Saturday, February 23, 2019

Thank You, eBay

Before the New Year even began, I had already become dedicated to selling certain cards on eBay and using the profits to pay for various Baseball card purchases online. Now, almost 2 months into the year, I'm beginning to reap the benefits of listing these items.

Originally, I intended to save the money I earned for a case of 2019 Topps Allen & Ginter, but I soon realized that I would be unsuccessful in this endeavor. Sales began to gradually decline towards the beginning of February, and the eBay seller's fees affected the profits that I was making. 

Ultimately, I talked myself out of saving for an A&G case and instead, decided to spend the available money one of the craziest and most entertaining sets I've ever opened before in my life. Consisting of over 15 different products all rolled up into 1, I'm talking about 2018 Panini Chronicles.

Back when the product was first released, I opened a couple of blaster boxes that I was fortunate to find at my local Target, and it immediately captured my attention. Some packs consisted of all rookies, others delivered fantastic parallels. 

For likely the first time ever, I was unphased by the logoless cards across the entire set. I thoroughly enjoyed almost every product within the Chronicles set, and my interest in the product was revived after I opened a few hobby packs at Monday's trip to the Baseball card show

After my success with those 3 hobby packs, I made a decision regarding what to do with the money I earned on eBay. Instead of dedicating all the funds to one cause, I discovered it would be better to spend as I please on both supplies and cards. 

Therefore, the first of these purchases with the money I earned off of eBay would be a hobby box of 2018 Panini Chronicles.

In addition to a plethora of other products, the Chronicles set, oddly enough, also consists of a 60-card subset featuring the Chronicles base design. Like all the other insert sets, the Chronicles cards include a ton of different parallels, including, but not limited to, the teal parallel of Red Sox ace Chris Sale above, numbered out of 199.

From what I know, the products featured in Chronicles, besides Donruss and Optic, include sets that Panini produces for Football and Basketball, but not Baseball. Included in this discussion are highly-desired products like Prizm and Select, both of which are sought after by NBA and NFL fans alike. 

In the case of many of the designs, especially Status (top right), there's too much going on for me to truly notice the fact that no team logos are present.

But don't worry, there's far more where this came from.

The 9 sets I've shown so far are only about half of what Panini Chronicles has to offer, but that doesn't make the creative Crusade product or the elegant Studio set any bit less impressive. 

Even though some of the subsets seem to feature almost an almost identical selection of players, the vastly different styles of cards and the wide variety of parallels are what make Panini Chronicles the incredible product that it is.

Now that I've given somewhat of an overview, let's move on to the cards I was able to pull from my hobby box of this stellar product. 

Each hobby box promises 3 autographs and 1 memorabilia card per box on average along with 2 hobby-exclusive Spectra cards. Out of all 18 or so products within this larger set (if that makes any sense), the Spectra cards have the largest checklist at 100 cards. 

Given that they fall at only 2 per hobby box and have parallels, it's a safe bet that it's nearly impossible to complete the entire Chronicles set with every single subset included.

The Spectra cards, although unnecessarily thick, are one of my favorite sets within the Chronicles product. The larger checklist actually works towards Panini's favor as it allows them to feature a wider variety of players and even different uniforms. 

Pulling a Rhys Hoskins is already a plus, but the powder blue Phillies uniform elevates this card to another level.

This is what I meant when I previously mentioned Spectra parallels. Seriously, this product is insane, and I cannot fathom how anyone, given the checklist and all the big-name rookies, would be able to complete the entire 545-card Chronicles product. 

My 2nd and final Spectra base card of the pack was a neon blue parallel of (likely) future Hall of Famer, Max Scherzer, numbered to 99 on the back. The parallel looks just as crazy in-person as it does when scanned, and after pulling this card as well as the Hoskins, I'm dying to see what Rhys' Spectra card would look like as a neon blue parallel.

And as long as I'm talking about parallels, it's a good idea for me to show a couple of the many, many different colored parallels across the Chronicles product. Whether the cards are on paper or chrome cardstock, every different insert set features at least 5 different parallels, almost all of which are serial numbered.

One of the chrome stock sets, Phoenix, features a different selection of parallels than Crusade, another shiny subset. The Alex Verdugo card is a red parallel, serial numbered out of 99. 

On the other hand, the Dominic Smith card features a parallel, hyper (numbered out of 299), that can be found across numerous Chronicles subsets, including Contenders Optic and Prizm.

All the different subsets and parallels throughout Panini Chronicles can become somewhat baffling so it can be nice to take a step back to something that's, by this sets' standards, a bit more simple. Even with the 4 hits that I pulled, the Contenders Optic green parallel above of Ronald Acuña Jr could possibly be the highlight of the box. 

On the left, there's the base version which I also pulled in this hobby box, but the card on the right is serial numbered out of 50 and despite my best efforts, I haven't spotted another one of these Acuna cards online, so I'm unsure of the true value of this card.

Going into this box break, I repeatedly convinced myself that this was about more than just the hits as is shown through the serial numbered Acuña. With that being said, it doesn't make it any more enjoyable to pull 2 rather uninspiring autographs that make up half of the box's hits. 

In addition to neither one of them being rookie autographs, both cards feature sticker autos, both of which are noticeable in-person and when scanned. The Chris Flexen autograph, at the very least, is serial numbered out of 99, making it slightly more appealing towards potential buyers.

As for the Chad Pinder Chronicles autograph, the whopping $1.92 that it's currently going for on eBay is all that really needs to be said.

While I didn't expect the relic card to be better than 2 of the 3 autographs that I pulled, I was pleased when this Ryan McMahon Spectra Triple Threat Materials neon blue relic card (that's a mouthful), came out of one of the final packs of the box. 

Even though he's still not a huge name, the card is pretty gorgeous, and 2018 was McMahon's rookie season as well. Like the Scherzer neon blue, it's numbered out of 99 on the back. 

Besides, if I'm going to pull a card of a lesser name for one of my hits, I'm at least pleased that the card is a low-numbered parallel as stunning as this McMahon relic.

I've saved the best hit for last and unsurprisingly, it's another Spectra card, this time a neon pink rookie jersey autograph of Amed Rosario, featuring an awesome tri-color patch and the only on-card autograph of the entire box. 

Admittedly, Rosario is far from the best name I could land, especially given the surplus of rookies in this Spectra autograph relic subset. Still, this card provides me with my very first look at the neon pink parallels. 

The regular Spectra parallels are numbered out of 75, but because this one's an autograph relic, it's out of 49 instead, making this Rosario card, by far, the best hit of the entire box.

It's pretty difficult to be disappointed in a box of Panini Chronicles. I mean, what other product will deliver 10 serial numbered cards in a 48-card box? Plus, like I mentioned earlier, with a set like Chronicles, the hits don't matter quite as much as the endless parallels you can pull.

Sure, the 2 Spectra hits were pretty awesome, but it's hard to beat that Acuña card. That card alone could go for over half of what I paid for this box in the first place.


  1. I've never heard of this set before. Being a fan of variety though, I do see the appeal, and those Spectra cards are pretty fantastic... I wonder what the odds of finding them in a dime box at some point are?

    1. I actually have found some Spectra cards in the dime bins before. No huge names, but a couple of rookies and even a neon blue Mitch Garver.

  2. Replies
    1. It's an awesome product with tons of different brands and inserts. There are a lot of rookies in it, so there aren't many Red Sox players aside from a few Mookie's and plenty of Devers cards.