Sunday, September 15, 2019

Box Break: 2019-20 MVP

As a birthday present to myself, I recently bought my first actual box of hockey cards in over six years. I was kind of surprised that I needed to go all the way back to February of 2013 for my last hockey box break on here. It really doesn't feel like its been that long. It makes sense for me though as boxes really don't do all that much for my main collecting projects at the moment. I'm better off putting my money towards singles for those. 

However, like most collectors I really do enjoy opening a new box of sealed packs. Even if this was just a retail blaster box, I was looking forward to possibly pulling some of the MVP Stanley Cup Edition tribute cards. Since this was retail, the only shot I had would be the Silver Scripts. The tribute Super Scripts and Colors & Contours are hobby exclusives.

This blaster cost $19.99 and came with 21 packs, 5 cards per pack. Here is a look at the front of the box featuring Red Wings prospect and former 6th overall pick Filip Zadina.

Here is what's available in one of these blasters:

  • Base Set (200 cards)
  • Base High Series SP's (1:4)
  • Puzzle Back Variations (1:8)
  • Silver Script Parallels (1:7)
  • Gold Script Parallels (1:21)
  • Stanley Cup Edition Silver Scripts (1:10)
  • Supernovas (1:50)
  • Net Crashers (1:34)
  • Laser Shots (1:25)
  • Laser Shots Red Parallels (1:100)
  • Rookie Redemptions (1:4000)
  • 2019 NHL No. 1 Draft Pick SP (1:12500)

I'll be happy as long as I get some of the Stanley Cup Edition tribute cards. Based on the listed odds, I can reasonably expect to end up with two of them. We'll see how that goes.

Also, regarding the Gold Scripts. For whatever reason these are not serial numbered anymore. I believe this is the first time for that. As far as I know, all of the Gold Scripts over the years have been numbered, and that's going back to the original set from 1998-99.

Onto the results. Let's start with the base set. Overall this is a nice design. I like how the top and bottom of the card are filled with the grey lines going every which way. Not sure what the six slashes at the top are for, but they look cool. The left and right sides having the photo extend to the edge was a good choice for this set.

The top six shown below are all for my team collections. Looks like this box favored the Preds over my other teams. I also included a checklist and the two regular high series SP's. I believe these are the first cards I've pulled of McDavid and Matthews. That just goes to show you how long its been since I opened any new packs or boxes.

All together there were 88 based cards and no duplicates as far as I noticed. While six out of 88 for my teams isn't the greatest, I'll take it. Now I just need to get some more of the Wings cards to catch up to the my other two teams. Here's a look at the backs.

The back has a big team logo at the top, the players name with pronunciation, their vitals, and up to five years of stats. The lines and shapes mimic the front of the card and help tie the two together. Overall not too bad, kind of what you would expect from MVP.

The other high series SP's were the Rookies. I ended up with four of those, the best for me being Colin Bkackwell of the Predators. I don't know much about him. Apparently he was drafted by the Sharks back in 2011 and has been playing mostly in the AHL ever since. He's had six games of NHL action with the Preds in 2018-19.

The rookies are identical to the regular base cards other than the word "Rookie" replacing the six slashes at the top of the card. I like when base and rookie cards are similar like this with just the one feature that differentiates them. The others I got were Zack MacEwen of Vancouver, Trent Frederic of Boston, and Kevin Boyle of Anaheim.

Next up we have the standard Silver Script inserts. In this case they should be called grey scripts because there is no silver foil to be found. If anything, it looks more like a silver paint marker than anything, so I guess they're ok calling it silver after all. I got three of these including the Nick Ritchie below, a rookie of Ryan Poehling and Brent Burns.

Stepping up one level from the Silver Script we have the lone Gold Script of the break. This one featuring Jared Spurgeon of the Wild is actually a really nice looking card. The facsimile signature is actually gold foil so it really pops in the light. They also changed the top and bottom of the card to a nice gold color. I really need to get some of these for my Golden Knights collection. Gold Scripts for my Golden Knights, talk about a golden opportunity...

In addition to the scripts, I was able to pull three of the puzzle back variation, which actually kind of beat the odds. I probably should have only gotten two. Either way since none of them are my PC teams, it really doesn't matter. I got this one below of Carey Price's blocker, one with Kucherov's mid-section and one with Marchand's right glove.

Before I get to the best of the box, I wanted to show off the two inserts I got. The first was this Net Crashers of Sidney Crosby.

The other was this Laser Shots of Evgeni Malkin.

Now for my favorite part of the break and the reason I bought this box in the first place: the MVP Stanley Cup Edition tribute cards. I was able to get two for my collection. The first was card #63 in the set featuring Alexander Wennberg of the Blue Jackets.

The second was card #75 in the set featuring Jamie Benn of the Stars. These things look great in person, although the bottom edge is really starting to bother me. I wish they would've stopped the net looking patter before the bottom like the original design. Something just seems off with it continuing down to the very bottom edge.

Not bad overall. This was a fun little break for around $20 and I even got a nice variety of stuff for my various collecting projects. Anything other than my PC teams and the tribute silver scripts is available. I'd love to do some team for team swaps of base/inserts as I've got a ton of stuff just sitting around in boxes. Leave a comment below if you're interested.

Also, since I shared all my PC additions in this one post rather than breaking them out, I've included updated totals at the bottom. This is more just for my own tracking purposes.

Updated Golden Knights Collection Total: 34
Updated Predators Collection Total: 79
Updated Silver Script Tribute Total: 3/100

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Golden Knights: August Card Show Pickups

In addition to the stack of Predators I got from last month's card show, I was able to find some cool stuff for my Golden Knights collection. If I had to choose between the two, I would say I'm slightly more into the Knights at this point. I feel like I have a slightly better connection with them being a fan from the very beginning. 

As I mentioned in my last post, I am really starting to get into all these different O-Pee-Chee Platinum parallels. This time I was able to get my first Violet Pixels parallel, a James Neal from 2017-18. These things look amazing in person. The scan does not do it justice.

Up next is another one of the same former Golden Knight. This is a red base parallel from 2017-18 SP Authentic. At least that's what they are calling it. I would say it looks more pink than red. Regardless, it is a nice looking card and I'm glad to have it now.

Moving onto something new for this collection: an Authentic Moments card from 2018-19 SP Authentic. These cards are an excellent idea from Upper Deck. Each one chronicles a specific moment. In this case it would be the first hat trick in Golden Knights history. They used a great shot of Karlsson being congratulated by his teammates.

Here's another Authentic Moments base card. This one was a bit more significant as it focuses on how Vegas was able to knock off the Jets to reach the Stanley Cup Final in their first season. I still can't believe they made it that far. Sometimes its fun to watch highlights from that run even if it did end with a loss to Ovechkin and the Capitals.

Sticking with SPA, I was also able to grab some red parallels from the 2018-19 set. I still think they look more pink than red. Must be my scanner doing some funny things to it. Anyway, the first of the three features Alex Tuch.

In addition to the Tuch, I was able to get this Marchessault from the same parallel set. I like this one a bit more since they are showing Vegas' home jersey. You can tell it was from their inaugural season by the patch above the crest.

I think if I had to choose a single player on the Golden Knights to collect, it would have to be Marc-Andre Fleury. I love goalie cards and he's been the man there since the beginning, except of course for all that time he missed due to injury in year one.

Moving on from SPA, I was able to get my first Knights cards from the 2019-20 season thanks to the recent release of MVP. These all came from a dime box and up first is Mark Stone. Hopefully Stone can tear it up in his first full season with the team here soon.

The more that I see this latest version of MVP, the more I like it. Even though there are quite a few lines going every which way, the overall design works really well for this type of set. Up next is Jonathan Marchessault.

The last of the MVP pickups was this Paul Stastny. Upper Deck really likes to show off the Knights' white jerseys it seems. I would love to see more of the home grey jerseys. They would probably look great with the colors of this design.

Time for some 2018-19 UD Series 1 now. I was able to find a nice trio of cards in one of the dime boxes and made sure to grab them. Up first is this one featuring former Kinghts defenseman Colin Miller, who was traded to the Sabres this summer.

Here's a really cool shot of Jonathan Marchessault on the second card.

To finish things off, here is my new favorite Golden Knights base card. This Marc-Andre Fleury has been on my radar for a while now after seeing it on COMC months ago. It's got an amazing shot of Fleury leading the team out of the tunnel at T-Mobile Arena. This was during the 2018 Stanley Cup Final as evident by the patch on his jersey. 

The only way this shot could be any better was if they captured Fleury emerging from the giant knight helmet they lower onto the ice at T-Mobile Arena.

That's it for this round of Knights pickups. I like how this project is progressing so far. I've got a nice variety of base cards, which makes flipping through the pages of these things quite enjoyable. I've even got some fun parallels and inserts mixed in.

Golden Knights Collection Total: 32

Friday, September 6, 2019

Predators: August Card Show Pickups

This year has been a bit of a resurgence for me when it comes to card collecting. Now that I've found the monthly card show in Troy, MI, it's been relatively easy to find new singles for my Golden Knights and Predators collections among other things. I also feel like I'm enjoying collecting more now than any other time in the last few years.

Last month I was able to make it out to the Troy show again and came away with another nice stack of cards for my growing Predators collection. 

This was also the first time I've ever left a card show having made money. On a whim I decided to take my collection of excess McFarlane figures to see if any of the dealers would buy them off me. I had a box of about 20 of them from a variety of sets. They've just been taking up valuable space in my basement and it was time for them to go. 

Luckily there was one dealer with a table full of other McFarlane figures and he was open to acquiring a few more. We made a quick deal that meant cash in my pocket and extra space in my basement. Definitely a win win. I even ended up spending less on cards than I made on the sale, hence the making money part. Now onto my Predators haul.

Up first we have this gorgeous rainbow parallel from 2018-19 OPC Platinum featuring Pekka Rinne. Now that I've seen some more of the parallels from these sets, I am really starting to become a fan of this particular offering from Upper Deck. And this is the most basic of the parallels so they only get nicer from here.

I have to say that is probably one of the best looking scans I've posted here in a long time. By that I just mean the way it perfectly captured the gradient of the rainbow foil from top to bottom. Things like this usually do not show up this well.

Here's another one that was easy to spot in the quarter bin. This one featuring Ryan Ellis is a retro rainbow parallel from 2018-19 OPC Platinum. Its an interesting design to say the least. Not sure how I feel about it just yet. Also, just like the Rinne, the rainbow effect is difficult to see in the scan, it looks so much better in person when the light hits it.

Continuing with OPC Platinum, I was also able to snag this neat In Action card of Filip Forsberg. I like how the cropped the photo so the words run in front of Forsberg's legs, but behind his gloves and stick. It really gives the card some depth. This also has more of a chrome/mirror finish on the front and shows just how dirty my scanner really is.

Switching gears, next we have a red parallel of Ryan Johansen from 2017-18 SP Authentic. I really like the look of the last few SPA base sets. They use some crazy geometric designs that somehow all work together. The best part, which you can't really tell from the scan, is how the player image is glossy while the rest of the card has more of a matte finish.

Sticking with SPA, but jumping forward to 2018-19, I was able to find several base cards in a dime box. Up first is Ryan Ellis. The overall design is very similar to the previous year shown above, although there may be slightly less of the geometric background craziness.

Then there was this Filip Forsberg. 

The third one was Pekka Rinne. I wish there was some more variety in the photos on all these Rinne cards I've gotten lately. I can think of at least three that have him in almost the exact same pose. None are bad, I just wish there was something different occasionally.

Along with the three base SPA cards, I was able to find another red parallel, this time of Rinne. It is essentially the same design as the base card other than the grey background and foil being changed to red. It looks more like a really dark shade of pink if you ask me. 

Switching gears once again, I was able to make a nice dent in the Preds checklist for 2019-20 MVP. This was the first time I had seen these cards in person and I have to say I kind of like the overall design. I just wish they would get away from the newer cursive looking MVP logo and go back to the original. Up first is Filip Forsberg.

Up next is Roman Josi with a cameo from Rinne, again in a standing position.

My favorite Predator to watch is still probably Viktor Arvidsson. He's a smaller guy but has some incredible speed and hands. I've seen him score some amazing goals the last couple of seasons and hop there is more to come here soon.

Up next is card #70 in the set featuring Ryan Johansen.

Here we have defenseman Ryan Ellis. This time we can see the Preds other goalie, Jusse Saros, in the background. I love the gold pads he went with last season, although they looked a little better with the road white jerseys. This setup was almost too much gold.

Last but not least we have Wayne Simmonds, who actually isn't even on the Preds at this point. He signed with New Jersey over the summer joining fellow former Pred P.K. Subban.

So that's it for another Predators card show haul. Even though these are pretty much all base cards it was still very enjoyable searching for them at the show. The benefit of most collectors not caring about base cards like these is how cheap I can get them. Usually at these shows they run me just $0.10 each, maybe $0.25 if they are from a higher end set.

Predators Collection Total: 75

Monday, September 2, 2019

MVP Stanley Cup Edition Tribute Update

One of the goals for my card show trip last month was to at least get a start on the new MVP Stanley Cup Edition tribute set. Since the product was so new at the time of the show, I wasn't sure how much there would be available. I hoped for the best and figured worst case was I would be able to grab some Red Wings from the set.

Normally I try to avoid buying Red Wings singles at these local shows due to the significantly higher prices, but I made an exception in this case to get this project started. The first one I found was of Filip Zadina, who was selected sixth overall by Detroit in the 2018 entry draft. This is card #96 in the set. This one ended up costing $5.

I have to say these things look great in person. They are almost a perfect replica of the original Stanley Cup Edition set from 1999-00. The only thing that bothers me is how the cross-hatched pattern extends below the name all the way to the bottom of the card. In the original design this stopped short leaving some blank white space at the bottom.

In addition to the silver scripts, I found several of the new Colors and Contours parallels. These things look amazing in person and I just had to have one. I was able to get this Dylan Larkin from the same seller as the Zadina. It is card #57 in the set and serial numbered 098/245 on the front. This one also ended up costing me $5. 

While I'm not sure I will pursue the entire Colors and Contours set, these things look amazing. I'm really happy to have this Larkin as part of my collection now. The red foil on these really works well with any red colored team. 

Even though I had hoped to get a better start on this set at the show, I'm glad I at least have something now. The silver scrip set is only 100 cards this time instead of 220 like the original. Who knows how long this will take on top of everything else I'm collecting.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Super Script Update

Wow, I just realized it's been over two years since I posted an update for my 1999-00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition Super Script project, again. That was about the same gap between my previous update and the one before that. Talk about slow progress. I guess time does fly by, but for whatever reason it doesn't even feel like these have been that infrequent. 

I still consider this my favorite set after all these years and do not plan on stopping any time soon. They just don't show up for sale all that often. Sometimes when they do they are out of my price range so that makes them even harder to snag.

Luckily, 2019 has been good to me so far. I've been able to add three more to my set, all thanks to eBay. If I had to guess, I would say at least 75% of these things have come from there. For me, its the place where they show up the most.

Up first is card #78 in the set featuring Viktor Kozlov of the Florida Panthers. This one is serial numbered 19/25. I was able to grab this one for just $3.50 back in April.

Next we have card #47 featuring former Blackhawk Dean McAmmond. This one is serial numbered 05/25. I really like those old black jerseys Chicago used to wear. I was able to get this one for $9.99 just a couple of weeks ago.

Last but not least is another one of the CHL prospects cards. This one is #198 and features Ryan Jardine. It is serial numbered 22/25. Jardine was drafted by the Panthers 89th overall in 1998, but only played eight NHL games. Unfortunately, he never scored a goal and finished with two assists. This one cost me $3.19 back in March.

That's it for now. It feels great to finally post another update for this set. I've know all along this set would take me quite a while and that's fine with me. It gives me something to search for at shows and on the internet. Its still exciting every time I see a new one pop up.

These three bring me to a total of 62 for the set, which is just over 28% complete now. I've definitely got my work cut out for me tracking down the remaining 158 cards.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Jimmy Howard: 18-19 MVP Gold Script

Additions to my Jimmy Howard collection have unfortunately been few and far between recently. I'm not really sure why, but this has become somewhat less of a priority over some of my other collecting projects. Howard is still my favorite current Red Wing though and I hope he is able to finish out his career here. At this point, it would just be odd to see him shown on a card with another NHL team. 

In fact, the last time I did post something was December of 2017. I have taken some breaks from collecting between then and now so it's really not as bad as it seems. Anyway, there were a bunch of MVP in that post and today's post will be more of the same. 

This time however I have a serial numbered MVP parallel to show off. This one is a Gold Script from 2018-19 and is card #185 with a serial number of 061/150. I bought this on eBay for just $0.99 back in March of this year. Not a bad deal if you ask me.

This is my third Howard MVP Gold Script along with 2013-14 and 2005-06. I have to say this is the nicest design of the three and probably one of the better MVP designs of the last five years. I just wish the gold foil would show up a little better with my scanner. 

Jimmy Howard Collection Total: 178

Friday, August 23, 2019

Tea Cards: Transportation Through the Ages

Tea cards are something that I have next to no knowledge of, so when I received these three cards below as a gift recently, it was really cool to be able to add something new and unique to my card collection. Beyond that, these aren't even hockey cards and actually feature my other main interest, trains, which makes them even cooler.

The three cards below come from a 48-card set called "Transportation Through the Ages" produced by the Brooke Bond tea company. This set was originally issued in 1967 and features many different types of transportation, hence the name.

These are significantly smaller than your traditional 2.5" x 3.5" trading cards. They are approximately 2.75" x 1.5" overall. Also, the corners are rounded, which I tried to emphasize by placing the cards onto a black background for scanning. The border is white, which made the edges and round corners hard to see when initially scanned.

The first card titled "Diesel Locomotive" is #20 in the set. This one features an excellent illustration of a Canadian National (CN) GP30 locomotive. The GP stands for general purpose. These locomotives provided 2,250 horsepower for pulling freight. 

The next card titled "Modern Steam Locomotive" is #19 in the set and features an illustration of a Canadian Pacific Class T1B Selkirk 2-10-4 steam locomotive. The 2-10-4 designation refers to the wheel arrangement. This means there were two leading wheels, ten larger driving wheels, and four smaller trailing wheels. This particular one, #5921, was built by Montreal Locomotive Works in 1938.

The last of the three is titled "Gas Turbine Locomotive" is #21 in the set and features a nice illustration of a Union Pacific locomotive. Number 61 shown here was a second generation unit and delivered in 1954.  These locomotives provided 4,500 horsepower, but did not last all that long on the rails. They were all out of service by 1970.

Below is a scan of the back for the card above. It has the card number and set information at the top, a paragraph about the subject in the middle, and some company information at the bottom. Its neat that they have it printed in both English and French. This was done because they were made for distribution with Tea packets in Canada.

These will go great with my other two sets of railroad trading cards. Special thanks again to the person who sent me these. Gotta love the people in this great hobby!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Golden Knights: February Card Show Pickups

Along with the Predators cards from my last post, I was able to snag a nice group of base cards for my Golden Knights collection as well. While there is nothing amazing among these, it is still nice to get a variety of sets and at great prices too. The card shows I go to are always in metro Detroit so any base cards that aren't Red Wings never cost much. 

Up first is my favorite card of the bunch, a Marc-Andre Fleury from 2017-18 SP Authentic. I feel like if I had to put a priority on any one Golden Knights player it would be Fleury. I never liked him during his time with the Penguins, but once he became the guy in Vegas my opinion has changed. Plus I love goalie cards, so that makes it even easier.

The second of three from SPA was this one of Reilly Smith. I always forget that he is the brother of former Red Wings Brendan Smith. I guess Reilly has become the better of the two based on the last couple of seasons. He's been excellent for the Knights.

To finish off SPA, there was this one featuring James Neal. I have to say I don't understand why some people had such a problem with the whole white glove thing Vegas went with for the away jerseys. I think they work pretty well with the overall look. 

I showed off a couple of these Trilogy cards in my previous Preds post and the same thing I brought up there is true here. This would look a whole lot better if Fleury was pictured in the dark jersey. And is it just me or does the cropping look a bit odd on all of these?

I think this is my first non action shot on a Vegas card. The photo on this one from 2017-18 Upper Deck featuring Brayden McNabb appears to be from the 2017 Expansion Draft. He was there in person along with several other players including Marc-Andre Fleury.

Moving onto 2018-19 Upper Deck we have this one featuring one of the newer Golden Knights, Max Pacioretty. He is pictured skating against the Minnesota Wild. Notice the camera guy and the huge camera in the background?

Up next is Paul Stastny. Not sure which team they are playing in this one. Who knows, maybe its the same game as the Pacioretty above.

Then there was this Brayden McNabb, tying him with Fleruy for the most cards in this post so far. He is shown skating against the Sabres. Upper Deck must really like Vegas' away uniforms. All but one of these have shown it so far.

Here's an interesting close-up shot of William Karlsson. I'm assuming he's looking up at the jumbotron or something. One neat detail that you probably wouldn't see on a standard shot is the gold accent on the corner of his visor. Don't see that every day.

Continuing with the white jersey trend, there was this one featuring defenseman Nate Schmidt. Hopefully he can play the entire year this upcoming season after being suspended to start last season. He is an important part of their defensive core.

Finally, back to the awesome home gray jerseys. These are still my favorite in all of the NHL at the moment. I've only bought one brand new jersey in the last 10 year or so and it was this one right here. I can't wait to see what they do for their upcoming third jersey.

Not a major. That's all I can think of now whenever I see Cody Eakin. If you're wondering, I'm referring to the major penalty he received back in round 1 against the Sharks this year. I don't blame him at all for what happened, it was just an unfortunate series of events. Thankfully the Sharks stuck to their ways and didn't win much after that anyway.

My Golden Knights collection is coming along nicely now. It's great having a couple of other teams to chase now after 20 years of collecting nothing but Red Wings stuff. Even though none of these new Knights cards are really high-end, I'm glad to have them in my collection representing my second favorite team. 

Golden Knights Collection Total: 19