17 February 2013

$20 Blaster Challenge: 2013 Topps S1 (Target)

Welcome to the first of what I hope is many in a long series of challenges:

The Twenty Dollar Blaster Challenge!

Here's how it will go. I go to Target, WalMart, Kmart, Toys R Us (unlikely) or wherever and buy a blaster. Sounds great, right?

There's a catch. For these carefully selected blasters, I will happily open packs, place some cards in tidy, organized piles, scan them, and FLIP 'EM in an attempt to make the $20 back from the blaster, and, on occasion, make a profit or at minimum - offset the cost of this sometimes expensive but damn fun hobby.

So without further Apu, Challenge the First!

2013 Topps Series 1!

What else did you expect to read about in February?

This is a random card from Series 1.
I don't even remember if there was one in this blaster.
I just like this card.
I won't go too much into the contents, here. You'll mostly just see scans of the card which I intend to flip, those which I may be too attached to part with, and the chronology of the sales.

Some background: I generally only start auctions on ebay on two days, Sunday nights (7-day) and Tuesday nights (5-day). I post cards on these days because most auctions are found within their last 48 hours, and using the weekends to my advantage when everyone is home laying around, I can hopefully entice sales during this time.

Now, on to the contents of the Blastoid:

10 8-card packs (80 cards)
1 additional pack with a Commemorative Patch card

Should contain 1-2 emerald parallels, 1-2 Chasing the Dream, 1 Calling Card, 2 1975 Minis.

Since this blaster was purchased at Target, 2 of the 8 cards in every pack will be a red parallel.

Also, since this is Topps, base cards are pretty much priceless. By which I mean no significant resale value through ebay (these challenges will be done through ebay for rapid selling process - I could likely get more money from COMC, but it may take months.)

So, on to the most common inserts in the box, the Target-Exclusive Red parallels. And I did pretty good:

These two solid red parallels have two things going for them: they're great young players (Bryce Harper and Starlin Castro) and the red emphasizes individual parts of the player's uniforms.

Luckily on the Castro, the red numbers on the Chubs jersey is emphasized. As for the Harper, damn. There's a lot of red on that one. The Harper card sells from $3-$8 shipped on ebay. Castro, on the other hand, is surprisingly absent from ebay. So needless to say, I'm hoping to make a good amount from it.

Goal for the Harper: $4.50
Goal for the Castro: $2.50

The card is the Commemorative Patch. Upon opening the box, I promptly felt up the pack to ruin the surprise of logo-type patch or rookie silk. Sadly, I could tell right away that it was going to be a rookie card patch. Not sadly, it was one of the best you can get:

Well, that could have been considerably worse.

I quickly researched this on my phone, and some ebay auctions showed this going for, over the past few days, from $13-$18. I could possibly make the price of the blaster back simply by selling this card.

Sorry Spigel, Night Owl, Zakwin, etc. This guy was headed to the 'bay.

Goal for Sandy Koufax Patch: $13.00

The next card was what some may consider a mega-hit for a retail blaster of 2013 Topps Series 1. No, it's not an Ian Kennedy box-hit plain gray swatch.

Nope. It's a 1:357 Desert Camo Foil of Baltimore Orioles center fielder, Adam Jones:

Hot damn! Card #10 in the set is serial numbered 43/99, so no 10/99 EBAY 1/1 LULZ!! mega hit.

Like the Castro, I am yet to see this on ebay. I sold Brian McCann's camo parallel for $7, so I am expecting about $10.

Goal for Adam Jones: $10.00

So that's it for the cards I am selling for offset of this blaster. Four cards, hping to average out at $5/card, and with the Koufax and Jones I should be able to make that easily. While the Castro and Harper are seemingly more common, I am expecting they may be my downfall, if I have one in this mission.

All of the cards have starting bids of $0.99 and $3.03 shipping. Shipping will not be considered in the totals for the challenge.


Wednesday Night:

Bryce Harper - Red Border
Bids: 0 @ $0.99
Views: 3
Watchers: 0

Starlin Castro - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 3, Watchers: 2

Sandy Koufax Commemorative Patch
Bids: 0, Views: 7, Watchers: 4

Adam Jones - Desert Camo Foil
Bids: 0, Views: 6, Watchers: 4

Thursday Night:

Bryce Harper - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 3, Watchers: 0

Starlin Castro - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 4, Watchers: 3

Sandy Koufax Commemorative Patch
Bids: 0, Views: 8, Watchers: 6

Adam Jones - Desert Camo Foil
Bids: 1, View: 9, Watchers: 5 Two days before the first bid. Not bad, not spectacular. We'll see.

Friday Night:

Bryce Harper - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 4, Watchers: 1. First watcher. Looking up...

Starlin Castro - Red Border
Bids: 0, Views: 6, Watchers: 4 A few more views and a new watcher. 

Sandy Koufax Commemorative Patch
Bids: 1, Views: 14, Watchers: 8 First bid and a pile of new views and watchers. This one should be fun to watch.

Adam Jones - Desert Camo Foil
Bids: 2, Views: 10, Watchers: 5 Bid up to $2.08, so at a guaranteed $3, we're 3/20 the way there!

Saturday Night:
I didn't pay much attention. Sorry. The Castro did recieve the minimum bid sometime Saturday, though.

Sunday Night - Results!:

First, the goals:

Harper Red: $4.50
Castro Red: $2.50
Adam Jones Camo: $10.00
Sandy Koufax Patch: $13.00

Actual Sales:

Harper Red: $0.99 Fail
Castro Red: $2.02 Push
Adam Jones Camo: $13.63 Goal Exceeded
Sandy Koufax Patch: $7.47 Fail

Yikes, the Harper red and Koufax patch hurt. Every damn Koufax sold Sunday was over $8 until mine went. About 5-10 of these seem to get posted every day, so it is in no way rare anymore.

The Adam Jones, however, makes the whole experiment worth it. Thirteen bucks and change was more than I could have ever expected for it, seeing as I have been picking of Blue Jays camo cards for $3-$5/each.

The goal of reaching $20 to supplement purchasing the Blaster last weekend was a success. Without factoring in shipping (I do not take a loss in shipping), ebay fees, and PayPal holding me upside down by my ankles and shaking American currency from my outwardly-turned pockets, I pulled in over $24 from the blaster. Keep in mind, I wandered into the stupid luck of landing a camouflage parallel of a very solid young star on a team that's pretty hot right now - even netting a lowly Brandon Lyon or Travis Ishakawa would have been a lofty 1 in 357 shot.

The whole experiment leads me to believe that the addition of all the parallels in this year's Mothership set was a great move on Topps' part. I myself plan on grabbing another blaster, this time from WalMart, just to see if I can grab another gem in blue tint or hopefully even a lowly Blue Jay.

That and I have nothing to do until Heritage comes out this year...in March?

Gahh...winter is hard.


  1. Well, I suppose if you're going to withhold a Koufax from me, I'd prefer it to be one of those patch thingies. Won't sweat it when I have the real thing :)

    Good luck!

  2. I really need to get me some of those blasters. I've been doing the whole rack pack, 10 dollars at a time thing, but it really looks like throwing down the extra 10 for the blaster, really pays off!

  3. I would really really really like the Adam Jones desert Camo. Just saying man....