Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Repacks 'R' Us Part I: Trying a New Packager

Everyone is familiar with the Fairfield Company repacks that Target sells.  Either you get 100 loose cards and an unopened pack of Topps, just 100 loose cards, a box with an autograph and 5 unopened packs, or 20 unopened packs.  It all depends on what you want to spend, but that's what you're getting.

As I've mentioned before, I decided to take a gander last week at what Toys 'R' Us had to offer in terms of its baseball card selection.  I liked the way they do the Purple Passion cards -- stick the cards with a full, unopened white border package into a blister pack so you get 3 additional cards to the normal pack rather than giving up several base set cards for your Target/Wal-Mart inserts.

They also do repacks differently.  They have a couple of variations, though I only got one of them.  Both cost around $25, so they are a little pricier than the Fairfields.  The first variation -- which I did not buy -- includes one graded card and five unopened other packs of cards.  The second variation that I got is put together by MJ Holding Company.  Interestingly, unlike the Fairfields, this entire box contained nothing older than 2010 -- usually Fairfield has some junk wax in it.

Because I was curious as to how they broke out, I decided to take a page out of the Nachos Grande Box Break handbook and do a complete list of what I got.  There were a lot, so there will be a few posts here about this box.

Pack #1: 2012 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions
This is a set that I really have never come across before.  In looking at the set information on Cardboard Connection, my immediate thought is "Upper Deck rips off Allen & Ginter."  Well, let's see if I will like these cards after that less-than-favorable initial thought.

76 Christian Laettner

Yep, this pack is going to suck.  If you want me to hate your product immediately, make sure that I open a pack and see a Duke Basketball player -- especially Laettner.  I have no love for Kentucky basketball, so that whole buzzer-beater play isn't what I dislike about him.  My dislike is much less rational and started with Danny Ferry in 1986.  Nonetheless, this is not an auspicious beginning.

40 Bill Walton

Looking like he’s a Jim Morrison impersonator, with long blond locks hitting his shoulders in his blue flannel shirt.  Wow.  Just wow.  

151 Kasey Keller

Hey! A short print!  I like English Football, so this is at least somewhat redeeming for this pack.  That said, I knew a guy in college and later who really liked Keller -- to the point of following Millwall's games on the internet in the mid-1990s because he grew up near Keller and idolized him.  That guy isn't a bad guy, but he just seemed to get under everyone's skin nearly immediately after meeting him. So, when I see Keller, I think of that guy...and that's not a good thing.  

Especially when Keller is posing with a Bichon Frise. Huh?

47 Karl Malone

Is Karl wearing a WCW golf shirt?  

Glad that pack lasted only four cards and was the only one in the whole repack.

Let's knock out two more of these packs a bit more quickly.  

This comes with five cards and one would hope that you would be guaranteed to get baseball cards in a pack with this name.  Otherwise, this is going to be a long, long day.

11 Buck Ewing

First card I get is the first catcher in the Hall.  He received 0.7% of the vote from the BBWAA in 1939, but the Veteran's Committee in the same year voted him in to the Hall.  I’m not sure if I've ever even seen a photo of Buck Ewing before.

34 Johnny Evers
109 Bert Blyleven

Obviously he is on the Minnesota Twins on this card, even if Panini can't show that logo.  

129 Sam Thompson

From baseball’s primordial days.  A vet’s committee selection in the mid-1970s.  he is renown for being baseball's first slugger -- he hit 20 home runs in 1889 in 128 games.  For those days, that is definitely a slugger.  

59 Richie Ashburn

Not a bad pack.  I don't particularly like the design of these cards -- the "Cooperstown" scrawled across the bottom is particularly ugly and takes away from the photos.  I suppose that any time you get the opportunity to get cards from Hall of Famers it should be considered a good thing.  At the same time, though, some opportunities are better than others.  This is closer to the bottom than the top.

Okay, one more pack for today's post.

2012 Panini Prizm
Man these cards are shiny.  I mean, they are "reflect the sun into your eyes and make you squint" shiny.  It's too bad there are only four cards in each pack, and in going to the Cardboard Connection set wrap up before opening, all I notice are the dizzying array of randomly named inserts.  Well, let's see what I get in my one pack:

2012 Panini Prizm
175 Adron Chambers

I knew I knew this name and not as a baseball player.  From the back of the card:  “A high school quarterback who went to Mississippi State on a football scholarship…” Yup, that’s it.  And, that's not a good thing either, considering that he went to play baseball after being arrested for assault and being suspended from school.

63 Carlos Gonzalez

Shiny, happy Rockies...

65 Ryan Howard

If this were the 2014 Topps Base Set, we'd be looking for a sparkle coming out of his butt.

150 Ryne Sandberg

A Ryno to close the pack and the post.  

So far, this repack hasn't been awful, but it has a long way to go to make up for Christian Laettner being the first card out of the first pack.  That is something that will be difficult to overcome.


  1. I gotta say I'm starting to really like Panini Cooperstown. It's not often that you pull a Buck Ewing, Sam Thompson, Connie Mack, Alexander Cartwright, Herb Pennock or Wee Willie Keeler in a modern pack of baseball cards.

    1. I agree with that. I like the guys we don't know much about now -- the Sam Thompsons and Buck Ewings -- over having eight more cards of the same Babe Ruth photo.