Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Contemporary Oddball: 2009 Fan Pak!

Let me begin by saying that I can't believe I've scooped Wax Heaven on this product. I would have fully expected their Man on the Street to have purchased a full box of these and scanned more images than I will ever own by now, but this is not the case.

Actually, this is the second greatest news of the day. I happened to have found these "cards" at a Target that has recently been remodeled and expanded and has now begun to sell... BEER! I can now buy cards and beer at the same store. Oh Glorious Day! A song needs to be written about this type of thing, but my name's not "Cat," and I'm not about to convert to Islam.

So let's get to the cards. The pack I selected has Ichiro and Jimmy Rollins on the front, but I also saw one with Big Papi and someone else. Honestly, I wasn't looking that hard, as I neglected to pick out a basket and was carrying a bunch of stuff in my arms at that point and just wanted to check out. The wrapper promises a lot of stuff in the package, and boy, does it deliver! Here's what I got:

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
48 Jim Thome Standee
These are very much like the Donruss Satnd-Ups of the late-20th century, but awesomer. All of the cards in the pack have the dimensions of a perfect square. I have the urge to punch this one out, but I have a feeling Steve from White Sox Cards might want this, so I'll refrain. I'll wait until I get another one.

The backs of these cards have a shadow image and a bunch of trivia questions that you can answer by holding your card up to a mirror. At last, newspaper fun page technology has seeped into the card universe.

38 Daisuke Matsuzaka Standee

Ah, here's another one right away. Let's fold it.

The graphic on the back was actually quite helpful. These things have one extra perforation that is not necessary to the presentation. I have to say that these are pretty awesome, in a Thanksgiving centerpiece kind of way. I could see myself buying a dozen packs of these, placing them in front of empty place settings on November 26 this year, and having my guests guess which player represents themselves the best as a way to find their proper seat. Good times. Maybe more than a little crying.

5 Alex Rodriguez Top Stories

These things don't fold out, but we get a pretty nice faux-magazine article about A-Rod's 500th home run in 2007. I'm just guessing here, but there probably won't be a 500-card mirror set commemorating this feat in this product. Out on a limb, I know.

31 Jon Lester Top Stories
The back salutes Lester's defeat of the deadly cancer. Even Yankee fans must stand up and applaud this. Or maybe you wish he had died. I don't know, I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse of this rivalry..

71 Trivia and Mini-Games
These are truly getting more and more like a Sunday-funnies games comic. On the front we have a bunch of questions, one of which comes in under the title "Triple Play." I find this appropriate, because when opening this pack, I found these cards very comparable to something like 1993 Donruss Triple Play.

On the back, all of life's questions are answered. I like these, and I would have sat under my covers with a flashlight memorizing the facts if these had been released when I was of bedtime-having age. To be honest, I still might do this tonight.

T17 fanTats (Giants, Indians, MLB)
This would have made early-Upper Deck's hologram stickers look like pressed-and-dried feces back in the day. A choice between a wicked cool tattoo and a sticker is like selecting between a a free homework pass and a punch in the face to a your average 9-year-old. I'm guessing Tribe Cards might want that spectacular Indians tat, so for the moment, my sinewy bicep goes unadorned. Perhaps we can work out a trade.

All in all, an awesome product. I just wish there was a way to properly house these cards. I am genuinely impressed by a newcomer to the scene like EnterPlay hitting a home run in its initial sports effort. Their website indicates a strong Nintendo presence within its product line, although they seem to have rolled out a very similar NHL product before the MLB stuff hit store shelves. Funny thing is, these are licensed cards, and Upper Deck won't be able to touch those sweet logos come next season. Do we have a new power player on the scene? Probably not, but it would be interesting to see them try. But at $1.99 per pack, this is easily the best fun-to-cost ratio in card collecting at the moment.


FanOfReds said...

What a bizarre little bundle of baseball items! Of course, if I ever see one of them I probably won't be able to avoid picking at least one up!

White Sox Cards said...

Awesome pack of oddballs! Why didn't I see this at my Target today?

Very cool Thome!

--David said...

Oh, that is cool!! I will have to be on the lookout for those!