Madden 15 / Happy Meal Toys, Plus Some Idle Musings…

The other day I went through the McDonald’s drive through looking for a light repast, when I remembered that the current “boys” Happy Meal prize is a pair of NFL figures promoting the Madden 15 video game.  With that in mind, I got a Happy Meal and then, before eating, drove out of sight of Mickey D’s so they wouldn’t see that the “boy” in question is the chronologically-well-past-childhood guy who made the purchase.  I doubt they care, but what can I say, I’m prone to embarrassment.

Here are the two figures I got…
2014 McD Madden Toys 1

Not too shabby as far as this type of thing goes.  As you can see, it comes with a little sheet of stickers so you can put custom numbers on your little guys, and decorate their helmet (or whatever else might strike the youth’s fancy) with the appropriate logo. The back of the sticker sheet does tell you where to place the helmet logos… although I notice it doesn’t tell you which helmet gets which logo.

Advanced warning: These stickers are TINY and shouldn’t be attempted by the little ones towards which these toys are ostensibly targeted.
2014 McD Madden Toys 2
I did OK on the helmets, but futzed up the numbers. After I was done with the Viking, I muttered “Aw, crap!” when I realized I put the number 1 upside down.

Since that subject isn’t, by itself, much of a post, I’ll augment it with some other idle ramblings which, by themselves, would also not make much of a post.

A little while ago I was in an Apple Store idly looking at iPads when I had a thought… As the floor models in the Apple Store are hooked into the wi-fi, I was tempted to pull up my own blog and then put the iPad back in the display for someone else to discover. I ended up chickening out, but I can’t believe that other people haven’t done something similar.  C’mon, admit it, who’s done this?

…Or, perhaps more importantly, who’s going to do this the next time they’re in an Apple store?

Changing directions one more time…

Every so often Target sends us coupons in the mail, and many of the coupons are along the lines of “Remember that pack of Doublemint gum you bought 9 months ago?  Wasn’t that a great pack of gum?  Here, why don’t you use this coupon and buy 3 more?!?”  …but I never get a coupon like that for baseball cards.   My card buying is significantly down from last year, so you think that this would get flagged in their database.  Still, no baseball card coupons are forthcoming.  Perhaps it requires that Target’s vendors (i.e. Topps) be fiscally involved in some way.

Pack Animal! – 2012 Heritage Blaster

I’m excited about this year’s Heritage, more excited than I thought I’d be… It’s been a while since I’d gone out of my way to find just-released Heritage in the stores.  The last couple of years left me a little cold.  I’m really liking these cards, though.  I’ll bet they’ll look great in sheets.

I’m fairly impressed that they managed to photoshop Pineda, given that he was traded on January 23rd.   Seven weeks from trade to cards in a store, that’s pretty impressive.  The logo on his cap is pretty oversized and a little crooked, looks like one of those “Fashion Caps” they sell.

And, on the other side of the trade…

Floaty heads!  Makes you wonder if any of these guys will be a Pete Rose…

One thing I’d noticed is that Jesus Montero is on this Rookie Stars card, but the side of the blaster I bought shows an image of a solo Jesus Montero card.  Looks like the same photo was used for both.  I wonder if having Montero on two cards was a last-minute thing brought on by the trade, or if they’d planned this all along.  Kinda goofy if they intended to have the floaty heads on their own cards as well.

Five packs in (as I’m writing this) and I’ve got no Mets or Orioles players… not even floaty heads.  Someone doesn’t like me (or perhaps doesn’t like losing teams with few outstanding prospects).  I did get a Mets team card, though…

I’ve got more to share, including an on-card autograph, but I’ll post those later.  Right now, I’m going to get back to enjoying my cards.

Oh, one last thing… For those who can’t find Heritage yet, you should know that the Target near where I work has both Heritage and Opening Day, but two other Targets in my area have neither.  It seems like certain Targets are better about stocking new cards than others, for whatever reason.  …So if you don’t find Heritage in one store, it could be that other ones in your area do have them.

I should also point out that I found blasters, but no loose packs.

A 1988 Topps Vending box at Target, and memories of an ice cream man in 1975

When I found the 2012 Topps at Target,  I also saw this vending box mixed in with the blasters.  I have to admit, I was tempted by it.  Sure, the value wouldn’t be there even if the box were full of Glavine rookies, but it’d be more fun than a repack full of Documentary and First Pitch packs.  1988 is one of my two favorite sets from the 1980’s (along with 1983), but I’ve already got the complete set, so there was no point in my buying this.  Pity.

I’ve never seen anything like this sold via retail before, somebody must’ve been clearing out their warehouses and said “Hey, I gots an idea!”  (Yes, the LOLcats have a warehouse full of cards… I think they might be behind Fairfield ).

I can’t even remember the last time I saw a vending box like this in person.  I’ve got a couple of beat-up examples somewhere in my vault (aka the closet in my mancave), but it’s been a couple of years since I’ve even seen those.

Vending boxes remind me of an ice cream man who came to our neighborhood in 1975.  He used to sell 100 rubber-banded 1975 Topps cards for considerably less than they’d cost out of a pack…  I assume that those cards came out of vending boxes.  He was a big reason that I completed that set in 1975.  Funny thing was, it didn’t occur to me until many years later that he might’ve been pulling out the stars, Mets or Yankees.  All I cared about was that this guy was selling cards cheap.  It was like Costco on wheels!

Pack Animal! Bowman DP&P — Retail mojo!

While running errands at lunch today, I bought a couple of packs of Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects at Target.  Before I went back to the office, I opened one of the packs… and voila!  Got me a prospect autograph!

Not too shabby.  It doesn’t scan well… the card is shiny, but not technically Chrome, I don’t think.  It’s always nice to get some mojo in a loose retail pack.  Baseball America rated Kelly the Cardinals’ #10 prospect going into 2011;  we’ll find out before too long where he stands this offseason.

The only name I recognized in either pack was Cole Kimball, who was claimed from Los Nacionales by the Blue Jays, and then later claimed back by the Nats.  I guess you can say that two teams wanted him, or that two teams lost him on waivers.

I don’t collect parallels, so the two Chrome cards which come in each pack instantly get filed in the going-to-COMC box.  Then I got a gold parallel in each pack, so that’s 2 fewer cards of any interest to me.  It basically boils down to one hit, 7 keepers and 6 cards to get rid of.

I don’t think I’ll buy any more of these packs.  It’s really no fun to buy a pack and then not keep much of it.  The autograph gave me my money’s worth this time, but had I grabbed different packs and not gotten a hit, then it would’ve been $6 worth of meh.  I’ll buy the Mets & Orioles prospects individually, and ignore the rest of the set.

I did at least get a Mets prospect in the pack… Michael Fulmer, Supplemental 1st Round draft pick.