2015 NSCC #1 – Figuring Things Out

Yay!  It’s about time I start talking about the National Sports Collector’s Convention, right?  Sorry for the delay everyone.  There will be a lot to go through over the weeks and months.  Yes, months.  That’s what’s bound to happen with my schedule and when you buy hundreds of cards and several boxes in a single weekend.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first day I attended was Thursday.  I’ve been to that convention center several times in the past, so I knew the layout, but I didn’t know what to expect.  Most of my past visits were for comic book conventions in my youth (and a couple as an adult).  Those older shows were absolutely packed, and the comic stuff was spread not only in the main hall, but also in several off-shoot rooms that seemed like weird unauthorized back-alley black market comic soliciting.  More recent shows have been confined to the main hall, and this was no different.  At the NSCC, I wasn’t sure how much of that main floor was going to be open.  Luckily it was the whole thing!

I got my map as I walked in, and immediately grabbed a pen from the backpack.  You gotta come prepared.  I have a backpack with various top loader sizes, some blue tape, pens and my pad with some checklist stuff, etc.  Anyway, my plan was to take the map from the program and walk the floor to note which booths to visit in what order.  I wanted to start with the super cheap stuff and then work my way up to the more expensive.

Well, I spent the first couple hours slowly strolling the aisles and marking x or $ or the cent sign that doesn’t have a quick shortcut on my keyboard or making other notes.  The hope was to find all the dime boxes before getting sucked in to the dollar-plus boxes.  The reality is that I didn’t reference the damn thing much afterwards.  It was just as easy to mentally note prices I saw, and then make several passes, jumping up a price bracket each time.

I was very impressed by what I saw there.  There’s virtually something for everybody’s collecting tastes.  Whether you like memorabilia, TTM or in-person autographs, full 8X10 pictures, jerseys, really vintage stuff, vintage stuff, junk wax boxes, modern, and new boxes.

I have to say that I was a little surprised there wasn’t more new non-sport stuff.  I know that’s not meant to be the focus of the show, but I thought I’d see more Magic or Pokemon cards (there was a good amount of pre-1990 non-sport stuff) to help match interest of the kids that attended (or adults that collect both).  Speaking of kids, I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I hear that the kid turnout was really strong this year.  The turnout overall was strong.  I’m glad to hear it.  Maybe there’s a mini resurgence happening now?

So, I scoured the aisles for hours and all my cash was still in my pocket.  That had to change.  So, what did I buy first in this magical wonderland of cardboard?

Why, action figures, of course.

McFarlane: Not just for Spawn anymore

I had been debating for a little while if I should include sports figures like this in my collection, and made the executive decision to let them in.  I’m not really a memorabilia guy.  I’m not going to want a Maddux jersey, or posters of Gwynn, or programs featuring Frank Thomas.  But for whatever reason, figures like this are the exception.  Perhaps it’s because they’re small, and I have a history of collecting toys like this.  After all, selling my old TMNT collection really helped to pay for my NSCC excursion (Thanks, Krang’s Android Body!)

Tough to pitch with a hoola hoop

This particular pickup wasn’t my first purchase. It came a couple days later and cost $1.  I really like the detail on this McFarlane toy.  My cell phone doesn’t capture it very well, but the cleats and the dirt look crisp, and the uniform has some great wrinkle action molded in.  However, it does fall flat in a key area.

I should make this my avatar

This is supposed to be Kerry Wood.  I don’t know who it actually is, but it’s supposed to be Kerry Wood.  Honestly, it looks more like Greg Maddux…or a realistic Fred Flintstone.  Oh, I could also nitpick about the pinstripes going through the logos, too.  Yeah, you know what?  Screw you, McFarlane.  Way to screw everything up!  Actually, I don’t care.  It was a single dollar.

Not super realistic

This was my actual first purchase of the card show.  A Frank Thomas Starting Lineup figure and two of his friends seen below for $10.  Not too bad, since I saw another dealer with a single one of these priced at $8.

Sorry for the blurry picture.

The Starting Lineup figures made the choice to collect toys easier.  I mean, there are cards attached.  If I’m going to have a full collection (which I never will, but it’s fun to dream), I would want to have the cards at some point anyway.  Might as well get the whole package, right?

The figures look better over time

I’m really glad I brought a backpack.  It made carrying these around a lot easier.  Sadly, I didn’t find much else in terms of oversized items.  I would have wanted to grab some other odd balls, or 5 x 7’s or box toppers, but the very little I found was priced far too high.  This was the kind of deal I could get behind.

Looks like a candy bar font

Now, since I kinda bought these for the cards, let’s take a closer look.  I don’t plan on taking them out of the package, though, so cell phone pics will have to do.

Slugging you with his smile

Even though the 93 figure comes with 2 cards, it’s on my checklist only once.  I guess I could add another line, but nah.  I added enough to my checklist, as you’ll understand in a future post.

Swoops later stolen by 2012 Topps?

This 1994 design looks very much like it belongs in a cereal box promotion, or some other food issue.  I guess that’s what happens when a non-major manufacturer takes a stab at things.

I’d be skeptical of this design, too

Lastly, the 1997 design oddly has a partial border of baseballs, and then a helmet rack?  Can anyone tell me if the rack part is an actual background, or does that appear in all of the cards from that year?  It looks like they just left part of the original image for some reason.  Cool font, though.

These figure purchases broke the seal, so to speak.  I didn’t walk away from the first day with just those Starting Lineups, but the actual card purchases will have to wait for another day.  For now, I’m still trying to figure out the best way to show off the massive haul.

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