Tuesday, December 16, 2014

PACK RIPPING - 2014 Canada Post Original Six Stamps

I was dropping off an envelope to be mailed out over at the post office yesterday and whatdya know......

I caved.

Yeah....caved at the post office.

For months Canada Post has been advertising a really nice looking stamp set commemorating the Original Six teams - specifically, it's defencemen. They caught my eye the moment I saw them but held off in picking up a pack.

Yeah, an actual pack.

These are definitely geared towards to the hockey card connoisseur.  Nice little 2.5x3.5 cards (flimsy...as they just house a single stamp) with a front and back design.

The price per pack is $15 but I decided that there was absolutely zero risk involved in a purchase like this.

Why?

For $15 you get 6 stamps ($2.50 stamps each).  My math skills tell me that balances out.  The best part though is that in 1 of every 50 packs sits an autograph parallel.  Not all 6 defencemen get the auto treatment though (for obvious reasons).

So let's take a look to see if I landed one.

When I opened up the pack, I was taken aback by just how nice these cards/stamps look.  Vibrant colors, simple design and I've always loved the stamp motif used in hockey card collecting (maybe a subject for a future blog post).

The photo used for this Horton card is perfect.  I think the posed shots works much better than the action shot in this instance.

Gorgeous card.

The backs are good but not great.  They have an early-90's Parkhurst feel to them.

Some good information, not overwhelming but I would have liked something that would add a little character to the person on the front.  A comment or "fast fact" would've been nice.

Regardless, most people will just throw these away after they use the stamp.

Oh yeah.  This Bobby Orr is bang on.  I love the photo and it really works well with the rest of the card.

The '4' used in the background is a nice design.  Not a font but not a photo either.  Solid.  And I love the border.  A simple 2-color team issue feel with a bit of a glow or silver gradient to give it some depth.

We are officially on a roll.  Wow this card looks great.

The leather gloves Harvey is using just punch out of the photo.  Those things are massive.

Another great photo and beautiful overall design.

No auto yet, but I'm fine with that.

The beauty of this product is the consistency from player to player, card to card.  It feels like a well thought out set.

Howell looks so small with those tiny pads.  And no helmet on anyone.  Those were the days.

I must say that I like the player selection with this set.  Some teams have an obvious choice, but I think the best defenceman from those teams in that era got the nod.  Can't ask for anything more than that.

The silver border on the Chicago card was a bold move.  Every other card has the dark, rich color but I think this works because it gives a good contrast to the rest of the set.

Well, no autograph.  But I have zero complaints.

This set is really well done and anyone who is a fan of this era should put this on their "must have" list.

One pack guarantees you a complete set of six stamps and you never know if you're the lucky one to get a signed version (which look incredible...just check ebay if you don't believe me).

By the way.....don't plan on seeing these on any packages I send out anytime soon.  This set stays in the collection.  But I might buy more if I know I've got a big package to ship out.  How fun would it be to see one of these stars staring you in the face?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

RAISE THE CUP - A Carter Kiss

I've been slow on the draw when it comes to showing off this card.  I've had it now for a good 2-3 weeks and I'm tired of it sitting on my desk.

Actually, I'm tired of the 6 or 7 piles of cards sitting on my desk.  This one single piece of cardboard really doesn't bug me too much.

But it's been scanned and in draft mode here for far too long.  So let's end that.

Once again, Upper Deck has put a strong focus on photography when it comes to its flagship hockey product.  I've sifted through a number of cards from the set and I must say it's a little hit and miss.

A unique or new camera angle is always interesting (and appreciated), but when it's done to 3...4...5 players in the set, it grows old - quick.  That's the case with the 14/15 issue of UDI.

This Jeff Carter offering though does have a unique feel to it.  And the timing on the photo is about as good as it can get when snagging a pic of Carter with the Cup.

With a lot of cards in my Raise The Cup project, the shot is a little wider, more of a full body shot.  I like the closeup feel of this photo.  An intimate moment showing a true pinnacle moment.  Nice.

That logo on the bottom of the Cup is so perfect, I wonder if it was Photoshopped in after the fact?  I'll be honest, I've never noticed that logo on the bottom of the Cup before.  Is it there when the guys are parading around the ice?

I'll have to do some detective work.

Until then....into the binder you go.

Current Collection - 117 cards

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - My First Triangle

This past weekend I received a package from a fellow collector.  In it was some Linden cards set aside for me over the past few weeks.  It's always great when a fellow Linden collector keeps an eye out for cards I might need.

And I was able to add no less than five new pieces to the pc because of him.  A few Artifacts (putting a small dent in the wantlist), a nice OPC parallel and this beauty...

2013/14 Panini Crown Royale
Pacific's Choice Award
#PC-TL Sapphire Auto  /50

These cards are a fantastic throwback to the Cramer's Choice Award cards produced by Pacific back in the late 90's/early 2000's.  Panini did a great job in capturing the authentic look and feel of the inserts.

In the 13/14 Crown Royale product, there are two Linden offerings.  The Sapphire auto /50 and the Holo-Sapphire auto parallel /10.  I passed on both when they first hit the open market as I thought I'd track them down at a little lower price.  I was starting to doubt my decision as the cards dried up pretty quick.

Thankfully an extra one popped up in the collection of a fellow Linden fanatic and it's now found a new home.

A great addition.....and one that I won't soon forget about.

Monday, December 8, 2014

1 vs. 100 - An Unexpected Surprise

I was surprised to see a package delivered for me Sunday afternoon.  First off....who gets mail on a Sunday?  Secondly, What's this big cardboard package coming from a guy who was just to send a few cards?

It was like Christmas coming early.

Sadly, I had to wait the entire day before I could crack open the box.  I was just on my way out to volunteer at the Calgary Hitmen Teddy Bear Toss game.  Quick story on that.

I was working near the entrance door and the deal is that when the Hitmen score their first goal, everyone throws their teddy bear that they brought with them (to be donated to the local Children's Hospital and other fine charities).

Not a minute and a half into the game and I hear the goal horn.  It was bedlam.  Not only were 25,000 stuffed toys being tossed on the ice, but numerous late-coming fans were sprinting through the concourse trying not to miss the event.

I saw kids crying and parents apologizing.  I had to snicker a bit.  What were you guys thinking?  The one game you can't afford to be late to.

Anyways, I got home around 9:00 and was welcomed by my mystery package.

I cracked open the one end and could see that it was a book.  I like books.

The spine said "Mr. Hockey" and I knew right away what it was.  The newest Gordie Howe story.  I was excited because it was a book I had on the radar and not yet purchased or read.

I was even more pumped when I saw the sticker on the cover saying "Signed by Gordie Howe".  Oh man.....I was jacked.  How cool is that.

I can't wait to read it.

In addition to the book, I received some cards (some of which I knew were coming).  There was an additional card that had me confused at first.

I only saw the back and it looked like a San Jose base card.  I thought "Oh, must be extra packing  for protection".  Not quite.

2013/14 Panini Titanium
#312 Eriah Hayes Rookie  /76

Someone really had a bead on what my projects are.  This is outstanding.

It's been months since I've done a 1 vs. 100 post.  With only five cards left on the wantlist (and a passive approach to tackling the final lot), the project hit a definite lull.  But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in picking up a new add.

And this is the perfect card to add to the collection.  No-name player, (I'm assuming) an inexpensive card, a unique product design when included into the project, and obviously the numbering is key.

I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

And stay tuned as I show off the rest of my goodies (that did not sound good).  I'm really getting into the Christmas season now.

Thanks Kevin!

96 out of 100  (96%)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

HHOF AUTOS - Yet Another Upgrade

Trade night last Thursday brought with it......a trade.  A trade for another hard-signed Hall of Fame autograph.  It's an upgrade....but a no-brainer in my opinion.

Back in March, I picked up a number of signatures is a wild trading frenzy.  Ok....no frenzy, how about a shuffle?  No?

Included in the mix was a very nice looking Milt Schmidt card.  It was (and still is) the earliest card in terms of player induction that I have in the collection.

The card comes from the very popular Panini Classics Signatures set, one that has a few other representations in my project.

So when I saw this "upgrade" (I use quotes only because both cards really are fantastic) I decided to trade for it.  I like having some variety in the design and product releases.

Milt Schmidt
(Inducted in 1961)

The signature is outstanding.  A definite eye-catcher.  Lots of white space for Milt to nicely scribe his name.  Not too shabby of a photo either although he does have that eye of "What are you doing here?".

The Private Signings multi-product release was a definite fave of mine when it came out.  Such a robust checklist, hard-signed and my guy has two cards in it.  A Montreal version and a Vancouver...both are SSP's.  I still need the Canucks version.

Anyways, back to Milt.  Awesome card...thrilled to add it to the collection.  Now I have another double.

Anyone wanna trade?

Current Collection - 61 HOF Autos

Friday, December 5, 2014

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Treasure And A Diamond

Wow.  It's been a while.  Time is definitely flying as I'm in the final days of my 2014 work season.  The Christmas break can't come soon enough.

Did I just say that????

Nonetheless, things have been pretty quiet over the past couple weeks in the hobby world for me.  I've slowly started to nibble at the Artifacts tree and should have a little show and tell before too long.  I also picked up some cheap mask cards on ebay and am expecting them any day.  Again...look for some scanning.

But tonight was the final trade night of the year for one of the two shops that hold the monthly event.  I knew that even though it's been busy....I needed to make the trek out there.

And I'm glad I did.  I grabbed two more Linden cards for the collection.  One was a nice trade and the other came as a big surprise.

2014/15 Upper Deck
Black Diamond
#129 Double Diamond

This....is the surprise.  Linden has made his way into Black Diamond for the first time in almost a decade.  I did not see that coming.  But I like it.

This.......scan is of the base card.  Horrible.  But they look great in person.  I really like the photo Upper Deck used say for the fact that it's the exact same one that they threw on the UD 25th Anniversary Redemption giveaway at the Toronto Fall Expo.  Still, vintage Linden pics are always welcome.  That Cooper helmet rocks!

So what's the Black Diamond damage you ask?  Or even if you didn't....I'm going to tell you.

Five cards.  Ba-da boom, ba-da bing.

The base card, an Orange "Bonus Pack" parallel, A Star Rubies parallel numbered /50, an Emerald Auto (sticker) parallel numbered /10 and a Sapphire Auto (I'm assuming sticker) 1/1 card.

That should make for a nice chase and I'm already 20% of the way there.

If it were only this easy for all the products.

2014/15 Upper Deck
Artifacts
#TS-TL Treasured Swatches Jersey/Patch  /36

Speak of the devil.

Artifacts has ruined my wantlist with 19......NINETEEN cards.  And I've been very slow at getting the ball rolling with it.  Call it a protest, call it patience, call it lazy, call it a guy who's waiting for prices to drop.  Whatever it is, I just haven't been motivated to chase this ridiculous product insertion.

But I'll trade.  It was a super simple transaction that landed me this jersey/patch card.  But I think there's something weird with the patch.  I have no idea where this white piece comes from.  It's hard as a rock and feels kind of like plaster cast material.  It could be a misplaced stick piece but I'm stumped.

But it was a trade....I've got the card....all is good.

Monday, November 24, 2014

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Double Hit Of Patchy Goodness

I got home tonight to not one, not two, but three bubble envelopes.  I love a mailday like that.  One envelope was from an ebay purchase, one from a hobby board trade and the final one was a very kind gift from a fellow blogger.

I'm looking forward to going through everything and showing off a few of the cards too.

These two Linden cards go together well because they are both nice patches.  The one finishes off a product release for my pc as well (double...double whammy).  The other is one of these show 1/1 redemption cards that I'm learning to hate.  But since it was a trade, all ill feelings go by the wayside.

2012/13 In The Game
Decades 90s
#M-44 Game Used Patch Silver
2014 Toronto Fall Expo 1/1

How is it that a product that came out over a year ago gets the redemption treatment at a 2014 Fall Expo?  How is it that this product now has two versions (2013 & 2014) of redemptions produced and released?

I know....Johnny Crybaby.  But I just don't get the sheer volume of redemption cards that came out of the ITG camp earlier this month in Toronto.  Overkill is an understatement.

But, like I mentioned, I did pick this card up in a trade so I'm ok with this.  And the patch is really nice.  Three colors, vintage jersey....I'm in.

But I doubt I'll be in for many more unless the price is stupid good.

2012/13 In The Game
Forever Rivals
#M-41 Game Used Patch Red

Now this card on the other hand was a fun one to pick up.  Limited to just six copies, it was the last card from the Forever Rivals product (not including redemptions....hrmph!) on the wantlist.

When it popped up on ebay last week, I had to do a quick doubletake.  I wasn't sure if I was seeing what I thought I was seeing.  And to top it off, it had a pretty reasonable Buy It Now price.

But as nice as the price was, I felt that it should go for a little less.  Yes, the patch is nice, but if there was some red in it....it would have been a slam dunk.  Instead, I put in a Best Offer to knock down the price.

I've been burned by this tactic before.  Good price, get a little greedy, wait for a response, someone else scoops in and buys it.  But this was a card that I thought wouldn't have as much interest.  It's from a product that's a couple years old, the patch isn't as strong and quite frankly, the market for Linden cards that aren't fresh off the assembly line just isn't as strong as it was a couple years ago.

I waited.....and waited.  The card auction sifted onto the second page on ebay, and I waited.  The longer things went, the more comfortable I became.

Late that day I got the e-mail saying that my offer had been accepted.  I was thrilled to pay what I did for the card and am equally happy now that it's in my possession.

Slowly but surely I'm crossing cards off.  They get added on the list quickly at times, but I've got the time to knock them off.