Friday, July 6, 2018

Palate Cleanser

So I'm starting to come out of my collecting rut a bit. I picked up a single pack of 2018 Topps Series 2 Baseball (I still need a Luis Torrens card from that set BTW, as the pack yielded none), and I even made my first "big" purchase in a while.


I'm aware that the 2017-18 season has concluded in the world of hockey. I'm also aware that I should probably have just waited for the 2018-19 season stickers to come out since my favorite NHL pleyer (Filip Chytil) will likely be in that one, and is definitely not in this one.

But there was a part of me that was compelled to look into completing the Rangers team set since 2017-18 is really the first year I got hooked on hockey. Even though the Rangers appear to be in hardcore rebuild mode now and some of the players in this set are gone, I'm extremely here for it because player development and roster moves are my favorite things in any sport (you can tell why my interest in sports differs from others right?).

Plus I didn't mention this in the post where I talked about going through a burnout but at this point I am a bit bored with the baseball card hobby right now. I've been in this hobby long enough to know that at this point everything is stagnant. Plus the only real change in the hobby is that it's clearly shifting more towards the "sick hits" crowd. Getting hits and stuff is nice but to me they lose their appeal when I realize that I already got like 60% of the checklist's autographs either via IP or TTM for a fraction of the price. And the remaining 40% just isn't worth it.

So instead I wanted a nice change of pace with stickers! Stickers are great because there is no "sick hit" to chase. It's all about the core element of either getting your favorite player(s), team(s) or completing the whole set. Nothing more, nothing less. Just the kind of simplicity I really need.

Plus nick said it really nicely in a comment to my last post about stickers, about how refreshing it is that you can just peel these off and stick 'em rather than just keeping them "pristine". It's a nice change of pace from the way the card hobby works.

My original plan was to just get a few packs and nothing more, but then I opened the book and saw these.

These are the "samples" so to speak, that come with every sticker album. But one pushed me over the edge and made me buy it.

A RANGER! Of Mats Zuccarello, who is my favorite Ranger in this set, at that. Whether they're stickers or cards, anytime you see a player you like/want guaranteed to you like this, you get it. Plus the book itself only cost like $2 (less thanks to my Modell's membership), so why not?

I also picked up five packs. Each cost $1 and came with seven stickers each. Compared to the 5-for-$1 price of the World Cup Soccer stickers, this is already a great price.

As with any hockey break, the mission from now is to find a Ranger inside.

Pack 1.

Here you'll immediately see that some stickers are foily, or parts of a puzzle. Variety! Love it. The Henrik Sedin is our first dupe since it was also one of the stickers that came with the book. No biggie though since the Sedins are legends.

Also I did indeed get a Ranger here (one who's still with the team) in Kevin Hayes. Success!

Pack 2.

Found an All Star Game sticker in this one.

AND another (now former) Ranger in Rick Nash. Nash appears to be hanging up the skates and retiring, good for him. He's made enough money to make sure he never has to worry about paying rent again, and I'm sure he'd like to be healthy enough to be with his kids and family.

Pack 3.

No Rangers unfortunately, but highlights include a Connor McDavid, international sex symbol Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leaf John Tavares, and our first double dose of "Traded To" stickers. The Las Vegas Golden Knights were a big reason why I was hesitant to actually buy the book and these stickers. Not because I don't like them (their story during their first year in existence was amazing), but because none of the players were in uniform yet. If I had waited until the 2018-19 set came out, then that problem would've been averted (although for all I know the Seattle team might just take its place).

Pack 4.

Some more All Star Game stickers and...

It's funny, the Rangers probably want to lose in order to get a higher draft pick in 2019, but because their forward depth is so good and their goaltender is a brick wall, so they won't be nearly as bad as other teams. Unfortunately their lack of defensemen means they won't win a whole lot either.

Pack 5.

We finish off with a bit of a whimper as we're sent off with a  playoff highlight sticker.
The Stanley Cup stickers for the next edition should be super fun. The 2017-18 Stanley Cup was like the 2016 World Series in that you would've been super okay with either team winning. Vegas winning would've been cool for the sheer novelty team of an expansion team winning it all during their first year in the league, and the Capitals winning would've been cool since we'd all see Alex Ovechkin go on one of the greatest month benders of all time.

And those were my packs.

Getting three Rangers in five packs is very good in my opinion. Plus I got a fourth thanks to the book which means I got more Rangers than anybody else, so I consider this a very very nice start. Will I go after the rest of the set? I mean I figure I might as well seeing as how I have the book. And these packs aren't exactly bank breakers.

Plus a part of me tempted to order directly from Panini. This might feel like cheating but it's not like I'm paying for the entire set at once (blasted 40 card limit). Plus the idea of purchasing individual set needs directly from the company is compelling (you won't see Topps do that for Shohei Ohtani autos).

All in all it was a super fun break and a nice distraction from the burdens of life, the intense heat (seriously, fuck summer), and the baseball card hobby.

Update: I've since opened 12 more packs of this stuff. I now have one fifth of the set down. Whoo boy. I might have to use that sticker request service after all.
Sidenote, I ended up with eight dupes after 17 total packs. Not too shabby in terms of collation.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).


  1. I wish the sick hits thing would go away. I think the set collector is going away... or at least they aren't as vocal on Twitter.

    So, you're sticking them in the book? Would love to see a completed page when you get one! (no pressure though)

    1. The sick hits thing will never go away because we live in a capitalistic society (and the demand for the sick hits is pretty much what makes the companies the most money).
      I don't think set collectors are "going away", but I think it's fair to say that most people have given up on set collecting because of the sheer number of sets and dumb SPs and other such gimmicks attached to set collecting.
      And yeah I stuck them into the book. It's great.

  2. I can see myself one day getting to this point. There will be a year in the future in which I buy no cards, just a sticker book and stickers.

    1. I could use a trading partner so I'll support your decision to give up cards.

  3. Oh neat. 509 stickers at 7 stickers per pack also means this set costs half as much as the World Cup one.

    1. Yup, which means maybe like $60 at most (if lucky).