Saturday, January 28, 2017

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - 2013/14 ITGU Quad Captain C Gold

A few cards have managed to hit my mailbox over the past month.  Not many...but enough.  One card though decided to take its own sweet time in getting here - no thanks to the guy who sent it.

Back in December I noticed one of the final cards on my 2013/14 ITG Used wantlist appeared on eBay.  It was decently priced but it did have a Best Offer option.  I noticed the shipping was a little higher than I'd like it to be so worked the seller down a bit to get the price where I was comfortable.

Well the shipping was high because it included tracking.  So I was patiently waiting to be given my tracking number.

You can guess where I'm going with this.

After the Christmas season passed I contacted the seller and asked for the tracking number (as the card had not yet arrived and it was past the "determined arrival date").

Excuse, excuse and excuse had me both concerned and frustrated.  After a while I stopped receiving communication.  The story he was giving me just wasn't adding up and I started calling him on it.

Long story short, I asked eBay to intervene - at first to try and get the tracking number....then to just get a refund and be done with it.  I was disappointed that a tough card to find (especially at the price I paid) was seemingly slipping through the cracks.

Well....a couple weeks after that debacle look what hit my mailbox...

2013/14 In The Game Used
#QCC-08 ITGU Quad Captain C Gold  (limited to 10)

Nicely packaged in a bubble envelope.....with just a simple stamp on it.  No tracking number.  No real care to do so.

I could have just easily sat back and enjoyed my newest Linden acquisition but I needed to share the news with the seller.

So I told him it showed up.  And I told him that I was disappointed not to see tracking on it.  But I did offer to pay for the card (and only the card) as it did arrive (albeit late) and didn't seem to be damaged.

Much to my surprise....the seller said that I could keep the card for free and apologized for the poor communication.

Well.......I'm not going to argue with him.  I'm just glad the transaction can finally be closed.

Now....finally looking at this ca.......WHAT THE HECK????!!!!!!!  Messier????  In a Canucks jersey???


BEHIND THE MASKS - Leaf Enters The Mask World

Since their inception a couple decades back, I've been a big fan of the goalie mask insert sets that have been produced and released by numerous companies.

When Pinnacle set the bar in the 90's with their iconic Masks sets, I wasn't just blown away...I was hooked.  I still stop in my tracks when I see one of those great cards at a show or in a trade box.  In The Game did a really nice job of reviving the theme in numerous Between The Pipes products....and even when ITG no longer had an NHL license they did an admirable job of building solid mask sets.  Panini didn't really have much of a say with their goalie mask offerings but they too put out some cards with their Masked Marvels offerings.

It's been a couple years since a real robust mask checklist has been made but the new kids on the hockey block - Leaf, has decided to take a stab at an all-goalie product.

When I first heard rumblings last fall of this product I got a little excited, especially when I saw some of the mockups....say for one little feature...

It's amazing what a little white line (or lack of) can do to change the complexion of a photo.

One of the nice things about being a part of an online hobby community is that some of the company representatives are a part of it and even take the time to promote and communicate new products.  When this Patrick Roy card showed up...many people (including me) began asking if the final product would include airbrushing.

Straight from the VP of Product Development for Leaf...

"we will be using non airbrushed photos for the mask insert"

That was fantastic news and I was really excited for the release in the new year.

Fast forward to tonight when I saw some new pics on Leaf's official twitter page...

Well alright....that looks like a sharp looking card.  And I like that Leaf kept their word.

Or did they?

It didn't take long for the taste in my mouth to become a little sour.

Airbrushed chin.

Airbrushed earhole.

Airbrushed chin.


I mean really...why even include this in a product??

Oh, I know....because there are a couple diehard Barrasso collectors out there and will gobble these up regardless.

OK....this isn't even a mask!!!  It's a helmet.

For the record - Chris Osgood should never be included in a goalie mask set - ever.  Period.

I guess Leaf fed us collectors a little bit of....what do they call it??  Alternative Facts?

Now there are some decent looking vintage fibreglass mask cards on their feed and not everything is a loss (shiny cards are fun...right?), but my excitement for the product went way, WAAAAAYYYY down tonight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

WALLET CARD - Another Biggie

I'm not going to lie to you......I really, REALLY enjoy building my Oscar Gamble collection.  #WalletCard has been such a fun quest over the past two years and I see no end in sight (well.....until I get all of his cards - a bigger possibility than my Linden collection).  It's a fraction of the size of my decades-long Linden PC and many of the cards are coming in at really low prices.

Shhhhhh...dont' tell anyone.

In fact, some of the lower numbered offerings (cards I thought I'd might have to pass on) are obtainable for very reasonable prices.  I like that.

I keep a keen eye out on both COMC and eBay and have been justly rewarded for my efforts.

2016 Topps Archives
#106 Jumbo 5x7 Gold  /10

Told ya' it was a big one.

This gold offering is 5x7 in size and numbered to just 10.  These oversized cards were not a part of any pack release, but rather a Topps store exclusive.  I didn't snag them off the Topps website and was kind of cringing when I thought of them hitting the secondary market.

But (as I've always said) patience is key.  After waiting for months, the price was finally right on this one.  In fact, I paid less for it than it's regular 5x7 counterpart /49.  Crazy to think.

In fact, the price was so good that I decided to do a little bundle.  The seller just happened to have a second #WalletCard that I needed.

2013 Panini Hometown Heroes
#184 Zip Code

A few months back I took a closer look at my Oscar Gamble master list and noticed a couple parallels on the Hometown Heroes card.  One said "State" and the other said "Zip Code".  A quick look on COMC revealed what that meant.

A simple foil add in the top right corner made these cards a tougher find.

But the price was right once again - especially with the combined shipping and it was a no-brainer.  Glad to cross these two off the list.

Back to the oversized card for a moment.  I decided to take a look at the Topps website to see what other exclusive Oscar Gamble items were for sale.  I shouldn't have looked.  I guess 5x7 isn't the biggest card one can get.

For $25us, one can get a 10x14 poster sized edition of the card (numbered to 99).  Not bad.

Oh....and there's a gold 1/1 10x14 for a cool hundred bucks.

I may have found a "card" that might not make it into my collection.  It might be a little too big.

Monday, January 23, 2017

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Jeans Day....s

After an enjoyable and relaxing holiday break, my mind was getting prepped back into work-mode.  I was running a few final errands a couple weeks back when all of the sudden my car broke.....for the final time.  My whole front tire kind of broke off - as in it was turned 90 degrees from how it should have been.  The axel, tire rod and who knows what else....all crapped out.

It wasn't worth fixing (as my vehicle was on its last legs) but I was really hoping to get another season out of the rust bucket. such luck.  So it was time to look for another vehicle.

Looking for a car when you don't have any mode of transportation is no fun.  It took me a couple weeks but I finally found a (more than) suitable replacement.  Now I can get back to the start of my year.

So let's begin by sharing some cards that have been sitting in my collection for a number of years.

Recently, on the hobby boards I am a member of, a fellow Linden collector asked about the Vancouver Canucks Jeans Day cards that are annually released.  He was excited to learn about them and wanted to know what ones Linden had.

So I got to scanning.  Let's take a look.

This is the 2006 Jeans Day card.  I remember when I first learned of these.  Part oddball, part team issue, all awesome.  A few were finding their way onto eBay and I wasn't super patient.....but I didn't pay an arm and a leg for my copy.

It's postcard-sized and has info on the back.  The cards are to help raise awareness (and funds) for the BC Children's Hospital so the back has info on that facility as well as some fun facts.

Fun fact: A newborn baby's heart is the size of a walnut.

They're a really great looking card and I was excited to see what would be coming in the years to come.

Well, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed to see this offering the following year.

Boooooooo on the same photo.  Weak.  But I guess there's only so many opportunities to get Linden skating in his jeans.

The card is the same size and other than the updated logo and color shift is pretty much the same as the previous year.

This 2008 Jeans Day card was was yet another nice offering.  Different picture....but same design.  But you know what...after three years I was ok with it.  It felt more like parallels as opposed to a new offering.  I like the trifecta I've built.

Then Linden had to go and retire.

No more Jeans Day cards......for a while.

Then in 2013 he was back.  The Jeans Day cards celebrated some of the all-time great captains in team history.  Linden, Henrik Sedin, Stan Smyl and Orland Kurtenbach were featured.

It was nice to see another Jeans Day offering.  This card is the traditional 2.5x3.5 in size so it sits nicely in with the others.  The postcards get shoved in with the oddball and oversized stuff.

So there you have it.  A blog post after a couple weeks of forced hiatus.

I've got a couple more posts lined up over the next few days as I haven't completely shoved the hobby away this month.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

OPINION - Older Ultra-Pro One Touch Magnetic Holders

I was spending a nice relaxing evening watching some hockey and going through some of my stockpiled hobby supplies that I've built up over the years.  I've got way too much crap....and so a good purge was in order.  It was nice to see my closet slowly looking more organized and less like my nephew's "place for everything".

Gone are some taped top loaders that were going to be used for future mailings (I've only got a bazillion of them now) as well as some bent binder pages and tarnished one touches....they're all going bye-bye.

But as I was going through the one touches....I noticed something very interesting - and disturbing.

No....that furry little pet in there is not something I'd like to add to the family portrait.  It appears to be a dissolving magnet and the filings are starting to burst out.

I've had some of my older one touches for at least a good decade or so (they had been used...but not in bad enough shape to throw out) and they've just been sitting on a shelf in my closet waiting for a day when I might put them back into service.  After seeing this though I don't know if I'm comfortable doing so.

This side view should give you a better idea of what I'm up against.  My first thought was "How many of these old (silver...not the gold magnets) one touches hold cards that are sitting in my pc?"  Ugh....the thought of that just churns my stomach.  Definitely don't want any of this stuff falling onto my card surfaces.

So I sent Ultra Pro an e-mail and am hoping for some sort of comment/response.  I don't know if there is any sort of guarantee on these but I can safely say that I will be assessing my entire pc and purging all silver one touch holders.

Anyone else ever notice this?  Or better yet....has anyone else experienced this (after racing to their collection to check right after reading my post)?

I would hope that Ultra Pro stands behind their product and is able to work with me to rectify this situation.  I've put a lot of money into their products over the years and feel that they are the gold standard when it comes to card protection.

That said, this could be the turning point for me looking elsewhere for my supplies.

Oh......and Happy New Year!!!  :)