Saturday, November 18, 2017

K-Mart saves the day

This past week, I took Tuesday-Thursday off. It was kind of weird to take three mid-week days off, especially during a busy time. My wife traveled for work, and without family members able to come down to help with school drop-offs and pick-ups, I just decided to burn a few extra vacation days and stay home.

On the final day, I decided that I'd swing by Target after I dropped off each kid at school. I was hoping to look for a a few card products, in this order: Topps Chrome Mega box, Topps Fire, Topps Update.

Here is what I found:
No baseball cards. Ok, I should clarify. There are two baseball cards. A blaster of 2016 Series One, and a bunch of untouched Mets team sets. Plus some baseball stickers. Meh.

Now on one hand, this is the cleanest I've ever seen the card aisle at this particular Target. Usually it's a mess and has a cart filled with all the store returns just sitting there.

On the other hand, baseball cards were sold out. In speaking with someone in the industry recently, he told me what a huge year it was for cards. Obviously this is the Judge/Bellinger effect, but the hobby is strong right now. This is a good thing. I don't want cards to be a scarcity, but it's good seeing them fly off of the shelves versus collecting dust like the hockey cards.

Disappointed, I headed to the toy aisles and picked up a few small Christmas gifts for the kids. Cruz Ramirez and Hudson Hornet McQueen!

On the way home, I decided to stop at a local shopping plaza that has a Dollar Tree and K-Mart. I went into the Dollar Tree first to see if they had any of their repacks. Bone dry.

I then went to K-Mart, and luckily found some Update. Salvation!

They had two 36-card jumbo backs and two 72-card hanger boxes. For some reason, K-Mart doesn't participate in the same pricing as the other big box store, as the hangers were each $12.99 instead of the standard $9.99. I decided to buy the two jumbo packs and leave the hanger boxes.

Overall, I did pretty well! This is the very first card that greeted me.
I also snagged this HR Derby Bellinger, and three Judge cards total, two of which I didn't have. Those are certainly worth the price of the packs.
This Gary Sanchez was new for me as well.
I was happy to see these guys get some Update love. TTM fodder for the spring! Higashioka is a great signer. I'm not sure about Torreyes. I sent to him once without success.
Is this the first card to feature a dab?
Lastly, a few more solid pulls. I thought the Rizzo was a buyback, but it's actually a Rookie Cup insert.
I still wish I would have gotten a Mega Box, but my two packs ended up being pretty darn good from K-Mart. Not a bad way to end my mini staycation.


  1. K-Marts in these parts have long since closed their doors. The baseball cards in the aisles at our local Wal-Marts and Targets have seen non S1 & S2 product fly off the shelves.
    Thought about going out yesterday to pick up some Topps Gallery, but if the last four months have proven anything, it's that I already missed my opportunity by not going the first day it was set out.

  2. Am I seeing that right, 2017 Topps baseball factory sets for $19.99?

    1. I think those were just in the wrong spot. While it was a neat display, it was not organized.

  3. All of the Kmarts in my area are gone and my Walmart doesn't have a card section. Target is my only saving grace.

  4. There's a couple of Kmarts around here, but it's been years since I've been to one since they are pretty far outside the city's core. The last time I made it to Wal-Mart (last time ever?) they had replaced their card section with fidget spinners. So it's pretty much down to Target and Fred Meyer (grocery chain owned by Kroger that also has a Target-like assortment of non-groceries) for me.

  5. Eeesh, the 2017 Update set makes me sad ... Kmart just closed down where I live. My Target and Walmart this year is much like what you saw. It's cleared out of baseball. I rarely see people in the card aisle so I'm suspecting they're not stocking baseball like they once did -- too much demand elsewhere, or hmmmmm, is it an attempt to drive prices up?

    1. I thought this Kmart was closing too. A few weeks ago it was nearly empty, but somehow it's still up and running and pretty much restocked throughout the store. Their card area is putrid, but hey, at least there was something to buy.

  6. Soon all K-Marts will be closing (and Sears). While I was at home I swung by Walmart, loaded with BB cards. I definitely experienced sticker shock on the Gallery $70 plus tax for 100 cards OUCH.