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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Quick Trade Post

Then, vacation. 

Just wanted to do a quick trade post from a package I got from my good friend Dave over at Wax Stain Rookie.  Dave does a nice job on all of his posts and video breaks.  You should check out his site if you don't already do so. 

Dave and I have been working on a trade that would send another familiar face my way for a small sampling of recent rookies.  We finally came to an agreement and as his cards are still (assuming) in-transit as mine were rescued from their yellow paper sleeping chamber yesterday.  Here you go.

What's better than a Mario Lemieux rookie card?

The answer is obvious.  TWO MARIO LEMIEUX ROOKIE CARDS.  This would be the second one I've added to the PC in less than two months.  My goal of four is half way complete.  This is another Topps version.  It isn't perfect but who cares?  It's a Mario Lemieux Rookie Card for cardboard god sake!  I think I may even try to get 6 of them now, and 6 O-Pee-Chee ones to go with it.

Also in the package were a few other cards for the old player collection PCs...

A few Billy G's.

Both featuring his stint with the New York Football Islanders.  I do already have both of these but again, I don't care.  I have some sick obsession for Black Diamond cards.  I don't know why.  Also, I think I have enough of these MVP cards to try and put the set together.  Although, do I really want to start another set that I may never finish.  Heck, I might already have it started for all I know.  I'm so unorganized.

The BAP Billy is one that I did not have.  Guerin as a Shark are hard to come by, especially in the "non-frankencard" variety.  You know what I'm talking about.  Great addition to the PC.

Finally, he was kind enough to throw in one of the rarer finds.  It's the 1997-98 Pinnacle Mint Die-Cut Jaromir Jagr Ultra Buyback Redemption Update card; a true Ebay 1/1.  It has been updated to reflect recent events.

Thank you to Dave at Wax Stain Rookie.  Hopefully you will get the same enjoyment out of your end of the deal.

I'm finally taking a well needed vacation for about a week or so to go visit family so posting will cease.  Not that I have been regularly posting anyway but...

Thank you and good night.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Box Break - -2002-03 Pacific Heads-Up Hobby

(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.

Box Breakdown:

18 Packs/Box
5 Cards/Pack
90 Cards/Box + 1 Bobble Head Doll

I pulled:

76/125 Base Cards (61%)
3 Duplicates
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

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2011-12 Parkhurst Champions - A Little Bit Of Everything For Everyone

I don't normally do card release previews but when I read and saw these I just had to throw out my 2 Cents.  Upper Deck has decided, once again, to revive an old brand, that being Parkhurst.  This year, they will release Parkhurst Champions for the first time and from the looks of it, maybe not the last time either.  I know this might be old news to some of you but I just stumbled upon these little gems and thought I would share with those of you that are like me and 2 months behind. 

Parkhurst Champions is going to be another set that we all either love or hate and that is a retired player set.  Being that it is Upper Deck, we should get all the greats including Gretzky, Howe, Orr, Lemieux, and well that was it.  There were only 4 "greats" the rest are just "pretty goods".  The base card design is similar to the past Parkhurst retired player releases of Upper Deck in that it shows either a black and white or color photo of the player with a crisp full-bleed photo.  They also added a marquee of sorts at the botton with the player name and team that gives the cards a nostalgic yet higher end feel.  The base set is 100 cards and has an all-autographed parallel set. 

What I am interested in seeing is the Champs cards that have been inserted.  As most of the hockey collector's are already aware, Champs made a quick exit from Upper Deck's stable of releases after only 2 years on the market.  For those of us that have been building complete sets, the reintroduction of Champs to the market can be either a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it.  First off, it's not a regular release.  You can't go and buy packs or boxes and bust away until the cows come home.  The cards themselves will be the mini's, inserted at a rate of one per pack in the Parkhurst set.  Secondly, there are once again short printed versions, Green Backs (like before), Green Back short prints, Parkhurst Backs, and the rarest of the lot, Parkhurst Back short prints.  This makes a master set next to impossible. 

Also included are the mini signatures that have been a big hit with collectors because of their simple design, clean cut look, and of course on-card auto.  These will have a Red Parallel version #'d/5.  But what Champ's set would be complete without the world famous Fossils & Artifacts cards that are inserted once again at a rate of about 1:1,280 packs.  Those are always interesting once they finally start getting mailed out and go up on auctions. 

Another resurrection of sorts are the Parkhurst Masterpiece Sketches and Renditions series inserts.  Renditions are set to fall about 2-3 per box and will feature an artist interpretation of one of the many legends that don the checklist.  The Sketch cards will #'d/10.  There will also be a rarer black and white parallel in addition to B&W and Color autograph versions.  Upper Deck's Masterpieces was always a great set and holds traction in all sports.  I have always wondered why they haven't brought it back since it's popularity is sky high.  Now at least we will get a crack at seeing it again, even if it's only an insert. 

The most interesting thing about the set in my opinion are the Wire Image cards that are being inserted.  These feature the wire image photo of a major event by each player depicted.  I know a few collectors out there that actually have quite extensive collections of Wire Photos.  These used to be locked down by the services that sent them for many years but in the last 10-20, we have seen an explosion of original photography surface from larger organizational sales as well as private collectors.  Upper Deck has brought this idea to the card sets and featured some of these photos just like they were intended. 

Oh, and did I mention there were autographed versions of these as well?  Basically, there are autographed versions of everything in this set.  

My original plan was to only start with the main Upper Deck set this year and the O-Pee-Chee if there is one.  I think I may add this one to the mix as well.  Each box will have on average two "hits" one being an autograph.  There will be up to 5 wire photo cards with at least 1 being a multi-player photo, 2-3 Rendition cards with the potential for the Sketch or Auto version, and 20 Champ's mini-cards with endless parallel potentials. Already you can find pre-sells on these in the $70-90 range.  Release date is set for October 20th.