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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Goodwin Hockey Champions

Because there hasn't been another release yet this year for hockey...that is 2012-13, and mostly because I was bored, I decided to get a couple blasters of 2012 Goodwin Champions with a gift card that has been eating a hole in my wallet.

I'm a sucker for retro themed sets and this one is intermixed with all sorts of players from all the major sports, NASCAR, boxing, golf, Olympic competitors, wrestling, etc.  But I am mainly interested in the hockey players that are intermixed in here.  I have heard there are somewhere between 16-20 different hockey players mixed into the checklist from the 1-231.  There are also a whole host of parallel versions, mini versions, mini parallels, and of course the memorabilia and autos.  I will say this now, I didn't get any memorabilia or autos but I did get some interesting cards.

I got a total of 9 different hockey cards in the box.  First we have the Eric Lindros featuring a baby-faced Lindros from the 1991 Entry Draft where he was picked by the Quebec Nordiques in the infamous decision that they made, despite Lindros' adamant stand against playing in Quebec.  He held out that entire season and basically forced the Nords to dish him to the highest bidder...Philly.  The did end up with Forsberg in the deal and about $15 million, but in hindsight, this was the death knell for hockey in Quebec.   
I didn't find the actual picture this was from but I found a shot from the event.  
See, there he is now with that awesome tie of his.  

Since these are all paintings or caricatures of the players, some of them are a bit rough in comparison to their actual likeness.  Take Mr. Brett Hull here for example.  I'm sorry, but he just looks a little drunk to me in that picture.  On the other hand, there is an excellent painting of Brian Leetch in a suit with a lapel flower at a podium in front of the American Flag.  This was from his induction into the hockey hall of fame. 


And the Luc Robitaille lacing up his skates on the locker room bench is a very good artist rendering of the Hall of Famer.  That one is as "old school" as you get with the wooden bleacher benches with the vents underneath.  Old time hockey for sure.

The next grouping features some interesting subjects.  First, we have Jonathan Huberdeau, the third overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Florida Panthers.  He was named MVP of the 2011 Memorial Cup, leading his QMJHL team, Saint John, to the Championship.  He also led Team Canada to the Gold in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament back in 2010.  Huberdeau has yet to play a shift in the NHL but is surely going to make an impact on a Florida team with a lot of budding talent (I say that with much sarcasm). 

Next we have Captain Crunch himself, Mr. Wendel Clark.  He sports the ever-fashionable bloody eye in this photo.  I found the shot that this probably came from, although he is in a different pose in the painting.  All-in-all it is a pretty good wendering...get it, wendel, render. 


The next card I had no idea who it was at first.  I actually thought it was Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite (without the mustache).  Then I thought, "Why would Uncle Rico be in this set as "Uncle Rico" instead of as himself, the actor Jon Gries?".  To which my response was, "Why would Jon Gries be in this set?".  And then I though, "And where is his mustache?".  It was then that I read the heading and saw it was Mike Bossy, the Islanders Hall of Famer.  Now it makes sense.  That guy has four Cups.  FOUR!

Not this guy.  Mike Bossy.

Finally, we have the NHL discipline czar, Brendan Shanahan.  I'm going out on a limb here to say this one was taken after winning the Stanley Cup with Detroit.  He has the sweater already torn off and his pads showing.  He is sporting the playoff goatee.  And he is saying that he is number one.  On second thought, maybe it is the Dictator.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Check It

Panini has once again resurrected a dead insert set.  This years 2012-13 Score release has reintroduced to the world to the Check-It set.  This punishment themed set coincides well with the NHL's new policies that crack down hard on the very existence of what this set glorifies.

Fine by me.  Checking is a vital part of the game and a well executed one can be the most exciting moment of any game.  They can change the momentum.  They can get a crowd into a game.  They can make a statement.

Back in 1995-96, Score made their statement, unleashing this set onto the world.  Let's take a look.


Then again in 1997-98, Score's Pinnacle release, their "high end" at the time, brought back the set for a second time.  As many of the Pinnacle release inserts, they went all out in their presentation with a holofoil printing (I don't think it was dufex because that wasn't invented yet...I could be wrong).

Fast forward fifteen years to 2012-13 Score and we have it again.  These are the only two I have.

I like these sets, I like the subject material, but I don't like the photos.  Why?  How many of these cards actually show a check being dished out?  I count 4.  The rest of these are events either before, after, or some kind of awkward positioning.

A few of the highlights here...

Chris Pronger gets the honor of being here twice (only because I had them handy).  The first one features him cross-checking Troy Loney into the boards.  The second one has him holding down a NJ Devil player (although I don't know who that is)...NOT CHECKING.  Jagr is shown digging a puck out, more than likely by the boards..NOT CHECKING.  Brind'Amour is in the middle of a spin move in his synchronized skating event with his partner...NOT CHECKING.  Dino Ciccerelli is mugging a Ranger with a half-nelson, sleeper hold move...I'll give them that one.  Derian Hatcher is about to give a slough foot to Paul Kariya...NOT CHECKING, YET.  Owen Nolan is doing something, I'm not sure what, but it isn't CHECKING.  It looks kind of like he just avoided being checked.  Maybe a better name for this set could be Awkward Positioning, or Penalty Potential.

Any thoughts? 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Franchise

Panini brought back another set in this years Score Hockey called The Franchise.  I don't remember these ever being in the hockey release at this level.  The Franchise subset had always been comprised of mostly all-star players and the main stars from each team.  This years set does have more of the same.  But Panini added a retro-themed Franchise set very similar to the design I remember from back in 1992.  The only difference was, that set was in baseball.  Here they are now...

 There was also an autographed version of these as well as a triple panel card with 3 autos.  But I'm not talking about baseball here.  Let's take a look at this years set.

These are the regular Franchise cards.  They are all horizontal oriented with a large team logo about the size of a POG (remember those?) and an action shot of the player.  Honestly for me these are not very appealing, kind of a bland design, and for the most part...boring.

But the retro-themed Franchise are a different story. 

This set is a 6 card set (they are all here) that was originally thought to only be in retail boxes but I pulled all of these out of hobby boxes.  There are also two checklists that are a much harder pull.  Each of those features three of the players together. There are redemption autographs on each of these that are numbered out of #/10 and are practically impossible to find.  I haven't seen any on the Bay yet but I'm sure they are out there and will fetch a hefty tag.

I think it's interesting that the Bobby Hull that I pulled isn't the same as the original preview release.  I wonder if the preview card is the autographed one?  Who knows?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Retro Legends, Batter-Dipped

You know, I have been trying for the life of me to figure out what these cards reminded me of.  When I pulled the first one, I felt there was something familiar about them but I couldn't put my finger on it.  I looked through my guides and my vintage card box, thinking I may have come across something like these, but nothing popped out at me.

I'm talking about these 12-13 O-Pee-Chee Retro Legends cards and their colorful yet quirky design pattern.

Here is what I mean...

But it donned on me as I was watching reruns of Pawn Stars this evening.  These wonderfully ridiculous cards remind me of ...

Those wonderfully, delicious breaded meat tubes that I used to love as a kid but can't stand the sight or smell of now.

I can't even walk past one in a mall without wanting to throw up.  Literally!!  I'm not kidding.  I hate hot dogs.  I saw them being made person (the hot dogs, not the hot dog on a stick).  Live!  It wasn't pretty.  And while I generally live by the philosophy that anything is better batter-dipped, deep fried and put on a stick, even I can't stomach these concoctions.

But the uniforms...That is what these remind me of.  The hats specifically.  Even Bathgate and Doug Wilson up there have hair shaped like those hats.  

So forever, these O-Pee-Chee Retro's shall be know as the "OPC On A Stick" cards.  At least, that's what I am calling them.  Feel free to use that term as well. 

(Sorry, ladies. If you are in any of these pictures and are offended by being compared to a hockey card, I totally understand.  I will remove you from the page if requested to do so.  But you should be more careful about what pictures you let the Google Search Engine find of you in your work clothes.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Sticky

2012-13 O-Pee-Chee has a bunch of retro designed insert stickers.  They are very colorful.  These can be found about 1 per every 3 packs in hobby boxes and 1 in 6 in retail.  There are 100 cards in the set mixed with both current and past veteran players.

Here are my stickys...

And that concludes my parade of stickys.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Shiny

2012-13 O-Pee-Chee has lots of shiny.  They fall about 1 in every 4 packs.  There are regular shiny.  There are Marquee Rookie and Marquee Legend shiny SPs.  There are also black border shiny numbered #/100.  

Here are my shiny...


This concludes my shiny.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Some new PC love

I posted about my EPIC Pirate card the other day that I just added to my PC.  But that isn't the only thing I have been adding.  I have increased all four of my player PCs and Team PCs by about 100 cards (total not each) or so over the last few weeks.  Here are just a few to show some PC love...

The new CORNERSTONE of my Bill Guerin collection is this Be A Player Autograph of Bill Guerin.  As you can all see, Billy G is sporting his holiday best in his NHLPA Bauer sweater and matching Santa hat.  While not the most scare of his autos and certianly not the most valuable, I have wanted this card since I started collecting Guerin.  Why?  Just look at it.  It's freakin' cool!  Billy G is still young (I think this was still with the Devils), he looks goofy (possibly drunk), and he's wearing a Santa hat.  Did I mention he is wearing a Santa hat?

I have been sort of "hawking" many of the young stars in the Penguins system as of late.  I am not sure why since I started my Eric Tangradi collection about a year ago and he has still to crack the lineup on a permanent basis.  Brian Strait here as well as Joe Vitale saw a lot of ice time last season, especially Vitale.  These guys are pieces to the puzzle for the future development of the team.  We will see how well they fare this season (IF THERE IS A SEASON!! DAMNIT!!). 

I also found this nifty dual auto Simon Despres and Joe Vitale Titanium card you see here below.  These are numbered out of 50 and are sticker autos.  Unfortunately for me, the Despres was signed off the sticker so his signature is kind of cut up.

I picked up another Billy G auto as well.  This is another Be A Player auto from the Millenium Signature Series.  This is a Gold Parallel version of the auto, or at least I thought it was until I realized that all the autos in this set are gold.  Boy did I feel stupid.  Either way though, it is a nice card with a nice graph.

Here are a couple of James Neal cards.  I haven't officially made him a part of my PC yet but I have been considering it.  What irks me is that ever since they did the James Neal NHL:36 special, the fact that he has exploded production-wise on the line with Malkin and Kunitz, and the fact he is in a bunch of product from 2008 on up, his cards are selling way higher than they should.  Lot's of bandwagonners out there I guess. 

The one on the right is from the 08-09 Ovation set.  It looks kind of like Artifacts too which is strange.  I don't recall if I had any of these but looking back, it's probably because they were issued 50 cards per tin and sold in retail stores.  The one of the left is another Yellow Parallel from 2009-10 Champs.  Only, look close above the crossed sticks.  See those?  Those are Kudo Antelopes.  They look like deer with curly horns.  This is the Yellow Animal Parallel version and was seeded about 1:80 packs, a hard pull indeed. 

This came out of a pack, which came out of a hobby box of 2012-13 Score that I picked up from some dealer online who I can't even remember anymore.  It was either D&A Cardworld or that fairly new site WizWorldDeals.  Either way, I bought three boxes of these, thinking I would make a considerable dent in finishing a base set with rookies.  Oh, how wrong I was.  Out of three hobby boxes (which logically thinking would have came from the same case) I am still over 200 cards short.  Pathetic if you ask me.  But now I have lots of doubles, including this guy right here.  This card sort of reminds me of the old Dream Team cards from Score...or even the Bo Jackson from 1990.

What PC post would be complete without mention of a couple Mario Lemieux cards.  Both of these came from hobby boxes of the newly minted 2012-13 O-Pee-Chee.  The best set is back once again to torture me and take up valuable space on my Set Needs page.  Here we have the Mario Pop-Ups card which seem to fall one per box but I have seen some, including one of my own, result in two or three.  The other card is the Marquee Rookie Legend SP Silver Shiny Foilmajig.  It isn't black so there is no serial number but definitely a much harder pull than the other basic foil parallels.  Love those retro yellow sweaters with matching helmets.  They have to bring those back.

And last but not least is this Elite Series Gold Foil Sidney Crosby.  So many scratches and dust particles show up in this scan that it really looks ugly here.  In reality, this card is pretty sweet.  It's also nice to see a recent card of Sid where the picture chosen isn't one of him sporting his splotchy playoff beard growth.