One of my readers hit me up on email the other day and let me know that there would be a little something on the way in the mail. Michel, another set collector from Texas, decided to help me out with a couple sets and also threw in a few surprises as well. If anyone has ever traded with Michel, then you know that he is one of the great traders out there and will always surprise you with what he sends. Let's take a look.
As you can see by the picture, there are some 2010-11 Score and Donruss Hockey in this mix. You can also see part of my 3 year old's face in the corner there. He is always curious when new cards come in.
First, the 2010-11 Score Hockey. I had 145 cards left to complete the set. This set overall has been a bit of a disappointment for me. When the original sneak peeks were released earlier this year, I had some high expectations for this set. Yes it is a low-end product. Yes it is probably meant for the kids because of the low price point. But, with a design reminiscent of the 1990-91 set, this was sure to be a hit with 30 something year old collectors that remember the "good ole' days" of collecting.
Then the set was released and after some quick buzz, a lot of set collectors, including yours truly, realized that this was falling a little flat in a few areas. The biggest issue for me was the sheer size of the set compared to the collation in the pack out. At 550 base cards, a box will only net you 252 cards. With each pack containing a glossy parallel - 36 (just like the football counterpart) and every two packs containing an insert or rookie, it is a bit tough to put together since most boxes are only going to get you 195-200 base cards. The other issue was the lack of the rookie redemptions to which Panini later scraped their plans without telling collectors and included the cards in the pack out, but short printed the top players instead. I've already addressed my enthusiasm for that idea.
Now, I'm not saying I don't like the set as a whole. It has that epic 90-91 design that helped launch many collector's down their hoarding, I mean collecting, path 20 years ago. There are also some nice inserts for a low end product including the Snow Globe Die-Cut cards, the Net Cam cards which feature a photo from the net cam angle, and the Canada/USA Greats cards. After 10 rack packs, 2 hobby boxes (although I don't think there is a distinction between hobby or retail), 2 blasters, I still don't have a complete set. So, Michel sent me 21 from my list.
The next few were from the 2010-11 Donruss Hockey set. I am down to 9 on this set because of some great deals on rack packs at Meijer. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that despite the low-end nature of this release, this might be my favorite Panini set so far this year (that isn't saying much). The design is simple, the photography is good, and the backs actually attempt to mix it up a bit, departing slightly from the typical Panini-esque card back. I think I have already reviewed these before and said that I wasn't too thrilled by them. For some reason, however, these have continued to grow on me. I think that is due to the insert sets. The Les Gardiens set, the Ice Kings, Tough Times, and Elite inserts are all well done. At any rate, Michel sent me 6 from my list so I am down to 3...Nick Lidstrom, Evander Kane, and Kyle Okposo.
Finally, the surprises were once again, a plethora of Pittsburgh Steelers for my team collection. Did I mention they were in the Super Bowl? Did I mention it was for the 8th time? Did I mention that...nevermind. Here is what was in there...
2010 Topps Chrome Maurkice Pouncey and Rashard Mendenhall
2010 Topps Platinum Mike Wallace, Troy Polamalu, and Rashard Mendenhall
2010 Topps Prime Troy Polamalu and 2010 Panini Threads Rashard Mendenhall
2009 Finest Hines Ward
Thanks for all the good stuff, Michel. I will be searching thoroughly for some stuff off your lists.