Wednesday, December 28, 2016

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Good Finish To The Year

When I take a look back at the past year of my Linden collection I see two very different things...

I can find a good 10-12 cards that would compile a strong Top 10 list of pickups but I also notice some very slow progress on my master list from the past 2-3 years of new additions.

So my feeling of it being a bit of a roller coaster ride seems to fit.

With the hobby changing so drastically over the past few years and subsequently my collecting habits - especially with my Linden pc, I've been much more aware (and downright picky) when it comes to which cards I chase and ultimately how much I choose to pay for them.

While it hasn't diminished my love for collecting, I can say with great conviction that I'm acutely aware of what's going on in the world of Linden cards.  And I think that has been a benefit most times when I do pull the trigger.

Case in point, this most recent pickup - my last Linden of the 2016 year.

2015/16 Leaf
In The Game Used
#GUA-TL1 Game Used Auto Red Spectrum  /4

This doesn't look like the most impressive card.  Sure it's numbered out of 4 but uses the same headshot as Leaf did the year before, is a simple sticker auto (which is understandable as shipping out such limited numbered cards for a person to sign in person makes no sense) and really just has a color change to designate the parallel.  And you just knew it was going to be a plain white jersey to boot.

So what had me chase this one?  Well, I still see myself as a completist.  I do pay attention to every Linden auction on eBay and try to keep an ear to the ground online when it comes to new offerings.  When something pops up that I need, I keep tabs on it.

With this particular Linden, I knew that cards from this product were going for very low prices (as have most Leaf cards....they just don't hold their value) but I also knew that there were not 4 copies of this card up for grabs anymore.  In fact, I found out later that there were only 2 copies left to be had in the open market.

So grabbing my copy at a fraction of the price it would have demanded a few years ago made it a good buy in my eyes.  But really, that's all it is.  I hate to say that but it's true.  This card will definitely not make any Top 10 lists any time soon.

But I am left with the enjoyment of buying it for a good price and for knocking it off my list - two things that I will be taking forward with me into yet another year of Linden collecting.

I guess if I was doing resolutions...those would be it.

But I am confident that I will also be coming across some Linden cards that will just flat out knock my socks off.....I've yet to go through a year where that doesn't happen.

Friday, December 23, 2016

WALLET CARD - One Last One

I had grand plans today.  Was going to head out and run some errands, pick up some groceries for Christmas Day brunch (my nephew and I are making pasta frittatas), head over to get some custom cards printed and maybe catch up with a few people before the weekend.

Then I looked outside.

For the past 2-3 years we have been pretty fortunate with the winter weather here.  Not much snow prior to Christmas (if at all) and the temperature has been above seasonal most of the time.  It's amazing how quickly I can change plans when a little bit of snow hits the ground.  A luxury I was awarded today by not procrastinating for once.

So I took some time wrapping gifts this afternoon (finished my shopping a couple days ago), started reading one of the two books I have planned for the break and oh, there was an Austin Powers marathon on....must watch.  They still make me laugh.

I thought I'd share the last couple items to cross my desk before the end of the year.  The past few months have been very eventful for me hobby-wise and I couldn't be more happier.  I certainly enjoy things more when there is activity going on in my card collecting world.

Today, it's yet another Oscar Gamble card....and to celebrate his birthday to boot (was a couple days ago).

2016 Topps Archives
#106 Cyan Printing Plate  1/1

Yet again a huge assist to a fellow collector whose US mailing address I've used more than my own this year.  Thanks Kevin!

It's the second #WalletCard 1/1 to show up online and the second one I've managed to win with relative ease.  Shhhhhh....don't tip anyone off.  When it comes to my Oscar pc, I feel as though I'm gauging my success on what 1/1s and buybacks I can land - when I see those pop radar is fully locked.

I've been much more relaxed with the regular base or higher numbered parallels (I feel as though I can obtain them pretty much anytime I'd like) and clearly my master checklist proves this point.

So what are my hopes for the upcoming year with this project?  None.  I have had zero expectations and plan on continuing that trend.  I want this to be a project built on fun and enjoyment and that is exactly what it has been.

Simple as that.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

RATE MY MASK - Antoine Bibeau

So the Christmas shopping is now complete and I am officially on "my time" for the next 2+ weeks.  Last night my nephew and I went to check out Star Wars: Rogue One and we both enjoyed it (although I think my nephew is past the Star Wars phase of his life....ugh).  This evening I've been organizing my iTunes while doing some custom work.  It's so enjoyable to not have a looming alarm clock to wake up to tomorrow.

Now, speaking of custom creations - and the creative process, how many of you like to listen to music while you delve into creativity?  I most certainly do and I pulled this disc out of the archives and loved every minute of it.

This quartet got together and called the creation "The Goat Rodeo Sessions".

Now I know it's a little "out there" for most....but that's part of what a goat rodeo is.  Yo-Yo Ma is just flat out a genius and Chris Thile on the mandolin is spectacular.  This quartet performed on PBS a number of years ago and it still sits on my's fantastic.  The energy it gave me as I was working tonight was spot on.

Anyways....just had to share.  Now, on to some hockey stuff.

I've been meaning to draft this post up now for a couple weeks but you know me....procrastinator.  Who saw Leafs goalie Antoine Bibeau when he made his Toronto debut earlier this month?  Who noticed his goalie mask?

I most certainly did.

How could I miss it!!  It pays homage to one of the all-time great goalie masks not only in Maple Leafs history but NHL history - Felix Potvin.

The crown and chin of the mask are definitely taken from the iconic lid while the sides have a nice airbrushed pose of The Cat in his heyday.

When you compare the two photos you can really see the similarities.

Hate to say it, but the throat guard kind of gets in the way of the design.  Darn safety stuff.

Bibeau has dipped into Leafs goaltending history prior to this with tribute masks of Johnny Bower and Mike Palmateer, but this Potvin offering takes the prize.

Designed by Sylvie Poitras of Airbrush Zap, it's nice to see other mask designers get some NHL love.  Notice the fleur-de-lis (flower of the lily) on his backplate signifying Bibeau's heritage (and that of Potvin) along with the nickname "Bibs". I wonder if that is pronounced "bibs" or "beebs"?

The silver, white and blue is definitely a nice combination, suiting the current TML colours with the black outline producing a good punch for those admiring from a distance.

Bibeau had this mask done up prior to the start of the season with his farm team the Toronto Marlies.  But it wasn't until he was called up to the big club that most took notice of this great looking mask.

What I like about it is the simplicity.  Yes, I know it's just copying an old design so that's cheating, but when you look at masks these days and the complex designs, it's nice to see something that is so relaxing on the eyes.

There's good flow from the mask to the rest of the equipment and one can appreciate it from afar as well as up close.  Points for that.

When I did a Rate My Mask for the above Felix Potvin mask I gave it a 3.5 out of 5 which I still agree with to this day.  But wait for might be surprised by my Bibeau ranking.

It really hits all the right notes for me and I think it's a breath of fresh air in this day and age of goalie masks.

4 out of 5 it's your turn to RATE MY MASK!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

MY COLLECTION - This Book Is A Great One

The weekend is here ('s almost over) and I am officially on my holiday break.  While I am happy to see it here, I can't believe that the past 12 months have flown by so quickly.  Must have been a fun one I guess.

I've been finishing up some custom cards for my sister to give out as gifts this year and it has me rarin' to go with some long overdue custom projects.  That will get some time and energy of mine in the days leading up to Christmas.  It's something I am very much looking forward to.

I am also looking forward to diving back into a couple books.  I have let my goal of reading 20 titles this year slip....badly.  In fact, I haven't read a single page out of one of the many books I have on my shelf since the middle of August.  For shame.

Speaking of books, I've got to share this amazing gift I received the other night from a friend of mine who knows I enjoy books, sports, signatures and collecting.

This is the new book by The Great One as he shares some of his memorable stories through his life in hockey.  It's been on my radar as I used to work for the author, Kirstie McLellan Day.  She owns a production company in town with her husband and I was an editor there for a good eight years.

She had written her first couple books during my time there and I really couldn't get into either of fact, I thought they just weren't that good.  But when I saw she was doing a book on Theo Fleury, Bob Probert and then Ron MacLean I thought maybe I should take another look.

But buying the book new just wasn't going to happen.  I rarely do that now because I have way too many on my shelf as it is and I like to buy books at the used book sales each May here in town where the money goes to very worthy charities.

So I was surprised to see my friend (whom I worked with at this production company) hand over a copy the other night.  It was a very nice gesture....

....especially when I saw that the book was signed by Gretzky himself!!!!

I would have loved to have seen my face when I opened the cover and saw the signature.  I was absolutely gobsmacked - speechless.  Heck, I still am and I've had a couple days to let it sink in.

Yes, the signature is on a sticker that is then placed on the inside page of the book....but still.  It's a genuine Gretzky auto - personalized....TO ME!!!!

Seems my friend (along with his other co-workers) was asked by Kirstie if he would like a copy signed and if they would like an additional one signed for someone else.  For him to think of me in that moment was super thoughtful.

I've been lucky enough to discover some autographed copies of books over the years and I have been even more fortunate to receive some as gifts too.  But this Gretzky auto is on a level all its own.  This is without question a Great One.

Huge thank you Dave for the incredible gift.  I will definitely have to read this book now and am looking forward to tearing it to shreds chatting about it in the new year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - A Little Overtime Gold

Just a handful of days left before I start my Christmas break and I think I have already mailed it in.  We've got just a couple loose ends to tidy up before the end of the week and I feel like leaving it until the later part of the schedule as opposed to dealing with it now.

Is that so wrong?

I'm just happy that I haven't been summoned to work some late nights or weekends as in past years.  Small victories.

I've been working on getting my computer nice and organized for the workout it's going to get over the next month.  You did not want to see what the desktop looked like a few days ago (icons everywhere).  Those who can't stand disorganization would have left the building.  But it's all fixed up now.  I've transferred all the stuff from my old hard drives and am currently in the process of getting all my music up to snuff (I'm still a CD guy...sue me).

Coming home today I noticed an envelope in the mailbox.  A plain white one.  Ugh.  I knew right away what was inside as I had recently won an eBay auction from a seller who lives in the same city as I do.  My guess is that the seller wanted to save a couple bucks and figured "what could happen?".  Well numbnutz my card could've become damaged (as has happened to me before).

But alas...all is well.  The card arrived all in good shape.

2016/17 Upper Deck Overtime
#47 Gold Foil Autograph

I was pleasantly surprised to see this beauty pop up late one night when I just happened to be surfing.  It had a very nice BIN price (half of what I offered up on the previous copy I saw) and immediately hit the buy button.

While there are no hard numbers on how many copies of the gold auto exist, I can safely say that finding this one for the price I did is about as good as I'm going to see it at.

It's a sticker auto but for some reason I'm not as annoyed by this one.  It has a nice aesthetic look to it. And with this pickup, I have already finished off the four card Overtime set.  The regular base, blue parallel, red /99 and the gold auto.

That's how a product chase should work folks.

Oh......I almost forgot.

I bought this too.

Early Christmas gift for me.

Jingle all the way indeed!!!!!


Sunday, December 11, 2016

CUSTOM CREATIONS - Mondo Movie Poster Cards

About a month ago I went to see a fun documentary at a local film festival.  It was a movie about movie posters.  Now I like a good movie and I enjoy a good movie poster, but I think it was the collector in me who wanted to check out this flick.

'24x36' is a film that touches on the history of the movie poster, but mainly focuses on the recent interest/resurgence of alternative movie posters - Mondo movie posters.

Check out the trailer here.

I didn't even get home from watching the movie and already my mind was racing.  I'd love to own a poster at some point...but which one??  Is there a catalogue of all the posters ever done?

And then it hits.....

Maybe I should make some Mondo movie poster cards.  After all, the movie poster (I think) works quite well as a trading card.

So I did some mockups.....wanna see???

I knew that you would.

So I printed out and assembled the first three cards of my eventual set (I think I could do easily 200 cards).  I only did a few cards as I wanted to make sure everything looked good (color, framing, front vs. back, etc.).  I'm glad I did because I do feel like I'll be doing some minor tweaks.

The poster is a little too tight to the edge for my liking....but it's close.  I really like the way the poster turned out and printed quite nicely on the card.  Good detail....even some of the bottom text (the scan does not do it justice).

Here is the back I'm going with.  I'm going simple and allowing for some information on the poster/artist to be included (the information digger in me will enjoy this part of the process).

As mentioned, I've assembled three cards so far and am really optimistic with how this project will turn out.

I really like the looks of many of the Mondo movie posters I've seen so far.  When I was watching the documentary I couldn't help but seeing some of the designs before....but I wasn't sure where.  Then they started talking about the Mondo X Steelbook Collection blu-rays.  Noice!!!

I've been thinking a lot about Mondo posters since.  I watched as their Black Friday sale went off like a gong show.  Hundreds of posters in their archive were put back on the site for sale and they went lightning quick.

I wonder how many of them then saw their way over to eBay?  There's a massive secondary market and (like some higher-end hockey cards) the flipping can get pretty pricey.

For me though, I think I'll get great enjoyment out of building this custom set.  There are some terrific movies depicted in some of these pieces of art (like the classic Big Trouble In Little China).  Beautiful stuff!!  The artist on this one is Tyler Stout.  He has a very distinct style and if you check out his work you will see what I mean.

There is a second reason why I want to do these custom cards.

This is my final week of work before a three week holiday break.  I have had a few custom projects on the plate for a while (some for far too long).  My goal is to put a dent into them....if not complete them all.

It's one of my many flaws.....I'm a procrastinator.

But I hope you enjoy these cards as much as I do.  I'll show off a few more when I get to printing them up.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

RAISE THE CUP - I'm Organized!!

After letting my Raise The Cup project grow a little disorganized, I decided to spend part of a recent day off sifting through various piles, scrounging through a couple binders and finally getting this project in order.

And it's such a small load off my back.  Ha.

Seriously though, it's nice to have a little more focus on this project as it is one of my faves.

I've also decided that I'm going to officially chase some of the "Cup raising" subsets out I might as well make a list or two.

I've mentioned in the past that card companies have done a nice job in borrowing my idea to create some stunning Cup raising cards.  I think the best of the lot are the Upper Deck Premier Signature Champions.  So much so that I've basically designated them in their own way - apart from this Raise The Cup project.  They're kind of like a couple brothers.

But there are some other great sets that I've now properly documented and organized.  They are now officially on the "to collect" list.  They are (in no particular order)...

2014/15 OPC Platinum Stanley Cup Champs
2012/13 Panini Certified Path To The Cup SC Winner
2010/11 Panini Certified Champions
2011/12 Panini Certified Champions
2011/12 Panini Contenders Legacies
2001/02 BAP Memorabilia Stanley Cup Champions
2002/03 BAP Memorabilia Stanley Cup Champions
2008/09 Upper Deck Tales Of The Cup
2005/06 UD Power Play Cup Celebrations
2006/07 UD Power Play Cup Celebrations

I also have a couple subsets that I've completed through this venture and so I won't include them (since I already have them).

Some of these sets I've got a good dent into while others are going to be new quests.  It's exciting that I now have some defined goals with this pc as it was pretty much "oh look.....I'll add this one to the binder".  That limited me to sifting through boxes with no rhyme or reason to it.  Now, if I find a box of sorted base or inserts (ok....I can laugh about that) I can pull out the list and cross the fingers.  As well, if I come across some near-completed sets, I can chase only those that I need - what a concept.

I also did a little re-shuffling of my non-set Cup raising cards and got the binder nicely organized.  It was a fun couple hours and it really is something I should do more often.

So with this new found level of awesomeness that is my Raise The Cup project, I'll show off my newest acquisition.

This 2014/15 UD Masterpieces Wire Photo card has a nice photo of Bill Guerin kissing the Cup, but I really think it would have been a better card if it were in color.  The whole "wire photo" thing is a little old now.

When Parkhurst had them included in their 2011/12 product, they were really well done.  Exciting, great photos and a unique addition.  Nowadays, there have been a couple different products trying to emulate that feel (including this card above) and they just miss the mark for me.  They feel more like just a photo that has been desaturated and slapped on a card.  The white text on black also really disrupts what a wire photo is to me.

I think a wire photo is a certain style of photo, not an overhead shot, not a dynamic's hard for me to explain.  All I know is that a photo like the Guerin above just doesn't have the feel of what a wire photo is.

Add to that the lack of a border.....and it just isn't even close to hitting the barn.

But I didn't grab this card for the wire photo likeness, all I'm interested in is the Stanley Cup.  So for'll do just fine.

I'm looking forward to going into a new year with a plan for this project.  You can even ask me what I need now....I can tell you.  :)

Current Collection - 155 cards

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Private Signings Vancouver

It's about time.

I can finally say I own a copy of this card.

It's one that has "eluded" me for a number of years, but I feel more like I missed the boat initially and then stepped back from it for a long while only to drift back towards it recently.

There are some cards on my wantlist that have a story even before I am able to cross it off my list.  There aren't many, but the ones that do give me an extra special feeling of accomplishment (or relief) when I do finally pick it up.

2010/11 Panini Dominion
Private Signings
#TL1 Vancouver

Phew.  For those that know this set and know this's a huge exhale to finally own it.

The Private Signings insert set was one of the nicest autograph sets I think Panini ever put out.  It's hard signed and with a deep checklist.  Why?  Well it was a multi-product release.  A portion of the checklist would be inserted into different Panini products creating the potential for a never ending build.

This Linden was inserted into the high-end Dominion release and is a good looking card.  The auto on this one is strong (no weak sharpie stuff).  He also has a Montreal Canadiens version which I picked up years ago at the Toronto Expo.

When this Canucks version first hit the open market, I decided that the price was too high for my liking.  I can't remember how much it was going for at the time...but I can assure you it was less than what I paid for my copy.  I just honestly thought that the price would gradually come down and I would snag one at a later date.

Little did I know that this set would become a popular one for set builders and Canucks collectors in addition to Linden guys.  When the well dried dried up well.

To add to the struggle, this card is not just a's an SSP.  What's the difference?  I don't really know....but I assure you it did not bode well for me.  So I waited.

A few copies would pop up on eBay each year but with huge asking prices.  Immediate turnoff.  I inquired about a copy here and there on hobby boards but again the asking price was too much.

So I just left it.  I knew eventually one would hit the market at a price and time that would work for me.  That just happened to be a few weeks ago.

Yes, the price was a little itty bitty bit higher than I wanted to spend, but it wasn't enough to say no to. When I cracked open the bubble mailer today and saw it....I knew it was worth it.  I'm thrilled to cross this one off the list.

And now that I've typed this....I'm thinking "I've said that on more than one occasion this year".  I guess that does make for a good 2016.  Maybe a year-end post is something I'll have to draft up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Another exciting addition from my COMC purchase recently went towards my newest project - Upper Deck Premier Signature Champions.

For those who have followed my blog for years, you will know that I love my cards that have photos of Stanley Cup raisers on them.  To see my terrific concept realized as a hard-signed autograph set really does my heart good.

They are great looking cards and the checklist is pretty solid too.  It didn't take much thought to start chasing the set.

So let's see what the newest add looks like.

2014/15 Upper Deck Premier
Signature Champions
#SC-MF Marc-Andre Fleury  /99

What a fantastic photo.  This is the perfect example of what makes a set like this work.  Fleury is in absolute la-la land after winning the Stanley Cup and his facial expression is spectacular as he hoists that Cup.

I've always enjoyed Fleury's signature too.  It's not "legible" in the sense that guys from the 60's and 70's are, but it's instantly recognizable and polished...albeit a little messy.

Again, it's a hard-signed auto and that is just the cherry on top of this cake.  A great card.

This one is numbered to 99 and that just leaves me with 3 more cards to chase at that level.  After that, the pursuit will become a little more difficult.  With cards limited to 50, 25 and even 10, finishing off this set might take a while.  But I'm in no rush.

And if building this set wasn't enough, Why not do it all over again after that.

It seems Upper Deck liked my idea their concept so much that they are doing it again for the 2015/16 Premier product.

This Brian Leetch offering is just an example of what the card looks like and what I'll be up against (I've already decided I'm chasing this set too).

UD has gone with a horizontal design this year, but the concept is identical.  Guys raising the Cup, a hard-signed signature and a serial number.  This time though, all cards will be numbered to 49.

In looking at the checklist (and some of the photos used) it is a little disappointing at the redundancy from one year to the next (Eric Staal comes to mind), but it's still a nice looking set.

I've already seen a couple Joe Sakic cards go for less than $25.  That's right....a hard-signed Joe Sakic auto for less than $25.  Now THAT has me excited.

So while I've added one card to the collection, I can add 18 more to the wantlist.

Current Collection - 7 of 42  ( 17%)

Monday, December 5, 2016

BEHIND THE MASKS - Some New, Some Old, And Some For Me

I've always enjoyed goalie masks, the history, the designs and the stories that lay within them.  I really enjoyed when Pinnacle came out with their Masks subsets in the 90's and how the trend of including them in products has continued up to today.  There is clearly something special about this unique piece of equipment that has card producers constantly going back to this well.

Now....if they could just inject some creativity or a new twist on things....that would be fantastic.

I have seen that there will be a new Masked Men product coming out in the new year.  Leaf's first foray into the goalie market.  I'm not as excited as I normally would be and I think that's because I've been moderately impressed with what they have done with the ITG line since they acquired it a couple years back.

I hope for something new.  I hope for something that will get my interest piqued again.

Now I know that the first thing you will notice (I hope) is that the Habs logo on Patrick's head has been altered.  This was common practice for the past few years at ITG....likely to avoid issues with the NHL for logo usage.

What I noticed though on a different insert was the 'H' to be fully intact - no photoshopping.  So I asked Leaf if the Masked Men Roy card would have the mask fully realized?  I was told that on the actual card there would be no photoshopping.

That's a good step forward.  That said, I'll believe it when I see it (this is just a mock up of the card, the final product could look different).

Now to take two steps back....there will be some "Leaf Metal technology" used to create nine different parallels.


Wanna bet how many of those parallels are numbered to 10 or less?

I'll be sticking with the base version.  I just hope that there are some fun and interesting players included in the checklist and that we can drift away from the usual suspects.

Now...speaking of fun and interesting, check out this fantastic goalie mask pic that was recently forwarded to me...

Yes sir.  This is how a goalie mask should look.

Gary "The Cobra" Simmons apparently went with this mask for a few games during his career.  But we all know him from his normal cobra mask design.  That one is still very nice.....but this one takes it to the awesome level.

Now if I could find some footage of him wearing it.

OK...on to the latest goalie mask pickups - courtesy of COMC.

I've been sitting with a few cards on my simple wantlist for a number of years - heck, a couple decades.  Sheer laziness and the inability to pull the trigger on something for a moderate price just put these cards by the wayside.  But when COMC had their "Black Friday" sale, I found a few that could top off the order.

1996/97 Pinnacle Masks
#7 Nikolai Khabibulin

One of the top goalie mask sets of all time, this beauty from two decades ago puts me only two cards away from completing the set.

This card shows off Khabibulin's mask from just when the Jets moved to Phoenix.  In fact, the back of the card (which has an action shot) shows Nikolai in his Jets uniform....and mask.  And odd little anomaly.

Unfortunately, as great as I think this set is, there really is little to see here with this mask shot.  You get more of the background through the cage than the actual design elements.

A side shot would have been nice.  But....I still like it.  Maybe it's a nostalgia thing.

1998/99 Pacific Dynagon
Ice Watchmen
#9 Curtis Joseph

Another great mask set that gets little fanfare, the Ice Watchmen cards from Pacific Dynagon really showcase the goalie mask in action.  You get to see the player wearing it on the front and on the back of the card.

This iconic mask of Curtis Joseph really cemented his nickname of CuJo.  It's one of my favourite designs of the 90's and anytime I can add one to the collection, it's a win for me.

The background design is a little cheesy....but weren't all cards in the 90's that way?

I'm down to just one card for this set....the dreaded Patrick Roy.

2010/11 In The Game Decades 80s
Memorable Masks
#MM-10 Murray Bannerman

Lastly, this truly is a memorable mask.  Murray Bannerman falls in the category of "guys who's masks were more popular than them".  What a fantastic design.

When ITG put out their Decades 80s product, I was excited to see that they were adding a goalie mask insert set.  That was until I saw the card design.

Why fill a good chunk of the card with border and text?  It leaves little room for the mask - the star of the show.  It would have been great to see the mask take up the majority of the card space.  But such is life in the card world.  Can't satisfy everyone.

Now I also picked up some 12/13 Decades 90s Mask cards, but I didn't scan them.  I hate to say it but I am on the verge of not even calling them goalie mask cards.  They really don't have the vibe I like when it comes to mask know, where the mask is the focus.  There was even less room for the photo and a huge "MASK" text taking up way too much space.  Meh....I need three more of those.

Other than that, I'm pretty happy with my goalie mask wantlist.  Not too many, nothing overwhelming and it allows me to be last with it.  And I like's nothing new to me.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

MY COLLECTION - Antique Show Gems

After a week off from work (but still managing to put in a couple days at the office.....ugh) it was time to head to the monthly card show this morning.  It's something I always look forward to - even if it's the same vendors and even if they have (mostly) the same stuff on their tables.  It's a good chance to just relax, chat with other hobbyists and have fun for a couple hours.

I managed to find a couple Lindens for the pc....nothing too extreme to warrant a blog post (especially after what I've got to show today) and a nice gift which I am sending off tomorrow to very generous collector.

It was a quick trip today as I wanted to head down to an antique show I had heard about.  I was hoping that a certain person would be setting up and that he would be bringing some stuff I've seen previously at shows.  Sadly....he was not there this time.

But that doesn't mean I can't still have some fun diggin' around.

And boy did I ever find some gems.

If you were a kid in the early 80' you remember this colouring book?  I certainly do.  But I had all but erased it from my mind until I saw it sitting up against the back of a table.  Everything stopped as I knew I needed to check it out.

This was back when there were just 21 teams in the NHL.....a time period that I know better than probably any other.  This book shot me back to that time period and what a trip.

Ah yes, the colour key chart.  How 'bout them Canucks 'eh?

And I wonder if they would still accept entries to their contest?

The pictures are fantastic.....and most are full page (this book is guess is like 10x14 size).  All are quite in you can tell who they are without needing to check out their name.

And yes, the book is completely clean.  Not a single crayon or marker in sight.

The Great One.....before he was really given the moniker.  (note: just pointed out to me - check out the spelling....awesome) This book was released in 1980 I believe.  Why do I say that?  Well I'm from Calgary and I remember being a little ticked when I got the book.

Here's why....
Phil Russell - sans logo.

What the heck???!!!!  My hometown team, not represented.

Well, this book came out shortly after the Flames relocated from Atlanta.  So soon after that a logo didn't even exist.

Did you notice it on the front cover?

That's a whole lotta awesome going on in that pic.

I love the "suggested logo" idea.  I on the other hand decided to draw my own "Flaming C" on Russell's jersey.  And I think I did a good job at the time.

More great pics from the book.  Lafleur minus the helmet is how I remember him the best.

Makes me want to get the pencil crayons out right now.

Poor Washington and Pittsburgh.  They were so terrible that they had to share.....half a page.

And they both would've been awesome full page shots too.

Tony!!!!  When I saw this photo I distinctly remember using this pic for a school project back in the day.  I can even remember what I did.

I cut this photo out (no photocopying back then for me) and traced the outline a few times on different sheets of coloured paper.  I then cut out each one of those and made a little action kaleidoscope.

I'm sure I got a killer mark.

I wish I still had that project.

Sweet.  Tiger Williams.  Cool jersey.

I'm pretty sure this was the first one to get the colouring treatment.

I just can't remember if I did the jersey in black or yellow.  Either one would've been stellar I'm sure.

One last look at the "suggested logo" for the Flames.

Yeah.....let's throw away that orange and get some red out.  Can you imagine it though.

Now, another great find - at the same table - had me doing a little bundling.

Man alive this looks sweet.  I don't remember having one of these as a kid.  But that's ok because I have it now.

Who had a scrapbook like this when they were young?  I remember having a bland, scenic cover one with lame newsprint-type paper in it.

It sucked.

This one would've made me super-popular.  It's got Eddie Giacomin on the front!!

What's interesting is that you can clearly see this product did not have the NHL's endorsement.  No logos.  In fact, what the heck team is Ron Ellis even playing for?  Looks like the Alberta Oilers of the WHA.

Oooooooooooh.........I've got a Property Of.

Untouched.  So good.

Why am I showing off blank pages?  Because these blank pages speak so loud as to how awesome this scrapbook is.  It's just screaming for stuff to be glued into it.  And not with an UHU stick....but with that old school glue I used all the time at school.

Yeah....that's the ticket.  Now we're cookin' with fire.  Or should I say - Now we're gluin' with.........glue.

I don't even know what to do with this book, but I just had to have it.

So the two bucks.....for the pair.  Ka-ching!!  I couldn't get the cash out of my pocket fast enough.

But wait....there's more.

I went back to his table after bombing around the show and I'm so glad I did.

Not one....but two Linden-era Medicine Hat Tigers pucks.

C'est Magnifique!!!!!

Sure the one is a little "used" but I don't care.  You just don't find stuff like this everyday.

And the back of it has some great Memorial Cup memories.  I think it says Memorial Cup Champions and then on the top cup it has 87 and the bottom one is 86.

Frankly, when I saw "Memorial".....I was buying them.

Seller said it was a game-used puck.  Not sure about that....but it sure does look used.  For the five bucks I paid for the pair....they'll make for great stories.

And I'm going to try and get the other one signed by Linden one day.  I think it would look outstanding with this signature on it.  It's a nice, clean unused puck.  So good that I don't think the puck is 30 years old, but instead was a re-issue puck of some sort.

But I don't care.  Don't ruin it for me.  :)

Whew.......what a day.  So much fun.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - A Pair Of Potent Pickups

To say I was excited to see my COMC order arrive the other day would be an understatement.  If there were two cards that were on the top of the "can't wait" would be these two.

One is a crazy tough parallel that I've been trying to track down for over 15 years and the other is a card that I didn't even know existed until recently.

Both have fun stories so sit back end enjoy.

1998/99 Topps
#NY17 Powerplay Magazine Insert

At first glance this card looks like a simple, boring (but still important) base card.  Nothing to write home about, right?


Let's flip the card over.

You can see the numbering in the top left says NY17....not the normal 117 that the card is usually associated with.

This is (according to what I've discovered...someone correct me if I'm wrong) a magazine insert card that was released on an Islanders game day.

I knew that this card existed, and was even shown a scan of it years ago by a fellow Linden collector.  Having never seen one - and likely never would - I just chalked it up to a card that just wouldn't surface.

So what must I have thought when I saw multiple....MULTIPLE copies of the card on COMC a few months back?  Craziness!!!

Where did they all come from?  Why aren't they listed for a hundred bucks a piece (I might have been crazy enough to spend that kind of dough..........ok, maybe not).  But what the heck???!!!

I quit asking questions and put an offer in on one (hey, why not try to talk the seller down on the price...after all, he has multiples).

It worked.

I am super pumped.  What a great add to my collection.

Now if that wasn't exciting enough, I also picked up a card that was originally never created.  For reals.

2011/12 Panini Limited
Back To The Future Signatures
#7 Ryan Kesler/Trevor Linden dual autograph  /25

Let's start with the front of the card again.  Why Kesler is on the front just makes no sense - even if the whole idea is "back to the future" and there is actually a reason for it.  Me no like.

Anyways, when Panini released it's Limited product in the 2011/12 season, the checklist indicated this dual auto card.  But for months not a single sniff of one.  After a couple years it was determined that the cards were never produced (or so we thought) and that they can come off the master list.

Well, fast forward a few years and a copy of this card pops up on eBay.

I was stunned.  I immediately contacted another Linden collector to try and figure things out.  He was as stumped as I was.  But that didn't stop him from purchasing it.  It wasn't until after that it was revealed that the 25 copies of the Kesler/Linden auto - and the platinum 1/1 parallel - were released straight off the Panini website.  I think it was a product dump as the company was no longer going to be doing hockey cards.

Little did I know that one person picked up all the copies.  Because over the next few months, new copies of this card would constantly be popping up.

So I shifted from "gotta have it" to "I think I'll wait".

Card went from over $60 to $40 to $30 to $25.  Multiple copies have been sitting on COMC with no action on them.


I tried to get the seller to come down below $20 (as he had multiples.....who's going to buy all of them?) but to no avail.  Finally I decided that the few extra bucks were no longer worth it.  It's still a tough card to track down, numbered to just 25 copies and is hard signed.

Good enough for me.

Now that I can see it and touch it in person, I'm thrilled to cross this one off the list.

What a great pair of cards to finish off the year with (I'm assuming these will be the last big pickups of the year that arrive before 2017).