Sunday, July 29, 2012

2012 Bowman Platinum Review....

Well, 2012 Bowman Platinum was legit. Notice I used the word "was". If you were not lucky enough to get on this product at pre-sale pricing, I would hold off. The product looks great, and they've done a wonderful job with the patches. I really wish we would have gotten a case at pre-sale pricing in hindsight.

However, a lot of the big time hits in this product have already popped up on Ebay and other places. This leads me to believe that Topps was aware that most collectors had the same thought about the product that I did.

Case prices have soared over $1,300 for a 12 box case. Given that a lot of the chase cards have already been pulled, I'm not sure that you'll be able to get full value back from the product at this point.

Congratulations to all that had faith in Topps and got on this product early. For everyone else, it's on the the next one! We'll preview Topps Finest '12 soon, and review shortly thereafter. We don't plan on getting finest this year, but we're already locked into '12 Topps Chrome.

If you're interested in checking out '12 Bowman Platinum click on the Sports Card Radio link to the right of the page. If you're interested in buying the product, click on the Blowout Cards link. See everyone at the National!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Free listings for trading cards on eBay....

This news is not official. However, according to eBay mega seller BrentandBecca listings for trading cards and memorabilia will soon be free! eBay would be doing this to compete with other sites in which people buy/sell within this market.

I've recently gotten to powerlevel status myself, so this won't affect my bottom line very much. I also don't break wax for profit like some, it's really to collect. However, for those that do like to "rip n flip" this is huge news.

We'll have to wait and see if this comes to fruition, fingers crossed!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Examining the '12 Bowman Platinum Checklist: Buy?

2012 Bowman Platinum has one serious hurdle in its way, 2011 Bowman Platinum. Last year's product was so bad that I think it turned a lot of collectors away for this year. It was my thought that the checklist for this year's version would be rather strong.

However, when taking a close look at this year's checklist I can say with certainty that the only Bowman Platinum we buy this year will be at the NSCC to receive the #/499 blue foil set.

Of the approximate 35 prospect autographs, over half will be $5 or less autos once the initial eBay craze wears off. The autograph relic checklist looks pretty strong, but they seem to all be sticker autographs and +more+ is currently listed. The fact that +more+ is listed and not an actual number of additional signers makes me very weary. Bowman is continuing to roll out the Bowman Black autographs in which are #/25, however, this crop of signers is significantly weaker than previous products.

On a plus side the autograph patch relics look good, and I imagine they would sell well. I also like the die-cut autographs that are #/25, but once again I wish they were on-card autographs. If you were buying a case you'll need to hit one of these along with one of the "chase" cards to recoup your money spent.

The # of chase cards in this product seems to be relatively low versus assumed production levels. The 1/1 purely platinum autographs look awesome, and will command a huge # on the open market. However, only 35 of these will be in the product making the odds astronomical. The Bryce Harper "Mondo" bat card in which has been publicized since Platinum's sell sheets came out earlier this year will bring a ton of $. I just can't imagine collectors opening the product in search of that when it's just one card.

The one "chase" card in which I think looks really good, and in which you have a reasonable chance of hitting is the jumbo patch card. These patch cards are #/5, and seem like they'll have really large patches, with multi colors. Both of which are a really big deal to those folks that love patches on eBay.

This is one product that we'll stay away from. This product doesn't mesh with what we like to collect, and we wouldn't be able to recoup any value through selling sets. I'm sure people will buy some player lots, but I doubt they command much. Overall, if you're interested in prospect autograph's, why not just buy regular Bowman?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Next Gen

Chris and I grew up in NC where the nearest MLB team was in Atlanta.  The Durham Bulls were as big time as we could physically see and in "hunt country", collecting baseball cards was far from cool.  I think back to why I started collecting and it was because my father took me with him to most places and when we stopped at grocery stores, convenience stores (you could buy cards outside of Target and Walmart then) he would buy me a pack of cards.  When he had crazy money ($20) he would buy a box.  To me, that made collecting as cool as it could be...because he liked it.

Today, with the select stores that sell overpriced blasters, rack packs, and scanned through boxes, only random purchases occur outside those that collect.  We purchase all of our cards online or through Blowout's new store, and only when totally desperate, drive to a superstore to buy a box of cards we are sure to be disappointed by.  This may sound like me complaining on a personal level, but I am more worried about the industry as a whole.  Given we throw thousands of dollars into collecting, the industry overall needs to thrive for our collecting to be valuable...we collect to keep, but trust me the value still matters.

The only way for the card collecting industry to remain viable is to attract a younger generation.  I have seen articles mentioning that the gaming industry has made card collecting not cool...I'm not buying it.  All my friends did was play video games.  It's not like video games came out in 2007.  I've also read that baseball lost popularity...I'm not buying it.  There are more teams, in more markets, on more TV stations, with players making more money than ever before.  The problem is that the market got saturated with products that could not be deciphered and then has moved to limited product with over pricing.  Both ways take kids out of the equation.

I would suggest promotions for fathers and sons (obviously this could be daughters too...should say kids as my wife's father collected and she was interested at one point...just typing from my own experience).  Don't put kids cards in baseball card packs as Topps cannot compete with Nick Jr. or Marvel for youth branding.  But, if you can make it valuable for fathers to bring their sons to shows, take their sons to card stores, or have promotions online, then the kid will see the father collecting and know that at least at home, its cool.  Have a bring your kid to the store day for 2 for 1 pricing...margin will still be there.

I would even suggest, in addition to sponsoring events such as MMA, golf tournaments, and card signings, card companies and stores should do some community service and go to little league tourneys and give away a pack a player, go to the LLWS and have one-of-a-kind Bryce Harper cards only there, go to FedEx and have a RGIII promotion where only kids 12 and under can get a signed RGIII card...there are no costs involved and the increase in kids collecting would be immediate.

Or, we can just collect ourselves and in 50 years, and when we stop trading between ourselves (very little nursing home bartering), the cards will go back to bicycle tire noise...o, that's right, no more bicycles then.

Friday, July 20, 2012

'12 Allen and Ginter Blaster...

I won't let one bad case deter me! Just picked up this blaster at Wal-Mart, hello Nats PC addition!

Topps Replacement for '12 A & G rip card....

Rip card was a Craig Kimbrel #/99, yielded this. As you can see with the case break below we didn't come out too well on A & G this year. From other case breaks it seems most people did much better than we did, that's why it's a gamble! Will be posting this on eBay probably tomorrow night.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

1 1989 Upper Deck Pack....

Decided to use my Ebay bucks on this one pack of 1989 Upper Deck. I only had $4.25 of Ebay Bucks, so my options were pretty limited in what to get. I came across this auction and decided to give it a shot. It was always fun searching for Griffey as a kid. At the time my brother was more into the hobby that I was, so he took the honors with this quick break. This is one of those cards that's worth a lot more than it's BV, one of my all-time favorites!

I'd say that's $3.99 of "free money well spent!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

4 Packs of '12 Gold Rush Redemption...

Just posting the hits, had already given our "binder" cards to my brother to put into pages. At some point I'll explain our method of collecting cards. Will be interesting to see how many other people share the same method.

As Nats fans we were obviously pumped to pull two Harper's. I pulled the first and immediately assumed I had the best pack of the bunch (is it bad to be competitive with cards too?). Next pack my brother hits the Harper and Alonso in the same pack! The Alonso is #'d/150 and will hit Ebay sometime next week. The Harper's will be staying with us, it will add to a growing Harper collection!

As always thanks for the look!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

2011 Tier One 1/2 Case Break

We opened a 1/2 case of Tier One this past week. The awesome thing about this product is if the Tier One is weaker as this was, the relics are generally really strong. Conversely when we hit our Koufax the relics were very weak outside of one Mantle. Below are the results, we were pleased with this break.

The Halladay was not live, it was a redemption. However, we've already hit one of those so I just put the live version in this break. We will be keeping the Cobb, Ruth, and DiMaggio for our collection. 

Thanks for the look as always!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Lineup for the weekend....

Once I'm able to get to my scanner I'll be posting the 1/2 Case of '11 Tier One we cracked on Wednesday. I'll also post the major hits out of the 4 gold rush packs in which we received. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2012 Topps Allen and Ginter Case Break

Have to say this break was pretty rough. Obviously I was shorted the rip card, so I'll with hold judgement until Topps Customer Service sends that out. I'll wait on writing a product review until I receive that.

Also opened a 1/2 case of '11 Tier One, I'll post that once I have time to do scans.

Thanks for looking as always, feel free to comment!

A lot of dupes(Young, Pagan, box toppers, etc.). I also expected at least one decent auto hit, but I guess you win some and lose some.

Monday, July 9, 2012

ASG...can't have it both ways

In 2003 Commissioner Bud Selig announced that the winning league of the All-Star game would receive home field advantage in the World Series. The All-Star game had seen its relevance slide in previous years, particularly when it finished is a tie in 2002. The slogan for the All-Star game was "This Time it Counts", and baseball hoped its fans would embrace this new idea.

Fast forward 9 years and the 2012 All-Star game will be played tomorrow night in Kansas City. This year's game will feature the game’s best from both leagues (for the most part, will get to that shortly). It will also include two young phenoms in Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, both playing for potential playoff teams. I'm more excited for this game than I have been in quite a while, possibly ever. However, not one ounce of that excitement is due to "this game counting".

Based on this game one league will have a tremendous advantage in the World Series. If it's an AL team for example, they can use their DH (generally much better than NL pinch-hit specialists) to their advantage. For this reason, and many others, it's unfair to have this game decide home field advantage.

IF you have to use this game to decide home field advantage fans cannot vote for All-Star starters. Pablo Sandoval starting over David Wright can't happen if "this game counts". While the Panda is a tremendous player, he hasn't had the same year as Wright. A popularity contest cannot factor in to deciding the most important thing in the game of baseball; it just doesn't make any sense.

More importantly, the one player per team rule HAS to go. As a Nationals fan I was almost embarrassed by seeing Cristian Guzman and Matt Capps representing the Nationals. While both had good first halves the year they were selected, they were not deserving of All-Star nominations. As a Nationals fan I wasn't going to tune in just to see Guzman get his at-bat. I don't think that this aspect of the game does anything for the game of baseball. It only creates more deserving people not making the squad.

While I applaud Major League Baseball for attempting to revive the All-Star game, at this point the novelty has worn off. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bryce Harper to 2012 All-Star Game...

According to Davey Johnson at his post game press conference today. This is big news on multiple levels. Obviously this should boost TV ratings for the game, I think many people will stay tuned in just to see Bryce get his at-bat. This game will do nothing to slow down the sales of Harper cards, and Mike Trout cards for that matter. Both these guys are the real deal and will be around for the long run. Barring injury I would be/am in a hold position on all Harper/Trout autos.

For me personally I'm excited as a Nats fan. I was dissapointed to hear SS Ian Desmond will miss the game due to an oblique injury. However, I'm excited that Harper is going and the Nationals are well represented. The Nats will have the best record in the NL going into the break, and will be represented in the all-star game by players deserving to be there. Plan on being at the game tomorrow to see the guys into the break. Go Nats!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2012 Topps Tier One 1/2 Case Break

We cracked open a 1/2 case of 2012 Topps Tier One baseball last week, and were happy with the results. Luckily we got on this before the price spiked to it's current pricing!

Obviously the Mays was the huge hit, we've already redeemed and look forward to adding it to our collection!


To RBI (Raines Brothers', Inc.) Cards blog! I'd like to first thank you for coming to this blog and reading what we have to say. We hope to update this blog frequently with our product thoughts, reviews, and case breaks. My brother and I have been collecting cards (mainly baseball) for 45 years combined. We collect Hall of Fame players, current players with HOF potential, and the Washington Nationals. We hope you like the blog, and thanks again for checking us out.