Monday, October 14, 2019

Hobby Shop Review: The Iron Lion (Colorado Springs, CO)

This spring, I had the absolute worst experience I’ve ever had at a hobby shop. It occurred at the Iron Lion in Colorado Springs. I had driven up from Denver with my two sons, both of whom are autistic. This detail will become very important later on in the story.

A few weeks prior, I had dropped off some sports cards for them to look at. It was a very nice lot valued at over $4,000; however, they were not interested in them. It took me a few weeks to get back down to the Springs, since I am very busy. I’m sure that this upset Shelby, the co-owner of the store.

The last time we visited the shop, we had mixed feelings about Shelby. My wife wanted to leave a negative review that very same day. I decided to give her a chance. As usual, my wife was correct.

Shelby brought out my two boxes pretty quickly. She even tried to give me a third box that belonged to someone else. Unfortunately for me, I am too honest and couldn’t accept it. I told her that I had a small box of Funko Pop Vinyls that I was interested in trading. There were only four items in the box, so it shouldn’t have taken long. Shelby acknowledged me and proceeded to help several other customers.

Remember those two sons of mine? Here is where they come into play. My oldest, Parker, was looking at the Funko Pops, deciding on what to buy. He was very well behaved. Beans, whose Christian name is Sawyer, began to have a difficult time.

Beans’ autism is more severe than his brother’s. He didn’t speak much for the first three years of his life. While he has made a ton of progress, he still has a long way to go. Beans wanted to play with the “toys” in the store. Apparently, he doesn’t understand the concept of “collector’s items” at this stage in his young life.

I had to keep my eyes on Beans at all times, so he wouldn’t destroy anything in the store. That task became more and more difficult as time dragged on. He was getting cranky and began crying loudly. All the while, I kept hoping that Shelby would finally get to me. She knew I was waiting, but she kept assisting other customers instead.

Perhaps Shelby doesn’t have children, but she should have been able to sense my frustration. The tone in my voice was growing more desperate by the minute. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally asked Shelby what was going on. Her answer still chills me to the bone.

Shelby proceeds to inform me that she wasn’t buying or trading at the moment. Unfortunately, for me, she never communicated this to me.

At this point, I’m pretty angry. In fact, I’ve never been angrier at a retail establishment. If she wasn’t buying or trading, then why didn’t she just tell me to begin with? She told me that she had decided to “look them over anyway.” Great, but that still didn’t explain why she let me suffer that whole time. Her response to that was equally discouraging. She thought I was simply “browsing.”

Talk about a poor reading of a situation. Yet, things could have been still been patched up. She had several options that would have placated me at the time.

· She could have offered store credit for the items that I had brought.

· She could have offered a discount on a future purchase. (After all, Parker had wanted to purchase an item.)

Either one of those options would have justified the long drive to and from Colorado Springs. Sadly, Shelby did not offer any type of restitution. In fact, like President Trump, she “doubled-down” and made the situation even worse. Much, much worse. As I walked out, completely empty-handed and having wasted my Saturday afternoon, she told me to “have a nice day” in the snarkiest of all voices imaginable.

“Have a nice day?” I almost blew my top like Mount St. Helens did in 1980. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and I did not do something that I would have regretted later on. Needless to say, Parker did not purchase his Funko Pop. Nor have I ever returned to the Iron Lion and even Colorado Springs for that matter. That’s right; my experience with the Iron Lion was so disastrous that it had ruined an entire city for me! Be wary when dealing with this store. They know nothing about customer service and treating people with dignity and respect. Who knows. Perhaps Shelby is practicing for a future position with the Trump administration!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

2019 Topps Fire Box Break with 2019 Donruss Optic Mega Box & 2017 Topps II Blaster Box

This break will be scheduled once it is 50-75% full. I usually break around 10pm MST. It will be broadcast live on Periscope (channel: batcavelv1)

Here are a few of my "rules."
1. Cards featuring now defunct teams will go to the new franchise. For example, Montreal would count as Washington.
2. Multiplayer cards will go to the team of the player featured on the top/right side of the card.
3. Cards without MLB teams (such as USA, minor leagues, etc.) may be distributed as I see fit.
4. Commons from any "junk wax" product are only sent at the buyer's request.
5. Any commons can be donated to my students. They would surely appreciate them.

I will be opening the following products:

1. 2019 Topps Fire hobby box (2 hits per box)
2. 2019 Donruss Optic Mega box (1 auto per box)
3. 2017 Topps II blaster box (1 relic per box)


Here is the pricing structure for the break:

One team $7.50
Two teams $14
Three teams $19.50
Additional teams are $5.00 each

You may use this link to send payment: paypal.me/TracysBoxBreaks

Available Teams
1. Arizona
4. Boston
6. Chicago (AL)
7. Chicago (NL)
15. Miami
16. Milwaukee
17. Minnesota (Stephan?)
18. New York (AL)
19. New York (NL)
20. Oakland
21. Philadelphia
23. San Diego
27. Tampa Bay
28. Texas

Unavailable Teams
1. Colorado
2.  Los Angeles (AL)
3. Cleveland-Chuck
4. Toronto-Chuck
5. Atlanta-Mike D*
6. Baltimore-Mike D*
7. Kansas City-Mike D*
8. Washington-Mike D*
9. Seattle-Augustine
10. St. Louis-Kerry*
11. Cincinnati-Jeff G*
12. Los Angeles (NL)-Erik*
13. San Francisco-Erik*
14. Houston-Charles*
15. Detroit-Kerry*
16. Pittsburgh-Kerry*

* = paid

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Cards for Sale (or Trade)


1. 2006 Topps Brewers Team Set


2. 2008 & 2010 Topps Marlins Team Sets

3. 2017 Panini Player of the Day Football Set (30)
 

4. Sports Illustrated for Kids Lot (10)

Includes various collegiate athletes.

5. 1999 Upper Deck Powerdeck Lot (21)
Auxiliary Power (with AUX- prefix)
2 (McGwire), 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19 (Bonds), 21, 23, 24, and 25.
Power Deck CD-ROM

11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19 (Bonds), 21, and 23



6. 1982 Superstar Lot (19 of 50)

46, 48 (Musial), 50, 52, 61 (Ruth), 62 (Gehrig), 63 (Koufax), 67 (Cobb), 69 (Namath), 70, 72 (Jackie Robinson), 73, 74 (Unitas), 75, 78 (Paige), 80, 82, 84 (Wilt), and 90 (Mantle)

7. 2016 Topps Marketside Lot (26 of 50)

2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 18, 22, 23, 25,  39, 30, 31 (Stanton), 32, 33 (Nola RC), 36, 38, 39, 42, 43, 44 (Pujols), and 45 (Kershaw)




8. 2016 Topps National Baseball Card Day (24 of 50)

4 (Trout), 5 (Harper), 9, 10, 12, 17, 19, 21, 24, 25 (Nola RC), 26, 27, 30, 31, 34, 36, 37, 39 (Schwarber RC), 40, 43 (Ichiro), 44, 46, 47, and 50 (Bryant)




9. 2002 UD Collector's Club Set (20)

A-Rod, Bonds, Ichiro, Jeter, Pujols, Griffey, and more!





10. 2018 Topps National Baseball Card Day (14 of 32)
NTCDG-1 (Judge), NTCDG-2 (Hoskins RC), 2 (Betts), 4, 13-16, 18 (Rizzo), 22, 24-25, 27, and 30.




11. 1987 Hygrade All-Time Greats Orange Border (5) + Rare & Famous Reprints (5)
Gerhrig, Ruth, Wagner reprint, and more!



Tuesday, May 28, 2019

2019 Bowman Mega Box Break + 2019 Topps Series 1 Blaster Baseball Mixer (Random Division)

This break will be scheduled once it is 100% full. I usually break around 11pm MST. It will be broadcast live on Periscope (channel: batcavelv1).

Here are a few of my "rules."
1. Cards featuring now defunct teams will go to the new franchise. For example, Montreal would count as Washington.
2. Multiplayer cards will go to the team of the player featured on the top/right side of the card.
3. Cards without MLB teams (such as USA, minor leagues, etc.) may be distributed as I see fit.
4. Commons from any "junk wax" product are only sent at the buyer's request.
5. Any commons can be donated to my students. They would surely appreciate them.

I will be opening the following products:

(3) 2019 Bowman Mega Boxes
2019 Topps Series 1 blaster box



Each spot is $25.00. You may use this link to send payment: paypal.me/TracysBoxBreaks

Once everyone has paid, I will schedule a day for the break. Before the break, I will randomize a list of the six MLB divisions six times and match them up to the "Unavailable Teams" list. You will receive all of the cards from the division that matches your number spot.

Unavailable Spots
1. Chuck
2. Augustine*
3. Mike D
4. Chuck
5. Tracy
6. Tracy
* = paid

AL EAST
AL CENTRAL
AL WEST
N L EAST
NL CENTRAL
NL WEST

Here are the results of the randomization:
1. AL CENTRAL 1. Mike
2. NL CENTRAL 2. Tracy
3. AL EAST 3. Tracy
4. NL WEST 4. Chuck
5. NL EAST 5. Chuck
6. AL WEST 6. Augustine




Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Tristar Hidden Treasures Baseball Break w/ 2019 Topps Opening Day Mega Boxes & 2016 Holiday Box

This break will be scheduled once it is 50-75% full. I usually break around 10pm MST. It will be broadcast live on

Here are a few of my "rules."
1. Cards featuring now defunct teams will go to the new franchise. For example, Montreal would count as Washington.
2. Multiplayer cards will go to the team of the player featured on the top/right side of the card.
3. Cards without MLB teams (such as USA, minor leagues, etc.) may be distributed as I see fit.
4. Commons from any "junk wax" product are only sent at the buyer's request.
5. Any commons can be donated to my students. They would surely appreciate them.

I will be opening the following products:

1. Tristar Hidden Treasures Autographed Baseball
2. 2019 Topps Opening Day Mega Boxes (2)
3. 2016 Topps Holiday Box


Here is the pricing structure for the break:

Choose one (1) team from List A and one (1) team from List B for only $15 (unless otherwise noted).

You may use this link to send payment: paypal.me/TracysBoxBreaks

Available Teams




List A

Angels $17 (Ohtani, Trout)

Tigers (Verlander) $12

Red Sox $13

Dodgers $13

Giants $13

Cubs $13

Orioles $11


List B

Blue Jays

Rays

Royals

Twins

Rangers

Brewers

Diamondbacks

Unavailable Teams
1. San Diego
2. Colorado
3. Mariners-Augustine*
4. Nationals-Augustine*
5. Yankees $17-Chuck
6. Phillies-Chuck
7. Indians-Chuck
8. Mets-Chuck
9. Reds-Jeff*
10. A’s-Jeff*
11. Astros-Charles*
12. Marlins-Charles*
13. Braves $13-Mike D
14. White Sox-Mike D
15. Cardinals-Kerry*
16. Pirates-Kerry*

* = paid

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Best of 2018 Baseball Box Break Topps Update Chrome Stadium Club Opening Day

This break will be scheduled once it is 50-75% full. I usually break around 10pm MST. It will be broadcast live on Periscope TV (channel batcavelv1).

Here are a few of my "rules"
1. Cards featuring now defunct teams will go to the new franchise. For example, Montreal would count as Washington.
2. Multiplayer cards will go to the team of the player featured on the top/right side of the card.
3. Cards without MLB teams (such as USA, minor leagues, etc.) may be distributed as I see fit.
4. Commons from any "junk wax" product are only sent at the buyer's request.
5. Any commons can be donated to my students. They would surely appreciate them.

I will be opening the following products:

1. 2018 Topps Update Chrome Mega Box
2. (2) 2018 Topps Update Chrome Value Packs
3. 2018 Topps Stadium Club Retail
4. 2018 Topps Opening Day Value Pack Box




I can't afford to do a lot of giveaways with this break, but I can offer the following items:


When 15 spots sell, I will random off one of the above prizes. Just to be clear, the tin will be empty.

If 20 spots sell, I will random off both items!

Here is the pricing structure for the break:

One team $7.50 (except for NYY)
Two teams $14
Three teams $19.50
Additional teams are $5.00 each

You may use this link to send payment: paypal.me/TracysBoxBreaks

Available Teams
1. Arizona
6. Chicago (AL)
8. Cincinnati
10. Detroit
15. Miami
16. Milwaukee
17. Minnesota
19. New York (NL)
20. Oakland
22. Pittsburgh
23. San Diego
27. Tampa Bay
28. Texas
29. Toronto

Unavailable Teams
1. Los Angeles (AL)
2. Colorado
3. Houston-Charles*
4. New York (AL)-Charles*
5. Seattle-Augustine*
6. Chicago (NL)-Augustine*
7. Boston-Augustine*
8. Atlanta-Mike D*
9. Baltimore-Mike D*
10. Washington-Mike D*
11. Kansas City-Mike D*
12. Cleveland-Chuck*
13. Philadelphia-Chuck*
14. St. Louis-Kerry*
15. Los Angeles (NL)-Erik*
16. San Francisco-Erik*
* = paid

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Baseball Box Break Mixer w/ 2018 Optic Mega Box + 2017 Topps A&G Wal-Mart Bundle + 2006 Tristar P.P. + Vintage Cello Packs

This break will be scheduled once it is 50-75% full. I usually break around 10:00 P.M. MST. It will be broadcast live on

Here are a few of my "rules"
1. Cards featuring now defunct teams will go to the new franchise. For example, Montreal would count as Washington.
2. Multiplayer cards will go to the team of the player featured on the top/right side of the card.
3. Cards without MLB teams (such as USA, minor leagues, etc.) may be distributed as I see fit.
4. Commons from any "junk wax" product are only sent at the buyer's request.
5. Any commons can be donated to my students. They would surely appreciate them.

I will be opening the following products:

1. 2018 Donruss Optic Mega Box (Target exclusive) [20 exclusive Shock parallels + 10 exclusive Bronze parallels]
2. 2006 Tristar Prospects Plus retail box [1 auto]
3. 2017 Topps Allen & Ginter Wal-Mart Bundle [1 blaster, 1 fat pack, and 5 exclusive WM cards]
4. 1988 Topps/Donruss Cello box [Each spot purchased entitles you to one sealed pack. Since many of the packs contain stars on top, you will receive the sealed pack(s) of your choice. These will be available on a first come, first served basis. See list below for which packs are still available.]

Giveaways!!!
I will be giving away the five exclusive Wal-Mart cards (Kershaw, Bryant, Posey, Miggy, and Correa) from the Ginter box as well as a Max Scherzer RC (with dinged corner) and an Ohtani redemption rookie card. I will randomize the the teams list one time. The top 7 spots will draft the card of their choice!






Cello Packs Claimed
1. Gwynn (COL)
2. Gant 88D (ATL)
3. Gant 89T (BAL)
4. Ventura 89T (KC)
5. Murray 88D (WAS)
6. Ozzie Smith (STL)
7. Mattingly 88D (SEA)
8. Ripken 89T (PHI)
9. Yount 89T (OAK)
10. Meads 88D (HOU)
11. (SF)
12. (LAD)
13. Ryno 89T (CHI)
14. Schmidt 89T (BOS)
15. Puckett 88D (MIL)
16. Petry 88D (CIN)
17. Puckett 89T (MIN)

Here is the pricing structure for the break:

One team $7.50
Two teams $14
Three teams $19.50
Additional teams are $5.00 each

You may use this link to send payment: paypal.me/TracysBoxBreaks
Available Teams
1. Arizona
5. Cleveland
6. Chicago (AL)
10. Detroit
15. Miami
19. New York (NL)
22. Pittsburgh
23. San Diego
27. Tampa Bay
28. Texas
29. Toronto

Unavailable Teams
0. New York (AL) [This spot will be given away for FREE if 20 spots sell!]
1. Colorado
2. Los Angeles (AL)
3. Atlanta-Mike D
4. Baltimore-Mike D
5. Washington-Mike D
6. Kansas City-Mike D
7. St. Louis-Kerry*
8. Seattle-Augustine
9. Philadelphia-Augustine
10. Oakland-Augustine
11. San Francisco-Erik*
12.  Los Angeles (NL)-Erik*
13. Houston-Charles*
14. Minnesota-Stephan
15. Boston-Matthew*
16. Chicago (NL)-Matthew*
17. Milwaukee-Matthew*
18. Cincinnati-Matthew*
* = paid