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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Last Post Before 2011 - - A Review Of My 2010-11 Hockey Experience

I have been posting quite a bit more on the Garage lately because of all the weird cards I have been finding.  Soccer cards, Johnny Mize HOF cards, some of the first custom cards of all time, and some crazy holograms have all been discussed.  But, what about my normal collection?  Just because I have half the free world's worth of cards in my garage doesn't mean I haven't been working on my own collection.

I don't have a whole lot to post as far as pictures go.  In fact, I have none.  I was going to take the time to scan in a bunch of my cool pulls from this year's hockey releases thus far but what is the saying...the road to failure is paved with good intentions?  That's me.  Actually, nothing has really gotten me that excited to be honest.  But again, that's not to say that I am not doing my part for the hobby.

Victory was first this year.  It's always first.  It's also the cheapest...well until Choice comes out.  Victory was a quick build.  It is a 200 card base set and I was able to put this together fairly quickly.  I still need a few rookies but my rack pack theory worked out for me on this one.  It helps when you pull the packs from the same box too, so no doubles.  But no one cares about Victory.  They are cheap, boring, and fail to live up to any hype other than being the first release of the new year.  In fact, they aren't "real" cards in the minds of many and are simply ignored by half the collecting public.  I like them though.  My favorites were the Red Parallel version available in rack packs.  They look nice in an album. 

The first "real" packs of the year were Certified.  I'll be honest, I wasn't a fan when I saw the previews but I had to have something new.  I picked these up right after the big acquisition so I was a little spent.  There was a deal so I took it.  Fortunately (unfortunately) for me, I busted a "hot box".  I am a set collector so this kind of sucked since, as most of you know, a hot box is basically all parallel cards.  I got a few decent cards, a redemptions for a Cal Clutterbuck auto, a couple nobodies sigs, and a few GU cards including an Ovechkin I could have done without.  Overall, I think the set didn't shy too far away from their football releases and thus, was a bit boring for me, despite the hot box.  My LCS dealer was nice enough to give me a pile of base that another "HIT ONLY" customer left behind. burned me once.

Up next was Score.  I really liked these when I first saw them.  I really, really did.  But after two Hobby (actually I don't think there is a difference) boxes, a few rack packs, two blasters, and a few loose packs, I am not a fan.  First problem was the fact that the redemptions that were promised as part of the sell sheet were missing.  After contacting Panini, their excuse was that they pulled them all at the last minute in favor of inserting the players that were available into packs.  Of course these were short printed so they fall only 1 or 2 per case.  You do the math.  Not happy with their customer support as they offered up the typical "that's only a guide and not a guarantee of collation" answer.

As a set builder, you would think I was well on my way to a complete set.  Well you would be wrong.  In fact, at this point, I think I have more doubles than I do toward my set.  Good Grief!  I think I need a couple hundred cards still.  In the two boxes I opened from my LCS, half the second box was dupes of the first.  Don't even get me started on the "glossy" vs. regular cards that you have to tilt at a 45 degree angle to tell what set it comes from.  I know it is supposed to be a low end product but come one, Panini!  As far as I'm concerned, you burned me twice.

Oh, but you wouldn't fail me, Upper Deck, would you?  The flagship Upper Deck set has been in my collection since the beginning.  I have most of them, have parts of others, and vow to complete the chronological history of Upper Deck base in hockey one time in the near future.  Each year, the Upper Deck set is the pinnacle of the hobby when it comes to quality of design, value, and variety.  So would this year disappoint?  Well, I went with my rack pack theory once again, only this time it backfired.  I picked up half from one box and another portion from another and I believe a couple from a third.  Sure enough, I ended up with quite a few doubles, even some triples, in fact 1 quadruple.  I'm 43 from a 200 card base set and even farther from the Young Guns as they seemed to be few and far between.  I am still happy with the set.  I love the retro parallels that hearken back to the days of 1990-91 when Upper Deck was the new kid on the block.  My only criticism is they are on a much more flimsy card stock than the base cards.  So we have one winner in my book.  One out of four.  Not good.  (Although Victory is a "you know what you are getting" set so maybe one out of three is a better ratio).

Since my head hurts, I'm sick, falling asleep, and relishing in the fact that the Eagles are getting beat by a horrible Vikings team, I will continue this little rant later with my foray into Black Diamond, Artifacts, and O-Pee-Chee.

To Be Continued....


  1. I got Score, Victory, and UD doubles... hit me up, we'll swap.

  2. I was just looking for some insights into the new hockey releases since I've been out of touch. I guess Panini is only disappointing if you had marginally high expectations. Since I didn't have those, it's about what I thought it would be.

  3. I feel the way you do about Score. I was excited at first, ripped 3 hobby boxes, and now, meh. I guess I'll complete it someday...


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