The late 2000's is when I started to really delve into the true collection process again. There were a few years prior that online purchases were to complete one subset or another and less about getting a box to open. I have since mended those evil ways so that the online purchases made nowadays are mostly boxes to fill gaps of those days gone past. Maybe once every six months, I'll see something that catches my eye, one that was still needed to complete that subset or in one case, a purchase was made to be able to send along with other cards in a trade with one of my fine readers. Sometimes what I have to offer needs to be upgraded a bit here and there. Believe me I've got plenty to trade but not everyone is looking for the standard issue and I enjoy helping fellow collectors out when I can.
Once I started looking to complete sets again, the big box store offered boxes that didn't break the bank and allowed me to get a wide variety of cards for a mere $20 here and there. And if they discounted those boxes, I could really do some damage on collection gaps if I was lucky enough to find them. 2009 Topps brought a new twist to my collecting. The blaster box included a manufactured card that really caught my attention. Although those packs don't really offer the ability to get any big hits, knowing that one of the manu-cards was always included made it a nice box to pick up.
They were new and interesting. The problem was in order to complete the set, you'd need to purchase way too many boxes at the one per box ratio. But still, I kept on purchasing these boxes to get the manu-card. The patches were cool, old-school style pieces that allowed a collector to grab a glimpse of the 80 year old All-Star game patch from the Polo Grounds. You don't see that very often. Then 2010 Topps hit the street and there were more Manu cards to collect. Again, some really nice looking cards from long ago years be it World Series or just generic patches from the last year at Yankee Stadium. As Topps has a way of doing something that in hindsight isn't probably the best thing they could have done, the Update series manu-cards were sloppy. They were crooked, had excess glue and the gray backing made little attempt to stay firmly placed on the actual card itself so it appears to be floating.
2011 rolls around and although the 2010 Update set left me wanting better, I still looked to see what Topps was going to do different. I won't get into the online card trading program that was now in full swing. That's a subject for a different day. So back into the manu-cards I dove. Not the same type of patch, these were more team specific and less game oriented. Not a bad product in my mind and the quality was better than previously mentioned. I still liked the concept and looked to collect these.
Then in 2012, Topps started to include some very interesting pieces as manu-cards. I really enjoyed the two different types that Topps was producing. Both very player specific which was different from any previous manu-card produced. Yes, there were players on the cards but the patch itself was more driven to a team or past event. I'm sure Topps could have chosen any number of players to place on a random Yankees or Reds patch from a mid 1970's World Series card.
The name stitched cards, to me, are the nicest. A big piece of cloth (and yes I know these are not in any way meant to be game worn products) was a nice way to make it appear to be tied to the player. I'm sure some look at these cards as being wasted cardboard just as I look at any Panini product, but that is what makes my collection different from anyone else's. Some cards are meant to hold a special place and some are meant to be given away if they find their way into my collection.
In 2013 and through today, I didn't even look to see what Topps was going to put out in these blaster boxes. I felt complete with what I had seen and I tried to purchase some hobby boxes to switch it up a bit. I think I have one of these cards from 2014 but that was only because someone was kind enough to purchase a box for me for either my birthday or Christmas. Maybe you have some of these and look to trade for others. I do have a few extra. Or maybe they fill your collection and it doesn't fit in. Either way, if you're so inclined to trade any, let me know. I have a special place in my collection for these cards and would welcome trying to find a way to complete the 600 or so total manu-cards from those years. Thanks again for checking in and hopefully you'll be reading my blog again soon as I make the attempt to be here more often than I have been. Happy collecting my friends.