Monday, April 30, 2012

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - This One's Got Teeth!

It's the last day of April.  Do you know what that means (other than making sure you got your taxes filed)?

The year is already a third of the way done.  Gak!

It's been a busy 4 months for me.  In addition to work, my niece's softball and my nephew's lacrosse, I've been more active pursuing Linden cards for my collection than I have been in years.  And while it's been a lot of fun, I am hoping the summer months can offer a bit of a reprieve as my wallet is shedding a few tears.

I know there are going to be a few more cards of his in the next bit.  Panini Elite has already shown off one of the nicer autos I've seen in a while and In The Game has Trev in their expo redemption products.  One card (a dual memorabilia card with Ken Griffey Jr.) has me interested to see the demand for this unique item.

But this post is going to focus on (yet another) Linden mailday.

I saw this card pop up on ebay and my first thought was "This must be the Gold 1/1 patch".  There haven't been too many Linden patches that I've seen as nice as this one.

But alas, it's just the silver version (9 copies).....and dare I say, the nicest.

2011/12 In The Game Captain-C
#M-56 Game-Used Silver Patch (print run of 9)

When I say this card has teeth.....I mean it.  I don't think I've ever seen a Linden patch card with this kind of design on it.  And of course, the asking price was reflective of that fact.

While I didn't pay the full asking price, I felt the actual purchase price was fair, but a little more than I was hoping to pay for one.  But what can you do.

My only beef about the card is that the patch swatch comes from a jersey type not depicted in the photo.  A minor detail, but something I think could have been avoided.

This leaves me with just a few more cards to obtain to finish the Captain-C portion of my Linden collection.  I'm in no real rush to land the rest.  There are a couple of cards I should be able to land for less than $10 but there are a couple that might be a little tougher.  I keep telling myself "It's not a race"......once in a while, I listen.

Hopefully over the next couple weeks, I can get to a few more posts.  But with the summer months around the corner, things might be slowing down a little while work (and golf season) ramp up a bit.

Happy May!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

MY COLLECTION: A Slew Of Good Things

Yesterday I received a fantastic 'thank you' package from Casey over at Drop The Gloves!.  A while back I built a custom cut auto of Reggie Lewis for him and this was his way of letting me know how much he appreciated my work.

I don't want to diminish the cards (because they are very cool), but the gesture in itself is more than enough.  Thanks Casey for the fantastic gift.

As I always good things and good things happen.

So without further ado, let's check out some of the goods.

BAM!!!!!  Right off the bat.  This card is awesome!

I have seen numerous articles about this card.  It's constantly on the 'top baseball cards of all time' list and I've wanted a copy of it for quite some time.

It is a stunner.

In fact, I like it so much, I'm making it a part of my little shrine at work.  I know the guys will get a huge kick out of it.  They thought I was a card geek before.....this'll put things over the top.

I literally jumped out of my chair when I saw this card.  It'll always bring a smile to my face.  And if you readers have a a Google search for Oscar Gamble hair (good times).

Some non-sport now.  I like the change-up.  I've never even seen some of these cards (not all of them have been scanned).  But that Buffalo Bill card is downright awesome.  The companies these days with the retro sets really do a nice job.

Goalies.  Lots and lots of goalies.  Good choice.  I love 'em.  Their masks are fun to look at and they are an eccentric bunch to say the least.

Again, too many to scan so here are the selects.

Oh, and when I say goalies.....I mean the vintage dudes too.  And these cards are in really nice shape.

Casey included a number of the 70/71 singles....more than enough to build a very solid 'One Sheet, One Set' page.  Thanks very much for that.

Speaking of....I received a great selection of OPC Legends.  These are always a favorite subset.  The Fuhr and Bossy rock.

More Legends.  Love the helmetless look.  The game seemed to have more character and grace back then.  Of course I say that and look at Gordie there.  Can your elbows have grace?

Me thinks so.

The cards Casey sent were really way too much.  But when I saw this dual patch card, my jaw dropped.  This is a fantastic piece with two great swatches.

I gotta say, a huge thank you for the kind gifts.  As much as I love the cards, the gesture is what resonates with me.

Makes me motivated to do more good things.

Monday, April 23, 2012

SCRIBBLES & SCRIBES - Some Playoff Excitement

I haven't commented too much about the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs....mainly because I'm going to get killed in both my playoff pools.  Pittsburgh, Vancouver final.......not so fast.

It's been a bit of a frustrating watch for other reasons too.  While the plethora of shenanigans have slowly subsided, I've been drifting further away from what I was anticipating to be a very exciting playoff year.

Here's hoping round two and beyond is a better watch than the first 10 days.

That said, there has been some exciting hockey out there.  I think the Florida-New Jersey series has been a sleeper pick for exciting hockey.  Back and forth, good speed, good stories and good hard working teams.  No need for the goonery.

So for that reason, I've decided to showcase a scribe from that series.

But first.....we need to show off a scribble.

Alex Pietrangelo

Speaking of solid playoff starts, the Blues now have a real good chance of getting to the finals.  If Phoenix pulls off the victory, we'll have St. Louis, Nashville, Phoenix and Los Angeles.  Who'd have thunk it.

Alex, by the way, has decided to go the route of numerous young stars in the league.  Leaving you to decipher his signature.

A true scribble.

Zach Parise

Taking a page from his dad J.P., Zach has a well structured autograph.  Both purpose and patience are needed to pull this off (something lacking in todays game....both on and off the ice).

As for the Devils, they've got their hands full with the Panthers.  They'll need Zach to be at his very best just to get out of the first round.

Have you come across an autograph worthy of being a 'scribe'?  Now of course, the veterans of the league and those who have come and gone from their playing days are easy pickings.  I'm talking about guys in the league today.

Hit me with something that'll make me say "Wow....I had no idea."

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Very Special Addition

With the numerous show & tell posts showcasing (and dominating) my blog site over the past few weeks, I'd be leaving out a huge addition if I didn't include this beauty.

2010/11 In The Game Decades 1980's
#M-62 Game-Used Emblem Gold 1/1

That's's a Linden 1/1.  But this isn't just any regular 1/1.

Over the past year, I've been on the lookout for the various jersey, number and emblem card variations put out in this stellar product.  A grand total of 9 cards to complete the board.

Of course getting all 9 is pretty much impossible seeing that there are just 10 copies of the gold jersey parallel, just 6 copies of both the black number and black emblem parallel, 3 copies of the silver number and silver emblem and only one copy each of the gold number card and the gold emblem.

Well, as luck would have it....I had 8 of the 9 cards after some good fortune on the hobby boards, some timely bids on ebay and some tremendous (and appreciated) help from various collectors who know of my hockey card (and Linden) obsession.  The only card left on the list was the emblem gold 1/1.

The search didn't take long before I found out that another Linden collector had the final piece of the puzzle.  What to do?

On one hand, the card was in the personal collection of a fellow Linden collector.  Someone I've known in the hobby for years and who I've had the pleasure of meeting during the Trevor Linden jersey retirement ceremony a few years back.  On the other hand, it would be a stunning accomplishment to have the full set of cards.

So, I respectfully e-mailed him, made him aware that I had the other 8 cards and asked if he would consider trading his 1/1 for one of my 1/1 Lindens.  I had never asked a person to part with a pc it was something that I wanted to make sure was done with the utmost respect and care.

The initial response was a positive one (in that it wasn't a flat out - NO).  But I thought that if he were to part with the card (even for one of my 1/1's) I should at very least add some additional cards to show my appreciation.

He's also a Sedin the hunt was on.  I added a few cards to the deal.  In the end though, it was unnecessary as he indicated that a straight up one-for-one trade was a fair deal to him.

Linden collectors are the best.......I'd like to say that right now.

That didn't stop me from sending the additional Sedin cards as a very heartfelt 'thank you' for the kind gesture.

The cards traded hands and the newest addition arrived last week.

So here is the full tic-tac-toe board - the only Linden one in existence.

Definitely worthy of its own post.

Thank you very much Victor for trading an item from your pc.  It is a card I will cherish.  I appreciate your hobby approach and enjoyment.

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - The Last Of The Haul

This past week brought in the one last piece from what I would consider the most jaw dropping additions to my Trevor Linden pc - EVER.

In addition to the Dominion quad auto that I never expected to see sitting in my collection, to the absolutely stunning 2-piece Captain's C from ITG's newest release, this last card was one that I've been looking to cross off the list for 8 long years.

But before I get to that, I thought I'd share a couple other important cards to hit the mailbox this past week.  All I can say is - you sometimes find things when you least expect it.

2007/08 ActNowBC

This postcard-sized card was from a promotional set put out by Act Now BC.  I had never even heard of these cards until I tripped upon one on ebay a couple years ago.  There are 6 cards in total (Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Brendan Morrison, Willie Mitchell and....Byron Ritchie?).

Of course in my sometimes frugal nature, I decided that $12 was too much for just the Linden (after seeing one go to another Linden collector for less than $10).  I held off on purchasing one and then all of the sudden.....I couldn't find one for the life of me.

It's a tough card to miss with the vibrant yellow background.  For a long time I felt like I had let one get away.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to think of this....but the card front has a website on it.  Why not try asking them.

I went to their site a few months back and asked for information on the set and if they had any extras.  I got a very quick response and they indicated that they no longer had any sets left.  (fingersnap)

I was left to wait for the next one to hopefully pop up somewhere down the road.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when out of the blue, I get an e-mail from them saying that they had found a couple unopened sets, had remembered me and wanted to know if I was still interested.  Um....yup.

So they fired a set off to me free of charge.  I couldn't believe it.  I was thrilled to see it arrive in the mail and this Linden can now proudly sit in the collection.

2005/06 Artifacts
#99 Green Parallel /25

This card was not so much a surprise when I heard it was available.....a different surprise was in store for me instead.

I got an e-mail from a local card guy who knows I'm big into Linden.  He said he came across a couple of Linden parallels and wanted to know if I'd be interested in trading.  Anytime there are Linden parallels I can get my hands on via trade - I'm in.

So last week at the local trade night, he brought them along.  This Artifacts green parallel /25 and its blue counterpart /75.  I was stunned to see the sale tags on them.  A whopping $7 for the pair (BTW....that's a ridiculously fantastic price).  I was almost ready to fork over some cash when I remembered that he was up for trading.  Even better.

He scoured through my traders and found a couple cards to his liking (a Kent Nilsson rookie card and a Sam Gagner parallel /50).  I was on cloud nine after that deal.

But it got better.

I get home that night to go through my cards and my lists......I needed the green parallel /25.  It's been on my wantlist for 8 years.  I was floored.

To cross off a Linden /25 after this long without seeing one.....and not even knowing I had done it until after the fact.  I had quite the laugh over that one.

I can't wait to tell him next month.

Now if you thought that this was the long-awaited're wrong.  There's one more in this little show & tell.  And it's a doozie.

2005/06 SP Game Used
Authentic Fabrics Quadruple Patch
#AP4-KBJL (with Kesler, Bertuzzi and Jovanovski) /5

Just to see this card is amazing in my mind.  To land a copy of it after this long is borderline unheard of.

The cards from this set really challenged me and my resolve when it came to my pc.  There are a pair of triple jerseys /25, a pair of triple patches /10, a quad jersey /10 and this quad patch /5.  A total of six cards on the wantlist with this one being the last to be crossed off.

When I saw it pop up on ebay at about the same time some of the other big cards were listed, part of me thought that the hockey card gods were sending me a message saying "you can't have it choose wisely".  Another part of me thought "here's chance to get this card for a little less knowing we all don't have that deep of pockets."

Well, this one was a big pickup (and the price was reasonable....but still cringe-worthy).  In fact, it goes right up there with the other ones recently on the show & tell board.

It just goes to show that you never know what might be coming down the pipe.  Sometimes you can be prepared for it....while other times you've just got to hang on for the ride and hope you don't drown.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

STASHED IN THE CLOSET: Canucks Rally Towels

I was inspired by a post I saw over at Collecting For Kicks last week.  It made me go digging in the closet once again to find some buried treasures.

Today, I found, photographed and uploaded them.

But first, take a look at Michael's great collection of Canucks playoff towels.  Sweet stuff.

Here's my contribution to the cause.
Look familiar?  It's the same 2003 towel as yours Michael.  Nice.

Here's one you don't have though.  From 2004.  I picked this one and the '03 from a garage sale years ago and they've been sitting in the Canucks box for a long time. 

The Canucks could use some rallying seeing as they are still 3-1 down (but are currently winning tonight 1-0 going into the third period).

Poor Luongo.  I think it's the last we will see of him in Vancouver.  It's a shame.

But back to my towel collection.

This last one is the one I'm most happy to have.  And it takes me back to the glory days of Linden's tenure as captain.

This baby is from the team's 1994 run to the Stanley Cup. 

I can't even remember where I got it from....I've had it for so long - I've plum forgot.

But I remember that playoff run.  All too well.

I'll give it a bit of a wave.  Yup....still works. 

Go Canucks!

Where Did The Week Go?

I remember waking up Monday morning dreading the week at work (thinking it would be filled with bits and pieces of overtime).  Ended up the only overtime I'd be seeing was on tv.

It was a busy one, and that made it quick.  And this weekend has just flown by.  My list of things to do didn't get shorter unfortunately.

But it's been a day at home here Sunday with the games on and some work actually getting accomplished.  And with that work, a little bit of catching up with the Linden collection.  I received a few great items over the past week (some of which I will share later today).

I'm hoping things slow down a tad over the next couple weeks (both work-wise and when it comes to Linden pickups).  My wallet needs a little rest.

But just when I thought I could exhale, my breath was taken away by this stunner of a pic from Panini's website.

This is from Panini's new 'Elite' product boxed, ready to go and hitting the shelves soon.  Me likes.

I haven't seen this photo of Trev on a card ever.  And seeing him in his gorgeously ugly yellow jersey and helmet makes me just want more.  A great photo can drastically raise the desirability factor with me.

If only the auto was hard-signed instead of a sticker though.

I'm hoping his insertion into the product is minimal (hopefully a base, an insert and this auto) and the print runs aren't too ridiculous.

But seeing this beauty of a card makes me excited for another round of hunting.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK: The Complete Show

One of the benefits of being a regular at the monthly card show is that people get to know you.  Dealers learn what (or who) you collect.  And if you are fortunate enough to build a good rapport with some of these guys, they might even keep you in mind during the 4 weeks in between the shows.

I've been going to the same monthly card show for well over a decade now.  When the winter months come, it is something I look forward to.  Part of the reason is that I know a number of sellers will have Linden items primed and ready for me if they've recently pulled him out of their new product breaks.

Two things I've noticed over the past couple of years though.  Up until a year ago, Linden was a tough pull.  He wasn't in a lot of product and so the odds of hitting a Linden were pretty thin.  The past year, he was also a tough pull.  But not because he wasn't in products.  In fact, he has a lot of cards out these days.....but there are a lot of them limited to 10 copies or less.  The sheer odds of pulling a Linden were long.

That said, I still look.  Every show......every table.

And today, it paid off in spades.

2011/12 Upper Deck World Of Sports
#167 (base)

This is a card I have been hunting down for quite some time.  It comes from a multi-sport product where the hockey portion consists of international play.  Linden has rarely been featured as a member of Team Canada and so this card gave me some additional fuel to the fire.

I really like the photo Upper Deck chose to use and I also like the fact that Linden is wearing his incredibly non-traditional #18 (must have been Sakic that was also on the team I'm guessing).

It took me a while to find this card for a couple of reasons.  First, I refuse to pay a buck on ebay for this piece of cardboard and then have to shell out three times that to have it shipped.  I'm definitely not in that much of a rush to cross it off the list.

But this was not a heavily opened product.  Finding people with singles from this release took some time.....but patience paid off.

2011/12 Panini Crown Royale
#106 Legendary Heroes (base)

That's right....another base card.  Hey, when you collect a player, all cards - even base cards are good ones to get.

This gives me 2 of the 3 cards put into this year's Crown Royale product.  I like the fact that a release with Linden in it doesn't have to be overwhelmed with parallels or inserts.  In this case, a base card, an insert and an autographed parallel (which I still need) keep me (and my wallet) very happy.

The main reason I was looking forward to today's show was that it was the first one since the release of ITG's Captain-C.  I was hoping to find a couple tables with singles available.

I found just that.

2011/12 In The Came Captain-C
#94 Base Gold

This was one card I was really hoping I would find.  The silver base cards are limited to just 150 copies (and I have one on the way....I traded for it) but the gold parallels have just 50.

These days, 50 copies is a lot.  I was confident that if I found a copy, I would be able to pick it up for a really low price.

I did.....but only because I bundled it with the last two cards.

2011/12 In The Came Captain-C
#M-56 Game Used Jersey Silver (two color)

I'll admit, I didn't need to pick this card up....I have one on the way (my one blemish on getting the Linden cards from this product).  I bought a copy of this card thinking that a 2-color copy of the silver level jersey card (90 copies) was rare.  It seems though that is not the case.

I was able to get this card for a very fair price and I'm sure it will serve me well as a part of my Linden traders.

But the last card is the one that made the jaw drop.

2011/12 In The Came Captain-C
#CJ-23 Complete Jersey Silver

There are just 9 copies of this card made.  I've seen 4 of them already out and about (on ebay and in Linden collections).  To find this at a local show is something I'm still shaking my head over.

This is a perfect example of a dealer knowing that I collect Linden and hanging on to this for me.  He didn't even have it on his table (and it's a good thing too.....someone else might have snagged it, looking to flip it).

I asked the price tag and was really happy to find that it wasn't ridiculous.  Firm and fair.  And I couldn't get the money out of my pocket fast enough.  Actually, I had to go to the bank because I wasn't prepared to find a high-end Linden like that.

Do I care that the swatch on the 'number' portion is lame?  Nope.  Do I care that the 'emblem' isn't as stunning as on some of the other examples I've seen?  Nope.  This is a Complete Jersey card /9!  When you see one locally, you just buy it and be happy that it doesn't have to be shipped in the mail or that you have to deal with the faceless sellers on ebay.

It was a slam-dunk....and I couldn't be happier.  This was hands down one of the best Linden pickups I've ever had at the local show.

I wasn't expecting that when I woke up this morning.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

MY COLLECTION: Card Show Pickups

Monthly card show day was today and I was looking forward to heading down and seeing who busted any ITG Captain-C.  I still had a bunch of Linden cards on the wantlist and was optimistic that I'd be able to pick up a couple.

In short....I walked out with 5 Lindens.  That's a pretty solid haul for one card show ( Linden is a pretty solid haul).  But you'll have to wait for that post to come.

Instead, I thought I'd show off some of the other cards I picked up.

I'd like to take a moment and say that I am a sucker for a deal.  If there's a quarter binder or loonie box.....I'm sifting through it.  I find that I can be easily amused with shiny cards coming out of these treasure troves.

But I just like to check out the tables in general too.  Both to see if I can find that diamond in the rough (for half price) and drool over cards that will never enter my collection.

Lastly, I go to shows with other people's wantlists in mind.  If there are cards that I think I can get into the hands of another collector (and not cost me), then I'm all over it.

And the first card in this show and tell is one such piece of cardboard.  Or should I say piece of puck......and stick.

1999/00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition
Super Souvenir
#SGU-KB Kris Beech game used puck and stick

I've never seen this card, but I know who the player is.  Kris Beech was one of those "can't miss" prospects who played for the local WHL team.  He also represented Canada at the World Juniors.

I believe he had a cup of tea in the NHL with the Washington Capitals, but never blossomed into the player many thought he would.

I picked up this card because I know someone who is building the master set.  Much like the Prosigns from this release, these dual memorabilia pieces are few and far between (in my card show world anyways).  I thought I'd pick it up.  Paul, if you're interested, we can figure something out.  I got it for what I felt was a good price so at worst....I'm stuck with some pretty good tradebait.

The next three cards came from a $2 box.  Keep that in mind.....two bucks.

2010/11 Upper Deck The Cup
Gold Spectrum
#1 Mike Green /25

OK.  So this card is a gold spectrum parallel of a base card pulled from the highest end product Upper Deck sells.  This card is numbered out of 25 and it is of one of the premier defensemen in the league (granted....he's struggled with injuries the last couple years).

Still, this card is selling for a whopping $2?  Am I missing something?

2010/11 Upper Deck The Cup
Gold Spectrum
#34 Brian Leetch /25

Darn right I'm picking up all of them I see.

2010/11 Upper Deck The Cup
Gold Spectrum
#29 Eric Lindros /25

One more for good measure.

Now, when I see these cards, the player collector in me immediately comes out.  I think to myself "If I was a Lindros collector....I'd pay way more than $2 for this card.  I'm sure when I find the collector that needs it, I'll be able to make a tidy profit."

Of course, until then.....I'm stuck with $6 worth of Cup parallels.

Oh no!

Sill more from the $2 box.  Again, I'm a sucker for a good deal.  But I'm also picky when it comes to what I will and will not be drawn in to.

2011/12 In The Game Canada vs. The World
Canadian Cloth (silver)
#CCM-11 Dale Hawerchuk (red jersey)

This healthy piece of Team Canada jersey comes from the back of Dale Hawerchuk.  For $2....that should be all I need.  But the fact that this is the silver version (and is limited to just 30 copies) puts this card over the top.

It was a no-brainer for me.

2011/12 In The Game Canada vs. The World
Triple Gold (silver)
#TG-02 Igor Larionov (red jersey)

This is a cool set idea.  Players who have hit triple gold (Olympic Gold, World Championship Gold and Stanley

It's the silver version (which has 50 copies), but again, for $2....I sound like a broken record.

If there is one slight little thing I would hope to have seen, it's the indication that the jersey would be from International play.  Sadly, it's from a Detroit Red Wings jersey.  I guess I can live with that.

One last card from the $2 box.  This one comes from (what I think is) the most volatile product of the past year...Panini Dominion.

This is Panini's answer to Upper Deck's The Cup.  It's a super-high end product with lots of goodies.

Of course, lost in the shuffle are the base parallels.

2010/11 Panini Dominion
Blue Parallel
#30 Antoine Vermette /10

Sure it's Antoine Vermette.....but it's also limited to 10 copies. 

I had to buy it on principle alone.

Alright, enough of the $2 goods........let's see what I found in the $5 box!

2010/11 Panini Zenith
White Hot Parallel
#81 John Tavares /25

It's just the one card, but when I saw it, I immediately put it aside. 

Knowing that I still need the Linden from this product, and seeing only one copy of it surface since the product's release last year, I thought this Tavares would be some solid tradebait.

From what I can tell, Zenith was a lightly cracked product.  That means there are a lot of these White Hot parallels sitting in unopened packs (and may never be opened).

I'm hoping I can track down a Tavares collector (shouldn't be too hard) who needs a copy.  I should easily be able to double my money.

Well, that's it from the non-Trevor portion of my card show pickups.  If you liked'll love the Lindens I snagged.  Stay tuned.

Friday, April 13, 2012

BOX BREAK - 2x Captain-C

Alright!  I caved!  I caved, I caved, I caved!!!!

I am weak and I know it!

But I just had to open a box of In The Game's newest product, Captain-C.

I made the mistake of going to the local card store last weekend to buy one-touch cases for my newest Linden additions.  In the display...

There were two boxes left.  The last time I was in....there were none.

I asked if he had any other boxes.  "Nope".

So I hummed and haaaaaad and eventually said "Let's do it".

I was having a mild case of buyer's remorse just ripping the plastic wrap off the box.  But I just had to give it a go myself.

Here are the goods.

The base cards are simple, but I like them.  They all look the same (a nice close-up shot).  What I like about these is that in most of the pics, you can see a bit of the 'C'.  It just adds to the whole theme.

Two Habs.....not bad.

There was one gold base card in my box.  This 'Lucky Luc' is limited to just 50 copies.  I like that too.

A pair of autos in my box.  Wendel Clark (or as I will now call him...loop-d-loop-d-loop-d-loop-d-looper).  Nice auto.

The Brad Marsh would be considered one of the iffy hits in the box.  Not much in the way of wow on that one.

A Rod Langway jersey card.  It's about as vanilla as you can get.  Boring.

Now here we go.  A Teemu Selanne Stick and Jersey with a print run of just 40.

I didn't realize Teemu was so old.  Wood stick?  Plain wood color?  Nice of ITG to match it up with a white jersey swatch.  Ouch.

But if there was some light at the end of the tunnel, it would be this beauty.  A Henrik Sedin Complete Jersey.  Just 9 copies.

And a couple of gorgeous patches.

This card is already spoken for and I was essentially able to pay for the box with it.

Of course, I made the mistake of thinking that when I was in the store.

I bet you know what I did next..........

Yup.  I bought the last box.  What's the rule?  Never leave the last pack in the box?

I never learn.

Box two had nothing to write home about in terms of base.  A sign of things to come?

Of course I would hit a Modano gold.  He's forever linked with Linden (as the tandem went #1 and #2 in the draft).

Not bad though.

Barry Beck.  I will always associate you with the Colorado Rockies.

Ted Lindsay.  Very nice auto, but you see way too many of those out there these days.

Hoo boy.  Chris Pronger.  And is that a two-color jersey?  I need a ruling.

A bit better.  This two-color jersey is the gold version and is limited to just 10 copies.

Still odd seeing a goalie in an all-captains product.

And the big hit.....
Ouch!  I don't know what to say here.  I'm not one to collect junior players (or junior memorabilia) so this card is of little interest to me.

I highly doubt I'll come anywhere close to getting my money back on this box.

When.....oh when will I learn.

At the end of the day, I gotta say that I enjoyed this break.  I like how ITG added a base card element to this release.  You get the thrill of the 'hits' but still get the excitement of building a base set.

Driving home, I was thinking of how many Linden cards I could have bought if I had invested differently.

Old habits......

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

TO THE BIKE SPOKES!!! - Bruce Gamble

Time to show off another beauty from the infamous 71/72 hockey release.

You may remember this wonderful card (truly worthy of Bike Spokes immortality).

I don't know who was calling the shots that year, but some of the decision making was absolutely outstanding.  From glued on heads to terrible facial expressions to bad player re-sizing, this set has it all.

But the card I will be featuring this time has that "attention to laziness" I look for when wanting to throw something in the spokes.

1971/72 Topps
#104 Bruce Gamble

First of all, Bruce Gamble looks more like my uncle than a pro athlete.  Secondly, someone get this guy a bib!  He spilled something on his jersey.

It's pretty clear what was trying to be accomplished, but my question is - WHY?

Yes, Bruce played for the Maple Leafs the previous season.  Yes, he moved on to Philadelphia.  For whatever reason, they don't want to show his old logo.  For whatever reason, painting a Flyers jersey on him seemed like a worse idea than this debacle.

If you're going to 'remove' a logo, at least do it with a little, tiny bit of discreetness.  But no....a big blob of blue (dark blue) must go in its place.  It makes Gamble look like he plays on a beer league team.

What are they trying to hide?  Or do they actually think that the hockey card buying public is going to gloss over this?

Whatever the reason, it's not good enough to defend the hideous card front that is Bruce Gamble (sorry dude).

When doing nothing is your better option, you know that you're on the wrong track.

Bruce, for your terrible attire......



Monday, April 9, 2012

OPINION - How Far Is Too Far?

Innovations.  Evolution.  The ever-changing industry that is trading cards.

For every few steps forward, there seems to be the odd step back.  Companies try new the wheel.  Concepts to entice collectors and keep things from feeling redundant.  But where do you draw the line?  How much is too much?

In Panini's new football product, National Treasures, there is definitely new ground broken.  But is that always a good thing?

I'll let the video explain the rest.

All I have to say

And not "Wow...I'm impressed" but "Wow....why did they do that?"

Sure, the physical size is impressive, but it seems like more of an inconvenience than innovation.  Would I be happy to pull one of these cards?  Sure.  But looking at it from a collecting standpoint, if my guy Linden was on it....I'd want no part of pursuing that card.

It's just too unrealistic.

To me, this is a set of cards that happens to be attached together.  Give me some hinges and some patch cards and I can do the same thing.

What are your thoughts on this history-making card?  What's the desirability factor of something like this?

ONE SHEET, ONE SET - 1980/81 Topps

It was a pretty sweet weekend in the world of sports.  I caught my fair share of baseball (Toronto looks like they might have something in the tank this year....especially with the additional wild card spots; and 0-3 for the Yankees....nice) the Masters was awarded to Bubba Watson (in a pretty dramatic final day of competition) and the NHL is gearing up for my favorite time of year.....playoffs.

The playoffs always shoot me back to a time when I was a kid.  Elementary school and a feeling of invincibility.  The Flames had just come to town and hockey fever was truly in the air.  Back then though, it was the New York Islanders and Edmonton Oilers showcasing their dominance.  Oh how I miss those days.

So I pulled a set out of the binder to show off and bring a smile to my face.  But I bonus points for nostalgia.

1980/81 Topps

The 80/81 season was my introduction to hockey cards.  Buying packs, trading singles, learning more about the players in the league.  Building that 396 card set was a daunting task (after all....I was 7) but it was fun to hunt them all down.

At the time, I had never heard of Topps.  To me, it was OPC all the way (I thought that was all that existed).  It was years later that I learned down in the States, they went with the Topps brand name.

Even longer after that, I found out that the Topps product had a neat variation to the 80/81 release.  In addition to being a smaller sized set (264 cards), the player names were covered up.

That's right.  Like a 'Scratch 'n' Win' ticket, you had to take a penny and scrape the black off the puck to reveal the player's name.  As much as I think that's odd....I find it pretty cool.  Especially when you find some singles (just a year ago in a quarter bin) that are unscratched.

But let's take a look at the design of this iconic (in my eyes) set.

It's basic.  Real basic.

A colored border coupled with the team nickname along the bottom leads your eye to the puck which has the player's name in it.  Hey, I just realized....I have no idea who this guy is.  The position sits just underneath.  It's weird not seeing any french on the card (I'm so used to that).

Other than that, you have a photo.  Unfortunately, in the late-70's, early-80's there was an abundance of player shots consisting of warmup laps, pre-faceoff stances and 'in between whistle' "action".  Boring!

I'm amazed I hung on to this ridiculous hobby with that kind of first impression.

At least the back of the card had some appeal.  The good ol' green on yellow looks as good as ever.  Interesting note....I still have no idea who this guy is.  There are a lot of cards like this.  I guess they wanted you to scratch the puck to reveal the name.

I really like the design and feel of the back.  My eye is immediately drawn to the card number inside the puck.  I'm a sucker for stuff like that.  But there's also a ton of information including personal bio, complete stats and even a tidbit or two.  I really liked the comic as a kid and still enjoy them (that nostalgia thing is popping back into play).  I prefer them when they are specific to the player though.

Very little in the way of logos and 'mice type'.  Now that I think of it, a logo on the front would have been nice.

I do remember one beef  about the back of these cards as a kid.  The font style they used wasn't consistent throughout the entire set (noticed specifically on the team nickname and position).  It's always bugged me.

Overall, this set is simple and boring to look at.....but I love it.  I love seeing the Messier rookie from this year (yes....I said it).  I love seeing the Bourque rookie from this year.  I love seeing the Gartner rookie (underrated!!!!) from this year.  I love seeing the Gretzky All-Star card where he's chewing his glove, his team leader card and all of the league leader cards.  I love the card celebrating Billy Smith scoring a goal.  I love the Liut, the Potvin and even a no-name like Blaine Stoughton (ok, he's not really a no-name....but I'm guessing not too many of you know who I'm talking about).

There is a lot I like about the set.... just not the design........ and photo selection.

Definitely a product for the nostalgic ones or those of you building vintage sets.  Otherwise, you're best off picking up singles.  And when you do pick them up, you'll have to decide - to scratch or not to scratch.

1.5 out of 5

(bonus points to those of you who know the player in the single card's a hint - he's still in the league).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Custom Creations - More Hunger Games

I thought it was really cool to pop over to my sister's place last week and see that my niece had actually spent time building custom cards on her own.

You may have noticed that she has come up with a design concept for her own Hunger Games cards to send TTM.

I took my laptop over to her place, showed her the basics and said "Have at 'er."  The results were pretty impressive.  I brought them home to print them out thought I'd share her progress with you.

Please note.....this is all her.  She did the editing and tweaking from one card to the next, she created the look and she picked the photos and text.

All I did was guide her through the bumpy parts and cheer her on.

I thought I'd show off the backs of the cards too.  She took the K.I.S.S. approach (Keep it simple stupid).

I'm curious to see who signs and who doesn't.

Especially Woody.

The great thing about these cards is that they look good even if they don't get signed.

I think this is her favorite character.  Out of all the TTM's, I'm rooting for this one the most.

And if you think she's're wrong.  There's more characters on the way.

We're hoping to get these five cards out by the end of spring break.

Nice job kiddo!