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Hi all. Heidi here. I'm using this area of the website to post hobby-related messages, opinions, and information that I think are relevant. It could be anything from a new product I like to something new we're carrying to something in the news. This is also an ideal forum to announce new contests and events in the store, so check back for new information. Thanks!


11/21/2017

Hi everyone! I haven't BLOG'ed in a year, which is both AWFUL and very hard to believe. I JUST sent a very newsy, informative E-mail Newsletter out talking about all of the CONTESTS and PROMOTIONS we have going on right now. I am going to cut and paste that Newsletter here, so if you are a loyal reader...THANK YOU, but this will sound familiar!!

We have a LOT of activity in the store right now, so there's much to tell. We are knee deep in FOOTBALL CONTESTS, just started a TOPPS BASEBALL HOLIDAY PACK GIVE-AWAY, are gearing up for our BIG BLACK FRIDAY EVENT with PANINI BLACK FRIDAY FOOTBALL PACKS, and are stocking and re-stocking everything we can think of that YOU are going to want for the holidays! We are now stocking SLOW RISING SQUISHIES (Yes, I know. Most people are thinking, "What?", while others are getting in their cars). And last, we're once again collecting toys for TOYS FOR TOTS!!

Our BLACK FRIDAY EVENT will be CRAZY! Our event will be both FRIDAY and SATURDAY, and we have FREE PACKS GALORE to reward you with. We will have TOPPS BASEBALL HOLIDAY PACKS (assuming supplies last), PANINI BLACK FRIDAY FOOTBALL PACKS (explained in detail on Facebook, but, see some sample hits in Panini's BLOG ... click here), and UPPER DECK WINTER PACKS (small set of big name athletes, including Michael Jordan, Ben Simmons, Serena Williams, and Wayne Gretzky...with parallels #'ed to 25 possible). [There are different purchase requirements for each pack type]. We are bringing back PLAYGROUND PLINKO with some new prizes, AND anyone who gets their disc into lucky number 5 will be part of a SPECIAL AUTOGRAPHED JARVIS LANDRY or AUTOGRAPHED ODUBEL HERRERA PHOTO RAFFLE. Steve will make up some of his STEVE'S SPECIALS for Friday and Saturday only. We will have a few CONTESTS (guess the number of pieces of candy in the Eagles Coca-Cola bank, anyone?), GAMES (pronounce Giannis Antetokounmpo correctly, and for 10,000 bonus points...spell it!), a RHYS HOSKINS AUTO PHOTO RAFFLE (with purchase), and REFRESHMENTS (cookies, oh, we WILL have cookies!). SATURDAY at 5:00 is going to be a pretty exciting time, as we will be choosing all of our RAFFLE and CANDY CONTEST WINNERS, along with the $300 (in product) GRAND PRIZE WINNER of our PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST!! I can't wait for that! This is among our best Grand Prizes for this contest, and I think the winner is going to be very happy. I really think Black Friday weekend will be a LOT of fun here! Come check us out ANYTIME you want Friday or Saturday to enjoy everything listed above (packs ARE while supplies last).

FOOTBALL CONTESTS...Our 2017 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST GRAND PRIZE will be awarded on SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 25th; and there is still time for YOU to be the winner of our awesome GRAND PRIZE worth over $300!! We are awarding one lucky customer a $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE, AUTOGRAPHED LE'VEON BELL JERSEY, AUTOGRAPHED JADEVEON CLOWNEY 16 x 20 PHOTO, AUTOGRAPHED MACK HOLLINS CARD, LOTS of EAGLES & NFL NOVELTIES, and more! It's a REALLY good GRAND PRIZE, and there is still time for YOU to claim the last spot for THIS Saturday's drawing. The competition so far includes...JIM BAILEY, JIM "RICOH" DAVIS, MARC LEIDERMAN, and JIM KATZ.

Our FREE "YOU PICK THE WINNERS" FOOTBALL CONTEST is now in its 12th week. Eleven weekly winners have enjoyed $20 GIFT CERTIFICATES and will be competing during the Play-offs for our $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE GRAND PRIZE. They are...BRIAN RUEGNER, ERIC STINE (twice!), GABE CERULLI, CHRIS GIOVANNIELLO, MICHAEL COLLINS, JIM CORLEY (twice!), JORDAN PERLMUTTER, BOBBY GOODWIN, and JACKSON ACKER. And seven RUNNERS-UP will be vying for the $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE RUNNER-UP PRIZE....GAVIN HYMOWITZ, KEVIN L, STEPHEN CALDER, NICOLOS PINTO, BRIAN EPSTEIN, JIM BAILEY, CHRIS GIOVANNIELLO (yes, again), and DEAN RALSTON. GOOD LUCK to all. Come on in any Wednesday through Saturday to play in this absolutely FREE, no purchase required contest; and YOU can join this lucky group of guys!

Our TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE. We are once again collecting new, unwrapped toys for TOYS FOR TOTS. Our dear friends, the Lebofsky's (you know them...Adam and Shana help out at Pack Wars and other events) have a HUGE TOYS FOR TOTS party every year with a goal of collecting literally 1,000 or more toys for deserving kids in our area. It's important to us to help make their efforts as successful as possible. Please consider adding a toy or two to your holiday shopping list, and bring them by! Toys need to be here by the end of this month for their collection drive, and we would so appreciate anything you can offer. And as always, Heidi loves to shop; so any monetary donations are not only welcome, but encouraged. I will put them to good use and buy fun things!

Let's discuss the TOPPS BASEBALL HOLIDAY PACK GIVE-AWAY. It started on Friday, and will continue until we're out of packs. With any $10 Topps Baseball purchase, we give you a BONUS 3 card pack of 2017 "TOPPS HOLIDAY" Bowman cards (with Thanksgiving and winter themed parallels and randomly inserted autographs). There are turkey adorned Bowman rookie parallels #'ed to 35, blue snowflake bordered parallels #'ed to 50, and green sweater bordered parallels #'ed to 99 of AARON JUDGE, CODY BELLINGER, and ANDREW BENINTENDI (among other players). There are randomly inserted AUTOGRAPHS of GLEYBER TORRES, RONALD ACUNA, RAFAEL DEVERS, ANTHONY RIZZO, and MANNY MACHADO (among others). There are even cards of SANTA and RUDOLPH to round out the holiday theme! For now, there is a limit of 1 pack per customer. I expect to have some packs remaining for our Black Friday event.

NEW CARD PRODUCTS! There are LOTS. 17-18 HOCKEY and BASKETBALL are now arriving (Leaf Superlative [with Nolan Patrick autos], Leaf Lumber Kings, Upper Deck 1, Artifacts, MVP, and OPC so far for hockey; and Donruss, Hoops, and Contenders Draft for basketball). Look for MORE new releases pretty much every week through Christmas. Demand for 15-16 HOCKEY with rookie CONNOR McDAVID and 14-15/ 16-17 BASKETBALL containing ROOKIES of SIXERS' JOEL EMBIID and BEN SIMMONS (respectively) has been HUGE! We have many box options for both. 2017 BASEBALL has been AMAZING! We really couldn't have asked for more excitement from a rookie crop that includes AARON JUDGE, CODY BELLINGER, ANDREW BENINTENDI, and ALEX BREGMAN; and then add to it LOCAL (and national) FAVORITE RHYS HOSKINS. Almost everything in Baseball skyrocketed in value, and it's been a lot of fun watching autographs pulled here lately of JUDGE, ICHIRO, BRYANT, and JETER. We have all sorts of recommendations for you (for your own opening or GIFT GIVING) from everything we've seen opened here. A recent favorite product is the 2017 TOPPS ARCHIVES SIGNATURE BASEBALL (both Active Player and Retired "Post Season" editions). From them, we've seen a 1/1 AUTOGRAPH of JETER, ICHIRO, and ROY HALLADAY (as well as a 10/10 auto of HALLADAY...his auto being pulled was a very special, bittersweet moment). We've had TWO RHYS HOSKINS AUTOS pulled from 2017 BOWMAN HI TEK (very cool acetate product). And we've now GLADLY seen more AARON JUDGE AUTOS than we can count! Our store has been blessed with him! 2017 FOOTBALL is also popular, especially since the season is in full swing and rookies are performing. There have been at least a dozen products released, with some consistently solid performers (XR, SPECTRA, CERTIFIED, PHOENIX, and LEAF TRINITY among them). That's another category that we can be VERY helpful with if you're shopping for gifts. We've seen a LOT of good football boxes opened.

OTHER NEW PRODUCTS. At holiday time, we always bring in a few novelty type items that we don't normally carry. We have CARSON WENTZ FUNKO POPS and BOBBLE HEADS, BEN SIMMONS McFARLANES, AARON JUDGE and KRIS BRYANT "IMPORTS DRAGON"'S (MLB's newly licensed McFarlane-like figures), assorted player TIKI'S (a new resin "carved wood-like" tiki totem), limited edition RIDDELL BLAZE MINI HELMETS, NEW 2017 NFL FAT HEAD PACKS, and the hot new craze SLOW RISE SQUISHIES (it's not a good Squishy if it's not "slow rise"...or so I hear!). PHILLIES FANS might like our signed RYAN HOWARD PHOTOS or BALLS, STADIUM EXCLUSIVE 20-card NATIONAL BASEBALL TRADING CARD DAY PHILLIES SET, DARREN DAULTON COMMEMORATIVE SCORE CARDS, 2017 PHILLIES YEAR BOOKS, STADIUM GIVEAWAY SOLAR POWERED PHANATIC BOBBLE BODY FIGURES, and PHANATIC TIKI's. 2017 BASEBALL TEAM SETS and FACTORY SETS are HERE! Same for 2017 FOOTBALL. 2017-18 BASKETBALL and HOCKEY TEAM SETS will be arriving shortly. Our store's own JERSEY GRAB BAGS are very popular STOCKING STUFFERS. BASEBALL, FOOTBALL, and HOCKEY are IN STOCK; and I'm working hard to have both BASKETBALL JERSEY GRAB BAGS and POKEMON GRAB BAGS back in stock for next weekend. I re-did one of our singles card showcases to display all new autos, jerseys, and special cards we now have available in time for the holidays. We have an ALLEN IVERSON AUTO, nice TOPPS LEBRON ROOKIE, several KEVIN DURANT ROOKIES, SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE AUTOS, TOM BRADY FOOTBALL RELIC, BEN SIMMONS rookie year cards, and MUCH MORE!

That's it for today's BLOG. I promise to write more often!

11/11/2016

As it gets closer to Thanksgiving, we are gearing up for our big BLACK FRIDAY PANINI PACK EVENT on Friday and Saturday, November 25th and 26th. We always enjoy this promotion and seeing the Black Friday packs opened. We've had lots of great hits in past years, so it is exciting to see what this year's hits will be. Starting Saturday the 19th, we will have our lists available of Panini product SPECIALS that earn you packs; so if you can't make it Black Friday weekend, you can still earn packs and have them set aside for you.

We WILL be having PACK WARS on Saturday the 26th at 1:00 ... so mark your calendars! And please RSVP!

I've been working hard updating the website. You'll see a new, updated photo array on the home page (although you may need to clear your cache to see it ... I did!). We uploaded almost 200 card pics to our CARD GALLERY. All of these cards were pulled here in the past year and a half, and it's fun to look through them and remember what our customers hit. I definitely encourage you to take a look. I'm replacing the entire FAQ's link with new Questions and Answers and just generally freshening things up. So, in a week or so, you'll see all of those changes reflected.

TOMORROW is the GRAND PRIZE DRAWING for our PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY CONTEST!! We will be giving away over $200 worth of FOOTBALL CARDS and NOVELTIES to one lucky customer, and it could be YOU!!

We hope to see you soon!

10/25/2016

Hi everyone. Our two FOOTBALL CONTESTS are in full swing ... both our store's own YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST and the 2016 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST. Let's discuss and give some updates.

The YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST is already in its 8th week. Let's re-cap our WINNERS so far. ERIC STINE (twice!), ADAM LEBOFSKY (twice!), DYLAN SANDLER, EVAN STINE, and CINDY SANDLER are our first 7 weekly winners. Runners-Up thus far have been Joe Aurelia Jr., Noah Pomerantz, Jackson Glenn, John Tocydlowski, Jake Bulicki, Brian Kirn, Brendan Kirn, Anthony Gade, Jack Augustine, "Ricoh" Jim, Brett Jarefsky, and Mark Jarefsky. The WINNERS will compete for a $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE GRAND PRIZE at season's end, and the RUNNERS-UP will compete for a $40 GIFT CERTIFICATE RUNNER-UP PRIZE. This contest is completely FREE, and entry forms are available every Wednesday.

In the 2016 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST, where customers are encouraged to open Panini football packs to find the designated Player of the Day (or either of two Wild Cards) ... we are in Week 3. The first two weekly winners were CRAIG CHERRY and MATT GOTTENBERG. Craig and Matt will compete (via raffle), alongside 3 other as yet to be determined players, for the GRAND PRIZE of $200 in FOOTBALL CARDS and NOVELTIES on Saturday, November 12th. The POD GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive 15 PLAYER OF THE DAY PACKS with TWO GUARANTEED JERSEY CARDS, a 2014 LEAF ROOKIES & STARS FOOTBALL BOX (guaranteed 4 hits!), a 2016 DONRUSS FOOTBALL BLASTER BOX (with another hit!), a 2015 DONRUSS BLASTER BOX (with yet another hit!), a PANINI CLOCK, WENDELL SMALLWOOD AUTO, FATHEADS, POSTERS, EAGLES CALENDAR, and MORE! The POD Contest lasts 30 days (or 5 weeks). We have daily prizes, weekly prizes (awarded on Saturdays), and then the GRAND PRIZE, on display in our store. Come on in and try your luck!

Our next order of business is for charity! Like last year, we are helping our friends the Lebofskys (Shana, Adam, and Max ... you know them!) collect toys for Toys for Tots. Last year, we had a great turn-out from our customers; and it was really a sweet thing to see. So PLEASE help us put a smile on a deserving child's face this Christmas. No toy is too small, as long as it is new and unwrapped! You'll be hearing more about our toy drive (on Facebook) in the next few weeks, but let's get this drive kicked off right! Steve and I are going to give away a $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE to one of our customers who donates a toy (of at least $5 in value for the raffle, please). For every toy you donate, you will receive a raffle ticket; so there is an added incentive to reward your generosity! If you buy a Funko figure from us to give (they're $11.95, and we have over a hundred choices!), you will receive TWO raffle tickets!

If you would like to shop on Amazon and have the toys shipped here, please feel free to do so and let us know in advance who the generous donor is so we can properly thank you.

Our address is ...
Sportscard Playground
299 W. County Line Rd.
Hatboro, PA 19040

Thanks everyone! I hope to beat last year's stash, but would feel awfully gratified if we even matched it. You know who you are who should feel great about helping us give a lot of kids a great Christmas.

As a parting note ... I'm finding out that more and more of our E-Newsletters are going into peoples' Spam filters. If you signed up for our E-Newsletter but didn't get our last one (sent October 5th), PLEASE look for it and change your settings to accept us! It was sent by heidig@sportscardplayground.com.

THANK YOU!!!

9/25/2016

CONTESTS & EVENTS, CONTESTS & EVENTS, CONTESTS & EVENTS ...

I had to say it three times because there are so many of them!!! This time of year is when we kick it into high gear with our CONTESTS & EVENTS. Our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST (all contests & events will be explained in the following paragraphs) starts the first week of football and lasts all season long. The PANINI PLAYER of the DAY (POD) FOOTBALL CONTEST begins in October and lasts 5 weeks, and the PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACK PROMO takes place over Black Friday weekend. And during the 5 week long POD Contest, Steve and I will begin a WORLD SERIES BASEBALL GRID PROMO as well! We just enjoyed a NATIONAL BASEBALL TRADING CARD DAY event (where lucky young COLIN CHAPMAN pulled a KRIS BRYANT AUTOGRAPH CARD numbered to 55 [FANTASTIC HIT!!!!], and we're headed into this weekend's hockey event where we're giving away FREE UPPER DECK WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY PACKS with random autos and printing plates. We're also firing up our MYSTERY WHEEL ... a new staple of our events! TJ McGUIGAN won a $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE on almost the first spin during the wheel's debut during our baseball event, and MANY customers won packs (some with guaranteed hits) all day long. I will break down some of these Contests & Events in my next BLOG, but for now, let's go over this weekend's festivities, including PACK WARS.

If you're reading this because you're interested in THIS WEEKEND'S HOCKEY EVENT, here are some details ...

  • Free (with purchase) UPPER DECK WORLD CUP OF HOCKEY PACKS
  • Multi-Sport PACK WARS at 1:00 ... PLEASE RSVP if you're attending
  • Our MYSTERY WHEEL, back with hockey prizes
  • " STEVE'S SPECIALS" ... discounts on many HOCKEY BOXES
  • FREE Raffle for a $25 Gift Certificate (entries can only be earned by spinning the wheel)
  • Our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS Football Contest, with a $15 Gift Certificate weekly prize (and $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE GRAND PRIZE!).

Feel free to check out our latest E-Newsletter (use link at left) for complete event details. And if you want to get our E-newsletter, please just use the link at top to give us your address.

For prospective PACK WARS players, here's what Pack Wars is and how you play ...

It costs $50 to play, and for that $50, you are given a stack of packs (generally new and of various sports) with an average of at least two hits (jerseys, relics, autos). Sometimes we're able to offer almost 3 hits depending on what products are used, but we guarantee an average of at least 2. [Note that I'm using the word "average". It IS possible that one person could get no hits and another person 6 ... it has happened. The best we can do is deal with averages].

Each person opens the same pack at the same time, and we ask a question ... like, "Who has the tallest player?". People yell out their answers based on the cards they have, and the winner receives a raffle ticket. At the end of all of the rounds, we give out prizes by choosing these raffle tickets. We ALSO give out some prizes to players who don't win rounds. We have a separate colored raffle ticket that everyone gets, and we give out a "Participation Prize" at the end (and sometimes several prizes at the beginning if we have a lot of players). This way, you never have to win a round to still be a winner.

Every pack you open and prize you win is yours to keep. You can't lose anything in this type of Pack Wars. That wouldn't be any fun!

What I love most is seeing all of the hits. With an average of at least 2 per person ... that's a lot of cool cards to go around, and we've seen some nice (and valuable) ones! We had a Ted Williams bat card at our last Pack Wars! Also, we give away extra packs to round winners along with raffle tickets, so if we know that 4 hits should have been pulled by the group based on a given box having 4 hits in it; but we've only seen 3 of those hits and we have 2 extra packs left over to give away,,,suddenly those 2 packs have become much more valuable because they should have that 4th hit! Ironically, that's how that Ted Williams bat card was "found"!

Pack Wars is fun for all ages. We can help out younger players or anyone needing a little more time finding their answers. If the $50 is too steep for one person, two players can form a team
and share their cards and prizes. Hopefully, this answers your questions. Feel free to call and talk to me (Heidi) with anything else you want to know.

Now that we Pack Wars out of the way, let's discuss our store's own, FREE, YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST. Every Wednesday, we make free entry forms available with that Sunday's team match-ups. You circle each team you think will win, including that for our Monday Night tie breaker game. On Monday, whoever has the most number of correct guesses is named the winner and receives a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE. IF, on Monday, more than one person have the highest number of correct picks ... then we use the Monday Night tie breaker game (for which we ask for points too). Each weekly winner then goes on to compete for the $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE GRAND PRIZE at the end of the season. All of the Runners-up (those people tied going into the Monday Night game) compete in a separate pool at the end of the season for a $40 GIFT CERTIFICATE. Entry forms need to be filled out by Saturday at 5. We never use any game that is played prior to that time (Thursday Night games, for example), so you're never at a disadvantage coming in later in the week. Again, this contest is absolutely FREE and available each week.

I'm going to end this BLOG here to make sure it gets posted prior to tomorrow's event. I'll be back with more info soon!

6/14/2016

Hi everyone! I just wrote a Newsletter about this upcoming weekend's PANINI FATHER'S DAY PACK EVENT (which I will get to in a second); but since it's been so long since I've BLOG'ed, let me start by thanking everyone for "putting up" with a slightly stale website and BLOG and just know that one of my summer projects is to update it and add in updated HOT PULLS (we've certainly had MANY since August 2014!) and loads of pics in our CARD GALLERY. Our store has continued to have some of the nicest hits from products of every sport. We even had THREE hits worth over $500 each from the brand new Star Wars Evolution ... including an auto /5 from none other than JOHN BOYEGA (Finn in Force Awakens). So, give me some time and I'll get everything updated. Know that you can find daily and weekly updates of our Hot Pulls in Facebook, and you don't need to have a Facebook account to look around on our page. Just use the link at left!

MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS to some of our recent contest winners. Just yesterday, with the finish of the Stanley Cup Finals, our JACK EICHEL AUTOGRAPHED GLOVE WINNER was crowned. Drum roll please ... congratulations to ROB CIMINO, who had the winning block in our grid promo (corresponding to goals scored by the Penguins and Sharks during the Finals). Just a week before that, we awarded our Inaugural PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY BASKETBALL CONTEST GRAND PRIZE (a 16 x 20 MAGIC JOHNSON AUTOGRAPHED FRAMED PHOTO) to CHRIS GIOVANNIELLO. Chris has been especially lucky here, because he also won another contest for a MAGIC JOHNSON AUTOGRAPHED JERSEY!! So, he is building quite the collection of prizes.

Now onto this weekend's promo. The following few paragraphs are straight out of the Newsletter. No reason to re-write it. If you don't get our Newsletter, simply use the link at top to provide me with your e-mail address. Thank you!

"We are gearing up for one of our biggest promos of the year ... this weekend's PANINI FATHER'S DAY PACK EVENT (which we are celebrating both FRIDAY and SATURDAY). Each year at Father's Day and on Black Friday; Panini releases special, limited edition 2-card packs that have proven VERY POPULAR with our customers because of their unique NUMBERED, AUTOGRAPHED, and RELIC INSERTS. We buy these packs from Panini (we buy certain products that are paired with the packs) and then offer them to YOU with select Panini purchases on Friday and Saturday. When you come in, you will find sheets of Panini products and specials (ALL SPORTS REPRESENTED!) available only on these two days. Your purchase will earn you a certain number of packs. We do our best to make sure we have some blasters and "Guaranteed hit packs" represented on our products and specials sheets, so this promo can be enjoyed by all of our customers and not just "big spenders".

We have SO MUCH fun seeing these packs opened, and we have had some AWESOME hits in the past (check Facebook or our website's Card Gallery for past hits), including a JOE NAMATH AUTO, EMMANUEL MUDIAY AUTO /5, KOBE BRYANT 1/1 "HYPER PLAID" CARD, and HAND DRAWN SKETCH CARD from JABARI PARKER (sold for over $300!). Each promo seems to bring something new with it. One year, there were Prizm Soccer inserts #'ed to 7 (the Ronaldo sold for hundreds of dollars!). CRACKED ICE (always limited, sometimes #'ed to 25) and HYPER PLAID (1/1) parallels were introduced. Some of the first cards of Jose Abreu, Masahiro Tanaka, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota were in Panini Father's Day/ Black Friday packs. And THIS weekend, we will (hopefully!) see the NEW BUTTON CARDS (1/1 button relics from the players' jersey).

CHECK OUT THESE LINKS from Panini to preview some of this year's cards ... https://blog.paniniamerica.net/2016/06/13/panini-america-explores-memorabilia-card-lineup-in-2016-fathers-day-set-gallery/ and https://blog.paniniamerica.net/2016/06/09/cracked-ice-hyperplaid-numbered-rookies-fuel-2016-panini-america-fathers-day-set/#more-141806.

Last year, I think the odds of getting a hit was roughly 3 out of 10 ... so these packs are pretty loaded! Make sure you come in and join in on the fun this FRIDAY and SATURDAY. What better way to enjoy FATHER'S DAY than by opening packs with your child, or dad! We hope to see you!"

Okay, THANK YOU for reading this BLOG. I will try to do a better job of keeping it up to date. I expect to have PACK WARS again in a few weeks, so STAY TUNED for that.

FACEBOOK READERS ... we are always surprised when people who LIKE US on there don't see our posts (especially since we post every few days and are ALWAYS showing NEW PRODUCTS, HOT PULLS, CONTEST INFO, etc.). If you Like us on Facebook but don't see our posts regularly, please do me a favor! Go to our page. You can do so by putting our name SPORTSCARD PLAYGROUND in the search bar, but once search results come up, you must then click on "Official Page" or our blue sign icon to actually reach us. Otherwise, you will be looking at some random posts and info, but not our page. Okay, now once you're on our page (you will see the big banner with our AWESOME Babe Ruth/Ty Cobb Cut Signature Booklet Hit ... so you know you're at the right place!), first, make sure you LIKE Us at top. There needs to be a Check Mark next to the Liked box. But here's the important part ... next to "Liked" (or sometimes "Followed", depending on your device), there is a pull down menu that allows you to check off "See First" in your Newsfeed. PLEASE check this box!!!! THIS is how you will see our posts. If you prefer to also be notified when we post (for you die-hard trading card fans!), you can turn your Notifications On as well. You might need to repeat this process on your computer AND phone, but once you do it once ... you should be good to go for that device. We would REALLY APPRECIATE it if even our longest term customers would take a minute to check this box for us. It used to be much easier to reach our Facebook customers, but in order to sell advertising, Facebook is making it much harder for our posts to automatically reach anyone. We spend a LOT of time communicating and updating everyone on there; but if no one sees it, then ultimately it is not effective. YOU have the power to change all of that!!!

2/8/2016

WINNERS. WINNERS. WINNERS. They're EVERYWHERE! One of our biggest promotions of the year, our SUPERBOWL GRID PROMO, has just come to a close with LOTS of winners! We had FOUR SUPERBOWL GRIDS, including one for our NATIONAL HOCKEY CARD DAY PROMO, with prizes supplied by Upper Deck (because of a contest we won!). We gave away nearly $2000 in prizes, and I'm SO happy to re-cap all of our prize getters!

  • I am putting the winners in roughly prize dollar order...
  • DON RIMMER...MARCUS MARIOTA and JAMEIS WINSTON AUTO JERSEYS (Yes, Don was lucky enough to win BOTH!)
  • BOB MITCHELL...CONNOR McDAVID AUTO PUCK, SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE Auto /40, VORACEK double patch card /15, DAVE SCHULTZ Auto Puck, $15 Gift Certificate
  • MIKE KOPFINGER...CAM NEWTON AUTO MINI HELMET
  • KAILEE...$105 Gift Certificate
  • GREG D'ANTONIO...$105 Gift Certificate
  • CHRIS QUINN...$65 Gift Certificate
  • PETER McMAHON (aka CHEWIE)...$60 Gift Certificate
  • JAMES GALLO...$55 Gift Certificate
  • RYAN BROSS...$55 Gift Certificate
  • ROB D'ADDARIO...$50 Gift Certificate
  • KELLY TARLINI...Travis Sanheim Auto Puck
  • MIKE DOBLMAIER...$10 Gift Certificate
  • GRANT RASKIN, ANTHONY GADE, MIKE DOLAN, STEVE BABB, ANDY TOCYDLOWSKI, STEVE K, BOBBY GOODWIN, A. DiNENNO, and JIM BENNETT JR...$5 Gift Certificates

And this was on the heels of our epic two-fold MULTI-SPORT and HOCKEY PACK WARS event on Saturday, where we crowned lots of winners as well!

  • JOEY TARLINI...Connor McDavid/Wayne Gretzky Shortprint worth $80, DAVE SCHULTZ Auto Puck
  • TJ ANTHONY...$75 in Gift Certificates
  • JOE OFFENBACK...DAVE SCHULTZ Auto Puck
  • ADAM RESNICK...Connor McDavid Collection Set
  • CHASE HANSON, NOAH POMERANTZ, FRANK PERLMUTTER, MIKE KOPFINGER...$20 Blaster Boxes
  • JESS YARNALL, JENNY HODOBA, and JORDAN PERLMUTTER...Flyers cards and/or team sets

I think a good time was had by all, and we REALLY thank Upper Deck for supplying us with some GREAT cards and pucks to give away. We also thank everyone who came and participated in either our Grid Promo or Pack Wars. THANKS everyone, and CONGRATS to our winners!!

Quick side note...since the winners of our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST were never printed in my BLOG, let me mention them here. MICHELE GODIN won the GRAND PRIZE of a $100 Gift Certificate, and JIM SIMONE won the $40 RUNNER-UP prize. Congrats Michele & Jim!

1/12/2016

Oh, boy! SO MUCH going on, and SO MANY updates!

One of the reasons I LOVE football season (well, it DOES also overlap with Christmas and Hanukkah!) is that we have THREE FOOTBALL CONTESTS!! It used to be TWO ... our own YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST, and THE PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY. But now, we're repeating a popular promo from last year, so heck, let's just make it an annual thing ... our SUPER BOWL GRID PROMO where we award $500 in PRIZES and GIFT CERTIFICATES PER GRID!! Last year, we completed THREE GRIDS and awarded $1500 in GIFT CERTIFICATES. I think one person won $440!!! More on each of these in the paragraphs that follow, as well as NATIONAL HOCKEY TRADING CARD DAY on February 6th (which is also our NEXT BIG EVENT and PACK WARS!!).

Let's continue with details about our NEWEST CONTEST ... the SUPER BOWL GRID PROMO! Here's a little "cut and paste" from my last BLOG to get the conversation started ...

HOW DO YOU EARN A BLOCK IN THE GRID?? It's easy. Starting THIS Saturday, we will mark products, indicating that buying them earns you a block in the grid. Unlike our Father's Day and Black Friday pack promotions, this isn't a Panini-only promo; so all sorts of manufacturer offerings will be made. We also offer MANY inexpensive options (including MANY $20 BLASTERS) to make this promo available to everyone! One of the items we sold the most of during last year's promo was the 2014 Sage Autographed Football pack (with 2 autos per pack at $20, and with Odell Beckham autograph possibilities!). Each $20 pack purchase earned the buyer a block in the 10 x 10, 100 block grid.

Our response to last year's product choices was so good (in large part because you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a block!) that we created a second grid (and later, a third)! It's great fun to buy something you might normally buy anyway and then win a HUGE PRIZE because of it! Well, we're going out on a limb this year and just starting off immediately with TWO GRIDS. You can choose which grid you want your block on (and if you earn multiple blocks, you can split them!). The GRAND PRIZE for GRID #1 is an AUTHENTIC AUTOGRAPHED MARCUS MARIOTTA JERSEY (available in-store for your viewing pleasure), and the GRAND PRIZE for GRID #2 is a GENUINE AUTOGRAPHED JAMEIS WINSTON AUTOGRAPHED JERSEY (both jerseys are pictured on Facebook). EACH of the HALF TIME WINNERS will receive a $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE; and EACH OF THE QUARTERLY WINNERS (so, that's FOUR PEOPLE for the 2 grids) will receive a $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE. And we will continue what we started last year ... awarding a $5 Gift Certificate every time the score changes. So, if the first score is 6-0, whoever has that block gets $5. If the next time it changes, it's 7-0, THAT block holder gets $5. If 7-0 is also the score at the first quarter, then that same person wins the first quarter prize of $50 ... for a total of $55! (We'll explain everything in person ... you just earn your blocks!).

And NO WORRIES if you're more of a BASEBALL, HOCKEY, or BASKETBALL CARD BUYER! We'll have ways for you to earn blocks buying what you like as well!

We're starting off our SUPER BOWL GRID PROMOS with a bang THIS SATURDAY! We will have a complete list of all of the items that earn you a block in either of our two grids. We will then have a RAFFLE at 5:00 for those people who received blocks on our kick-off day. The winner can choose ANY of the following three AUTOGRAPHED PHOTOS (pictured on Facebook) ... JARVIS LANDRY, TYLER LOCKETT, or TIM HARDAWAY. IF we happen to award as many as 50 blocks on our first day (highly unlikely, but it could happen!), then we will raffle off ALL THREE PHOTOS! (EVERY block holder gets an entry, so if you earn 5 blocks, you get 5 entries!). So, if you're coming to fill out your Play-off form for our You-Pick-the-Winners Football Contest on Saturday (AMAZING SEGUE, Heidi!!), you can enter BOTH CONTESTS!!

Let's discuss THAT contest now! We're in the part of our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST where the 17 WEEKLY WINNERS compete against each other in a best of 10 competition (10 Play-off games, with the Super Bowl only being used as a tie breaker), with the GRAND PRIZE WINNER getting a $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE. All of the RUNNERS-UP are competing for a $40 GIFT CERTIFICATE. After the first week of play-off games, we have FIVE people in the WINNERS POOL and EIGHT people in the RUNNERS-UP POOL with a perfect score. They are ... MATT ROSENFELD, ADAM LEBOFSKY, JOHN McKENNA, MICHELE GODIN, and GLENN KNOPF (in the Winners pool) AND LOGAN MADISON, GLENN KNOPF, JACK AUGUSTINE, CHRIS HORAN, JIM SIMONE, JAMES SIMONE JR., JOHN McKENNA, and RICK MACNEAL (for the Runners-Up).

Also still VERY MUCH in this contest are those players with THREE (out of the possible four) correct picks. For the Winners Pool, JACK AUGUSTINE is in very good shape because he has THREE entries with THREE right ... so some strategy can start coming into play for his entries (since he is not only playing against the five folks with a perfect score, but also against himself). The four other contestants with 3 right are JAY FIANDRA, EMILY LEBOFSKY, LIZ SHREVE, and DAVE GODIN. In the RUNNERS-UP POOL, it's a mighty tight race; as ELEVEN people have 3 RIGHT. They are RUSTY SHREVE (with two entries), CRAIG CHERRY, JAY FIANDRA, RICK MACNEAL, BRIAN KIRN, BRANDON GREGG, PAUL GREGG, JIM SIMONE, ADAM LEBOFSKY, and MIKE DOLAN. So, it's really wide open for first place.

Our 2015 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST ended with MIKE DOLAN as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of $250 worth of FOOTBALL CARDS and NOVELTIES. Congrats, Mike! Mike was also entered into the National POD competition, which could win him an in-store visit with a local player and a shopping spree HERE! We would enjoy that as well!!

My last BIG ANNOUNCEMENT for this BLOG (and yes, I do know this has been a LONG one ... my apologies!) is our NEXT EVENT! SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 6th is NATIONAL HOCKEY TRADING CARD DAY (FREE special NHTCD packs available, with an exclusive JACK EICHEL CARD available with any $10 Upper Deck hockey card purchase). We expect to have some SURPRISES, a RAFFLE, and GAMES in store for you (with prizes courtesy of Upper Deck!) to celebrate our love of hockey card collecting. Our store has a HUGE base of customers who collect hockey cards, so a day honoring them with chances to win cool stuff seems justly deserved! I will BLOG later on with specifics!

Saturday the 6th is also the day before the SUPER BOWL (and the last chance to nab your blocks to win the MARIOTTA and WINSTON AUTOGRAPHED JERSEYS!) ... so that weekend seemed like the PERFECT time for an event. We will have PACK WARS at 1:00, so SAVE THE DATE!

That's "it". Check FACEBOOK (you can use the link at left if you're not on Facebook) for updates ... as well as pics of HOT PULLS and descriptions of NEW PRODUCTS! Come check out our NEW HELLO KITTY and UNICORNOS MYSTERY BLIND BOXES! We're not "just" sports cards, you know! We hope to see you HERE for the SUPER BOWL GRID PROMO KICK-OFF EVENT on Saturday!!

11/23/2015

Hello there everyone!!

It's BLACK FRIDAY WEEK, and things are hopping here! We have one of our two biggest promotions of the year THIS weekend (Friday and Saturday) with the return of PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS! (I will talk a bit about these packs at the end of this BLOG, for those of you who don't know much about them).

We have PACK WARS on Saturday at 1:00. PLEASE RSVP if you haven't already! If you need to know more about Pack Wars, check my last BLOG entry!

Our PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST ends on Saturday, and someone will be walking away with an AWESOME PRIZE PACKAGE of BOXES, PACKS, and FOOTBALL NOVELTIES worth $250!! We've had FOUR WEEKLY WINNERS so far ... MIKE DOLAN, JORDAN P, RAY STROHECKER, and CHRIS QUINN. On Saturday at 5:00, we will be crowning our last weekly winner and immediately be choosing our GRAND PRIZE WINNER from those five people (via raffle). I'm excited to see who goes home with the loot. (You do NOT need to be present to win). So, make sure you play this week to be a part of Saturday's festivities!

We are in the home stretch (WEEK 12) of our other annual football contest ... our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST. I'll re-cap our 11 winners thus far ... ANTHONY GADE, JACK AUGUSTINE, MATT ROSENFELD, LIZ SHREVE, ANTHONY GADE (his second win), GLENN KNOPF, MAUREEN CERULLI, MICHELE GODIN, EMILY LEBOFSKY, ADAM LEBOFSKY, and DAVE GODIN. Each of these 11 lucky people enjoyed a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE and will all be vying for our $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE GRAND PRIZE at the end of the season. We also have a bunch of RUNNERS-UP who will be vying for a $40 Gift Certificate during the play-offs as well! This contest is FREE and EASY to play. For more information, see my last BLOG entry.

UPCOMING PROMOTION ... we will be doing a SUPER BOWL GRID PROMO again this year; and so far, we have an AUTOGRAPHED JAMEIS WINSTON JERSEY that will be given away as part of the prize loot! Our previous Grid Promo's (you may be more familiar with them as block pools) have rewarded our FIRST QUARTER, HALF TIME, THIRD QUARTER, and END OF GAME BLOCK HOLDERS with lavish amounts of product (think boxes, people). We HAVE awarded AUTOGRAPHED MIKE TROUT and PEYTON MANNING FRAMED PHOTOS before as well, so this is a big promo for us. We give away roughly $500 in prizes per grid!

HOW DO I EARN A BLOCK IN THE GRID?? It's easy. When the promo starts (which will be roughly 2-3 weeks before the Super Bowl), we will mark products, indicating that buying them earns you a block in the grid. Because this isn't a Panini-only promo, all sorts of manufacturer offerings will be made. We also offer MANY inexpensive options (including MANY $20 BLASTERS) to make this promo available to everyone! One of the items we sold the most of for our last one was the 2014 Sage Autographed Football pack (with 2 autos per pack at $20, with Odell Beckham autograph possibilities!). Each $20 pack purchase earned the buyer a block in the 10 x 10 grid. And our response was SO GOOD that we actually created a SECOND GRID and doubled all of our prizes! It's great fun to buy something you might normally buy anyway and then win a HUGE PRIZE because of it! So, look for this promo to start in a few weeks. I will send another E-NEWSLETTER out to announce it.

On an unrelated topic, our dear friends SHANA and ADAM LEBOFSKY (you know them ... they help out at all of our events!) have an annual TOYS FOR TOTS FUNDRAISER; and this is their 20th YEAR! They have set a lofty goal this year to collect and donate 1000 toys, and Steve and I are doing our part to help them. We've already made a size-able purchase at 5 BELOW (I showed the pic on Facebook!), and we are encouraging our friends and customers to help us as well! We will be a TOYS FOR TOTS COLLECTION CENTER through December 4th, and we encourage you to do some good in this world and bring in a new, unused toy ... for a tot! We will make sure the Marines get them; and right now, we are also rewarding those who donate with a little present/surprise from us! Thanks everyone.

Okay, I need to go write an E-NEWSLETTER to make sure everyone knows about this weekend's fun, but I promised I would explain a bit about these BLACK FRIDAY PACKS that this promotion revolves around ... so let's do that! For the past several years, Panini has partnered with its hobby stores to offer both Father's Day and Black Friday packs in exchange for buying their products. These are 2 card packs of a special, exclusive set made up solely for the promotion. Roughly 10 packs will yield 4 hits (jerseys and autos ... not to mention limited edition cracked ice inserts ... and new for this year, hyperplaid inserts), so these packs are pretty loaded and fun to open. In fact, we have many customers who try to "earn" lots of 10 packs (some of which are pre-bagged and right on the money, odds-wise).

BTW ... we get these packs by purchasing ADDITIONAL PRODUCT from a very limited selection of items Panini offers us. These packs are by no means free to us. In fact, given what market price vs. cost is on these products, these packs COST us several dollars per pack ... so our participation in this promo is absolutely an expense to us that we expect will be offset by the purchases our customers make to get the packs. What we do that is good for our customers is that we don't limit you to only the products Panini limits us to. You will earn packs on almost any Panini purchase you make (such as $50 in packs, certain blasters, guaranteed jersey or auto hit packs, etc. etc.).

We have already awarded over 100 BLACK FRIDAY PACK IOU's to our customers for their Panini purchases over the last few weeks. Come on in, and we'll tell you which items will earn you packs. On Friday, the official start date of the event, we will have signs on eligible products so you clearly know which items you can buy to earn you packs. After you take a nap/break from your traditional early morning Black Friday shopping, come on over HERE and buy something for yourself! We hope to see you on Friday or Saturday, and if you intend to come for PACK WARS; please RSVP today! Thank you!

For everyday store goings-on; such as NEW PRODUCT ARRIVALS, INFO, and PICS; HOT PULLS; and other HOBBY NEWS; PLEASE check our daily FACEBOOK UPDATES We've been talking about this weekend's event for the last month or so and have included links to what some of the special cards look like. We've listed 8-10 different products that you could buy today that would earn you an IOU pack. And we always keep you up to date on all of the NEW PRODUCTS that arrive ... like 2015-16 UPPER DECK HOCKEY; 2015 FINEST and CHROME FOOTBALL; etc. etc. We will announce Saturday's BIG GRAND PRIZE PLAYER OF THE DAY WINNER THERE as well and let you know when the SUPER BOWL GRID PROMO BEGINS. Everything gets announced on FACEBOOK first, so we REALLY want to grow our readership to best communicate with everyone!! There is a link at left that takes you right to our page!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone! May your tables be filled with happy, healthy loved ones.

10/20/2015

Hi everyone! The purpose of today's BLOG is to explain PACK WARS to first timers (with the next one being THIS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24th at 1:00) AND to introduce our TWO FOOTBALL CONTESTS to anyone who hasn't played them. I'll be cutting and pasting from prior BLOG entries and FACEBOOK posts, so if some of this looks familiar; it probably is! I'll be back soon to do some regular updating of our store goings-on, HOT PULLS (like the 8 cut signature card booklet with Jackie Robinson just pulled!!!), and HOBBY NEWS! Thank you!

PACK WARS ...

The entry fee for PACK WARS is $50; and for that $50, we give you $50 worth of packs that will AVERAGE at least 2 hits (jerseys or autograph cards). Some players may get 3 hits and some may get 1, but we try to evenly distribute them as much as possible. We choose mostly new, popular packs from the three big sports (baseball, football, and hockey); and then throw in a pack or two of soccer, basketball, or another sport to mix it up. You keep everything you get from your packs. It is NOT possible to lose any cards.

We usually play between 9 and 12 rounds (game play to be explained in a bit). The exact number depends on which products we use, which is partly determined by how many people play and how many hits each product has. There's a lot of math that goes into this calculation (more than you'd realize) to make sure that not only are players getting the promised average of at least two hits, but also getting their money's worth, card-wise. This is Steve's job, and it does require a bit of patience from our players because the exact boxes used can only be determined once everyone arrives (and the head count is taken). We do ask for RSVP's before hand, which greatly help us to plan in advance.

Once we see how many people are playing, we can determine the prizes for that PACK WARS session. The more people, the better the prizes. We announce the prizes before we start; and we usually have AT LEAST THREE PRIZES, plus a PARTICIPATION PRIZE (so that you don't have to win a round to still win a prize). Typically, we award a $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE to the winner and choice of $20 BLASTER BOXES to a number of other players. From time to time, we give away special prizes if we've gotten a good deal on something or gotten manufacturer support (this has happened many times).

Here's how PACK WARS works ...

Each player has the same set of packs and keeps them in the same order. So, when we start with Pack A; everyone is playing with Pack A. Steve and I tell everyone to open their first pack (which, again, is the same pack as each other ), and we ask a question. It might be who has the highest card number, who has the tallest player (from the stats on the back of the card), etc.; and players yell out their answers. Whoever has the winning card gets a raffle ticket (to be explained in a bit), and often, there is a bonus prize for that specific round. Bonus prizes are extra packs we didn't distribute to players, and any box toppers we may have gotten. So for example, if we used a product with 24 packs and only 15 people are playing, then there are 9 packs left over to give away as prizes. That's what makes this style of PACK WARS especially fun ... lots of prizes!

We continue asking questions for each card pack, while giving away raffle tickets for each round. Once the packs are gone, we start drawing prizes. We have that previously mentioned participation prize so that even if you didn't win a specific round, you can STILL win this prize (each person is given a certain color raffle ticket with their set of packs before we start to play, and this is for the participation raffle). The FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD place prizes are all chosen from the raffle tickets won after each round; and players MAY win more than one of these prizes! After all, if you were lucky enough to win three rounds (as an example), you should have a better chance at winning prizes.

For me, PACK WARS is the most satisfying event we have in our store. It really fosters a lot of camaraderie amongst our customers. Many of our regulars show up (and these are some pretty good people, if I do say so myself!). The frenzy of opening so many packs is wildly fun, as is seeing what hits everyone pulls. We usually have a couple of REALLY good ones, so that's always something to look forward to.

IF you can't make it but would like to still be part of the fun and have a chance to win prizes, YOU can play "BY PROXY"! Pay your $50 in advance, and we will find a trusted person to take your place. This person will be your proxy. He or she will open your packs and play for you. You will receive every card and every hit contained in your packs, PLUS any unopened packs/box toppers or prizes you might win. It's fun to play by proxy and come find out after the event what you got ... especially if it's the Grand Prize (which HAS happened!).

So come join us, won't you? Any age player is welcome, and assistance by Heidi and Steve (and fellow, friendly players) is always available. IF the $50 price tag is too steep, two people CAN split the cost and enter as a team. PLEASE REMEMBER to RSVP, as it really does help us to plan!

Our PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST ...

Sponsored by Panini, the PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST lasts 30 straight days. We have 6 day weeks here since we're closed on Sunday, so that means this contest lasts 5 weeks for us. To become a DAILY WINNER, you need to pull a card of the designated "Player of the Day" ("POD") from any Panini branded football pack. Each day the POD changes, and there are two additional "Wild Card" players you can pull to make winning even easier. If you buy a BOX of Panini Football cards, you're an automatic winner; so that's an easy way to play!!

The DAILY PRIZE is a special pack supplied by Panini with, for 2015, random CRACKED ICE PARALLELS, ROOKIE MEMORABILIA CARDS (including those for Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota), and AUTOGRAPHED CARDS (including Ty Montgomery, Ameer Abdullah, and our own Eric Rowe).

EACH WEEK, we award one daily winner the WEEKLY PRIZE (think more POD packs and football novelties) via raffle. And then in 5 weeks, we will award the GRAND PRIZE of over $200 worth of FOOTBALL CARDS and NOVELTIES to one of the five weekly winners!

This contest is always a big one for us and well received, in part due to the large GRAND PRIZE (which will be on display beginning Saturday). There is no limit to the number of times you can be a daily or weekly winner (other than one daily win per day).

Our 2015 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST is starting on Monday the 26th with a sneak peek, pre-release day, on Saturday the 24th for our PACK WAR customers!

Our first weekly prize will be awarded the following Saturday, October 31st ... Halloween! Our GRAND PRIZE WILL BE AWARDED ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28th during our Panini Black Friday Pack Event.

We hope you come visit and try your luck!

OUR OWN "YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS" FOOTBALL CONTEST ...

This contest started when football season did, and ends with the last week of game play (winners and runners-up move onto the post season ... read on!).

Each week, we supply FREE entry forms listing Sunday's match ups. Just circle the teams you think will win. It's THAT easy! The person with the most correct guesses wins a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE! IF there is a tie, then the Monday Night Game will be used as a tie breaker. Each person involved will be notified on Monday of what team or points are needed to make him or her that week's winner. Whoever doesn't win becomes a RUNNER-UP (with some post season prize potential).

Each WEEKLY WINNER will then compete against each other during the post season to see who can choose the most correct play-off game winners. THAT person will win our GRAND PRIZE of a $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE. The RUNNERS-UP compete against each other for a $40 GIFT CERTIFICATE.

FREE entry forms are available starting on Wednesday at 3:00 and available until Saturday at 5:00. We never use Thursday night games.

WINNERS so far this year have been ANTHONY GADE (twice!), JACK AUGUSTINE, MATT ROSENFELD, LIZ SHREVE, and GLENN KNOPF. RUNNERS-UP have been CRAIG CHERRY, ADAM LEBOFSKY, and CHRIS HORAN.

We're in WEEK 7 of this contest, and hope to have you come join in the free fun.

9/17/2015

Hi everyone! BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. Apparently, too busy to update my BLOG. My apologies!! We have been pleasantly surprised to be quite busy in the store this summer. We are not used to that! Usually ... vacations, camps, and shore weekends take most of our customers away from us. So, how nice that many of you found your way back every now and then!

We have had a couple of PACK WARS EVENTS this summer ... one of them being last weekend! GRANT GOW and MATT HANSON cleaned up at this recent one, each winning $50 in GIFT CERTIFICATES! Our turn-out was GREAT, and we thank everyone who came ... including our two proxied players! (If you can't make it to Pack Wars, but you still want to play and have a chance to win packs and gift certificates; we will have someone play for you! Just pay your $50 in advance, and you will get your $50 in packs plus any winnings held for you until you can pick it up. A few people have won Pack Wars and haven't even been there in person!). Our NEXT PACK WARS will likely be in mid-October, and our NEXT OFFICIAL EVENT (with Pack Wars) will be BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND when we will have PANINI'S BLACK FRIDAY PACKS! So stay tuned for details!

We've been busy lately with various CONTESTS and CARD PROMOS. We just finished up TOPPS' TAKE IT TO THE HOUSE Football Card Pack Promo. Topps offered special 5 card packs with random autographs (our store had 5 rookie autos ... but no huge names) for buying $20 worth of their new 2015 Topps Football product.

This is WEEK TWO of our store's own YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST! Play our FREE contest for your chance at winning the WEEKLY PRIZE of a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE (for the most correct picks of Sunday's match-ups). If you win any week, you will then go on to compete for our GRAND PRIZE of a $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE. Runners-up (established when the Monday Night Game is needed to decide the weekly winner) compete for a $40 GIFT CERTIFICATE at the end of the season. Entry forms are available Wednesday at 3:00, and due back Saturday at 5:00. Couldn't be easier to play, and remember it's FREE!

Soon, we will be starting our PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST. This one starts in mid-October and lasts for 30 days. Each day, a new player is designated as the "Player of the Day". If you pull a card of said player from any Panini card pack, then you WIN! Daily prizes are packs. Weekly prizes are little prize packages on display each week. And then the GRAND PRIZE is over $250 worth of football cards,autos, and novelties. It's a really fun contest. We've been participating in it for the last several years, and it tends to draw a lot of attention. So look for the announcement of the start date SOON!

If you're a fan of FUNKO POP FIGURES, then you must see the selection we've recently added of those ... as well as our NEW FUNKO MYSTERY BLIND BOXES and STUFFED FABRIKATIONS!!! Talk about an easy gift idea! From Marvel to Sesame Street to My Little Pony to Star Wars to Guardians of the Galaxy to Family Guy to vintage Hanna Barbera characters ... we have over 100 different FUNKO POPS to please any age. Funko Pop figures are as popular as can be, and gaining in popularity daily. Come add to your collection, or check out what you're missing!

I will BLOG again soon to mention some HOT PULLS we've had lately (think BABE RUTH!), but remember you can always find pics of and info about NEW PRODUCTS by checking our FACEBOOK page (there's a link at left if you're not on Facebook yourself!). I need to update the website with all of the pulls I've been posting daily on Facebook.

Be well everyone! I'll chat again soon.

6/15/2015

Hello everyone! I can NOT believe that my last BLOG was on April 7th. I honestly feel like I have posted so many times since then, but I'm sure that's because I'm always posting on FACEBOOK. Before I tell you about our event THIS WEEKEND with PACK WARS on Saturday at 1:00, let's discuss FACEBOOK and how you can see what's going on in our store without even signing up.

Some people are anti-Facebook. I get it. Steve is. My parents are. A few of our customers don't even own computers. It's not for everyone. BUT, did you know that you can SEE EVERYTHING GOING ON AT THE STORE ... every HOT PULL, pics of NEW PRODUCTS, updated RELEASE DATES, HOBBY NEWS, STORE NEWS, EVENT details, and MORE ... even if you are NOT on Facebook? It's TRUE! Do you see the "Visit Us on Facebook" link at left? That's what it's there for! You shouldn't pay the price of me not BLOG'ing for 2 months! PLEASE make it a habit to check our Facebook page. (I've said it so many times, but posting on Facebook is SUCH an easy method of communication ... but it's obviously only effective if people are reading the posts.)

Now, let's say you're ON Facebook, but you don't tend to see our posts. There's an easy fix for that. Go to our page. Click "LIKE" and then under the pull down menu, click "FOLLOW". That should get you started. You might need to do it on your phone and computer. After that, some of you will always see all of our posts. Others need to "engage" by Liking and Commenting on posts. I honestly don't know how Facebook decides this.

Okay, THE EVENT! This is one of our biggies ... where we give away PANINI FATHER'S DAY PACKS for making Panini purchases. We usually have a decent turn-out, and we made sure to schedule this one for TWO DAYS ... both FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ... so that all of our event deals, Father's Day pack offers, AND Raffles with purchase would be available to everyone on both days. We know summertime is weird, schedule-wise. Between sporting events (both that our customers are participating in OR watching), graduation parties, and vacations ... schedules are upside down. So PLEASE JOIN US EITHER DAY to enjoy all that this weekend has to offer. We will be awarding TWENTY FATHER'S DAY PACKS to the WINNER of our $100 RAFFLE WITH PURCHASE and TEN PACKS to the WINNER of our $50 RAFFLE WITH PURCHASE. That will be happening on Saturday at 5:00, and all purchases from BOTH Friday and Saturday will receive tickets. In fact, anyone who plays PACK WARS on Saturday will get a raffle ticket for the $50 raffle.

What a perfect segue for our SATURDAY PACK WARS! It's at 1:00. $50, multi-sport, average of two hit style. The "PARTICIPATION" PRIZE will be 5 FATHER'S DAY PACKS, so here's a way to get some even if you're buying Topps product this weekend (it's not helping our Panini promo that Topps is releasing 2015 Series 2 Baseball this week, AND we're selling Finest and Archives like nobody's business!). So come play PACK WARS and win Father's Day packs PLUS all your hits from the packs! AND if you're planning to come to Pack Wars, PLEASE RSVP!!!

Okay, so we know some of our customers want to lock in PANINI FATHER'S DAY PACKS before the weekend. Steve has already designated Panini products in all four major sports that earn you an IOU on Father's Day packs. LOOK FOR YELLOW TAGS on products throughout the store that tell you how many packs you get for buying that product. Many of these products have also had their prices slashed, so it's WIN-WIN. Here are a few examples of such products, and Steve is adding to this list each day this week ... culminating with the most deals during our event this weekend. Here are some products so far ...

BASEBALL ...
2013 PRIZM DRAFT (3)
2014 PRIZM DRAFT (2)
2014 HOF 75th (3)
2014 PANINI CLASSICS (5)

FOOTBALL ...
2012 MOMENTUM PACK (1)
2012 PLAYBOOK (4)
2014 ABSOLUTE (4)
2014 PLAYBOOK (4)
2014 PRIZM (3)

HOCKEY ...
13/14 CROWN ROYALE (2)
13/14 SELECT (2)
13/14 PLAYBOOK (3)

BASKETBALL ...
13/14 CRUSADERS (2)
14/15 GOLD STANDARD (10)
14/15 PARAMOUNT (10)

NON-SPORTS ...
COUNTRY MUSIC BOX (2)
COUNTRY MUSIC PACK (1)

Steve WILL absolutely be adding more products over the next week, leading up to our event ... so stay tuned for updates!

I will BLOG again soon to give more details about NEW PRODUCTS that have arrived lately. There's lots to tell, but REST ASSURED it HAS been told on FACEBOOK ... so feel free to look for it there first! You'll see lots of pics there that you won't here too!

We hope you join us this weekend!

4/7/2015

Hi everyone! It was an EXCITING PASSOVER and EASTER WEEKEND at the store, starting with our TWO DAY EVENT beginning on Friday. We continued on Saturday with PACK WARS and our RAFFLE GIVEAWAYS, and finished off the weekend with our $1500 SATURDAY NIGHT and MONDAY NIGHT FINAL FOUR BLOCK POOL GIVEAWAYS!

Before I go over everything, let me start by reminding you that in APRIL, we are holding BOX BREAK SATURDAYS. THIS Saturday the 11th, we will be doing a TWO BOX BREAK of 2013-14 THE CUP HOCKEY. 30 spots are available at $35/spot, and you will be assigned a random team as determined by random.org. The break is at 1:00, and you absolutely do not need to be here to hold a spot (there could be an exciting surprise for you to pick up on Monday!). The following weekend, on Saturday the 18th, we will have a FOUR BOX 2015 TOPPS MUSEUM COLLECTION BASEBALL BOX BREAK. There are 30 spots available in that break as well, and each spot is $30. And finally, on Saturday, April 25th, we will do a FOOTBALL BOX BREAK with an as yet to be determined product. We DID just receive 2014 National Treasures Football and 2014 Topps 5 Star Football today, so both of these are options. We hope you can join us, even if not in person, for BOX BREAK SATURDAYS in April.

NOW, a re-cap of our EVENT and PACK WARS ...

THANK YOU to everyone who came out to PACK WARS on Saturday. We had a turn-out of 13 people, which is pretty respectable. It is always so great to see a combination of our most faithful of regulars supporting us right along with newbies enjoying their first Pack Wars! I'm very confident I did NOT see all of the hits pulled because Pack Wars was a bit of a whirlwind for me this time around. I think Chris & Kailee cleaned up pretty well in the hits department. Chris's MIKE EVANS auto /10 from Elite was one of the nicer cards for sure. Don pulled a 4 diamond NATHAN MACKINNON rookie from Black Diamond. Taki scored a KRIS BRYANT jersey card from 2013 USA Champions Baseball (that was fun to see!). And then we had some soccer fans pull some nice MLS hits, so that worked out well!

We had TWO BIG PACK WARS WINNERS! Our GRAND PRIZE $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE WINNER was NICK DAMALAS, who was an even bigger winner when he pulled a Tier One SANDY KOUFAX AUTOGRAPH! Nice hit indeed there! And then NEWBIES to Pack Wars, our father & son team of CARLOS and ALEX MARTINEZ won BOTH our SECOND PLACE PRIZE of a $30 GIFT CERTIFICATE AND our PARTICIPATION PRIZE of a $20 GIFT CERTIFICATE, to match Nick's $50 win. They spent the whole $50 on 2015 MLS BLASTER BOXES. You might remember that little Alex is the young customer who pulled BOTH a LIONEL MESSI AUTOGRAPH and a CRISTIANO RONALDO AUTOGRAPH from the 2014 Panini FIFA Prizm product. Amazing luck, really.

MANY packs of 2014 Sage Autographed Football were opened to earn blocks in our Final Four Block Pools. If you haven't been following Facebook, we have a new customer Ray Hughes (former child Pokemon customer) who recently pulled an ODELL BECKHAM AUTO /10 from said Sage Autograph product. Well, the next day, he tried his luck again; and after pulling a Blake Bortles auto, he pulled ANOTHER Odell Beckham auto ... this one /50. Clearly on a roll, he then opened a single pack of 2014 Totally Certified Football; and you guessed it ... he pulled an Odell Beckham auto patch /25 !!!! So, clearly this sports newbie is hooked! (All of these hits have been posted on Facebook, btw).

Our RAFFLES WITH PURCHASE WINNERS were TY PIERCE (no stranger to being a raffle winner here!) who won 20 2014 PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS and BOB MITCHELL, who won 10 PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS. CONGRATS to both guys!

All in all, it was a very nice weekend. Many of you know my dear friends Adam and Shana Lebofsky (who likely won't see this, but know they're loved and much appreciated!). They're ALWAYS here to support me and Steve on event days, and their help means more than I can say. So thank you, Adam and Shana, for everything you do (and for bringing my Max into the world). Shana and Adam have three wonderful kids, but my Maxie is the one who's here most often and who our customers most recognize.

Onto a re-cap of the WINNERS in our FINAL FOUR BLOCK POOL! We gave away a total of $1530 in "PLAYGROUND CASH" to 16 lucky customers (ESPECIALLY the first FOUR people!!!) ...

JACK AUGUSTINE $370
DAVE GODIN $365
BOB MITCHELL $210
BRETT MURPHY $200
TAKI $80
SEAN SUPPLEE $50
KAILEE $50
RYAN BROSS $35
JASON GARRIDO $35
DON RIMMER $25
JIM BENNETT $25
MIKE HODOBA $25
FRANCO $20
WAYNE HAAS $20
CHRIS QUINN $10
JASON GRAFF $10

THANK YOU to everyone who earned at least one block to participate. We like this promo, and will definitely use it again (probably before the Super Bowl!). It was a fun few weeks and a very exciting last few days.

3/26/2015

Do you know what's going on RIGHT NOW at our store???? Our FINAL 4 BLOCK POOL!!! I'm happy to say our grid is more than halfway full! In my last BLOG, I listed 13 ways to earn blocks in our grid. Below are 11 more. MANY options are under $20 (and they're GOOD, practical options like blaster boxes WITH GUARANTEED HITS!!). We previously announced that our BLOCK POOL PRIZE TOTAL would be $500, and we now have the prize specifics! So read on for that and for some news about our NEXT EVENT!

First, the PRIZES for the WINNERS of our FINAL 4 BLOCK POOL! We're giving you "PLAYGROUND CASH!" (our cute name for a store gift certificate). That way, everyone can select what they most want! We displayed some nice football trading card boxes as prizes for our Super Bowl Block Pool, but we let the winners choose their own sport so as to make everyone happy (which is how our winner pulled a Gretzky auto from his winnings!!). So, the PLAYGROUND CASH seems like an ideal choice! This is how it works ... we're giving away prizes for the half time and final scores of the two semi final games (being played on Saturday, April 4th ... day two of our event) AND the NCAA Championship game on Monday the 6th. SO, there are SIX ways for you to win right there (half and final score of 1st semi-final, half and final score of 2nd semi-final, and half and final score of Championship game), then on top of that ... anyone who has the right numbers at those game times but for the opposite teams ... will win a smaller amount.

So let's get specific! For each of the two semi-final games, the person whose points match at the half will get $25 in Playground cash and at the end of each game, $50. If you have the right numbers but for the opposite teams at any of these four times, you will win $10. And for the CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, those prizes are $80 for the half, $20 for reverse numbers at half or end; and our GRAND PRIZE WINNER will get $200 in PLAYGROUND CASH!!! This will be a LOT of fun to award all of these prizes, and I'm happy that we have some contest newbies playing. I REALLY like to see new faces get involved in our events and contests and it couldn't be any easier to get a block in our pool. Again, we have MANY options under $20 that earn you a block. This is a contest that everyone can take part in. What better or easier way to add some fun to your Easter/Passover weekend?

The 11 NEW OPTIONS to get you blocks are as follows (and see my last BLOG for the first 13) ...

  1. Any 4 current (meaning non-retired) OYO's (most are $9.95) will earn you 1 BLOCK.
  2. 2 of our OYO "Superstar Packs" at $8.95 each (baseball, football, and hockey available) will earn you 1 BLOCK.
  3. 2014 Panini Playbook Football at $99.95 will earn you 2 BLOCKS.
  4. 2013-14 Panini Playbook Hockey at $89.95 will earn you 1 BLOCK.
  5. 2013-14 Panini Rookie Anthology Hockey at $99.95 will earn you 2 BLOCKS.
  6. 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball HOBBY at $69.95 will earn you 2 BLOCKS.
  7. 2015 Topps Series 1 Baseball JUMBO at $109.95 will earn you 2 BLOCKS.
  8. 2014-15 Panini Gold Standard Basketball at $199.95 will earn you 3 BLOCKS.
  9. 2014 Leaf Cal Ripken Jr. Ironman Signature Box at $109.95 will earn you 2 BLOCKS.
  10. A 2012 Playbook Football Box at $149.95 will get you 2 BLOCKS.
  11. A 2011 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Baseball Blaster Box (with possible Trout rookie!) at $35 earns you 1 BLOCK.

Now, onto our NEXT EVENT! It's a TWO DAY EXTRAVAGANZA on FRIDAY and SATURDAY, APRIL 3rd and 4th, featuring PACK WARS at 1:00 on SATURDAY (and general merriment throughout the weekend). We are utilizing the $50, average of two hit, multi-sport style of Pack Wars; and we want to see you there! PLEASE RSVP ASAP. It really helps us to plan.

We have also decided to do some box breaks on Saturdays in April. Many of our customers like the chance of risking a little to win a lot, so we'll be doing a different sport and product each Saturday starting with the 11th. We're accepting feedback from our customers as to what products would be the most fun, but right now, we're thinking for HOCKEY ... TWO BOXES OF 2013-14 THE CUP, and for BASEBALL ... FOUR BOXES OF the upcoming 2015 MUSEUM COLLECTION. We haven't determined the FOOTBALL product yet. The "buy-in" for a spot would be in the $25 range, and you'd get a randomly assigned team. We'll be talking about it with you at the next event, but most likely, the order will be the 11th for BASEBALL (I can't wait any longer since Museum is coming in next week!); the 18th for HOCKEY; and the 25th for FOOTBALL. If everyone enjoys the box breaks, we'll certainly do more of them (and some case breaks) in the future.

There's more to say, but if I don't finish this now, it won't be published soon enough. Hope to see you soon!

3/19/2015

Hello again, everyone! Here are some updates for you!

Our FINAL 4 BLOCK POOL is now in full swing, and we have selected 13 ways for you to earn blocks. They are ...

  1. Any $50 pack purchase (including sports, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, Magic, ANY pack).
  2. Any $150 box purchase (two boxes that add up to $150 counts!).
  3. A 2014 TOPPS BASEBALL Series 1 BLASTER BOX at only $15!
  4. A 2012 MOMENTUM FOOTBALL PACK (with guaranteed hit!) at $25. (We just opened a fresh box).
  5. A 2014 Panini Country Music pack (with guaranteed autograph or jersey) at $29.95.
  6. A 2014 SAGE AUTOGRAPHED FOOTBALL PACK (contains TWO football autos) at $19.95.
  7. A 2013 Topps CHROME Football Blaster Box (with guaranteed relic card) at $19.95.
  8. A 2014-15 Prizm Basketball Blaster Box (with guaranteed autograph card) at $19.95.
  9. A 2014 Topps CHROME Soccer MLS Blaster Box (with guaranteed autograph card) at $19.95.
  10. A 2014 Crown Royale Football RETAIL Box (with two hits) at $49.95.
  11. A 2014-15 In The Game Draft Hockey box (has young players like Connor McDavid) at $49.95.
  12. A 2012-13 Rookie Anthology Hockey box (with 5 hits) at $49.95.
  13. A 2008 Stadium Baseball pack (with guaranteed autograph) at $24.95.

Many of these options are cheap and easy ways for you to join in the fun and win BIG prizes!

OUR NEXT EVENT! It is a 2 DAY EVENT ... on Friday, April 3rd and Saturday, April 4th. PACK WARS is officially on Saturday the 4th at 1:00, and we're hoping for a GREAT turn-out. We have a few RSVP's so far, but we NEED your replies. Especially if you're usually a Pack Wars regular, PLEASE give us a shout and let us know if you're a YAY or NAY for this one. The timing of this event is purposely the same weekend as the NCAA Championship ... to give as many people as possible a last minute chance to secure a block in our FINAL 4 BLOCK POOL.

We're also working on some NEW IDEAS for this event that we think you will be excited about! Think group box/case break and some different types of raffles. Info to come!

3/17/2015

I'm on here today to announce BOTH our NEXT EVENT AND a NEW CONTEST!

First, our NEXT EVENT! It's a two day event over Easter weekend ... FRIDAY, APRIL 3rd and SATURDAY, APRIL 4th. We are leaning toward FRIDAY NIGHT at 7:00 for PACK WARS, but we're still asking customers to let us know which day works better for them ... Friday night at 7:00 or Saturday afternoon at 1:00. We chose this weekend because we're having a MARCH MADNESS CONTEST (to be discussed next), and the NCAA Championship IS that weekend; so the timing is good. HOWEVER, that Friday is the first night of Passover; and Sunday is Easter. So it's going to be a busy weekend indeed. Please let us hear from you regarding which Pack Wars date works better. We are using the $50, average of two hit, multi-sport version. We have a lot of new products to use, including 2015 Donruss Baseball!

Okay, onto the CONTEST. If you liked our SUPER BOWL BLOCK POOL, then join us for MARCH MADNESS! We're going to have a FINAL 4 BLOCK POOL where you earn blocks in our 10 x 10 grid and win prizes based on the final and half time scores of the Championship game AND also the scores of the two semi-final games (so we can give away more prizes!). Rest assured, all will be explained in the e-mail you receive with your blocks so you know how to win; but the date to get your blocks is that Saturday of our event weekend. Now, for PRIZES. We gave away $500 worth of boxes in our Super Bowl block pool ... and I expect this will be similar! So MORE DETAILS will be announced soon, but this FINAL 4 BLOCK POOL has actually begun (for example, anyone who buys $50 in packs gets a block!). Check back here and on Facebook for ways to earn blocks, as we add them.

That's it for today! I wanted to make sure I published this BLOG early enough to reach everyone! THANK YOU!

3/9/2015

HELLO everyone! I started working on this BLOG exactly one week ago, but did not finish it. There is always "just one more thing" to say. So I came on here today to do what is necessary to just close it out and publish it so that the information stays relatively fresh! But there IS more to tell (like, how PANINI is making an International Soccer product with Ronaldo autos [among others], which is GREAT news for our soccer customers who don't want to wait another 4 years for another World Cup product!). But the rest will have to wait. Let's get to today's business. Read on ...

We had a nice turn-out for NATIONAL HOCKEY TRADING CARD DAY (NHTCD) on February 21st. We didn't have Pack Wars, although an all-hockey version WAS considered. It was just too close to our last one and too last minute to pull it together. BUT, we DID have a bit of fanfare with our FREE NHTCD PACK GIVEAWAY, SPELLING CONTEST (with OVERTIME PACK prizes), and RAFFLES! The BIG WINNER of the day was the first person to arrive, ironically (before I even did!). Little ALEX MARTINEZ, who previously pulled a Lionel Messi autograph (a BIG deal!) from 2014 Panini Prizm Soccer bought another box of the popular World Cup product before we even opened ... and pulled a CRISTIANO RONALDO AUTOGRAPH (our store's first ...and the most valuable autograph in the set!). This is a HUGE PULL worth over $1000 ...and needless to say, an excellent start to event day. Ironically, Alex and his dad Carlos then went one to win our BIG RAFFLE PRIZE for the day (for making a $100 purchase) and scored 10 PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS and 10 UPPER DECK 25th ANNIVERSARY PACKS. Of course, Alex went on to pull an autograph in those packs as well! FRANK PERLMUTTER and sons JORDAN and LIAM (BIG hockey family!) were our other RAFFLE WINNERS for the day (for making a $50 purchase) and scored 10 PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS as well! So CONGRATS to both sets of fathers and son(s). It's nice to see dads collecting with their kids. They are the future of this hobby, so it's heartwarming to see dads pass along collecting to the next generation (and what a great hobby to share together)!.

We had several people who won OVERTIME PACKS in our SPELLING BEE (we awarded different numbers of Overtime Packs depending on how hard the hockey player name you had to correctly spell ...so an easy name earned you one or two packs while a VERY hard name earned you 5!). JACK AUGUSTINE was THE BIG WINNER of our Spelling Contest, because not only did he win at least 10 packs ...but he also pulled TWO AUTOGRAPHS in those packs ...a SAM REINHART and MARKUS GRANLUND! So KUDOS Jack! All in all, we had a fun day and thank everyone who turned out in less than ideal weather. If you are trying to put together the entire 16 card NCTCD set, we DO have singles available to you!

In NEW PRODUCTS NEWS, HOCKEY has been huge here lately (National Hockey Trading Card Day aside). We recently received 2014-15 UPPER DECK SERIES 2 HOCKEY, which has been a great seller. Please note that we DO have hand collated sets of 2014-15 Upper Deck 1 Hockey available for $20, and we will have sets of Series 2 later this week. But most of Upper Deck offerings this year (remember that they now are the exclusive licensee of the NHL) have been very well received. There are scores of pics on our Facebook site from SP Game Used Hockey. We've seen a lot of that one this year, and I really like it. They changed it to a one pack box with 5 hits, rather than the usual 5 (or 6) packs of one hit each. It's much more exciting this year ...not to mention that the hits are MUCH better. It's chock full of unique relics from the Stanley Cup, Stadium Series, and Winter Classic games..so no more plain jerseys in each pack. 2014-15 Trilogy and SPx Hockey have been good sellers as well. We had THREE WAYNE GRETZKY AUTOGRAPH CARDS from Trilogy pulled within 3 days ...one of which was numbered to 15!

2015 HERITAGE BASEBALL was released last week and has been a strong seller. There are cards that smell like bubble gum randomly inserted (a few per case), and the 1 purple Chrome refractor per pack HOT BOX is back for this year as well. 2015 TOPPS BASEBALL continues to sell well. One of the nicest (and most popular) inserts is the coin and stamp cards. Commemorating a player's birth year with both a coin and stamp from that year, these cards combine three beloved and time honored hobbies in one! We've had a Miguel Cabrera and Madison Bumgarner pulled here, with pics on our Facebook page. 2015 DONRUSS BASEBALL arrives on Wednesday, and I'm excited about this one. I loved last year's Series 2 Donruss with their Elite inserts. For a product that can't have logos and team names because of their licensing, Panini does a pretty good job with it! If you want to check out how it looks, here's a link to Panini's BLOG discussing it.

Also making a very WELCOME return to the hobby is 2015 DONRUSS DIAMOND KINGS BASEBALL. The last time we saw Diamond Kings was 2005, and it was a VERY popular set. We've seen DK inserts since then, but not as a stand-alone product. Panini is adding some sweet BABE RUTH jersey and bat cards and dual relics to its Diamond Kings product ... even a CUT SIGNATURE! Here is the Panini BLOG that announces DK, and then a follow-up BLOG that shows the Babe Ruth inserts .

As detailed on our Facebook site, PANINI has a DONRUSS BASKETBALL WRAPPER REDEMPTION PROGRAM. While supplies last, collectors can exchange 24 wrappers of 2014-15 Donruss Basketball Hobby for a special three-card 2015 NBA All-Star Pack that will feature three of the brightest stars from NBA All-Star Weekend: Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine and Stephen Curry. These unique cards will feature exclusive photography from All-Star Weekend. Additionally, each subject will also have randomly inserted autograph cards inserted into packs. The special three-card packs will begin shipping in April. Collectors interested in participating in the 2014-15 Donruss Basketball Wrapper Trade-In promotion can submit their hobby wrappers (24 for each three-card pack) to:

2014-15 Donruss Basketball Trade-In
Panini America
5325 FAA Boulevard, Suite 100
Irving, Texas 75061-3601

OYO fans! We have a DEAL for you! So anyone who has been in our store in the past year probably knows we carry OYO's (those little Lego compatible, licensed sports figures). You may have seen a few Phillies, Eagles, or Flyers player OYO's in Hallmark stores and sporting good stores like Modell's. They're collected by adults and kids alike. Adults and older kids collect their favorite players (and often keep them sealed in their see-thru packaging) while younger kids take them out of the boxes and play with them (sometimes right along with their Lego's). We also carry fields, zamboni's, and other "homes" for OYO's as well. We're the largest East Coast retailer of these popular collectibles, and what that means to you is that we have a selection WAY beyond just our local teams. In fact, we have almost every player that OYO produces in all three sports BASEBALL, FOOTBALL, and HOCKEY. OYO also has college licenses with generic college player OYO's, school mascots (the Nittany Lion mascot was introduced this past week), and then professional players in their college uniforms (like Peyton Manning in his University of Tennesee uniform). And they're working on MLS soccer mascots presently. So there truly is a choice for almost any sports fan (or college student) in your life.

Well, OYO has come out with "Superstar packs" ... a great gift or introduction to the world of OYO's! A Superstar pack is a sealed, blind pack that contains one mystery OYO; and they are available in all three sports ... baseball, football, and hockey. In baseball, the mystery OYO will be from a list of 60 possible players. In football, 32. And in hockey, 30. So, if you need a gift for a sports fan and you're not sure which player is his or her favorite, this might be ideal! There is also an extremely rare GOLDEN OYO (1 in 1,000 packs!) that if you're lucky enough to find will get you your very own OYO of you! That's right ...YOU, in OYO form! We sell each Superstar pack for $8.95 (most of our player OYO's are $10). HOWEVER, right now, we have a special where if you buy ANY 4 regular OYO's, you can choose a Superstar pack for FREE! So why not take advantage of this LIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER as an opportunity to check out our massive inventory of OYO's? You could stock up on a few gifts for the OYO fan in your life, or maybe start a new collection?

Okay, STAY TUNED for DAILY UPDATES ON FACEBOOK where I also post tons of NEW PRODUCT PICS to keep you up to date on what things look like and what's been pulled here. REMEMBER to use our link at left to check out our Facebook site if you're not a member! Steve and I will be pulling the trigger on our NEXT EVENT and PACK WARS (MAYBE we'll finally have an all-Baseball Pack Wars SOON!!!) this week; so stay tuned to both this BLOG and of course, Facebook, for that announcement! Take care, everyone! I think warm weather is headed our way!

2/20/2015

Hi everyone! I wanted to come on here and quickly BLOG about NATIONAL HOCKEY TRADING CARD DAY tomorrow.

It's too last minute for PACK WARS (even though an all-hockey Pack Wars WOULD be fun!). But, we WILL have some action going on in the store. There are FREE National Hockey Trading Card Day packs (just come on in and ask!). There is a special WAYNE GRETZKY card (card #16 in the set) available to anyone who spends $20 on Upper Deck Hockey packs/boxes. THEN, we are having an all day "SPELLING BEE". Anyone who spends $20 on hockey packs/boxes (any brand) may choose to participate in a spelling challenge. YOU choose whether you want an easy name or a hard name to spell (of an NHL player) ... and you'll win different numbers of Upper Deck Hockey Overtime packs (special packs made up by Upper Deck in conjunction with distributor GTS featuring limited cards and random autographs) for spelling that name correctly. (Larger purchases can earn you more chances at the contest). And last, our RAFFLES! We will have TWO RAFFLES WITH PURCHASE tomorrow. A $50 purchase will make you eligible for our 10 2014 PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACK RAFFLE (one entry per person) and a $100 purchase will make you eligible for our 10 2014 PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACK AND 10 UPPER DECK 25th ANNIVERSARY PACK RAFFLE (unlimited entries per person). And of course, we will have refreshments! I have so many cookies and chocolate from the holidays looking for a good home in your stomachs! SO, we hope to see you tomorrow!!

Briefly, in other news, did you hear that PRESS PASS is no more? The news came as a surprise to us in its sudden-ness. So, at the moment, no manufacturer has picked up the NASCAR license. And as a customer reminded me, this means no more Press Pass Football (although, frankly, their sales have waned in recent years).

I have been getting questions from customers about events/hobby happenings ... like whether we'd be participating in National Hockey Trading Card Day or if we have Topps Spring Fever Baseball card packs, and I want to remind everyone that you do NOT need to be on Facebook to read our Facebook page. I update EVERYTHING that is going on here in the store, in the hobby, great cards that were pulled, pics of new products, etc. etc. etc. DAILY ... on Facebook. Our Facebook page is a FABULOUS resource, and you can see what is on there by using our link at left. Make a bookmark. Make a shortcut. Make it easy on yourself. It's SO easy to update Facebook daily, and not nearly as easy to post BLOGS (or have people know to look for them). Facebook is especially convenient for Facebook users because it's set up to deliver our posts to our customers (in a matter of speaking). So, PLEASE find a way to check our Facebook posts; especially if you're interested in what's going on and even if you're not on Facebook. It truly is SUCH an effective method for updating everyone often ... but obviously, it's only as effective as the numbers of people who check it. Thanks everyone!

2/13/2015

Hi everyone! So it has come to my attention (mostly after looking at my last few BLOGS!) that I have not BLOG'ed enough recently. And there are a lot of different things going on, both here and in the hobby, so let's do this thing! First up, an event re-cap from this past weekend's event (cut and pasted straight from my Facebook post, btw) ...

PACK WARS was a lot of fun! Our "BRING A NEWBIE" RAFFLE was funny. We offered a raffle (your choice of swag) to anyone who brought a new Pack Wars player and a separate one to the newbie. Well, Eddie Stanton brought his cousin Colin ... and that was it for newbies! So, two automatic winners! Eddie chose a Verlander bobble head and , and little Colin chose one of my favorite items ... a Phillies Mr. Potato Head key chain! Our PACK WARS $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE WINNER was none other than one MR. MAX LEBOFSKY! Last time, Max had won 4 rounds, yet didn't win a prize at the end. This time, he won only one round ... yet his ticket was pulled and he won the whole thing! Funny! Our "PARTICIPATION PRIZE" (everyone who plays gets a blue raffle ticket and a chance at winning a special prize ... today it was your choice of 5 Black Friday packs; a special Leaf "Holiday pack" with guaranteed jersey card, auto, or printing plate; OR a Fleer Retro Basketball pack with 3 guaranteed autos) was won by DON RIMMER, who chose the Leaf pack. And then our SECOND and THIRD PLACE PRIZES (your choice of 5 Black Friday packs OR a $20 blaster box) were won by RYAN BROSS and JACK AUGUSTINE (who, conveniently, had never opened a Black Friday pack ... so this was a fated win for Jack for sure!). Both Ryan and Jack chose the Black Friday packs. Jack did pull a Calvin Johnson Cracked Ice insert /25, but Ryan pulled THREE relic cards including a Tom Brady football piece, a Brandin Cooks Santa Hat Card, and a Jimmy Garappolo CRACKED ICE camo towel.

The other BIG PRIZES at the event were our RAFFLES with PURCHASE WINNERS. BOBBY GOODWIN took home the big prize of an ODELL BECKHAM JR. AUTO 8 x 10 PHOTO CARD, and RYAN BROSS won our 10 BLACK FRIDAY PACKS (I can't wait to see more jerseys and hopefully autos pulled when Ryan picks them up!).

By the way, until Steve changes his mind ... we will keep the SALE PRICES from this weekend's event on our boxes (until we remove them ... LOL). That's our way of saying "for now"! We thank everyone who turned out, especially for PACK WARS! It's nice to have so many great, fun people opening packs and enjoying each other at the store at the same time ... it's my favorite part of any event. Seeing our customers interact and getting to know each other is very gratifying to me.

By the way, we've had several people who have reached out and expressed that they wish they could have come to Pack Wars. I know that sometimes Saturday at 1:00 can be tricky, and as we move into the warmer weather, we'll probably move to Friday nights at 7:00. I WISH we could do both times, to satisfy everyone; but we wouldn't have enough people to turn out to satisfy both time slots in the same weekend. So, our NEXT EVENT will be announced soon ... but I'm thinking early February. PLEASE STAY TUNED TO FACEBOOK (if you're not on Facebook, just use the link on the left) for updates!

Do you remember our SUPERBOWL GRID PROMO from last year where we gave away a HUGE ANDREW LUCK AUTOGRAPHED PHOTO? Buying certain boxes of trading cards gave you squares on our grid (with numbers corresponding to the ending SuperBowl game score randomly assigned to the grid squares after all squares have been filled). Well, it's BAAAAACCCCKKKK! We will be starting up the 2015 version (with prize to be announced!) this Monday ... so stay tuned! That was a fun promo, and there WILL be sale priced boxes involved ... so it's WIN-WIN!

TOPPS has announced that it's bringing back its SPRING FEVER PROMO (special 5 card packs with random autographs that you "earn" by buying 2015 Topps Baseball packs/boxes). We WILL have these packs. Rules are ... from February 4th thru 10th, when you purchase $20 worth of 2015 Topps Series One Baseball, you will receive a Spring Fever Redemption Card (from us!) redeemable for a Promotional Spring Fever pack (a special 5 card pack with exclusive Spring Fever design). And any multiple of $20 gets you another redemption card, so a hobby box would earn you 3 IOU's. The Spring Fever packs will be distributed starting February 12th (thru the 22nd). So, if you enjoyed this promo last year (we had a few customers who completed the set!), come on in!

Okay, there's lots more to say, but no time to do so right now; and I want to make sure I post this! So please take care everyone, and we hope to see you soon!

1/7/2015

HI EVERYONE, and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I hurt my knee and am using a cane hobbling around (missed some days here), so I've been completely remiss in promoting our NEXT EVENT THIS WEEKEND (except on Facebook!)! But, rest assured ... it IS happening!

PLEASE JOIN US FRIDAY AND SATURDAY for SUPER LOW SALE PRICES on popular products Steve is discounting; REFRESHMENTS (more Christmas cookies, anyone?); PACK WARS at 1:00 on SATURDAY ($50, multi-sport, average of at least two hits, style); and our ODELL BECKHAM JR. AUTOGRAPHED 8 x 10 PHOTO CARD as our RAFFLE WITH PURCHASE (to be given away on Saturday at 5:00). We also have a few other surprises in store, and as a THANK YOU to everyone who brings a newbie to PACK WARS, there WILL be a special FREE RAFFLE JUST FOR YOU for helping promote our event for us (we will also have a raffle FOR the newbies!).

So, we hope to see a lot of friendly faces this weekend!

11/27/2014

First, HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone! I hope that all of our customers enjoy a wonderful day with the people that make you smile most! I wanted to give a few updates about our big BLACK FRIDAY EVENT this weekend. I've been putting details on FACEBOOK (as well as pics of some of the Panini Black Friday pack cards) all day, and I'm more or less going to cut and paste some of those posts here. So READ ON ...

This whole weekend revolves around PANINI'S BLACK FRIDAY PACKS. If you're not familiar with them, they are special 2 card packs that Panini produces just for this event. They are LOADED with autographs and jersey cards. Here's my post about that ... "I'm VERY excited to tell everyone that we have received the PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS, and they are just like the Father's Day ones! Each set of 10 packs has one thick pack (sometimes a thick insert ... could be an auto or other special card) and 2-3 jersey card packs in EVERY set of 10. So, if you're owed 10 packs, then you are guaranteed to get AT LEAST two jersey cards/autographs (plus other possible hits)." I was very impressed with what I saw opened, and I honestly can't wait to see so many packs opened throughout the weekend. Stay tuned to Facebook on Friday and Saturday for LOTS of pics!

We are holding PACK WARS at 1:00 on Saturday, and we have a nice size crowd ... but we definitely want YOU to come play with us! PACK WARS is guaranteed fun! We're using the $50, multi-sport, average of at least two hits, style of Pack Wars ... so you not only get $50 worth of packs but the chance of winning some great prizes. This time, we're offering the GRAND PRIZE WINNER an AUTOGRAPHED ODELL BECKHAM JR. 8 x10 PHOTO CARD. After his amazing catch last week, his stock has gone up! So, this is a great prize; but if you're not a football fan, no worrries! We have other prizes (like BLACK FRIDAY PACKS of course!) to offer as well. We hope to see you on Saturday!

The RAFFLES WITH PURCHASE are going to be the same as at our last event ... 20 BLACK FRIDAY PACKS (which we earlier established means AT LEAST 4-6 hits!) to the raffle winner who makes a $100 purchase (you CAN earn multiple raffle tickets for greater purchases). And we're giving away 10 packs to the raffle winner who makes a $50 purchase (one ticket per person ... and your PACK WARS participation automatically makes you eligible for this raffle). Our winners last time were MIKE DOLAN and SEAN SUPPLEE, so they will be enjoying their prize winnings this weekend!

The last announcement right now is a hearty CONGRATULATIONS to CHRIS SZAGOLA, who was our GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the 2014 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST. Chris won a prize package worth almost $250 and included a box of 2013 Elite Football, 10 Black Friday packs, 10 2014 Score Football packs, an autographed Eagles card, and a slew of Eagles and misc. NFL novelties. It was a happy day (and Chris "finished" his Christmas shopping with his win). Our other on-going football contest YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS, where we award a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE each week, still has a few weeks left! We're presently in Week 13; and soon, our weekly winners will be competing against each other for the $100 GRAND PRIZE. We have many Runners-Ups who will be competing for a $40 Runner-Up prize as well. If you've never played, it's FREE to enter; and it only takes one win to be in the finals!

Thanks everyone! Again, enjoy the holiday and some yummy food. If you're a Black Friday power shopper, power to you. Hope you get everything you're going out for. We're open 11-7 on Friday and 11-5 on Saturday. While the Black Friday packs ARE limited and available only while supplies last, we do expect to have enough supply for the weekend. We hope to see you!

11/10/2014

Hi all. Today's BLOG will largely be a cut and paste job of my last several FACEBOOK posts. Just a reminder that there is a link that takes you to our Facebook page on the left side of the screen. You do not have to be on Facebook to see our posts!

Announcing our NEXT EVENT, although it's not much of a secret! It's a TWO DAY EXTRAVAGANZA on BLACK FRIDAY and Saturday, November 28th and 29th. We WILL have the PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS that weekend (although they are limited, so you probably should plan on at least having us set some aside if you know you can't make it until Saturday). We are thinking about PACK WARS for SATURDAY at 1:00, but we definitely need to have a good number of RSVP's to make it official (or consider switching it to Friday night). So, PLEASE let us know when and if you can make it!!! We will have a LOT of Black Friday pack opening that weekend, as we have already set aside over 250 packs for a number of customers (over 40 of those packs were prizes at our last event!). And PLEASE NOTE that ALL Black Friday pack opening must take place in our store! It's one of the very few times we can "require" in-store opening, and we are! We LOVE these packs and love to see what our customers pull! We also want to be able to take pics and share them with everyone.

Our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST has FOUR more RUNNERS-UP after this week!!!! There are 5 people tied with only TWO wrong this week! My apologies to everyone with 3 wrong, and there were a lot of you! The 5 people tied are LIZ SHREVE, MAX LEBOFSKY, DON RIMMER, RICK MACNEAL, and CURTIS LEE. Everyone chose the Eagles to win (as it should be!), so it comes down to points. Liz needs 36 points or less. Max has the 37-42 point window. Don has 43-51. Rick has 52-55. And finally, Curtis has 57 or over. GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE; but just know that even if you don't win ... you WILL be a Runner-Up and get to compete for the $40 Runner-Up prize at the end of the season.

Please note that THIS week is the LAST WEEK of our 2014 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST! I'm excited that ALL FOUR WEEKLY WINNERS so far (JIM BENNETT, CHRIS SZAGOLA, RYAN BROSS, and DAVE GODIN) are great guys (and great customers), so I would be THRILLED to have any of these people win our GRAND PRIZE WORTH almost $250 THIS SATURDAY!!! In order to get into the action before it's over, all you need to do is pull the "Player of the Day" (today, it's Brandon Marshall) or any of the 3 Wild Cards (Andrew Luck, E.J. Manuel, or Johnny Manziel) from ANY Panini branded pack of cards. If you buy a BOX of Panini Football cards, then you're automatically entered (this is a Panini contest rule ... because it's assumed you will get the Player of the Day). Doing this makes you a daily winner. This Saturday, we'll be picking the last weekly winner from all of this week's daily winners. That person will be competing against Jim, Chris, Ryan, and Dave (via raffle) to win the big prize, also right at 5:00 on Saturday. Anyone and everyone is invited to join us at 5:00 to crown the winner (and of course, you do NOT need to be here to win!).

I don't have time to write more now, but please check Facebook for pics from NEW PRODUCTS, including 2014 Panini Longevity Football and 2014 Panini Limited Football. We had a sweet Manziel auto jersey rookie /25 and Cabrera auto /10 pulled on Saturday! Pics are there. Hope to hear from/see you soon. PLEASE RSVP to PACK WARS, and a most hearty THANK YOU to all of our VETERANS and active military!

11/3/2014

Hi everyone! Here's a quick event wrap-up. Turn-out was low for this one, sadly, so everyone who did come had their odds of winning Pack Wars and raffles go up exponentially. Our PACK WARS WINNER was a two-peat, RYAN BROSS. He has won back-to-back Pack Wars, and chose 8 2014 Black Friday packs for Saturday's win (he had the choice between the BF packs and a gift certificate). RYAN did very well at Saturday's event; because besides winning Pack Wars, he also won the THIRD WEEK of our PLAYER OF THE DAY CONTEST! So, Ryan took home a Halloween-themed Eagles ghoul bobble head/statue and POD exclusive jersey card (he pulled Carlos Hyde); and now will try his luck against Jim Bennett and Chris Szagola (via raffle) in the POD Grand Prize drawing on Saturday, November 15th. BUT, his luck didn't even end there. He also pulled an autograph of Anthony Daniels, none other than C-3PO himself, from a box of Star Wars Jedi Legacy (on sale on Saturday). So, Saturday was a good day to be Ryan, and we always enjoy his company. He's a great guy, and if you want to talk soccer (he's the "scarf" guy for the Sons of Ben) ... he's your man!

BOBBY GOODWIN won second place in Pack Wars on Saturday and chose 5 Black Friday packs (you'll notice a theme ... our event prizes were all about our upcoming Black Friday packs!). Bobby also finds himself tied with Gary Nichols in this week's You-Pick-the-Winners Football Contest with only two wrong! Tonight's tie breaking Monday Night Game will determine which customer is the Winner and which is the Runner-Up. And our two RAFFLES with PURCHASE WINNERS were MIKE DOLAN (who insists he NEVER wins anything, ever), who won 20 BLACK FRIDAY PACKS; and SEAN SUPPLEE, who won 10! So, CONGRATULATIONS to everyone! We hope to see more customers at our BLACK FRIDAY EVENT on BOTH Friday and Saturday, November 28th and 29th! Pack Wars time tba.

10/24/2014

GREETINGS
Hello everyone! SO much to say! We have a previous event to wrap up (as in, announce some winners and people who made out well that weekend). We have an upcoming event to announce, which is NEXT SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 1st (the day after Halloween) with PACK WARS at 1:00. We even already know the date of our event AFTER that ... BLACK FRIDAY weekend (both Friday and Saturday)! We also have TWO FOOTBALL CONTESTS on-going (our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST and the recently started 2014 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST). AND ... we have started a "RESERVE YOUR BLACK FRIDAY PACKS NOW" promo as a way for customers to buy Panini product now that qualifies them for the upcoming Black Friday packs. We have designated certain products (some hockey, some football) with a number of free Black Friday packs. Some products are very popular (pretty much all of the hockey), and some other products are on sale as part of this promo (Spectra and Hot Rookies Football). And there are some other products you might be buying anyway (like the BRAND NEW 2014 Playbook Football that just arrived today!), so now you will earn Black Friday packs for doing so!

OUR LAST EVENT!
Okay, let's start with re-capping our last event! First, THANK YOU to everyone who came to our Friday/Saturday event September 19th and 20th. I'm always so appreciative of everyone who comes out for PACK WARS. It is only as good as the number of people who show up, and we had a VERY nice turn-out on Friday (and I might add with a lot of nice folks) ... so thank you for that. RYAN BROSS was our big PACK WARS GRAND PRIZE WINNER of a $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE (which he undoubtedly used toward his favorite product of Goodwin Champions). TEAM GRANDAN (Grant Gow and Jordan Denish), who had the PULL OF THE NIGHT during Pack Wars (a beautiful CONTENDERS NATHAN MACKINNON AUTOGRAPHED ROOKIE PATCH /99 worth over $300) also won our SECOND PLACE PRIZE of a $25 GIFT CERTIFICATE (and Jordan was at the store to pick up his $15 Gift Certificate and blaster box from winning the very first week of our You-Pick-the-Winners Contest, so truly, this day was an embarrassment of riches for him!). MICHELLE ALBY claimed our THIRD PLACE PRIZE of a BLASTER BOX (she chose Topps Chrome Soccer ... odd choice for the normally football fan!). And JOE MILLER chose a few Donruss Americana Blasters as the winner of the "PARTICIPATION PRIZE" (a raffle for everyone who plays, whether you win a round or not).

We also like to reward our customers who bring new players to PACK WARS because we can only grow by your good word of mouth, and I do think that Pack Wars is a great opportunity to get a feel for what we're all about (while meeting some of our favorite customers, enjoying special prices on popular products "STEVE'S SPECIALS" , refreshments, and potentially winning prizes). FOUR customers brought new Pack Wars players (Jackson Glenn, Rusty Shreve, Nick Damalas, and Ryan Bross), so we did a raffle for the four of them with their choice of various prizes. Well, ultimately, we let everyone win something; so given away were a McFarlane figure, beautiful Phillies scrapbook, Flyers bottle cozy, and Phillies mini mega-ticket. Thank you to all! Saturday, we awarded TWO RAFFLE PRIZES WITH PURCHASE. JOE MILLER was our BIG WINNER of 20 BLACK FRIDAY/FATHER'S DAY PACKS (with some guaranteed hits). ROB FEENEY won the second place prize of 10 BF/FD packs. And then Steve and I drew two more names (unannounced) to win 6 packs each ... and they were Grant Raskin and Dave Lawrence. So CONGRATULATIONS to all four guys!

One thing I want to stress about PACK WARS (especially for those of you who haven't attended) is that you can't lose anything at Pack Wars. You spend $50 and get $50 worth of cards (with an average of at least 2 relic cards and autographs). Two of our players pulled 7 jersey and autograph cards EACH last time (of course, someone also pulled one or none ... it happens)! We use popular, new products of various sports; and you keep everything you pull. No cards are given up. You can only WIN extra prizes!

I just re-capped our last event, so this section doesn't need to be too detailed. We try to have consistency from event to event so our customers know what to expect. We will have PACK WARS at 1:00 on Saturday. It will be the $50, multi-sport, average of at least two hit, style of Pack Wars. PLEASE RSVP for PACK WARS! It really helps us to plan if we know who's coming. Our RAFFLES WITH PURCHASE will again be PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS (this time, for the upcoming packs not yet released). STEVE'S SPECIALS will definitely involve some Panini products this time so that you can earn the upcoming Black Friday packs as well (see our section "Reserve Your Black Friday Packs Now Promo"). And we WILL, once again, be rewarding customers who bring newbies to Pack Wars with a special raffle just for those people! AND, we have two football contests going on that you can play that Saturday. Okay, enough said!

2014 PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST
Let's move onto one of these aforementioned football contests ... our PANINI PLAYER OF THE DAY CONTEST. If you've never played before (and we DO participate in this contest every year!), here's how it works ... The POD Contest is a 5 week, 30 day contest with daily prizes, 5 weekly prizes, and a GRAND PRIZE worth almost $250. Each day, a specific football player is designated as "The Player of the Day" on signage in the store. If you pull that player (or any of the THREE Wild Cards designated ... Johnny Manziel, EJ Manuel, and Andrew Luck) from a Panini branded pack, YOU are a daily winner! If you buy a BOX of Panini football cards, you are an instant winner (because it is assumed you will pull one of the players). The daily prize (one win per person per day, but you can play every day if you want to!) is a special two card Panini POD Exclusive pack (with random autographs). The WEEKLY PRIZE changes weekly; but this week (and last), it's a t-shirt, Eagles cup, and 4 2014 Score Football packs (and what's cool about that is when you pick up your prize, you can open your free packs and potentially become a daily winner for the following week!). The weekly winner is chosen from all of the daily winners, via raffle, each Saturday at 5:00. And then the GRAND PRIZE WINNER will be chosen on November 15th from the 5 weekly winners (the contest lasts 5 weeks). Our FIRST WEEKLY WINNER WAS JIM BENNETT, who now has a 20% chance of winning the Grand Prize. Included in the GRAND PRIZE (which IS on display in our store) is a REDEMPTION for 10 2014 BLACK FRIDAY PACKS, a BOX of 2013 ELITE FOOTBALL, 10 2014 SCORE FOOTBALL PACKS, an EAGLES' MARCUS SMITH AUTOGRAPH, OYO EAGLES END ZONE SET, EAGLES TRAVEL CUP and TEAM SET, DECALS, 2 POSTERS, and T-SHIRTS. It's a GREAT GRAND PRIZE worth almost $250, and if you're not an Eagles fan ... you will have half of your Christmas/Hanukkah shopping done! So, congratulations to Jim for winning the first week! Our Second weekly winner will be chosen this Saturday, and we would love for you to be part of the drawing.

OUR "YOU PICK THE WINNERS" FOOTBALL CONTEST
As a quick re-cap of the other football contest, our YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST, let's list the winners so far (and a few of these winners haven't been back in the store since they played and don't even know they won ... so this list might come as a surprise to some of them!). JORDAN DENISH, LIZ SHREVE, GLENN KNOPF (twice), BEN LEBOFSKY, FRAN EVANS, and MARK STEMPHOSKI have each been weekly winners and each earned a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE. And LIZ SHREVE (twice), DAVE GODIN, MAX LEBOFSKY, GARY NICHOLS, JIM BENNETT, and BRIAN RUEGNER have been Runners-Up. The winners will all compete against each other at the end of the season in the play-offs for a $100 GIFT CERTIFICATE, and the runners-up will compete for a $40 GIFT CERTIFICATE. FREE entry forms are available every Wednesday at 3:00 and due back Saturday at 5:00. The more times you win (GO LIZ and GLENN!!), the more chances you have during the play-offs; so play, and play often!

"RESERVE YOUR BLACK FRIDAY PACKS NOW" PROMO
As previously mentioned, 2014 PANINI BLACK FRIDAY PACKS are coming! And because of their popularity, we are giving you all sorts of ways to earn them before the big day! They are part of the Grand Prize for our Player of the Day Contest. They ARE the raffles with purchase for our next event on November 1st. They will be the featured attraction of our Black Friday two-day event. And now, we have started a promo for you to buy products today, which will earn you an IOU for packs to be redeemed on Black Friday. It is our "Reserve your Black Friday Packs Now" Promotion! We have THREE football products and THREE Hockey products (the hockey ones are all popular sellers too!) that will earn you an IOU on the upcoming 2014 Black Friday packs. The products are ...

FOOTBALL:
2013 Spectra Football ... SALE price and 10 BF PACKS with each box! (OR 2 BF packs with each Spectra pack)
2014 Playbook Football (arrived today!) ... 1 BF pack with each box
2014 Hot Rookies Football ... SALE price and 5 BF packs

HOCKEY:
2013-14 Playbook Hockey ... 4 BF packs with each box
2013-14 Rookie Anthology Hockey ... 3 BF packs with each box
2013-14 Contenders Hockey ... 4 BF packs with each box

For prices, give us a call. I'm most excited about the Spectra because we've had some interest in this product being re-stocked as it is, and Steve has been working on getting it back in at a good price (which he just did). Spectra is one of those 2 hits per pack products. It's not widely known, partly because it was just too expensive when it was first released and partly because the 2013 rookie crop wasn't stellar. But everyone who has opened it has liked it (a LOT). It's packaged like Bowman Sterling (6 packs per box with 2 hits in each) and looks like a cross between Finest and Bowman Sterling (or to Steven, Triple Threads). Cards ARE gorgeous, and I highly recommend it if you haven't tried it.

More products will be added in the weeks to come, so keep track of Facebook for updates. We reserve the right to remove or change the products we have chosen as part of this promo, and there is absolutely no guarantee we will have the same products a week from now, let alone until Black Friday itself. So if you know you want a certain item, don't wait too long. We will keep track of the Black Friday packs you earn, and we are excited to offer this promo (because we LOVE Black Friday/Father's Day packs and can't wait to see them opened).

TEAM SETS!
We have them, and we're getting more every day. I held off on ordering hand-collated 2014 PHILLIES TEAM SETS for a while (because I wasn't impressed by their season). But, I do have customers who are far less fair-weathered than me, so I have succumbed to getting them. I have the 2014 Topps Baseball Series 1, 2, and Update; Archives, Heritage, and Gypsy Queen on the way (they'll be here in only a few days). We also have the hand-collated 2014 Topps Eagles team set (on display, in fact) as well as the packaged 2014 Score Eagles team set. And Flyers fans can see the 2014-15 OPC Flyers team set on display here as well. If you're not a hometown team fan, we might just have the team set you're looking for! We carry an extensive selection of teams (almost all of them) for 2014 (or 14-15) Topps Baseball, Score Football, Score Hockey, and Hoops Basketball. Just ask. Most team sets are $6 (or less).

GRADED CARD DISCUSSION
There was a discussion on our FACEBOOK page about getting cards graded, and whether our customers use PSA or Beckett (no other grading company is even considered) and what holders they use to send cards in. The answers to those questions were that most of our customers use Beckett (which happens to offer some grading specials for "members"), and Beckett WILL accept cards in various different holders. While the standard semi-rigid holders (which we carry) are preferred, they WILL accept your cards in magnetic holders and will even return the holders to you with the graded cards! This is no slight to PSA, a highly respected grading service with its fair share of the market. It just so happens that our more vocal customers use Beckett. Another discussion that stemmed from this one was about removing grading cards from their holders, which prompted several customers to ask WHY someone would do this! So I thought the answer might be interesting to some (read the next paragraph).

Here you go ... Many possible reasons. 1. Grading is pretty subjective. The same card that gets an 8.5 COULD get a 9 on another day OR by a different grader. 2. The card could look much better than the grade it got. So, if your card comes back a 7 (that's not impressing anyone for a modern card) ... it might be better to crack it out and sell it ungraded. 3. One customer I spoke to had the following experience ... he had a card that had great corners, centering, and edges (all of which are given sub grades by Beckett and all of which were 9's or 9.5's); BUT he did not notice that the surface of the card was bad and only got a 6. Beckett has a rule that the overall grade can be no higher than one point (or half a point, depending) more than the card's lowest sub grade (a little fact I just learned!), SO the card was only a 7 ... but it looked way better than that. So that baby was removed from its holder! So, hopefully that helps! One reason AGAINST removing a card from a BGS or PSA slab would be that regardless of the grade your card got, the grading process also authenticates the card. So, for one customer e have who owns a Michael Jordan rookie card with a sub-par grade, at least a potential buyer knows that the rookie card (which is often counterfeited) is real! That's a plus.

TRIVIA TIME QUESTIONS
Look for TRIVIA TIME QUESTIONS ON FACEBOOK! As a kick-off for both the release of 2014 TOPPS UPDATE BASEBALL and our PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST, we awarded 25 packs (of both Update and 2013 Prizm Football ... winner's choice) to Facebook readers who correctly answered trivia questions. We've seen some of these customers to collect, but not all; so please remember that you must come in to claim your FREE PACKS before our next event on November 1st! We have done this promo before and will do it again. I purposely choose different times of the day to ask questions to hopefully involve as many different people as possible.

IIN CLOSING ... Okay, today's BLOG was too much of a mouthful; but there's a lot going on and on my mind! So I hope you look for our daily FACEBOOK updates, where we also cover most NEW PRODUCTS and show tons of CARD PICS and HOT PULLS! Thanks everyone! We hope to see you soon, and PLEASE R.S.V.P. for PACK WARS!

10/9/2014

Hello everyone! After a VERY slow summer at the store, things are a' hopping! Post season baseball (alas, not for the Phils) and the start of football season (GO EAGLES!) have brought with them a frenzy of activity and new products and CONTESTS! Our store's own YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST is in full swing and now in week 6. Each week on Wednesday, we provide FREE entry sheets for you to select winners in each of Sunday's football game match-ups. We never use Thursday or Saturday games, so you're never at a disadvantage by filling out the form anytime before the due date of Saturday at 5:00. The WEEKLY PRIZE is a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE, which we sometimes supplement with other goodies like a jumbo pack of 2014 Topps Football to this year's first winner Jordan Denish. Liz Shreve went on to win Week 2 and enjoyed a colorful Panini t-shirt with her gift certificate as well. The last three weekly winners were Glenn Knopf, Benjamin Lebofsky, and Fran Evans. Each of these weekly winners will compete in the $100 GRAND PRIZE Play-off. But what's really weird is that we've yet to have a Runner-Up yet (for which there is a separate $40 prize pool at the end of the season!!). A Runner-Up is determined when there is a tie after Sunday's games, which necessitates the Monday Night tie breaker. Well, we haven't had a tie yet! So, congrats to all, and stay tuned for our other football contest ...PANINI'S PLAYER OF THE DAY; which will start in about a week and features daily prizes of FREE PACKS and a GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE worth over $150!

I usually end my BLOGS with a reminder to check FACEBOOK for daily updates, but I'm starting that pitch earlier this time. I have been spending a lot of time lately making sure our Facebook page is updated with info about NEW PRODUCTS. The ability to write a quick post whenever I have a few minutes and the ease with which I can upload photos make Facebook an incredibly ideal forum for dispensing info. So besides keeping up with our store goings-on and knowing about EVENTS, CONTESTS, SALES, etc.; viewing our Facebook posts will show you what NEW PRODUCTS look like and what types of inserts are possible. I promise you that if you take a peek every now and then you'll learn something new that you're glad you now know! AND YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE ON FACEBOOK TO SEE OUR POSTS!!!! Just click our link at left. It takes you right there!! Products that I've talked about a lot on there recently have been 2014 STADIUM CLUB BASEBALL, 2014 IMMACULATE BASEBALL, 2014 FINEST FOOTBALL, and 2014 PANINI PRIZM FOOTBALL. I post pics of the NEW BECKETTS that arrive. And I have been known to post "TRIVIA TIME" questions (which I'm getting ready to do again soon) where I ask store/ card/ hobby related questions and give out packs to the winners (you DO have to be on Facebook to win ... because you can't comment otherwise).

Side-note, if you ARE on FACEBOOK, PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OFF THE "FOLLOWING" BUTTON at the top of our page to see our posts in your Newsfeed!!! (You can also receive notifications when we post ... that option is in the pull down menu under the word "Liked", but even I think that's excessive!). This is the only fool-proof way to get our posts in your Newsfeed. Otherwise, Facebook uses an algorithm to determine who sees our posts, and only those people who "engage" in our posts (Like them, Comment, etc.) will get them in their Newsfeed. We spend a lot of time updating Facebook. We definitely don't barrage you with posts, but we definitely want as many people as possible who Like us to see what we're saying. THANK YOU!!!

Okay, onto NEW PRODUCTS. We are getting 2014 TOPPS UPDATE BASEBALL next week. That is always a popular seller for us, along with Series 1 and 2. And just a reminder to Topps Baseball buyers, the annual factory set (also a popular seller at the holidays) is a complete set of every card from Series 1 and 2, BUT it does NOT contain any of the Update series. (Sets are packaged and released before the Update is even produced). The only way to put together the Update set is by buying packs. It is no longer a stand-alone packaged update set as in years past. 2014-15 ARTIFACTS HOCKEY is now IN STOCK! We just received it yesterday, so we haven't seen any opened ... but it is the first high end product for 14-15 (and we have some takers coming in later today)! 2014 STADIUM CLUB BASEBALL is a GREAT set for set builders. Known for its great photography (and a few funny shots this year!), thicker card stock, and full bleed design; Stadium hasn't had a release since 2008 (and that was an atypical one-auto-per-pack release). 2014 Stadium has 3 mini boxes per box with an auto in each mini. All of the traditional inserts (Beam Team, Triumvirates aka Luminous/Luminescent/Illuminate, Members Only, etc.) you remember from years past are back, as well as a great selection of legendary players in the basic set (there are some great Babe Ruth shots). For pics of all of the legendary players, Phillies, and various inserts ... check out our Facebook post from October 6th.

2014 FINEST FOOTBALL has been our best seller for football. FINEST BASEBALL was a great seller as well, mostly due to its beautiful and colorful card design and popular flashback style of inserts (today's players in popular Finest designs from years past). Both Finest Baseball and Football have one auto per mini box (2 minis per overall box), but the Football goes one step further with either a nice jersey or patch piece on each autograph card (like last year). We have seen SO MANY GREAT HITS from Finest Football ... with THREE 1/1 autographs! My favorite was a Sammy Watkins Autographed Nike Swoosh card, but the Marqise Lee Autographed Superfractor with SWEET "JAG" patch is a close second! The lucky customer who pulled these two cards also pulled a Johnny Manziel /15 autograph, a Blake Bortles /15 autograph, AND a Mystery Rookie Auto Redemption (our store's second!). So, apparently, we had a couple of nice Finest cases recently. 2014 PANINI PRIZM FOOTBALL is also a great looking product with many die cut inserts. Panini promised to load its hobby boxes with more color than ever before. Each box should yield 11 color variants. For pics of BOTH Finest and Prizm Football, check out our October 6th Facebook posts as well.

The last product I'll quickly mention is 2014 BOWMAN CHROME BASEBALL (but if you want a complete reporting of 2014 Immaculate Baseball, you know where to look!). Bowman Chrome has been popular, partly because it has KRIS BRYANT AUTOGRAPHS (only Bowman products can, and he's been a redemption in most so far). We've had 4 Bryant autos pulled so far from Bowman Chrome and a few Jose Abreu's (Tanaka still does not have autograph cards). The hobby box has TWO autos this year, and the jumbo box has 5! The usual (and popular) refractors continue to have value that exceeds numbered cards from other products. It always amazes me, whether it's baseball OR football; and whether it's Bowman Chrome OR Topps Chrome, how popular and valuable the refractors are! They're highly sought after!

I will wrap up this BLOG for now, but I will be back in a day or so to wrap up our last event via BLOG and announce our next one. I will also announce the start date for our second football contest of the season PANINI'S PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST (and give you an idea of what the weekly and GRAND PRIZE WINNERS can look forward to!). Later today, on Facebook, I am going to discuss all of the HOBBY CARD LICENSING EXCLUSIVES (and what they mean to you), as well as start the TRIVIA TIME questions. So, STAY TUNED for that! Thanks everyone!

9/18/2014

I think PART 2 of my last BLOG never happened, but I'm BACK and here with more details about this weekend's event. FIRST, let's talk PACK WARS. I promised I would explain EXACTLY how Pack Wars works for those of you who have never played, so let's start there. If you've already played with us, then skip the next section, but if not, read on ...

"PACK WARS and how it works ... Entry fee is $50; and for that $50, we give you $50 worth of packs that will AVERAGE at least 2 hits (jerseys or autograph cards). Some players may get 3 hits and some may get one, but we try to evenly distribute them as much as possible. We choose mostly new, popular packs from the three big sports (baseball, football, and hockey); and then throw in a pack or two of soccer, basketball, or another sport to mix it up. You keep everything you get from your packs. It is not possible to lose any cards.

We usually play between 9 and 12 rounds. The exact number depends on which products we use, which is partly determined by how many people play and how many hits each product has. There's a lot of math that goes into this calculation (more than you'd realize) to make sure that not only are players getting the promised average of at least two hits, but also getting their money's worth, card-wise. This is Steve's job, and it does require a bit of patience from our players because the exact combination of packs can only be determined once everyone arrives (and the head count is taken).

Once we see how many people are playing, we can determine the prizes for that Pack Wars session. The more people, the better the prizes. We announce the prizes before we start, and we usually have at least THREE.

Each player has the same set of packs and keeps them in the same order. So, when we start with Pack A; everyone is playing with Pack A. Steve and I tell everyone to open their first pack (which, again, is the same pack as each other ), and we ask a question. It might be who has the highest card number, who has the tallest player (from the stats on the back of the card), etc.; and players yell out their answers. Whoever has the winning card gets a raffle ticket (to be explained in a bit), and often, there is a bonus prize for that specific round. Bonus prizes are extra packs we didn't distribute to players, and any box toppers we may have gotten. So for example, if we used a product with 24 packs and only 15 people are playing, then there are 9 packs left over to give away as prizes. That's what makes this style of Pack Wars especially fun ... lots of prizes!

We continue asking questions for each card pack, while giving away raffle tickets for each round. Once the packs are gone, we start drawing prizes. We have one participation prize so that even if you didn't win a specific round, you can STILL win this raffle (each person is given a certain color raffle ticket with their set of packs before we start to play, and this is for the participation raffle). The FIRST, SECOND, and THIRD place prizes are all chosen from the raffle tickets won after each round; and players MAY win more than one of these prizes! After all, if you were lucky enough to win three rounds (as an example), you should have a better chance at winning prizes. And so you have Pack Wars! What I think is the most fun about Pack Wars is having everyone open their packs together and announce the hits they get. We always have a few big hits, and it's fun to be here amidst the frenzy of opening! So come join us, won't you? Any age player is welcome, and assistance by Heidi and Steve (and fellow, friendly players) is always available."

Okay, that was indeed a mouthful; but I wanted to make sure that I provided a step-by-step guide to Pack Wars that I can reference in the future as well. As a side note, we want to encourage NEW PACK WARS PLAYERS! Anyone who brings a friend (a Pack Wars "newbie") tomorrow night (Pack Wars is at 7:15 on Friday) will be entered into a special drawing (assuming you and your friend both play). If you bring two friends, you'll get two raffle tickets! We will be drawing TWO PRIZE WINNERS from these people, and the prizes we have are featured in the pic at left. They range from a Phillies scrapbook to Flyers ear buds to a football McFarlane figure ... winner's choice! So what better time than now to introduce someone to our store and the fun that is Pack Wars!

Let's move onto our RAFFLES! Due to the popularity of PANINI'S BLACK FRIDAY and FATHER'S DAY PACKS, we are making them the RAFFLE PRIZES (with purchase) for the weekend. The 20 black and silver packs shown (10 2012 Black Friday and 10 2013 Father's Day ... each group with AT LEAST one hit) are the RAFFLE PRIZE available to anyone who spends at least $100 this weekend (Friday or Saturday). You MAY receive more than one raffle ticket (one for every $100 spent). The 10 red packs shown (2013 Black Friday ... there are TWO thick packs, and at least one is a jersey/patch card)) are the RAFFLE PRIZE available to anyone who spends at least $50 this weekend (Friday or Saturday). If you play PACK WARS, then you automatically get one of these tickets and you're half-way toward a $100 raffle ticket! We've always had lots of success with PANINI BLACK FRIDAY and FATHER'S DAY PACKS, and I think these prizes will serve as nice rewards to two lucky customers (or one massively lucky customer)!!

Steve has printed out some great STEVE'S SPECIALS for you ... sale prices good only this weekend; and while you're here, you can fill out your FREE entry form into our weekly YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST. Weekly prize is a $15 GIFT CERTIFICATE. Our annual NFL PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST will be starting up in a few weeks as well. I'm sure we'll have a few other surprises for you this weekend, so I hope you'll come visit us! Look for updates throughout the weekend (and especially after Pack Wars) on Facebook. And REMEMBER ... you do NOT have to be on Facebook to see our posts! There is a link at left that takes you right there. Try it right now! Thanks everyone, and I'll be back next week to BLOG about all of the hobby goings-ons I didn't BLOG about this week and with post-event info. I posted a few tidbits today about Finest and Immaculate Baseball on Facebook, if you want to take a look! Hope to see you soon!

9/11/2014

BLOG PART 1

Hi everyone! It's been a long summer without a BLOG from me! But I'm back to announce our NEXT EVENT! It's NEXT WEEKEND, Friday and Saturday, September 19th and 20th. And we WILL be playing PACK WARS on Friday the 19th at 7:15! So clear your schedules and mark your calendars and be HERE to party with us! More details will come ... in this BLOG, in an E-NEWSLETTER, and ESPECIALLY on FACEBOOK! But I wanted to make sure you knew WHEN it was happening so you could plan. During this event, we will have RAFFLES (with purchase), STEVE'S SPECIALS, REFRESHMENTS, FREE GIFTS; and of course, a SPECIAL PRIZE for that week's You-Pick-the-Winners Football contest winner if the winner attended our event! Besides all of our usual event staples, the camaraderie amongst our customers during these weekends is what we find most refreshing; and what we think our customers enjoy most. We have a nice group of "regulars" who are fun to talk to and hang around with! And when they're all opening at the same time (like during PACK WARS), nothing is more fun!

I have TONS to say in this BLOG, like that our FREE YOU-PICK-THE-WINNERS FOOTBALL CONTEST has started and that the 2014 NFL PLAYER OF THE DAY FOOTBALL CONTEST will be starting in a few weeks. Our PANINI FATHER'S DAY PACK PROMOTION was our best one ever. We just updated both the HOT PULLS and CARD GALLERY on the website (featuring some of those hits from the Father's Day packs, I might add!). We were surprised that so many of this year's Hot Pulls were from 2014 Panini Prizm Soccer (we had some ridiculous luck with that product!). Our CARD GALLERY has 200 new pictures in it ... all cards that were pulled at our store. It's a great way to see what new products look like and then also interesting to see what our customers have personally pulled. Even brand new products like 2014 Finest Baseball are featured.

Even though it's been a relatively quiet summer in the store, that hasn't stopped GREAT CARDS from being pulled from popular products that have been released in the past few months. Even though we happen to have JUST recently updated the website, there have been more than a dozen more pics taken since then; and all of those cards were featured immediately on our FACEBOOK page. If you're not on Facebook, simply use the link on our site to take you right there! EVERYTHING from NEW PRODUCTS to HOBBY and STORE GOINGS-ON are posted there FIRST! If there's a wrapper redemption program announced, an exclusive licensing deal created, or a hot product made (ALL of which HAVE happened this summer!) ... our FACEBOOK page is where you will see that first. So please get into the habit of checking there often. It's our best means of communicating with you, and I guarantee you won't be sorry you checked in!

I'm calling this BLOG "PART 1" because I expect to work on a PART 2 soon that has more specifics. It's hard to cover the whole summer in one BLOG entry, and I wanted to make sure you knew about the event! Thanks everyone and stay tuned for more info!

6/11/2014 (Part A, Part B Follows)

Hi everyone! I am in the process of sending an E-NEWSLETTER out as we speak to talk about our NEXT EVENT THIS WEEKEND. Most of this BLOG "A" is a duplicate of that Newsletter. IF you do not receive it on Wednesday, then please sign up for the link at the top of this website! BLOG "B" discusses Panini's new Rewards Program!

WE ARE HAVING AN EVENT THIS FRIDAY, JUNE 13th AND THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 14th. YES! You heard me correctly. . Sportscard Playground is having a TWO DAY EVENT!!! This Sunday is Father's Day (Spoiler Alert for anyone who forgot!), and PANINI'S 2014 FATHER DAY PACKS are arriving on Friday! We will be giving them away on BOTH Friday and Saturday, with the purchase of any Panini product (certain products earn you more packs). This is probably only our second TWO DAY EVENT, and we thought it was necessary ... both because of the draw that the PANINI FATHER'S DAY PACKS have AND because of the time of year with all of the graduation parties going on and summer plans/shore weekends beginning. We hope that one of these days will be available for you to join us! PACK WARS is at 1:00 on Saturday, and we will be giving away a VERY LIMITED, ULTRA HARD TO GET, 2014 PANINI BLACK BOX on Saturday at 5:00. Info on everything I just mentioned is in the paragraphs below!

Okay! Let's discuss the 2014 PANINI FATHER'S DAY PACKS, arriving on Friday! We participate in both Panini pack promos ... their Father's Day pack promo and their Black Friday pack promo, each year. We always have a good turn-out for them, and our customers enjoy the exclusive cards found in these 2 card packs. Check out Panini's BLOG entry that discusses this year's packs (and features lots of pics) at http://paniniamerica.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/a-must-see-first-look-at-the-panini-america-2014-fathers-day-promotion-gallery/ . You'll see swatches of special pink breast cancer awareness memorabilia (Heidi's favorite!); limited cards of Johnny Manziel, Jose Abreu, and Kobe Bryant; special 2013 Select Football Green Prizm parallels; and lots of autographs. Any $50 Panini box purchase (or $25 Panini pack purchase) will earn you a Father's Day pack, and specific products earn you many! A full list of products (with special sale prices for some) will be available in-store starting on Friday, and we DO expect to have packs BOTH Friday and Saturday. They are "While supplies last", but we have planned well for our event.

We HOPE we will get a good turn-out for PACK WARS on Saturday at 1:00. We are certain it will be a fun one, as our last two MULTI-SPORT, AVERAGE OF AT LEAST TWO HIT PACK WARS were well received. Because 2014 Topps Series 2 Baseball releases this week (and is popular!); we will definitely be including it in our pack selection for Pack Wars. Same details as last time ... $50 (plus tax) per person. We will play roughly 10-12 rounds (determined by products used/hits per box). We ask that you PLEASE R.S.V.P. at (215) 675-6644 or via e-mail at heidig@sportscardplayground.com or on Facebook! Knowing who and how many people are coming really helps us to plan!

Let's talk about our BIG GIVE-AWAY ... a 2014 PANINI BLACK BOX! This Black Box was made available to a select few at the 2014 Industry Summit in Vegas. It contains a GUARANTEED 1/1 AUTO or MEMORABILIA CARD and was donated to us by our most wonderful distributor Sports Images. Here is Panini's BLOG entry that discusses these ... http://paniniamerica.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/spoiler-alert-panini-america-offers-a-look-inside-2014-industry-summit-black-boxes . This special item sells for upwards of $300, and we are giving it away to one lucky customer on Saturday at 5:00. For every $100 in Panini product you buy on Friday or Saturday (and what better time to purchase Panini product than during the Father's Day pack promotion?), you will receive a raffle ticket for the Black Box! You CAN get multiple raffle tickets for spending more than $100, and we WILL be giving out raffle tickets on BOTH Friday and Saturday. The LIVE RAFFLE DRAWING will take place on Saturday at 5:00, and all are welcome to attend the drawing. Steve and I can't wait to see what's in it!!

Regarding FACEBOOK ... I've been trying to get the information out there as much as possible (but I seem to keep surprising people with it!) that you do NOT have to be on Facebook to read my Facebook posts. There is a link right here on our website, under my BLOG link at left. Pressing it takes you right to our Facebook page, where I often have daily updates and show pics of NEW PRODUCTS and HOT PULLS. I'm very confident that anyone who takes the time to click this link will be happy he did. FACEBOOK posts are such a simple, convenient, and effective way to communicate with everyone; but it can only work if YOU click the link! PLEASE consider making it a part of your daily or weekly routine.

Thanks for reading!

6/11/2014 (Part B)

Hi again! Panini has been working on a program to drastically reduce the number of redemption cards in their products. I think we can all agree that getting redemptions cards is not fun. No one likes to wait for the autographs to be signed and for the cards to arrive. And in the instances where the card you are owed is not made and you are sent a replacement you may not want ... that is even worse! So, Panini has come up with a program to change things.

Panini is introducing "PANINI REWARDS", and it will be officially rolling out this week with points cards in 2014 Score Football. Basically, Panini is inserting Rewards Points Cards into their products in the place of certain autograph cards not available at the time of production, with the ultimate goal being to eliminate traditional redemption cards in their products altogether. Panini has an on-line inventory of cards in all sports with assigned points values (some that for whatever reason didn't make their way into the product, some from redemptions never claimed, and some to be made up especially for this program). They will also have some non-card rewards, like experiences (think tickets to a special game). You can trade your Rewards Points (you enter codes on-line or scan the cards with your Smartphone and Panini's app) for any card in any sport that you have enough points for ... or save up your points for a reward currently out of reach. They never expire!

Check out Panini's BLOGS for an explanation of the program ... http://paniniamerica.wordpress.com/2014/06/09/game-changing-panini-rewards-program-to-launch-with-release-of-2014-score-football/#more-80767 and then a great follow-up Q & A ... http://paniniamerica.wordpress.com/2014/06/10/faq-panini-america-addresses-most-asked-questions-on-the-panini-rewards-program/#more-80828 .

One note from Panini as to whether this program replaces redemptions in their products altogether ...

"While the ultimate goal of the Panini Rewards System is to completely eliminate the redemption card, that’s not an entirely realistic scenario. Although points cards will eliminate the vast majority of redemptions, there are key product-making players who must appear in a product. When those players’ autographs aren’t available for pack-out, they will appear in traditional redemption-card form."

I think it's great that Panini is doing something to reduce redemptions. I'm curious to see how often we see these points cards; how many points they are worth; and what that number of points gets you. My only concern (which time will resolve) is that presently, Panini is awesome about fulfilling expired redemption cards. They are the only company I'm aware of that consistently will honor an expired redemption if they have the card in inventory, and my customers really appreciate this. With this new program where some of the on-line inventory of card choices for your points are coming from Panini's existing inventory of unclaimed redemption cards, I'm wondering if this means that expired redemptions will no longer be filled? Again, time will tell.

5/19/2014

Hi everyone! I'm more or less cutting and pasting my FACEBOOK post from Saturday here ...

THANK YOU to everyone who came out on Friday night and PACK WAR'ed with us! We had a great turnout, in no small part thanks to the Bennett, Center, and Damalas families! Thank you to EVERYONE who came (esp. first timers like Jack, Don, and Mike! !), but a VERY hearty thank you to all of you who brought first time Pack War players!

JACK AUGUSTINE was the ridiculously BIG WINNER ... in more ways than I have fingers!! He won the PACK WARS Grand Prize and chose the prize package containing his goal for the evening ... the Upper Deck siren (with a gift certificate). He plans to use the siren every time the Penguins score ... and probably get kicked out of the house by his wife! But Jack's luck didn't start or end there! Before Pack Wars even started, he pulled a Nathan MacKinnon rookie insert #'ed to 25 from 2013-14 Fleer Showcase Hockey which sells for $190 AND in the same box, a Sidney Crosby "Jambalaya" insert that comes one per case (worth another $75, but probably remaining in his "PC" ... personal collection). Then, as if that wasn't enough victory for one person, Jack won the second Pack Wars prize of a $30 Gift Certificate!!! So, just wow! A huge night for Jack!

Scott, cousin to our favorite Center boys, won a great painted Eagles pilsner glass; and Mike Hodoba (our reigning Pack Wars champion! ) eeked out both of his goals for the evening ... a spiffy new Bowman cap (Pack Wars prize) and a badly wanted Spiderman Funko mini figure (VERY cute! ). Ryan Bennett also won a Bowman cap, and I think he pulled the most autographs of anyone during Pack Wars (hands down!), not to mention 3 hits from Prestige Basketball beforehand! Lastly, Mike Dolan won a $20 Gift Certificate "just for playing", and his son was very excited to collect the prize! Nick Damalas took home a Phillies Endura towel (to keep cool this summer) as the winner of the "Bring a Newbie" raffle! And last, JOE MILLER won our "Raffle with purchase" and can choose either Jack's favorite Upper Deck siren (we have a second one!), or to avoid a divorce from his wife, Paula, may choose 10 of the upcoming Panini Father's Day packs! I just talked to Joe. He wisely chose the packs ... so look for that siren in an upcoming promotion!

CONGRATULATIONS to all of our winners on Friday, and thanks so much for coming out! The people who attend really determine the success of the event, so this event was very successful!

5/16/2014

Hi everyone! Someone promised a BLOG earlier this week about tonight's PACK WARS EVENT and did not deliver on time! So, my apologies for that! I just wanted to quickly go over a few facts ... all of which have been stated either in the original E-NEWSLETTER or on FACEBOOK throughout the week. Tonight's PACK WARS starts at 7:15. We have a pretty good turn-out expected, and we would love to see many more! The more people who play ... the better the prizes; and it's definitely more fun to see more packs opened at once!

The style of PACK WARS we're using is a $50 per person, 12 pack, multi-sport, average of at least TWO HITS "type"! We will be awarding prizes like GIFT CERTIFICATES, blaster boxes, card packs, and many cool sports novelties to 3 lucky raffle winners (raffle tickets are given for each round won). I posted a pic of some of tonight's loot on Facebook today, and even if you aren't on Facebook ... you CAN view our posts by clicking the link at left.

We are also trying to encourage and reward our Pack Wars players to bring new players by having a special raffle JUST for them. Anyone who brings a new player (and plays himself!) will receive a special raffle ticket for doing so. The winner will have his choice of prizes, and a pic of those prizes (including a painted Eagles Pilsner glass, Phillies Snuggie, and Phillies Endura towel) was posted on Facebook today as well.

Check out the fun (refreshments WILL be involved!) tonight at 7:15!