I'm awakened at 9 a.m. by my buzzer.

Huh? I'm not expecting any visitors. And it seems WAY too early for FedEx or UPS. Only it isn't. For some reason, New Balance always sends stuff via "as-fast-as-possible-don't-wait" overnight. What came was a shoe-sized box, and what was in it were these: the Limited Edition Comic 480.

And here, in part, is what they had to say about them:

New Balance has designed a limited edition "Comic" version of the 480 shoe model which offers a unique pattern with a classic style. New Balance is collaborating exclusively with Foot Locker/Foot Action on this limited edition 480.

LAUNCH: Limited release in Las Vegas: 2/15; select U.S./int'l: 3/23

MSRP: $100

New Balance worked with a comic book artist to commission the artwork used on the 480. ... The New Balance "Vol. 1" Comic shoe has Tyvek materials incorporated into the upper to convey the sense of paper—complementing the black and white artwork and red detailing on the tongue and outsole.

They don't mention the name of the artist they worked with, and the art isn't really enough to give it away (at least to me it isn't). But the Tyvek panels are a cool idea, and the 480 is a shoe that takes different colorblocking well (like most classic New Balance runners). Look for a lot more from them this summer.

That wasn't all, though. About 10 minutes after the UPS guy left, there was a knock on my door. Did I forget to sign something? No, this time it was a messenger bearing more gifts, this time from adidas. Inside a silvery backpack, I found these:

Now, these aren't just the standard Miami Heat pair from the NBA Superstars collection. This pair has the "WORLD CHAMPIONS 2006" gold lettering embossed by the stripe—which makes them one of 96 pairs that were originally released exclusively at Miami's Shoe Gallery. (OK, 96 pairs were probably RELEASED, and I'm sure there were a bunch more floating around adidas headquarters. But still.) Which is why they'll probably stay in the box as part of the collection rather than see the outdoors.

Well that, and I'm a Bulls fan.