Thursday 27 October 2011

Doctor Who Monster Invasion Extreme

 If you didn't already know, we are big Doctor Who fans in this household. My boys in particular watch the TV series repeatedly, collect the cards and the Lego like figures.
The second series of Monster Invasion was released in September to coincide with the second half of the new series. It finished a few weeks back and I was disappointed with the ending. The writers had excelled themselves with some terrific episodes all series. The Silence were particularly creepy. In the end though it failed to deliver a satisfying ending with his plot hole ridden climax.
There are 180 cards in total. 150 base cards, 18 rare cards (1in every pack), 6 Super Rare cards (3 in every 10 packs), 5 Ultra rare (1 in every 10 packs) and the Infinite card, which is 1 in every 1000packs so is limited to 1000 cards world wide. The Infinite card is a great looking 3D/hologram of the Silence creature and I have actually held this rare card in my hand. An interesting(ish) story with an unfortunate ending.
Knowing how rare these cards, a child at school announced that he had pulled one from a pack. I didn't know whether to believe him or not, you know what children are like trying to impress their friends. He went on about the card for a few days and I decided to call his bluff. He said his mother wouldn't let him. I left it at that.
A few days later the child in question informed my friend Dion and I that he bought the card and produced it from his coat pocket. A sick feeling in the pit of my stomach as to the condition of the Infinite card, but on first inspection it was in surprisingly good condition and the 3D/hologram was excellent.  We looked with some awe and Dion informs the child that a similar card was selling for £170 on e-bay, so I decided to place the card in a sleeve and top loader for extra protection. (I keep a little stock of these at school-you never know.)Now here comes the unfortunate part. While I am placing the card in the sleeve for extra protection I turn it over and there written across the back, I say written more like gouged, in black biro is the child's name rendering the card virtually worthless to serious collectors. 'Why did you write your name on it?' I ask. My mum thought someone  might take it.
I had to wonder if he would have done this anyway or only because I had asked to see it.  Was I the cause of the card disfigurement?
The cards continue in a similar vein to the last series divided into Doctors, Allies, Villians, Monsters, Gadgets and Adventures. Roll on Christmas for the Doctor special.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Trade with Waxaholic

That reminds me, I need to send Waxaholic some football stickers, Premier League stickers. It is a top of my list of things to do. That and finding ways to watch Canadian Women's Soccer. Where does he find these images?
On a completely unrelated topic he sent me a bunch of Red Sox cards, including the Josh Beckett shown above. I have obtained a number of red swatches recently and it makes a change from the usual white swatches. He also sent some unopened packs of cards. A rack pack of 2008 Upper Deck and 1989 Topps BIG. Sweet. I will be cracking them open on Pursuit of Red Sox, to further my ongoing mission to locate Red Sox in packs.
Thank you Sir Waxaholic. 

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Trade with Play at the Plate

A super trade with Brian at Play at the Plate. A while back he was eager to complete the Topps Diamond giveaway, which he eventually did way back in September. It was very easy on my part to e-mail the diamond codes. In exchange he sent a pile of the Kimball Champions cards, which for some explicable reason I decided to collect. My progress has been slow, but these are such lovely cards I'm not giving up just yet.
Thanks to Brian for bringing me a few steps closer. 

Monday 24 October 2011

2011/2012 Topps Match Attax Football

The recent 6-1 drubbing of Manchester United by their close rivals Manchester City put a huge smile on the face of most football supporters (except the Manchester United faithful-naturally). It would have been nice if it had been Norwich, or West Bromwich Albion, or even Fulham handing out the humility lessons. However we are not fussy. It's not bitterness or jealousy that makes us feel this way. Manchester United is, and has been, a great team for many years. It is more the cocky, swaggery arrogance that the manager and some of the players have adopted in recent times. There lies within the joy of an unbiased supporter.
Unfortunately Topps has developed a somewhat similar attitude towards the Match Attax Brand. Build it and they will come. It's Match Attax, they will buy it no matter what. Let's not forget this is a product directed towards children, the Pokemon, Yu-gi-oh generation. But I cannot feel anything except disappointment as an adult and as a swap club organiser at school.
Let me talk about the positives, or more fitting 'the' positive is an insert called Golden Moments.
Yes they are golden cards, but the 40 card insert focuses on the last 20 years of Premier League football. The set looks at some of the iconic moments of Premier League football such as Jurgen Klinsmann's goal celebration from 1994, David Beckham's goal from the half-way line in 1996, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer netting four goals after coming on as a sub in 1999 and the remarkable Blackburn Premier League winners in 1995. This is a great idea for an insert, even in gold. Dissapointingly missing is Eric Cantona's flying kick on a spectator in 1995, Roy Keane's leg breaking tackle in 2001, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer's same team fight in 2005 and any one of the many Patrick Viera moments- Roy Keane tunnel bust up perhaps. However, for me, the positives stop there.

My main beef is the 'Limited Edition' cards, of which there are 6. These limited cards are not inserted in packs randomly except for one, which is inserted randomly into packs only available from one particular chain of bookshops. The other five limited cards can only be 'collected' through purchasing a football magazine (£2.99), the Match Attax collectors tin (£9.99), the Match Attax collectors box (£7.50), the Match Attax multi-pack (£5.00) and the Match Attax starter pack (£4.99). So a very clever marketing ploy to make you purchase more Match Attax in unique disguises, at a rough cost of £30.00, which would give you the five limited cards and roughly 150 Match Attax cards. There are 360 base cards to collect and a further 65 Man of the Match,100 club and a referee. Is the picture becoming clearer. Some collectors may feel that this is fair and that you purchase all these different products and obtain the limited card, rather than trawling through packs. Fair enough.
My other complaint is that it still much the same as the last years set, and the years before, and the year before that, with just the colour of the backs changed. Topps has the ability to produce design changes elsewhere. Why not here? The starter pack book to keep your cards in is crap as well.

All that said, I will however be collecting the entire set again as part of the swap club I run at school. The lucky winner of our club competition gets to own the completed set and as many of the 'inserts' I can collect.
I think though that this will be my last time doing it. My fifth and final completed set.

Saturday 22 October 2011

An uncomfortable silence

So sorry for the uncomfortable silence of the last month or so. Real life, once again, took over. Many things took place during this forced interval- a few trade packages arrived, a number of blog posts floated into the ether, my computer reset itself to the factory settings,  the Red Sox collapsed, (which is well documented and probably doesn't need to be mentioned again), Match Attax 2011/2012 was released (pretty much the same as what has gone before), this years Doctor Who season finished with a flourish (some excellent episodes but the ending was a disappointment), Australia were knocked out of the Rugby World Cup by New Zealand (England didn't fare much better) and my head sold her house in Florida, so I can no longer expect surprise baseball cards (nor Icelandic, volcanic, delayed treasures).
But now a short holiday and a chance to catch -up.