Tuesday, February 13, 2018

WOW Factor: A Crazy-Loaded Prize Package from Iron Lion Collectables

I mostly avoid high-end cards. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than five or six bucks for a pack in my whole life and the idea of dropping hundred on a box of fancy-deal product with the hopes of landing something rare and cool just doesn’t do much for me. Of course, plenty of other folks do. And a brand new shop in Colorado Springs (home to more than just Brewers prospects with terribly skewed statistics) carries all kinds of this stuff. THE IRON LION is opening this Saturday, Feb 17. In the run-up to their opening, they have been doing a bunch of give-aways and breaks on their facebook page. Encouraged by the Daily Dimwit, I threw my hat into the give-away ring.

This happened right around the time I was called out of town for all that awful family stuff that has consumed most of the last three weeks. I had planned to watch a facebook break and give-away of some Bowman’s Best stuff, but got distracted and forgot about it. The next day, the Dimwit messaged me on Twitter telling me I had won, saying something like, “WOW!!!!”

Ok, I thought. I checked out the video on facebook when I had a moment, just glancing at it, and saw that I had been picked out of over 100 entrants. So maybe that was the wow? I hate to say that I didn’t care about the prize, but with everything going on, it just wasn’t a priority. It wasn’t until later, when I watched the video, that I understood the wow.

But let’s build up to that!

First off, it was two boxes.. or mini boxes or whatever the hell. A big stack of Bowman’s Best 2016 packs and a few packs of Panini Absolute football.

Some of these base card names I recognize…

And I certainly know Dan Fouts, one of the numbered cards I got. That Josh McCown is out of 25. I am unfamiliar with him, but know enough to be certain that if he is a former Browns QB… as in a QB that the Browns did not want anymore, he must be terrible.

In the Bowman product, the base is split between vets and rookies and prospects.

Here’s ol’ Mike Trout. I must admit, these cards are very sharp. The effects and photos are very well-defined and the foil shimmer adds to the almost 3-D effect.

Here is one of the prospect cards, Mr. Universeandbeyond, Aaron Judge. These use the same basic design as the vets, just with the team logo “slash” thing in the background going in the other direction.

And, of course, there were refractors. Lots of ‘em. I got some decent vets, including Trout, Rizzo, and this Kenta Maeda RC. I also the Scwarber and Aaron Nola RCs fractor-style.

And then some prospect fractos. Number 1 pick Mickey Moniak was probably the top find here.

And then some inserts.

And some more inserts, with one having that “cracked” foil effect. I think that’s what they call a “Superfractor.”

And a blue parallel of Michael Conforto, who had a pretty good season last year with the Mets.

And what I assume is the box’s promised base superfractor Atomic refractor.

And a pair of very cool 1996 Best tribute cards.

Now let’s get to the hits…

T.Y. Hilton patch card, numbered out of 25. He has made four straight Pro Bowls, so that’s not bad. UPDATE: This card has been traded.

Kenny G!!! According to Pro Football Reference, this fellow played for the Lions last year, but also signed a four-year deal with the Titans before the season? Anyway, he seems to have a sense of humor. UPDATE: This card has been traded.

G’s nickname is Babytron, a play (I assume) on Megatron. Laquon Treadwell is nicknamed Megaquon. He was a first round pick in 2016.

David Johnson ball/jersey/helmet(?) card. How do they cram a helmet sliver into a card? Anyway, he was real good in 2016, but missed most of last season.

Bowman’s Best promises four sigs per box. Here is sig one: Padres prospect Anderson Espinoza. (UPDATE: This card has been traded.) Not much I can say about him. This, honestly, is the kind of stuff I would expect from these high-end products. Cards shiny as hell, relics that look bonkers, and autographs of fringe prospects. If this prize package ended here, I’d be perfectly happy with it. But things are about to get crazy. Buckle up, kids.

Here was the big Panini Auto. I recognized the name, but didn’t realize he was the top draft pick last time around and seemed to impress people in his rookie season with the Bears. It’s numbered out of 100.

Nolan Arenado is just 26 and probably the best third baseman in the game. He’s a regular 2-3 win player on defense and has claimed two home run crowns and three Silver Sluggers over the past three years. An absolute stud.

And here is a World Champion stud! Carlos was just 22 years old last year and missed part of the season with an injury, but still hit .315 with 24 homers to lead the Astros to the world title. The sky is the limit for this kid, and I was thrilled to add his signature to my collection.

Back to football… A redemption card! I haven’t been in possession of a redemption card since I pulled a Signature Rookies voucher for a Shawn Respert autograph. This was back when I still followed the Bucks and I was thrilled to pull it. Sadly, Respert didn’t do much in the NBA and had his career cut short by stomach cancer. So will this yield me something better???

Whoa! A Dan Marino etched crystal card? Damn. And a one-per case insert at that. I’ve looked these up online and they look hella-sharp.

So what can top all of this stuff? How can this package get any better? Let’s count it down!




BOOM! ANOTHER Correa autograph, the Superfractor variety, numbered 25/25. This was pretty stunning. It’s probably the most valuable modern card I’ve ever owned. It’s the kind of card that makes one of these boxes actually worth the sky-high price tag. This, dear readers, was the WOW. UPDATE: This card has been traded.

And now, I don’t really know what to do. I def want to keep some of the Best cards and the Arenado auto and the first Correa auto. But I am more than willing to spread the other stuff around to those who would appreciate it more than I. I have no interest at all in football cards (save for Bo Jackson) and as long as I have one Correa auto to keep, I’m be glad to swap the fractory version.

So that’s a lot of product up for grabs! I’m not QUITE so generous as to do simple blind trades for the big stuff, but I’d be interested in creative swaps. I don’t want to sell them and I’d prefer to keep things within the blogging circle, as opposed to posting on a trading forum. I am in need of some major Topps baseball rookies for my set-building. Like the ’76 Eck, the ’79 Ozzie, the ’82 Ripken… oh, and that pesky 2011 Trout.

Any suggestions? Any offers? Anyone want to share in the WOW?


  1. WHOA. Nice Correas!

    I, uh, have an Eck I'd be willing to part with. *gulp*

  2. Awesome! Glad you got them and they may have helped a bit though a tough spot!

  3. Wow! I don't have anything to offer, so I'll just sit here and drool. Congrats on the big win!

  4. I would like to make a trade offer at least on that Kenny G! I will email you after some digging. I was able to get into 2 of the giveaway breaks from Iron Lions last week. At first I thought it was too good to be true, but sure enough they are legit and a lot more fun to break with than most. I am excited to see them prosper and branch out.

  5. Wished I could think of something for the Marino and/or mitch. Football I'd my favorites sport

  6. Very nice! I'd be down for the Anderson Espinoza auto and 12/25 football card. And that Correa is a beauty (btw, I believe the term you're looking for is "atomic refractor", as superfractors are 1/1 and typically have a pattern of little gold wheels in the background). I'd sacrifice my '79 Ozzie for it but don't know if I have much else big to offer you other than that.

    1. Oh wait, I also still have those bulk lots of '71 and '73 Topps I think you were interested in.

  7. Ding. Ding. Ding. Winnah. Winnah.