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