We are now about 20 days into 2016, and I haven’t written a single article.  Forgive me, readers, for it has been too long.  The end of 2015 went by faster than any other year I can recall, and I am still scratching my head wondering where all the Christmas lights have gone.  Perhaps it is the 79 degree forecast on the eve of the coldest month of the year for us.  (Seriously, Jan 31st here is supposed to be 79, and I wouldn’t doubt it hitting 80!)

All that to say, I’ve been working on an idea I’m really excited about.  I won’t reveal it here, as I’m going to wait until I’m completely ready to show it off to you.  For now though, there is plenty to talk about.

Firstly, a few additions to my collection.  I’ve been picking up several really cool proof/oversized cards for my collection that were a part of bankruptcy sell-offs and former Topps employees.  I’m REALLY digging these – especially when pairing them with their “regular cards”.  Here are a few!

Oversized and regular version


Regular, oversized (has a crease – bummer!)  and no foil


Several variations, and the new “big” brother at the end


Regular with wood die-cut, oversized with wood die cut and oversized with no diecut


Various parallels, with the black no foil version at the end of each row.


oversized w/partial foil & regular20160116_093213

Oversized and regular of each parallel


oversized and regular


Various parallels and at the end you see a non-gloss, non foil w/full back & an oversized blank back.


Regular, oversized members choice and regular members choice


Gallery, Player Private Issue, oversized w/full back and oversized w/blank back


Backs of the gallery cards


Regular, refractor, jumbo and invisifractor … well … you can see through it at least!  It was given to me by someone who initially believed it to be a slide.  Regardless of what it is, I love it as a variation!


I absolutely love these cards!  The variations / parallels that could not be found in sets and packs really interest me, because for every …. 100,000 of the “regular” versions you see of these above, you *might* see one of the versions I have picked up.  For others, you may never see another like it again.

A forum member named Ben (I don’t recall your screen name Ben, sorry!) just picked up a junk wax collection and said he found a blue variation of the 1990 Fleer.  He was generous enough to send it along!  He actually had two and was nice enough to trade the other to me for a custom.  Thanks again Ben – I love it!


Surely you have seen the 1991 Score version … count me as one of the boat loads of kids that scratched their heads as to why Score had cards of topless Canseco, Henderson and Puckett … it just didn’t make sense.  I mean, why?  Anyway, have you seen the Power & Glory version?  It was an oddball card whose picture was no doubt taken by the same photographer that took the pic of Canseco swinging topless while on Tatooine.


If you are one of the few that have seen this oddball version, perhaps you haven’t seen the silver foil border version?  Just recently, I also was able to pick up the oversized matte version of the regular glossy.


I made a small discovery.  Did the oddball card maker not like Canseco’s birth mark?



It kind of reminds me when another oddball card maker in the 80’s tried to Americanize good ol’ “Joe” Canseco.


Another interesting thing I noticed recently, is the 2015 Topps Originals photographs.  I haven’t picked up one of Jose yet, but there are 99 of them so surely I’ll get one soon.  The card is 5×7 and looks pretty cool!  Mustache, acne and all.


After thinking about it a bit, I wondered – where have I seen a similar picture before?


The shirt is hanging out similarly, but no zits that I can tell.  Did they photoshop those out on the card above, but not the Topps Originals photograph?

Then I got to thinking … where else have I seen something similar? AHA!  The 1986 Donruss Rated Rookie.  One of the most iconic cards for the 1980’s ever.

Check it out!


BOOM!  Same pimples, same ‘stache.


It is almost as if the photographer said “Hey Jose, tuck in that white shirt and lets take one more pic.”

I don’t know why, but I thought that was interesting.  Imagine if Donruss decided to use the previous picture instead.  The 1980’s cardboard icon may look like this instead:


Last but not least for my collection is this beauty:  A 2004 Donruss Timelines Rawlings patch card!


I love it!


The catch?  It started out looking like this:


Yes, friends – I have created a mutant card.  I took a REAL card, and swapped out a boring swatch for a player-worn PATCH.  He did in fact wear this patch 🙂  Everything on the front is in-tact – the foil, the finish … everything.  The only things I did were make the card a bit thicker so it would fit the patch, and create a new back to it, just in case it falls into the wrong hands at some point.


Yeah, it says “game worn” on the front, but we all know that this may or may not have been the real case.  We have heard the stories of card companies having players put on jerseys just to be cut up, like this fella down here trying on several jerseys (allegedly) at once …

mark ingram multiple jerseys

So I figured, why not make my own exciting patch card from a plain jersey card double I had?  At least now I know for a 100% fact the jersey piece was worn by him 🙂

Note:  Regarding the picture above:  I have absolutely ZERO evidence that this is what was going on at Topps, or anywhere.  I am just showing a pic that has been used online in conjunction with the potential of what card companies have been doing.  I’ve heard stories like this in the past from virtually ALL the card companies, so obviously is nothing new.


You hear all the time about action figure collectors doing mash-ups where they take arms from one character to put onto another, so this seemed to be a natural progression of what I can do with my doubles.

As for “REAL customs”, I started working on a project for a guy who had some 1/1’s that were badly damaged.  He wanted some cool cards for his collection, so he reached out to me.  They are football so brace yourself!

Game worn NFL shield logos accented with gold holo-foil.






Pics of what was used on the back!


I also decided to modify the design a bit and come up with a Mark McGwire, only instead of a game used piece (since I don’t have any of Big Mac) I did a gold holofoil accent around a color changing picture slide.

Here is one view…


And here is another … see?  It changes colors!


That is all for now – my brain is literally bursting at the seams with other ideas, so I better get to working on them.  Thanks for reading!