In the few years that I have collected cards as an adult, I have never bought or even opened a box of cards. Generally I try to avoid risk and just purchase the cards I want. I can be cynical about the amount that you have to pay for a box versus the value of the cards inside. There have been some pretty interesting discussions about that very thing (regarding the recent Allen and Ginter releases specifically).
With Hobbit cards being fairly scarce and widely varying in price on eBay and COMC.com, I decided to try and acquire a box. It took a while, but eventually I was able to trade some baseball cards for a box from the second Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug.
Here is a breakdown of how I did:
The base cards are really fun in my opinion. There are tons of scenes from the movie and, though they do not do the movie justice, give a fun perspective on the storyline and plot. The look is very simple with the border across the bottom that includes the word "Hobbit" and a brief description of the scene.
My box came with four silver foil refractors. I was very pleased with the cards I got. The card of Smaug the Dragon (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) is really cool in person.
The Character Biography insert set also looks amazing. Each character really pops out from the card. I will seriously consider trying to put this whole set together (spread across all three movies).
The big hit of the box was the guaranteed autograph. I pulled the Authentic Autograph of Ken Stott as Balin the Dwarf. While not one of the biggest names of the set that can be valued in the $100-$200 range, it was also not one that can go for as low as $5. I really liked the character of Balin, so I was pleased to snag this one in my first ever box break.
When all was said and done, I was very happy with the box. I would have like to have hit more of the inserts, but having a complete base set, good looking foils, great inserts and and excellent autograph is nothing to complain about!
Always trying to learn something new
Do a search for High Tek baseball cards on any search engine. What jumps out to you about the cards? For me, it was the fact that High Tek cards are described as acetate cards. What makes them so unique or special?
BaseballCardPedia.com describes acetate as: "A thin, but sturdy transparent plastic. Cards made out of acetate were pioneered by draft pick manufacturer Classic in the early 90s, and are occasionally seen today."
I love that definition because it is to the point, and highlights two main aspects of acetate cards.
The first is that acetate cards are sturdy and transparent. The basic design of High Tek baseball cards is built around them being acetate, sturdy and transparent. It is what sets them apart. The unique look of acetate cards gives Bowman (previously Topps in the last two years) the opportunity to do some pretty cool things with card background and variations. And the contrast of the see-through plastic to the vibrant color printing of the player as well as the bright ink of autographs make for a really eye-popping look!
The second aspect of acetate cards that the definition draws attention to is that they have been around since the 1990s, but are not widely used today. What does that mean for Bowman High Tek baseball cards? It means that even though the look of the cards is different than standard cardboard, companies have been playing around with acetate cards for over 20 years now. If you take a look back in to the acetate cards of the 1990s, especially football, there are some pretty amazing looking cards! But even more importantly, acetate cards are only "occasionally seen today." That is what makes Bowman High Tek so special! If everyone was doing acetate cards all of the time, High Tek would not hold the place in the hobby that it does. Anything that can be unique and not be drowned out by copycats or ripoffs is special indeed.
If you are intrigued by acetate cards, check out the store and pre-order a box of 2017 Bowman High Tek baseball cards!
It is no secret that the hobby of collecting cards and memorabilia is an ever evolving arena.
Sometimes there are shifts in culture that can open up new areas of collecting (such as Game of Thrones) or some things get reinvigorated (Star Wars cards and collectibles anyone?). Other times you can have an explosion within a certain sport because of new players. Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger have absolutely driven the world of baseball cards this season (more on that another day).
One very important aspect of the hobby is turn over of new sports seasons and the releases of sets that come with them. This can take on even greater significance when there are players who are so highly sought after like Judge and Bellinger. So it is always interesting when a product has it's release date pushed back. Even more so when that release date gets pushed back multiple times and to a date almost six months past the original release date!
Such is the case with the 2017 Bowman High Tek Baseball cards this year. We will look more into what little we know about the set in another post, but since that new sale - solicitation hit your email inbox it has significantly increased in fanfare has suddenly been delayed from the original August release date to an estimated of Oct. 4th.
Why do you think that is?
Could it be a problem getting all of the on card autos? Maybe readjusting to the demand on Judge and Bellinger? If not those two, could it be something with the wave of prospects that are making their debuts (or skyrocketing through the Minor Leagues) like Rafael Devers or Ronald Acuna?
We would love to hear your thoughts on why the delay! And if you get as intrigued as we are, make sure to check our store and pre-order a box for yourself. It's going to be a fun ride!
Palmetto State Sports Cards wants to know: What are you passionate about collecting?
The hobby is filled with all sorts of of odds and ends, sports and non-sports. It seems everyone has Personal Collection of some sort. What is it that you enjoy collecting? Why? Let us know!
At Palmetto State Sports Cards, we desire to connect with collectors from all over the collecting landscape. They are what make this hobby great!
Living in a cardboard world
I had so much fun with breaking the box of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug that I figured I would go ahead and do one from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Since I was able to get the complete set of the base cards from the Smaug box, I figured the same would hold true with Battle of the Five Armies (referred to as Armies from here on out). Plus I already had some autographs from the movie so I was hoping to add to my overall set!
Just like with my Smaug box, I did get the complete set of base cards from this box. So now I have the base sets from two of the three Hobbit movies! I really like the look of these cards even more than the base in Smaug. I think the border along the bottom adds some depth that was missing in the last set. The battle scenes from the end of the movie and with the dragon in the beginning of the movie really look great with this border.
Even though you cannot tell from the picture, these are the silver foil refractors that I pulled. As with most foils, they look good (the best one is the picture of Bolg leading the Legions of Azog), but not as good as the foils from the Smaug set.
I was very excited to pull more inserts in this set. The two Character Biography cards look amazing and are of two very cool characters. The Weapons set is new to Armies (not in Smaug or the first set from An Unexpected Journey); I was able to pull 8 of 9 cards in the set. Being one insert short of a set is killer!
Remember what I said in the last post about being risk averse and that is why I do not normally buy boxes. Unfortunately for me, this happened to contain an autograph of Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman. I would have been ecstatic to pull this one if I did not already own it. Hopefully I can find someone out there with more autos to trade this to!
The disappointment of pulling a duplicate autograph was quickly nullified by a big surprise pull! The card above is a 1/1 hand drawn art card! The picture was literally drawn onto the card, not printed! And it's the first 1/1 I have ever pulled! So much fun! This is the kind of thing that makes breaking boxes so much fun. I do not know how many more I will have the chance to break, but no matter what happens, I will always have the memory of pulling this card!
Author: Jake Schornick
Easily excited about collecting and all things Tolkien!
The title of the first movie in the Hobbit trilogy is: An Unexpected Journey. Such is the case with how I actually started collecting the cards from the movies. And much like Bilbo's adventures began with a new friendship, so did my new collecting journey!
When I started collecting cards in my adulthood (after a 20 year break from collecting when I was a kid), I quickly decided I wanted to stick with baseball cards. It was simple math in my head; collecting more than one sport would lead to never finishing any set and always feeling like I needed to keep up with everything that came out. At the time, I had a growing and deepening love of baseball. So collecting baseball it was for me.
I was aware that there were cards to collect outside of the major sports spectrum (specifically Star Wars), and even owned one Hobbit card in the past. But I never had any desire to venture out beyond the baseball diamond, especially after I began narrowing my personal collecting to Bowman Inception.
But then came Matt, better know in the hobby as @SportCardCollec. Matt is an excellent guy to chat with about all things hobby related, and has an amazing blog at www.originsofacardaddict.blogspot.com. Matt and I worked out a trade in which had a lot of moving parts, but the heart of the trade was essentially my old school Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cards for two autographs from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.
Here are the two cards I received in the deal:
When I first received the cards, it just made me happy to have something unique and different. I did not think I would actually pursue any more Hobbit cards, and I even considered selling them to help fund my Inception chases. But in the end - just as with the movies - I began to really love the look of the cards and what they meant to me. So I am very thankful to @SportCardCollec for opening up the door to non-sports card collecting!
It was not long before I found one other person who had a Hobbit auto, @DJSeneseiNJ. We worked out a trade and I landed my third Hobbit auto:
All in all, an excellent start to my first non-sports card collecting journey!
For those of you that have checked in on this website at all, you know that we began with looking at the first five years of Bowman and Topps Inception baseball cards. That's mainly because I - Jake - just love to collect the sets. It's what I have been passionate about in the hobby for years now. But in recent months, my collecting passion has begun to merge with another passion in my life: the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.
So now a not-so-quick background on me and why I love Middle-Earth and the world that Tolkien created.
While growing up, I was that kid that preferred to stay inside during the summers , reading books and watching movies. In the late 1990s, when the Star Wars Special Edition movies were released, my whole world changed. Not only did I fall in love with the Star Wars cinematic universe, I also discovered the world of Science Fiction and Fantasy books.
To make a long story short, it was just a few years later that Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring was released into theaters. Within days of seeing the movie, I had read all three Lord of the Rings books as well as the Hobbit. Over the next two years I anxiously awaited the second and third movies. Being able to read literary classics and see them come alive on the big screen was a match made in Heaven for me!
I fell in love with Tolkien's fiction so much that they became an integral part of my college education. I specialized in Tolkien's works both with my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English. And then naturally I became a Middle School English teacher and The Hobbit was required reading for my class.
It was during this time that the first Hobbit movie opened. In truth I was not excited about how Peter Jackson took one small book and made it into three movies (with extra content pulled from the Lord of the Rings and extrapolated from other sources), but I was willing to give it a shot.
I did not like The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey much at all when I first saw it. But over time, with repeated watchings (because I simply cannot resist) and the subsequent release of the next two movies, I began to fall in love with the movie interpretation much more than I ever expected. So much so that I try to watch all six Tolkien movies at least once during the year.
In retrospect, it is not surprising that I would eventually come to bring my passion for collecting in line with my passion for Middle-Earth!
One of the best things about Palmetto State Sports Cards is that it's all about growing with the collecting hobby. Even though "sports cards" is in the name of the company, we recognize how important non-sports items are to collecting world.
So this thread of posts will be the first foray into opening the discussion about what people collect besides sports. We would love to hear about anything you like to collect! Even if we cannot locate any product for you - which we will do everything possible to do! - we want to be able to discuss whatever it is that gives people joy in this hobby.
Remember, we want this place to be somewhere that collectors from all corners of the hobby can gather!
Welcome again to the fifth and final post in a series of five that will break down the entire run of Inception baseball cards (4 years from Bowman and one year from Topps)! The goal is just to get a sense of what is in the set and how the cards look. if this is something that is helpful and fun for the collecting community, we will look forward to profiling other sets and even branch out into other sports!
2017 marked the end of Bowman Inception and rang in Topps Inception. With the change in brand came a change in focus and philosophy. How does it stack up? Come check out the design and checklist below!
The first year of Topps Inception was a significant departure from the four years of Bowman Inception. Gone is the straight focus on players considered top prospects at the time. Now the base set (of autographed cards) is split into Rookie Base Autographs, Emerging Stars Autographs, and Inception Autograph Short Prints. The Rookie Base Autograph set has 39 cards and looks similar to previous years of Inception. Names such as Swanson, Moncada and Bregman appear in this list. The Emerging Stars Autograph set is most just a "Stars" set with names such as Trout, Bryant and Syndergaard; though there are other Inception alumni such as Lucas Giolito, Miguel Sano and Julio Urias. All in all, a mixed bag of names and a much bigger focus on more established stars than in previous years.
Aside from being a nice, thick, 100pt card and having on card autographs, one of the main attractions of the Inception sets are the overall look of the cards.
Welcome again to the fourth in a series of five posts that will break down the entire run of Inception baseball cards (4 years from Bowman and one year from Topps)! The goal is just to get a sense of what is in the set and how the cards look. if this is something that is helpful and fun for the collecting community, we will look forward to profiling other sets and even branch out into other sports!
2016 was the final year that the Bowman brand ran the show with Inception, and the look definitely took a different direction! Come check out the design and checklist below!
The final year of the Bowman version of Inception really went after some big name prospects. The Bowman Inception class of 2016 already has a few who have reached the Major Leagues as regulars. In 2016, those were guys such as Alex Bregman and Aaron Judge. By 2017, guys such as Ian Happ and Andrew Benitendi have established themselves as household names on big time teams like the Cubs and Red Sox respectively. And then, of course, Yoan Moncada is in this set. And that's not even to mention players like Gleyber Torres, Rafael Devers, and Dansby Swanson.
Aside from being a nice, thick, 100pt card and having on card autographs, one of the main attractions of the Inception sets are the overall look of the cards. Below is a description of the 2016 Jose De Leon Card from the Inception: A Very Simple Idea Blog:
The honest and simple fact is that the look of the 2016 Inception card was not super appealing to me in the beginning, even less so than the 2015 version.
The first thing that I did not like - when looking at pictures online -was the deep blues and purples in the background. To me, those thick, dark colors were nothing at all like the lighter toned colors of the previous three years. Obviously the goal as a card company is to not be the same every year, but this just seemed a jump way too far away from the color schemes that had been so amazing.
The whole space theme in the background was also not something that really appealed to me. The clouds of 2013, the woodgrain of 2014 and even the baseball theme of 2015 were all so simple compared to the space images of 2016. Nothing about the background of 2016 says “Inception” the way the first three did. It just didn’t seem to fit. And in general, the space reserved for the autograph is not nearly as integrated into the theme as the previous years. My eyes are drawn to the space more than the actual autograph.
It was not until I held the De Leon in my hand that I felt any differently. A friend on Twitter sent me a couple of the cards and Jose was the first one I pulled out of the envelope. Admittedly, I immediately thought they were much cooler in person than in pictures. So my bleak opinion of the set was immediately upgraded to “ok, not bad.” I have since come to really enjoy the look of these cards very much important. For whatever reason, the overall presentation of the card just gets lost in even the best pictures.
I am disappointed, however, that the backside of the card no longer has interesting facts about the player. But overall, I am not going to complain about another solid set of on-card autographs of some of the more interesting players in all of baseball!
Below you will find a checklist of the entire 2013 Bowman Inception base set. The set includes 56 cards, each with 7 parallels and a printing plate. The parallels are as follows: Purple (/150), Blue (/99), Green (/50), Gold (/25), Orange (/5), Red (/1).