Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Slowly, ever so slowly, I am becoming a smarter card consumer. Although I would never look down on anyone who buys cards from the card aisle or tries to complete sets that way, I am attempting more and more not to do that. Random pack purchases are down and, as you know, attempting to complete a current set is WAY down.

But Topps still finds a way to get me, even when I'm being good.

You might remember a couple of months ago when I bought a blaster of 2012 Allen and Ginter from my friendly neighborhood Walmart just because I assumed something sitting on a shelf for almost two years couldn't possibly be full price. It didn't end well.

Well, this time I was at Walmart again in desperation mode thanks to another Hallmark holiday. There in the card aisle, I discovered marked down blasters. And one of them was not 2012 A&G but 2013 A&G!

Weeeeee! Now this was smart shopping. Only $11.99 and I still needed 34 cards to complete the set. Granted, most of them are short-prints, but knocking off a handful of wants plus the added bonus of minis is well worth the price, right?

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh ... no.

Aside from the minis and two inserts, every card in the box was something I had already. Four SPs. Have all of them. I even had 80 percent of the inserts, and I'm not even collecting any of the inserts.

I sat down with a calculator and pen to figure out the damage just because I can't wait to beat myself up after making a mistake and came up with how much it cost per card that I didn't already have from that blaster:

$1.33 per card.

I'm not allowed in Walmart ever again.

So, with nothing to cross off my want list, I went into full frankenset mode. But that didn't work out very well either.

Take this card, for example:

It's card #198, Jayson Werth.

I already have a card in the #198 slot.

It's Jayson Werth.


I didn't even get to play God with my binder as there were only three spots up for a battle.

Here they are:

#164 - Chris Mortensen

He loses out to Heather Mitts.

Now normally I'd pick football and a former print journalist over a soccer player. But I am really annoyed at the NFL draft right now, so Heather wins out.

#65 - Jose Reyes

Reyes loses to a bat-barrel shot.

#65 - Jose Reyes, black border

OK, OK! You win, Jose.

But if any Blue Jay fan needs black border Reyes, Howard goes back in the binder without hesitation.

Those three were the only cards from the blaster up for contention.

These two automatically made the binder because there was no one in their way.

And with that, all my fun with that blaster was over.

Proof that even a discount blaster can be a bust.

Oh, well.

Heavy hangs the head of the set collector who buys cards from the card aisle.


  1. I'm in the same boat as you are, trying very hard to escape the card aisle, and the allure of the modern set. For the last few weeks, I've been successful.

    But it's so hard...

    Black border Reyes would be welcome here if you could set him aside!

  2. My semi-local WalMart barely even sells baseball cards anymore. They some 2014 and that is all. I hate our distributor.

  3. I feel your pain, my friend! 2-3 years ago on my birthday, I decided to blow about $500 on retail / blasters (not sure why). I felt INCREDIBLY guilty afterwards. Thankfully, I got my money back and then some in selling. I'm not sure how ... but yeah, it was brutal realizing I didn't get much out of it.

  4. Still haven't bought one pack of anything yet this year

  5. My friend in Michigan has been talking up all the new discounted stuff at Wally World up there. They usually have a couple register end caps and a half an aisle in the store for cards, and have boxes and packs from the last five years and sometimes older.
    My local Wal-Mart has a four foot section at the far end of the express lane that is half Yu-Gi-Oh and a couple flagship baseball and football. The other WM on the south end of town has more, but they were almost completely wiped out when I was there. Target is so much better, but the only one is near the WM on the south end, which is 25 minutes from my house.