28 June 2008

Operation: '98 Metal Universe (Box 1/Pack 1)

No, I haven't gone crazy. The title is correct. Yes, I am a 1998 Fleer Metal Universe fan and you can't stop me. I completely missed out on this set in '98, most likely because I was carried away at the time with Fleer Ultra. Anyway, a few weeks ago I was rummaging though the Colorado Rockies commons box at the local shop when I came across two cards that both made me laugh while inspiring me more than you could imagine. When I saw these beautiful pieces of work, I began to stop by the shop a little more frequently and take a look through other commons boxes of other teams for this newly discovered Metal Universe set.

Needless to say, there were only so many Metal Universe cards from the '98 series in the shop... and I came home with all of them (roughly 42). That, clearly, was not going to give me my fix. I decided to hop on the interwebs and start looking for unopened hobby boxes of the product (ok, maybe I am crazy)... and I found one for $25.99.

Yeah, I bought it and it will NOT be the last box I purchase. I was going to do a box break for ya, but I decided to break it up into individual pack-break posts so that you could savor the goodness. I'll give you some info on the set first, then get to the reviews.

According to the Sports Collectors Digest, 2008 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (17th Edition):

"This 220-card single series release captured players over a foil etched, art background that related in some way to them or the city they played in. Metal Universe included a 15-card Hardball Galaxy subset..." "The set arrived with a parallel called Precious Metal Gems, and included the following insert sets: All-Galactic Team, Diamond Heroes, Platinum Portraits, Titanium and Universal Language."

I received the box on Tuesday, and it felt like the birthday I was to have the next day had come early. I grabbed the package from the mailbox, ran inside, and immediately started busting it with a house full of company. I digress, however...

In the box, we're looking at 24 packs with 8 cards per pack and the most absurdly amazing background shot on each card. Unfortunately, the metallic backgrounds on the cards are done no justice by the scanner.

To start, each pack comes with a 1998 Acclaim All-Star Baseball (N64) promo/official entry 'flyer' with none other than Larry Walker blessing the cover (as he did for the game as well). Unfortunatley, the deadline for all entries was September 30th, 1998.

Now that I've wasted enough of your day, I'll go ahead with the pack break (scan below):

146 Roberto Alomar swimmin' with the fishes
184 Tony 'The Tiger' Clark... I'll take the actual tiger in this footrace
37 Robin Ventura going for a chopper/fly ball on the Southside
45 Paul Molitor running away from/racing some sort of bullet train/mass transit that obviously does not exist in the Twin Cities

116 Matt Williams (displayed in an Indians uni... common theme in this set) playing third base on some scaffolding... no biggie

199 Derek Jeter with Lady Liberty to his back
52 Henry Blanco popping up on the surface of the moon, or similar
152 Mickey Morandini (Phils uni) throwing to first but playing somewhere other than Chicago

I really wish I could get a scan that would show the beautiful ridiculousness of these cards, but that technology doesn't exist (in my world) quite yet.

That's it for today, but expect some more hilarity in the future. Also, if anyone has any cards from this set and are willing to trade, shoot me an email and let me know what you'd like in return.

Completely obsessed...

- J.C.F.


Wax Heaven said...

Awesome box! I think there is a '97 Metal you should bust as well, if memory serves correct.

dayf said...

Oh yeah... this stuff is awesome.

Anonymous said...

Awesome choice! I can't wait to see the rest!