It took 364 days

11 10 2008

…but I can finally say Wax Heaven has a sponsor! Starting next week, Upper Deck will be sending out select products to Wax Heaven for product reviews and to bust on YouTube, as well as be streamed from Upper Deck’s official website.

The month I opened Wax Heaven I sent out two letters, one to U.D and one to Topps asking for free samples for review purposes but never heard back from either company. Over the next year I discovered that anytime I needed a quote about a product, had a question I needed answer, or a scan to use on my blog, I could go to Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin for help.

Part of the agreement on being Upper Deck’s official YouTube ripper is that from each box that I receive, an autograph, game-used, or both will be shipped out to a reader of Wax Heaven for free in weekly contests. You will need to register with Upper Deck’s message board (link) to do so, but trust me when I tell you it will be worth it.

Unlike previous Wax Heaven contests, all you will need to do is to reply to the message on the U.D forum for a chance to win. There will be a YouTube raffle for each contest so make sure to keep up to date with the Wax Heaven YouTube page (link) and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

The first box is expected to arrive no later than Tuesday.

Many thanks to Upper Deck for this opportunity.

-Mario Alejandro

Advertisements

Actions

Information

47 responses

11 10 2008
Brandon

Congrats!

11 10 2008
Mario A.

Thanks, Brandon. Hope you win one of the “hits” when the contests start.

11 10 2008
aybayz

nice! all the hard blogging work paid off. BTW, whatever happened to the 300,000 hits contest?

11 10 2008
Mario A.

I did the YouTube drawing but pulled the video cause the quality was awful.

The cards went out last month to this guy:

11 10 2008
Jeff

Looks like all these excellent posts have paid off. I just shamelessly begged for boxes to bust. Shockingly, I have not received a response.

I do hope to do my 23 box, yes 23 box, icons break as a video break and post them on Youtube. Should be sometime next weekend. In addition, I hope to do my 2006-07 SP Authentic Basketball case on Youtube as well. I know its not current, but it should be interesting to see me pull cards that used to be hot.

iamjoecollector.blogspot.com/

11 10 2008
Dave

This is good news, and I’m happy for you Mario, but I’ll miss your objectivity. I know, you’re going to say that you’ll still be objective. But if Upper Deck puts out a set that sucks, you can’t really trash them if they’re sending you free stuff.

You’re a great guy, and I’ll always enjoy reading your blog, but I think you just gave up your spot as the #1 voice for collectors in the blogosphere to Gellman.

11 10 2008
gritz76

If you need a place to store all the extra Cubs cards you’ll come across, I got some extra space if you need it. But seriously Congrats on all the good things happening for you. It should be interesting to see where you go in the second year!

11 10 2008
lonestarr

Congratulations man. It’s great to see fortune smile upon you.

And, uh, with respect to Dave, Gellman won’t ever be the voice of this collector. :/

11 10 2008
bapple2286

Way to go Mario!! You deserve all of the good things that come your way!

11 10 2008
David

Congrats, and if u get some extra dodgers cards you dont want I am always open for a trade. But please dont sell out for UD you have a great blog and hope it only gets better.

11 10 2008
Mario A.

Dave, I am insulted you would even think this.

For the record, I made this announcement because it was now official but out of the 10 products busted this year, 3 of those boxes came from Upper Deck. Guess what the best reviewed product of the year is? Topps Chrome.

https://completist.wordpress.com/2007/10/12/productreviews/

11 10 2008
DDoubleplay Sports/Paul

Great Mario. See man I told you all your hard work is paying off! Your doing something that you love and enjoy.Keep up the good work my friend and have a great weekend.I’m on the hunt for cardboard gold!

11 10 2008
rosschrisman2003

thats awesome Mario. why didn’t I think of doing that? 🙂

11 10 2008
O's Fan

Congrats Mario! Keep up the great articles.

11 10 2008
jl

Mario all I ask is if you choose to have upper deck sponsor the site, please keep in mind that you started this blog on your opinion of being a collector. I found this site a few weeks ago was happy about collectors own opinions on the hobby, and not being influenced by a card company. I don’t want to see Waxheaven turn into beckett.

11 10 2008
Thekswiss

Same here I found this site over the Summer and have grown to love the site, it is “the number 1 baseball card blog on the internet”. If it turns into being another beckett site I would be gravely dissapointed, but I feel I can trust you that it won’t.

11 10 2008
ManOfSteal

Congratulations Mario! I know how much hard work and effort you put into this site, and you definitely deserve it. Despite opinions to the contrary, I know you’ll have no problem continuing to be objective in your reviews of both Upper Deck and Topps. Upper Deck knew who they were getting when they agreed to the sponsorship deal, and they wouldn’t expect you too change the way you blog as a result. Now, if Topps comes around, and decides to send you free items as well, then us readers will get the best of both worlds!

11 10 2008
Dubble

It seems like human nature that your objectivity will suffer from this deal. Hopefully that’s not the case, but if you’re bashing the Upper Deck product in your first youtube video, something tells me there won’t be a second youtube video.

11 10 2008
Gellman

To those of you who are angry about this, I understand, but I think you underestimate Mario’s integrity. I guess time will tell.

11 10 2008
Dave

Hey Mario,

I’m sorry that you feel insulted by my comment. I certainly didn’t intend to offend you. I know that nothing will change your high quality of writing and judging by the reaction of others, most people really don’t care that Upper Deck is now your corporate sponsor. But really, if Upper Deck is sponsoring your blog and sending you free cards, you simply can’t go off on a rant on how terrible products like Upper Deck X, Heroes, or Piece of Crappery are. You just can’t. If you insult them, they’ll pull their sponsorship. Independent bloggers will still be able to give their honest opinions, and that’s why I said that Gellman will become the #1 voice of the “collectors”. Your blog will always be a great read but you’re going to be the voice of “Upper Deck”. That’s the consequence of taking a corporate sponsorship. It’s like in “Wayne’s World” when Wayne and Garth started being sponsored by Noah’s Arcade. They lost their own voice.

Another thing to consider is that Upper Deck is an extremely unethical company. Have you ever read the book “Card Sharks”? I just finished it recently. They never hesitate to screw over collectors in order to make Dick McWilliams’ bank account bigger. They know what they’re doing with this sponsorship. They know that your blog is the best and most widely read card blog out there. They know that they’ll benefit financially from this sponsorship and from your praise of Upper Deck products. And I guarantee you that they won’t accept anything less than praise. They do not want their chosen sponsored box breaker saying bad things about their products. They’re way too ruthless to let that happen.

I don’t blame you for accepting Upper Deck’s offer. I know how tempting that is. I would be seriously tempted by an offer like that too, but I think I would have turned it down. Your blog, and all of the good card blogs out there, is great because it’s your voice. It’s you giving your true and honest opinions about the hobby and your experiences in it. You’re better at it than anyone. But now you’re losing your voice, and replacing it with Dick McWilliams’ voice. It might be a good deal for you. Maybe you’ll get a job with Upper Deck someday, and I know that would be a dream come true for you. But for me as a reader, your blog will never be the same as it was before your announcement.

One more thing – you said you got 3 boxes from Upper Deck this year. First, you really should have disclosed that when you reviewed those 3 products. But I’m really curious, did you get that blaster with the hair cut card directly from Upper Deck?

11 10 2008
jv

First off, congratulations. Played right, this could be a huge accomplishment for the hobby as well as for those of us dedicated to blogging.

But, I have to question, which three boxes came from Upper Deck?

I would have liked to have known which boxes were sponsored, if any, when the posts were made. I don’t feel that writers have to disclose every detail of every product they review or break. But, if someone’s busting free, sponsored product, I think the readers deserve to know that information to accurately form their opinions on the subject. There is too much controversy over people and company reps busting loaded product.

I agree with Dave on this one. It’s not a matter of your objectivity up until this point. People keep making the “Gellman” connection because you two guys speak your respective minds like no one else.

The idea behind Daves’ point of view is not that you can’t be objective about your reviews but that you won’t be able to be what you’ve been if you want to continue to receive their sponsorship.

No company will willingly throw their product to someone that has the potential for and a history of honesty. Maybe they truly care what the collector’s think and will use the unbiased opinions of you and your readers to their advantage to correct deficiencies, but I highly doubt it.

I could be wrong, but this is cheap marketing to a huge audience. Plain and Simple. Companies don’t tend to advertise in publications or on sites that slam their products. They eventually pull their sponsorship and move on to people that will sing their praises.

You’re right, Gellman, time will tell. But, I’m still curious to know which three boxes you’re referring to. And if there are other boxes that you might never admit to having received. I know of one particular box that comes to mind.

11 10 2008
Jason Ballew

It means that Mario’s taking the step from being just a ‘blogger’ to a ‘Reviewer’.

Like it or not, reviewers (of any product) get free product for review purposes, or get to test out review product (for the expensive stuff). Movie reviewers see free movies, food critics eat free meals, game reviewers get free games.

Sports card reviewers should get free cards.

Now, the product should be exactly the same as any other product shipped to any distributer, and not specially packed (like the Beckett stuff).

But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Mario getting free product for review. That, and he’s giving away one GU/AU from each box he busts. If he remains objective, this is nothing unusual.

To the person who said this:

No company will willingly throw their product to someone that has the potential for and a history of honesty. Maybe they truly care what the collector’s think and will use the unbiased opinions of you and your readers to their advantage to correct deficiencies, but I highly doubt it.

I have this to say:

Explain that to every movie reviewer and game reviewer out there. I’ve reviewed plenty of crap games, that I received for free, and told the unbiased truth. I’ve rated games as low as 21%, and yes, I got that game FOR FREE.

What everyone is failing to realize is that for most companies, products given to reviewers are essentially /advertising and marketing/. So UD sends out a $100 box to Mario. They know that if the product is even halfway-good, that that $100 is going to turn into thousands of people reading his opinion. And if it’s a good product in Mario’s eyes? They’re going to buy the product. So that’s $100 spent to receive probably thousands of dollars. A good investment, in most people’s eyes.

Of course, part of the problem is that everyone is jaded by Beckett, who is /not/ objective at all. All I can say is give Mario the chance before you jump all over him.

And Mario? Congrats.

11 10 2008
Dave

Jason – it’s different from movie and food reviews. In those cases, the reviewers watch the same movie and eat the same food as anyone else. I don’t trust Upper Deck to not give out loaded boxes, as they have done with Beckett.

Another thing – Mario is only reviewing free products from one card company. Knowing Upper Deck, I don’t think they’d send free product to him if Topps or Donruss-Playoff were doing it too. They’re looking to gain an advantage over the other companies here.

I trust Mario, and I hope that’s clear in my comments – it’s Upper Deck that I don’t trust in this deal.

11 10 2008
Mario A.

I have to admit, I am completely shocked anyone would question my integrity. You are looking at a guy who has turned down several advertising requests, including one last week that wanted to pay me upfront for a year just for me to mention their sports betting website in posts once a week. The money was good but I said no. Keep in mind that I have been unemployed since last Monday.

I pulled a “Haircut” card out of a blaster that I paid for and rather than praise U.D, I blasted them for their printing error and even sent a letter to them letting them know I was no pleased. Keep in mind that this was a card I planned on selling. What makes you think if I had no problem sabotaging something that would get me cash, that I would be scared to do it because I’d lose free boxes of cards?

https://completist.wordpress.com/2008/09/02/upper-decks-little-error/

To anyone that believes that receiving free products from Upper Deck or any other company will make me a “sell out” for fear of losing such a deal—please jump over to the Sports Cards Blog Directory and find yourself the next “Voice of the Collector”. I have nothing to prove to anyone who doesn’t believe what I say. For the record, these contests that I am going to hold will be going out on my own dime. The only reason I approached U.D was because right now I cannot afford a single box of ANYTHING and I expected the readers to know that it wouldn’t mean every single U.D box would suddenly be the greatest release ever. I guess I was wrong about some of you.

As far as the products I have received in the past, they were SPx, U.D S.1, and Goudey. 90% of those “hits” went in trades or as free cards just like these new boxes will, to those who wish to participate. If you don’t, it’s not my problem. If you choose to get your card blog news/articles from someone else…well, that is your choice to make.

I know what my plans are and ultimately, what will be of Wax Heaven.

11 10 2008
fakehorsemuffins

Very cool Mario!! Congrats..

11 10 2008
jv

Jason, good points. And I agree….

I don’t think anyone has a problem with Mario’s decision and EVERYONE is waiting to see him prove the naysayers wrong by remaining as objective as he’s ever been.

But, let me ask you. Those games you reviewed, did the publisher have the ability to throw in extra ass kicking levels in the copy you reviewed? Do movie studios amp up the graphics or the audio for reviewers so that you have a “better” experience? Do, cookie companies add more sugar to their free samples? No. They could, but they don’t.

But, card companies can, have, and will load their products for reviewers. So, Mario can be as unbiased and objective as he wants. If he’s getting preloaded product, well, fill in the blanks…

11 10 2008
Dave

Mario, I’m sorry to hear about your unemployment. I look forward to your reviews, and I hope that you are as unbiased as you have been in the past. I just don’t think Upper Deck will keep sending you free boxes if you are…

11 10 2008
jv

Exactly, Dave!! That’s what I’m trying to say. If anyone’s on a Cross, it’s Upper Deck…Not Mario…. You pull what you pull.

I pulled my Babe Ruth G/U from Goudey last year. Let’s say I were in the same boat as Mario right now. If I had bought my blaster, busted it for the world to see, and then a little over one month later took the position of official UD YouTube Ripper, EVERYONE would question either my integrity, UD’s integrity, or both. It comes with the territory.

But, let me go on record as saying this. It’s not Mario’s fault if they send him loaded product. He’s simply taking the position of opening it. It’s Upper Deck’s fault for misguiding the public. If Mario opens it knowing prior that it’s loaded then that’s another can of worms.

Unless if you can prove that Mario didn’t purchase the box from a retail store and that the Blaster was loaded then anything other than speculation is off the table. But, speculate all you want and question his integrity and call him a liar. That’s freedom of speech and is only censored if he decides to disallow any comments. That’s his freedom of speech.

Mario, you say the blaster came from a retail store in the video for it. Then I believe you. You open it and seemed genuinely shocked at the card. I believe you.

But, if my own father pulled this card out of a box and then took UD’s sponsorship, in the back of my mind I would wonder. If you still had the receipts for the purchase of the blasters then that would put the whole stupid debacle to rest.

11 10 2008
Gellman

Ill tell you guys one thing, you have automatically made it that much harder for Mario to give anything a good review. If he does, thats it, the hounds will be released.

11 10 2008
The Infamous Tatiana

You know, everyone. I am severely disappointed in most of you. Mario has had this site for exactly one year tomorrow. How many times has he “sold out” or kissed ass? We have received free product from Upper Deck before and not one of the three boxes were packed with an “authentic A-Rod auto” or a piece of Albert Pujol’s jock strap. Mario reviewed each box and graded them accordingly. He wasn’t concerned that Upper Deck would never send him another free box, he was honest and stated his opinion’s, and look what came of that. Upper Deck has now decided to sponsor. Obviously, they don’t have a problem with Mario’s honesty and they certainly don’t doubt his integrity. They find Mario’s large “fan base” to be incredibly attractive and see that giving him free boxes to review would in turn be beneficial for them, as well as the common reader.
So please, if you are saying stupid things because of envy… keep your comments to yourself, or if you are genuinely concerned that Mario will officially “sell out”, how about you just wait patiently and see what happens rather than acting like wolves and tearing him apart before he even has a chance to say a damn thing.

Shame on you people.

11 10 2008
DDoubleplay Sports/Paul

TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU TATIANA! MARIO IS A CLASS ACT ALL THE WAY!
DON’T WORRY ABOUT ANYTHING MARIO KEEP DOING WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO MAN! I ENJOY READING YOUR BLOG! LOOK YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE.
PLUS ME AND 50,000 OF MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS HAVE YOUR BACK. THE KIND YOU CAN COUNT ON WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN! NO PUSSY NEEDED TO APPLY HERE! DON’T HATE!! CONGRATULATE!!!

11 10 2008
Dave

I think I’ve said enough here, but I just want to say that if anyone believes that I was attacking Mario, please let me know. I think that I have rationally expressed my concerns, and if I was attacking anyone with my comments, it was Upper Deck. Call me crazy, but I just don’t think they’ll tolerate anything less than praise for their products if they’re sending out free stuff. I’d love to be proven wrong.

11 10 2008
Dave

Maybe I should re-frame my argument so that it can’t be misconstrued as an attack on Mario. If I entered into a sponsorship agreement with a card company and they sent me free boxes, I would feel pressure to only write good things about that company, and I wouldn’t feel right about it. Mario and most of the other commenters here obviously feel differently. Good luck Mario – like I said, I am happy for you, and I can’t wait to see your box breaks!

11 10 2008
Johnny

Congrats Mario! I look forward to seeing your box breaks on youtube!

11 10 2008
jv

Wow. How do I always find myself in the middle of these shit slinging matches?

Mario, good luck with your Upper Deck venture. Here’s to hoping you’ll stay as unbiased as you’ve always been and that Upper Deck will take the high road and send you random boxes of product to review…

But, I only have faith in one of those statements being true. Anybody that can’t sit down and read the post and the comments and know which of the two I’m leaning towards is a jackass.

12 10 2008
thehamiltonian

Good luck with it, Mario. Its an excellent opportunity for you and your blog. I’m looking forward to reading the reviews.

12 10 2008
Jeff W

Good for you Mario, although I really thought a reader sent you SPx and I thought that was cool. Keep doing what you do. While I always knew you were an Upper Deck homer, Goudey is far superior to Chrome. Just jokes, but in all seriousness if you guys are worried you got the wrong guy. I made fun of him being a UD homer multiple times and really thought nothing of it, but this guy comes back with a retrospective reply that was very self aware and honest. He owed me nothing, and owes us nothing, but who takes the time he does to respond thoughtfully? If I were him I would probably say F that Jeff W guy, or Jeff W is a funny mf-er, but I sure wouldn’t take the time he does. Besides, if he is a sell-out, more to blog about for you guys eh?

12 10 2008
JBob

I couldn’t help but think you deserve this, you’ve worked tirelously to make this passion of yours a reality. A truly proud day.

12 10 2008
Holy Hitter

Mario-

Congrats. I don’t have a problem with your sponsorship and figure you will be objective….my only question is this…(semi-serious…mostly joking)

I wonder how Upper Deck feels about sponsoring with you having your “Blogger Card” in Topps Design?

Kudos and I hope all works out employment-wise for you.

12 10 2008
Edwin

Just keep blogging Mario. Welcome to UD and whoever wants to jump in. You’re doing a good thing for the hobby. That’s what we need right now.
Rgds,

12 10 2008
Rob

WOW….Congrats! I just joined the UD blog. Good Luck

13 10 2008
DMS6391

Sweet! Great news as I have been reading your blog for a while and really enjoy it. Congrats…you deserve it!

13 10 2008
JRJ

Mario – I think the UD sponsorship is cool – congrats, but I wish they weren’t sending you the boxes to open. Unfortunately, it opens you up to criticism if you get a “loaded” box like Beckett seems to have and got beat-up for.

I’d rather see Upper Deck send you a voucher that you can take to a card store and buy the box off the shelf. Or set up a system where you submit an expense report to get reimbursed after buying the box somewhere else. Otherwise, the first loaded box you get post-sponsorship won’t look good.

Congrats again.

13 10 2008
gritz76

WOW, All this over baseball cards. I see it like this, it’s like when my buddy worked at a pizza joint and always stole beer, he stole the good stuff, he had a lot of it, and he always shared! Everyone was happy. Don’t we all come to our own conclusions on what to buy and what not to. No offense Mario, but I’m not buying this or that just because I want to be just like you (or the clowns over at beckett for that matter). No one is. This really shouldn’t be an issue. If he likes it he likes it, if he don’t, he don’t. Take it for what it’s worth, it’s his opinion. Go to the store and form your own if you want one. He’s just opening the product and showing us what it is. I’d rather see Mario than the topps ripper any day, But I do expect you to make a custom suit coat just for the occasion. Keep writing, keep trading, and just keep on keepin’ on.

13 10 2008
Eric Slette

A little late to the party, but congrats man, that’s awesome. Hopefully this affords you the opportunity to get your hands on some Marlins that have been alluding you. Guess I better start looking for oddball Miller stuff to trade you in exchange for all the YSL and other Yankee cards you’re soon to be pulling!

Congratulations again!

13 10 2008
jl

I agree with Mario, but agree with the people. I hate Upper Deck. I have always hated them. They are sneaky, they do take advantage of collectors, and are very self centered. I say give it a try and let the hits fall where the fall. But if you get a super rare 1/1, a cut signature, or something that falls 1 per 2 cases, then get ready for the bashing to begin. I was a avid collector, I have dreamed for a blog page like this for years. I finally found a light to vent the fustration on the hobby, I always hate corporate sponsorship they have a control effect. Mario let me be honest, I love this site, but as a former collector Upper Deck is why I left collecting.

17 10 2008
Mike Smith

Mario, I somehow missed this thread and just came across it. Awesome news! I have absolute 100% faith that you remain objective. Congratulations!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: