Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Repack wars, for old times' sake

There was once a time when repacks were all the rage on this blog.

I seemed to buy one every week for sheerly the cheap five-dollar thrill of it all. While those repacks may well have been affordable, even the best 100-card ones left me with about 90 cards collecting dust. Despite what my parents might think, I have been trying to clear some space in my room/man cave as of late, and repacks don't exactly help with that.

But the old repack bug came back to bite be a couple Saturdays ago when I inexplicably found myself in two different Walgreen's on opposite sides of town on the same day. Both had these 100-card "Jumbo Boxes" for sale, and both managed to separate a five-dollar bill from my wallet in exchange for my first taste of repacks in probably close to a year.

So, for old times' sake, I figured it'd be fun for a brief Repack Wars revival on the blog today, pitting those two Walgreen's Jumbo Boxes against another in a (hyperbolic) fight to the death.

These 2016 Bowman Prospect Yellow parallels (enough adjectives for you?) were the window cards in each of the two repacks.

I have absolutely no idea who Carlos Asuaje or Jordan (no relation to Mookie) Betts are. I only bought these because I trade with quite a few Red Sox collectors who'd be able to give these a better home than I ever could, because I'm indifferent to both.

Guess I have no choice but to kiss my sister and call it a push.

Repack #1 -- 0.5 pts.
Repack #2 -- 0.5 pts.

I didn't notice anything strange about that Tony Armas until I took a closer look at the cropping.

The poor guy's entire lower half is sliced off in order to get the full view of the Louisville Slugger in his hands.

While I'm rather fond of that discovery, I have to give Stadium Club -- the perennial king when it comes to action shots -- the nod with that bang-bang play at first.

Repack #1 -- 1.5 pts.
Repack #2 -- 0.5 pts.

Whether by coincidence or not, Mike Piazza was represented in both of these repacks.

The first contained an over-the-hill Piazza, caught in the confusion of wearing a Mets uniform but being labeled as a Padre on his 2006 Fleer card. The second held a much more aesthetically pleasing issue of Piazza in the prime of his Dodger days, complete with one of the many sensory-overloaded subset designs of the mid '90s.

Repack #2 wins here by a landslide.

Repack #1 -- 1.5 pts.
Repack #2 -- 1.5 pts.

My scanner isn't the problem with that "Knuckle Brothers" card: that's actually the condition of the one I pulled out of Repack #2.

It's not a huge deal, but you'd think repack companies would make sure the cards they put in their products aren't riddled with numerous scuffs and scratches. Poor condition or not, however, I needed the Brothers Niekro for my Yankee binder, and I'm happy for that.

But it's still not enough to take down Shooter.

Repack #1 -- 2.5 pts.
Repack #2 -- 1.5 pts.

Here's a tough one.

Postgame handshakes are a pretty rare occurrence on cardboard, and the Guthrie fits into the high-quality photography Leaf provided us in the early '90s.

The McDowell is a Short Term Stops nominee -- he spent just a single season in the Bronx -- and features the #7 memorial patch/black armband the Yankees wore in honor of the late Mickey Mantle in 1995.

I'll give the nod to Black Jack.

Repack #1 -- 3.5 pts.
Repack #2 -- 1.5 pts.

I did manage to pull a "hit" from the second of the two repacks.

It's actually not a bad one for me, as Gerald Laird is one of the more obscure members of my player collection ranks thanks to fond memories of my MLB Showdown days.

But I'm truly a low-end guy, and I can honestly say that I felt more excitement pulling a new overproduction-era card for my Rickey collection than a swatch of Gerald Laird's USA jersey.

Point Rickey.

Repack #1 -- 4.5 pts.
Repack #2 -- 1.5 pts.

Finally, both of these repacks contained an unopened mystery pack.

Repack #1 offered up a pack of 1991 Score, while Repack #2 held a pack of 2012 Panini Triple Play. I enjoy each set, but I've taken care of most of my wants from both checklists. I didn't get a single card I needed from the '91 Score pack (not much of a surprise), but Triple Play had a nice surprise in store with the new Derek Jeter I pulled from the "When I Was A Kid" subset.

Repack #2 gets the tally here, but it's too little too late.


Repack #1 -- 4.5 pts.


Repack #2 -- 2.5 pts.

Repack #1 takes the crown, and, for kicks, here's a bonus of a sleepy Steady Eddie from that first 100-card brick.

I still rather enjoy repacks, and I'm sure I'll still be picking one up every now and again in the future. It's just that I'm getting to a point in my life where I need to be more and more conscious of space -- notably, ways and means of making more of it -- and I really don't need more stacks of '88 Donruss and '89 Fleer cluttering up my closet and collecting dust.

But that's still no reason anyone should go a year between repack experiences, as I just did. They will forever be a prime source of cheap cardboard fun and inspiration, which is ideal for a budget-minded collector such as myself. These kinds of posts pretty much write themselves.

Hard to beat that for five bucks.


Adam Sanders said...

These repacks are always worth plunking down a five dollar bill on. I might have to grab one of these soon. Have you seen the new Target repacks that have 10 unopened packs (mostly newer stuff) for 12 bucks?

Mark Hoyle said...

Not a bad bunch of cards. If the two Bosox prospects don't gave a home already.id love vet to trade for them

GCA said...

Most of the repacks I see are the $20 variety. Five would be tolerable, but space is definitely at a premium in my place too.
(See it here: http://thecollectivemind.blogspot.com/2016/09/my-card-roomor-room-and-half-actually.html)

Swing And A Pop-up said...

I've cut down a bit on those as well. They're fun to go through but I always end up with too many cards I already have.