The Hobby

Topps Tier One (Or How Tanman Ruined Collecting for Me … for Good)

No, I’m not here to bash the hobby or Tanman’s amazing work with custom cards. Simply put, Tanman’s custom Canseco cards have shown me that one man can make better cards than Panini, Topps, and Leaf’s efforts and it’s changed me as a collector. Long gone are the days when I chased every single Jose Canseco card. The parallel madness that took over a decade and a half ago made that impossible for those with mortgages, car payments, kids, what have you. Today I collect mostly what appeals to me, well, I did … until I saw the amazing cards Tanman was producing. New innovations, styles, and creativity from one man was putting the big manufacturers to shame. Now, I only want the best of the best (or about 20% of what’s being released) all because Tanman opened my eyes. The days of inferior custom cards have come and gone and if one man has done this alone, just imagine what possibilities are just around the corner. The days of “Broder” cards and other customs are finished and with guys like Tanman around, card companies should beware and be very scared.

That brings us to 2015 Topps Tier and the only Canseco card that’s surfaced so far. It’s a beautiful, on-card autograph and the brand itself is classy and fun (review and giveaway coming soon) but do I need this card? Not really. I’ve seen way too many Topps horizontal cards this year and this one is not much different than the rest. It’s way better than the 2015 Prizm Jose card but nothing special in my eyes. Also, unless Jose dies suddenly, the value of his autograph will continue to decrease due to the massive amount of autographs being produced. I wouldn’t even mind a few relic and base cards at this point. Anything to switch up the pace for goodness sake.

Not that he needs my help but if you haven’t visited Tanman’s site to see his customs or read his fascinating posts, do yourself a favor and spend the rest of your day there. It’s forever changed my view of our hobby and my 25-year chase for the perfect Jose Canseco collection. Something tells me this man is going to make a huge splash in this hobby in the coming months and years to come. I for one can’t wait to see what he has in store.

Categories: The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

When it Rains, It Pours … but I Got A Poncho

It’s been a little while since my last post. Thankfully, all is well in my life just been extremely busy lately and neglected not only Wax Heaven’s readers but the winners of past contests and trades. I have corrected both those mistakes with this post and with a trip to the post office thirty minutes ago. En route to its respective winners are card lots of Gypsy Queen, Museum Collection, and a small trade for Braves cards. Thank you to all for your patience.



As for my unexpected absence, it was nothing bad. It was actually one big thing, mixed with several things which created a perfect storm that took away my time and lots of it. For starters, I purchased a new Camaro SS with my income tax check which coincided with being hit by cupid’s arrow that same month. So, more personal time in my love life meant less time for doing nerdy things like organizing my Jose Canseco collection and writing about said now worthless collection.

At work, business picked up dramatically and so did my schedule when the office admin had to be let go. This pushed my hours of work from 8-10 per day up to 14 and my week from 5 days to 7. Thankfully, her replacement is currently in training. Lastly, my home computer broke which left me having to use my office computer and most good sites like card forums and such are blocked on it.

The big thing … I’m training for police academy. On March 7th, my birthday, I weighed 276 lbs. It’s not yet June and I’m down to 219. My goal is to be under 200 lbs, which would be a first since 1997. I’ve already aced my entrance exam (CJBAT), next up is the dreaded obstacle course. So again, less time on cards and more time for working out made it impossible to blog as often.

Anyway, I’m back and ready to start writing about my 25 year-old hobby and really, a passion at this point. To those who received packages today, I included some extra goodies. Hope you guys enjoy. To those waiting on new articles, stay tuned. I’ve been blogging since 2007 so there’s always something new and exciting to write about.

Categories: The Hobby | 4 Comments

The Winner of the Museum Collection Lot is …

I just want to thank everyone who participated in the 2015 Topps Museum giveaway. There will be many more giveaways¬†thanks to Topps Company’s generous donations. Down the line, there may even be another card manufacturer joining the club which means two things: more reviews and more free cards to readers of Wax Heaven.

Stay tuned as I expect to have Gypsy Queen any day now. As for the grand prize, the winning comment goes to CK, which you can read below. If he doesn’t contact me within five days, we can split up the cards to the two runner-ups, ChuckNeo and Tony L. Thanks for reading and make sure to follow me on Twitter @WaxMorgue.


Categories: The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: | 4 Comments

Panini America Gives Wax Heaven an Exclusive

Of course, it’s an exclusive that only Jose Canseco fans and collectors will enjoy but that was kind of the idea. Below is the first ever image posted online of Jose Canseco’s autograph from 2015 Prizm.

Last month when Panini America started giving collectors a sneak peak at their Prizm line, I predicted that it would give Topps Finest a run for their money and my feelings haven’t changed one bit.

Now, Panini has given us a preview of their next product, Diamond Kings, and well, they have completely shut my trap because I was one of those talking smack after seeing the sell sheets. Boy, was I wrong.

I predicted Prizm would give Finest stiff competition in 2015. With Diamond Kings, however, I predict a product of the year type run once its released … with or without a Jose Canseco in the set.

As for the card below, it appears to be Jose Canseco from 1991-92, his final years in Oakland. As much as I like the photo, to me the highlight is the on-card autograph on the reflective metal. It looks awesome!

Categories: Panini America, The Hobby | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Topps Rips Itself Off

No, it’s not what you think. First, let’s take a look at 2015 Gypsy Queen and the base card for disgraced baseball hero, Roger Clemens. I know what you’re thinking and if you’re under 21, you probably think this is a GREAT photograph of “The Rocket”. Well, young collector, you’re absolutely right. Although I’m not big on the card design for Gypsy Queen, the photographs used are absolutely awesome on almost every card.

Again, Topps hit this one out of the park. Nothing like a product full of hits (4) that also features amazing photographs and memorable base cards. As I mentioned, I’m not a fan of the design but the mini cards, autographs, and relics look great. Topps is now 3 for 3 in releases after TributeGate (Opening Day, Museum Collection, Gypsy Queen). They are pretty much running in a race against themselves at this point because no one is even putting up a fight any longer.

Now, if you’re a little older you may recall the Clemens photograph as it was used in Topps’ final iconic flagship every produced, back in 1991. I’m not saying the flagship hasn’t been great since then but to me 1991 was the last great year for them. Not long after that came Finest, Refractors, Upper Deck innovations (AKA autographs and relics) which made set collecting and Topps’ flagship almost obsolete.

However, in 1991, Topps was on top of the card world and its flagship featured the greatest photography ever used in any set with a super clean base design that has aged well, unlike many of their base set designs since that time. What’s even greater is that thanks to the mass production of baseball cards that would eventually kill our hobby or a least destroy the big card boom, these sets can be found for very cheap prices at the card shop (if you have one) or anywhere else. I bought a full set for $5 dollars at a flea market this year.

So the questions is simple: which Topps set used the Roger Clemens photograph better? 1991 Topps vs. 2015 Gypsy Queen?

Categories: The Hobby, The Topps Company | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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