Monday, July 30, 2012

Favorite "Other" Cards; Card Find Part 1

Our friend Fuji asked what other sports cards we like besides our favorites. Well, if you don't know by now that I mostly collect soccer cards, then you do not read this blog regularly. 

But I still have a taste for the ice hockey - and especially for the early days of Topps and O-Pee-Chee.
The colorful boarders of the 1973-74 hockey set was atypical of that decade's issues, from Topps Star Wars cards to the Partridge Family.

1973-74 Topps Tony Esposito All-Star card.

The 1973-74 O-Pee-Chee Hockey came with red and green borders, while the Topps version came in red, green, blue and yellow borders. The All Star cards were action shots inside an NHL like shield.

Second of interest to regular hockey cards were the many food issues from  cereal, candy bars and even slurpees ....

1984 7-Eleven flicker disc - Ray Bourque - Bruins.

As the venders of the cool-aid like frosty drink - SLURPEE - 7-Eleven stores did several sets that included baseball, football, hockey and even rock stars. 

With the modern era of memorabilia cards, the best things that came out of it was honoring some of the all-time great personalities - both in sports and non-sports. My Personal favorite is the Retro Inkredible autograph cards.

Limited Edition Inkredible - "Rocket" Richard - autograph card.

I used to collect all the major sports when only one set from each came out during that sport's season. Then it got crazy with multiple sets, by multiple companies with multiple issues. 

I liked it when cards were useful for their statistics, box scores, championship games and mud ... 

1971 Topps - mud game.

Those things you just don't see anymore these days. I like that the players pictures were posed - usually with a nice open practice field with trees and small fences in the background. Those places were often like the places where we played our games as kids. 


These days, my favorites are anything different that I find now. With all the headlines of the attic finds and lost hoards of cards, I had my own little discovery. I have no aspiration that my find will bring me millions of dollars, but the joy of discovery is just as rich.

I recently stopped by a yard sale and found two groups of cards which I purchased for $2.
The first of these are the 1943 Associated Oil - FAMOUS WAR POSTERS.

The original set of 50 paper stickers depict popular war posters. The blank backs had adhesive area to stick the miniature posters into an album. These were given away with purchases at your local gas station. Under the artwork of the poster is the military or government issuer and the artist who painted them.

I will let the posters say what they did over 70 years ago ...

While some of the artists are not household names, others are iconic like these 2 works by NORMAN ROCKWELL -

Others are known for their words more than their art ...

Up Next: Part 2 of the card find. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Force of STAR WARS; Big Money Moves

I don't know what it is about STAR WARS, but I cannot pass up on the stuff made for the iconic films. I need a board game like I need another hole in the head. But when "The FORCE" compels you to buy  something, you do it.

I found this boxed STAR WARS Monopoly game with classic artwork on the front.  Being the card collector that I am, I was pleased not only with the Property cards inside - Dagobah Swamp land, A Moisture Farm and X-Wing fighters ... to these ...

the replacement for the traditional Community Chest and Chance cards - now replaced with Rebel and Empire cards. 

The flip sides ...

The artwork, again, is pretty cool. Princess Leia (above) ...

the wise Jedi Master, Yoda ...

Darth Vader's Tie Fighter ...

and the Dark Lord himself - Darth Vader.

The entire deck is full of characters and creatures from the original 3 films. Even the money is in "credits" not dollars. 
But what really sold me was not the cards or the artwork. 
It was the inclusion of these great pewter figures ...

I have seen these miniatures go for about $3 to $5 each. They are well sculpted and supposedly only available with this boxed game. The figures are

* Grand Moff Tarkin *
* Luke Skywalker *
* Darth Vader *
* Lando Calrissian *
* Obi-Wan Kinobi *
* Fighter Pilot *
* Sand People *
* R2-D2 * 

I've already played a game with the wife. I made her say "credits" instead of dollars throughout the entire game.  She made me pay by beating the Mandalorian armor off me !

Considering I only paid 65 credits ... er, I mean 65 cents, it was a classic bargain.


Lots and lots of transfer of players this summer. One of the biggest is the move of Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic from AC Milan to PSG (Paris Saint-Germain). PSG has been on tour in the USA including a match at Yankee Stadium. 

2012 Futera Unique - Ibrahimovic (limited edition to 395)

"Ibra" will join the club for the game against DC United.

The big Swede scored a spectacular goal at Euro 2012. He's come a long way from the fresh face kid that debuted back in the 2004 Euros ...

2004 Panini Euro sticker 

MLS has been busy with New York signing Australian World Cup player Tim Cahill from Everton. Vancouver traded Sebastian Le Toux also to New York, while signing Rangers and Scotland star, Kenny Miller.  As previously mentioned, Stoke City sign American Geoff Cameron  from Houston.

Friday, July 27, 2012

STOKE CITY, PETER SHILTON and New Soccer Card Prices

Premier League club STOKE CITY continue their tour of the USA tomorrow night. I will be attending their game at the Citrus Bowl against USL PRO Champions Orlando City. 

I am hoping new American signing Geoff Cameron (from Houston Dynamo) will make his debut for Stoke along with City's star players - Peter Crouch, Kenwyne Jones and Thomas Sorensen. Hopefully, I will get a few photos to share of the night for upcoming blogs.

July 25 - Columbus Crew 2, Stoke City 1
July 28 - Orlando City (Citrus Bowl) 7:30 PM
August 1 - Sporting Kansas City (Livestrong Park)


I've added another 1975 Topps card to my collection. When I wrote about Stan Matthews having cards in 4 different decades,  I could have also added another Stoke City player - PETER SHILTON. 

1975 TOPPS Peter Shilton

Shilton played a record 125 games for England. He also added a phenomenal 1005 league matches. In total he holds the world record for most competitive matches in professional soccer. He made his card debut in the 1960's and had various issued collectables in the 70's, 80's and 90's until his retirement.

This 1975 card makes my checklist of all but one Topps Shilton cards (10 out of 11 completed). 


The recent ebay prices for modern soccer cards has continued to rise.

Here are just a few high lights :

2012 Upper Deck MLS Marks - Thierry Henry - $232.50

The Upper Deck autograph of the Frenchman fetched over $200 bucks even though the signature is on the "band aid" sticker. 

2008 Sport Kings Gold - Pele -  $306.00

This "on card" Gold autograph (1 of 10) from Sport Kings has been hovering around $900 bucks, so someone got a steal at a third of the price. Still one of the best cards ever to have in your collection.

2012 Futera Unique - Demba Ba - $242.22

The rise in 1 of 1 Futera autograph cards is truly interesting. Such is the wonder with the above card of Newcastle United's young star Demba Ba.  A 1 of 1 of Liverpool star Maxi Rodriguez also sold for $315.00

2001 Upper Deck Man. United - Beckham - $809.99

I made the mistake in thinking the auction had ended on this David Beckham card at around $500.00 - it was furious bidding that push it a further $300 bills ...

Next up:  vintage card prices

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


The Opening Ceremonies of the 30th Olympic Games in London begin this Friday, but the games actually start tomorrow. The USA Women's soccer take on the French Ladies. Oh-la-la ...

Like tennis and other professional athletes, the soccer competition will feature some star studded sides.
Sadly, the US Men's Team choked under a college coach and now deprived the next generation of Americans from playing on the big stage.

But, like the Euros, we will still be watching. Olympic Gold is the one trophy that BRAZIL has not won in soccer.

To commemorate the onset of Olympic soccer, I am featuring a pair of German issued Olympic cards.

Nice artwork and plenty of colored text on the reverse.

These were curtsy of my fellow collector, Alan.

They were produced ahead of  the 1960 Olympics in Rome, Italy.

Start the anthems ... 

Monday, July 23, 2012

CHARLIE BUCHAN, Official Stan Fan and Monster Mugs ...

Long before the internet, there was a day when cardboard cards were a rich resource of information.
One card set that held such vital stats was the 1922 F&J Smith Football Club Records.

F&J Smith had issued several excellent sets from 1912 on using mostly black and white photographs. For the 1922 issue they selected on player for each of the English and Scottish top divisions for a total of 50 cards.

Each card depicted the player in a full color portrait on the front while listing a complete home and away results from the previous season on the reverse.

I recently added the Sunderland F.C. card who is represented by CHARLIE BUCHAN. Charlie began with Arsenal in 1909 when they were still known as Woolwich Arsenal before moving to Sunderland in 1911. He was awarded medals for his services in the First World War. 

On returning to football, he rejoined Arsenal leading them to 2 FA Cup Finals in the Twenties.

After his playing career, Buchan embarked on a long journalistic profession which included the Football Writers Association which now votes for player of the year. He had his own publication of magazines and annual soccer books.

An issue of Charlie Buchan Monthly featuring Stan Matthews.

I really cannot tell you when it became official, but I am OFFICIALLY a Stan Matthews collector. I've recently added this 1948 "TURF" Cigarettes card to the SMC (Stan Matthews Collection). 

The cards were usually hand-cut from the cigarette packets rather than inserted.
It is one of the last tobacco issues to feature soccer players in Britain. Within a decade almost all soccer cards were trade cards. Although the card appears black and white, it is actually more blue and gray.

Sir Stan Matthews has the distinction of appearing on soccer cards during 4 decades (1930's -1960's) of which he was an active player  !

I was fortunate to have met Sir Stan several years ago and got his autograph and later a letter from him. (I featured this in an earlier blog). My Master List of Matthews cards shows I need about 70 to 80 more cards from around the world to collect ...


Among some of weird finds for the weekend was this pair of horror movie shot glasses. They are in actuality plastic, but the size of a standard shot glass.

The two ugly mugs are JASON from Friday The 13th and FREDDY KRUGER from Nightmare on Elm Street.

Boo ! Yaaaaaaa

Sunday, July 22, 2012


Major League Soccer All-Star Week kicks off in Philadelphia with the MLS selection taking on European Champions CHELSEA FC.

The starting goal keeper for the MLS All-Stars is Sporting Kansas City's JIMMY NIELSEN.

I found his rookie card in this high quality MERLIN'S Danish set.  

Jimmy Nielsen rookie card

Upper Deck MLS has just plain sucked year after year. The cards are dark and the usefulness of stats on the back are lines of incomplete crap. I may not be able to read Danish, but I can still make out stuff from this quality card back that is interesting.

Upper Deck are capable of producing quality. Just one look at their European issues, like this David Beckham in the Manchester United set -

This autographed sample went for about $500 bills on ebay. It is an on card signature, numbered and a clean design that is worthy.

Upper Deck MLS only wishes they could get Beckham to sign in their sets. But obviously, he has told them to go "bend it".


Among this weekend's finds was this SPIDERMAN 2 card game. The box has some decent art work.
Inside are - yup ... cards. There is a boatload of Spiderman in every sort of pose, and two different cards of actor Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus.

The cards are very thick and have a glossy coating (so pretty durable). Included is a standing 4 inch Spiderman figure that players "win" back and forth as they match cards. It is a well sculpted figure.
Not bad for 25 cents !

Saturday, July 21, 2012


I've been a fan of Batman since ... well, before it got dark and dreary. I remember when the Caped Crusader wore a colorful costume and the villains were a cheery bunch. But the world has changed.

Its darker and dangerous, and the Bat signal calls for a forceful and perhaps brutal approach to justice.

As much as I like the classic sleek lines of the 1960's Bat mobile, there have been some very cool innovation during the last few decades of Batman films. None are cooler, or more brutal than this ...

This abomination comes from Batman Begins. It was a military prototype obtained by Bruce Wayne. Its called "THE TUMBLER". It kicks ass in every way, night and day. When I saw this at a rummage sale, I snapped it up faster than the riddler could riddle me.

To see it perform, check out this clip HERE.

I knew exactly where it would be displayed ...

right under my BATMAN BEGINS movie advertising stand up. The vehicle is awesome in that the cockpit opens up to reveal a full aircraft seating with retractable controls. An additional feature are two pop out howitzer guns that eject from the sides. (would be handy in clearing traffic). 

This 11 inch model is extremely detailed, including rubber tires, tinted windows and black armor plating. 

Postscript -

Here is the 1982 Panini Roger Milla rookie sticker omitted from my previous post. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Collecting As Ordered By The Evil Zurg

I think bloggers like to show off their collections. The internet has allowed this to an extent never seen before. We were influenced and thrilled without ever having to visit a store or another place outside our home.

So blogger Fuji asked the card collecting community to tell what other non-sports items we collect. Collectors are, by nature, gatherers. In being such, we gather all sorts of items that stimulate us.

After many years in the sports industry, I needed something on off days to pre-occupy me. so I began to garage sale. Rather than antiques and "chachkees", I gravitated toward toys. I have been hooked ever since. 

I have to say that DISNEY's Toy Story is the ultimate - both toys and Disney, two of my favorite things to collect. Recently, I picked up 3 action figures from TOYS STORY 3 movie:

The favorite - the EVIL EMPEROR ZURG - who is bent on killing BUZZ LIGHTYEAR. 

I love toy villains ! And every villain must have a henchman to do their dirty work. Zurg has a robot named SPARKS.

and a sidekick named  TWITCH.

The 3 are out to destroy all that is good in the galaxy. The Evil Zurg even has a massive ray gun !

Here are the menacing trio lined up to kill other toys.

I've amassed a few hundred toy figures and characters. Lately, it been a lot of robots and mechanized figures.  Here is a look into a small section of one cabinet. This is the Transformer section. 

This is a fraction of the Disney figures.

And embarassingly, this is a recent addition because of a fellow blogger (you all know him). I am not sure if this is the pony's rookie edition. We'll have to ask him.

I may just post pictures of toys I get on my weekend outings rather than starting a CHUCK'S USED TOYS blog.  Zurg may command it.