Saturday, September 20, 2014

Flip Quest Update

Figured I'd do a little update.

I bought a nice lot of refractors and inserts. Here are the pics. (Everything is already gone except for the soccer)





















I sold another book, the black ottoman, drafting table, the Ryan Howard A&G mini hand # card, geotrax set, baseball footbal & racing lot as mentioned above, and several boxes from the wax box hoard I picked up. Here is where we are at now. I may end up picking up quite a few more cards this weekend; I'm not sure just yet.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Another Haul?!?!

I just got back from picking up 150+ wax boxes from the 90's. Very cool stuff! Also included were sets, Nolan Ryan autographed baseball, etc. Here are some pics.  You take the good with the bad!  Thankfully, there was a lot of good :)





Saturday, September 13, 2014

Mouschi and the Million Card Acquisition

If you have been following my flip quest, you have probably noticed recently that I have not been updating much - that is partially because I've been busy with other things (like house hunting for my folks, my deep love for making customs, writing articles, etc.) but also because I haven't purchased anything substantial in the way of cardboard.

Until now.

I was recently browsing some online ads, and ran across someone who said they had a million cards for sale for a thousand bucks. My mind immediately goes to the following:

- the dude doesn't have a million cards
- the cardboard mobile (my minivan's name) would have to make several trips for this, if we did a deal

I started floating toward "meh, it is probably 150,000 1988 donruss commons". Then after I went back to the posting, I noticed he said that while the key star rookies and such were pulled - the majority were from the 1996 to 2008 era.

Here are some pics he posted:







Again, my mind went back to one trip I made about 45 minutes to an hour away from a guy who said he had over a million cards. As a guy who moves cards in bulk, quantity is important. I went there, and he probably only had around 200,000. :/

To top it off, many of the boxes were filled with ... Eric Anthony?

Oh well. Win some, lose some.

I got in contact with the gentleman on this collection, and garnered some more information on the collection. It actually was an inventory that was on beckett when he was a dealer. Apparently, he had been a dealer for years, and was wanting to move out of his rent house. The landlord had not been keeping it up as he should, but moving the cards would take a herculean effort to move.

He told me the bulk of the cards were in order. For instance, if a box was labeled 2008 bowman chrome football, while the box may not be full, it would in fact have said cards, and they would be in numerical order.



While that is impressive, it doesn't help me too terribly much for the way I move these cards personally. I was just thinking HOLY COW - what kind of time was put into not only sorting, but putting all these on the beckett site at one point?!

As I looked at our texts back and forth, I found that we had spoken about a year earlier. He mentioned he had over 1500 jersey cards, which he wanted to sell all of averaging $4 each. That was over $6,400 right there so I declined.

The thousand dollars he was asking for his collection was a far cry from that, but as I re-read the ad, he said he was taking best offers. Does this mean he is wanting more or less? I assumed less, because who posts a price and expects more?

Apparently everybody these days.

While house hunting, I've put an offer on two in the past few weeks - both over the asking price because the realtor said they would not accept anything less ... both were rejected.

But I digress ... I agreed to go to the gentleman's home, and was worried that perhaps things weren't as they seemed.

Was this the place that was going to have a million cards in it? at a little over 800 square feet, how could they even really fit to where someone could comfortably live in it as well???



Across the street was a house that looks to have seen better days - I think it is screaming for some artsy pictures to be taken there. I bet a photographer could do some good work with people posing various places on the property:



It is truly amazing how diverse this city is!

ANYWAY ... back on track again... (sorry!)

I looked inside each room, and I quickly learned how you can live with a million plus cards in an 800+ sq ft house. You don't just put them in the card room, which is stacked from wall to wall...



You also have them in your bedroom



and kitchen ....



and replace your washer / dryer with cards ...



and ... well, you get the picture(s).

After looking through several boxes, I decided to bring up price.

"well ... I know you mentioned on your ad you were asking $1,000..."

He quickly responded "I just put $1,000 because it told me to put something there. I wouldn't take just $1,000 for these ever."

This was a far cry from what I gathered from our phone conversation. I believe he had told me if someone came with a thousand cash, he would sell them since it would be all profit.

He continued to tell me, he would do $1,400 for the baseball, $1,200 for football, $800 for basketball or rock bottom $2,500 for everything.

My heart sank. The television playing a large man crying in the background added to the melancholy I was feeling. I reminded him of our phone conversation and the 45 minute trip I took because of it. He offered me an apology ... that I misunderstood. :/

After a while, I offered $1,500 (which, by the way, is hard for me to do, as my heart was set on $1,000!). He immediately shot it down.

No.

Ultimately, we agreed on $2,000 and I said OK! I generally don't talk about what I paid, but since this is for my flip quest, I thought it would be a good idea to document it. I only had $1,500 on me, so I wanted to make sure i got the best stuff first - because surely this was going to take more than one trip... or what it?

The cardboard mobile rides again!

Yes ... it took 4 trips, back and forth of this ....



Nearly 350 miles in 24 hours on about 3 hours of sleep, fueled by lots of caffeine, a rain storm of Biblical proportions and a lot of music / talk show listening. I ended the trip on DC Talk's cd Jesus Freak circa 1995 - DEF. worth the listen, if you haven't already. Superb both musically and lyrically.

On the trips up, driving had little adventures. Trips back, on the other hand, was a different story. When you are hauling this



and this



each little sudden dip in the freeway becomes something akin to a roller-coaster ride, where you feel an instance of zero gravity while filled with fear waiting for your vehicle filled with hundreds (maybe thousands?) of pounds of cardboard to come back to earth...wondering if your suspension and tires can take it.

Yeah, it kept me alert.

I have got to say though - I was not smelling the greatest after all this. Not only did the driving on very little sleep get to me - it was the sheer energy exerted to move this haul ... twice. First to my car, and then into my garage.



Here is a pic of my son who is over 5 ft tall looking at some of them ...



These boxes are heavy after you carry the first few hundred!



While I don't anticipate any $100 cards, I am relieved to know that there are some interesting items and cool cards!

Early 80's cards



2 boxes full of Nolan Ryan (sorry for the pic quality - i know we have better pics of big foot out there from the 70's!)



early 80's basketball near set (no magic or bird!) and a binder of promo / oversized cards



Gotta love the Michael Jordan Hanes promo!



No inventory buy-out is complete without at least SOME bobbleheads!



some refractors



vintage (i would guess about 10-20k cards from the 70's)





and finally, 4 boxes full of game used / autographed cards. Nothing huge, but there are some goodies.



All in all, this is going to be a very good money maker - I am just unsure of how I'm going to attack this yet, and how long it will take. In the mean time, I'll have a blast going through it all!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Flip Quest Update

Not much change - just sold 4 other books for $28. Mainly showing this: MORE PACKAGES!

I should be able to reveal what is going on soon :)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Starting my own card company - first offering inside!

OKAY, so maybe I'm not starting my own card company ... but I am looking and making some patch cards for the public. I've been accepting art commissions for a while now, so this is the first time I've made something cool to sell as-is like this before.

As I watch baseball games these days, I can't help but see nothing but players wearing awesome patch cards all over themselves. As the camera zooms in, I think OOOHHH ... what an awesome letter set Samardzija would make ... not necessarily Ryu, though. Or ... OOOOH what an awesome commemorative patch they are sporting this year ... would look great embedded into a 2.5x3.5 card!

Needless to say, I have been really itching to buy some game used items and make cards out of them to sell some and keep some for myself. I broke down and bought a game used Rangers baseball cap of Ivan Rodriguez to cut my teeth on.



It is a beauty and even has the written # under the bill!



But then, something terrifying happened ....



AHHHH!!!!

Up to this point, as you know, everything I have made that I show off for the most part is Canseco - and that stuff basically stays in my personal collection for my own enjoyment.

Here is the Pudge Cap Button 1/1 card:



and standing up



I'm limited of course in doing something like this because I don't have the ability to use pictures or logos, so I skipped the logos and team name, and did a digital sketch enhancement in lieu of a picture.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Update to previous post

UPDATE: I have now fully created 2 of them. One is a tweak from the original design, and the other is completely new.

First, I had to make the frames to house the stitched pieces



and ... voila! (chuckle) I say that as if it took a few minutes...nah ... all last night and all morning to come up with the following:

Between the Stitches Gold Holofoil Black Stitch w/soon to be gold signature




and, finally ....

Signed & Stitched Silver Holofoil Green & Gold Stitch w/soon to be Silver signature





I may just get the other 2 white faced ones signed before I actually make the cards, I'm not sure. I can always build around them later!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Custom Time: Between the Stitches

One card I have always loved the look of are Sweet Spot Signature cards. I think the idea was brilliant. Put a baseball cover embedded in a card, and have the player sign. Greatness! But the question looms: Do they really use actual baseballs? Upper Deck had various output issues. As you look at them through the years, you see different outcomes. Here is one that they did use a real baseball:  

Kinda scrunched up. That isn't mind thing (though, if I had that card, I'm sure I'd be happy!) They also apparently tried a different type of material, but the signature wouldn't hold up:

 

 I've been wanting to try my own thing for a little while now, and after several failed attempts of looking for the right type of leather for it, I thought to myself "why leather?" I knew I wanted something textured, but this past week, I picked up some material, as well as some different types of pens and markers to see how well they worked together. I love blue, red, gold and silver. The material I picked up was a piece of black, and a piece of white. It has a bit of a pearlescent tone to it, and the texture seems like it will do wonderfully as a placeholder. I even did some tests on how various inks would look after getting my creations autographed:

 

 I think they look great! So after many, many hours of trying to perfect a baseball cover template with holes in the right area, I ended up making several to bind them together for a thick piece, so twine could stand up to them.

 

I got a bunch of different colors of twine ... (remember the card in the background? Everything's better at Mouschi's!)

 

 And went to work ...

 

 I wanted to do several flavors. Classic red on white, alternating double stitched green & gold on black, single alternating stitched red and blue on white and finally, black on black.

 

 After that, I did the design work, and had my son model them ... as glasses ...



 Here is how it all came out! Green & Gold on black w/gold holofoil(I'm starting out with this because I like it the least)



 Red & Blue on white w/silver holofoil



 Black on black with gold holofoil



 Here is another shot to give you an idea of how the texture is (man this is gonna look sweet signed in gold!)

  Finally, classic red on white with silver holofoil...

 If you look closely in the logo, you see I did something on it and made it look like the logo was being stitched ...



 The ball in the foreground is also autographed by Canseco (thanks to photoshop!)

 

 As a matter of fact, the entire picture is manipulated. This is a few pictures, with various treatments. It initially was a picture of a ball close up, and a picture of a zoomed out stadium with a clear sky. I merged the two, to make it look like a picture was taken of a Canseco autographed baseball from the outfield, which shows the rest of the stadium from the baseball's perspective ... with some pretty wicked looking sky effects. You can't really see what all is going on too well when you are just looking at the pictures of the cards, so here is a shot of the photoshop work ...

 

I have not fully produced them yet - I just staged them here to show what they would look like. The odds are, I will be creating 1-3 more different designs so I can have different types of sweet spot type of cards. For now though, I really like how the design work came together on this first one! Needless to say, I cannot wait to get these puppies signed.