Sunday, November 11, 2012

From Gold to Platinum.. Let the Topps Redemptions Roll

I have to admit, my last couple of redemptions have been a real roller coaster ride. First came the epic fail by Panini. Next came a really cool gold-bar-looking (and feeling) 2011 Topps Marquee Billy Butler Museum Collection silver ink signed Billy Butler auto. Today I walked to the mailbox to find that Topps brought the bling yet again.

Instead of gold, this time they delivered some platinum in the form of this Platinum 1 of 1 2011 Topps Triple Threads Carlton Fisk 7-Piece Jersey Autograph:

Considering its a 1/1 card in a premium a brand that contains the word "Threads" in it, I would have liked to have seen a really crazy multicolor patch jersey. But there are a couple of multicolor pieces of game used jersey in the card and overall its a really nice premium auto patch card of a Hall of Famer that was sent to me by the Topps Redemption crew in a very timely manner. And the card is in mint condition, which is always a concern for redemption cards..

I already have a Fisk auto as part of my Hall of Fame Autograph Collection, so this card is most likely headed to eBay auction block. Or if you are interested in trading for it, hit me up and we'll see if we can work something out.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Redemption Worth Redeeming

As luck would have it, only a few short weeks after enduring the worst redemption experience of my life, the mail man came knocking on my front door to hand over a package sent from Topps' redemption fulfillment service. Not only was the redemption filled by Topps in a very timely manner (about 3 months), but the card was way cooler then I had expected:

The card in questions is a 2011 Topps Marquee Billy Butler Museum Collection Auto #/10. I love the silver ink signatures - especially on-card silver ink signatures. I had to do a double take on it when I first pulled it from the package as it looked way too shiny to be cardboard. So I removed it from the toploader to inspect it more closely, and sure enough, the card is metallic! The card looks like a gold bar with a picture and signature on the front of it. This is one of the cards that a scanner just cannot do justice. You have to see it and feel it in person to get the full effect.

An awesome addition to the collection. I have another Topps redemption on the horizon so I'm crossing my fingers it will be another solid score like this.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I'm Done With Panini Redemptions

If you've been collecting sports cards for any length of time, you've probably heard your share of redemption horror stories, or worse yet, experienced the frustration of a mishandled redemption first hand. I have had a number of negative experiences in the past myself, but the vast, vast majority of issues have all been with the same company - Panini. They were all forgivable offenses in which the delays were either manageable and/or offset by really cool replacement cards - until now.

Here's the blow by blow of the straw that broke the camel's back:


I submitted my redemption via Panini's website for a 2010 Panini Gridiron Gear Dexter McCluster Rookie Gridiron Gems Trios Prime Signatures #/20. At the time, McCluster was one of the more sought after members of the 2010 NFL Rookie Class. As such, low numbered auto patch rookie cards such as this were selling for good money. I decided to give it 6 months and then ask for a replacement card if they still hadn't sent me my card.

6/12/2011 - 185 Day Mark

I was tired of waiting and the value of McCluster rookie cards was dropping fairly rapidly. So I sent Panini an update to my redemption request in which I said, "Its been 6 months since I first submitted the redemption now. Can you please just send me a card of equal value?"

9/7/2011 - 272 Day Mark

Panini must have a very long list of things that are more important then following through on their commitments, because it took them a whopping 3 months to respond to my simple two sentence request. But thankfully the news was good. The Panini representative replied saying, "Your replacement card will be going out in the next few weeks. Thank you and have a nice day!"

Fantastic! I'm only a few weeks away from finally receiving my redemption. Right? Not exactly...

2/22/2012 - 440 Day Mark

Contrary to the promise that Panini made to me, 5 months has passed and still no card. And no explanation as to why the card hadn't been sent. So I sent them yet another message, "I never received this card (or a replacement). Please send as its been a year and a half."

8/14/2012 - 614 Day Mark

Out of nowhere, an inexcusable 614 days after first submitting my redemption to Panini, I finally received my card.. well, kind of. Here is what I got:

Hmm... something seems to be missing. Arguably the most important component of the card, the autograph, has been intentionally committed. And to add insult to injury, we can be reminded of that fact every time we look at the card thanks to the words "No Autograph" foiled stamped onto the front of the card. Wow.
Remember, the card is part of the Gridiron Gems Trios Prime Signatures insert set. So it took them nearly 2 years to send me the card, yet they sent it to me completely unfinished.

I don't want a Prime Signatures insert minus the Signature part. Instead of doing the right thing and sending me a comparable auto patch rookie card, they for some reason thought that it would suffice to send me a card that is so ridiculous that I'll be lucky if I can sell it for more then a couple of bucks. And incase you're wondering, the memorabilia pieces aren't even game used - they are from the 2012 NFL Rookie Photo Shoot!

My hopes were lifted when I realized there was a second card in the package. But then I pulled the card out and my hope turned quickly to anger and disappointment:

A low end sticker auto of Donruss' lowest end football product. And its a defensive back. I actually kind of like Ronde Barber, but this card comes nowhere close to compensating me for this debacle.

I'm not a big fan of Panini's products to begin with, so I don't forsee buying any boxes of their boxes from which to pull redemptions in the future. But if/when I do, the unused redemption is going straight to eBay because I've officially lost confidence in this company's ability to handle redemptions in a timely, honest, and dependable manner.

Have your own redemption horror story? If so, please share it with me belowlet me hear about it by leaving a comment below.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Blogging Debut

I've wanted to start my own sports card blog for quite awhile now, so am pumped to finally be taking the plunge. I'm very blessed to be able to make a living in the hobby as a result of my website, The Cardboard Connection. However, I've always gone out of my way to make it as objective a resource as possible as I felt/feel that this is what the hobby needs. One drawback of this focus is that I've rarely been able to just let loose and speak my mind except when writing reviews.

So one of the primary reasons for starting this blog is for me to finally have an informal, totally subjective outlet with which to interact with other bloggers and collectors. The other main reason is that I want to have a place where I can just be a card collector rather then a businessman. Because unlike a lot of the people who work in the industry, I still really enjoy collecting cards. So expect posts related to my big pulls, breaks, and all that good stuff in addition to some insider info, not to mention the occasional (or not so occasional) hobby rant.

Above all I'm looking to connect with other bloggers and collectors so don't hesitate to drop me a line or leave a comment as I'd love to hear from ya

With all that said, its time for an important disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here by no means reflect that of The Cardboard Connection.