Sunday, 26 May 2013

UK Games Expo board game convention Birmingham 2013

Carcassonne just after breakfast
While I might not be the biggest board game aficionado, I enjoy playing Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne and the occasional game of Ticket to Ride, my preference is always collecting baseball cards. However I was tempted along to this Expo by my friend Dion and my two sons, who are Yugioh collectors (players?).
The Hilton Metropol Hotel in Birmingham had pretty much dedicated the hotel to board game players, every possible table, chair and vacant space was occupied by people playing board games. Entire rooms absorbed in some of the more popular 'roleplay' games.
My sons were pleased that Komani had a stand wholehearted committed to Yugioh and although missing out on a tournament, they were the recipients of so many free packs of cards they almost filled the hotel room. They were pretty happy.
After spending the morning walking around watching an excited Dion purchase game after game and participating in some demonstrations of games that were a little too difficult for me to understand, I started lamenting about the fact that this would never happen in regard to sports cards, not in the UK anyway.
Topps have Attax Expos, which are predominantly attended by children and possibly an unhappy parent, who may be forcibly dragged along, unfortunately while I may enjoy collecting them, I do not fit into the Attax demographic. I do, however, fit into the board game mould easily- middle aged, carrying a little extra weight and male. There were people of the female variety, dutiful girlfriends or wives and there were some male and females in costume, which my son helpfully explained was 'Cosplay' or LARPing, which of course I knew. I do watch 'The Big Bang Theory' after all.
But an Expo for sports cards collectors, football or American sports, I'm not sure would ever take place. It is a nice thought (or dream)though-strolling around a hall filled with various boxes, packs and loose cards/stickers of sports cards, instead of board games, role play figures and game books.
Truth be told, I actually enjoyed myself. It's not often that you get to sit around drinking Boddingtons, while trying to work out whether to build a road or another settlement. We met some interesting fellow gamers, had a chat to Larry Roznai the CEO of Mayfair games, the publishers of Settlers of Catan. and played so many different games in two days, it is unlikely I will ever remember how to play them again. Plus we met one of our favourite characters.
Although I will continue to imagine a UK sports card expo.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Baseball packs from the Alley family

In the early days of this blog, back in 2008, I was contacted by a reader whose boys were mad football (soccer) fans. They supported Everton and had difficulty purchasing football related items and since I was in the United Kingdom would I mind sending some soccer 'stuff' their way. In exchange they would send me some baseball 'stuff'.
This seemed like a nice arrangement, so I duly obliged and send football magazines, stickers, packs and a badge or two.
Little did I expect to receive a large assortment of baseball packs in return.
Packages go back and forth between us about two or three times a year, when new football cards or stickers are released a package works it way to North Carolina and then a baseball package will find its way to Westgate-on-Sea. I look forward to these surprise packages immensely, always jam packed full of baseball pack loveliness.
This Saturday another Alley pack arrived on my doorstep.
The contents:
5 packs 2013 Topps Heritage
3 Jumbo packs of 2013 Opening Day
6 packs of 2013 Opening Day
2 rack packs of 2013 Topps Series 1
2 packs of Topps Series 1
1 block(60 cards)  of 2013 Topps Series 1
1 pack of 2012 Triple Play
1 pack of 2012 Opening day
1 pack of 2011 Opening day
1 rack pack 2011 Bowman
2 packs 2011 Topps Chrome
1 pack of 2008 UD First Edition
1 pack of 2008 Topps
1 pack of 2007 Fleer Ultra
2 packs of 1989 Donruss

So there is some junk wax, who cares, these are packs of baseball cards.

You just have to love the internet and how it connects people from all over the world.

Monday, 6 May 2013

2013 Topps Heritage baseball

I have been a little negligent of this blog in the past 6 months or so. There are just so many other superior blogs popping up across the interwebs that it is difficult to keep up. One thing is still certain- I still collect baseball cards and still enjoy trading.
The set I  looked forward to most in 2013, was Topps Heritage. The majority of the posts in 2013 have been about Heritage and the Pursuit to collect the 425 base set. With another blaster under the belt and a chunk of cards from e-bay there are only a 146 cards left to collect.
Despite not being as squashed as the last blaster, here are the 8 packs of 2013 Heritage goodness. There is meant to be either an insert or short printed card in each 9 card pack

Pack 1:
#25 Andrew Cashner Padres
#92 Chris Young Athletics
#93 Christian Friedrich Rockies 
#193 Garrett Jones Pirates
#208 Huston Street Padres
#303 Grant Balfour Athletics
#322 Scott Baker Cubs
#393 Pat Neshek Athletics
#BF-WM Willie Mays Giants
Pack 2:
#38 J.D. Martinez Astros
#42 Tommy Milone Athletics
#106 Mike Leake Reds
#138 2012 World Series game 3
#194 Mike Moustakas Royals
#262 2013 Cardinal Rookie Stars
#276 Nick Swisher Indians
#314 Shane Victorino Red Sox
#343 Daniel Nava Red Sox
Pack 3:
#13 Adam LaRoche Nationals
#22 Andrelton Simmons Braves
#60 Will Middlebrooks Red Sox
#78 Mike Napoli Rangers
#214 Jean Segura Brewers
#216 Brandon Beachy Braves
#239 Joel Hanrahan Red Sox
#319 Jason Isringhausen Angels
#450 Matt Kemp Dodgers 
Pack 4:
#91 Chris Nelson Rockies
#201 Orioles Rookie Stars
#330 Johnny Cueto Reds
#340 Paul Konerko White Sox
#355 Chris Tillman Orioles
#401 Alex Presley Pirates
#419 Joe Saunders Orioles
#423 Giants Tops in NL
#MM-FH Felix Hernandez Mariners
Pack 5:
#94 Reds Rookie Stars
#100 Robinson Cano Yankees
#204 Gregor Blanco Giants
#244 Jon Jay Cardinals
#249 Josh Thole Blue Jays
#359 Wilton Lopez Rockies
#402 Will Venable Padres
#406 Jaime Garcia Cardinals
#482 Nelson Cruz Rangers 
Pack 6:
#87 Bruce Bochy Giants Mng
#95 B.J.Upton Giants
#176 Ervin Santana Royals
#203 Alcides Escobar Royals
#216 Jason Kipnis Indians
#298 Buck Showalter Orioles Mng
#366 Ryan Dempster Red Sox
#391 Andy Pettitte Yankees
#NAP-FH Felix Hernandez Mariners
Pack 7:
#3 NL Pitching Leaders
#187 Tyler Clippard Nationals
#223 James Loney Bay Rays
#266 Lucas Duda Mets
#273 Matt Moore Bay Rays
#362 Ezequiel Carrera Indians
#364 Russell Martin Pirates
#383 Mike Scioscia Angles Mng
#HC66 Roy Halladay Phillies 964/999 
Pack 8:
#56 Ross Detwiler Nationals
#160 David Freese Cardinals
#252 Yonder Alonso Padres
#264 Vernon Wells Angels
#272 Matt Joyce Bay Rays
#347 Carlos Marmol Cubs
#392 Mike Baxter Mets
#397 Clint Barmes Pirates
#440 Jered Weaver Angles
Not as impressive as the last blaster, although the Heritage Chrome is a lovely card. Maybe I was incorrect about an insert or short print per pack. I swear I heard it somewhere.
No variations, errors or Venezuelan backs present in this blaster.