Saturday, February 28, 2015

This week in Customs ... (Yeah, I'm a little bit excited)

(If you don't want to read the below drivel, and are not a big fan of pictures, I have a video below showing off some customs ... but please do stick around and read this first, if you have the time!)

So, I think I have an addictive personality.

When I first got on my own, I BALLOONED to quite a rotund size, thanks to an IV drip of dr. pepper, and a steady diet of McDonalds.  I couldn't stop drinking that sweet, sweet nectar of the gods.  Thanks to running and a much better diet (read: a wife who keeps me in line!) I am not so "hearty" these days.

When I got back into collecting, the allure of the new "game used" cards hooked me.  I didn't want some of them.

I wanted all of them.

So, I scouted out ebay, and bought all kinds of $1-4 cards, until I felt like I was gonna puke.  It took a long time, but ultimately, I learned my lesson, and ended up making a little money off of the cards.  Sure, it probably ended up being something to the tune of $2 an hour, but dealing in cards is more fun than work, right?  :)

The list goes on with me - I have 2 speeds: "full bore" or "not at all".   My 2.0 collection of Canseco has been going this way as well.  For the most part of last year, I was happy with just picking up cards I needed haphazardly, but the more I dug, the more I became obsessed.  I find myself checking ebay several times a day seeing if there is any cool stuff to get.  Here is the latest shipment - and I have quite a few more coming in as well!  A lot of this is odd ball stuff:

This is a smattering of stuff from a former super collector.  Do you see the size of that sportflics disc?

Here are the 2 bigger ones that completed 2 rainbows:  The blue rookie cup #/50 and the Studio silver #/100.  The Studio is a rather rare card - I don't know how there are 99 others floating out there, because I haven't seen any others.

I also completely my "clear" rainbow of 1998 Tek - I still need most of the colors and golds, though.

Gallery of Champions!  I only need the silvers now.

Here are a few more - namely autographs that I picked up, as well as various 2014 Topps Tek variations:

I have a 2014 Stadium Club autograph redemption in the bunch #/25 and the one that sticks out to me moreso is the Collect-A-Books Canseco.  In my 26 years of collecting, I have never seen this.  I was made privy to the fact that there was a 1990 collect-a-book Canseco #28 perhaps a year ago, but I just thought it was the same card as the regular version, only with a different number.  When I saw it online, I had to get it.

While I love the autographs, inserts, etc. I still love the junk wax era variations, and try to educate myself on them as much as I can.  If you see me neck deep in 1990 donruss, you know I'm checking the backs for improperly placed asterisks.

Heck, even the "STAR" cards have really intrigued me as of late.  I had NO IDEA there were so many of them.  I will likely do a post on them at some point.  There are glossy versions, matte versions tons of promos stating a print run of 100, green backs, blank backs, etc.  The interesting thing is that though they SCREAM unlicensed, they actually were licensed cards.  In spite of this, Beckett only lists a few of the sets in their annual price guide.  I think there must be at least 30 or 40 sets of Canseco alone!

Now, onto what I've been working on in the Custom Card Shop.  A friend of mine had pointed out that a well known blogger had written an article on a number of custom card creators, and mentioned me, saying it would be quite terrifying if me (or someone like me) turned to the dark side and started making counterfeits.

Did someone say dark side?  I just got this back from James Earl Jones... Yeah, I have a Darth Vader SUPERFRACTOR, BABY!!!  On card auto!

Shortly thereafter, I received back a few other customs from my favorite basketball player growing up.  SHAQ!  On card!

Someone had approached me to do a few supercross cards.  I don't know much anything about these dudes, but check the video below on a small clip of their race ... I might have to get into this!

The two guys above got into a bit of an altercation as shown on the video ...

Holy cow, right?!?!?!?

Here is another card that was done that was quite a bit more involved.  Blue foil with a massive Indians face patch!

If you are familiar with Christian music, you know that there is every type of genre known to man kind.  Sure, you have the gospel stuff, but you also have hip hop, ska, rap, hard core, grind core, apple core (ok, I made that one up) and everything in between.  The big 3 for me growing up were DC Talk, Newsboys and Audio Adrenaline.

My best friend growing up came to visit, and we ended up having a blast together.  To give you an idea of how close we were back in the 90's, well ...

Nothing embarrassing about 2 18 year old guys dressing alike, right?  I get a kick out of this pic every time I see it.  Anyway, we had a good time hanging out until about 3am (which is a good 3-4 hours past my bed time) He is a a former local rock star in Arizona, who is now a full time worship pastor.  We hadn't seen each other in person in years, so it was pretty amazing how we picked up where we left off.  No, we didn't dress alike this time!

He told me one of his friends that he introduced me to (Adam) years ago was being picked up by a major record label.  The band name was Stellar Kart.  They have been on the radio numerous times, have their songs in movies, etc.  Anyway, Adam just left Stellar Kart apparently, and was just hired to be the front man for ... Audio Adrenaline.  Pretty crazy!

I know that was a pretty wordy segway into this next custom, but this custom is of a guy from another prominent christian rock band - (he is a board member - so feel free to speak up if you are reading this!) The card features one of their custom picks encased inside the card itself.  I think it turned out amazing.  My friend I was speaking about above knew very well of August Burns Red, and his band even did a cover of one of their songs at one point, apparently.

He was gracious enough to send me a few guitar picks.  As a guitar player myself (if you can call me that), I can never have too many picks.  I ALWAYS lose them.  Rest assured, I won't be losing these!

The next one is a fantasy card of a 2010 Topps Chrome lime-canary refractor of Yoenis Cespedes.  I had sent it out with some others about a year ago.  I'm sure you know the story:  Cespedes got traded to the Red Sox ... and then to the Tigers.  I thought all hope was lost.  Until ...


I was very happy to get that return!  I thought I'd never see it again.

Speaking of Fantasy cards, have you ever seen a Canseco card of his time with the Dodgers?

Of course not - because he never played for them :)  I did a 2004 Topps style Berry-Fractor (remember my Expos Berryfractor from my last years posting?) as a "what if?" fantasy card.  Check out the back, and all will become clear. If you look closely, you can see my face in the crowd.  If I'm gonna make the cards, I might as well be in them, right?!?!

Obviously, none of that happened, and Jose ended his career at 462 homers, but I thought that would be a fun card to do.

Here is a Devil Rays card I did recently as well:

Seems normal, right?  Check out what happens when you tilt it:

How about the back?

Or when you put it up to the light?

It is a really fun card to have in hand - something a little more different from what you would see usually.  It is like a regular card, but with a translucent refractive type of material.

This next one is inspired by my son's first (and only) pack pulled game used card ever.

He got this years ago from a card show ... when card shows were cool (no, I'm not still bitter about the last card show 2 weeks ago! LOL!)   As you can tell, the card has seen better days - ahhh, the rough life of a basketball card in the collection of a then - 7 year old.

As me, my wife and my son were all organizing my son's cards in pages (mostly star wars and pokemon), I found it, and said HMMMM ... I bet this would be mega cool if Canseco had a card like this!

So I went to work...

You can see some changes I did - "Tanner's" in the upper right instead of Bazooka, no flag at the bottom, but rather and autograph area, and the star area is a good bit bigger so it can show more game used bat material.  I thought an A's card would look great with this, but I don't have any green/gold game used material of Canseco, and plus, I want to diversify a bit of my work, so it isn't all just him on the A's.  You can't see it too well - especially in the picture, but in the background of the red star, if you look carefully in person, you can see a picture of me and Canseco together from a signing.

For the back, I got a little creative - I whipped it up myself.

The background of the red star again, has a little easter egg.  This time, it is a bazooka joe comic.  You can very faintly see it - and even less so in this picture.

I really, realllly considered changing bazooka joe out for my caricature I have on my business cards for my company, and slapped a hat/eye patch one me....

... but I decided against it.

Do you remember the Good as Gold card I did a month or so back?  Well, I revisited it, and amped it up quite a bit:

I LOVE the gold foiling on the card, and how it goes with the Good as Gold title.  Can't wait to get this puppy signed in gold.

In my constant search of finding design ideas of card designs I like, I remembered that I've always wanted a Clear Cut Elements card of Canseco.  I ended up doing that this week as well.  The one thing I thought that would look ultra cool with the design is gold foil.  My wife doesn't like it all that much, but I'm very excited with how it turned out.  I had a bit of game used Canseco Blue Jays material that I used.

Last but not least, the most anticipated card for me has been completed.  I don't mean just the card - that has been done for almost a year...literally a day or two after I had a literal dream about it.

Speaking of dreams, it was a fantasy to even think I could get it signed.

And then BlueJet66 came along.

I had done a Steve Garvey fantasy 1969 Topps rookie card that he had signed and it turned out amazing for BriscoGun.  This got BlueJet66 to thinking, and he ended up reaching out to me because he knew someone who knew the former bash brother.  Not Canseco ... the other one.  You may have heard of him before ...

MARK McGWIRE!!!!!!!!!

MARK FREAKING McGWIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Autographed custom!!!!!!  He signed it *PERFECTLY*.  The refractor turned out beautifully, and the signature did too.  I can't believe it actually happened!  (For those of you who don't recall, I did this card last year, and printed with a fake signature.  This is the real deal!)

A card so nice, I take a pic of it twice.....

So, this is a very, very long posting, but I just had to show what was up in my neck of the woods.  I am happy with how everything came out, but I think the McGwire kind of steals the show.  THANK YOU BLUEJET66 for making this happen!

Here is a small video of the customs I have done so you can take a look at them in another dimension.

Thanks for reading/watching!


  1. Wow... That's incredible! It's hard to pick my favorite of all of those, since their all great, but the McGwire is pretty awesome. How do you make all these customs? They look amazing!

    1. Thanks Frankie! They literally take me hours upon hours to do. I need several cutting tools, paint, printer (of course) paper materials, acetone....the list goes on.

  2. Amazing as always. Gotta track down some of those Sportflics discs.

  3. I love that August Burns Red card. I never though about making custom cards for the few bands I know, but I really like that idea. Great cards as usual, can't wait to see what you come up with next.

    1. it really looks cooler in person, but the scan is all i had - thanks for the kind words!