Monday, February 22, 2010

Jumbo Box Redemptions

At the end of the 2010 Topps Box Break post I mentioned that, thanks to some diligent work by Play at the Plate, I decided to redeem all ten of the cards I received in the break at once. Hoping to cash in on the run of 60's and 70's cards that were, and still are, being rewarded at the 'Million Card Giveaway'.

With dreams and hopes in hand I logged in and began entering. The first two cards brought with it some Cubbie goodness and an interesting choice of photo. Both cards are from the 1973 set.

1973 Topps
Card #180
Fergie Jenkins

1973 Topps
Card #32
Fred Norman

Any time I can get a Cub, as well as a Hall of Famer AND a Canadian then things are good. The Norman card is great because he is a southpaw, plus it looks like a practice because the stands are empty.

The next card I hit was probably the best one I have won so far. It features two of my favorite players when I was younger and what is best it feature the one player in the uniform of the team I will always think of him with.

1974 Topps
Card #203
RBI Leaders Reggie Jackson/Willie Stargell

The next four cards feature two from sets I will someday complete, they are the birth year sets of my wife and I. A card that is my first from one of the best designs I think Topps has ever come up with and one featuring the coolest pair of glasses on a card that I now own.

1971 Topps Card #181 Hal Lanier
1965 Topps Card #69 Bill Virdon

1974 Topps Card #70 Dick Allen
1970 Topps Card #41 George Lauzerique

The next card I won got me searching guides and lists looking for error cards. When the redemption came through and when the card was first added to my collection this is what it showed.

Now, obviously that is not Bob Buhl. It IS a 1966 Topps card but that is about it. I searched high and low for info about possible error cards in the '66 set. There are some but this particular one was not listed. I searched out the proper Bob Buhl card and there was no mention of an error. So, I decided to leave it and check again today. When I logged in tonight I checked my collection and saw this.

So, suffice it to say a simple glitch in the workings of the program raised the excitement level of this collector a bit. In the end, however, I am truly happy that if it had to be a mistake it at least went in my favor and I got another vintage Cub.

At this point I was telling myself to hold on to the last two redemption cards for a rainy day. I tell ya though, the pull of this redemption is amazing. I could not help myself and as quick as my resolve disappeared I had two more codes redeemed. One card is a very brightly coloured team card and the other is a depressing reminder of just how fleeting a major league career can be.

1972 Topps
Card #262
San Diego Padres Team Card

1969 Topps
Card #156
1969 Rookie Stars Hal Gilson/Leon McFadden

I had to Google both of these guys to find out who they were. Both Hal Gilson and Leon McFadden had what amounted to a cup of coffee in the majors. Leon's just took longer to drink.

As it stand I am still in love with this promotion and will try to hold out for Series 2 before buying any more packs of Topps. However, I do have a second set that needs completion so another 10-pack might be in store before I call it done for Series 1. Of course, I could just try and build a third set......SEE WHAT YOU HAVE DONE TO ME TOPPS??!!!?!?!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Box Break - 2010 Topps Series 1 Jumbo

Soundtrack - Fembots - The City

Having seen enough of the base cards everywhere I will fore go that aspect of this break. Suffice it to say I like this year's offering from Topps but there are a couple things that I am not such a fan of. First and foremost, I am absolutely disappointed that there is not one single base card featuring a player playing "small ball". As a fan of the bunt and a collector of such images on cardboard it disappoints. Secondly, I still feel that the team logos would have worked better on front of the cards. In the end however, these are minor issues with an otherwise excellent product. The 'Franchise History' cards are an excellent idea and any time you can add cards to a set that don't distract from its purpose is a win.

Okay, lets get to the break. What I like most about the boxes of Jumbo packs is the ease of building a complete base set. Barring packaging and production defects you can put together the entire base from a box, as I did with this one, with enough singles left over to help out other set builders.

Base Set 330/330 (100%)

The other welcomed bonus of Jumbo packs is the guarantee of inserts per pack. When building these insert sets it makes it so much easier. The inserts pulled were as follows.

Gold Base Parallels

#34 - Michael Dunn, #66 - Kyle Phillips, #92 - David Eckstein, #131 - Dustin Pedroia, #204 - Checklist(Andrus/Kinsler), #228 - Chris Pettit, #266 - Humberto Quintero, #275 - Chris Coghlan, #292 - Tommy Manzella and #299 - Gary Sheffield

The Cards Your Mother Threw Out

CMT5 - Luis Aparichio('56), CMT11 - Mickey Mantle('62'), CMT12 - Stan Musial('63), CMT13 - Brooks Robinson('64), CMT15 - Jim Palmer('66), CMT28 - Ozzie Smith('79), CMT36 - Bo Jackson('87), CMT-48 Ivan Rodriguez('99), CMT-50 Ichiro('01) and CMT-54 Howard/Hamels('05)

I also pulled 1 SP original back of a 1982 Paul Molitor.

When They Were Young

WTWY-AR Alex Rodriguez, WTWY-BR Brian Roberts, WTWY-CM Charlie Morton, WTWY-CR Cody Ross and WTWY-CS Clint Simmons

This, to me, is an insert set that should have remained an idea. Even as a player collector I am not sure my collection needs these cards.

Turkey Red

TR3 - Nolan Ryan, TR13 - Yovani Gallardo, TR15 - Hank Greenberg, TR20 - CC Sabathia, TR34 - David Wright, TR35 - Stephen Drew, TR38 - Rick Porcello, TR43 - Adrian Gonzalez, TR46 - Babe Ruth and TR48 - Willie McCovey

I am happy this set makes an appearance again this year. I think this set works as an insert better than it does as a stand alone release. Others who have been exposed to Turkey Red for awhile now seem to be a bit jaded but I like these and will continue to chase them this year. These next two inserts as well will have me busy for the next while. As always, any time you can combine baseball cards and learning a bit of history you can never fail.

History of the Game

HOTG8 - Radio, HOTG10 - Ruth HRs, HOTG11 - '33 AS Game, HOTG12 - First Night Game, HOTG13 - Ruth Retires, HOTG14 - HOF First Class, HOTG15 - Jackie, HOTG16 - T.V., HOTG20 - Frank Robinson MVP AL/NL and HOTG24 - Interleague play

Tales of the Game

TOG1 - Ty Cobb, TOG8 - Roger Maris, TOG10 - Jimmy Piersall, TOG11 - '69 Mets, TOG12 - Reggie Jackson, TOG15 - Ozzie Smith, TOG16 - Bo Jackson, TOG18 - Prince Fielder, TOG21 - Curt Schilling and TOG23 - ManRam

Peak Performances

PP4 - Walter Johnson, PP7 - Grady Sizemore, PP10 - Christy Mathewson, PP13 - Mariano Rivera, PP20 - Mark Teixeira, PP25 - Chase Utley, PP28 - Johnny Mize, PP29 - Roy Campanella, PP36 - Dizzy Dean and PP45 - Jackie Robinson

The design of this set feels like more of an afterthought. It works with the current players but the pictures of the Legends seem out of place. It is basically a rehash of the LOTG set from last year as far as I am concerned.

Legendary Lineage

LL3 - Ruth/ARod, LL4 - Gehrig/Teixeira, LL7 - Sisler/Ichiro, LL9 - Wagner/HanRam, LL11 - Schmidt/Longoria, LL14 - Spahn/Hanson, LL!5 - Snider/Ethier, LL18 - Carter/Wright, LL24 - Gibson/Lincecum and LL29 - Yaz/Youk

Regardless of player selection or design this insert set is the one I am most disappointed with. Topps REALLY dialed it in on this one. 'Then and Now' needs to stay in Heritage where it belongs. It does not need to be redesigned and renamed and put into a release that is already too insert heavy to begin with. This was a bad decision on Topps' part and I hope it disappears for Series 2.

Last but not least we get to the "hits" of the box. As you all know for Jumbos it is 2 relics and 1 auto per box, guaranteed, with the added shot at other inserts. I landed 1 extra of those and it is the one I had mentioned in an earlier post that would be of interest to Braves fans.

First the sure hits.

Autograph - Group B (1:37)
#PPA-TT Troy Tulowitzki
Colorado Rockies

Relic - Group B (1:16)
#PPR-TG Tony Gwynn
San Diego Padres

Relic - Manufactured Hat Patch
#MHR-151 Hanley Ramirez (#14/99)
Florida Marlins

And lastly, the "bonus" hit. A 1/1 Black Printing Plate.

Black Printing Plate (1/1)
#233 Ryan Church
Atlanta Braves

This is the third printing plate I have pulled from Topps' product. I have no idea how others have done with pulling these from product but they are definitely a nice surprise to see when you open a pack. I long for the day I open and find one of a player or team I collect.

All things considered I am once again happy with the flagship release from Topps and look forward to Series 2 and the U&H. Topps has struck gold with the 'Million Card Giveaway' and all that remains to be seen is if Topps can sustain this early excitement for the next 8 months. This may just be the shot-in-the-arm the hobby needs to start building a bit of a resurgence among the general public and to generate a whole wave of new collectors. It will definitely be fun to watch what happens.

Okay, most of you right now are probably wondering, "Wait a second, where are the redemption cards and what happened?". Well, I will tell you that they have been redeemed. Thanks to some astute observance from Play At The Plate I decided to mass redeem the cards and in the end I think I did pretty well. After a late lunch I will start working on the post of my redemption success, until then stay tuned.......

As has become customary here at LFB2B, playing us out are the musical guests of this break, Fembots.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ovechkin Traded....

I can imagine the initial reaction to the title of this entry, hence why I chose to do it.

However, the BIG news is that Ovechkin was indeed traded today, by me when I made a visit to my local card store today. I had been discussing the trade for some time with 'All-Star Cards' owner Glynn but had always failed to remember to bring the card with me when I stopped in. Visit his eBay store via the link if you are so inclined. Today I made a point of bringing it with me when I went to pick up my Jumbo box of 2010 Topps Series 1.

The card in question that I traded was an insert from last years OPC Hockey set. The card that came back my way is much more important to me and will hold a higher place of honor in my collection. The card is my very first Stadium Relic and who else better to couple it with than a Hall of Fame Superstar of the game.

2008 Topps Heritage
'Flashback' Relic
Card #FR-BG

Bob Gibson - St.Louis Cardinals

Currently I am in the midst of ripping and sorting the box of Jumbo packs. I will post the hits later on .However, early on I can say there are a couple Braves fans who will be interested in this break. As for the Topps Million redemption cards I am not sure how I will do those. Whether it will be a mass redemption or dragged out over several days has yet to be determined.

Stay tuned........


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inaugural Million Card Trade

It was only a matter of time before I started playing around with the other aspects of Topps' new web-based-time-vacuum otherwise know as I am currently forcing myself to stay away from the card shop or risk going a bit overboard chasing codes. So, in order to feed the need I am checking out the rest of the site. One of my stops was the....... on the homepage. Currently there were only three eligible trades I could make, all involving my 1987 Robin Yount card. I decided to go for quantity and accept the trade that gave me two cards for Mr. HOF'er.

The first card was strictly because it was added to the deal and nothing more. Joining Team LFB2B is Omar Vizquel circa 1990.
This card is what drew me to the trade and made me decide Robin's future. A 2005 Topps Future Stars featuring Craig 'FREAKIN' Brazell!!!!!! And, the other guy pictured is apparently pretty good too.

As far as this aspect of the website goes, I wasted alot of fun time last year putting together two full Topps Town sets and enjoyed every second of it. Right now the excitement for collectors is the thrill of what they will get when a code is redeemed. Hopefully, as the the spring fades and the summer rolls on the excitement of the Topps Million Card Giveaway can sustain itself with the pursuit of collectors to turn the cards they don't want into the cards that they do want. I for one will be front and centre trying to do just that.

In fact, I have two trades currently posted and awaiting some nibbles. If you are the proud owner of either a 1971 Cubs Team Card or a 1971 Cesar Geronimo and cannot wait to get your hands on a 1974 Sonny Siebert or a 1975 J.R. Richard then look for my offer and make us both happy collectors.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Congrats Marianne!!!

Well that did not take any time at all.

Just over an hour ago I ripped some packs of 2010 Topps Baseball and pulled 1 redemption card. I vowed to hold onto that redemption card to celebrate Canada's next medal.


.....this Canuck claimed this....... the Ladies Short Track 500m finals.

In honor of that ACTUAL achievement by someone in shape I will do my part and claim this......

Drumroll please!!!..........................

Ugh!!....Sorry Marianne, looks like I wiped out in the first turn!!!

Congratulations to Marianne St.Gelais for adding to Canada's medal count and for doing your country proud!!


Topps + Me = A Budding Code-dependence Relationship

Having exhausted the first five 'Million Card Giveaway' redemption cards I pulled so far this year I found myself yearning to stop by my regular hobby spot for a refill. I eventually plan on grabbing a jumbo box to finish off my Series 1 chase and I have been doing quite well fighting the urge to grab more loose packs.

Doing quite well, that was, until today. Left work at my agreed upon quiting time for the first time in about 3 and a half months and so found myself making a quick stop for more of this........

10 packs and hopefully some more!!!!

Quick rip recap.

Pack #1 - Carlos Ruiz(122), Carlos Delgado(278), Pat Burrell(321), Tim Lincecum(80), Cardinals Team(232).......

SWEET!!...right off the hop....

....still not sold on the 'Legendary Lineage' cards Frank Robinson/Vladi(LL22), Topps Town Joe Mauer, Jeff Francoeur(184) and Pablo Sandoval(190).

Pack#2 - Gordon Beckham(115), Coco Crisp(182), Matt Lindstrom(276), Mat Latos(191), ERA Leaders (106), Adam Moore(33), Maternally Discarded Collectibles '71 Thurman Munson, Turkey Red David Wright(TR34), Topps Town Ichiro and Cesar Izturis(78)

Pack#3 - Wade David(162), Tim Hudson(142), Garrett Jones(99), Jhonny Peralta(287), Juan Pierre(268), Milton Bradley(306), Gold Parallel Houston Astros Team (38)......

Scott Olsen 'When They Were Young' - Notice on the back that Scott went to Crystal Lake High School. Wonder if he ever spent the summer here.......

....Topps Town Kevin Youkilis, Jayson Nix(180), Topps Attax Ad Card.

Starting to get itchy here Topps....need some more codes soon!!!!

Pack #4 - Garrett Mock(128), Jarrod Washburn(277), Michael Dunn(34), Asdrubal Cabrera(243), 'History of the Game' First All-Star Game......

This sub-set I like, along with its counter-part 'Tales of the Game', Turkey Red Evan Longoria(TR41), Topps Town Adam Jones, Fernando Martinez(218), Lance Berkman(245) and Jair Jurrjens(272).

Pack #5 - Alexei Ramirez(209), Brett Anderson(121), Cristian Guzman(21), Ian Desmond(196), Neil Walker(194), Jorge Posada(120), Gold Parallel Fernando Martinez(218), WTWY Justin Verlander, Topps Town Gold ManRam, Zach Duke(26) and Topps Attax.

Pack #6 - Josh Bard(63), Elvis Andrus(310), Chad Tracy(46), Tim Lincecum(9), Astros Team(38), Reg-gie! Reg-gie! Reg-gie!......

.......Topps Town Adrian Gonzalez, Manny Ramirez(55), Madison Bumgarner(105) and Nyjer Morgan(152).

Okay, Topps, I am getting the shakes here......why don't you like me??!!!??

Pack #7 - Freddy Sanchez(133), Shairon Martis(193), RBI Leaders(233), Mike Gonzalez(174), 2000 Topps Randy Johnson SP original back, 'History of the Game' Babe Ruth HR Record, Topps Town CC Sabathia, Craig Counsell(53), Rich Harden(144) and Tim Wakefield(208).

Before I finish the last three packs I just want to interject here that I feel I have opened enough of this stuff to say that this may be the first time that Topps has failed to include a single card of a player attempting to bunt. I will continue to search but this could be a bit of a disappointing set for me this year and no additions to my PC.

Pack #8 - Frank Francisco(139), Adrian Beltre(189), Jon Niese(249), Josh Butler(163), Red Sox Franchise History(288), My first variant of 2010.......

....St.Louis Cardinals Rogers Hornsby(90). Nice!! 'History of the Game' First Televised World Series, Topps Town Justin Upton, Austin Kearns(291) and Brandon Phillips(165).

Only two packs are left.....come on codes!!!!!

Pack #9 - Victor Martinez(30), Jason Marquis(82), Zack Greinke(155), Adrian Gonzalez(75), 'Tales of the Game' Jeter's "flip" (Really?!? This belongs here? Ask anyone in 10 years if they remember it), 'Legenday Lineage' Yaz/Youk(LL29), Topps Town Miguel Cabrera, Juan Uribe(239), Brian McCann(320) and Jason Kubel(313).

Pack #10 - Nationals Franchise History(282), Tommy Hanson(20), Cesar Ramos(98), Cubs Team Card(328), 'History of the Game' First Night game, Turkey Red Mark Teixeira(TR40), Topps Town Gold Adam Dunn, Bobby Crosby(257), Detroit Tigers Team Card(201) and Jeff Niemann(158).

Well, 10 packs down and only the one redemption. Not bad but not great. I think I am going to try and see if I can hold out better than dayf. It will be hard, this is addictive. I will hold on to this card until the next Canadian medal at the Winter Olympics and redeem it in celebration.



Monday, February 15, 2010

My 1/200,000th Of A Million

After all was said and done today the Redemption that everyone was waiting for went off without not having any hitches.

What is there truly to say? I liken it to that one day every year when wedding dresses go on sale for next to nothing. With everyone trying to push through the eye of a needle there are those who are bound to get trampled.

Topps got what they needed for the press junket Cal Jr. and Topps execs will be doing tomorrow on the "news" channels. So many eager collectors wanting to partake in this promotion brought their website to a standstill several time. Anticipation was so high that for hours before the launch of the promotion the website experienced XXX number of hits per minute. Blah,blah,blah....spin,spin,spin.

All that matters is that for the entire season this is going to be a great promotion. There will be monthly fuzzy feelgood stories of collectors getting that "gem" that they lost when they were a kid. Topps will ride this, as they should for the money they spent to become "exclusive", all the way to the PR bank. Everything will seem right in the hobby and collecting will have been saved for another generation by Topps. Muaah!!

Bloggers everywhere, yours truly included, will regularly update "hits" they redeem or sarcastically cheer the tonnes of "junk wax" inevitable with this type of promotion. All the while secretly enjoying themselves and clandestinely actually having fun without betraying their well crafted cynical/curmudgeonly veneer exterior.

So, thank you Topps for injecting some fun into collecting this year. Even if we have to drag ourselves kicking and screaming into it. We do so with a wink and a nod.

Here is a screenie of my 1/200,000th of Topps' million.

Feel free to leave a comment with your "hits" or "misses". Stay tuned for more of mine...........


Look What You Have Done To Topps

I guess it was inevitable.

You interwebbers always have to take it too far!!!


Topps Redemption #1

As the mad dash starts here is my first redemption. No complaints.

List of the others to follow......


IT'S ALIVE!!!!!!!!!

As I am sure every other person has this post in their hip pocket waiting.

Here it goes...........


While We Wait For Topps..........

If you are a hockey card fan then it is imperative that you make your way over to I Am Joe Collector and get in on an amazing break.

For less than the price of 2 packs of the product you get a cut of 4 boxes (aka 36 packs) of 2009-10 Upper Deck Trilogy Hockey. If you like higher end product but have never been able to even think about purchasing it then this is your way in.

You can check out the product info from Upper Deck here.

The best cards for me are the 'Ice Scripts' which are thick, clear plexi-glass cards with hard signed autographs. I bought a couple packs a couple days ago and pulled one of them.

Steve Mason - Columbus Blue Jackets

There are versions of these with 1, 2, 3 or 4 signatures on them. Great chase cards and definitely fun to rip. I know there are enough Hockey fans out there to make this break work. So, go to I Am Joe Collector and politely ask if you can sign up.


P.S. - As of this posting Topps still has yet to have their promotion running. I think I see a pack of angry villagers with pitch-forks and torches coming Topps......oh you must have known it would end like this..............

Cheers again,

Topps Million Card Giveaway.....make that 999,999

I decided to be geek and stay up until the clock rolled over to 12:00AM on February 15th. I wanted to be one of the first through the portal to which Topps is apparently going to try and repair the decimated relationship I have with my mother because she discarded some long ignored wood pulp and ink.

With trusty code card in hand (TCM-9/Mike Schmidt) I waited.....and waited........and waited......checked out A Cardboard Problem.....and waited.......hit F5.....and waited some more.

I scanned the card I was going to redeem, thought that might add some "pop" to the post. Give the text some life with the colour. Besides, its Mike Schmidt, who could not want to see another pic of Mike Schmidt at 12:05AM?

All kidding aside, my guess is that this promotion will get going around 3 or 4:00 AM EST when it is actually February 15th across the country.

I have pulled 5 of these redemption cards from loose packs so far and I am genuinely alright with this promotion. I understand the cynical point of view that 90% of what will be GIVEN away is ridiculous "junk" and most people will label this promotion as a "fail".

However, I look at the promotion this way. Topps is not forcing me to participate, they are simply letting me choose to. Topps are not forcing me to take these cards once redeemed, they are letting me if I want to. (**of course the "nominal shipping charge" is a complete slap in the face, but, once again Topps is not forcing me to do any of this**)

In the end collecting is all about having fun and I am sure most, if not all, of us will come up with some kind of passive-aggressive way to enjoy the hell out of this promotion. In fact, the first person who redeems a code for a Bip Roberts card, send me a screenshot, your favorite team and your address. I will mail out something to you that will ease the pain.

See, this will DEFINITELY be fun......thank you Topps.

Oh, by the way, my first redemption of the program was..........

[insert text here] - **I'm tired....need sleep and dayf just freaked me out with this post**


Sunday, February 14, 2010

2010 Topps - Rip Card 1/1

Having yet to purchase a full box of this years flagship release from Topps I have been relying on loose packs here and there when I get a chance to stop in at the card stores I frequent. Little did I expect to pull one of the rarest cards available in this years release.

For those of you collecting the parallel card of this parallel card you will be pleased to know your cards went up in value along with this pull.

Out of circulation is card #1533 featuring Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds.

Also, for anyone who collects 1/1's featuring Detroit Tigers I have another from the same pack I pulled this from featuring Jarrod Washburn from the unannounced "crimper press" parallel set.

WTG Topps......nice FAIL!!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Olympics Contest.......update.

Yesterday I claimed my spot in JD's Wild Cardz Winter Olympics Contest.

All of the countries are randomized and assigned a number. I decided to see what would be revealed behind Door #1.

Who did I get? Well...........................

After some researching about who exactly India were sending to the Winter Olympics I am looking forward to rooting on "my team". India's contingent for the games consists of 8 people all together with 3 of those being participating athletes. I will be watching excitedly now to see how Shiva Keshavan does in the Luge, how Tashi Lundup will do in Cross-country Skiing (this is event along with the Biathlon are actually two of my favorite events to watch) and I will be watching for Jamyang Namgyal tearing up the slopes of Whistler in the Alpine Skiing events.

Thanks to JD's for running this contest and introducing a welcomed addition to who I will be rooting for these next few weeks.

On a bit of a down note, while reading about my new team it seems that the two skiers, who are part of the Indian Army, arrived to the games greeted by news that 17 of their colleagues were killed in an avalanche while on manoeuvres.

Also giving me reason to cheer is that India has yet to medal in the Winter Olympics since first competing in 1964. THEY'RE DUE!!!!!!

If you have not already, and provided there still is time and slots available, got to JD's Wild Cardz and enter the contest. Whatever the prizes it will be fun all around!!!


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Winter Olympics Contest

Who in their right mind does not like a contest?

Everyone loves a contest.

Now, consider a contest that is based on a contest.

That is just CRAZY, you say?

Well, follow the link on over to JD's Wild Cardz and get in ont his Winter Olympics contest. All you have to do is pick a number, watch the Winter Olympics and you could walk away with FREE CARDS!!!

Yup, you read that right. Pick a number, sit on you a$$ watching other people do stuff and you could get free cards.

While you are at JD's blog check out this post about an incredible, well-deserved prize for being a super-smart-code-breaking wizard. Leave him a comment telling him just that too!!



Stop reading.



Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tracking Information Codes On My Cards (aka How Government Wormed Their Way Into My Hobby)

For the last little while I (and apparently countless others) have been noticing an additional line of fine print on our cards. After reading a few Blog and BB posts about this quiet phenomenon and wondering myself just what exactly it was I was seeing I decided to do some research.

What I am referring to is this......

With help from a reply to the original post that made me decide to dig into this matter over at Hand Collated I was led to an apparently dark corner of the Topps website where these codes could be entered. When you enter the code you receive production information based on the item you are entering the code for.

Now, me being the geek that I am I found this to be fascinating and was compelled to find out just what the purpose of this code was. So, where does any self-respecting info-hound go when first starting out an info-search on the series of tubes known as the interweb? Yup, the fountain of all m is-information otherwise known as Wiki.

As it turns out the Consumer Product Safety and Improvement Act was a knee-jerk reaction to a series of incidents involving manufactured product from another country. In other words, because someone else produced inferior product that harmed individuals who bought said product, it was decided that legislation needed to be enacted in order to scrutinize a manufacturing process that had been working just fine.

Let me put that in terms I can understand. Due to the fact that "my brother" went out and hurt himself while riding his bike, I am now required to wear a helmet, elbow-pads, knee-pads, mouth-guard and training wheels when I go biking.

Anyway, the particular part that involves the tracking numbers we see on the backs of cards belongs to Section 103 of the Act entitled 'Tracking Labels for Children's Products'. If you are so inclined you can read the section for yourself here. For those of you who are not so inclined the gist of things is this;

Section 103(a) of the new law requires manufacturers to have a tracking label or other distinguishing permanent mark on any consumer product primarily intended for children twelve and younger. The tracking label must contain certain basic information, including the source of the product, the date of manufacture and more detailed information on the manufacturing process such as a batch or run number. The scope of this provision is quite broad in that it applies to all children’s products, including, but not limited to, items such as clothing or shoes not just toys and other regulated products. Congress modified the requirement for tracking labels with the phrase “to the extent practicable” recognizing that it may not be practical for permanent distinguishing marks to be printed on small toys and other small products that are manufactured and shipped without individual packaging.

So, there you have it. The purpose behind the mystery tracking codes solved. As any child of the '80s can tell you, "Now you know, and knowing is half the battle."