Friday 29 January 2010

Top Gear Turbo Challenge Trading Cards

In an attempt to find a baseball card substitute, I went into my local newsagents and bought a few packs of whatever they had on offer. The second selection comes from the TV series 'Top Gear'. This is what you may refer to as a 'blokes' show. It is crammed full of anything that moves and can be tinkered with; cars, trucks, bikes, rockets, pushbikes, supermarket trolleys. There is some fast racing, dangerous stunts, celebrity racing and the occasional scantly clad woman. I'm not sure whether it has made its way across to the US, no doubt you probably have your own version. It is, however, very popular with certain age groups of a particular gender.
So a card set? A glorified Top Trumps, at £1.50 a packet for 9 cards is asking a little too much.
The cards are exactly as you would expect, pictures of cars, dangerous stunts and not a scantly clad lady to be found. Which is fortunate, as this is a set aimed at children. A collectors album to hold your cards is available. This appears to be the norm these days.
My favourite moment of the series was a few years back when two of the presenters tried to modify a K-reg Reliant Robin, a three wheeled car, into a reusable space shuttle. They achieved a successful launch but the car failed to separate from the fuel tank, crashed to the ground and exploded shortly after. They now have the dubious record of having the largest rocket launched by a non-government organisation in Europe.
Brilliant TV.

Sunday 24 January 2010

Dr Who Alien Armies Trading Cards

A little off the track from the baseball cards that I try to show here, but my local newsagents has been accumulating a rather large selection of trading cards recently. I am not blessed with a Target or Walmart to ease my baseball card collecting desires, so I try to supplement it with 'other' types of cards. The first to catch my eye was these Dr Who cards.

I have always been a fan of Dr Who. I was raised on a diet of Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, the Doctors that followed were poor substitutes. David Tennant helped the show get back to its winning formula and the new Doctor Matt Smith looks, if the trailers are anything to go by, like he will be a great Doctor.

In the last few years there has been a variety of Dr Who trading card games. The Alien Armies is the latest. They are produced by Panini and there is a book to house the set.There are some chase cards and a little variety of parallels such as foil, embossed and glitter cards. There are 180 standard cards to collect, as well as 20 Super embossed, 20 super foil and 40 glitter foil cards. At 50p a packet and £4.99 for the collector album they are very popular.

These are my picks from the 4 packets I purchased.

In my opinion the scariest aliens of the series were the Weeping Angels or the people in gas masks. The episodes with the Weeping Angels made me jump .
The weirdest looking aliens-The Ood.
I liked Billie Piper but preferred Martha Jones as the assistant. I wasn't too fussed about Donna Noble.

Finally the man himself David Tennant. Who quite possibly made Dr Who as popular as it was in the 70's and 80's.
On a final note. My friend and fellow teacher, Dion and I make a Dr Who movie with our school Movie and Animation club. The first movie was 13 minutes long and last years came in at 26 minutes. I was introduced to Red Bull for the last few days of editing as the dealine approached. Although Dion writes the movie, the children do all the acting and some of the filming and editing using movie maker. The caretaker at school is a genius when it comes to making props, so we a lucky enough to have a life size Tardis and impressive Dalek to use in our films. We have just auditoned for a new Doctor, as our last one moved onto secondary school and he regenerated at the end of our last movie. We hope to have a K-9 for this years movie.

Thursday 7 January 2010

Vending machine Junk Wax

Many, many months ago, I was desperately searching for trading partners and was unable to find a good home for some teams. The pile of cards continued to build, my plea for collectors wasn't working so I ventured on a different route. Message boards. There were two teams in particular that were growing faster than others, the Toronto Blue Jays and the Colorado Rockies. There were some very nice cards and a number of game used/memorabilia cards that screamed to be housed in a friendly environment. Very little response, except to send a list of the cards and they would think about it. After roughly 10 requests there was a positive response from Jonathan in Toronto, of all places, that put the wheels of trading into motion. Jonathan explained that there was a vending machine in his local bowling alley that was well stocked of Junk Wax. He and his friends would buy packs of 1999 Upper Deck from the said vending machine and then go home and run simulations all night on how teams made from one pack of cards would fare against another.
Sounded like a pretty good Friday night; bowling, packs of cards, baseball simulations, throw in a pizza and some beer and it's the perfect night.
So in February 2009 the 200+ Blue Jays made their merry way to Toronto and I was happy. For those of you who participate in these types of blind trades, sometimes nothing is returned and receipt isn't acknowledged. That is the way it goes. There is a happy ending to this tale, out of the blue in November, Jonathan e-mails to say sorry, he was clearing out and remembered that he had agreed to send some cards. Last week some Junk Wax arrived from Toronto. Five packs from 1990 that I will bust in Pursuit of Red Sox. He also enclosed two Topps sticker packs that I hope were bought from the vending machine he mentioned. A vending machine full of baseball cards that is something that I would like to see.

The Rockies are still building too, they remain homeless.

Saturday 2 January 2010

Trade with Ross from Sports Card Info

A surprise package from Ross at Sports Card Info arrived through my letter box just before Christmas. I always found Ross's site to be hugely informative and his sleuthing ability to uncover fake cards and scams is second to none. I must admit to being a tad jealous of the product that he busts.
So what did the surprise package contain?
2009 Allen + Ginter #139 Daisuke Matsuzaka
2009 Sweet Spot #SS-WB Sweet Swatch Memorabilia of Wade Boggs. How sweet is that?
2009 Sweet Spot #29 Dustin Pedroia
2009 Sweet Spot #59 Jon Lester
2009 Topps Unique #40 Daisuke Matsuzaka
2009 Topps Unique #60 Victor Martinez
2009 Topps Unique #60 Victor Martinez red border #0549/1199
2009 Topps Unique #87 Jason Bay
2009 Topps Unique #108 Dustin Pedroia
2009 Topps Unique #108 Dustin Pedroia gold border#53/99
2009 Topps Unique #138 Jacoby Ellsbury
2009 Topps Unique #131 Josh Beckett
2009 Topps Unique #144 Mike Lowell
2009 Topps Unique #191 Josh Reddick black border #2482/2699
2009 Topps Unique #199 Aaron Bates red border #1199/1199
2009 Topps Unique #199 Aaron Bates black border #2343/2699
2009 Topps Unique #UU19 Kevin Youkilis

Now that is what I call a surprise package! Thanks Ross. The Phillies are accumulating.