Another Saturday at the Local Card Shop

Would it surprise you if I told you that I spent another Saturday at the LCS ?  I actually hadn’t been in a few weeks with college football and kid’s birthday parties going on but I was able to sneak off with my youngest daughter this past weekend for a fun trip.  When I say youngest daughter, I mean a 3 year old.  This was her first trip to the LCS and I was excited to see how she reacted.  She plays with cards here at the house when I open and has been introduced to most sports already.  My 10 year old was introduced to the hobby around that age too and has more cards now than I ever did as a kid.  Card collecting is meant to be shared and I’m thankful that she took an interest and stuck with it.

As for the 3 year old, I had no idea what to expect from her when going to the shop.  She is at the age where she wants to hold everything and see it for herself.  As you know from any LCS trips you’ve made, some things are meant to be admired without touching them.  I knew this would be a challenge but by the time we got to the shop, I was ready to see her reaction.  There was a part of me that realized she would have no real idea what she was looking at but exposure to cards at any age is a good thing, right?  I started building it up on Friday night so she would see that I was excited and hopefully make it a big deal for her.

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The trip to our LCS is not a short one as it is about an hour and a half away but I usually spend the time catching up on podcasts so the drive never bothers me.  But on this trip, I had to keep her engaged or I would lose her focus before we even got there.  Fortunately, we made it and she was still ready to roll.  When I showed her the building, she excitedly said, “We at the card shop!”  Again, I know that her excitement was coming from me building it up but kids won’t be interested in collecting if we don’t show them how fun it is or how much it means to us as adults.

As we entered the shop, she was immediately drawn to the wall of Starting Lineup figures and wanted me to look at all of them with her.  She called all of them “baseball man”.  The shop owner came over and shook her hand and gave her a free pack of “My Little Pony” cards so she lit up with that as well.  She then found some small 1:64 die cast cars and started playing with an old Dale Earnhardt model.  I knew that would make my dad proud when I told him about it!  She played with a couple of relic baseballs (unsigned) and just walked around the store, looking.  Surprisingly, she didn’t want to pick up everything and just stuck with the baseball and race car while she looked at jersey’s, helmets and cards in glass cases.  She may not have understood what she was looking at but she was looking at it very intently.

I bought her one of the mini baseballs and the Earnhardt car and then I set my sights on what I wanted to get myself.  I started with a Nolan Ryan Canvas Collection that I had never seen and then picked up a couple of junk wax boxes for a friend on Twitter.  As usual, I eventually wound up at the new release counter and my eyes fixated on the Panini Phoenix Football.  I had bought a couple of packs the weekend before in Jacksonville when I picked up the Prizm box I recently reviewed and I liked the design.  The box of Phoenix had 12 packs with 5 cards each and promised 3 hits that included 2 autographs and 1 patch/relic.  I usually give the multi hit boxes a chance because it’s really the only way I can justify the cost of new product.  You have to remember that I am a junk wax guy at heart and I can pick that up very cheap!

We packed up our purchases, my daughter got to sign the autograph wall, and we headed home with each of us carrying our own excitement.  She has told everybody she has seen since last Saturday about the new ball she got.  I was most pleased with my 1984 Donruss Champions partial set.  But there is also the box of Phoenix that I bought.  Let’s take a look at how that turned out.

2017 Panini Phoenix Football

The cards themselves are on very sturdy card stock and are reminiscent of Topps Finest in the baseball market.  They have a nice chrome look and splashes of color throughout the checklist.  I like the Phoenix design and card but it does get tough to get overly excited about new products when they come out every week.

This is a base version of a current star, Antonio Brown.  As you can see, the card has a very clean and shiny look and you can see the gold tones throughout.  Those tones can be found on each of the cards in one of the basic team colors.

The red parallel is numbered to 299 and this one features Adrian Peterson in the exact same photo that he’s in for most of the Panini releases.

This Demarco Murray is a parallel numbered to 199.  I love the pink parallels in this set.

The Dan Marino purple parallel is numbered to 149.  I love legend cards and this one is a sharp card!

The Orange parallel is numbered to 99 and this card features San Fran RC, Joe Williams.

This Chad Williams, Arizona RC, was a yellow parallel and numbered to 75.

This green parallel of Kirk Cousins is numbered to 25!  As you can see, there are a lot of colors to chase in this set.

This Adrenaline Rush insert is of Earl Campbell and, even with the purple background you can still see the “Oiler Blue” accents in the chrome.

A Legacy insert of Steve Young surely made this 90’s geek smile!

Power Surge with Richard Sherman in the Seattle Color Rush uniform.  I like this combination.

This Rookie Rising insert features my preseason darling, Zay Jones.  He finally made some noise this past Sunday but also went down with an injury.  Hoping for the best!

The final insert was this Tom Brady “Triumphant”.  As a Falcons card, I still die a little when I pull a Tom Brady card.

The patch insert was this Patrick Mahomes II that’s numbered to 79.

Autograph #1 was this very nice looking Taywan Taylor 3 color patch/auto.  I believe Taylor has the best looking autograph in the 2017 rookie class.

While the patch isn’t very exciting, the second autograph was my first of D’Onta Foreman.  Foreman is a very talented rookie running back with Houston and I was very happy to add this one to my collection.

And of course, the best card in the box!

Overall, I really like the Phoenix set.  The gluttony of sets available from Panini in football will probably keep this one buried in the mid season release stretch but it does stand out a little for me in comparison to others.  Again, I like the sturdy card stock and the chrome look is very attractive with team colors sprinkled in.  If you like new products but get lost in the multiple releases of the season; I would try to buy at least a few packs of Phoenix to give it a look.  If you like Topps Finest, you will probably like Panini Phoenix.  I’d love to hear your thoughts below.


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