Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RATE MY MASK - Ilya Bryzgalov

A new hockey season can only mean one goalie mask designs.

And with the musical chairs of goalies rotating through the league this past off-season, there's a bumper crop of lids to drool over.

This Ilya Bryzgalov special is one that really caught my eye.

Designed by Stephane Bergeron of La Griffe Originale, this tiger theme has the look and attitude of a 70's velvet painting.

That just reeks of cool.

Now, the tiger represents the emblem of Russia, called the 'Amur', and was Bryz's idea to use as the theme of the mask.

Stephane drew several versions of the tiger for Ilya and this is the one they chose to use.

I love how the 'Bauer' brand name makes a nice cameo - smack dab on the forehead. Way to ruin a perfectly nice design.

On a positive note, I do like the font design on the 'Bryz' letters across the chin. It blends nicely with the rest of the mask.

I would have preferred something a little less symmetrical from one side to the other. There was a great opportunity to really create that flow throughout the entire mask. This design looks like a simple picture flip.

One more close-up look at the design.

Overall, not too bad. Bryzgalov has had some memorable masks in the past, and this one should fit in nicely with the rest of the collection.

3.5 out of 5 (a half point for the velvet painting homage!)

OK, it's your turn to RATE MY MASK!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

MAILDAY - The Rest Of The Loot

Well, with the end of the weekend comes the end of my mailday show & tell posts from last Friday's multiple bubble mailers.

Most of these will go into the traders box. It's always nice to switch things up a bit.

This is the one card that will go into the pc. These Panini Certified Masked Marvels cards were a hit & miss for me. While I like the goalie mask cards, I hate that such little card front is actually used for the mask. You can barely make out what the design is.

These four Titanium jerseys will go into the 'One Sheet, One Set' project. One of the craziest designs, but I know without a doubt it will be an eye-catching sheet once done.

Wow! A practice jersey piece....and they are promoting it as such. I'm glad there are fewer of these out there nowadays.

Igor Larionov. What a tremendous career. Just when you thought he was done, he brings you back on the Larionov bandwagon.

A Pavel Datsyuk piece from when he played in the Young Stars game. Pavel is arguably the top player in the league these days. His playmaking and skill are tops in the NHL today.

I don't know what it is about this Sakic jersey from 2002/03, but I like the looks of it. A sucker for the oldies I guess.

Some autos to finish out the post.

Pekka Rinne burst on to the scene last year with Nashville and this season will play a big part in answering the "is he the real deal" question.

I say yes.

A hard signed Patrick Elias card. Why not.

A hard signed Martin St. Louis card. Man this guy's good. He just won't stop....won't quit.

Vinny! He's carved himself a nice little career with the Lightning. Now with Stamkos leading the way, Lecavalier can turn himself into more of a role player.

Even more dangerous in my opinion.

So that's it. The mail haul. Thanks again to all who fired off bubble mailers. I'm looking forward to working out trades/deals with you guys down the road.

RAISE THE CUP - More Generosity

One of the bubble mailers that arrived yesterday was from Paul over at Card Boarded. We've been working on a trade for months now and my end of the deal arrived Friday.

In addition to some cards that will go into my traders, I received some goods that will be part of my 'One Sheet, One Set' project, a card that goes into the goalie mask pc and a bunch of cards (which he threw in for free!!!) that go towards my 'Raise The Cup' collection.

Let's take a look at the RTC cards first.

This Pinnacle card (um....I mean Score card) of Darren McCarty is the only one that I already had, say for the fact that this version comes from the team issue while I had the regular base card. Regardless, it's the same photo.

So I'm replacing the one I had in my binder with this one. I like it more.

Another card from the 1997/98 Pinnacle (er.....Score) set, this Joe Cool....I mean Steve Yzerman. Stoic as always.

I remember the night Ray Bourque hoisted the Cup over his head. It was a very cool moment. Seeing Joe Sakic pass the honor over to Ray was such a cool thing to do. Nowadays, it just seems overdone.

It seems Topps/ OPC picked the Penguins' Stanley Cup locker celebration as picture day for their hockey cards. Not really the type of photos I was hoping for when I started this project....but a hoist is a hoist.

Jim Paek was so excited, he decided to keep his elbow pads on. Rowdy guys. Or maybe he realized that this might be the only time he gets the opportunity. I wouldn't be telling the guy passing it to me to "Hold on while I take my gear off" either.

Joe Mullen. Underrated player.

Mario Lemieux. Not underrated.

How happy does he look? I wonder what he was thinking at that moment?

Ron Francis. Probably the most underrated player of all time.

I'd like to note....these locker room shots are absolutely horrible. Look at Ron and his bright yellow wristbands and newly donned Stanley Cup t-shirt and hat.

That's just nasty.

Bill Guerin....welcome to the club.

The club of new t-shirt and hat I mean.

Poor guy only seems to have shots that year of him in the locker room holding the Cup.

Now we're talkin'! This Ken Daneyko shot not only shows him out on the ice with all the fans cheering in the background. The expression in his face reflects the years he's been pushing for the moment.

Only to be trumped by John MacLean. This is a gorgeous pic and is one of my faves in the entire collection so far.

Thanks very much again Paul. These freebies are quite appreciated and will sit proudly in my collection.

Current Collection - 55 cards

Saturday, September 24, 2011

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Triple Play Mailday

Well, I couldn't ignore this mailday Friday for a Linden show & tell.

No less than 4 bubble envelopes in the mail and one to pick up from the post office.

It's like Christmas came early (except I bought all my own presents....and I know what I'm getting.....and it cost me money....but hey - it's Trevor Linden cards!).

2010/11 Panini Playoff Contenders
#103 Classic Tickets Auto /25

I've let a few of these auctions pass as I knew the prices on them would slowly settle. What started out as a $100 card was had by me for $35.

Them's good eats....but nasty scan.

So here's the back of the card. I like the colors.

2010/11 Panini Dominion
#150 Legends Auto Sapphire /10

It has begun. The first Linden Dominion card knocked off the list (and a sweet one at that). This is the parallel with a hard signed auto. Got it for a great price as well. I like good deals.

Now, I know what you're thinking....a card /25 as your first show, then a card .10 for your second. What could be better than that?

Yup. Another ONE.

2010/11 In The Game Decades
#M-62 Game Used Number Gold /1

I paid a little more than I was hoping on this one, but really wanted this card as it continues my quest to land each of the nine memorabilia card Linden has in Decades (3 jerseys, 3 numbers and 3 emblems). I only need the emblem silver and gold. Pfttt...ONLY!

In addition to these great Lindens, I received a package from Paul over at Card Boarded. We've been working on a trade for about 157 months, and we finally got it done. I'll be posting some of the sweet additions this weekend.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BOX BREAKS: 2010/11 Dominion

Well, it was an exciting night at the LCS yesterday. I was contemplating all night whether or not to buy a box of Panini Dominion. My brain said no, but my heart said yes. My wallet said no, but my VISA said yes.

Maybe it was the fact that poker night last Saturday was cancelled, maybe it was the fact that I had spend a whopping $35 bucks so far that night, maybe it was the fact that I was highly delusional that I would pull the coveted Linden quad.

Whatever it was.....I'm glad it happened. As you'll see, I got me a nice box of stuff.

And it literally is a box. I've never opened one of these products before. No 'ripping' or 'tearing' here.

I was very careful in slicing open the stickers to open the box.

Mmmmmmmm.....very nice.

I need to get me some of these foamy things and some empty unmarked boxes. Would make the perfect giftcase for my customs.

Alright....on to the cards.

Now if you noticed on the small box that the cards came in, it says EIGHT cards per box.

Well, my math skills tells me that I got TEN. That's better than eight.

I also noticed there is no age restrictions on the packaging. So all you six and seven-year-olds that have been stymied by all the other Panini products - c'mon in!

The base cards are pretty nice. It's a 150-card base set and they are numbered to /199. To most, these would be considered the 'throwaways'.

There are also the Legends base cards, a 50-card set numbered to /99. This is the set Trev's in. I got Guy. Habs fans, notice a trend?

The jersey parallel. Dominion is a parallel nightmare for player collectors (I'm just happy there are no jersey cards of Linden amidst the 19 Linden cards in this product).

Doughty...let's see what happens.

Lindros! Not bad. Is it me or is there a bit of a resurgence in his stuff this past year. He's sort of hanging with Linden in that regards.

This Halak patch is a jersey number parallel numbered /25. A really nice patch if I do say so myself. Hopefully it will equal some good trading.

Here's a rookie auto /199. It's hard signed....or should I say it looked like the player had a hard time signing. What a terrible scribble.

Doh! A redemption card. Panini tried its best to minimize the number of redemption cards in this product, but I can understand that it's tough to be 100% when relying on so many players.

This 'Nifty 50' autograph is of Dino Ciccarelli and celebrates him being a 50-goal scorer. Numbered /50.

Rogie!!!!!! This Honoured Rivals card has a pair of great legends attached to it.

Rogie Vachon is such an underrated goalie and his masks were some of my favorite. Equally underrated is Johnny Bucyk. It's a shame these guys don't get the hobby love like so many others.

Numbered to /49, this card is one of the better pulls in the box.

But it's not as nice as this one! When I first saw it, I didn't realize what I had. A quick peek on ebay to see some of the prices this card has gone for made the smile real wide on my face.

Now, I was told at the card store that the Subban memorabilia piece should be a patch and that what I had was the seam of a jersey and that I should contact Panini to get a replacement.

Geez, do I try to upgrade the card and send it off, or do I keep it, sell it (or trade it) and make a nice little profit?

What's a guy to do? What's a guy to do?

Overall, I can't really complain about this box break....other than the lack of Lindens. But maybe I can parlay some of these into some of those.

BEHIND THE MASKS - Parent, Pelle and a Plethora of Pipes

The third Wednesday of the month means one thing...Trader's Night.

I made it a point to make it out this month seeing as Dominion was the recent release. Sad to Linden cards were acquired (or even seen). :(

But......there was some Dominion goodness. I'll post that tomorrow.

Tonight, I'll show off some of the goalie mask cards I picked up both in trade and in the toonie binder.

2005/06 In The Game
Between The Pipes
#A-BP Bernie Parent autograph this wasn't a was $5. But a HOF goalie for a five-spot. C'mon! It was a no-brainer for me.

There was also a Ranford and Palmateer from the same set, but I passed this time. I might just have to pick them up next month.

2010/11 In The Game
Decades 1980's - Memorable Masks
#MM-06 Pelle Lindbergh

The moment I saw this card, I knew I would be working out a trade. This was the one card from this product that was high on the radar.

I love how the eyes are piercing through the mask, I love how the straps are starting to fray and I love the simple, white, menacing, fibreglass mask.

Memorable Mask - indeed. Just an awesome card.

2010/11 In The Game
Between The Pipes
Masked Men III
#MM-01 Alex Auld

In addition to the Lindbergh, I picked up three more Masked Men III cards for my set (I'm getting closer to finishing it).

I really like the Auld mask. It's a tribute to some of the greatest goalies in Habs' history.

Love the crouch on Plante. It pays to have a side shot here (where you can't see Alex's eyes) as opposed to a straight on shot.

2010/11 In The Game
Between The Pipes
Masked Men III
#MM-17 Dwayne Roloson

The 'Thor' mask worn by Dwayne is another fave of mine. The picture really doesn't do the mask justice.

2010/11 In The Game
Between The Pipes
Masked Men III
#MM-20 James Reimer

'Optimus Reim' is going to be the main man in Toronto this year. Um-hmm. Whatever. All that means is this card has an inflated price.

Get back to me when you've got some 40-win seasons under your belt and then we'll talk about bumping that price up.

Happy to get this card in a trade as opposed to a cash sale. And it's a boring mask to boot.
OK......a one-card peek at my Dominion break.

Sadly.....not a Linden. :(

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 2010/11 ITG Enshrined

Over the past week I've thought a lot about the hobby. I've thought a lot about my collection. I've thought a lot about how much fun I am still having collecting hockey cards.

Part of that fun is appreciating what I have built to this point. From my Trevor Linden collection to my various goalie mask sets to my small side projects, I think I need to spend more time enjoying them.

That means more show & tells of stuff already in possession (as opposed to stuff that happens to arrive in the mail or at shows).

There's some great stuff that's never really seen the light of day. So why not rev up the scanner a little more and do something about it.

One project that has really helped showcase some of my collection is 'One Sheet, One Set'. I've amassed a few hundred sheets and yet only a handful have made it up on the blog.

Let's try and change that over the next year, eh?

I pulled this sheet out of the binder because it was a definite eye-catcher. It always makes me do a quick double-take.

2010/11 In The Game

Not your average, everyday card now is it?

This product (as you might have already guessed) pays homage to the players and builders that have become enshrined in the Hockey Hall Of Fame. That's a great subject for a product if you ask me. I'm kind of surprised it hasn't been done before now.

I will be looking at just the base cards, but there are auto parallels, jersey cards, stick cards, complete jersey cards and all of them have a pretty limited print run.

Heck, the base cards themselves are numbered /175.

One of the first things you will notice with the base cards (other than the wide use of the color white) is that all of the headshots are artist renderings. Giving a very vintage/earthy/basic/special feel.

How's that for an explanation.

The artwork here is top notch. A gentleman by the name of Paul Madden did the work. He has done a number of pieces for various releases and his efforts for Enshrined definitely garner points.

The use of more bland color gives an old-school feel to the pictures. Some really impressive cards. By taking a quick look at them, you wouldn't even know they were drawings.

Now....on to the rest of the card design.
....there are some circles and some text.

Thank you very much!

In keeping with the simplistic feel, the only design element is a pair of ovals that frame the picture. These ovals open slightly more at the bottom framing the player name and when they were inducted into the HOF.

While I like the font used on the player name, I am not a big fan of the style used on the 'Enshrined 19XX'. It's got a bit too much of an italicized feel to it.

The background of the picture is a dull grey which keeps in subtlety of the card front.

Simple on the front.....simple on the back.

It's all text, all the time. And I can't say I'm overly disappointed by it. I like the 'Keep It Simple Stupid' mantra.

Starting at the top, the player name appears - and for the life of me feels like it's not centered to the card. Is it just me? It looks like it is centered to the stats below. I don't like this.

The stats are very easy to read, simple in its information and give complete player stats. That said, I haven't seen the Gordie Howe card.

The one thing I would have liked is a listing of what team the player played for for each year.

The tidbit at the bottom of the card is nicely done. Simple, broad and accenting that which the player is best known for.

The 'stuff at the bottom' doesn't seem to be too distracting or out of place. Maybe it's all the words blending together.

Faintly in the background is a silhouette of players on the bench watching the play. A nice way to bring in another shade to the back of the card.

The stats as well have a gradient enclosure that is simple, but it works.

What doesn't work is the serial numbering in the bottom right. It messes up the centering of the entire card. I would have preferred ITG finding a way to have the serial number more along the bottom reading like the rest of the card back.

That said, I very much like the stamped font as opposed to the printed numbering. It just has always been something that I have preferred.

Lastly, do you see a card number anywhere? Neither do I. I think it should be mandatory that base cards have some sort of organizational numbering system printed on the back. How is one to organize? It's anarchy!

Overall, this 200 card base set is a wonderful appreciation to those who grace the 'Hallowed Hall'. If you want to learn about who's this set.

But be warned, the cards don't come as cheap as most other base cards. I picked these eight up for a buck a piece and I felt I was getting a good deal.

It's thick card stock and limited print run are to blame for that.

For a card with a ton of white on it, it's actually going to get a favorable score from me.

3 out of 5