If you've read this blog for long enough, you might recall that August is a terrible time for me for cards. Money is tighter than at any other time of the year, so I usually miss out on whatever new products are available at this time.
I haven't been in a Walmart or a Target, or any other place that sells current cards, for more than two weeks. That may not seem like long to you, but for someone who makes a weekly habit of checking out the cardboard offerings, it feels like months.
The last time I bought cards in a big box store, Bowman Platinum had just hit shelves.
Since that time, the following baseball brands have arrived:
Panini Triple Play
Feeling my skin starting to break out because it's grown accustomed to the touch of new fake cardboard, I cobbled a few dollars together to buy some random packs from Target.
Finest was not an option because it's too superior (*sniff*) to show its face in a department store (and my hobby shop is apparently having an unannounced liquidation sale, so I don't think there is any Finest within an hour from here).
Chrome hasn't hit my area yet.
That left Triple Play.
I know some people groan about this product. "Cartoon drawings with no logos put out by Panini?"
Yes. Exactly. Don't you love it?
I don't understand when people say that this is a product meant for kids. I have seen, in person, kids buying sports cards from the card aisle exactly twice in all my visits to card aisles going back to 2008 -- maybe even 2006. (If they're there, they're buying magic cards or yuggie thingies).
That's not to say kids don't still like sports cards. I see them at card shows all the time.
But Triple Play can be for adults. I'll bet the previous incarnation of Triple Play by Donruss was bought mostly by adults. And that was in 1992!
So, this adult bought four packs of Triple Play. It cost me 4 dollars. Awesome.
That's your typical base card.
Now, we can pick this apart for the next seven hours, but I prefer to observe what I like about this set.
First, I have a thing for designs and for sets that grab your eye immediately. 1972 Topps, 1975 Topps, 2001 Upper Deck '70s, anything like that. It's the kid in me. I see a card from that set sitting on a table and immediately my eyes perk up and say, "Oh! ... what is THAT?"
That's a good thing. Grabbing your attention is a good thing.
The card is bright. The cartoons are drawn in a bold fashion (they remind me of a past Cartoon Network show, but for the life of me I can't figure out which one). The players look like superheroes.
This is all good stuff.
In typical fashion, I like the base cards in this set best of all.
Those are the rest of the ones I received. The Hanrahan and the Votto are my favorites.
You get four base cards in each pack. The rest of the pack is filled with stickers, puzzle pieces, tattoos and other random stuff.
This is considered a base card, although it's not of a particular player. It's part of a subset. The back of this card is a very in-depth, yet very basic explanation, of what a run is in baseball. Some of the write-ups are definitely intended for kids, or baseball neophytes.
By the way, I have no idea what that picture is from -- doesn't appear to be a real game.
Eye black stickers. I got two of these -- the other one has flames on them. I may peel and stick these on my way into work and see how many different stares I get.
The back of the stickers feature abundant information on eye black. This is fantastic. As a kid, I always wondered what eye black was (and when I found out it was basically beeswax, it freaked me out). But there's lots of stuff here I never knew.
As an adult, I love cards that have information on them that I never knew. (Let me get this straight: the cards "for kids" have informative facts and the cards "for adults" have small scraps of colored cloth that you can touch. Hmmmm).
There's one of your stickers. I think I'll send this to Dinged Corners, now that they're posting again.
You can get stickers of player cards or you can get plain, random stickers, like this:
Why, I believe that's an Awesome Night Sticker!
Each pack has two puzzle pieces.
This is the back of the puzzle -- it's a replication of the base card. The puzzle is also a larger version of the base card.
I received two Yoenis Cespedes cards (you need 9 to complete a puzzle).
His hands are ready to go!
Another subset -- one of 30 in the set (I got three).
I was very pleased to get the Kemp card. The only Dodg ... oops, LOS ANGELES card I pulled.
Kind of weird. Reminds me of the Pinnacle Shades set from the early '90s.
I'm not as crazy about all the extras, the subsets and the inserts. Those definitely have a kid feel.
But I really like the base cards and I do appreciate the entire set. And I never thought I'd ever say that about a Panini baseball set.
I have no intention to try to complete it, although it might be fun. I have too many other collecting goals right now.
But this adult won't hesitate over picking up a few more packs of a "kids' product" the next time I'm in the card aisle.
Which I hope will be some time before October.