I can't believe I went the whole month of March without posting. Well...now that I think of it, maybe not. There was little hobby action from me over the past 30 days. No big pickups, no Lindens.
Scratch that...there was one.
After getting a glimpse of what the new Upper Deck SP Signature Legends product had to offer, I decided that I would bust open a box (a rare bird for me these days). My guy has no less than six cards on the checklist...and an unannounced seventh card in the mix. That makes for an exciting product rip.
Sadly, I didn't get to unwrap a Linden myself, but did trade for his base card. The chase continues.
Box breaks feel different than they used to. Fewer cards in a pack...fewer packs in a box. But this isn't a low-end product, so I guess that's the reason why.
For SP Signature Legends, it's 5 cards per pack and there were 18 packs in the box. No chance of building the base set with just one box. In fact, you'd need at least four boxes to complete the 300-card base set (not including the 50 short print cards that beef this up to 350).
But I'm guessing a lot of the breakers are more interested in the hits.
Here's a look at the base cards. I was fortunate enough to have a friend gift me the Linden. I love the fact that it's a card in the iconic skate logo uniform.
Solid design and slightly thicker design stock makes this feel like a higher-end product - which it is.
The checklist is all over the place. True legends of the game are included (and the short prints are a who's who of the game), but there are some names in this product that just have me scratching my head.
No offense to the Ben Lovejoy collectors or the Mike Weaver chasers...but those are long name pulls. Still, when names like Plante, Sawchuk, Mikita, Trottier are included, one tends to look the other way.
As I mentioned, it's the inserts that are the real star of this product. Let's start with the canvas cards - a staple in big Upper Deck releases. Here, the UD Canvas Legends really shine.
A Steve Yzerman decked out in the oh-so-tasty mid-80's All Star uniforms...exceptional. I was hoping the photo would've been from the 1985 tilt that was held in Calgary (a game I went to), but it appears to be from the year before as I believe it is Denis Potvin's hand that he is shaking.
Still, a real nice photo. And I'd learn that this would be a theme of the canvas cards.
OK...hold the phone. Where was this photography on cards in the 70's and 80's??!! This single piece of cardboard gave me a huge jolt when I unwrapped it. What a snapshot.
The angle, the action, the leather, and of course...the mask. This is a photo worth framing.
I was grinning wide when looking at this card.
So you can only imagine my beaming when I pulled this Davidson. Again, where was this 40 years ago??
As a kid, I would've drooled over a card that had a closeup of a mask on it. And Davidson had some pretty memorable lids.
One more canvas to share...and it's a signed one.
Michel Goulet was certainly a player I remember collecting when I was a kid. In fact, I remember taking his 1980 rookie card and cutting out the player and name bar (thinking it would look cool). I love when cards weren't seen dollar signs...but just pieces of cardboard.
Thrilled to see him in his vintage Nordiques jersey...how I remember him best.
On to some of the other inserts. These are the gold parallels of the base cards (and were 1:7 packs). The Patrick Roy was a nice find...and is one of the SP chases (so 1:42 packs).
I really like the way the players pop off the gold background. Gives it a crisp, higher-end feel. The facsimile auto is a nice touch too.
While the etched autos are nice, a hard-signed offering looks even better. Here's the big man Kjell Samuelsson giving fans his auto.
I remember him from the Pens-Flyers rivalries (and probably getting lit up by Mario Lemieux) before joining Pittsburgh and helping them to their second Cup win.
The signatures are really the staple of this product...and from what I've seen, are highly desirable (if you have the right name).
More inserts. These ProFiles cards look sharp. That rainbow foil tint makes those players jump out of the card.
Another Stevie Y and a rookie year Patrick Roy. No complaint with those guys following me on this break.
The Evolve cards are a nice idea. I hit a couple of them, but of course this Gretzky is tops. Shocked to not see him in his memorable St. Louis Blues kit. Ha ha.
Again, the real appeal of these cards are the signed versions. They look quite sharp with the auto in the sweet spot at the bottom.
Alright...time to share the dud of the box. Sorry Stu.
These Life After Hockey cards really just do not need to be in the product. A very loud, schtick-y card design with some uninspired photography. Do I really need to know that Stu is a lawyer these days?
Not for me.
On the flip side...I was beaming ear to ear when I pulled a Future Watch. No, it's not the auto, but a unannounced acetate parallel. What a great photo of Bobby as a rookie. Those gloves!
It really was the highlight of the box. My hope is to parlay it into a Linden (as he too has the unannounced acetate Future Watch parallel).
This was a really enjoyable break, even more because I opened my box at the same time as my friend opened his. Lots of fun comparing base card names and jaw dropping insert hits. It really reminded me of what the essence of the hobby is all about.
Go rip some packs!