Thursday, September 30, 2010

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 1969/70 Topps

One of my favorite blog topics has been sitting on the sidelines for far too long.

Time to bring back another one for the season.

My 'One Sheet, One Set' project has grown quite a bit over the past year. I have now cataloged over 250 different one sheets and am hoping to have things organized to a point that I can take a list with me and aggressively look for lots of base cards this year.

Who'd have thunk it? Base!

Anyways, this sheet comes from some pickups at last spring's giant card show here in town. It is currently the oldest 'set' I have completed and I loved the fact that I could look through cards this old with the possible intention of buying.

1969/70 Topps

This is a simple 132 card set put out by Topps which at the time was the US equivalent of O-Pee-Chee (which was the brand of choice for me growing up. I guess it had to be since there was nothing else at the local convenience store).

Immediately I am drawn, disgusted (call it what you want) by the hideous looking backgrounds in the player photos.

This was a time period where I was guessing that just getting the photos of all the players was a task and a half. I can only imagine the photographer and his crew.

"OK guys, split up into two groups. Half of you in front of the blue wall and half in front of the green."

"Some of the guys are already on the ice."

"Aaarrrrgghhhh! I'll get them later. OK, now line up and one at a time give me your best 7-year-old hockey pose."

"How's this?"

"No, no. We want you looking at the camera, not out into space. Look like you're a fierce hockey player."


"C'mon! I don't have all day! How about a sneer?

"Do I need to tie up my skates for this?"

"A stare? Anything! OK, Gary Jarrett.....a little too much there."

"Can I change walls? I like green."

"Work with me guys! Anything! Just look at the camera!"


CLICK "Whatever.......NEXT!"

Absolutely boring photo selections. But I guess action shots were not a priority. Most people didn't even know what one was.

The design of the card isn't much better. I kind of like it when looking at it in context of the era. It's a simple setup with a thin black border for the photo, a cartoon stick on the right side, the position is listed in a puck in the bottom right corner and the team logo is placed on top of the photo in the top left.

The player name and team nickname are clearly (and boringly) placed along the bottom. Simple Card Designing 101.

What I do like about it though is cards that have stood the test of time, are jet white in color and have four sharp corners look really nice. As soon as a card gets dinged or worn or is off center with the really looks bad.

The back of the card has its pros and cons. I really like the colors. The rounded corners of the blue background is nice and the text at the top is well placed.

While I like the player blurbs, I think it should have been swapped with the stats. Full career stats would have been nice (although again, not often used in this era of cards). I do like the font used for the stats small points there.

The content of the info is cool. It's nice learning something about a player that actually makes you go "Huh.....I didn't know that."

Some card backs have a place for a stamp to be placed. Obviously one could obtain the stamps and stick them on. 2 of my 8 cards have this and neither have the stamp. Whew! That would have wrecked the card.

Overall, a nice set. Nothing to write home about and definitely not the set of choice for the 60's or the 70's.

For the price, if you're going for a vintage set, I'd recommend passing on this one.

1.5 out of 5

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

TO THE BIKE SPOKES!!! - Jaroslav Svejkovsky

It's not for the lack of crappy cards that has kept me from posting 'bike spoke' worthy pieces of cardboard recently. It's been a summer of busy work.

That said, let's get back to celebrating the best of the worst.

1997/98 Donruss Canadian Ice Rookie Jaroslav Svejkovsky #143

Poor guy. A promising career in the Czech Republic junior leagues, a stud season in the WHL (70GP, 58G, 43A, 101PTS) and being named Rookie Of The Year in the AHL in 1997 gave great promise to the Capitals that some offence would be coming their way.

Two words destroyed that all - knee surgery.

Only a cup of coffee for Slav in the NHL...113 total games played and only 23 goals.

Maybe his knee problems were as a result for the nasty spill depicted in this photo.

Donruss, a company I enjoyed for as a result of solid photography, really crapped the bed on this one. How they thought that this was a photo befitting of a rookie card is beyond me.

Obviously, the only explanation could possibly be that this is the only existing photo of Svejkovsky in existence. That has to be it.

Maybe this card should be considered more valuable than I give it credit for.


To the poor photo editors at Donruss and you #34.....



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 02/03 BAP Parkhurst Gold

A huge mailday for my Linden collection again today. Another rarity that I questioned would ever get crossed off my list is now scratched.

And yet again.....a fellow hobbyist, a fellow Linden collector has gone above and beyond in helping me out with my player collection.

Last week, I received an e-mail from the guy whom I consider to have the greatest Linden collection - period. He simply asked if my wantlist was up to date.

Immediately, the level of excitement rose as I knew he had something in the cards for me. Soon after, he explained that he purchased a card off ebay knowing the price was too good to pass up and was confident that I needed it.

Sure was.

2002/03 BAP Parkhurst
#183 Gold /10

Simply, all he was looking for was to get his money back. He wasn't looking for a profit, he wasn't looking for fanfare, he wasn't looking for anything. He was just simply looking out for another Linden collector...something he has done for all the years that I have known him.

Knowing that there are only 10 copies of this card, the card is almost 10 years old and the fact that I have never seen one come up for sale or was a no-brainer.

I was thrilled to know that this card was on its way to me.

One small bump in the road....he accidentally wrote the wrong address down on the envelope. Luckily, it was a minor flub and the package still made it to my mailbox safe and sound this afternoon.

It has been a little while since a card this rare has found its way into my hands. In fact, the last time was when I made a monster deal with the same Linden collector last year.

Thanks again Kevin. I have always appreciated your help and am looking forward to the next time we can deal again.

Monday, September 27, 2010

STASHED IN THE CLOSET - Gary Roberts Game Used Stick

Another sift through the giant closet of hockey stuff lends a nice piece that I picked up from a garage sale a few years ago.

Gary Roberts Game Used Stick
(circa: Calgary Flames)

Now, while I can't confirm 100% its authenticity, I can be very confident that this is the real deal. The way the stick is taped and the pictures that I have so far matched up with this piece of lumber gives me good confidence that this is a gamer.

It's a nicely used piece that reeks of the sticks from that era. The yellow and red on white just screams 80's hockey stick.

The garage sale that I bought it from had 4 sticks in total. Two of the Roberts' game used sticks, one really.....REALLY old Northland (I believe) stick from the 50's or 60's (I should get that one photo'd up for another blog post) and a 'johnny normal' stick that I now use for shinny games.

The blade is in nice condition and the tape job is very minimal.

And what really got me was the faint signs of a Gary Roberts autograph. It's tough to see and it was better on the other one I had (yup, I sold the first one for almost triple what I paid for the entire lot).

It looks authentic and makes a great conversation piece. Who knows...he might have scored a couple pretty important goals with it. :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Great cardboard photography is much more commonplace these days versus the single set releases of the 1970's.

The tools to take the photos have vastly improved, the frequency of shots and number of photographers has skyrocketed and the sheer number of cards out there these days lends to a much better chance of finding something that is very eye-catching.

Back in the 70's, most player cards were a portrait shot in front of a boring blue background or the simple 'peewee hockey picture pose' on the ice. The cards for the most part were very.....VERY boring to look at.

For the most part.

Seeing a great action shot on a card from the 70's makes me stop and take notice. How did they get that shot? Who was the photographer? Why aren't the other 395 cards in the set like this one?

This card sits as one of my favorites from that time period.

1975/76 O-Pee-Chee
#61 Yvon Labre

Yup. Out of all the guys that could have a cool action's Yvon Labre that steals the show.

Not Orr, not Esposito, not Lafleur, not Dionne, not Perreault, not any of the giant stars of the game.

Here is a great photo - of a defenceman no less - of a hard checking play with great depth and framing. The lack of helmets on Labre and the Detroit checker just adds to the flow (literally) of the photo.

The other thing that really makes this card cool is that you can tell the photo is old - taken in the 70's. It crisp....but not by today's standards. The colors are bold....but in a unique way that represents the time period. And lastly, the era of the card itself. Printed on good ol' cardboard (with a ridiculously simple card design) makes this the complete package.

A great looking photo and a great looking card.

1 vs. 100 - Another Significant Number

Another mailday lends to another add to the rapidly growing 1 vs. 100 project. This one is from another 'Significant Numbers' set. These sets are so key to the completion of my collection.

This card is from a year that hasn't made an appearance yet in my project....which adds to the enjoyment factor.

It would be great to try and get a different set release card for each of the 100 cards, but that would pretty much kill the chance of getting the project done.

I do look for variety, but find it tough to pass up a card when it presents itself.

Anyways, here's the latest to go in the collection pile.

2007/08 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers
#SN-GF Grant Fuhr /31

A pretty cool looking card say for the boring white jersey piece and the least cool photo of Grant in an Oilers uniform they could find.

Why not have him in his early 80's heyday where his 'fro would be popping out of his fibreglass mask. Now that would have been sweet.

Nevertheless, it's another lower numbered card that I am thrilled to add to the project.

Slowly getting closer and there's more fun to come.

58 out of 100 (58%)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BOX BREAK: 5 Packs of 2002/03 Pacific Calder

Last weekend was the first local card show of the season. Sadly, I didn't realize this until the Saturday night. I prefer going on the Saturdays as I feel they are a little busier and not all the goods have been bought up right away.

I also worry that dealers will only show up on the Saturday leaving for slim pickings on the Sunday.

Not so this time. Sunday was a pretty good show. A good number of tables and some that even a word?

I actually found a few nice items at the show. A Linden for my traders, I almost pulled the trigger on 5 cards for my 1 vs. 100 project (it was just a little more than I wanted to spend so I'm bringing my traders next show to try and work something out), an unopened box of cheap wax that will see the light of day here on my blog soon and some loose packs for less than the price you'd get them at the loonie store.

Overall, a fun afternoon.

Here's the first sets of loose packs I purchased. 5 packs of 2002/03 Pacific Calder.

As you can see on the pack, it was the inaugural edition of this product. A tribute to the rookie class. The focus on the cards would be the first season that the player played. A nice concept as I think rookies were (and always have been) an eye-catcher for collectors.

Now, you might be saying "What are Pacific Complete cards doing in your box break"? Well, this multi-product set was an attempt at getting people to purchase more product. Different product. By getting one of these cards in every pack, it enticed collectors to moving on to other Pacific products from that year to complete the set. Hence the name.

An OK concept, but I was never sold on the full idea. A simple design lent to the feeling that it was a throwaway card. The poor player selection didn't help either. These were my best two out of the 5 I got.

At only 4 cards per pack, it was a slim break. One severe downside to this product. The base cards look nice, but still have that aura of'low end'. Silver variations of the cards were inserted at 1:9 packs but sadly I didn't land any of those.

The concept on the other hand really caught my eye. What I think could have knocked this product out of the park is if they used photos from their rookie year. I had a Brett Hull in my break and he is in his Wings' jersey. Imagine how much cooler the card would have been if he was sporting the color of the Flames.

The info on the back of the card again focuses on the rookie year stats. It only gives those as well as the past year's numbers. Room to allow for a little rookie burb. Not bad.

The big pull in this set were the quad jerseys (1:25 packs). No dice for me. Nor were any of the other inserts say for the serial numbered rookies (1:9 packs). Not the feeling of excitement as compared to curent serial numbered rookies.

These are numbered out of 825 and while they are a nice addition to the packs, it doesn't add a huge amount to the overall product.

Still, a valiant attempt at trying something different and for a small chunk of change - it was a fun break.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Custom Creations: Boba Fett...Boba Awesome!

Well, my 8-year-old nephew was a big fan of the custom sketch cards. So much so that I am prepping a half-dozen more for him this weekend.

What I think we both enjoyed about it (other than working on these together) was that it was just so ridiculously simple. I can't believe I didn't get the itch to do this earlier. It was just so much fun.

Without further is my nephew's first Star Wars Custom Sketch Card.

Boba Fett was a great choice. Immediately recognizable and 'sans face'. Faces are so hard....masks are so much more fun.

My niece was pretty interested in what we were doing, so we invited her to draw up a card herself. I think the results were pretty nice.

I think the word 'cute' was used a couple thousand times.

Nice work - both of you.

This was my contribution to the sketches. Again, the fact I didn't have to draw a face made this card turn out a lot better than I expected.

I'll post more when I can get them away from the kids.

Thanks for the look.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Trifecta of Trades

I thought I'd go with three cards for this Linden post. Three cards that represent the tougher years for me and my Linden collection.

The 'Non-Canuck' Years.

February 6, 1998 was a day that changed my allegiance forever from 'The Canucks' to 'A Man Without A Team'. It was the day Trevor Linden was traded from my beloved Canucks to the New York Islanders.

I will not get into it - but I still hate the Canucks, Mike Keenan and Mark Messier for that one.

Trev was traded for Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe and the NY Islanders' 3rd round choice (Jarkko Ruutu) in the 1998 Entry Draft. Looking back, it seems as though the Canucks got the better end of that deal, but at the time, Linden was the marquee player in the trade.

1998/99 SPx Finite #50
Spectrum /300

A cool parallel for a set that never really took off with me. It's horizontal design caught my eye initially, but I found it boring the more I saw singles from the set.

With just 300 copies (a tough find at the time) it was a solid parallel that took a while to knock off my wantlist.

It took just over a year for the Islanders to realize that Linden just wasn't the same player that he was in Vancouver. He was traded back to a Canadian team - the Canadiens in fact and things were looking a little better for him.

Trevor was traded for Montreal's 1st round choice (Branislav Mezei) in the 1999 Entry Draft on May 29, 1999. That would be considered a big loss for the New York Isles. It seems as though they do that a lot.

2000/01 Kraft Be A Player #26

Try finding one of these cards nowadays. It's pretty much impossible. I don't know the full details, but I just remember there being a lot of issues and difficulties with the release of the set. I was lucky to land this single early as it has been nearly a decade since I last came across one.

What I really like about this card is the great action photo. We need more of those on our cards today!

I didn't mind Trev in the 'Bleu, Blanc et Rouge'. I actually got to see a few games he played in...albeit in French (I saw one game on TV the year Trev was a member of the NYI). But again, it just wasn't the same as the 'Nucks.

Now this is a be warned.

On March 13, 2001, Trev was traded to Washington by Montreal with Dainius Zubrus and New Jersey's 2nd round choice (previously acquired, later traded to Tampa Bay Tampa Bay selected Andreas Holmqvist) in the 2001 Entry Draft for Richard Zednik, Jan Bulis and Washington's 1st round choice (Alexander Perezhogin) in the 2001 Entry Draft.

Got that? Neither did I.

All I knew was that Trevor was packing his bags to Washington. Yuck! Remember, this was before the Ovechkin days. Instead, it was the Jagr days. And Jagr was another guy I couldn't stand.

2001/02 Be A Player Signature
#125 Gold

An 'on card' signature nowadays is a rarity, but back then it was the only thing. This card would have looked so much better had he been in a Canucks jersey. Thankfully, there would be many more autos to come.

It was so odd seeing Linden in a Caps jersey. The road black was a real oddity. By this point, I thought he had pretty much killed his career and would eventually become 'the guy that gets traded all the time to every team in the league'. I hated that thought.

That all changed on November 10, 2001.

Trev was brought back to the Canucks when he was traded to Vancouver by Washington with NY Islanders' 2nd round choice (previously acquired, Vancouver selected Denis Grot) in the 2002 Entry Draft for Vancouver's 1st round choice (Boyd Gordon) in the 2002 Entry Draft and Vancouver's 3rd round choice (later traded to Edmonton Edmonton selected Zachery Stortini) in the 2003 Entry Draft.

Keenan was gone, Messier was gone and the Canucks were rebuilding a solid team with Naslund, Bertuzzi, Morrison and the Sedins.

While I was thrilled to see Linden back with the team he belonged to...I never did root for the Canucks the same way.

Still never have to this day.

Monday, September 20, 2010

1 vs. 100 - An Auto-Draft Mailday

A big purchase from one of the hobby boards I am a part of is responsible for this mailday.

A great insert set, the 2005/06 SP Game Used 'Auto Draft' set has inserts numbered to the draft position of the player.

A pretty cool design with team colors that really pop and a well placed sticker autograph make these cards some of the nicer ones in my project.

Eric Daze /90

Poor guy was a force early on in his career, but if you can't stay are soon forgotten.

Milan Hejduk /87

I didn't realize he was that low of a pick. Nowadays though, you can see guys 100 or so places lower make it. Nice picture. Looks like he's at graduation.

Jochen Hecht /49

Would he go in the 'underachiever' category? How about 'work in progress'? 'Journeyman'? For a guy drafted 15 years ago, he better hurry up and have a career before it's over.

Kristian Huselius /47

I know this one......'one dimensional player'. If he could do more than just score 30 goals a season - anything else, he would be a much more valuable commodity. Until then, he will be slapped with the 'what if'.

Timofei Shishkanov /33

Never heard of him. Kind of sad as he's the one with the highest draft position out of the 5 in this post.

Thanks for having a card.

57 out of 100 (57%)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SCRIBBLES & SCRIBES - OPC Premier Signings

Wow! April.....the last time I did one of these. My bad.

I was at the first local card show of the season today and was looking for some cards for my various projects. When I crossed by one table, I noticed a box full of autographed cards, prospects, stars, legends, you name it. I thought I'd take some time out to see who had some of the nicest sigs and if I could find some nice looking autographs of current players.

A harder task than expected.

So tough in fact that I ventured back a bit for my 'scribe' this time.

The scribble......well those are easy to find.

Thomas Vanek

Now yes, I understand that your first name starts with a T and your last name starts with a V......but that does not give you permission to zig-zag your way through your signature.

I do believe there is an S, A and E included in your name as well. You know....letters with curves in them.


Steve Yzerman

A real mixture of the classic signature and 80's flare. For the longest time, his autograph was just not that well seen on cards. Nowadays, his signature is a part of some of the nicest hockey cards out there. It helps when you are a Hall Of Famer and considered one of the greatest of all time.

What I like most about his 'graph is that the signature takes up a good chunk of the card. It's not a tiny penmark or small in writing. His autograph commands attention.

Take a look at the first letters in his names. The S reeks of confidence - bordering on swagger. The Y ties it all together. What I also find very cool about it is the offset in his name. It just.......fits that style so well.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

1 vs. 100 - A Very Generous Gesture

Not long ago, I hit the milestone halfway mark with my '1 vs. 100' project.

I decided to post my current success on a hobby board that I belong to and immediately received not only congratulations and positive comments, but offers from people indicating they had cards to help out.

I have since made a couple transactions and am working towards a couple more. I definitely have made some good strides in just a few short days.

The two cards that I have in this post are a result of that. But these two cards have a pretty cool story attached to them.

Upon seeing my 'show and tell' post on the boards, one member simply posted that he had a couple cards and asked for my address. That's it.

He wasn't looking for anything in return. He didn't know me at all. He just popped that cards in a bubble envelope and mailed them off. No expectations.

It reinforced my belief that when you do good things - good things will happen. I thanked him very much for the generosity and ensured him that not only will I be returning the gesture down the road - I will be 'passing it forward'.

Not because I feel obligated to, but because I want to. I know how I felt when I received the cards today and I am looking forward to doing the same to someone down the road.

So without further ado.... a simple thank you to Brian and here are the new additions to the project. Ones that will harness a special spot in the collection.

2002-03 UD Foundations
Denis Potvin /95

What a cool photo. I love Potvin's look. Sweet - SWEET card. And it's got a piece of his jersey in it. Love it.

2004-05 SP Game Used Cup Contenders
Todd Bertuzzi /30

While Bertuzzi may not garner the hobby love he once had. This card is no slouch at all. A nice design with yet another piece of jersey. And limited to just 30 copies. What a great add.

Again - Thank you Brian.

52 out of 100 (52%)

TTM: My niece is PUMPED about this success!

Well, this past week was a landmark week for my minimal TTM ventures.

My niece and I have built a few custom cards to send off to some of the actors/actresses in the Twilight movies.

This past week she was excited to see a successful return in the mailbox.

Not much to say other than - AWESOME!

I'm thrilled that doing these custom TTM's with her has shown that a little bit of planning and some work (and 'fun' work at that) can garner some cool and unique results.

I think it's cool that she is the only one on this planet that has a signed card like that.

Looking forward to seeing more envelopes in the mailbox.

Here are the details...

NIKKI REED– Actress (Twilight)
Date Sent: July 30, 2010
Items Sent: 2 custom cards
Address Sent To: Nikki Reed
C/o BWR Public Relations
5700 Wilshire Blvd.
Suite 550
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Date Received: September 14, 2010
Notes: both custom cards received back; personalized; one with ‘Love’, the other with a heart.

Friday, September 17, 2010


With the NHL season quickly creeping up on us, it's often a time for collectors to assess and evaluate their habits, spending and ultimately their goals as it pertains to the hobby.

While I plan on taking a look at where I am at with my collections and where I would like to be come the end of the season, I don't think I will be yielding as much of a serious tone when it comes to my expectations this season.

From a financial standpoint, it will be status quo for me. Saving each month and spending when the time is right. Not overdoing it (too often) and recognizing the times that might only come around once in a blue moon.

From a project standpoint, I think my Linden collection is pretty much stagnant right now. If I happen to come across a card I need, I will probably be aggressive towards obtaining it. I hear rumblings that he might be included in a set this upcoming season - which would be cool.

My One Sheet, One Set project is one that I would like to have better organized rather than substantially adding to it. That said, if a great deal crosses my path....I'll jump at it.

1 vs. 100. Now that's one project I'd like to see progress quite a bit. Remembering that I'm not breaking the bank for it. I think I can get another 25-30 cards by the end of the season.

My other smaller projects are nothing more than just fun projects that are more "Hey....look what I found. I'll add it to my collection." Nothing that I will seriously pursue.

I'd like to continue getting rid of the stuff that no longer is a part of "my collection". Stuff that just sits in my closet and takes up space. The last couple years have been good for getting rid of stuff, but I'd like to take another step towards streamlining.

From my blog standpoint, I'd like to continue what I have started. I am quite proud of my first year of blogging (OK - 11 months). I hope to continue blogging with some consistency and with topics that interest me. Hopefully they will interest you too. Not sure in what ways I will expand the blog (if I even will), but I'm very much looking forward to the season.

And finally, the biggest goal of them all - have fun. It's can often be the one that is overlooked the most. Whenever I take my niece and/or nephew out somewhere and we go over the rules, they automatically know the answer when I ask "What's rule #1?" HAVE FUN!

I like that.

Have you got goals for your collections, projects or the hobby in general? What are they?

Monday, September 13, 2010

RAISE THE CUP - Remember Me

Alright. Let's get back to some of the projects that have caught my attention, been enjoyable to build and have gotten me more organized.

My 'Raise The Cup' project, for those not in the loop, consist of cards that depict players raising the Stanley Cup over their heads. Simple.

The first card that caught my eye was a Lanny McDonald 2008/09 Legends Masterpieces Brown Border card. I loved the look, design and 'moment capturing' aspect of the card.

I have since traded it away. I know, I know....but it was for a good reason, and I had this one which will take its place.

Not quite as nice as the brown border, but still fits the bill for my collection.

Here are some other beauties from that popular set.

There are so many things I like about the Bowman card....but in the end, I think the t-shirt he is wearing trumps them all. Just nasty.

It could have been worse though, they could have shown him wearing his skates that he tied on for the lap around the rink.

Were they Micron or Daoust skates? Yikes!

Thanks for the look and I hope to build more on this enjoyable project this upcoming season.

current collection - 14 cards

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Custom Creations: The Greatest Custom Card Collection...... PERIOD!

Today was the final day of our 'summer' work schedule. Busy is an understatement for me during the months of June, July, August and September, but things now shift gears. It's still busy, but should be more steady than crazy.

As such, I hope to get back into a bit of a routine when it comes to me blog. I enjoy the writing and sharing of my projects and it helps me become more organized with my collection.

Tonight, I introduce you to one of my favorite custom card makers and the ultimate custom cut auto collection - bar none.

The Broderick Collection

In a nutshell, it is the single greatest collection of autographs from the world of hockey. The diversity and rarity of these signatures is staggering.

The simplicity in the custom designs and the precision in the cutting of the cards and autographs makes these cards some of the nicest I have seen. To know that they all sit within one collected group is truly impressive.

The amount of time, effort and the balls to mess with such priceless autographs is a testament to the designers work and inspiration for me as a custom card creator.

I look forward to seeing more cards included in this project and as a result, unearthing more of the most historical autographs this sport has seen.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

1 vs. 100 - Halfway There

Well, it's a milestone mailday for my 1 vs. 100 project.

I started this collection less than a year ago and I find myself today sitting at exactly the halfway point.

Two cards from ebay pop me to the 50 card mark.

2006/07 Ultimate Collection
Ultimate Achievements
#UA-TV Tomas Vokoun /36

One of the great things about this project is that I have seen some cool looking cards that I've never crossed paths with in the past. This card is one such example.

I really like the design....for some odd reason. It looks disjointed and 'boxy', but it has an appeal that I like. Maybe it's the textured color in the background (which does not show well in the scan), maybe it's the hard signed autograph (kind of sloppy, kind of cool) or maybe it's because it's numbered out of 36.

The last one is all that matters in the end.

2008/09 SP Game Used
Significant Numbers
#SN-NZ Nikolai Zherdev /13

It's always nice to knock off a card with less than 15 as a print run. I've said it before and I'll say it again....these Significant Numbers inserts will prove to play a huge role in this project.

It's nice that Nik has stumbled career-wise as this card was brought in for a price I was more than happy to pay.

As mentioned, that puts me at 50 cards. I'm going to get a little more serious with the search this fall. My goal is to have less than 20 cards remaining by the end of the hockey season. Let's see how accurate I will be.

50 out of 100 (50%)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

OUTSIDE THE BOX - Cool Custom Concept

Ever since I started my blog, I have been on the lookout for others who share the same interests of cards, customs and blogs. My list of blogs to check out may seem thin in comparison to other sites, but the blogs I list are ones that I really enjoy.

I came across this blog tonight and thought I'd share it with you as I think the concept of his custom project is very cool.

The Amazing Shea Stadium Autograph Project

To know the parameters of your project (791 players), to have a feasable and 'do-able' goal and to have a unique theme makes this project one that I will be paying close attention to.

To know that he already has 577 cards completed in his project is a testament to his dedication to the quest.

Best of luck and I will be checking in to see how you are progressing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 97/98 Pinnacle Totally Certified Mirror Platinum

Whew....that's a mouthful!

Haven't done one of these in a while. Thought I'd share a card that (at the time I got it) was the most rare Linden card in my collection.

1997/98 Pinnacle Totally Certified
#104 Mirror Platinum /30

This was an interesting parallel in the late 90's.

The story as I know it is that Pinnacle was supposed to insert these 'mirror' versions into packs. They were not. As a result, if a person pulled a Platinum Gold parallel (# /69 for skaters and /59 for goalies), they could send them in to Pinnacle and redeem a Mirror Platinum version (# /30 for skaters and /25 for goalies). Once those cards ran out, obviously you could no longer redeem the card.

For a time, these cards went for a strong, STRONG amount of coin. It seems as though the prices have peaked and dropped a bit.

I bought this Linden for about $75 (which was a lot for me at the time), but am very glad to have done so. I have not seen them surface for quite some time.

It was Linden's lowest numbered parallel (/30) at the time and still is among the most scarce cards in my collection.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"The Die-Cutter Story"

NOTE: I apologize in advance for the length of this blog post. Recounting the events made me go a little trigger happy with the keyboard. You have been warned. :)

If you have been following this blog, you know that I love custom cards.

For years, I have been trying to find ways to make the cards I create, print and assemble more like those that you purchase in packs. I want to make my cards look as 'authentic' as possible.

How far will I go? At times, maybe too far.

For quite some time now I have been very happy with the layout of my Photoshop files in order to print my cards. I am also fairly content with the process of gluing one side of the card to the other (I'm getting better at lining it up). For the longest time though, I was disappointed with the way the cards were cut.

I tried many different methods. Scissors, a guillotine, exacto knife, you name it. The two biggest problems I found were that the edges were never quite straight and I could never get two cards exactly the same size.

So the brainstorming continued. Until one day I was perusing through the local craft store (yes, I know....what can I say. It's for the hobby!) and came across a fair size square hole punch. Almost 2 inches by 2 inches. I thought to myself - "Now if they made one the size of a hockey card....I would be in business".

And so the search began.

Store after store I was looking for an oversized, high-quality hole punch. Good luck with that. No dice anywhere. I found a bunch of machines that cut, printed, scraped, ripped, tore, basically magiaclly cut out shapes....but nothing that worked for me.

C'mon! Just a simple hole punch.

To my friend 'ebay' I went. It's amazing...once you type in the right keyword, a whole new world opens up.

Die cutter. (I guess that's two words).

The products I found were EXACTLY what I was looking for. EXCEPT for the fact that nobody made cutters with square corners. They were all round (for making playing cards). So close!

One company in particular seemed to have the most variety and highest quality cutters. So I took a look at their website. Sketchy to say the least. It looked like they were living in the 80's. Not a high-end, slick looking website. Heck, most of the links didn't even work.

Nonetheless, there was a phone number. So it was a phone call and the wheels finally started rolling on the die cutter train. I asked for exactly what I thought I wanted. A die cutter that will cut thick cards, 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inches in size with square corners. Simple huh.

Well, first off I was told that something like that would be a custom build. 'Cha-ching' was the first sound I heard. Second, the guy told me that the industry norm for trading cards were 2 3/8 x 3 3/8. A small little difference I thought. So I went for it.

We'll get to the price later.

I was told it would take a little over a month to make. They didn't say it would take over a month to ship - from China! Add to that all of the customs and shipping costs and such. Ouch.

Finally, after much complaining and bickering, I finally received my die cutter. I was on cloud nine when I opened it.

It cut like butter.

The cards though were noticeably smaller in size.

Unacceptable. Frustration. Disappointment.

I was devastated. I was so close to solving this agonizing problem only to have to re-trace my steps.

I called and complained but it fell on deaf ears. "You made the decision to go with that size" I was told. "You knew it was a custom build". They weren't going to do anything about it.

So, as much as I hated to do it...I had them build another. The one I wanted them to do originally.

A couple months later, it arrived. And finally I cut my first trading card that I was absolutely thrilled about.

It's a simple looking machine. Looks just like a giant single hole punch. Essentially that is what it is. And it works great.

Every card I have cut since I bought it has come out the exact same size.

It makes me so happy that I can almost forget the price I paid for it.

$630 US ........for each one. :(

Oh, and add to that $40 shipping for each one. $40 delivery fees for each. Gas to drive across the city to pick it up (since they wouldn't drop it off). And $10 for a meal I bought while I was waiting for the parcel place to open after 'lunchbreak'.

Grand total = $1,430.00

As I type makes me cringe, but I will soon forget about it as I have had a blast using it over the past year.

No regrets on the purchase(s) at all.