Today, we're celebrating our country's 236th birthday, so let's bust the box of 1992 Skybox Team USA Basketball I purchased at the card show a couple of weekends ago.
The Box: Thirty-six packs in a box.
Each pack contains 8 cards, which means I should get 288 cards in the box.
The Base Set: The base set contains 110 cards. Each of the first ten players selected to the team (Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton) are featured on 9 different base cards, while the four coaches (P.J. Carlesimo, Chuck Daly, Mike Krzyzewski, and Lenny Wilkens) each have two cards in the set.
There are also two checklist cards (#99 and #100) and the final 10 cards are part of a subset called "Magic On", where Magic Johnson comments on his teammates.
I'm a huge fan of the overall card design which features full bleed photos with a USA Basketball logo on the front of each card. The photos range from action to portrait shots and there players are pictured in their regular and all-star team jerseys.
Card backs include a variety of information: career statistics, playoff statistics, all-star game statistics, as well as rookie year and best game summaries.
Overall, this is a pretty cool set if you're a basketball fan. The only downside is that Skybox neglected to use photos of the players in their USA jerseys on the front of the cards.
Unfortunately, if you're looking for cards of Clyde Drexler or Christian Laettner then you're out of luck.
The Inserts: Inserts may have been around for decades, but the insert revolution started in the early 90's. So it's no surprise that Skybox included a few chase cards to this product.
First, there's the #NNO Plastic Team Card that's similar to a credit card and features a photo of the first ten players, along with a brief writeup of The Dream Team on the back.
Skybox also randomly inserted autographs of David Robinson and Magic Johnson. According to Beckett, these autographs aren't certified... which I assume means that Skybox had the two sign cards without any COA, stickers, or stamps to distinguish them from regular base cards.
The Results: I didn't pull the plastic team card or either of the autographed cards, but the box produced two complete sets and 68 cards towards a third set.
So kudos to Skybox for their excellent product collation.
The Contest Within The Contest: Are you ready to win some points? Here's what you need to do:
Step 1: Pick a player (no coaches or checklist cards).
Step 2: Guess how many cards I pulled of that particular player (that includes the "Magic On" subset cards) from the box. Here's a hint: take into consideration the # of sets I built & the number of cards per player in the set.
Example: Michael Jordan - 15 cards
1 Point - I'll reward one point to everyone who takes the time to submit a guess, but fails to make a correct guess.
3 Points - I'll reward three points to everyone who comes within one card of correctly guessing the correct total.
5 Points - I'll reward five points to everyone who correctly guesses the number of cards pulled for their particular player.
-1 Point - I'll be deducting one point to people who don't participate. I apologize to those who are on a holiday vacation, but it's time to weed out some of the "one & done" participants.
Comment moderation has been turned on to hide everyone's responses. Why, you ask?
A. I don't want people to intentionally guess the same as others in the contest.
B. I'll be rewarding bonus points to people who select the player who is the "least popular" in the group. In other words, if Joe Schmo is the only one who chooses Michael Jordan, he will receive bonus points for being unique.
Best of luck. I'll be accepting contest submissions until Friday at 3pm (PST). I'll post the results from this mini contest as well as a contest update on Saturday.
Happy 4th of July and sayonara!