Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Cup!! That Holy of Holy's...the proverbial Grail of the sports card world was released back on August 30th to it's annual massive fanfare of praises, jaw drops, and eye ball pops. And from this collector's standpoint, it was quite impressive.
I have never been a big proponent of The Cup because as a standard-type run of the mill collector, there just usually isn't the coin to plunk down a mortgage payment for 10-15 cards. My last mass foray into the Cup was back in 2006 when a couple guys and myself split a case and boy was I disappointed. Since then, I have only managed a few singles here and there when they catch my eye.
Well enough standing in the shadows. It's time I venture into the ring where the big dogs play and get myself a taste for the finer things. Yes, my friends. I ventured to the uber-premium side of collecting and picked up a couple boxes of Upper Deck's 2010-11 The Cup. Did I die from it as I thought I would? No. Did I hurt a little afterward? Yes, maybe. But it was a whole lot of fun, and quite exhilarating to boot.
A couple of things to note though. I was kind of shocked by the serial numbering of some of the cards. The fact that there are cards numbered out of 249 or higher was perplexing to me considering the steep price tag on this set. Anything over 200 seems out of sorts for this level, at least to me. Also, the amount of plain color swatches is a little ridiculous. I know it happens and is a reoccurring theme in the industry but for a super premium product to throw 3-4 of the same color on one card??? That's kind of nuts, don't you think? The last thing...quality control. Since these are hand packed, I would think there would be better care made to keep corners and edges clean. Especially when you have foil embossing that tends to flake with little to no force. I didn't see that kind of care here, even if it was only on the base cards (on another guys box that bought one too).
But enough criticism. While I didn't love the nervous twitch this decision gave me or the indigestion afterward, I loved busting the product. The whole experience was fun and exciting. Upper Deck made the packages very rewarding and made me feel like I was really getting something special. I was skeptical at first but to hold the cards in hand is something quite awe inspiring (flair for the dramatic?). Even more so when they come straight from a pack that you opened yourself.
I busted everything right there in my LCS so I had nothing to open officially on camera but I did a little video anyway. Here it is if you'd like to waste about 14 minutes..
As you can see by my overwhelming enthusiasm, I am not really attached to any of these cards despite their aesthetic beauty. I pulled no Penguins, which was probably the only bad part about the whole thing. I pulled one more autograph than expected but also got one more base card than I would have liked so it balances out. They were, as I said, a blast to open though. Such an adrenalin rush.
If anyone out there might be interested in any of these beauts, they are all posted on my Ebay auction site against my best judgement, and also a few football I found lying around that I got tired of looking at, including my 1/1 Calvin Johnson Sketch Card that I have been asked close to 100 times about.
It will be interesting to see where, if anywhere, these might go considering The Cup is notorious for spiraling out of control at times on auction, although, I doubt any of mine would because I didn't pull any Lemieux, Gretzky, Crosby, or Ovechkin's. Either way, if I can recoup half a box it will have been worth it.
Here are some scans for those that couldn't get a good look because of my shoddy video skills.