This is the card that put my Linden collection into the status of 'elite' (in my eyes anyways).
1998/99 Topps Gold Label Class 2 #42One of One
That's right - it's a coveted 1/1 card. My first one.
I purchased it about 8-9 years ago from a place called Dave & Adam's Card World. They had an ad in a trade magazine listing cards for sale. I couldn't believe when I saw the listing for this Linden. I had never even seen a Linden 1/1 before.
The price at the time made me squirm as well. $100 us. I had never paid more than $50 for a card and couldn't fathom paying over $100 for a card - even a Trevor Linden card.
After a short debate with my bank account (which I won), I decided to snag the card. Years later, I consider it one of the best purchases for my collection.
High end Linden cards frequently go for 2-3 times what I paid for my 1/1, and I know without a doubt I could get my money back and more should I decide to sell - which will be never!
Here's the back of the card should any of you doubt my actually having the card (the front looks identical to the regular card).
I remember when this set came out. Beforehand, I had the goal of getting one of every card Trevor had - which I considered a possibility. The Topps Gold Label set has 3 'classes' of cards (you'll note the class on the back above the team logo. Within each class is 3 versions (regular, black and red), each with tougher odds in getting the card.
So that's 9 cards in the Topps Gold Label set right - wrong! Each of the 9 versions has a corresponding 1/1.
Immediate death to my Trevor Linden collecting goal.
I soon realized I would never have one of each card. But I decided that as long as I have one of his 1/1 cards, that would put me in "the club".
I have since acquired another 1/1 card and I'm thrilled to have both. I know a couple other linden collectors with more 1/1's, but I feel I can hang out with them.
I know I have at least one card that they don't have.
One more new set for me this week (I promise to change things up soon, maybe a vintage set or something).
This week I go with a 'low end' set, one that is on the more inexpensive side.
2008/09 Upper Deck Collector's Choice
This set is a simple 200 cards that Upper Deck puts out mainly to attract the kids, new collectors and collector's wanting to not break the bank. These types of sets take me back to the 80's when collecting cards were all about fun, trading and the quest to complete the set.
The front of the card is a super simple design. Not always a bad thing, but I think UD could have spiced things up a little bit more. The Collector's Choice logo in the upper left corner is a staple for this set through the years and makes the card instantly recognizable.
The card front is taken up mostly by a photo of the player - nothing fancy, nothing special. That said, it's a great opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the palyer on a traditional trading card.
The subtle shape of the player box (rounded upper right corner and an angled left side) are about as "fancy as UD get with this one. A little dropshadow along the shape adds a nice touch. It works for me.
The one down side is that a number of the player photos look a little washed out. The photos are not as crisp as I'd like to see. Some are quite nice (like the Kariya) while some are not (like the Bouchard). It bugs me because I know these things can be improved on. A couple minutes to tweak the photo and it's done.
The name, team and position are along the bottom of the card and again is a simple text font. Nothing fancy.
The back of the card has a real nice feel to it. The card number, name, stats, team logo, everything is well laid out. Simple and yet effective. Full stats - nice!
This card back shows that simple is sometimes better. I like it. My only beef would be that with younger players (like the Ovechkin), there is a great deal of wasted space. I can tolerate this because I know that for the vets, I'm going to get complete stats.
Overall, a simple set that doesn't give you 'over the moon' expectations, but would be a fun set to build for literally pennies. I bet this set could be had for less than $5. In fact, I bet if one really wanted to, they could get have the set given to them.
This week's Linden card is a treat for all you Pacific parallel lovers.
I remember when I first started collecting Trevor Linden cards. I thought "How many cards could he possibly have - 30...40...50. Well, The advent of Pacific parallels boosted that number up 10-fold.
Pacific in their infinite wisdom decided that it would be fun for us player collectors to not only go after one card from a set, but upwards of 4, 6 even 8 cards. All by simply changing the color of the background or the player text or adding some simple serial numbering.
Thank you Pacific! (note the sarcasm if you haven't already).
That said, now 10-12 years later, I am starting to enjoy these cards a little more (probably because I am almost done hunting all of them down). It has turned my few hundred Linden cards into almost 1000.
This Pacific Set is one of my favorites for two reasons. First, it's got a neat design layout and second, the 6-pack it creates when completed looks really cool.
1997/98 Pacific Invincible #142 Red
I really like the cutout/see-through headshot. It's such a simple idea, yet highly underutilized. The solid, textured background also appeals to me (wait until you see the 'rainbow' I've created).
Sure, there are some weak points, such as the text getting lost in the background, but I can live with it as I think it's one of the nicer cards from that time period.
The back of the card is pretty lame say for the cutout of the headshot. Looks great from either side of the card.
But the real reason I have this card as my card of the week is because it looks great next to his 5 brothers.
The gold one would be the regular issued, then there is the red, copper, emerald, silver and ice blue (of which they only made 67 of). Completing this sextet of cards really gave me a sense of accomplishment.
I still don't get the whole parallel thing, but as a player collector I guess it just adds to the searching - which isn't always a bad thing.
Have you ever found a card that makes you stop in your tracks?
Have you ever found a card that completely catches your eye?
Have you ever found a card that you think 'I must have that'?
All for the wrong reasons?
I came across one such card tonight. And let me tell you, the second I saw it, my first thought was -
To the bike spokes you go!
Now for you younger readers, us older folks used to put base cards in the spokes of our bikes so that when we rode around, it sounded like we had a motorized ride - it was so cool!
It destroyed the heck out of a number of my 1980/81 base cards (I'm sure a Ray Bourque RC was in there at one time), but did I mention how cool it was.
Anyways, this card deserves the honor of getting thrashed in the bike spokes.
2003/04 Victory #17 Jeff Hackett
What can I say. There is just nothing going right for this card.
If you've read my past post on this set, I really like the design and such, but this card makes me take a step back.
Let's take a closer sniff.
First, what team does this guy play for? The Flyers? The Bruins? or the Canadiens? The color combination makes me a little carsick.
As for the photo - it looks like he's just been scored on....or he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. One of the two. You're telling me that this was the best photo of Jeff Hackett they had available. I'd prefer an old school head shot with an airbrushed jersey.
Then again, if that were the case, I wouldn't have had fun bashing this card.
To you Jeff Hackett - pftttttttttttt.
(that's the sound the card makes in my bike spokes).
Well, normally I'm not one to bust packs (but I find myself opening more ever since I started this blog....hmmmm), but with the release of this year's Upper Deck - I couldn't resist.
I was good though. Only 4 packs for me.
I've always been a fan of Upper Deck's photography and the hopes of snagging a John Tavares RC pushed me over the edge.
The base cards were no disappointment from a photography standpoint. The design is a little on the boring side, but I've seen worse - much worse.
The player selection, even from the 4 packs I bought, varies from young stars to the big names to the journeymen. A great selection. At 200 cards for the base set, it's a must for set collectors.
The inserts were on my side tonight. The Young Guns are 1:4, UD Game Jerseys are 1:12 and the Top Guns are 1:24 packs.
The hot news right now is how the Young Gun inserts are creased coming out of the rollers and this one is no exception. I doubt I will go through the hassle of getting it replaced (so remember that if you want to trade me for it).
Overall, a nice set (a nice addition to my 'One Sheet, One Set' collection) and a fun pack break.
I gotta say, taking a closer look at all these different sets really has given me a much greater appreciation for the design element of trading cards.
There are so many different, creative thoughts that seem to go into designing trading cards. I can only wonder what goes through the minds of those who are responsible for creating the cards we so cherish.
This week's installment looks at another set that is new to me and it really has an eye catching look to it.
This set really takes advantage of the technology available when making cards. Thick card stock, shiny card face and player cutouts pin this set to a T.
The 07/08 release of SPx was a 236 card set with cards 101-236 being of the rookie and numbered variety. The 100 card base set is what I will be focusing on.
The front of the card has a really nice horizontal design (which I am a big fan of). The player photo consists of a full shot (on most occasions) and doesn't utilize much of an action shot, but more of a "right turn, left turn" look. Not terrible, but can get a little mundane.
The background uses the team color and the SPx letters fairly effectively. The photo is doubled up on the right side and I approve of it's usage (cause it's not on the back of the card). The team logo (as small as it is) apparently needs to have half the card reserved for it. It looks a little wimpy. Good try though.
The team name and brand logo in the top right and the player name in the bottom left. Position in the bottom right and a very subtle number text in the bottom right of the 'X'. Simple, yet effective.
One thing that impresses me is the use of textures on the background. The lines used in the middle of the card works and the various textures on the top and bottom of the card add a balance to the card.
The back of the card shows off more of the background textures. Exposed like this is a little too harsh for me. Subtle is the way to go. Again, the logo gets lots of room to run around. I think it's a waste of space. The name, position and team seem fairly big and I'm starting to notice that things are a little out of whack on the back.
Uh oh, stats. Can you see them...they're little and tiny and you only get some of the player's career. Again, give me more complete stats. Look at all the blank space - wasted! Yet they give me some comment on the player in a larger text font.
The bottom third of the card is just logos and copyrights. One nice thing they added though is the name of the set (something that has become more of a constant in today's releases...I like it).
Overall, not a terrible looking set. Definite room for improvement, but has a lot of positive qualities.
This set emulates it's design. Not too cheap, not too expensive. This was a mid-range release because of the shortprints in the set. However, the base set could probably be had for $10-15.