Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Super Heroes of Chicle

Before continuing this post, just a reminder to rock the vote for the worst autographs competition. My Northwest Passage division is listed on the sidebar. Remember that you are voting for the WORST autograph of the matchup. Sweet sixteen is looming. There are also some visual example in an earlier post this week for your review. Thanks!

While on my hunt for nine 2007 Bowman Heritage refractor cards at Cranky's shop of horrors, He casually mentioned the release of Chicle. I have been going hobby box bonkers lately, so he was playing the odds that I would go crazy over the stuff. Truth is, I have been watching the "hits" that have been dropping on eBay, and thus far I am less than impressed with the product and its offerings. Some of the images are absolutely horrendous, and the image of Jacoby Ellsbury truly terrified me. Who the hell is that guy? I decided this is a product that I would not chase.

However, I was curious enough to snag one pack while on my mission at Cranky's. I wanted to compare it to the Bowman Heritage packs for artistic quality, guess who won?

But there is actually a chance that I will buy a few more packs of this, or maybe even a blaster.


Because I think that the major strength AND weakness of this set is the various artists melting pot of images that create the set. Some are clearly more dominating that the others, some are far too familiar, and some are just way off-base. Here are the "Super Heroes" of National Chicle (at least my one pack).

"The Tounge"

AKA Don Higgins. Not only am I fairly sure that the nose of Jason Bay is completely wrong, but I was drawn to the tounge on each of these cards. Yup, both were created by Higgins, so now I am curious if there are others out there.
Hmm. Is this a coincidence? Check all your Higgins cards now and either verify or debunk the myth. Either way, if it's true then I gotta have nine!

"The Shadow"
Here is a very nice Eddie Matthews by Paul Lempa... and another Joba Chamberlain by Lempa as well, though I am pretty sure that it is mislabeled as an Oakland Athletic named Brett Anderson. Either way, both images show incredible shadow detail that really stand out. I like both, even if there is a Yankee in Athletics clothing.


Jeff Zachowski created the next card. Javier Vasquez. There is only one sample of his work here, but my suspicion is that Jeff is the psychodelic colors and fluffy cloudy artist of the bunch. Further testing is required.

"Dependable Man"
Brian Kong created the Hank Greenburg. Nothing against Kong per say, just that we have seen his work for years now, therefore the images aren't as fresh as the other guys. We will call him "dependable man"
"The Closer"

And finishing up with my favorite of the bunch...Dave Hobrecht. If I can give myself one reason to run out and grab a few more packs of this set, it is because of this card of Orlando Hudson. The colors, shadow, shine and facial detail are amazing! I definitely need to see if other prints hold up to this example...thus I shall refer to Hobrecht as "The Closer".

There was also this in the pack.

A creepy little Juan Francisco auto! I think on-card autos are terrific, but I am pretty skeptical of the autograph subjects. I know there are probably a few superstars in the set, but the sampling I have seen in box breaks and on eBay are mainly AAA and AA staples that are pretty much no-names. Again, I am sure there are good cards to be had, and on-card autos are always nice, but at least to this point I would say that the "hits" are less than impressive....and the relic cards remind me of Neopolitan ice cream...there, I said it.
So there you have it. I came into this product ready to tear it apart, but am actually curious enough to buy a bit more packs to fill out some binder sheets, which is the whole point of the product to begin with, to sell product.

Overall, I would say that this is a strong blaster product, but I would be pretty hesitant to throw down for a hobby box.


  1. I've traded a few e-mails with Dave Hobrecht. His stuff looks great. He did the sketches all in black & white - the color was added by Topps.