I knew walking into the local card store a couple days ago that there would be a new product on the shelf. I also knew that my guy Trevor Linden had some cards in said product.
I knew that there would be some rounds of pack wars using this product (and I participated in a couple rounds). But I told myself all night - don't buy a box. Save your money, buy the Linden singles on the checklist from the secondary market.
I did good.......right up until the end. And then I said "Gimme a box".
And after opening my 4-pack box of Crown Royale I immediately regretted my decision.
How's that for a buildup? Let's take a look at the 'goods'.
If Linden wasn't in this product, I'd have zero interest in it. 4 packs, 5 cards in each pack. 20 cards total. $100+ for the box. The box does say that there's a guarantee of 4 memorabilia or auto cards in the box. Still......
Nothing about this seems appealing to me.
I will say this though, I like the looks of the base cards. Panini stayed with the vertical format again this year and for some reason I enjoy the die-cut design.
The card backs are not as impressive. Just a single line of stats squished along the bottom of the card, making room for a little blurb about the player. Meh.
At least I'll be able to use most of the base cards I pulled for my 'One Sheet, One Set' project. But that doesn't come close to making the box 'worth it'.
I also landed one Legendary Heroes card (basically a retired player base card in black & white). Good thing I didn't pull a Messier.
The Dany Heatley is a red parallel. It's got no serial numbering, but appears to be a one per box hit. Woo-hoo.
And then there's the Rookie Royalty card. It looks like a blue parallel, but I think that's the regular look of them. Wicked.
I also snagged a Rookie Royalty Signature card. No, it's not a parallel, instead it's a continuation of the set numbering.
And it's not serial numbered either. So I have no clue how many of these bad boys were made. Not that it matters with the guy I pulled.
Tomas Vincour...really? Definitely a sign of things to come. Nice signature by the way. Ugh.
Of course with every release these days comes inserts. I got two.
These uneventful and boring-looking cards will fit nicely into a quarter binder...pretty much right away.
I shook my head when I pulled my first jersey card (the Runblad). I nearly crumbled when the Robitaille came out.
Small jersey swatch size combined with a huge waste of space on the card just makes these cards anything but desirable.
That leaves me with one final 'hit'. The big one out of the box.
Now, Crown Royale does include some stunning cards. The Rookie Silhouettes are one of the nicest designs I've seen (even if the die cut of the player does impede on seeing the patch).
Maybe I'd land a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, or a Trevor Linden Ice Kings autograph.
Something big to end off this box. I deserve it right? After all, the break up until this point has been a monumental bust.
Hoo boy. Sure it's serial numbered to just 25 copies, but that's about the only redeeming quality of this pull. 'Prime'? A two color jersey piece does not make this a prime card.
Immediately after this box break I have decided to not break boxes that don't appeal to me - even if Trev has a card or two in the mix.
I could have easily taken the money spent on this box, purchased 3, 4 or 5 Lindens on the secondary market and been thrilled with the results.
Instead, I'm left with a real bad taste in my mouth. And 20 cards that serve no real purpose.
Let's see if I learn from this lesson.