(Here is another in a long line of posts that were started yet never finished.)
We yet again have another box from Atlanta Sports Cards, another box from the National, another box from a time when I wasn't collecting, and another box from Pacific. Anyone see a theme brewing with these box breaks lately?
The hobby boxes of Heads-Up had the unique inclusion of a bobble head doll inside each box. So obviously, the boxes are fairly large. Back when these came out, it was a novelty that collector's hadn't really seen before and the set was quite popular. I remember seeing a dealer some years later that must have had 40-50 of these from the abundance of boxes that they opened. Most of the figures are listed for between $15-25 but there are a few of the major stars of the time with a $40-50 price tag. Of course I wasn't fortunate enough to pull a big name. Can you guess who was in mine?
Here's a hint...
It's none other than former Edmonton Oiler, Mike Comrie. Hooray!! Too bad it wasn't a bobble head of his wife. Come to think of it, she is kind of like a life size bobble head. Okay, moving on.
As for the base cards, this is a 125 card set that once again features the mirror foil background printing. The players this time, however, are featured in an action shot with the background blended into the foil and the player in the foreground. The team name and player name and position are along the bottom stamped in gold foil. The backs of the cards have a color scheme that goes with the team, there is a small headshot photo of the player in the upper corner (different from the front shot) and a brief bit of info about the player. Although stats are summarized, they do show the previous years worth of information.
There are quite a few parallel versions of the base cards. You will find randomly inserted into packs, Red at about 1 per box, Blue at about 2 per box, and Purple that come about 1 per case. Although they are parallel, the mirror foil isn't what is colored, despite how cool that might have been. Its the foil stamped team and player name that are the other colors. Also, each parallel is serial numbered on the back, Red #/80, Blue #/240, and Purple...I don't really know. They aren't listed. There are examples of the Regular, Red, and Blue in the images above.
As for the Game Worn Jersey cards, they are all Quads. There are a total of 36 and they feature four players from the same team on most cards, as well as some creative groupings on some of the higher numbers. The main cards feature a silver border around the sweater pieces and are not serial numbered. There is, however, a gold version that is numbered /30. These are listed anywhere from 2-3 times their regular counterparts because of their scarcity at not quite 1 per case.
Gold Parallel Jersey Version (Front & Back)
Regular Jersey Version (Front & Back)
As for inserts, Head First features players that have been recently drafted to their prospective teams. These show up about 1 per box. There are also Inside the Numbers cards which break down a players stats on the front and back and have a concentric circle design imprinted into the mirror foil background. The backs are also a little different than the base card design.
Stephen Weiss Head First...of all the cards you have to be kidding me.
This is the Inside the Numbers insert. I actually pulled two Haseks, not different cards either. Yes, my friends...Insert duplicates!!
Post Season Picks fall about 1 per box and a half and have a a player on the front that is generally a role player come playoff time. The cards are also mirror foil but have a two picture shot of the player in action and a headshot on the front with "Post Season Picks" imprinted into the foil. Showstoppers is another all goalie set that falls about two per box with 20 cards total. The backgrounds look like a mirror hockey net with the player on top. These have a very clean looking design. Finally, Stat Masters fall about 1 per case and the super rare 15 card set of Etched In Time are all serial numbered and fall about 1:289 packs.
Overall, I think the set itself could have used some work in the design category but for my money, the inserts are top notch. I like any set that features a goalie only insert and the Showstoppers are really well put together. The Postseason Picks cards are really well done too, although my scan doesn't do them justice. The Inside The Numbers cards I could have done without and the Heads Firsts seem to be lacking something but I'm not sure what exactly. I think the GU cards are really well done and the inclusion of a short printed gold version makes them even nicer in my book. Player selection is a bit iffy but anytime you get both Sedin's on a card, you are doing okay (still not a fan though). The bobble head is a great concept but I'm a little disappointed in my player selection. I was actually hoping to pull the Johan Hedberg which I have seen before in my LCS. I wonder if he will trade Moose for Comrie straight up? Hmmmm?
I say, great value box with insert appeal and novelty. If you can get one under $35 pick one up.
Here are the vitals from the box.
90 Cards/Box + 1 Bobble Head Doll
76/125 Base Cards (61%)
6 Inserts - 2 Showstoppers (Thibault, Joseph); 1 Postseason Picks (Yzerman); 1 Head First (Weiss); 2 Inside The Numbers (both of them Hasek, which seems to be a mistake since I got 91 cards instead of 90...Weird!)
2 Quad Game Used Jerseys - #15 Montreal Canadiens (Berezin/Koivu/Theodore/Perreault); #27 Vancouver Canucks GOLD VERSION #'d/30 (D. Sedin/H. Sedin/Cloutier/Bertuzzi)
3 Parallels - 1 Red (Doug Gilmour); 2 Blue (Denis Arkhipov, Mark Recchi)
1 Bobble Head Doll - Mike Comrie