Friday, June 2, 2017

Gazing at the stars

Before I get to today's topic, I'd like to mention that Julie at A Cracked Bat is holding a contest in celebration of her 100th post. The prize is a bunch of quality cardboard! Personally, I'm hoping I don't win because I need to cut back. But secretly, I do hope I win so I don't have to take up golfing or some other more depressing hobby.

So, anyway, I've mentioned a couple of times that I'd like to complete the 2015 Panini Americana set. I should have completed it by now because it's only 73 cards, but nonbaseball stuff is way, way down on the priority list and now that I've acquired most of the pretty girls in the set, where's the inspiration?

But a little while ago I decided to take some action, and by that I mean begging another blogger to send me some cards from the set. Commish Bob of The Five Tool Collector grabbed some packs at the The Dollar Tree and instinctively wanted to get rid of them. I get it. It's not for everyone.

There were at least two cards he showed that I needed, so I requested them before he tossed them in the trash. What arrived was those two cards, the remainder of the cards that he showed on that post and five unopened packs of the stuff. That's how much he wanted to rid himself of it!

This was my good fortune because I thought I might be able to finish off the set with those extra packs.

Sadly, Panini collation is as bad or worse as any other collation. From the stuff that the Commish sent me, this is what I needed:

There's some good '80s reminders there -- including Eight Men Out's Shoeless Joe Jackson -- along with a few people I don't know at all. True story: I do know someone else named Joe Manganiello.

This set looks far better than previous Panini Americana sets. And I think it includes a better cross-section of stars, although I could be wrong about that because I've been so disgusted by earlier Americana that I didn't bother to get more than one pack.

Since there were packs to open, there were also inserts and parallels:

The On the Tube inserts I don't get as they appear to be merely diecuts of a person in the base set, although that's the same thing that happens in baseball sets so I should just get off Americana's back now, huh?

There seems to be a lot of Pat Day cards in this set.

Two red parallels. These kind of put the colored parallels in Bunt to shame. Quite happy with the Ali Larter parallel, she of Varsity Blues -- and the strategically placed whipped cream -- and Heroes fame. Gary Owen I had to look up, because I don't watch BET. He's apparently quite amusing.

So those were the cards from Commish Bob.

Not even 24 hours later, another package of '15 Americana showed up from A Swing and a Pop Up. Bert has completed this set and had some extras (as I do now). He sent the ones I requested but of course, the Commish beat him by a day on some of them.

Here are the ones I still needed:

Some more '80s and '90s references along with another BET guy.

So even with all those cards I still haven't completed the set.

I'm down to needing two cards:

28 - Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Scarface, The Color of Money)
33 - Slade Smiley (no idea).

Hopefully I'll nab those cards soon so I can finish this off, bore you one more time with the full set, and say, once and for all, that I actually completed something from Panini.


  1. This reminds me of the Canadian set put out by In The Game in, I think, 2011..

  2. The design sorta reminds me of an old Skybox football set... 93 maybe?

  3. Real inspiring set. If this looks better than previous Panini Americana sets, I'd hate to see what the others look like.

    1. Looks a hell of a lot better than this:,sl,=2011+Panini+Americana+-+~5bBase~5d+-+Retail

  4. I think the 2015 Americana set is a nice-looking set, but there are few people in it that I'm interested in, so I only bought one pack in 2015 and another last week from Dollar Tree.

    I *had* the Slade Smiley card back in 2015 (I know this because I wrote about the pack I bought), but I'm pretty sure those cards went to Goodwill. I'll take a look around and if I do still have the card, it's yours. Don't hold your breath.

    BTW, Smiley was on Real Housewives of Orange County.

  5. I can't decide if Sly Stallone had way too much work done on his face or he needs a lot of work done on his face. Both, probably.

    Wish I could have gotten you over the hump on this, Greg.

  6. ah shucks - you mentioned me in Gazing at the Stars. I'm humbled by my own greatness. thanks N.O. ;)

  7. Joan Collins looks damn good for being in her 80's.