We all love a good quarterbox, dimebox or whatever budget-conscious box you can dream up. After all, our goal as cardboard collectors is to amass as many trading cards that catch our fancy without going bankrupt, isn't it? Thus, any sort of discount in that regard is going to be well-received.
Well, forget boxes, how about penny packs?
A few weeks ago, I posted about how I'd attempted to buy a couple packs of NASCAR cards from the local Dollar Tree, but was rebuffed when they were not found in the store inventory. I guess they decided to hell with it then, because a few days ago, I pulled a couple more (which you see above) out of the trading card boxes.
This time, the purchase went through without a hitch; however, my attention was definitely piqued because the total seemed to be a little lower than I had expected:
...and that would be why. Please ignore my junk food purchases (had to stock up for the Captain America screening) and notice the two packs of Press Pass cards that cost me exactly one copper Lincoln apiece! That's a new one on me.
Finding individual cards for a penny apiece would be an earth-shattering discovery in my book - as for penny packs, that's not even legal is it? I guess that really speaks to the popularity of NASCAR cards around these parts.
Regardless, I was super excited to rip these when I got home, knowing that I'd gotten an awesome deal really put me in a good mood and the contents of said packs kept that good mood alive and well too. Since I've already ripped a pack of Main Event on this blogs, let's start with the Stealth:
I actually needed a Denny Hamlin for my all-time NASCAR driver collection and this one will do quite nicely. As an added bonus, it features one of the most oddly shaped race tracks ever built in Pocono Raceway (the triangular shaped thing above the nameplate).
Carl Edwards the NASCAR driver is a back-flipping fan favorite who was coming up just as my interest in the sport was starting to fade. Still, it's always nice to see a familiar face!
Carl Edwards hot pack! This card showcases his firesuit for both his top level Sprint Cup ride and his second-rung Nationwide team. I get why NASCAR lets it happen, people pay to see the top talent, but I always thought it was stupid, long-term, to let the top guys compete in the developmental series. As a result, you had Cup guys winning the Busch/Nationwide championship and young talent was having a tough time filtering through. That subject was the first journalistic piece I ever wrote on and was used in my high school newspaper.
In the years since, they finally placed some limits on the practice (you can only garner championship points in one series at a time). I'm going to go ahead and assume that my Bremen Echo piece was the catalyst.
Hey - I also needed a Ryan Newman for the NASCAR driver collection! So that two new names with half a cent as the cost to add. This insert is meant to look like a authorization pass for some sort of classified stock car racing confidential location - an appropriate design for a guy sponsored by the US Army.
It sure would look nicer with an autograph on that sticker though.
Pack one closes out with the ageless wonder known as Mark Martin - who competed in NASCAR from the early 80's until just a few seasons ago. Again, always nice to see a familiar face in a pack of NASCAR product, since I've been, at best, a casual follower over the last 8 or so years.
So, that pack of Stealth offered me two new names for my all-time NASCAR driver collection. Perhaps my second pack of Main Event, a product that combines the high-stakes world of poker with the even higher-stakes world of stock car racing, can *ahem* raise the stakes?
I have a general distaste for multi-player cards in any sport, this one being no exception. However, the theme behind this insert is fairly clever, showing all the drivers from a top-notch racing team as a "Winning Hand." Nevertheless, nothing doing for me.
Jimmie Johnson... he's pretty good right? The six-time series champion and 77-time race winner (including this Martinsville event in '09) is basically a modern day Babe Ruth. One more title and he'll tie Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt for the most Cups in their cabinets. Meanwhile, he's only 40 in a sport where it's not uncommon to compete in top form into one's mid-50's.
He may very well be the greatest, before all is said and done.
Here's a couple of the base cards, mocked up to look like playing cards. Both are familiar names from when I was a rabid fan of the sport. In fact, Tony Stewart was my driver for a long time; his having an Indy Car background (the 500 is my second love in sports), bursting onto the scene at the same time as I started paying attention and sharing the same first name all caught my attention.
This year will be Tony's last and that makes me feel kind of old, seeing as I remember when he was turning laps with rookie stripes on his bumper. Although, based on his results lately, his time has certainly come.
Finally, while the base cards are meant to resemble playing cards, this Tayler Malsam insert is a straight up playing card - it's made of the same material, has the same texture and feel and all that jazz. I wonder if there are enough of these to actually build a deck?
While Malsam might be of the diamond suit, he sure wasn't a diamond in the rough. Malsam didn't really made a name for himself at any level of the sport, bouncing around from team to team in the Nationwide and Truck series, never getting a chance at the Cup level. I've been talking a lot about familiar faces, well, this is one dude who I have no recollection of at all.
Malsam's Truck Series ride at the time this card was made
With that, we've reached the end of penny pack #2. It netted me no cards that I needed for my NASCAR driver collection and the coolest insert was of a guy who never made it. Still, for a penny, one really cannot complain.
In the end, I got 10 cards (two of which were needs) for the low, low, low price of two cents. As far as clearance sales go, this one was pretty epic. Has anyone else ever run into packs of cards priced at such a ridiculously low point? I'm tempted to go back and see if I can dig anymore out of their horribly haphazard card display.