Sometimes, the cards speak of an era I never got to witness. Guys like Plante, Howe and Orr. Sometimes they take me back to when I first started collecting. Gretzky, Bourque, Ciccarelli and Yzerman.
Sometimes though, the cards give me that 'Oh yeah....I forgot about that' feeling.
That's what this set has done.
2003/04 Pacific Calder
A 100 card base set, the 2003 edition of Pacific Calder is ripe with players who are no longer with the team they are pictured with. Not that this set is unique in that sense, but it was obvious when I took a look at a few of the cards.
Right off the hop, it's an eye-catching design. It has elements of simplicity (that Pacific at times were not known for) mixed with the bold, in-your-face look that the company often presented and made unique to their products.
But with every sheet that gets added to my project, it's put through the microscope. Let's take a closer look.
Bold. That's the word here. It's hard to miss the vibrant team colors that fill the background and serve as a base for everything else to be placed upon it. The textured streaks on the left side give a nice bit of definition while the team logo on the right would seem overwhelming.... but it's not. It's bold - but it works.
The lined texture on the top and bottom of the card (as well as within the team logo) give a nice border and structure to the card. This allows the rest of the card elements to fit right into the puzzle.
The player photo is uniform throughout the set. A 3/4 shot of the player, not too much of an action shot, but some good solid crisp photos. The cutout is the only way to go here and the white edge glow punches them out just the right amount.
The product logo (although a tad big and busy for my liking) sits nicely in the upper left corner, while the player name, team and position are bundled nicely at the bottom of the card. The gold foil border and text really look crisp and is a nice touch.
The one odd bit of design on the front of the card is the white glowing edge along the right hand side of the card. Not sure why it's there. Not sure why it's not balanced on the left side either. Weird.
The back of the card is a really nice carry-over from the front.
The rounded corners and the lined background are a good start. The name, team and position is bang on in my books. Taken straight from the front of the card, they lose the gold foil and implement a team color in the background. Boldness in color is again shown. Simple and effective.
The The closeup photo is a tad tight, but nice to see a different pic being used (wasn't expecting that honestly). A nice blurb about the player is just to the left of it, and the team logo is faintly put in the background. It has just the right amount of opacity for me. The text write-up is a main aspect of the back. I'd prefer to see the stats play front and center here in my opinion.
Speaking of the stats, the player bio sits nice in the middle as a divider for the pic/blurb and the stats. A unique presentation when it comes to the stats themselves. They have two seasons worth maximum. Their rookie year and the most current. The set is called Pacific Calder, so I can see how they could justify it. I want to like it... but at the end of the day, I think I'd like full stats more. Points for outside the box thinking.
The bottom of the card has the obligatory logos and copyrights. The signature Pacific card numbers sit in the bottom right with the set year and name circling them (ahead of its time if you ask me).
Overall, I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I like this set design. Because this is a 'rookie' set, there's a nice mix of player selection available. The first 100 card are the base while cards 101-140 are the serial numbered RC's (numbered to 775). Cards 141-175 are jersey cards.
I'm just focusing on the base cards though and look to be good bang for your buck (and a buck is the max I'd pay for a pack). The top base cards in the set are Lemieux, Forsberg, Yzerman and Brodeur. If you come across a pack at the dollar store or in the dollar bin at a show, go for it. It could just be a fun trip down memory lane.
3.5 out of 5