Sunday, October 31, 2010

Nightmares on Cardboard III: Third Place

Here it begins, the parading out of what I considered to be the best and brightest of this year's submissions. This year third place is bestowed upon a rookie to this contest, Portfan. His rendition of a 1990 Topps Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands is spot-on.

The film holds a place in my heart as the best of the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaborations (that I have seen). Let's take a walk through the list.
Alice in Wonderland (2010) - Haven't seen it, have no desire to.
Sweeney Todd (2007) - Haven't seen it, somewhat curious, but won't go out of my way to see it.
Corpse Bride (2005) - Haven't seen it, probably should.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) - Saw it, wished it had been aborted in the pre-production stage. A complete abomination.
Sleepy Hollow (1999) - Saw it, enjoyed parts of it, but if you want a better Johnny Depp film with the same overall tone, From Hell is my recommendation.
Ed Wood (1994) - Saw it, most likely on VHS, need to see it again.
Edward Scissorhands (1990) - Saw it, own it on Blu-ray.

Portfan's submission, the first one I received, has several things going for it. The illegible Topps Certified Autograph is brilliant. It reminds me of the family dinner scene where Edward struggles so much and drops the potato (I think), and Kim's boyfriend starts to laugh. Something about Edward's meek apology is just so sincere and so funny at the same time. This card also maintains the original grain of a 1990 Topps card, I wish I could feel it in my hands. Perhaps is this were an in-hand card, this might have taken the grand prize. I also like the way Portfan worked the official Nightmares on Cardboard banner into his presentation. (The font pack is called "Bloody Freaks," by the way, the same used for the poster and DVD titles for the classic cult horror film, Bloodsucking Freaks.

Excellent job! Keep checking back as we work our way up the medal podium today.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Nightmares on Cardboard III: Non-Medalist #3

As I write this, we are in the midst of a first-time experience for me. Being located in one of the tonier neighborhoods in Milwaukee proper (and believe me, there are not many of those), our neighborhood association helps children and families eschew the civic-mandated Sunday-afternoon trick-or-treating that has existed since my birth. That's right, city council motherfuckers, we pass out treats after sundown, the way Jesus intended.

This Halloween Eve, Smarties aren't the only treats I'll be passing out. Tonight, you get to see the last non-medalist's entry into Nightmares on Cardboard III. This bunch of spookified cards comes from The Writer's Journey. While this one won't be getting a prize, it does include one of the most endearing cards I've seen in the three short years of this contest. Let's build to a satisfying crescendo, shall we?

First up, a 1980 Topps Pamela Voorhees. As the actual killer in the first Friday the 13th film, she's now an answer to a trivia question (used to good effect in the first Scream movie, by the way).

The horror cards get meta with our next one, a 1985 Topps Mother-Son combo. It takes balls to reference a card you made yourself in such an homage, but here it does the trick.

The mid-80s Topps love continues with a 1983 Topps Super Veteran card featuring George Romero. I think if he had managed to work in a Pirates uniform on Romero, the Pittsburgh-centric filmmaker, we would have had a bigger hit on our hands.

Here's another one from 1983 Topps, Christine's Arnie Cunningham. Great job on absolutely nailing the look of this set. Well done!

And here's the one that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, a Michael Myers-as-a-boy card in the style of 1979 Topps. Yes, the movie Halloween came out in 1978, but it's a small modification I'm willing to accept. The block letter of 1979 are probably a helluva lot easier than the 1978 script.

I want to gush more about this card, but I think Dr. Loomis could put it most eloquently...

"I met this six-year-old child, with this blank, pale, emotionless face and, the blackest eyes... the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him, and then another seven trying to keep him locked up because I realized what was living behind that boy's eyes was purely and simply... evil."

Tomorrow, you get to see the winners!

Oh, and Thorzul's house FTW?

Yeah, I have to thank the wife for that one. Nice work, babe.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nightmares on Cardboard III: Non-Medalist #2

This next entry I feel especially bad about not placing in the top three, because I could tell this was a labor of love. From My Cardboard Mistress, we have a complete set of Saw Death Traps done up in the style of 1990 Toppps. (I'm guessing the extra "p" is for pain.)

Having only watched the first two films in the series (I know, I know, you can't believe that either, right?), this set showcases what I believe to be a recurring plot point, namely, one of Saw's victims finds himself or herself in some sort of semi-escapable death device. Only semi-escapable because you really have to inflict a great deal of pain on yourself to become free of the trap.


The backs of these cards are a bit spoilerish, in case you haven't seen one or more of these and plan on doing so. The stats, as it were, reveal the fate of each protagonist in each film, so be careful reading if you don't want to spoil it for yourself.

The card for Saw II particularly gives me the creeps, as the only method the guy has of freeing himself from the Venus Flytrap is to dig the key out from behind his own eye. Eye stuff in movies is just about the only thing that gets to me. Some I can handle, some not so much. Blade Runner is all about eyes, but those scenes don't bother me. Any Given Sunday, however, is a film I will probably never watch again. If you've seen it, you know that I'm talking about. The plastic baggie... the ice... the nonchalance of the medic... too much to handle. But Hostel, with that dangling eyeball, that's so over the top that it didn't gross me out.


There are also two big MOJO HITZ, an autographed card of that puppet that pops up in the films, and a jigsaw skin puzzle piece relic. Pretty nasty stuff.

Thanks, My Cardboard Mistress. A really great effort that in a different year would have brought home the prize. One more non-medalist to go, then we start handing out the hardware.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nightmares on Cardboard III: Non-Medalist #1

At last, the spookiest of times has arrived, marked by the unveiling of the latest installment of Nightmares on Cardboard. This year's crop of entries was especially prolific, both in the number of cards created by each entrant, as well as the number of entrants. With seven contestants, this year's edition became the largest.

I must say that while the overall quality of the cards created has risen, I didn't get to experience that "Oh My God" moment that accompanied the winning entries from years past. That being said, the lack of a clear-cut favorite made the distinction between last place (not this there was a last place, mind you, just a small handful of non-medalists) and the grand prize very slim. Any of these entries you will soon see could have won, but it eventually boiled down to personal taste.

This first entry perfectly embodies the spirit of this contest, but alas, it cannot take a place upon the podium. Let's take a look at the interesting entry from Mark's Ephemera.

The series begins with a reference to Ed Wood's Plan 9 From Outer Space, a film that routinely pops up on a lists of Worst Films of All-Time. This prototype cad depicts The Amazing Criswell, an entertainment psychic and actor who played the narrator in Plan 9. His Bud Selig prophecy on the back is especially wry.

Up next, still in the style of the 1972 Topps In Action subset, we have one of the vampires from the Twilight series, I believe. My experience with the films has been that of an unwilling observer. My wife has on occasion invited one of her friends over to watch these while I sat and perused card blogs. From what I was able to glean, these are some of the worst "horror" films in all of creation.

The final card goes back to Plan 9 with the Ghoul Man, played by one Bela Lugosi. Seeing these cards makes me a little curious about the film, but with so many great movies I haven't seen, I'm not sure it's worth my time.

Thanks, Mark, for an entertaining entry. More great (non-medalist) contributions will be on the way!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October Group Break: Very Kind Box

As promised, the Clubhouse Collection box arrived today, and here's the video of the break. This box was very, very nice to us. If you want, check the scans of the highlights below. If you don't see your team, don't worry, the video has a bunch more cards. Remember, this box yielded 20 hits, so your odds are good.


Biggio Patch. These were seeded 1:50 packs. Nice case (or semi-case) hit.

I had no idea what the patch was from when I opened it, but a little research found me this. It was from a 125th Anniversary of Baseball patch worn by the players in a previous year. Sweet-ass to the Nth degree. This is one of those you might think was fake if you hadn't seen it pulled on video.

Jackie Robinson base. Awesome card, perhaps the one from this break I wish I could keep. Yes, it's just a bat, but I think we have spoiled our perspective in recent years. Remember, when you were nine years old, this was an impossibility.

Our bronze parallel buddies...

Another case hit, 1:52 packs. I think this is a great idea for a card, one I would like to see Topps revisit. Much more meaningful to fill up three windows than some Triple Threads gibberish.

Sure, it's not a patch, but that's a cool jersey cut. Stuff from sleeves or collars like this is not too common. Love it.

I hope everyone is happy with this break. A lot of people got a lot of nice cards. In the meantime, I'll start getting the November break ready.

Monday, October 25, 2010

October Group Break: We Got Another Cut!

The first of our October group break boxes arrived, and the results are in. And yes, in this, the second time we've included a box of Legendary Cuts in the monthly break, we've gotten a cut signature. Check out the video to see who it was, or just scroll down to the scans if you're impatient.

Oh, and sorry about the video quality here. The reason for the video matching the quality of a Taliban ransom video is that YouTube was being a skank-ass ho about processing. Just let me know if dudes in black masks carrying machine guns start popping up, and I'll make some adjustments.

In the interest of full disclosure, I quickly realized the mistake I made about the cut signature on the original video. Below is my correction.
Jeez, I've got to stop confusing those old Giants caps with Mets caps.

Juan Marichal Ultimate Swatches
Sparky Anderson Historic Swatches
George Brett Legendary Swatches
Hoyt Wilhelm Legendary Cuts
Nice job, BS. I guess it paid off to pick up a bunch of teams this month.
Fret not, everyone else, the Clubhouse Collection box is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, so check back to see the other half of the break then.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

CC: Biding My Time

Before reading the rest of this post, watch this video. It might seem to have nothing (sod all) to do with a CC card, but trust me, it will make sense. If you're short on time, click ahead to the 1:00 mark or so.

OK, watched it yet?
What Terrance Stamp could have been talking about was the completist's quest. As a CC-as-a-Brewer completist, there have been a couple of instances where the prudent course of action was to "bide my time." Not long after 2009 Sterling was released, I did notice a Sabathia card I did not yet own on the auction block. The seller had it at a BIN for $175. Ridiculous price, right? I had to let it go. The BIN expired without any buyers, but the card had not turned up again. Until recently.

Patience was key. After all, the card was serial numbered to 10 copies. I could have been waiting a very long time without the card ever popping its head up again. So, I decided to bide my time.

Last month, the waiting paid off. The card was up for bid with a $0.99 opening, and I ended up getting it for less than a quarter of that stratospheric asking price from a year ago. (Plus, oddly enough, at the same time this card popped up, there was another one of the ten copies offered for about $60.00 BIN. I did much better than that, however.)

Here's the card.
2009 Topps Sterling "One-Hitter 8/31/08" (3x Gray Jersey) AUTO #3SCA-126 (10/10)

Cause you gotta make a choice... when to do something, and when to let it go. When it matters, and when it don't. Bide your time... that's what collecting teaches you if nothing else. Bide your time, and everything becomes clear, and you can act accordingly.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweetening the Pot: October Group Break

Alright, the group break has failed to fill up, but I don't want to leave anyone hanging. Here's my last attempt to convince more people to join.

Here are the remaining teams:
Angels $10.50: Colin (paid)
Astros $10.50: Alec (paid)
Blue Jays $12.37: BS (paid)
Padres $13.05: BS (paid)
Pirates $16.10: Cardsplitter (paid)
Rays $10.50: Joe from the Southside (paid)
White Sox $13.55: Joe from the Southside (paid)

Here's the deal. Anyone picking up one of these last remaining teams will receive, from my personal collection, at least one serial numbered card of a player from that team. Whether or not you get a hit, you will receive a fairly nice numbered card, and not a crap one numbered to 4,999 or anything like that.

Please join the break, as I don't feel comfortable ordering the boxes unless at least half of these remaining teams are claimed. Let's do this.

You can claim your team on this post in the comments.
PayPal payment can be sent to:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Nightmares on Cardboard Reminder

I just wanted to put out a reminder that you have one week left to get your entry to me for Nightmares on Cardboard III. So far, I've only received one entry. Get your scariest stuff to me by October 24 if you want to get in on the action this year. Read the original post for all rules and descriptions.

Also, there are still slots open for the October Group Break. I'd like to have all teams claimed before I order the boxes, so if you see a team you or someone you know might like, claim it and join the fun.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Now That I Am Joe Collector Is Out... might be looking for a new group break to get into.

If you haven't taken part in a Thorzul break yet, now might be the time. I pretty much hold these on a monthly basis. Teams are always available on a first-come, first-serve basis once the break is open. This month we're looking at a box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection and a box of 2004 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts. I try hard to choose unique, sometimes older products that have value, and perhaps a lot of hits to spread around.

A lot of great teams are still available this month.
Blue Jays
White Sox

If you want in, click here for details and the sign-up thread. Keep in mind that I often use a weighted price structure, where teams less likely to get hits cost much less than some of the more storied franchises.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What the Fuck Is Going On Here???????

Apparently we've hit upon a metaphysical impossibility.

Simultaneously, this item...

...and this item...

...are being sold.

What gives? And which came first, the chicken or the egg?
I'm really happy that he's not in a Brew Crew jersey in either of these, 'cause I'd have a hard time finding the confidence to bid.
Actually, I think I trust the one from the dacardworld seller. It's the first one that gives me the creeps. By the way, neither of these was listed two days ago.
Is it just common practice to lift someone's images to sell something you don't possess? I'm no lawyer, but I think that constitutes fraud.

Dogs and cats, living together... mass hysteria!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Come Join the October Group Break!

Great teams still available. Someone already claimed the junk-house teams. Sign up here.

Or just scroll down. Your call, man.

Monday, October 11, 2010

October Group Break is Open

We keep going backwards in time on these breaks, but I think I've found some quality stuff from the year 2004. This month we'll be breaking one box of 2004 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts and one box of 2004 Topps Clubhouse Collection. While Cuts needs no introduction, I should probably let you know what you're getting into with Clubhouse Collection. Boxes of this product contain ten two-card packs, both of which are relic cards. The checklist seems pretty solid, with a good mix of legends and then-current stars, so we should get something good out of the 20 hits. Lots of parallels, all of which are relics, too.

I'm trying out a new idea this month. I've weighted the price structure of the Legendary Cuts for the teams present in the set. (The Angels, Astros, Expos, Rays, and the Skank Teams are not represented in SP Cuts.) The Yankees and Dodgers are especially well-represented, thus the high price. For the Clubhouse Collection, each team was weighed equally at $10.50 including shipping. The final price accounts for both boxes. And those Skank Teams I mentioned... they would be the Diamondbacks, Rockies and Marlins. All three can be yours for the low, low price of $5.00. Boom or bust, I'm guessing. Some of the less-popular teams are not part of Team Skank in this break, since some sweet cards can be found for the Pirates, Royals, and the like.

If you want in on this break, make your team preference known in the comments, and then send correct immediate PayPal payment to this address:

As always, include your real name, screen name, team, and address in the space provided in your PayPal payment. Things have run so much smoother since instituting this request, so help me out, peeps.

Teams available can be found below. Don't balk at the price, there are a lot of hits to be found, and who knows, we might even get a cut signature like last time we tried out Legendary Cuts. Good luck!

Angels $10.50: Colin (paid)
Astros $10.50: Alec (paid)
A's $16.78: ratedrookie (paid)
Blue Jays $12.37: BS (paid)
Braves $19.83- Chris Mays (paid)
Brewers $16.78: Thorzul (paid)
Cardinals $25.27: Ikescards (paid)
Cubs $22.89: Cardsplitter (paid)
Dodgers $32.22: gcrl (paid)
Expos $10.50: natscards (paid)
Giants $20.51: BS (paid)
Indians $13.55: Alec (paid)
Mariners $10.50: Todd Uncommon (paid)
Mets $17.97: BA Benny (paid)
Orioles $21.36: Beardy (paid)
Padres $13.05: BS (paid)
Phillies $17.29: arfmax (paid)
Pirates $16.10: Cardsplitter (paid)
Rangers $13.72: Colin (paid)
Rays $10.50: Joe from the Southside (paid)
Red Sox $25.10: Cardsplitter (paid)
Reds $22.38: Alex (paid)
Royals $13.55: longlivethewho (paid)
Tigers $17.29: Todd Uncommon (paid)
Twins $15.59: Zpop (paid)
White Sox $13.55: Joe from the Southside (paid)
Yankees $39.01: BS (paid)
The Skanks (Rockies, Marlins, Diamondbacks) $5.00 SPECIAL: Alec (paid)

October Movie Reviews: Monday Morning Three-Fer

My October horror movie watching has started off kind of slow this year. I attribute the languid pace and sub-par selection to the compulsory round. Much like Olympic-level figure skating, there are a few elements I just have to plow through before I show off the quintuple salchow in the finals. Here is a quick three-shooter for my last few October viewings.

Film: Monster House (2006)
Format: Blu-ray

Comments: While animated, this flick ain't for kids. As you might have gathered, it's the quintessential haunted house tale, with the twist that the house itself is possessed. By watching this movie, I learned where all of the outdoor toys you thought you lost end up, and I was reminded of the horrible next-door neighbors we had on both side of my house for my first eighteen years on Earth.
Do I Recommend This?: Sure, if you want something in-between kiddy faire and scary thrills.

Film: Student Bodies (1981)
Format: DVR (HD)

Comments: I first saw this movie on cable in a hotel room while at a tournament with my high school soccer team. As I recall, this thing took a motherfuck of a long time to make its way to DVD. I recorded it on my DVR bak in June, and finally retrieved this comedy gem last week. Comedy? That's right. Before there was Scary Movie, there was Student Bodies. The golden age of teen slasher flicks was the target of derision this time. If the creators of Airplane! had picked horror as their genre instead of disaster adventure, it might have looked like this. The killer is named "The Breather," and we have access to his inner monologue from time to time.
Do I Recommend This?: Yes, if only for the presence of Malvert, the semi-retarded janitor, whose gangly appearance is unparalleled in the world of cinema. He was played by an actor only known as "The Stick." Look it up, it's true.
Oh, and if you like horsehead bookends, you'll love this movie.

Film: Pandorum (2009)
Format: DVR (HD)

Comments: I recorded this on June 6th this year. In retrospect, I should have deleted it on June 7th. I didn't even make it through the whole thing. With a finite amount of freetime, I didn't hesitate to dump this in the trash.
Did you like Alien? OK, if you did, picture Alien with aliens that look like zombie vampires, and filmed in your basement laundry room with the lights out. Oh, and instead of Sigourney Weaver being the protagonist, it's the highly unlikeable Dennis Quaid. Which hallway in this ship are we gong down, and what is going on? Asking this more than three times in five minutes is a bad sign. My life is now shorter.
Do I Recommend This?: In no uncertain terms, absolutely not!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Stale Gum Sighting!

This past Wednesday, I decided to hit the gym (well on my way to my goal of 1,000 minutes working out in the month of October), and when I got home, I was just in time to see the final inning of the Phillies/Reds game. Now we all know what happened there, but my keen detection skills allowed me to notice something, or someone, rather, that the untrained eye would have missed. With one out in the top of the ninth inning, the cameras operated by the good people at TBS captured this scene in the stands.

Check out the guy in the lower left of the screen, the dude with glasses. Is that not a resigned, bloated version of Chris Harris?

Yes, he's got that weird stay-at-home-dad haircut that the real Harris lacks, but he is a Phillies fan. Plus, I think the real Harris would be showing a little more enthusiasm with his team two outs away from a playoff no-hitter. Basically, this is Bizarro Stale Gum. If Chris were ever to become afflicted with whatever malady it was that turned Harold Ramis from skinny egghead Egon Spengler...

...into the current pre-chosen form he's sporting today, that fan would be the result.

Or it's his brother.

In any case, this is not at all intended as a cut against Chris, it's merely an observation about a prominent Phillies fan card blogger with an apparent doppelgänger showing up at a crucial point in a high-profile sporting event. The similarity is eeire. I will, however, take some shots at the fans surrounding Bizarro Chris Harris. They all deserve nicknames, and nicknames they shall have.

Captain Orange
Tannest Philadelphia resident on record. Skipped four out of his six daily sessions to attend the game.

Philly Mike
Whutta you lookin' at?

Ross Choad
Bandwagoneer. Bought his only piece of Phillies apparel that afternoon, then spent three hours on hair after squeezing head through yuppie-tastic turtleneck.

Charlize Manuel

Shia LaBeef
OK, took that one from The Office, but damn if we don't have a second doppelgänger.

The Old Man and the P
Who knew Hemingway's ghost hung around CB Park?

Uncomfortable Annie
Just wants to be at home where it's warm with her hubby.

All the rest are just innocent bystanders. Great game, by the way. I think you can all bear to have the piss taken out of you a little because your team is probably going to win the World Series again.