22 May 2012

2002 Panini World Cup (Japanese Edition) 5 Box Break

I recently picked up several boxes of this older Panini World Cup collection and as you can see from this side of the box picture (click on image to enlarge) this is the more rare and complete Japanese version of the product which has a deeper checklist than it's counterpart released in Europe and around the rest of the World.

Also of particular interest is that this Japanese set had product exclusive autograph cards of 12 different players with a print run of 100 each, see checklist below.

A1    Ronaldo - Brazil /100
A2    Lilian Thuram - France /100
A3    Igor Tudor - Croatia /100
A4    Gianluigi Buffon - Italy /100
A5    Paolo Maldini - Italy /100
A6    Francesco Totti - Italy /100
A7    Christian Vieri - Italy /100
A8    Nakata Hidetoshi - Japan /100
A9    Ono Shinji - Japan /100
A10   Yanagisawa Atsushi - Japan /100
A11   Rui Costa - Portugal /100
A12   Álvaro Recoba - Uruguay /100

- Check this thread over on FCF (Football Cards Forum) for the complete collection checklist. -

So I busted 5 of these boxes over the last 3 days hopeful of pulling an auto but realizing that with only 1,200 signed cards to be found it was probably going to be quite unlikely. I'm guessing the majority have already been pulled and are now tucked away in collector's private collections. With that in mind I would settle for completing as much of the rest of the master set which includes two other chase card sets to collect, 'Flag Player' foil inserts and 'Japan National Team Players' special cards.

Now on to the results:

Box 1 - From this first box the "hits" I pulled were a F12 Augustine "Jay-Jay" Okocha, F13 José Luis Chilavert and J1, J2, J3 & J23 Japanese player inserts.

Box 2 - This box produced F1 Émile, F19 Álvaro Recoba, F20 Earnie Stewart, J5, J7, J11 and J12.

Box 3 - From this one I got F4 Jon Dahl Tomasson, F5 Oliver Kahn, F6 Zinedine Zidane, J7, J11 and J12. Curiously all of the 'J' inserts in this box were duplicates from the last box, poor collation...

Box 4 - This box was definitely the most productive. To my pleasant surprise it was quite loaded with some packs even contaning 2 hits! Which were F8 Francesco Totti, F9 Nakata Hidetoshi, F10 Hong Myung-Bo, F11 Juan Francisco Palencia, J18, J19, J20, J21 and J22.

Box 5 - Unfortunately in this box all of the hits, save for one 'J' insert, were dupes that I had pulled in earlier boxes. F5 Kahn, F6 Zidane, J7, J9, J11 and J12.

Update - I ended up opening up a sixth box in hopes of getting closer to completing the inserts sets but alas no luck. All of the hits were dupes, in fact this box #6 was almost the same as box #4. As for the hits, F9 Nakata, F10 Hong, F11 Palencia, J20, J21 and J22.

Here are the scans of the hits from the entire bust. Notice at the bottom the Roberto Baggio and Eto'o base cards, these were probably the biggest names to be entirely omitted from the European realese that were indeed included in this Japanese edition.

Hope yous all enjoyed the pics and break, overall I have to say it was very enjoyable for me. Solid product.

17 May 2012

2012 Topps USA Olympics

A little over two weeks ago Topps launched it's 2012 London Olympics trading card collection which focuses on US hopefuls, among them a few soccer players. The women's autograph lineup consists of Alex Morgan, Hope Solo and Abby Wambach. Juan Agudelo is the sole men's inclusion in the entire checklist which is actually surprising considering the US national team failed to qualify for the tournament.

The women's autos are selling very well as expected with Alex Morgan's autos being white hot but I personally would've liked to have seen Topps go beyond the US athletes and obtain the signatures of some of the top footballers expected to be part of the games, the likes of Neymar, Chicharito Hernández, Gareth Bale, etc. It also bears mentioning that Panini has also released an Olympic product, which focuses on the British contingent. Unfortunately though it's the typical Panini "Adrenalyn" garbage, not even worth a further mention.

04 May 2012

Another Great Mailday Batch - With 1 Exception

I got these purchases from eBay in the mail recently and was absolutely stoked with the first two, both of them will be going strsight into my PC.

First up this Thierry Henry 2011 Upper Deck SP Game-Used jersey card. IMO the card has a solid design and I got it for a bargain price so I'm definitely thrilled about that.

Next up I got a Rafa Márquez certified auto from the 2012 UD World of Sports product. I'm especially happy about picking this one up since it's my first legit certified Márquez auto.

Lastly I picked up this 2009 UD MLS Cuauhtémoc Blanco jersey. Sadly the card was mailed in a plain non padded envelope without a toploader and arrived damaged being significantly creased, also had quite a bit of chipping on the side edges. It was "reinforced" with a piece of cardboard but obviously that wasn't enough protection, check out the 3 creases around the jersey window cutout to see what I mean. Not happy at all with this shit so I will no doubt be looking to be reimbursed by the seller for this dud.