Thursday, April 17, 2014

Buy My Cards on eBay!!!

Looking at my seller dashboard, eBay tells me that my first ever sale was in 2002 and that I've sold over 1000 items for just about $5,400 since then.  Those numbers aren't all that spectacular, but they are decent in my humble opinion.  Up until the last couple of months I did what every other seller usually did, list items for a 5 or 7 day auction, but I've recently seen the light, and am now simply listing each item on a 30 day fixed price.  WITH FREE SHIPPING in the UNITED STATES.  Yes, that's right.  I start most of my items between $1.29 and $1.49, with only a select few priced higher than that.  Anything priced higher than $2.00 can be bought with a best-offer bid.

NOW, free shipping really only includes an envelope and a stamp.  If you buy more than one card then I'll throw them in a padded envelope.  I haven't had any complaints with my shipments.

So check out my current auctions, there's going to be a bit of everything up over the next few days, AND if you buy something and tell me that you read about it in my blog in a note with your payment I'll go ahead and throw something free in your shipment.

Click and Check out my auctions 

Monday, March 31, 2014

Changing of the Seasons - MLB Opening Day & NCAA Tournament Thoughts

When I reminded my wife that today was opening day for the Angels she said to me "Of course it is, didn't basketball just end?"  Yes, yes it did.

I suppose I should just get this out there and out of the way.  Once my team is out of the playoffs I GENERALLY don't care about who wins the rest of the thing.  It's Monday afternoon and other than Florida and Kentucky I don't know who the other two in the Final Four are.  I should check.  Hunh, UConn and Wisconsin.  I actually picked Uflop and the Badgers in my pool, and I have the floppers winning the big game.  Not that I really care mind you.  Again, I don't.  I watched maybe five minutes of the tournament after UCLA lost on Thursday.

So yes, for me Basketball is over.  I don't care what happens in the NBA other than for the draft because I am curious as to where Kyle Anderson and Zach LaVine end up.  Kyle might have played himself into the top 5, whereas Zach may go late first round or early second.  That's what I read anyway.

Neither appear to have any trading cards available, but they will, and soon.

2014 is the second year in a row that I've not bought any Baseball cards prior to opening day, and since I didn't break a single pack of 2013 product I'm pretty sure I'm not going to suddenly get the itch to buy the same stuff only with a new date on the front.

I have to say I'm no longer optimistic that Mike Scioscia can bring another championship to Los Angeles.  Yes, I know they play in Anaheim.  I wish they didn't.  Though I still have to say I'd rather go to a game at the Big A than Dodger Stadium.  You know I haven't been back to Chavez since before I was married.  That says something I think.

Some of the names on the projected opening day lineup are unfamiliar to me.  Kole Calhoun?  Doesn't matter, it's still opening day and everyone still has a chance to win it all!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Topps Bunt is Back for 2014

The fusion of online trading cards and fantasy baseball that Topps introduced in 2012 is back for another season, and Angel Favorite Mike Trout is their official spokesman this year, which means his mug is all over the app.  Not that it's a bad thing mind you.

The bad thing about BUNT is that your previous cards won't gain you points this year, so you'll have to spend a bunch of coins on new cards, or trade off your 2013 for 2014.  However, since today is the first day, the market for 2013 and previous cards not just went soft, but it melted into a mush.

So this year we're able to do 9 for 9 trades or 9 for 1 or any combo that would allow.  SO that's better than the 3 previously.  We're now only allowed ONE account per device, which I think is great to get rid of scammers.  Sadly scammers will still try to scam, and Topps won't be able to do much about it, just as in previous years.

We do get a new "rate your trader" functionality, but since you can make a rating on a declined trade, I'm not sure how that's going to work out.  We'll have to wait and see on that.

Oh and the players themselves score points way differently this season.  Now it looks like each player has 5 tiers of cards from Commons worth 1x points to Super Rares, which I guess are worth 5x or something.  Not really too sure on that.  The other rarity levels are each worth more now too, uncommons are green and worth 2x, rares are red and worth 3x and scarce are silver and worth 4x.

I'm back playing this year, my user name is WILDWILL (same as in Huddle too).  Hit me up as a friend and send me your Angels cards.  All I care about is collecting the Angels Team Set.  If you tell me you read my blog in a trade offer I will give you a free DOUBLE 2013 rare from my collection.

AND hit me up on this Bunt/Huddle/Kick fan forum where I'm also WILDWILL

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March Madness - Bracket Challenge

My Yahoo Group join up and make your picks by tomorrow.

3D Printing for Dummies - Or How I Learned How to Order on Shapeways

Blue Neo-Ego
This is about all I can
get him to do.
I'm a sucker for technology, I love following the latest and greatest gadgets and tech.  3D Printing is something that I've been following for a long, long time, and I'm please to say I finally dropped a dime and ordered my own 3D prints of existing models from Shapeways, the biggest 3D printing company in the world.

I had lurked on their forums long enough and seen all the really cool things that Shapeways can do for an intrepid CAD modeler.  I have ZERO CAD skills whatsoever, and no inclination to start learning, but what I do have is an endless fascination with miniatures and toys, and Shapeways is a place to satisfy that fascination.

Mr. Red Neo-Ego can pose
For my first foray I went ahead and ordered two different versions of a miniature articulated figure, not unlike a Lego Mini-Fig.  The first was this one: Cool Ego and Neo-Ego.  These babies aren't cheap, they run between $6-8 per figure, and shipping is a flat $6.30 per order.  I decided to order four figures to minimize shipping costs.  After a couple of weeks I got two of my four figures, the Cool Ego was not printed and cancelled.  The Neo-Egos printed fine and after a bit of difficulty I got them put together.

Or just stand there
The Neo-Ego is not great, I have to say.  The articulation isn't quite as nice as I'd hope (though it's still better than Lego) and the tightness of the figures fit is very hit and miss.  The red figure is pretty stiff and will hold a pose, while the blue figure is completely loose and can't pose for beans.

Needless to say I wasn't that thrilled with the fact that they cancelled half of my order and my shipping discount was basically blown.  I actually decided to call Shapeways and ask about the shipping once the creator of the Cool Ego figures rejiggered his model to print properly.  They actually gave me a credit for the shipping and even though the remodeled figures were slightly more expensive, I made a second order.

Ms. Blue Cool-Ego
Ms. Red Cool-Ego, though
you can't tell she has a face
Cool Ego is light years ahead of the Neo Ego.  There's two head-sculpts included, and the portrait is actually quite nice.  The articulation is really well done and the pieces fit together tightly and hold their pose.  The only difficulty is that putting it together can be a real drag.  The plastic that is printed is not "smooth and polished" like they advertise on the site. It's quite rough, though the roughness makes the small details really pop up close.  I do believe the heads can hold standard Lego head-gear and the hands are standard Lego clips.  The Cool-Ego has wrist swivels, while the Neo-Ego does not.

I haven't tried any of the other plastics available but I'd like to do so in the near future.  I bet a clear version of these guys would be really cool looking.  I'd love to get a full sized 1/18th scale figure printed but I don't see any viable candidates at the moment.
Blue Cool-Ego, Vintage Lego Mini-Fig, Red Neo-Ego

They fit in a golf-ball cube
Looking Good There Guys

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Adventures in eBay - Lego From My Childhood Edition

If you grew up in the time period roughly from the mid 1960's to today you probably played with Lego Bricks at one point or another.  The Lego company traces their existence back to 1916, and their brick toys to 1947.  Suffice to say the growth of Lego toys seriously impacted virtually every kid at one point or another.  Lego seems to be a toy that grows with kids, and kids never really grow out of them.  I stopped buying Lego kits sometime in my teens, but as soon as I moved out of my parents house and had a job of my own I started buying them again with a vengeance, and I never really threw away my Lego.  I still have most of my bricks and instructions, if not the boxes themselves.  Over the course of time I've been trying to reacquire a few sets from my youth that I didn't keep intact.

My first Lego sets were the Universal Building Sets, which now are simply tubs of bricks.  These were the sets that had no real models to build, just whatever you wanted, and the best thing was that they came with large base plates you just don't see much anymore.

I do recall my first large set, that would be #585-1 Police Headquarters which was one of the last few sets BEFORE real mini-figs came out in 1978.  I know for a fact I still have some pieces left from that set.  My second major set was #6929 Star Fleet Voyager and I remember getting that for Christmas somewhere in the early 80's.  While I don't reasonably expect to ever repurchase a Police Headquarters, and with the static old-school proto-mini-figs I really am not sure I'd want one.  But I do check out eBay and other places for the Star Fleet Voyager on a regular basis.

The last of my three original kits that I desired to repurchase was the smallest: the simply elegant 6648-2 Town Dump-Truck, and thanks to a recent eBay purchase, I now have one.  I paid $6.99 plus $5.95 shipping.  Considering it's a vintage kit, with instructions, I think I did OK.  I recall that the original price my Grandparents paid was about $5-10 but that was at the Los Angeles Children's Museum, which isn't there anymore, and it was over 30 years ago.

The vehicle is all of 41 pieces, most of them yellow or black and all pretty much standard.  The only real "specialized" pieces here are the rollbar, the windshield, the truck bed and the hinge piece that lets the truck bed dump out.  It's a really simple build that took all of about two minutes to complete.  It is a thing of beauty.  Lego just doesn't do small vehicles quite the same way.  Now the cabs are all one piece and the wheels are tiny.

My original set wasn't kept as a truck very long.  I loved the bed with six wheels and the tilting rear, so I designed a small airplane using most of the same parts with forklift type sleds in the front to make it look cool.  It flew off the back hinge as a launch ramp.  This one though, it's staying on my desk.  Without being put together with the Kragle...because hey, the driver does kind of look like Emmit from the movie doesn't he?

By the way, the pictures were all taken in my new light tent, nifty hunh?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Adventures in Economics and 2x Rack Pack of 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey

I knew it was out because every time I look for Martin Jones cards I keep seeing his Young Guns Series 2 card on eBay, so I wasn't that surprised that I found brand new packs and boxes at Target this afternoon.  What I was surprised about were the prices and the configuration.  Let's see if this makes any sense shall we?

Retail Packs = 8 cards for $2.99 or $0.374 per card.
Rack Packs = 32 cards for $4.99 or $.0156 per card.
Retail Box of 10 12 packs of 5 cards = 70 cards at $19.99 or $.0286 per card.

If you're buying on a per card basis CLEARLY Rack Packs are the way to go.  However, UD is not being as generous with their insert cards in Racks as they have been in the past, I bought TWO of them this afternoon and pulled one insert, a Young Guns, whereas in years past a Rack would usually hold at least two if not more inserts.  Heck Topps usually gives you about five.

Here's what I got:

2 x 2013-14 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey 32 cards per pack

Base: 62 - 1 double
Young Guns 1:4 - 467 Philipp Graubauer

That's it.  Oh and two Kings - Justin Williams and Ben Scrivens.  Oops I meant one King and someone we traded away.

At least the Young Guns is a goalie who's got some value I suppose.