Hold Me Closer, Tiny Blaster

I almost missed the Topps Update blaster when I went to Target yesterday; the blaster box is much smaller than had been used before … well, on the brands that I buy. Now that I think about it, the Football blasters might have been this size as well. I picked the box up thinking it was a “cereal box” and was surprised to see the $19.99 MSRP, and then I saw the part about 10 packs plus a mannypatch card.

In the category of “One man’s meat…”, I was annoyed as anything to have pulled a blaster with two packs of red Target parallel cards. I don’t collect parallels, so these are of no use to me, other than something to send in my next shipment to COMC so I can hopefully use the credit to buy something far more interesting (which wouldn’t be hard – Did I mention I really don’t like parallels?)

The Blockbuster cards are pretty nice-looking; here’s the patch card I pulled, which is nicer in person than in this scan. This is also going to COMC in the next shipment.

I’ll have more about the cards tomorrow, when I have more time (and if I’m late for work, it’s ALL YOUR FAULT! I hope you’re satisfied!). For those who like the numbers, here’s the breakdown of what was in my blaster:
50 base cards
12 Target red parallels
5 Gold parallels
3 minis
3 Golden Moments
2 Blockbuster cards
2 “Beerfractor” parallels
2 Golden Giveaway Cards (I got a Lou Gehrig virtual coin – my first HOFer, for whatever that’s worth. I also got a Dustin Pedrioa virtual coin, which gave me 6 unique player coins, which got me a $10 e-gift card code.  Ooh.)
1 Golden Great
and, of course, one mannypatch card.

In my case, 20 of the 81 cards are going to COMC, and two more were Golden Giveaway cards which were redeemed and recycled.  Not a promising start.

2012 Topps Series 1 doesn’t go past 330 cards unless I say it does

I completely understand the anguish many people have about the Albert Pujols and Jose Reyes super short prints in 2012 Topps Series 1.  I was also dismayed about it… at first.  But after I let the news digest a bit, I said to myself “Screw this.  I’m not going to get upset about it. “

Topps can number the sets however they want, but I will consider my 2012 Topps set complete without Pujols and Reyes, just like the 2006 Topps set is complete without Alex Gordon…  Just like what I consider to be a “complete” update set has fewer than 330 cards because I’m generally not interested in the All-Star cards or the Home Run Derby cards or the multiplayer cards, I’m really just interested in the rookies and updates.  Anything else gets sold or given away.

I collected postage stamps for a few years, and one of the first things you learn is that you can’t collect everything.  There are too many stamps issued by too many countries each year.  As a result, every stamp collector has a defined subset of what they collect.  You might collect stamps of former presidents, or national landmarks, or stamps related to space exploration, or Lithuanian commemorative issues, or stamps that are blue, but whatever you specialize in, you specialize in it because it’s what you enjoy and because you have to specialize.  I think that’s where the sportscards hobby is today.

Many of you collect only team sets from new releases, or collect particular inserts, and that’s really no different:  You collect what you want, you ignore the rest.  What I’m suggesting is just on a larger scale.  You decide what constitutes a set.  You decide when it’s complete.  You stake out your own little corner of the collecting universe, and you have fun with it.

It’s not a revelation to declare that this hobby is not centered around set building.  If it were, then Topps Total would be going into its 11th year.  It’s also not a revelation to declare that everything works on the lottery mentality, it runs on the mojo, the hit, and as long as that’s true, then we’re going to get shenanigans.  It doesn’t matter if the blogosphere moans and wails, as long as a buzz is generated by gimmicks, as long as sales are driven by gimmicks, there will be gimmicks.  How you approach this is up to you.

So yes, I will be buying (and hopefully enjoying) 2012 Topps, and I will be working towards completing what I consider to be the set … and, should I get a Pujols or Reyes, I’m selling that baby and using the money to buy something I’ll enjoy more.