Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pack Bust: 1992 Topps Batman Returns

A couple of weeks ago, I received a package from a reader named Jesse. He discovered Thorzul Will Rule through a nostalgic pop culture site we both have frequented for quite a few years. He mentioned in an earlier email that he had a few Brewers cards from the junk wax era he was looking to get rid of, and I told him I'd give them a good home.

Surprisingly, when the package arrived, it contained a bunch of (seven, to be exact) packs of non-sports cards. The package gets an A for variety, but I'm starting with one of the most popular ones first. In all honesty, the '80s-'90s Batman movies weren't my very favorite. It might even be a dirty little secret of mine that I haven't ever seen 1989's Batman. I may have taken part in a kids' art camp at Mount Mary College that summer, but the kid sitting at my table singing "Batdance" made me want to punch him in the face more than I wanted to hum along. True story. (I was equally mystified by the twin brothers who made a papier-mâché robot which they claimed was something out of Big Trouble in Little China. If that week's theme would have been Ass Kicking rather than Outer Space, there'd be a few more motherfuckers walking around with a permanent limp for the past 23 years.)
Batman Returns, however, I have seen, but not since it was in the theatres. I can tell you about the five or so things I remember.
1. "Meow."
2. A big duck.
3. God Walken as Max Schreck.
4. Darkness.
5. My dad after the movie was over: "Did he really have to bite the guy's nose off?"
That's as far as I can go with the film, so...

Let's tear in.

Top to Bottom:
#J Stadium Club "Batmissle"
These actually had their own 100-card set but came as a one-per-pack insert in Topps proper.
41 Night Watchers
Looking at this after Nolan's trilogy makes me want to laugh, point, and declare, "How quaint."
34 Gotham's Unlikely Hero
The lumpiness in Penguin's crotchal area is totally out of whack. There's room for a diaper, some wadded up cash, and a flaccid, fishy erection.
45 Only Eight Lives Left...
More of a woman than Hathaway in every way.
63 Back to the Depths
The backs of these are very cool, even though the card stock screams "Fleer" in the absence of the rougher, typical Topps stock.  Makes sense, though, with the change that took place in 1992 baseball stock.
7 Master of the Lower Depths
Two cards in a row about depths.  I ain't showing it, but you can sense the depressing themes present in this movie.
6 Nightmare as a Child
More depression.
25 The Fire Breather Aflame
47 The Plan to Destroy Batman
Well, that's the pack.  We have a bunch of other ones to look forward to if this didn't get you moist and tingly.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My Secret Shame #11: Tasty

It might be the real first day of the NFL season (with the possibility of several balls in the air at once, unlike that opening mid-week game), but today is going to be all about stickers. History has taught us that sticker-based economies, at least according to Keynesian Theory, are almost inevitably doomed to failure. Today, though, the Sticker Standard is in place for this principality.

Only tasty things were allowed on this page. The mascots of tastiness, Lord Ice Cream Sandwich and the Duke of Cupcake, set the bar high for this endeavor. Let's see how I did.

Okay, I shit the bed with this first one. This may be the most unappetizing hamburger of the twentieth century. Red, pock-marked beef and sesame seeds that somehow migrated to the bottom bun portion kick things off unimaginably wrongly. The sandwich is complete with the addition of Sally's LikeFresh Lettuce: The Lettuce that Drips to each story of this triple-decker monstrosity. Thanks, but I'll pass.

This gumball machine came from a sheet of stickers that all had my name on them. I remember this as one of the biggest and most valuable stickers on the sheet, with a net worth rivaling that of several of the Windward Caribbean nations.

This happy hot dog effectively presaged the arrival of Meatwad some twenty years later. If I found a smiling igloo-made-of-meat sticker from back in the day, I would really freak out.

Blech. Piss-poor compared to that last hot dog. A magenta sausage with some orange bile spread on it? And a shake with a bendy straw at an obtuse angle? And just look at that straw... where is the bottom half of it supposed to be going? That straw is all out of shake real estate. Unless... and this is a big unless... unless this is so-rare-as-to-be-unheard-of triple bendy straw. But that's just preposterous, science is still billions of R&D dollars and decades away from such a feat.

I think we've found it. This has to be the best sticker in my collection. A British chap out for a stroll, this Limey is not to be trifled with. Monocle? Check. Bowler? Check. The small size of the sticker prevents the inclusion of too much detail, but I think it's safe to say that culottes are covering those legs. Culottes? Check. A perfect sticker in every way, I once used this as collateral to secure a small-business loan.

The Lemon Drop is also pretty good, but the lack of a reference point hurts its overall value. Is the lemon dropping from a precipitous height? We just can't tell, despite the motion lines and crotch bow.

And let's say goodbye to this page with a Christmas mint. As far as holiday candies go, this falls close to the bottom. But those Brach's soft mints with the Christmas tree shape in the middle, those are the bomb. Make a sticker with that on it, and you've got a customer for life. Or, at the very least, someone who will sample one form the bulk bin without paying.

Enjoy today's oblate spheroid sporting contests! (Unless you are a 49ers fan.)

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Time to clean off the desktop. Here's a image that's been lurking for about a month and a half. I was a little cocky when I saw this auction, thinking it was a fucked-up enough listing that nobody would search for it, let alone bid on it.

First of all, this card is supposed to have an "AUROGRAPH" on it. Jiminy Christmas. The word "auto" probably saved this card from oblivion, though.

Second, his name is spelled "Oglivie," not "Oglive."

I got ahead of myself though, as the bidding got up to a reasonably high amount before I even got a chance to bid on it. No steal for me.

However, if you got this one in a pack this year and were disappointed with it, I'd gladly trade you another aurographed card for it.