Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mamma mia! No more coins!

Before I started blogging, most of my computer free time was spent playing Super Mario. I wasn't obsessed with it or even good at it. It was just a pleasant diversion that I picked up because my daughter was into the games.

Soon that diversion became less pleasant because I found out that my daughter was vastly more in tune with the game than I was and that she could figure out all the game's secrets before I even knew that there WERE secrets.

I did know that if you want to get anywhere in any Super Mario game, you usually have to accumulate coins. They're everywhere, and it starts to get discombobulating and frustrating trying to find them. I think my daughter liked to watch me play the game just so she could laugh at me searching for coins.

It's been a long time since I've played Super Mario. Baseball cards, despite all of its parallels and short-prints, is a lot less frustrating of a hobby for me than video games.

But Topps is doing its part to bring that coin frustration into this hobby, too.

As you all know by now, the Topps Golden Giveaway site is live and spitting out gold coins like a virtual (i.e. not real at all) slot machine. You also have a chance at some exclusive cards, much like last year's Diamond Giveaway. And for a lucky few -- and by that I mean almost no one -- you can win 1/1 14-carat gold cards and signed Willie Mays and Ken Griffey Jr. cards.

I feel silly just writing that, as if it's an actual possibility.

There are no vintage cards -- or even 1987 Topps -- to win this year, which makes me instantly less interested. (Truthfully, my interest was starting to wane when you still could unlock old cards).

But I had to at least try the site. For the sake of the blog, you know. 

With three code cards, I didn't expect much.

And I didn't even get that.

First Golden Giveaway card to go through the entry process was this Matt Kemp item. I'm happy to save this code card because it's the closest I'll ever get to the 14K version of this card.

Kemp proceeded to reveal:

An Evan Longoria coin. Weeee.

I was so excited by unlocking that coin last night that I immediately went to sleep and didn't wake up for nine hours.

That meant I had two more codes to enter today. Maybe I'd get lucky and unlock two more player coins and get a free code to enter (if you unlock three of one category you get a free code).

Let's see what thrilling coin I can unlock with golden Miguel Cabrera. My expectations are not high at all, especially after reading this. 220 codes entered and only 10 regular cards? Yeah, Mr. Three Codes is not unlocking anything notable at all.

But that's never stopped a card collector before ...

Oh, good gracious. THAT guy???

I might as well have unlocked Bowser.

This coin is already up for trade even though I don't plan on accumulating the required number of coins to get anything. I just need to get the virtual douche out my virtual queue of virtual coins.

At this point, the only thing keeping me from blowing off the whole site was unlocking another player coin and getting a free code. I had read that a free code could unlock an exclusive card, which is the only reason for being on this site.

There is one of those exclusive cards now. Looks fairly nice, although it reminds me of Topps Finest, which has been done before.

Let's see what Albert Pujols' last act in a Cardinals uniform will be:

The Yankees????


So, not only do I not get the third player coin or the free code, but it has to be a Yankees coin, too. Why is it that I must pull Yankees and Giants in everything? Aren't there 28 other teams available?

Once again, the coin is up for trade just so I can get it out of my sight.

And now that I'm a failure at two games that include gold coins, I think I'm about done with this game, too.

Unless I can figure out a way to get one of those exclusive Dodger cards.

I might need my daughter's help there, too.

(P.S.: Update at 2:18 a.m., both the Wilson and Yankees coins are no longer in my possession. Yay!)


  1. Amazingly enough I unlocked a Dodgers coin. Offer coming your way.

  2. That Brian Wilson coin made me throw up in my mouth just a little. I am so sick of that guy.

    I think I might hook up my old NES and play some Super Mario Bros. now.

  3. The more posts I see on 2012 Topps, the more I realize that I don't want to collect it.

  4. I'm glad Topps changed things up a bit - I didn't really need a third year of unlocking 1990s Topps cards.

    The coins aren't very exciting, but they're more fun than a "Sorry, this code isn't a winner" screen would have been.

  5. I don't need another year of unlocking 1990s Topps either. But I could use another year of unlocking 1952 Topps. That happened last year, too.

  6. I think Topps missed this year. Too bad, the way they had it set up before (1990 cards notwithstanding) was kind of cool and I think it actuallly brought some collectors back.

    This? Not a game changer.

  7. It's a failed bit in my opinion. I don't have time to do it, but I have a feeling if you scoured the blogosphere and added up all the codes that had been entered, the number of actual cards that were revealed would be way under 5%.

  8. I remember the days when you opened packs and, instead of getting code cards for unlocking prizes, you got *gum*. Man, we really got ripped off back then.

  9. Not only did you get gum, but cards were 15 cents a pack and made out of cardboard, too. ... Pretty good deal if you ask me.

  10. Thanks for the post. Now I know not to bother with the code cards.