Friday, January 8, 2016

Mmm, Shiny

I don't consider myself an impulsive person.  If anything, I'm probably too calculating when it comes to parting with money.  But shiny cardboard is my weakness.  And as I start to run out of Pirate cards I really, truly want that aren't higher priced vintage or rare cards, I've become susceptible to the temptation of the shiny.

For collectors of a certain age, refractors can't help but hold a special place of mystique.  They were the elusive rare cousin of the already super premium Chrome cards.

Chrome with magical rainbow powers?  Enter the shiny.

And as with all things in this hobby, what was once rare and expensive can now be had on the cheap.

So here and there I have been picking up select refractors.  Nothing crazy, but just some lower end cards that look...well, they look cool.

 Shiny, reprint, and wood grain?  Yes please.
 It's certainly a buyer's market.  I don't think any card in this post cost more than $.70.  And while there aren't exactly any cards that are going to set the world on fire, I think at one point or another all of these would have been relatively desirable.
 Then again, maybe that's the point.  The number of collectors has tailed off by leaps and bounds since 1990's levels.  And even cards that were once fairly rare are available in quantities that outpace the number of collectors who are actively searching for them today.
 Not that I mind.
 There are plenty of great looking cards out there, and I'm certainly happy to give them a good home.
 And I'll be the first to say that I didn't mind the days when refractors weren't one per pack.  For the better part of a decade, Topps put together some fantastic designs that look great on the refractor stock.
 So while I'm trying to cut back on impulse purchases this year, the draw of shiny cards is more than my willpower can handle.  And for minimal cost, I don't mind diverting a few bucks of my hobby dollars to add more like this to my collection.


  1. Nice cards. I also love chasing refractors and shiny inserts just because when those cards came out, I was a teenager and could never afford to get any of them and didn't pull very many out of packs. If I recall correctly, that Jose Cruz, Jr. card was probably a pretty expensive card back when it first came out. Great job on not paying much for them.

    1. Same here. I remember thinking I had just spent a fortune when I bought a pack of Chrome. $3 for 4 cards? That was crazy. I'm sure at one point that Cruz card would have been huge money. I remember him being the next big thing, and next thing I knew the Mariners had traded him.

  2. 1990s refractors are the best refractors. I acquired the Vinny Castilla refractor from that "Club 40" series at a young age and have been mesmerized by it ever since.