Sunday, October 26, 2014

K4K - The Final Tally

Unless you've been living under a rock, you'd know that my nephew recently participated in the Extra Life video game marathon yesterday, raising money for the Alberta Children's Hospital.

For any of you who are interested, I made a Final Tally post on the K4K blog to give everyone a sense of what he (and the Extra Life community) accomplished.

Thanks!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

K4K - THE ATARI HAS MADE AN APPEARANCE!!

The Atari 2600 has made an appearance at our video game marathon.

I think I've got my nephew and his friends confused as I am now kicking their butt.  It's mint.


I've even set up a little quarter challenge and High Score Board.  Prizes for the top score.

I smell victory.

If you'd like to donate to my nephew's challenge of raising $500 for the Alberta Children's Hospital, check out the blog we set up at Kyle4orKids.  All the info is there.

Thanks for your time.

Friday, October 24, 2014

K4K - Today Is The Big Day

In a little less than 9 hours from now, my nephew will participate in one of the biggest video game marathons on earth.  The goal is to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals all around the world.


He has teamed up with an organization called Extra Life which promotes fundraising for this very worthy cause by playing video games.

Yes....it's sounds crazy.  But it also sounds real fun.

We have the video game room set up, I've cracked out the ol' Atari 2600 and my sister's been put in charge of ordering pizza for my nephew (and a few of his friends who will be stopping by to help out in the day).

While we are still short of our goal of $500, we have received a lot of positive comments, kind donations and have created some awareness to the cause.  Never....NEVER a bad thing.

If you are at all interested in learning more, there are links on the right-hand side of my blog to explain what Extra Life is and a direct link to my nephew's donation page if you'd like to help out.

For now, it's time to rest.  We've got a big day ahead of us tomorrow.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

PACK WARS - October 21 Was A Very Good Day

Wednesday was monthly trader night at the local card store.  A week late this month in order to correspond with the release of Upper Deck's high-end beast of a product - The Cup.

And while I missed out on the case break team draft, I did play a couple hands of Pack Wars.......

and won.

I think I'm like most who play Pack Wars at the card shop.  Win a few, lose most of the time.  It feeds the gambler in me and I think it's one way to support the LCS when breaking a box isn't in the budget.

The product of choice - 2012/13 SP Authentic.

The category called - Birthdate closest to October 22.

I had Alexander Burmistrov.  He was born on October 21.

And the big card in the win....

Ta and da!!!

This beautiful three-color patch obviously comes from the oildrop on the crest, a hard-signed signature that looks really solid (for players nowadays) and a $10 price tag for the price of the Pack War.....what more do you want.

Now, I was hoping for a Linden auto/patch, but we all can't be too choosy.

I'm optimistic that I'll be able to parlay this into a Linden or two for the collection.

Regardless, I've got a few hands I can play now where It'll feel like I'm playing with the house's money.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Not Mine.......Yet

Lots of stuff happening on numerous Linden fronts this past week.  None of which directly affecting me.....yet.

But these items I'm about to show you are definitely worthy of a blog post - that's for sure.

First of all, Upper Deck is about to release its ultra high-end product next week.  2013/14 The Cup will mark the official end of last season's hockey card product releases (yes, I know....it's dumb) and it will also mark the third season in a row that my guy has been included in the checklist.

While specific numbers are not yet out, I did notice this beauty as a part of Upper Deck's preview.

Oh man.  The drool factor went up a little just now.

Anyone recognize the patch?  For you non-Canucks followers, it's the 20th Anniversary patch.  The only beef I have with this card is that Linden is pictured in a time after that.  It would have been outstanding if UD had put a proper era photo on the card.

But......beggars can't be choosers.  And I guess neither can people with a bit of common sense.

Now that doesn't mean that I'm not chasing this card.  Not at all.  In fact, with a print run of 25, it might be one of the more exciting challenges of the product for me.

Fingers crossed that the checklist won't break the bank.


Just prior to seeing that beauty of a card on UD's Facebook page, I noticed yet another Linden stunner on ebay.

A copy finally showed up (and yes, the photo is that sucky......it's called focus).

This Tundra Sixes patch card from Artifacts has an eclectic mix of Canucks players including Linden.  It's doubtful that I'll pull the trigger on a bid with this copy.  I'm more interested in seeing how high it finishes.

But with only 6 copies of the card in the product, I figured it was worth posting as it might be a while before I see another.


And last....but definitely not least, I was notified about one heck of an auction.  I've got very little intention of pulling the trigger, but massive interest as I think it's one of the coolest items I've ever seen.

First, how many of you have ever seen this photo?

It one of a handful of pics that exist showing Linden in his pre-#16 jersey.

This is the only photo I have from this brief era and it was cut out of a magazine years ago.  I kept it because of the unique #49 shot.  It's such a cool photo....I do wish it was larger though.

But I was forwarded a site that shared the same photo.

Yeah.  That is what it is.

Classic Auctions, one of the premiere sites for sports memorabilia auctions, has got its hands on an 88/89 Linden game-used jersey from his pre-season games.  In fact, CA claims that it's the very first jersey Linden wore in an NHL game (Sept. 16, 1988 in Duncan BC against the LA Kings).

The jersey comes from the personal collection of Canucks Equipment Manager Larry Ashley and has all the proper evidence of being the real deal.

The Canucks wore nameplates on their jerseys in the '88 preseason and there is evidence that this was a recycled jersey prior to Linden wearing it.

Now we've seen the yellow version in a photo, but never the black.  Well, Classic Auctions comes through again.

You can clearly see that in this team photo, Linden is wearing a jersey in which the number ends in a 9.  That's the #49 jersey.

I was also interested to learn that this jersey is very likely to also be a part of another Linden photo.  One that I've had in my collection for years.

This Mohawk team-issued card photo was almost certain to have occurred on the same day as the team picture.  Therefore, it is almost assured that the jersey he is wearing on this card is the #49 jersey being auctioned off.

So what might an item like this fetch in the open market?  I have no idea, but whoever ends up landing this truly unique item will have one jealous Linden collector looking on in awe.

There's always some great stuff out there!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

RATE MY MASK - Devan Dubnyk

With the new hockey season upon us, it's time to get accustomed to new players in new uniforms (Spezza as a Star is still weird) and of course check out the new lids that goalies wearing.

A few to keep an eye out for early on are both Ducks tenders (Gibson with the Pac-Man theme and Andersen with his LEGO look), Kari Ramo's ode to Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven", Jonas Gustavsson's Monsters Hall Of Fame, Ryan Miller's Johnny Canuck alternate lid and lastly...

Giraffes.

But not just any ordinary giraffes.

How about some wild west giraffes.

I really don't know what to say.  I know Dubnyk has a thing for giraffes as it's a play on his tall 6'6" frame and I know that he's now playing in the US Southwest, but this might be the most bizarre mask concept I would have come up with.

Painted by NHL mask guru Dave Gunnarsson, this unique lid sports a very Coyotes-themed color scheme.  The logo is present on the top of the mask and has a bit of attitude to it without going too overboard.

But the rest of the mask is one big leap off of the plank.

If you click on this photo, you'll be able to see all sides of this atrocity.

Depicted on the left side is the legendary sherrif cowboy of Arizona, Wyatt Earp.....giraffe-style, ripe with his huge mustache and Tombstone town sign.  On the other side is his sidekick Doc Holliday.  I take a second and third look, but can't get past the ridiculousness of it all.

The backplate is a little....ok, a lot more simple with the focus being a portrait of his son Nathaniel along with some tributes to members of his family, including his mother.  One writer noted that the backplate looks more like the start of a tattoo sleeve.

Now this is where things go from bad to worse.  One of my beefs with masks these days is the inability to decipher what is actually on the mask - especially from a distance.

I'm sure the Coyotes logo would look sharp...if Devan was looking down all the time (and he might just be), but the sides are just a mess of muted colors.

I can't make out a single thing amidst all the detail work.

Heck, even close up it's still tough to figure everything out.

Now I'll give him points for keeping things thematic, but that's about it.

What I find more surprising is that Gunnarsson seemed very excited with his creation, stating "It's so exciting to create designs that work both on a distance as up close."

Um......ok then.

As for Dubnyk, he commented simply with "It looks awesome."

I guess still having an NHL mask would lend that kind of reaction.  Enjoy it while it lasts.

1.5 out of 5


Now it's your turn to RATE MY MASK!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

OPINION: Parallels

The hockey season is in full swing and I'm holding my own in the one and only hockey pool I entered.  I'm banking on the Sedin/Sedin/Vrbata line to do well this year.

And with a new NHL season comes some new card products to rip and chase.  The first big one (for me anyways) is Artifacts.

And what do I think of when I hear the word Artifacts?

Parallel hell.

And Upper Deck has done it in spades this time around.

I get that Artifacts' niche is its parallels, but there's got to be some kind of limit.  I took a peek at the checklist and was shaking my head at the damage.

First of all, let me say that this design is one of my lesser favorites.  It's not bad (I've seen worse from Artifacts), but last year's foray into the black background and darker design would've been more preferable for a Linden onslaught.

So let's take a look at the checklist run.

Base Card

Base
Ruby  /599
Emerald  /99
Sapphire  /85
Gold Spectrum  /25
Black Auto  /5
Silver Material (Jersey/Jersey)  /125
Emerald Material (Jersey/Patch)  /75
Gold Spectrum Material (Patch/Patch)  /15
Black Material (Patch/Tag)  /5
Silver Material Auto (Jersey/Jersey/Auto)  /12
Emerald Material Auto (Jersey/Patch/Auto)  /8
Gold Spectrum Material Auto (Patch/Patch/Auto)  /3
Black Material Auto (Patch/Tag/Auto)  /1

That's 14 cards (so far) and more than half of them are numbered to 25 or less.

Now if that was all that Artifacts was offering, I'd be pretty good with it.  But they had to dip into the pool once again.

Yeah, the "ever popular" (NOT) Treasured Swatches dual memorabilia offering.  Why?  Why not I guess.

Treasured Swatches

Base (Jersey/Jersey)
Green (Jersey/Patch)  /36
Red (Stick/Tape)  /12

We're up to 17 cards now with 9 of them limited to 25 cards or less.

These three cards are just an overkill in my opinion.  They really serve no desirability for me other than a push for more, more more in the Linden market.

Dual jersey?  Already in the base version.

Jersey/Patch?  Same deal.

Yes, the stick card is a switch and I would have preferred the Treasured Swatches concept to be a stick card of some sort.  Change it up.

But....we are not done yet.



(NO PHOTO YET...SINCE THEY'RE THAT RARE AND NOE HAVE SURFACED)  Woo-hoo.......yuck!


Tundra Sixes
(Yeah, that's six pieces of memorabilia on each card).  That equals cheap and common right?

Players include: Trevor Linden, Richard Brodeur, Markus Naslund, Ryan Kesler, Daniel Sedin, Alex Edler

Bizzare grouping.

Green (6 Patches)  /6
Black (6 Tags)  /1

If you're keeping score, that's 19 cards total and 11 limited to 25 copies or less.


Now if the base parallels were to be trimmed down to say 7-10 cards and the redundancy of the Treasured Swatches concept ditched, I can get on board with a 12-15 card release.  But 19 cards is overkill.

I can't wait to see some of the spectacular asking prices from ebay listings. (extreme sarcasm here)

The nice thing is that historically, these cards go from the feature table to the discount box pretty quick, so a lot of these cards (even the slightly tougher ones) will drop in price sharply.

But my beef (and my opinion) is that while the concept of what Artifacts does is strong, I think they could maximize their return and excitement by scaling back just a hair.  At the end of the day though, I guess they are only concerned with the initial sales and not the secondary market.

I will be looking on the secondary market....seeing as I've got a much bigger checklist to chase now.


So what are your thoughts on the parallel world of Artifacts?  I'm sure many of you have experienced it (or experienced the parallel world in other releases or other sports).  How do you approach a release like this?