The only difference is these ones from BTP served as the decoys in the packs. You could also accumulate enough of them and send in for a prize card. 

Rather than post nine separate single card scans, I thought it would be easier to just throw them all together as they would be in a standard nine pocket page. As you can see below they line up pretty well. There are just some minor differences with the border.

I've had my eye on these for years now, but never pulled the trigger on picking one up. I thought about doing it piece by piece, but that would've ended up taking too long and costing me way too much in shipping. Luckily I was able to grab the entire set of them for like $10 a few months ago on eBay. I couldn't hit the BIN button fast enough.

The image used for this is actually the same as the regular base card for Howard. It is an awesome overhead shot and even captures the puck just off his blocker. Considering the alternative would've been a photo with the Red Wings logo photoshopped out, I'll take it.

I can't think of many cards where you can see Howard's nameplate like this. The only ones that come to mind are the Net Cam cards from Panini a few years back.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Jimmy Howard: More OPC Platinum

I'm ten years into collecting Jimmy Howard's cards and I am still excited every time I find something new. That's tells me I'm into the right hobby, at least for now. Anyway, thanks to a couple of new eBay purchases I've got two new awesome serial numbered parallels.

When it comes to serial numbered parallels, O-Pee-Chee Platinum is one of the best sets out there today. Howard was included in two of those sets: 2014-15 and 2015-16. Today's post is all about the latter. I actually only had one card from this set before this.

Up first and the more colorful of the two is this Red Prism numbered out of 149. These red versions are some of my favorites as they match the Red Wings colors. They also look pretty amazing when the light hits the rainbow patterned background.

The other was this White Ice numbered out of 199. This one has a cool ice pattern around the perimeter and also has a nice rainbow shine. While it does not stand out as much as the Red Prism, it looks pretty good on it own. It goes nicely with the Black Ice version too.

Now onto my favorite part of going after another complete rainbow for the collection. Below is a look at the full visual checklist. These things are actually fun to put together. I use Inkscape to make it and get all of the info on the various parallels from TCDB.

As you can see, I've got a ways to go for this one to be finished. Seeing how these things show up for sale at random, it's kind of funny that the first three I have are all grouped together in the middle of the grid. Maybe I should try to get the Traxx or Blue Cubes next.