Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Very Colorful Christmas or Yes, JayBee, You're Getting Baseball Cards This Year!!!

Last week, my son and his classmates took a special field trip to the local Dollar Tree to buy presents for their families. The assignment was either to write down what they planned on getting for each person in the family or ask what everyone wanted. We (the parents) were then to include a bit of spending money for their shopping spree. This was for a social studies/math related trip so it counts as an educational experience. Anyway, my son had included on his shopping list a pack of Topps baseball cards for me. I've seen these before. They're the five card packs that don't include any inserts or relics/autos or whatever. If you're looking just to collect the regular 660 card set (or 330 card series), and were on a very tight budget, or if you wanted to start a collection, this would be the ideal product to buy. A five-card pack of 2013 Topps Series 2 was inserted into a travel mug that he bought at the store for me.

So let's find out what was in the pack, shall we? Here are the cards that were inside:

From Taylor...a Five-Pack of 2013 Topps Series 2 cards.
  • #575 Justin Morneau, Twins
  • #471 Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks
  • #628 Martin Maldonado, Brewers RC
  • #503 Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
  • #497 Brett Myers, Indians
Not a bad pack. You have a former MVP (Morneau), a pitcher with All-Star numbers (Buchholz), a rookie card (Maldonado), and two other pitchers at different stages of their respective careers (Cahill is a four-year, former All-Star pitcher; Myers had some great seasons with the Phillies and Astros before joining the ranks of the journeymen).

Many of whatever readers I have left may know that I have other side collections besides baseball cards. (What? Is that even possible??!) I have been known to hoard...I mean...collect other items and over the years, those collections too have grown. Not as quickly as the baseball cards mind you, but from time to time, I like to take a look at some of the other items I've accumulated...I mean collected...over the years. One of my favorite things to collect are...Crayola Crayons!!!

(Those sirens you are now hearing in the background are the people rushing over to my house to take my "Man Card" away).

It's true. I've never brought this up on the blog before, but I have always loved Crayola brand crayons. Just like Topps is synonymous to baseball cards for my endeavors, Crayola for me is number one brand in the crayon world. Nothing else comes close. I have this huge box that is filled with nothing but unused Crayola crayons. Every time I open this box, that rush of wax scent just hits me and it takes me back to my younger days. Studies have shown that certain scents will have this kind of effect on people. Play-Doh, for example (you can smell it now, can't you??!), cookies baking in the oven, meat searing on a get the idea. Not to say that all is good (there are certain smells that can bring up unpleasant memories...not bringing that up now). But the smell of crayons are high on the list of items that bring up nostalgic memories for me.

The thing is that they are all UNUSED!!! I have only opened them to look at them, read the names on the labels, and then put them back in the box. This is how much of a hard-core collector I am. The crayons in question still have one name on them, not like they do now with the English name and then Spanish and French underneath. I even have an Indian Red crayon (which is now called Chestnut), Thistle (which was removed for Indigo), and Torch Red (which was renamed Scarlet). All I need now are the Flesh (now known as Peach) and Prussian Blue (now known as Midnight Blue) crayons and I will have a "Master Set." This year's "Crayola Holiday Tin" includes the 12-retired colors. I had the first eight, also from a Holiday tin from 1990, but twelve years later, my then two-year-old daughter used them. So I have to find this year's tin so that I have all of the retired colors too in mint condition (call the psych ward now...) I have been known to shed a tear or two when I see those melted crayon art projects (the ones where they take crayons, paste them together, and then somehow let them melt, leaving those lovely globs of colors dripping down). And why Crayola decided to make those "Crayon Makers," the ones where you take unwrapped crayons and melt them on a metal tray and then dip them into molds, is beyond me.

Okay, happy thoughts.

Every time I take my daughter to any of the big box stores, she literally has to pry me away from the crayon aisle. Especially at Target. Why? Because Target (and Walmart, I'm guessing) have these "Pick your Pack" 8-pack of Crayons with themes on them that are meant for kids (Super Heroes, Bejeweled, Fire and Ice, Dragons), and some are exclusive to a specific store (you'll see in a minute). Yes I know the crayons inside are just part of the regular 120-color lineup (shocked that I know this, huh?), but one could (sanely) compare these 8-crayon packs to the 17-card retail sets. There is a theme, and a reason why these colors were placed together. So with that in mind, my wife and daughter decided to get me (cue LeBron...)

Not one...Not two...Not three...

EIGHT 8-packs of themed Crayola Crayon packages.

Now don't get me wrong, the baseball cards were great. But these were more than enough to make my Christmas this year. 

Now, I'll show off the packs of crayons on this humble, little blog. I'll spare everyone the details of what was inside. This is what they bought for me:

From Zebeda and Lynn...Eight 8-Packs of Themed Crayola Crayon Sets!!!

As you can see, six of the packs are "Target Exclusives" meaning you can only find them...well, at Target. That means Walmart has to have something too. Maybe Toys R Us. The hunt begins in earnest!!!

On behalf of my family, Have a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Kwanzaa too (Hanukkah was in November, so I apologize for wishing all who celebrate a Happy one as well).

May you find the cards you need in your stockings and may we all add to our ever growing collections in the coming new year.


JayBee Anama