Waxing Cynical

There’s a well known and often used quote from Oscar Wilde that goes as follows –

“What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”

This was one of the first quotes that I ever read as a (much) younger man that actually got me thinking about what the author was trying to convey to the reader.

The notion of ‘price’ and ‘value’ are intrinsic to the universe of collectibles, and never more so than in the world of baseball card collecting. You see, ‘price’ and ‘value’ can mean very different things to a lot of different people. For some there is a clear distinction between the two ideas; some will see a slight overlap, while for others they are virtually interchangeable.

I’ve written a fair few pieces since I started this blog concerned with why we collect baseball cards and what means to be a collector. I’m fascinated by the ‘philosophy’ of collecting – what drives us to collect in the first place and what our collecting goals actually are, and one of the most interesting things about the Hobby over the last couple of decades is how there’s been a shift in emphasis in how we perceive the ‘value’ of the baseball cards that we all love!

Last week I read this really fascinating article by Rich Klein over at Sports Collectors Daily regarding our expectations around what we find when opening a box of baseball cards. Please give it a read by clicking on the link below and I’ll see you when you get back…

Rich’s Ramblings: Do Consumer’s Have a Right to Expect Secondary Market Value?

All done? Great stuff! So what did you think about some of the ideas that Rich plays around with there?

Personally I think he hits the nail on the head! As collectors we’ve become a group where the prospect of scoring that big ‘hit’ from a box of cards has become paramount. I wonder how many collectors out there bust open boxes wax and don’t even see the cards for what they are, instead they scour through each pack in eager anticipation of the treasures that lie within, with each card they come across automatically being given a $ value based upon past experience and anticipated secondary market value?

It reminds me of an old episode of 30 Rock called ‘Apollo, Apollo’ where we get to see the world through each character’s eyes. Tracy sees everyone as himself, Kenneth sees everyone as Muppets, while Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy sees everything with a price tag attached to it highlighting its monetary value.

Is this what collectors are becoming? Or maybe this is what they’ve already become? Sure we shell out a fair amount of money for a box of baseball cards in the first place, but if your main expectation is to get a solid return on your purchase then surely you’re opening that box for all the wrong reasons?!? I know that all collectors don’t fit this model but I get the impression that it is becoming more and more commonplace for collectors to behave this way.

Media such as Twitter doesn’t necessarily help as you will often see collectors showing off their ‘hits’ for everyone else to see, like some kind of badge of honour. In itself there’s nothing wrong with this and it’s great to share in other collector’s success stories. However no-one ever gets to see the ‘smaller’ cards as no-one is ever interested in that sort of thing. Personally I’d much rather see images of several cards of lesser stars that are going straight into someones lovingly built PC, as opposed to a single big hit like a BGS slabbed orange refractor autograph of the latest top prospect!

In fact I often feel that prospect collectors are among the worst culprits for this sort of thing. And before you say it, NO I don’t hate prospect collectors in the slightest. I’ve met some truly wonderful prospect collectors out there in Hobby-land, through either my ramblings on Twitter or through this very blog itself. Chasing prospects just isn’t a type of collecting that’s for me, however I feel lends itself perfectly to the point I’m trying to make!

I appreciate that we all have different ways of collecting, but whenever I see those high value prospect cards in their PSA, SGC or BGS slabs I can’t help but think of them as commodities rather than valued collectible pieces, and I often wonder if that’s how their owners view them as well. The simple fact that these cards are graded often speaks volumes as to how these cards are perceived by collectors. Lets face facts, the higher the grade the greater a cards potential value.

For me the true ‘value’ of a baseball card comes from the collector having a ‘connection’ to their card or their collection. Whether that connection is grounded in some sort of emotional context (the love of a team, the love of a specific player), or simply because the collector has an appreciation of a card itself (such as the its overall aesthetic, or perhaps its historical significance to the game or the Hobby), I can’t help but feel that a card or collection should mean something that goes beyond the perceived monetary value.

Has the hobby embraced the view that unless you somehow get a return on the initial cost of your box then the box itself and its contents are in some way judged to be a failure? For the Hobby to thrive collectors surely have to look beyond the notion of flipping their hits to make money. We’re all guilty of wanting the big ‘hit’ from our Hobby boxes and often I’m no better than anyone else in this respect, but it’s important to remember that there are probably somewhere between 200-300 other cards in a Hobby box that aren’t ‘hits’, and these cards are worthy of your love and attention just as much as the ‘hits’ are!

Of course I could well be totally off-base with this, but the more high-end products I see entering the market (the upcoming Topps Supreme or Topps Dynasty anyone?) the more desperate I feel. These types of products provide the perfect outlet for flipping cards for profit, propagating the notion of the ‘collector-as-a-dealer’ (or EADS as described by Rich in his article), for anyone who can afford to buy these often ridiculously priced products in the first place.

Have collectors become the type of cynics that Oscar Wilde wrote about all those years ago, knowing the ‘price’ of what they collect but failing to see any ‘value’ other than what it might be worth on the secondary market? Maybe one day soon we’ll see another shift in the Hobby, a shift away from this ‘collecting for profit’ mentality that seems to have emerged slowly over the last several years? Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong to begin with? Perhaps this type of  ‘collector’ is the norm now and the Hobby will grow and evolve around them.

Maybe it’s just me that’s being a little bit cynical?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the issue and any personal experiences you might want to share. My door’s always open and thanks for taking the time to read this!

Coming Soon… Topps Aluminum?!?!?!


Mmmmmm… Where do I start?

Just over an hour ago Topps posted this image on Instagram with the tagline – ‘Topps Aluminum. Coming Soon’


Now I’m assuming we’re looking at another new set maybe? A metal set??? Perhaps a limited release? Or online only? Reprints?? Who knows?

I’m having a hard time figuring out what to say about this one to be honest. It all feels a little bit out of left field, and given the material that the card seems to be made from I’d envisage that it’ll be another high-end product. Something we’re all clamouring for I’m sure.

Well Topps, you’ve piqued my curiosity so far… Lets see what else you’ve got!!

Why The F*%£ Can’t Topps Sort Out Their RC’s?

OK… OK… Sometimes I really despair over the tiniest, most insignificant things in life. I often worry that I might be missing something bigger by sweating the small stuff all the time, but occasionally there are those moments of sheer frustration born out of something which, on the surface, is pretty mundane and banal!

Collecting baseball cards shouldn’t be something to stress over. It should be about the fun; the community; the Hobby!

But every once in awhile maybe it doesn’t hurt to let off a little steam, you know? Shout from the rooftops even if there is no-one around to listen, or even care!

After my brief time away from the Hobby I’ve spent the last few days reacquainting myself with everything card-related that’s been occurring since the Red Sox somehow used their proliferance of facial hair to convince my Cardinals that they no longer knew how to hit or score runs (still not bitter)! This reacquaintance is still an ongoing process but I have had the chance to check out some of the products that I’ve missed.

And one such product was 2013 Topps Five Star Baseball!

Now, I know that the 2012 set had its fair share of issues – the epic QA fail that was the chipping and that ill-judged 5-Star Club thingy were a couple that I remember standing out – but from the early previews of the 2013 set I remember really liking what I saw! 2013 Five Star Baseball is last year’s news already (literally as well as figuratively) but I’ve only just come across it and can’t help marvelling at the sheer beauty of what Topps has produced here. Still waaaaayyyy out of my price range, but a lovely set all the same!

However one thing about it really bugs me on initial viewing, and that’s Topps’ inability to sort out their problem with the RC logo conventions. Check these two cards out –



On the top we have a Manny Machado base card #’d/75 while underneath we have an autographed card #’d/353.

“So what’s the big issue here Andy, you cantankerous English bastard?”, I hear you all cry!!

The issue for me is that the RC logo is on the wrong bloody card!!

What the hell is it doing on the autograph card when there’s a perfectly good (and much rarer) base card without a RC logo on it? Shouldn’t the base card in any set be the one that’s designated the RC, where applicable? What’s the deal with Topps and their never ending quest to create autographed RCs seemingly out of everything these days??

I don’t know!! Maybe it’s just me that still gets bothered about stuff like this? I know that there are plenty of you out there that still DO care about the status of the venerable old RC, even though its existence these days seems to be becoming more and more irrelevant to Topps and to certain sections of the Hobby.

At the end of the day should this be something to even care about?

Does it really matter where a RC logo appears, or more importantly doesn’t appear?? In the age of the Prospect card does the RC even have that much significance to the average collector anymore? or has it become something of an anachronism – a remnant of an older and more simpler era of collecting?

I’d love to hear all your thoughts on this one!!

Collectors Without Borders

You know, every now and again there are certain occurrences in the crazy world of Baseball card collecting that constantly surprise me.

That Prospect cards have taken over the venerable old Rookie card as THE player card of choice is one such oddity that I’ve always had trouble wrapping my head around! That people still go out and buy boxes of Topps Tier One is another! Come on guys, will someone please explain that one to me?

There are others that crop up from time to time, but the one thing that consistently blows me away is the friendliness and generosity of our fellow collectors!

On a personal level I’m always happy to give away cards – always have been! I’m well aware that there’s a thriving trading community out there, both online and at the grassroots level, and I dare say that there are few unscrupulous types who will only entertain a trade if it suits them, if they get the best end of the deal!!

However that isn’t the way Patricia Bates raised her only son, and I’ve always been of the opinion that I’d rather give cards away as long as I know they’re going to a good home. It’s just the way I’m wired! I’ve done it several times in the past and no doubt I’ll end up doing it again in the future!

One such giveaway happened a few weeks ago when I butted in on a Twitter conversation between two Cardinals fans. Don’t you just love that the existence of Twitter somehow allows you to bypass the standard social conventions and rudeness associated with interrupting a conversation in a real world environment? One of these Cardinals fans was my good friend James Ruffin, and the other was Shannon Smith from Sterling, Illinois!

I found out that Shannon had a Yadier Molina PC so I enquired as to whether he had the Gold Parallel #’d/199 from this year’s Topps Archives! He said he didn’t and – BLAM – the card was his. I got his address details and off it went. No fuss and no discussion of a trade. I had a card that another collector wanted and as far as I was concerned the card was his (it didn’t hurt that he was a Cardinals fan either 🙂 )!

A couple of weeks later he found out that I have a fledgling Bob Gibson PC and he sent me a couple of pictures of Gibby singles via Twitter, but I had nothing else to trade so I let him know it was cool and didn’t bother pursuing it further.

Now there’s a popular adage across the sport that the St Louis Cardinals have the best fans in Baseball. On this occasion I’d like to extend this just a bit further and say that they’ve quite possibly got the best card collectors in Baseball as well, as around three weeks later a package turned up from Shannon containing the following –

IMAG0413 IMAG0414 IMAG0415

Wow!! What can I say??

My Gibson collection suddenly jumped by 50% from 40 cards to 60 in one go, and he also threw in a few extra goodies as well including an X-Fractor of Adam Wainwright from 2013 Topps Chrome!

This is a shining example of the generosity of spirit of my fellow collectors! Without any selfish agenda Shannon was happy to part with 24 cards from his own collection, sending them overseas to help to help a fellow collector in a far-off land! It makes my contribution of a single Yadi insert look a bit lame, all things considered! But if you weigh up the fact that we’re looking at a 24 card to one trade, then I guess you’re missing the point to begin with!

James perfectly summed this up recently when he called it ‘collectors without borders’! You see, I love being part of an international community of collectors, and I love that we all watch out for each other – helping out wherever we can to build upon our collections! Sure, getting cards for your own collection is great, but what’s wrong with spreading the love (and the cards) every once in a while too, eh?

Collectors without borders, long may it continue!!

Thanks Shannon!

Introducing My New PC


I’ve been toying with this idea for some time and now that the off-season’s here I figured it was as good a time as any!

You see, Paul Goldschmidt excites me!! As a young hitter with incredible potential he was one of only 13 players to smack over 30 Home Runs this last season!! Only 13?!?!? That’s crazy, but if this is any indication of the post-steroid/PED era then I guess we shouldn’t be surprised!

So Goldschmidt has become my new collecting goal, and I’m pretty stoked about it!

And while you’re there, please bear in mind he was completely robbed of this years NL MVP award, probably due to the fact that Andrew McCutchen got to see some post-season action with the Pirates for the first time in like 200 years, or something! Have a read of this article from Captain Canuck over at Waxaholic, who sums up this injustice so much better than I ever could! It’s an awesome read with a great bit of research behind it!!

The A&G auto you see above is so far the only Paul Goldschmidt card I own (acquired in a trade a few months ago from fellow Brit, Jeff Vernon) so the sky’s the limit folks! I’m keen to set up some trades for any of his base cards/inserts and I’ve updated my ‘Trade Bait’ list that you can find at the top of this page!!

Let me know if there’s anything that interests you and maybe we can work something out!



Where Have You Been All My Life?

Some of the more eagle-eyed readers of this blog might have notice a distinct lack of presence on my part over the last couple of months. Apart from a re-blog back at the start of October I’ve not put fingertips to keyboard since mid-September!!

Now, I can appreciate the sort of impact this could have. Hearts have been broken for less!! Stock markets have crashed… Nations have even gone to war, damn it!!

But fear not!! I’m still here, I’ve not gone too far!

The truth is I became a bit disillusioned with the whole Baseball card collecting malarkey! I just wasn’t being as inspired or getting as excited about the Hobby as I had been over the previous 12 months.

Topps’ upcoming 2014 output was starting to look insipid and uninspired! A lack of funds at my end meant that I wasn’t able to get hold of any new boxes or singles, which in turn meant that my own PC wasn’t progressing as quickly as I’d have liked! I was even feeling a bit burnt out trying to maintain the frenetic posting pace that I’d imposed on myself, trying to bring you something new and worth reading on a regular basis!

The thing is, I’m not a writer!

Now while some of you may laugh at this and happily point out that that particular bombshell hasn’t come as that much of a surprise given my prior output, what I’m trying to say is that I’m not a trained writer. I have no previous experience doing this sort of thing. Nothing to tell me what’s great syntax and what isn’t. No idea of how best to structure paragraph upon paragraph of inane ramblings and half thought-through musings about cardboard! Most likely the above criteria applies to 90-something percent of the blogging community!

So when I hit a ‘wall’ in terms of coming up with something new and exciting to continue writing about I ended up stopped in my tracks! Could I/Should I just continue writing just for the sake of keeping The Wax Fantastic going on a daily basis? Or maybe it was time to regroup and take a timeout!! (Or maybe I’m overthinking it all)

So I decided to step away and take a bit of a break! Recharge the batteries, and all that!!

And now I’m back – kind of!

I remember reading something somewhere (I forget where or when) that likened the Hobby to ‘cardboard crack’! And they weren’t far wrong. However off-kilter I feel about it at times I always keep coming back for more! I just can’t help it!! So what if Topps’ 2014 brands are looking all ‘been there, done that’?!?! There’s still a load of other cards around right now that are just as deserved of our time and attention! And then there’s also vintage as well!!!

So while I feel in a good place to go back to blogging again I’m purposely going to cut back on how often I post. I always knew that the rate I was going at was going to be unsustainable for me – as a father and husband, with a full-time job and a host of other responsibilities!

But I can’t turn my back on it completely, I enjoy it too much!!

So for The Wax Fantastic, normal service (or at least what passes for normal round these parts) will be resuming – albeit in a slightly diminished capacity!

Feels good to be back, and thanks for sticking around!!


Chrome Dead Redemption

Damn, life’s been a bit hectic recently. Between work, the house and the family there’s not been much time to write in these ‘hallowed’ pages 🙂 In fact the seven days between my last post and this one today has been the my longest absence since I started the blog!

However I couldn’t resist as 2013 Topps Chrome is now upon us – and so are some old friends!

In an effort to prepare for the oncoming storm Topps has already come clean about the number of redemptions that can be found in this year’s Topps Chrome Baseball! And let’s be honest – it’s quite a list!

Aside from an assortment of what appear to be autographed inserts, there are a number of key rookie cards that collectors won’t be finding in their freshly sealed packs, including the following names (many of whom I’d love to be getting my own hands on) –

  • Yasiel Puig
  • Gerritt Cole
  • Manny Machado
  • Jurikson Profar
  • Anthony Rendon
  • Hyun-Jin Ryu
  • Nolan Arenado
  • Nik Franklin
  • Jose Fernandez
  • Adam Eaton
  • Avisail Garcia
  • Paco Rodriguez
  • Tony Cingrani
  • Jedd Gyorko
  • Oswaldo Arcia
  • Tyler Skaggs
  • Shelby Miller
  • Manny Machado
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • Kyle Gibson

Topps have advised that a number of these cards were received back shortly after the rest were sent to the packagers, so certain ‘lucky’ redemption recipients shouldn’t have too long to wait for their cards! And starting with 2013 Topps Chrome, Topps will be keeping their valued collectors up to date with their redemptions through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr every Friday!

Gotta love the originality of THAT idea! Blazing a trail there Topps!!!! Couldn’t you have come up with another day other than the one that Panini does their redemption updates??

Now I have to confess that I like Topps Chrome! It always comes across as the distant cousin that no-one likes to talk about. Not quite there with the mass appeal of the base set and not quite there with the prestige of Bowman Chrome, Topps Chrome seems to sit uncomfortably between the two!

However this year’s superlative rookie class may well just elevate the product to near classic status, with a great base card design coupled with the allure of the Chrome finish!

Sadly the multitude of redemptions will certainly harm the long time value of this set, especially the appeal of sealed boxes once the redemption expiry date has passed! I mean, who’s going to want to buy a sealed box of ’13 Topps Chrome with a chance of pulling a ‘dead’ redemption card of Manny Machado or Yasiel Puig?

Not me for sure!! So my advice will be get the Chrome autos while you can of those that have already been redeemed, as I imagine that they’ll become pretty scarce in the long term!!

So, does Topps Chrome float your boat? or will you be getting your Chrome rookie fix with Bowman Chrome?

My special thanks to the guys over at Sports Collectors Daily for reporting on this story! Now I’m off to think of some more ‘Redemption’ related puns for blog post titles!!

The Admiral and The Worm

Since the start of August Topps has released previews for six of their 2014 Baseball card products. I spent a few minutes last night looking over the sell sheets and reviewing what I’d written about them, and all I got was an overwhelming feeling of “Meh”!!

Been there, done that!!

There was nothing that really jumped out at me as new or innovative. Nothing that showcased Topps really ‘pushing the boat out’ in terms of new ideas or designs! With the exception of Heritage, each product looks pretty much the same as what we’ve been treated to these past two years, but with a bit of spit and polish and a couple of new inserts thrown in to ‘spice’ things up a bit! I exclude Heritage here because it’s the one product that you can rely on to change it’s base design with each release, although there aren’t often any huge surprises around its other content!

Maybe this is what Topps’ long-term plan is – to solidify their card product lines over the coming years by giving us pretty much the same thing year after year with a few add-ons around the edges to fool us into thinking that it’s different enough from the previous release that we’ll go out and buy it.

With the exception of whatever plans they have for their Football (Soccer) licenses, Topps really isn’t getting me that excited or invested in the future of their Baseball card lines. There are certain aspects of each new product that do stand out, that I do like the look of, but I find myself interested more and more in seeing what retro-themed release Panini has up its sleeve, like Panini Cooperstown or National Treasures.

So it’s at times like these that I get all retrospective, and start thinking back to the early days of my sports card obsession. As regular readers will know that started with Basketball cards in the very late 80’s and into most of the 90’s! This period in my life was brought home recently when I unearthed these two rookie cards – the last remnants of my old Basketball collecting days –

BK_Robinson BK_Rodman

It’s at times like these, while I’m wallowing under the general malaise and apathy brought on by my waning interest in the immediate future of Baseball card products, that I start to hanker back to those old Basketball card days.

I often think that I’d love to take another stab at building a collection from that era, especially with the resources that are available to us now that weren’t around back then – eBay, COMC, Collector Rev. To this day I still don’t know how I managed to build a 100+ collection of Jason Kidd cards, given how difficult it was to gain access to the cards over here in the UK in the first place!

There are a number of players from back then that I’d jump at the chance to build PCs of – Karl Malone, John Stockton, Dennis Rodman, Grant Hill, Eddie Jones, to name just a few – and now that a veritable ocean of these cards are available from the various online sources I mentioned above, the opportunity is even more enticing!

How does everyone else out there feel about the current state of Topps Baseball products? Does anyone else think that there’s a certain ‘staleness’ to what’s being released at the moment and what’s just around the corner? Or do you think that things are moving along nicely and all is good?

I can appreciate that there’s a tendency for us — ahem — older collectors to take these nostalgia trips every once in awhile, but if the future of collecting isn’t looking that exciting anymore, what other way is there to go?

A Little Light Reading…

A contributor to the UK Cards email group recently asked “Does anyone know any good books concerned with cards and card collecting?”. I thought it was an interesting question and one that merited an article here on TWF.

So, without further ado, here are a few books that I’ve read or acquired over the years –

The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book


This is a terrific little book – first published in 1973 – that gives the reader an overview of the history of baseball cards and card collecting up to the 1960. In addition to the factual stuff, it also presents an irreverent overview of over 200 cards from the early 1950s to 1969, featuring anecdotes about the players and the era. An incredibly fun book!

Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became An American Obsession


Author Dave Jamieson presents an excellent history about the card companies and collecting, explaining the rise of the card industry from kid’s hobby to an “investment” business in the 1980s and the subsequent spectacular bubble in the 1990s. Good factual stuff.

Topps Baseball Cards: The Complete Picture Collection (A 35-year history 1951-1985)


A true coffee table book. Large format, full colour images of every card produced by Topps up to 1985.  An updated version of the book was published in 1991 featuring cards up to 1990. Hard to find cheap and in good condition!

Cardboard Gods: An All-American Tale Told Through Baseball Cards


I like this one. Author Josh Wilker recounts his childhood and adolescent years, using cards he collected along the way as milestones and reminders of key events. It demonstrates how much baseball cards were ingrained into the lives of American kids growing up in the 1950/60/70s eras.

The Sports Collector’s Digest Standard Catalogs


Never mind Beckett. This is the book to get if you want to know what’s out there and what its worth. At the annual National Sports Collectors Convention in the States, almost as many dealers use this as their pricing bible as do Beckett – especially when it comes to vintage. Within this annual tome, you could find full checklists and prices over over 16,000 of sets and 1,000,000 cards. In 2011, the Standard Catalog had grown so big that it is now concentrating primarily on vintage cards (pre 1981). Because of that, its a bit smaller than it used to be, but still extremely comprehensive. Every serious collector should have an edition of this publication on their bookshelf. And if you’re into football, basketball, or ice hockey card collecting, there are equivalent catalogs for those sports too! If you buy old stuff, this meaty price guide gives you a real feel for relative value and  shows you cards and sets you might never have realised existed!!

Happy reading!


The Ultimate Allen & Ginter’s Non-Baseball Mini Checklist

OK then folks! I’m really starting to think I should have done a ‘Ginter Week’ theme!!

One of the things that I love about Allen & Ginter’s, year in year out, are the minis.

And no, I’m not talking about the Baseball minis (although they are pretty cool – A&G does THE best minis!!), what I am talking about are the several different sets of non-Baseball minis that get randomly inserted each year.

I just love the eclectic mix of subjects that goes into these sets – ranging from Greek Gods to famous Haunted Houses, from Politicians and World Leaders to Endangered Animals, there really is something for everyone, and these small sets really bring out the collector in me.

Just under a year ago I did have a stab at putting some of these sets together, and I was moderately successful with around 15 full sets, but other things ended up getting in the way and I ended up selling them on eBay! As with most items that I invest time in putting together, only to eventually get rid of before moving on to something else, I’ve since come to regret this decision!

But that’s how it goes I guess! Anyway, while putting my aborted collection together I did collate a list of ALL the non-Baseball mini sets that had appeared in A&G since it’s first release back in 2006 (although the non-Baseball mini inserts didn’t actually feature until 2007). I’m not sure if anyone has ever done this before, so here they are for your reference and viewing pleasure!

Note: I’ve not included the ‘One of a Kind’ minis that were inserted throughout Rip Cards in the 2013 A&G release. Since some of those minis have already surfaced on eBat I’ll probably leave those for another post!

I will post some more images in due course, just to fill the list out! And be warned – it’s a pretty loooong list!

2007 Flags

1 Algeria
2 Argentina
3 Australia
4 Austria
5 Belgium
6 Brazil
7 Bulgaria
8 Canada
9 Chile
10 China
11 Colombia
12 Costa Rica
13 Denmark
14 Dominican Republic
15 Ecuador
16 Egypt
17 Ryan France
18 Germany
19 Greece
20 Greenland
21 Honduras
22 Iceland
23 India
24 Indonesia
25 Ireland
26 Israel
27 Italy
28 Ivory Coast
29 Jamaica
30 Japan
31 Kenya
32 Mexico
33 Morocco
34 Netherlands
35 Nigeria
36 Norway
37 Panama


38 Peru
39 Philippines
40 Portugal
41 Puerto Rico
42 Russian Federation
43 Spain
44 Switzerland
45 Taiwan
46 Thailand
47 Turkey
48 United Arab Emirates
49 United Kingdom
50 United States of America

2007 Roman Emperors

1 Julius Caesar
2 Caesar Augustus
3 Tiberius
4 Caligula
5 Claudius
6 Nero
7 John Titus
8 Hadrian
9 Marcus Aurelius
10 Septimus Severus

2007 World’s Deadliest Snakes

1 Arizona Coral Snake
2 Copperhead
3 Black Mamba


4 King Cobra
5 Cottonmouth

2008 World Leaders

WL1 Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner
WL2 Kevin Rudd
WL3 Guy Verhofstadt
WL4 Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
WL5 Stephen Harper
WL6 Michelle Bachelet Jeria
WL7 Oscar Arias Sanchez
WL8 Mirek Topolanek
WL9 Anders Fogh Rasmussen
WL10 Leonel Fernandez Reyna
WL11 Mohamed Hosni Mubarak
WL12 Tarja Halonen
WL13 Nicolas Sarkozy
WL14 Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh
WL15 Angela Merkel
WL16 Konstandinos Karamanlis
WL17 Benedict XVI
WL18 Geir H. Haarde
WL19 Manmohan Singh
WL20 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
WL21 Bertie Ahern
WL22 Ehud Olmert
WL23 Bruce Golding
WL24 Yasuo Fukuda
WL25 Mwai Kibaki
WL26 Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa
WL27 Sanjaa Bayar
WL28 Armando Guebuza
WL29 Girija Prasad Koirala
WL30 Jan Peter Balkenede
WL31 Helen Clark
WL32 Jens Stoltenberg
WL33 Qaboos bin Said al-Said
WL34 Alan Garcia Perez
WL35 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
WL36 Donald Tusk
WL37 Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin
WL38 Robert Fico
WL39 Thabo Mbeki
WL40 Lee Myung-bak
WL41 Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
WL42 Fredrik Reinfeldt
WL43 Pascal Couchepin
WL44 Jakaya Kikwete
WL45 Samak Sundavavej
WL46 Tenzin Gyatso
WL47 Patrick Manning
WL48 Gordon Brown


WL49 George W. Bush
WL50 Nguyen Tan Dung

2008 World’s Deadliest Sharks

WDS1 Great White Shark
WDS2 Tiger Shark
WDS3 Bull Shark
WDS4 Oceanic Whitetip Shark
WDS5 Mako Shark

2008 Ancient Icons

A1 Gilgamesh
A2 Marduk
A3 Beowulf
A4 Poseidon
A5 The Sphinx
A6 Tutankhamen
A7 Alexander the Great
A8 Cleopatra
A9 Sun Tzu
A10 Quetzalcoatl
A11 Isis
A12 Hercules
A13 King Arthur
A14 Miyamoto Musashi
A15 Genghis Khan
A16 Zeus
A17 Achilles
A18 Confucius
A19 Attila the Hun
A20 Romulus & Remus

2008 Baseball Icons

BI1 Cy Young
BI2 Walter Johnson
BI3 Jackie Robinson
BI4 Thurman Munson
BI5 Mel Ott
BI6 Honus Wagner


BI7 Pee Wee Reese
BI8 Tris Speaker
BI9 Christy Mathewson
BI10 Ty Cobb
BI11 Johnny Mize
BI12 Jimmie Foxx
BI13 Lou Gehrig
BI14 Roy Campanella
BI15 George Sisler
BI16 Rogers Hornsby
BI17 Babe Ruth

2008 Team Orange

TO1 Cornelius Franks
TO2 Mittens McCluskey
TO3 Capt. WP Mantooth
TO4 Wheelbarrow Walker
TO5 Archibald Clinker
TO6 Minty Beans
TO7 Francisco Fiasco
TO8 Thurgood Cartwright IV
TO9 Enzo DiStubbs
TO10 Sir Wagonwheel Stevens

2009 National Heroes

NH1 George Washington
NH2 Haile Selassie
NH3 Toussaint Louverture
NH4 Rigas Feraios
NH5 Yi Sun-sin
NH6 Giuseppe Garibaldi
NH7 Juan Santamaria
NH8 Tecun Uman
NH9 Jon Sigurosson
NH10 Mohandas Gandhi
NH11 Simon Bolivar
NH12 Alexander Nevsky
NH13 Lim Bo Seng
NH14 Sun Yat-sen
NH15 Tiradentes
NH16 Chiang Kai-Shek
NH17 William I
NH18 Severyn Nalyvaiko
NH19 Vasil Levski
NH20 Tadeusz Kosciuszko
NH21 Andranik Toros Ozanian
NH22 William Wallace
NH23 Oda Nobunaga
NH24 Milos Obilic
NH25 Niels Ebbeson
NH26 Jose Rizal
NH27 Alfonso Ugarte
NH28 Mustafa Ataturk
NH29 Nelson Mandela
NH30 El Cid
NH31 Achieng Oneko
NH32 Winston Churchill
NH33 Skanderbeg
NH34 General Jose de San Martin
NH35 Janos Damjanich
NH36 Joan of Arc
NH37 Abd al-Qadir
NH38 David Ben-Gurion
NH39 Benito Juarez
NH40 Marcus Garvey

2009 Creatures of Legend, Myth And Terror

LMT1 Bigfoot
LMT2 The Loch Ness Monster
LMT3 Grendel
LMT4 Unicorn
LMT5 The Invisible Man
LMT6 Kraken
LMT7 Medusa
LMT8 Sphinx
LMT9 Minotaur
LMT10 Dragon
LMT11 Leviathan
LMT12 Cyclops
LMT13 Vampire


LMT14 Griffin
LMT15 Chupacabra
LMT16 Cerberus
LMT17 Hydra
LMT18 Werewolf
LMT19 Fairy
LMT20 Yeti

2009 World’s Greatest Hoaxes, Hoodwinks and Bamboozles

HHB1 Charles Ponzi
HHB2 Alabama Changes Value of Pi
HHB3 The Runaway Bride
HHB4 Idaho
HHB5 The Turk
HHB6 Enron
HHB7 Anna Anderson
HHB8 Ferdinand Waldo Demara
HHB9 San Serriffe
HHB10 D.B. Cooper
HHB11 Wisconsin State Capitol Collapses
HHB12 Victor Lusting
HHB13 The War of the Worlds
HHB14 George Parker
HHB15 The Bathtub Hoax
HHB16 The Cottingley Fairies
HHB17 James Reavis
HHB18 The Piltdown Man
HHB19 The Cardiff Giant
HHB20 Cold Fusion

2009 Inventions of the Future

FI1 Aeromobile


FI2 Clock Defier
FI3 Protecto-Bubble
FI4 Here-To-There-O-Matic
FI5 Mental Movies

2009 Extinct Animals

EA1 Velociraptor
EA2 Dodo
EA3 Xerces Blue
EA4 Labrador Duck
EA5 Eastern Elk

2010 Sailors of the Seven Seas Checklist

SSS1 Christopher Columbus
SSS2 Sir Francis Drake
SSS3 Sir Walter Raleigh
SSS4 Vasco Nunez de Balboa
SSS5 Vasquez de Coronado
SSS6 Hernando de Cortes
SSS7 Hernando de Soto
SSS8 Henry Hudson
SSS9 Francisco Pizarro
SSS10 Juan Ponce de Leon

2010 World’s Greatest Wordsmiths

WGWS1 Homer
WGWS2 William Shakespeare
WGWS3 Washington Irving
WGWS4 Miguel de Cervantes
WGWS5 Fyodor Dostoevsky
WGWS6 Victor Hugo
WGWS7 Shen Kuo
WGWS8 John Milton
WGWS9 Dante Alighieri
WGWS10 Edgar Allan Poe
WGWS11 Marcus Aurelius
WGWS12 Virgil
WGWS13 John Bunyan
WGWS14 Plato
WGWS15 Confucius

2010 National Animals

NA1 Cougar
NA2 Cuban Crocodile
NA3 Falcon
NA4 Cheetah
NA5 Cow
NA6 Kangaroo
NA7 Ostrich
NA8 Chihuahua
NA9 Jaguar
NA10 Bull
NA11 Harpy Eagle
NA12 Markhor
NA13 African Elephant
NA14 Barbary Macaque
NA15 Giant Panda
NA16 Leopard
NA17 Camel
NA18 Beaver
NA19 Alpaca
NA20 Lion
NA21 Lynx
NA22 Stag
NA23 Elk
NA24 Condor
NA25 Wisent
NA26 Gray Wolf
NA27 Gallic Rooster
NA28 Sable Antelope
NA29 Flamingo
NA30 Koi
NA31 Ashy-faced Owl
NA32 Bulldog
NA33 Brown Bear
NA34 White-tailed Deer
NA35 Russian Bear
NA36 Dolphin
NA37 Komodo Dragon
NA38 Llama
NA39 Sheep
NA40 King Cobra
NA41 Green-and-black Streamertail
NA42 Carabao
NA43 Water Buffalo
NA44 Israeli Gazelle
NA45 Italian Wolf
NA46 Ring Tailed Lemur
NA47 Tiger
NA48 Dalmatian
NA49 Zebra
NA50 Bald Eagle

2010 Monsters of the Mesozoic

MM1 Tyrannosaurus Rex
MM2 Triceratops
MM3 Stegosaurus
MM4 Velociraptor
MM5 Allosaurus
MM6 Megalosaurus
MM7 Spinosaurus
MM8 Ankylosaurus
MM9 Apatosaurus
MM10 Brachiosaurus
MM11 Diplodocus
MM12 Iguanodon
MM13 Pachycephalosaurus
MM14 Pentaceratops
MM15 Protoceratops
MM16 Ultrasaurus
MM17 Dilophosaurus
MM18 Supersaurus
MM19 Nomingia
MM20 Oviraptor
MM21 Bambiraptor
MM22 Protarchaeopteryx
MM23 Carcharodontosaurus
MM24 Carnotaurus
MM25 Giganotosaurus

2010 World’s Biggest

NOTE: The first five cards in this set are seeded all ALL retail packs (i.e. retail boxes, Blasters, and gravity-feeded looseys). Cards #WB6-#WB25 are exclusive to gravity-feeded looseys

WB1 Animal (Blue Whale)
WB2 Skyscraper (Burj Khalifa)
WB3 Castle (Prague Castle)
WB4 Tree (General Sherman)
WB5 Mountain (Mount Everest)
WB6 Desert (Antarctica)
WB7 Hot Desert (The Sahara)
WB8 Waterfall (Angel Falls)
WB9 Tropical Rain Forest (The Amazon)
WB10 Active Geyser (Steamboat Geyser)
WB11 Bridge (Lake Pontchartrain Causeway)
WB12 River (The Nile)
WB13 Country (Russia)
WB14 Dam (Three Gorges Dam)
WB15 Diamond (The Golden Jubilee)
WB16 Land Canivore (The Polar Bear)
WB17 Land Animal (African Elephant)
WB18 Primate (Eastern Lowland Gorilla)
WB19 Spider (Goliath Birdeater)
WB20 World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things
WB21 Particle Accelerator (Large Hadron Collider)
WB22 Meteor Shower (The Lenoids)
WB23 Man Made Crater (Sedan Crater)
WB24 Book (Kuthodaw Pagoda)
WB25 Statue (Spring Temple Buddha)

2010 Creatures of Legend, Myth & Joy

CLMJ1 Santa Claus


CLMJ2 The Easter Bunny
CLMJ3 The Tooth Fairy
CLMJ4 Goldilocks
CLMJ5 Little Red Riding Hood
CLMJ6 Paul Bunyan
CLMJ7 Jack (and the Beanstalk)
CLMJ8 Peter Pan
CLMJ9 Three Little Pigs
* CLMJ10 The Little Engine that Could (There were plans to release this card but it was never produced)

2010 Lords of Olympus

LO1 Zeus
LO2 Poseidon
LO3 Hades
LO4 Hera
LO5 Athena
LO6 Apollo
LO7 Aphrodite
LO8 Hermes
LO9 Artemis
LO10 Gaea
LO11 Uranus
LO12 Cronos
LO13 Prometheus
LO14 Phoebe
LO15 Demeter
LO16 Persephone
LO17 Dionysus
LO18 Eros
LO19 Helios
LO20 Thanatos
LO21 Pan
LO22 Nemesis
LO23 The Fates
LO24 The Muses
LO25 Atlas

2010 World’s Saltiest Sailors

WSS1 Edward Blackbeard Teach
WSS2 Ned Low
WSS3 Calico Jack Rackham
WSS4 Stede Bonnet
WSS5 Bartholomew Black Bart Roberts
WSS6 Captain Kidd
WSS7 Sir Henry Morgan
WSS8 Edward England
WSS9 Thomas Tew
WSS10 Charles Vane


2011 Fortunes for the Taking

FFT1 The Oak Island Money Pit
FFT2 Captian Kidd’s Treasure
FFT3 The Beale Ciphers
FFT4 The Amber Room
FFT5 The Devonshire Treasure of Cocos Island
FFT6 Blackbeard’s Treasure
FFT7 The Treasure of Lima
FFT8 Montezuma’s Treasure
FFT9 Butch Cassidy’s Loot
FFT10 The Lost French Gold to Ohio

2011 Flora of the World

FOW-1 Black-Eyed Susan
FOW-2 Spurred Snapdragon


FOW-3 Shirley Poppy
FOW-4 Mexican Hat
FOW-5 Sweet Alyssum

2011 Animals in Peril

AP1 Siberian Tiger
AP2 Mountain Gorilla
AP3 Arakan Forest Turtle
AP4 Darwin’s Fox
AP5 Gharial
AP6 Vaquita
AP7 Dhole
AP8 Blue Whale
AP9 Bonobo
AP10 Ethiopian Wolf
AP11 Giant Panda
AP12 Snow Leopard
AP13 African Wild Dog
AP14 Indian Rhionceros
AP15 Philippine Eagle
AP16 Markhor
AP17 Orangutan
AP18 Grevy’s Zebra
AP19 Tasmanian Devil
AP20 Bengal Tiger
AP21 Whooping Crane
AP22 Sea Otter
AP23 Red Wolf
AP24 Key Deer
AP25 Black-Footed Ferret
AP26 Amur Leopard
AP27 Anderson’s Salamander
AP28 Greater Bamboo Lemur
AP29 Hawaiian Monk Seal
AP30 Kakapo

2011 Portraits in Penultimacy

PP1 Antonio Meucci
PP2 Mike Gellner
PP3 Dr. Watson
PP4 Igor
PP5 The Hare
PP6 Tonto
PP7 Antonio Salieri
PP8 Sancho Panza
PP9 Thomas E. Dewey
PP10 Toto
World’s Most Mysterious Figures

2011 World’s Most Mysterious Figures

WMF1 Rasputin
WMF2 The Poe Toaster
WMF3 Kasper Hauser
WMF4 Fulcanelli
WMF5 D.B. Cooper
WMF6 The Count of St. Germain
WMF7 The Man in the Iron Mask
WMF8 Nostradamus
WMF9 The Babushka Lady
WMF10 Captain Charles Johnson

2011 Step Right Up!

SRU1 The Bed of Nails
SRU2 Fire Breathing
SRU3 Fire Eating
SRU4 The Flea Circus
SRU5 The Human Cannonball


SRU6 The Human Blockhead
SRU7 Snake Charming
SRU8 The Strongman
SRU9 Knife Throwing
SRU10 Tightrope Walking

2011 Uninvited Guests

UG1 Bachelor’s Grove Cemetary
UG2 The White House
UG3 Waverly Hills Sanatorium
UG4 The Villisca Axe Murder House
UG5 The Amityville Haunting
UG6 The Lemp Mansion
UG7 Alcatraz
UG8 The Winchester Mystery House
UG9 RMS Queen Mary
UG10 The Lizzie Borden House

2011 Fabulous Face Flocculence

FFF1 “The Lincoln” (Abraham Lincoln)
FFF2 “The Ironing Board”
FFF3 “The Conscientious Objector”
FFF4 “The Bib”
FFF5 “The Darwin” (Charles Darwin)


FFF6 “The Neckbeard”
FFF7 “The Goat-Patch”
FFF8 “Burnside’s Sideburns”
FFF9 “Thunderchops”
FFF10 “The Closer” (Brian Wilson)

2012 Guys in Hats

GH-1 The Bowler
GH-2 The Boater
GH-3 The Fedora
GH-4 The Fez
GH-5 The Pith Helmet
GH-6 The Top Hat
GH-7 The Mortarboard
GH-8 The Flat Cap
GH-9 The Garrison Hat
GH-10 The Bicorne

2012 Fashionable Ladies

FL-1 The First Lady
FL-2 The Flapper
FL-3 The Queen
FL-4 The Victorian
FL-5 The Bustle
FL-6 The Weekender
FL-7 The Bride
FL-8 The Sportswoman


FL-9 The Ingenue
FL-10 The Icon

2012 People of the Bible

PB-1 David
PB-2 Moses
PB-3 Abraham
PB-4 Job
PB-5 Jonah
PB-6 Daniel
PB-7 Mary Magdalene
PB-8 Peter
PB-9 Jesus
PB-10 Luke
PB-11 Adam & Eve
PB-12 Isaiah
PB-13 Joseph
PB-14 Mary
PB-15 John the Baptist

2012 Man’s Best Friend

MBF-1 Siberian Husky
MBF-2 Dalmatian
MBF-3 Golden Retriever
MBF-4 German Shepherd
MBF-5 Beagle
MBF-6 Dachshund
MBF-7 Yorkshire Terrier
MBF-8 Labrador Retriever
MBF-9 Boxer
MBF-10 Poodle
MBF-11 Chihuahua
MBF-12 Shih Tzu
MBF-13 Collie


MBF-14 Pug
MBF-15 Cocker Spaniel
MBF-16 Saint Bernard
MBF-17 Bulldog
MBF-18 Boston Terrier
MBF-19 Basset Hound
MBF-20 Shetland Sheepdog

2012 World’s Greatest Military Leaders

ML-1 Alexander the Great
ML-2 Simon Bolivar
ML-3 Oliver Cromwell
ML-4 Julius Caesar
ML-5 Cyrus the Great
ML-6 Hannibal Barca
ML-7 Napoleon Bonaparte
ML-8 George Washington
ML-9 Ulysses S. Grant
ML-10 Dwight D. Eisenhower
ML-11 Leonidas
ML-12 Charlemagne
ML-13 Saladin
ML-14 Duke of Wellington
ML-15 Horatio Nelson
ML-16 Frederick the Great
ML-17 Duke of Marlborough
ML-18 William Wallace
ML-19 Darius the Great
ML-20 Sun Tzu

2012 Giants of the Deep

GD-1 Humpback Whale
GD-2 Sperm Whale
GD-3 Blue Whale
GD-4 Narwhal
GD-5 Beluga
GD-6 Bowhead Whale
GD-7 Right Whale
GD-8 Fin Whale
GD-9 Orca
GD-10 Pilot Whale
GD-11 Pygmy Sperm Whale
GD-12 Minke Whale
GD-13 Gray Whale
GD-14 Bottlenose Whale
GD-15 Bryde’s Whale

2012 Musical Masters

MM-1 Johann Sebastian Bach
MM-2 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
MM-3 Ludwig van Beethoven
MM-4 Richard Wagner
MM-5 Joseph Haydn
MM-6 Johannes Brahms
MM-7 Franz Schubert
MM-8 Georg Friedrich Handel
MM-9 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
MM-10 Sergei Prokofiev
MM-11 Antonin Dvorak
MM-12 Franz Liszt
MM-13 Frederic Chopin
MM-14 Igor Stravinsky
MM-15 Giuseppe Verdi
MM-16 Gustav Mahler

2012 Culinary Curiosities

CC1 Nutria
CC2 Haggis
CC3 Kopi Luwak
CC4 Casu Marzu
CC5 Rocky Mountain Oysters
CC6 Hakarl
CC7 Fugu
CC8 Sannakji
CC9 Balut
CC10 Muktuk

2013 The First Americans

TFA-ALG Algonquian
TFA-AP Apache
TFA-BNK Bannock
TFA-CHK Cherokee
TFA-CHY Cheyenne
TFA-CM Comanche
TFA-IRQ Iroquois
TFA-LK Lakota
TFA-NV Navajo
TFA-PUB Pueblo
TFA-PWN Pawnee
TFA-SX Sioux
TFA-WCT Wichita

2013 Inquiring Minds

IM-AR Aristotle
IM-AS Arthur Schopenhauer
IM-AUG St. Augustine
IM-FB Francis Bacon
IM-BS Baruch Spinoza
IM-EP Epicurus
IM-FN Friedrich Nietzsche
IM-GH Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
IM-HA Hannah Arendt
IM-JPS Jean-Paul Sartre
IM-KM Karl Marx
IM-NM Niccolo Machiavelli
IM-PTO Plato
IM-RD Rene Descartes
IM-SCR Socrates
IM-SDB Simone de Beauvoir
IM-ST Sun Tzu
IM-TA Thomas Aquinas
IM-TH Thomas Hobbes
IM-IK Immanuel Kant
IM-JL John Locke

2013 Famous Finds

FF-CA The Cave of Altamira
FF-CG Cairo Geniza
FF-DSS Dead Sea Scrolls
FF-KTT King Tut’s Tomb
FF-L Olduvai Gorge / Lucy
FF-NHL Nag Hammadi Library
FF-P Pompeii
FF-PS The Pilate Stone


FF-QSH The Tomb of the Qin Shi Huang
FF-RS Rosetta Stone

2013 Heavy Hangs the Head

HHH-ALX Alexander I
HHH-ATG Alexander the Great
HHH-AUG Augustus
HHH-CHR Charlemagne
HHH-CLE Cleopatra
HHH-CON Constantine
HHH-CTG Cyrus the Great
HHH-DK King David
HHH-EM Emperor Meiji
HHH-FA Ferdinand & Isabella
HHH-FRD Frederick II
HHH-GA Gustavus Adolphus
HHH-ITT Ivan the Terrible
HHH-JC Julius Caesar
HHH-KH King Henry VIII
HHH-KHN King Henry V
HHH-KJ King James
HHH-KL King Louis XIV
HHH-KR King Richard I
HHH-KW Krishnaraja Wadiyar III
HHH-NP Napoleon
HHH-PW Prince William
HHH-QB Queen Beatrix
HHH-QE Queen Elizabeth II
HHH-QSH Qin Shi Huang
HHH-QV Queen Victoria
HHH-SLM Solomon
HHH-STM Suleiman the Magnificent
HHH-TUT Tutankhamun

2013 Codes, Ciphers, and Cryptographs

CCC-BC Beale Ciphers
CCC-DAG D’agapeyeff Cipher
CCC-DC Dorabella Cipher


CCC-IS Indus Script
CCC-KRY Kryptos
CCC-LA Linear A
CCC-PD The Phaistos Disc
CCC-SHE Shugborough Hall Inscription
CCC-VM The Voynich Manuscript
CCC-ZK Zodiac Killer

2013 Peacemakers

PM-AL Abraham Lincoln
PM-BC Bill Clinton
PM-DL Dalai Lama
PM-GND Gandhi
PM-GW George Washington
PM-HT Harriet Tubman
PM-JA Jane Addams
PM-JC Jimmy Carter
PM-MT Mother Teresa
PM-NM Nelson Mandela

2013 People on Bicycles

POB-A Amphibious
POB-BR Brief Respite
POB-M Messenger
POB-NH No Hands
POB-PF Penny-Farthing
POB-QT Quadracycle for Two
POB-TRI Triathlete
POB-TT Tricycle for Two
POB-T Tricycle
POB-WE Woodland Excursion

2013 All In A Day’s Work

AIDW-B Butcher
AIDW-C Clergy
AIDW-CW Construction Worker
AIDW-F Firefighter
AIDW-N Nurse
AIDW-PB Paper Boy
AIDW-P Pilot
AIDW-PO Police Officer
AIDW-S Soldier
AIDW-ST School Teacher