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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Box Break - - 2011-12 SP Game Used

Oh, how I never learn my lesson from SP Game Used.  Every few years or so, I get the bug to bust a box of this stuff and this was the year it came up in the rotation.  I don't think I've opened one for two or three years and I'm not too sure why I wanted to this year.  Maybe it was that I had the urge for something new.  Maybe it was the preview images of some of the awesome material pieces jam packed in here.  I don't know. we are.  I picked this one up from my LCS, More Fun Sports, and got a great deal for LCS pricing.  There are some online dealers that are already out of stock on these so I'm guessing UD put them into limited production. This years boxes contain 6 packs of 3 cards.  Each pack contains either 1 memorabilia card or 1 signature card.  Also, there should be 2-3 rookies in each box. 

This years set also has cards called 500 Goal Club Marks which feature game used lettermarks of the best goal scorers of all time.  There are also Gold Letter Variations on all the Authentic Fabrics cards.  Each of these features four letter or number abbreviations pertaining to the specific player.  Plus the short printed rookie parallels are all signed!!

I was excited to try and pull one of the Supreme Pads cards which feature all the best goalies and giant leg pad pieces.  I have seen a few of these and they look spectacular.  But the odds are not in my favor as they are numbered out of /10.  You never know, though.  So here we go.

Here are a couple base cards from the box.  They looked strangely familiar to me until I realized they are almost the same design as the old Upper Deck Piece of History set, with the stripes down the side.  My scanner cut off the tops so there is some white space up there on the border.  The design is clean with nothing fancy or in your face, which is kind of disappointing considering the MSRP $180/box price.  Basically that comes out to about $10 per card and these certainly don't look like $10. 

I only pulled 8 base cards in this box which didn't make much sense to me considering logically there should have been 12 (along with 6 GU or Auto).  So with 100 base cards in the set, I don't think I will be trying to put this together.  Or maybe I'll change my mind.

I pulled a Gold parallel of Steven Stamkos numbered /100.  There are also Silver Spectrum /10, and Gold Spectrum /1.  Needless to say, I received neither of those two.

Here is where it got interesting.  Most boxes contain, or are supposed to contain 2-3 rookie cards.  Mine had these:

 Carl Klingberg and Teemu Hartikainen

 Maxime Macenauer and John Moore

 Jonathan Blum and Adam Larsson

Yes, you counted that correctly.  There were 6 rookie cards in this box.  In fact, a bunch of these packs had 4 cards instead of 3.  There was even one pack with 5 cards.  This was odd, especially for a larger priced box.  

And then there were the GU cards.

The first one out of the box was this beaut.  It's a Crosby jersey...GOLD!  These are 1:3 packs and as I mentioned, spell out a four letter/number phrase.  On the back, this one says it will spell out "PITT".  Obviously I now have the "I".  It always makes me happy to pull a PC card out of a box.

The next one was also a GOLD version.  It is a Mark Messier jersey with a blue swatch.  These will oddly enough, spell out the word "BLUE". 

The next one was this plain white swatch of Scott Hartnell, and another GOLD version.  That's three 1:3 odds cards in 3 packs which is one more than should have been in the box.  These ones spell out "FLYR".  I was less than thrilled to see the orange and white peaking out as I opened the pack this was in.  Man are the Pens getting spanked so far.  

The next card was once again a GOLD version of the Authentic Fabrics.  This time we have Dan Boyle but it is a piece of his Team Canada jersey from the Olympics.  The swatch window is shaped like a "D" and these will spell out "GOLD".  So now I pulled 4 GOLD version jersey's in the same box.  Crazy!

The next pack had this.

Another evil Flyer card but as you can see, it's a PATCH card of Ilya Bryzgalov numbered /35.  This one is also gold in color but there isn't a separate gold version of the patch cards.  The patch is a white patch but if you really look at it in person, it almost looks like the orange bled into the white fabric.  It is definitely not completely white.

Finally, the last pack had an auto.  This is probably one of the best cards I have pulled this year out of any product yet.  

Gabriel Landeskog Rookie Exclusive Auto numbered /100.  Yes it's a sticker auto but it is Landeskog.  He led all rookies in points during the regular season with 52 and he finished 2 goals behind Matt Read with 22 for the league lead.  He also showed he can be a work horse contributor, playing in 82 regular season games.  Even though RNH is getting all the attention up there in Edmonton, Gabe has my vote as the front runner for NHL Rookie of the Year and the Calder Trophy.  Awesome card.

Overall, this is not a product for everyone.  If you have the cash and it's burning a hole in your pocket, maybe take a shot.  I don't think the design will wow any collector's but the chance at pulling some really nice inserts may just be worth it.  My box had 5 GU, 1 Auto, 6 Rookies, 1 base parallel and 8 base cards.  That's 21 cards, not 18 like the box says.  I doubt many boxes will have as many parallel GU cards as this one either and I'm not totally sure this would be considered a HOT BOX since I haven't heard anything about them even existing but based on this break, they are obviously out there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Tangradi PC additions

 I've been busy on the Bay searching for all the lost Tangradi's.  I have nothing better to do considering the Pens absolutely suck eggs in the playoffs so far.  They couldn't hold a lead to save their lives.  This series is going to be over quickly if they don't find a way to get back their special teams game that they had in the regular season.

I don't want to talk about it because it only makes me mad-er.  God, they suck!!

So here are the last few that I have added to the PC.

I know what you are already have this card.  Well that is sort of true.  I have the real card but you can see that this one is quite larger than the standard card size.  Plus, the name at the top is not in the same foil print as the Young Guns logo.  That's because this is card OS4, the over sized card that apparently came from retail blaster boxes [ok maybe they were the tins but I'm sure I bought those too] distributed in some parallel universe because I certainly never found any in any of the ones I purchased back then.  You can't really tell here but the card is still wrapped in the cellophane it originally came in.

I have bid on this card 8 times and lost every last one of them.  Not this time.  These were the Rookie Breakouts inserts loaded into Series II.  These fell about 1 every 3 boxes.  They are numbered out of /100 and are die cut on the top like the shards of ice sticking out.

Finally, I nabbed another The Cup 1/1 Printing Plate.  This time it is a black plate and it is autographed.  The plate was used for the 2010-11 SPx Level I Auto Rookie Jersey.  The jersey swatch would normally be found where the auto is on this card.  I have a copy on my Tangradi page if you wanted to see it.  Either way, it is cool to knock a few of these off my want list.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Box Break - - 2007-08 Upper Deck Be A Player Hobby

The Be A Player name has been bounced around the card collecting world for years in various forms.  Having done stints with In The Game, Pinnacle, and now Upper Deck, the BAP name in and of itself for most collectors conjures up images of one thing...autographs!

BAP has been pretty synonymous with autographs since it's inception in the late 1990s.  That same tradition has continued throughout the years since.  I found a deal on a box of 2007-08 Be A Player Hobby and couldn't resist the temptation. 

Essentially what you get here is 1 Autograph in each pack.  Yes, that literally means in each pack.  And this isn't one of those 2 or 3 pack boxes either.  There are 8 packs per box with 5 cards in each pack (40 cards for the mathematically challenged).  Also, one of the autographs will be at least a BAP Duals Autograph, with the possibility of a BAP Trio thrown in for good measure.  All the rookies cards and extended rookie cards are numbered out of /99.  This 2007-08 incarnation of BAP also contains Players Club cards that are essentially the same as the regular release but serial numbered at different tiers; gold base /99, gold rookies /10, platinum base /25, and platinum rookies /1.

Would this box yield another Stamkos rookie (as I am now 3/3 on pulling Steven in 2007 hobby boxes)?  Let's find out.
To reiterate, there are 8 packs with 5 cards per pack.  As you can see on the package, it says "Find 1 Autograph Card in Every Pack!" on average

First the base cards in case anyone has never seen what these look like.

As you can see, there isn't anything too spectacular going on here.  These look like a combination of Artifacts and MVP rolled into one.  The front features a player in some action pose along with some airbrushing in the team colors, a small team colored stripe in the top left corner with a super imposed jersey number, and the name, team and position on the bottom.  Strangely in this batch, I scanned all red based uniforms.

And here are a few more just for posterity.  In this batch, I chose all the blue/white uniforms.  That was completely unintentional.  Also, I don't recall ever seeing Mark Recchi in a Thrashers uniform.  He just looks weird. 

I pulled on Players Club Gold card of Jerome Iginla numbered to /99.  I have to say I like the gold parallels better than the regular base.  They just look nicer.

I also pulled one rookie card, that of James Sheppard.  This too is numbered /99.  The rookie are a much harder pull in this product as they don't even fall at one per box.  I do like the rookie design here though.  There is no mistaken that it is a ROOKIE card.

And now the moment you have all been waiting for....the EIGHT AUTOS...

 First up was Jordan Staal.  SWEET!!  A Penguin and an autograph at that.  Very nice card for my PC.  Staal's signature could use a little work though.  If I was to guess, I wouldn't have ever know that to be a Staal auto.  More like....?  I don't even know.

 Next up was Zach Parise.  Parise has a much nicer auto.  You can actually tell it is his.  But unfortunately, we have the sticker auto syndrome going on here.  That's where the player signs a sheet of auto labels and his or her signature runs over the edge.  It ends up cutting of some of the autograph.

Then came Lee Stempniak.  Lee has had three other teams since playing for the Blues back in 2007.  He had a stay on Toronto, Phoenix, and then Calgary.

The next pack awarded me with another illegible auto...that of Mr. Mike Komisarek.  At least you can still read his jersey number.  Here he still played for the Montreal Canadiens, the team that drafted him.  In 2009 he was sent to Toronto where he least for now. 

 Oh look.  Another former Hab.  This time in the form of Kyle Chipchura.  Kyle has spent the majority of his time as a career minor leaguer.  Only until the last few years has he actually gotten a good deal of playing time for an NHL squad.  He is currently on the Phoenix Coyotes roster.

Pack number six yielded another Penguin.  This time former winger Petr Sykora.  I have another Sykora auto somewhere in the collection but this one is much nicer looking.  That fish hook looking think on the right is actually a 17 in case you were wondering.  Petr played 2007-08 and 2008-09 for the Penguins before spending a few moments in the Wild organization.  He then went back to Europe to play in the KHL for a season.  He spent all of this season with New Jersey, chipping in 44 points in 82 games.  I am just happy to add another autograph to my team PC.

Pack number 7 was a bit of a disappointment.  I puled an Adrian Aucoin auto when he still played on the Flames.  Aucoin has been in the league quite a while now.  His first game was in 1994 for the Canucks.  He later played for the Lightning, Islanders, Blackhawks, Flames, and now sits on the Coyotes.  I'm not a big Aucoin fan.  I am neither a fan of his autograph. 

And the final pack...

What are the odds of pulling three cards for my PC with autos?  No really.  What are the odds?  I was trying to figure it out but couldn't.  Regardless, he we have an awesome Double Signature card of Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney, both former Pens.  Whitney got traded before the Cup win mid-season in 2009 to Anaheim for Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi.  He is now on the Oilers.  But Gonchar was a very stable part of the defense for the Pens from 2005-06 until the end of 2009.  He was a big reason why the defense flourished during the back to back Cup runs.  It eventually just came down to one of those things where the guy just wanted too much money to stay so off he went to Ottawa where they have been getting less than their money's worth for sure.

Over all, this is a great box if you are looking for autos for a decent price.  Plus it is fun opening packs knowing you are going to get a hit each time.  My opinion is probably slanted though since I got three cards for my PC.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Latest Tangradi PC Pickups

I just wanted to take a second and share a couple new Tangradi's that I picked up.  None are as epically awesome as that Cup patch auto but they are all still pretty cool.

I can't understand why I didn't have the Victory card.  I think I actually did but it is in my set.  Maybe it's just that I have seen it so many times on Ebay that I figured I had it already.  Either way, it is one of the only cards I have seen where he is wearing number 78.  He is 25 in case anyone was wondering.  He was 26 last year.  He also wore 56 the year before.

The Contenders auto is just another of the multi-tiered cards that I needed.  I already had the regular one without the auto which was the Playoff Ticket version.  This one is labeled Season Ticket.

This one is pretty cool.  I have the basic jersey card (black swatch) which is numbered out of 200.  This one, however, is the PATCH version numbered out of /35.  It is all white but either comes from the belly of the penguin on the front logo or the center section from a number on the black or blue versions of the jersey.  At least, that's what I can figure.  I suppose it could also be from a practice jersey but those usually say so on the back.  This one just says it was worn during the Rookie Photo Shoot.  I don't think they had practice jerseys there although, you never know with Upper Deck.  Still, it is cool.