Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cardshpere Heroes! a Custom Nine set

You know me; I like making my own custom cards. Instead of just randomly spitting out cards here and there, I wanted to group them together somehow. I had toyed with the idea of "putting out my own set" (just tiny runs of like a dozen copies consisting of 50 or so random custom cards) but ultimately I decided that'd be biting off a lot, and what I'm going to do instead is make a few small sets of 9 cards each, or what I'm calling a Custom Nine. Basically like little insert sets to a nonexistent base set.

Nine is a great number in the card world because such a set fits in a standard 9-pocket page. Plus you can ship 9 cards in a PWE. And I can set out to make a set of 9 cards without getting too overwhelmed, and I can keep the topics fresh with what interests me. The tricky part will be either, 1) trying to come up with nine subjects, or 2) having to narrow it down to only nine subjects. But I'm excited about this idea and hope to have some fun with it going forward.

The inaugural Custom Nine that I'm announcing today is called Cardsphere Heroes! Many of you have already received one of these cards in the mail from me as a surprise holiday gift.

2015 Cardsphere Heroes features players beloved by prominent bloggers.

Here's the checklist:
1. Tony Gwynn
2. Luis Torrens
3. Robin Yount
4. Barry Larkin
5. Ken Griffey, Jr
6. Tim Wallach
7. Andrew McCutchen
8. Ron Cey
9. Tino Martinez

I had to leave off several legit candidates, so apologies if your #1 guy isn't among the nine. But hey, I'll probably do another Cardsphere Heroes set in 2016 with 9 different guys.

As for the design, I just went with a simple, Stadium Club like approach, trying to find cool photos of the guys that I hadn't seen on cardboard before. The backs have a second photo and a little write up. Being this is the first actual "set" type thing I've tried to do, it was a learning experience and the cards aren't perfect, but overall I'm happy with how they turned out.

I got cute and made every Cardsphere Heroes card a 1/1 parallel. They're distinguished by a star on the back and the color ink used to hand-number 1/1.

Holostar black ink 1/1
Holostar blue ink 1/1
Holostar red ink 1/1

Glowstar black ink 1/1
Glowstar blue ink 1/1
Glowstar red ink 1/1

Most of the cards have only those 6 parallels, however I "double printed" the Griffey and Gwynn with 6 additional 1/1s, each with a shiny green star on the back. (These guys have a lot of collectors out there, so I wanted to have enough to spread around.)

Greenstar black ink 1/1
Greenstar blue ink 1/1
Greenstar red ink 1/1
Greenstar purple ink 1/1
Greenstar green ink 1/1
Greenstar orange ink 1/1

Anyone interested in any of these can get in touch with me about a trade.

I've already got several ideas for more Custom Nines kicking around that I hope to do in 2016. One idea that seemed to get some traction in the comments of my recent "buying/selling cards on the blogs" post was the idea of creating a set featuring prominent bloggers. That's definitely an intriguing suggestion. It's sort of like the Cardsphere Heroes idea (though for the record, I've had this set in the works for months). A set of bloggers could be tricky trying to narrow down to 9 top bloggers. If I had to come up with a list myself, I would inevitably feel bad about leaving people out. Maybe I'll wait till the year-end awards (Will the Bip Awards be back this year, I wonder?) and try to work out with whoever runs them to share the top 9 vote-getters for Blog of the Year with me. That could solve the "who to feature" question. But even then, I imagine not everyone would want their picture on a card. Some folks are private when it comes to stuff like that, after all. But maybe they could do something like Fuji (South Park version of themselves) or jaybarkerfan (dressed up in a costume). Hmm. Well, any thoughts on a blogger set, please feel free to share them in the comments below.


  1. I like how the backs mention the cardsphere blogger each player is linked to. Very nice!

    I'm not sure how you could finagle a cardsphere set. I'm sure there are more than a fair amount of bloggers who would like to be included.

  2. I like the blogger idea. Would be cool. I have the card of jaybarkerfan and put it in my binder. But as you pointed out, how do you narrow down the amount of bloggers. Maybe a contest of somesort or random or something of those interested.

    Cool cards you made by the way. Bet Griffey looks amazing.

  3. I really love how Torrens is in the same set as a bunch of really established major leaguers who had pretty good careers. 8).

  4. These look excellent - I look forward to seeing your next project!

  5. MAN! These are awesome! Mine came in the mail today, top notch stuff! I can definitely tell why card companies keep trying to recruit you. Couldn't have picked a better guy for the 1st card either.

  6. This is a very cool idea, I just got mine thank you so much. You come up with some of the best ideas.

  7. Great stuff all around Gavin! Love my Griffey!

  8. Brilliant! I'm gonna have to put in overtime to make my new blog prominent enough for Fergie Jenkins to make the 2016 or 2017 set!

  9. These are so awesome! I opened up your packaged and was stoked to see the 1/1 orange ink Gwynn. Actually... all of the customs you sent are super duper amazing. Thank you so much! Hope you have a great holiday season.

  10. Sorry I missed this. Now I have to figure out which Parallel I have. Thanks Topps! I mean, thanks Gavin!