Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Flowers for a funeral

I've mentioned a few times that I have cut back on buying blasters quite a bit. Prior to last weekend, I had purchased only four since January. That's not too bad for me. Three years ago, I could have accumulated four in a single week.

The decrease has come partly because I've found other retail means more to my liking, specifically rack packs and the relatively new value boxes. But mostly it's come because I'm not in denial anymore. Blasters are simply a waste of money.

I'm not going to calculate the per-card cost or anything like that. I'm not one of those "find the bargain" blogs. I'll just say, simply, that the only time blasters are not a waste of cash is when you're buying cards from a set for the first time. Or maybe the second time.  I can even see buying them more often for a large set -- if anyone put out a large set anymore.

But for sets of only 300 cards with loads of short-prints and inserts? Stay far away.

I still hadn't learned this lesson. Until last weekend. It was the final straw.

I found myself in the god-forsaken Kmart in my area. What a sorry, depressing place. The collective IQ in the building may have been 6 (excluding me, smart-ass). But the reason I was there instead of Walmart or Target is because Kmart is the only one of the three that sells tools and WD40. ... Really ... How the hell does Walmart not have WD40? You can buy endive at Walmart but not WD40. What is going on?

So, Walmart, this is your fault.

The card aisle in Kmart is small and backward. Not much to select. The best thing was a blaster of Allen and Ginter. So off I went to the checkout aisle. After a long, long wait, Yakov finally took my money (I'm not being cute, that was really his name), and I was off to the biggest disappointment of my card year.

Prior to the purchase, I was almost 120 cards away from completing the A&G set. That included more than 30 shortprints. After purchase, I'm in exactly the same situation.

This box of seven packs, plus an extra pack, produced no cards that I needed from the base set. Zip. All of the shortprints I had already, too.

That's miserable.

With A&G, there's always the buffer of inserts and minis. Well the inserts don't do it for me, because I'm not collecting any of them this year.

I needed each of these Hometown Heroes cards, but I'm not collecting the set because it's cynically larger this year (100 cards), and it's merely a riff on the States insert set from 2008 A&G.

I don't find any of the mini insert sets interesting enough to collect this year. The only card here that's not a dupe is the babe with the knives. That's my third Gellner card.

These were the base set minis I received. Thrilling. A figure skater and three players on teams that are notoriously difficult to trade.

In all, I counted 10 cards that I "needed." That is, if I was trying to complete the Hometown Heroes set, or the Step Right Up set, or the mini set. But I'm not.

So, that's 10 cards for $19.99. Or $19.99 for nothing I'm collecting.

And I'm done with blasters.

For good.

My blaster-purchasing days -- save for one if I'm starting off a set -- are over. Done. Dead.

Farewell forever, ye cash-robbing box of ill-repute.

May you rest in peace.


But perhaps I'm being too harsh.

I did receive an 11th card from the box that I didn't have.

These were the most talked about cards at the start of the Allen and Ginter season. Plant a card in the ground and watch it grow. But they're not exactly selling for that much several months later.

I'm not sure what to do with this card. I suppose with the demise of my blaster buying, I should bury it. That would be symbolic. And then when my Black-Eyed Susan blooms, it can remind me:

Blasters aren't a blast anymore.


  1. Ginter blasters are kind of weak. I only buy discount blasters and new ones to see what the set is all about. May you set aside the Throwing Knives mini and Gellner mini. I am going after some of the insert sets. Thanks!

  2. I am actually going to a wedding at Lemp Mansion in a couple weeks!

  3. I actually could use the flower card...

  4. I'd love to acquire the The Lemp Mansion miniature card, if you please. (No, I haven't been drinking.)

    Just noticed your "Dodgers I collect" page. I'll spend some quality time there in the next few days and get back to you. Thanks!

  5. Awesome post, because blasters aren't worth what you pay for them. What's worse is that they sometimes include an insert and that pretty much means that you are not going to pull anything but the gaurenteed.

    I wish I would have realized that the flower seed cards were worth something when the set came out. Based on yours and mine, it looks like they are basically giving out weeds (based on location).

  6. You weren't kidding when you commented on my post. I feel for you man.

  7. It's getting harder and harder for me to drop $20 in one purchase on cards so I've just about cut out blasters too. I still may buy one blaster of new product if I plan on building the set or picking up the occasional discounted blaster @ Wally World...but for the post part I'm sticking w/ single packs or just buying/trading for the single cards I want.