Monday, November 30, 2020

Masks: Edge Ice The Wall

Mask cards are something I'm always on the lookout for when the price is right. I used to be able to find quite a few of them at card shows, but since I haven't been to one all year, I've resorted to looking for deals on eBay and what not. 

Today's post is about a mask themed set that has yet to make an appearance on here: 1995-96 Edge Ice The Wall. I've know of this set for years now, but never attempted to buy it. It is a minor league set from the 90's and it definitely feels like it looking at the design.

There are 12 cards in the set including both IHL and AHL masks from the mid 90's. Most of the goalies included spent significant amounts of time at the NHL level.

As far as the design, they are very similar to the original Pinnacle Mask cards from 1992-93. There is an actual photo of the mask set on a plain black background with the set and company name at the bottom. The one thing that separates these Edge Ice cards is the die-cut shape at the top. Each card is cut specifically to follow the outline of each mask.

Up first and my favorite of the set is card #TW3 featuring Rick Knickle of the Detroit Vipers. I actually went to a bunch of Vipers game as a kid, so this one was cool to see. Not sure if I ever saw Knickle play though. If I did that makes this one even cooler.

My next favorite is purely based on the mask artwork. Card #TW10 features Mike Dunham of the Albany River Rats. I always thought this design was cool as a kid and remember seeing it on several of his Devils cards I have floating around in my collection.

The rest are just in the order that I scanned them. Next is card #TW4 featuring the mask of Troy Gamble from the Houston Aeros. I love the look of that logo on the top of the mask.

Card #TW6 features this great mask from Wendell Young of the Chicago Wolves. The yellow really helps the wolf design stand out on the top. The claw marks on the chin are cool too.

Then we have card #TW2 featuring the mask of Manny Fernandez from the Kalamazoo K-Wings. I really like the combination of the darker green with the gold and black.

Card #TW9 features Les Kutnar's mask from the Hershey Bears. I love the symmetry of this design. The white cage and surrounding area really look good with the light blue.

Up next we have the mask of Jim "The Net Detective" Carey from the Portland Pirates on card #TW7. I always thought he had some neat masks. The playing cards are a nice touch on the chin. The brick wall design looks pretty cool too.

Next is card #TW8 featuring the mask of Dwayne Roloson from the Saint John Flames. The standout feature of this mask is definitely the yellow cage. That's something you don't see very often. Otherwise it is a nice simple look with the black and the flames logos.

Card #TW5 features the mask of Pokey Reddick of the Las Vegas Thunder. This one looks pretty cool with the Thunder logo on either side and the lightning effect.

Eric Fichaud's mask from Worcester IceCats is shown on card #TW11. This mask design is actually from his junior days with the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL.

Up next is card #TW1 featuring the mask of Ray Leblanc from the Chicago Wolves. This one has a real Cujo vibe to it. Definitely one of the better looking masks in this set.

Last but not least we have card #TW12 featuring former Red Wings goalie Kevin Hodson. This mask is from his time with the Adirondack Red Wings and I'm pretty sure he wore this exact mask in some NHL games. I always liked the look of the black accents.

Of the 12 goalies included in this set, they all eventually played at least one game in the NHL. Below is a summary of their career regular season statistics. They are listed in the same order as the cards on the checklist for this set.

Goalies of EDGE Ice The Wall Set: NHL Regular Season Statistics
Goalie GP W L T SO GAA SV%
Ray Leblanc 1 1 0 0 0 1.00 0.955
Manny Fernandez 325 143 123 35 15 2.50 0.912
Rick Knickle 14 7 6 0 0 3.74 0.879
Troy Gamble 72 22 29 9 1 3.61 0.875
Pokey Reddick 132 46 58 16 0 3.71 0.873
Wendell Young 187 59 86 12 2 3.94 0.876
Jim Carey 172 76 65 16 16 2.58 0.898
Dwayne Roloson 606 227 257 82 29 2.72 0.908
Les Kuntar 6 2 2 0 0 3.18 0.877
Mike Dunham 394 141 178 44 19 2.74 0.908
Eric Fichaud 95 22 47 10 2 3.14 0.897
Kevin Hodson 71 17 18 10 4 2.76 0.893

Some of these names are definitely more familiar to me than others. Hodson was with the Red Wings when I was just getting into hockey here in Detroit so he is probably the most familiar to me. He would be followed by Dwayne Roloson and Mike Dunham.

The rest of the names I'm aware of mostly from the older 90's cards in my collection. The only name that I wasn't really familiar with at all was Les Kuntar. What's funny about that is he's not even the one with the least games played. That honor goes to Ray Leblanc.

Statistically, the top three here would be Roloson, Dunham and Fernandez. They are the only three of the group with 300+ games played and 100+ wins. Not a bad group.

As far as individual awards, Fernandez and Duham both won the Jennings trophy as backups to Tim Thomas and Martin Brodeur respectively. Carey won the Vezina back in 1996. Reddick (1990) and Hodson (1998) were the only ones to ever win the Stanley Cup.

So that's another cool mask themed insert set I can check off my list. While these are my number one priority, its always nice to be able to add them to my collection. One of these days I'll get them all organized and posted onto a single page of my collection website.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Viktor Arvidsson: Young Guns

When I started my Viktor Arvidsson collection, one of the cards I knew I wanted to have relatively soon was his Upper Deck Young Guns rookie. It seems like most collectors would agree that it and maybe the SPA Future Watch are the two key rookie cards to have.

Considering this is only my third new Arvidsson post on here since I started this, I would say this is soon enough for me to have a copy. The best part is I was able to find a great deal on eBay from a local seller. This one only ended up costing me $2 including shipping.

Here is card #222 in the 2015-16 version of the flagship Upper Deck set.

I actually really like the look of this Young Guns set. While the design at the bottom lacks any bright colors, it looks great and doesn't distract from the rest of the card above it.

Now I just need to work on finding the Silver Foil, UD Exclusives, High Gloss, Canvas and Acetate versions to complete the Young Guns rainbow. Some of those will definitely be hard to find. So far I've only see copies of the Canvas version for sale.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Viktor Arvidsson: OPC Platinum Sunset

In my recent Cardboard Creations post about my ideas for OPC Platinum designs, you may have noticed that all the cards featured the same player. That would be Viktor Arvidsson. I actually decided to start collecting his stuff around the same time I started that custom set, so he was the perfect choice as the player to be featured.

I also mentioned in that post that I got some inspiration from the new Sunset parallels from Upper Deck. Well, it just so happens that Arvidsson was the first one I actually bought for myself. The name bar on the bottom of my customs was actually taken right from the scan of this card. That ended up being easier than recreating it from scratch.

Here is card #36 from 2019-20 O-Pee-Chee Platinum.

While this thing looks nice in the scan above, it is even better in person. Definitely one of my favorites of all the OPC Platinum cards I have so far. Now I just need to start working on the rest of the Arvidsson rainbow for this set. I definitely have quite a bit to track down.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Viktor Arvidsson: MVP Super Script

Now that I have another player to collect with Viktor Arvidsson, I wanted to see what kind of good deals I could find on eBay to get things started. I'm not exactly going after his high-end stuff right now, so I'm focusing on cards that I like and can get relatively inexpensively.

It just so happens that I was able to find a 2020-21 MVP Super Script, just like the Jimmy Howard from my last post. This one is card #29 in the set and is serial numbered 09/25. The best part is this one only cost me $5 including shipping. Now I need the black version.

I have to say this is one of my favorite MVP designs of the last few years. The only thing I would change about this set is the Upper Deck logo in the upper right corner. I wish they would've made it the same foil as the signature and the other areas. The original few MVP sets did this and they look much better for it.

The other thing about these Super Scripts is my scanner does not like them. You can barely see the rainbow foil here. These things look amazing when you hold them up to the light. Definitely one of my favorite types of cards to just pull out of my PC box to look at.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Jimmy Howard: MVP Super Scripts

As a player collector I look forward to the release of MVP every year. While it is considered a low-end product, my interest in it is driven by the parallels. The script parallels have been a part of MVP since the beginning and I always like adding them to my collection, especially the Super Scripts. Howard has been in this set most years so I have plenty to go after. 

In addition to the regular script parallels including Silver, Gold and Super, Upper Deck recently added a Black version numbered out of 5. These are even harder to track down than the traditional Super Scripts, which are numbered out of 25.

I know Howard has these Black Super Scripts in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, so I at least have two of them track down. Definitely some of the lower numbered cards of his the last few seasons. Luckily, I was able to grab the latest version recently from eBay.

This is card #188 in the set and serial numbered 2/5. Other than my two 1/1's this is the lowest serial numbered card in my Howard collection now. I ended up paying about $20 for this, which is a little more than some similar cards have sold for, but I was comfortable with it and that's all that matters. Who knows when another one would show up for sale.

Once I had the Black version I figured why not try to complete the full MVP rainbow so I went on the lookout for the regular Super Script /25. Luckily I was able to find one a week or so later on eBay. This time I only paid just over $10 including shipping.

Now I just need the Gold Script, Silver Script and Base versions. I guess this would be the backwards way of completing a rainbow. At least the others ones are not serial numbered and I should be able to grab them relatively cheap eventually. Hopefully.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

New Player Collection: Viktor Arvidsson

How many player collections is too many? I'm not sure. I have three at the moment and it does not feel overwhelming at all. In reality I've been focusing mostly on one of them, but they're all there and always give me something to search for on eBay and what not.

The only real limitation for any of them is the time period in which the players were active. Hasek has me covered for most of the fun 90's sets that I've always enjoyed collecting. Patrik Stefan has a good number of cards between 1999 and 2006 for me to chase. Jimmy Howard has regularly had cards from 2005 onward so I'm pretty well covered until now.

With Howard's future uncertain and Hasek being included in newer sets only occasionally, I'm missing someone that will allow me to chase some of the cool new cards being released right now. I'm talking stuff like the newer OPC Platinum parallels.

I know I already have team collections going for Detroit, Vegas and Nashville and I could always just grab cards for those as they come along, but there is just something more fun about player collecting for me. It seems to make collecting more enjoyable. 

That said, I've decided to add Viktor Arvidsson to my group of player collections. He is still my favorite current Predator and he's always been fun to watch. While he isn't in the realm of McDavid and Matthews as far as cards go, he seems to be included in most of the sets I've been interested in lately. If anything, his stuff appears to be pretty affordable too.

This works nicely with my already started Nashville Predators collection. I will just pull the few Arvy's I already have from there to get me started. After a quick search through my Preds binder, I was able to find six. My favorite is probably the 18-19 Upper Deck base.

A quick check of the Trading Card Database shows that Arvidsson has just shy of 500 total cards so far. That's quite a few less than my other PC players. Howard is around 1500, Hasek is around 5500 and Stefan is around 700 total. I know I will never have all the cards for any specific player, but at least I'll know how many are out there to chase.

I've also been checking eBay and COMC lately to see where I can get started. There are some really cool Arvidsson cards available. Hopefully he continues to improve with Nashville and will be featured in plenty of new card releases in the coming seasons.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Jimmy Howard: Ultra Premier Pad Men

If there is one thing I don't have a lot of in my Jimmy Howard collection, that would be die-cuts. I can only think of a few off the top of my head and would have to go back through everything to know for sure. I've always liked die-cuts, especially some of the crazy ones from the 90s', so I try to add them to my collection here and there.

In this case, Howard was featured in the Premier Pad Men set from 2014-15 Fleer Ultra. These feature the goalies obviously and have a really cool die-cut of the words PAD MEN on the left hand side. Here is a look at card #PP-20 from this great set.

Its hard to see in the scan, but this one is printed on a rainbow foil board that looks so much better in person. These are the types of cards that I love to pull out of the box and look at in the light. Looking through my cards is one of my favorite parts of collecting.

The best part about this one is that it only cost me $1 on eBay, and the shipping was free. That's a great deal for a PC card from a cool set like this one.

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Jimmy Howard: Ultra Gold Medallion

Like my previous post, this is another pickup that proves patience pays off. I've been on the lookout for some of Howard's rookie year cards for 10 years now. Similar to the Parkhurst facsimile auto, I've seen several copies of this card for sale over the years, but the price was always too high for me. I'm talking in the $40 to $50 range for some of them.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and this copy popped up via BIN on eBay, for less than $10. Needless to say, I was all over that and clicked the buy button immediately. Add a few more days for shipping and then this awesome card was finally in my possession.

Here is card #270 from 2005-06 Fleer Ultra, specifically the Gold Medallion version.

This card looks awesome in person, although that's kind of hard to tell from bottom of the scan. Foil like this tends to not scan very well for me. I really like how the player image stands out from the gold background. The large last name font is pretty cool too.

So this means I am two thirds of the way there on completing the 05-06 Fleer Ultra rainbow for Howard. I've got a few copies of the base version to go along with this Gold. Now I just need to track down the Ice Medallion, which is numbered to just 25 copies.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Jimmy Howard: Parkhurst Facsimile Auto

Here's another rookie year card for Howard that's been on my want list for ten years now. I've seen several copies of it on eBay and COMC over the years, but they were always priced way more than I wanted to pay. Some were listed for almost $50, which is nuts.

Luckily being patient paid off again as I was able to grab this one from eBay for just $5 including shipping. Not bad for a rookie year card numbered out of 100.

Here is 2005-06 Parkhurst Facsimile Auto #625 (38/100).

Other than the obvious addition of the facsimile signature and a serial number on the back, this is the same as the base rookie card. I actually like the look of this set with the light colors and the burst effect in the background. The green Parkhurst logo stands out, but does not feel out of place. Definitely one of his nicer looking rookie year cards. 

The other thing I really like about this one is the fact that he is not shown wearing his old college equipment. The Maine blue did not look good with the Wings uniforms and unfortunately most of his rookie cards have it. This must have been released later in the year as they had time to get photos of Howard with his first Wings setup.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Cardboard Creations: OPC Platinum

O-Pee-Chee Platinum parallels are one of my favorite parts of player collecting. Honestly I wish there were more of them every year, kind of like how Topps does their Chrome baseball set. I checked the list for 2020 and there are almost 20 different parallels for each card. While that may sound insane to some hockey collectors, I think it would be awesome. I've seen some almost complete rainbows of cards from this set and they look amazing.

Lately Upper Deck has generally done the same set of OPC Platinum parallels such as Red Prism, Orange Checkers and Blue Cubes. While those are great on their own, the more recent additions of the Sunset and Pond Hockey parallels are even better if you ask me. 

I like those two a bit more as they crop the player from the background image making it stand out better against the custom background. Since they only have these two though, I thought it would be fun to come up with some of my own custom designs.

The first one I'm calling the Lunar version as it's got an awesome image of the moon as the background. In my custom set of parallels this would be the 1/1 version.

Obviously these customs are based on the 2019-20 O-Pee-Chee Platinum design. I got my inspiration from the new Sunset parallel so this made perfect sense as a place to start. I took a scan from one of those and went to town re-creating it to the point where swapping the backgrounds was all that I needed to do for any additional design I wanted. 

As far as the re-creation process, I used my go-to design software: Inkscape, which I've used for every one of the custom card designs I've posted on here.

One of the more subtle features of that I wanted to capture in my version is the way the player is cropped to be layered behind the bottom portion of the card and layered above the top portion. That required a little extra work in the software, but was well worth it.

Once I had the basics in place and fine tuned to they way I liked, all I had to do was come up with additional backgrounds. That was probably the hardest part for me. After thinking of the Lunar idea a few more ideas popped into my head and I just went from there. 

Here are eight more designs to round out my first entire page:

Top Row: Lunar, Dragon Scale, Nebula
Middle Row: Matrix, Forest, Lava
Bottom Row: Amethyst, Steampunk, Tie-Dye

Even though the Lunar was my original idea, I think the Dragon Scale ended up being my favorite. It just stands out more than the others. I think something like that would look amazing printed on the OPC Platinum card stock.

Beyond that I just tried to come up with a nice variety of colors and textures. The Matrix one ended up looking pretty cool. And I know Upper Deck already has the Color Wheel version, but the Tie-Dye wound up looking so good I had to include it.

I wasn't completely sure the Steampunk design idea would work, but after some searching I found this image that worked pretty well with what I was trying to do. I'm not sure if anyone's ever done a steampunk themed parallel. The closest might be Metal Universe.

I've got several more ideas in the works, so I will hopefully be able to put together a second full page at some point. I'm open to any suggestions for new designs too. I just need a high quality image to work with and the rest is pretty quick work now.

One last thought on these: I think it would be really cool if Upper Deck held some kind of contest to come up with a new parallel design/background for an upcoming version of OPC Platinum. Maybe it doesn't need to be full on fan designs, but at least opening up the background selection to fan submissions/voting would be awesome.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Jimmy Howard: Panini Prime Holo Silver

After a long streak of Howard pickups earlier this summer, I've actually gone over a month without posting one. Even though nothing's been posted, I've been slowly adding to my main player collection since, just haven't had much time to organize and scan everything. 

One of these eBay pickups adds a card that I didn't even know existed until I saw the listing for it. Here is a Holo Silver parallel from 2013-14 Panini Prime. This one is card #32 in the set and serial numbered 26/50 on the front, which is hard to see in the scan below.

While I vaguely remember the Panini Prime set, I never knew there was a silver parallel set. Apparently there are two other parallel versions as well according to TCDB: Gold numbered to 10, and Black numbered to 1. Hopefully I can track those down someday. 

Another neat thing about this card is it shows Howard playing in his pink mask and equipment for breast cancer month back in 2013. It's too bad they cropped out his pads though as those were the coolest part of the setup. Click here for a better look at them at InGoal Magazine. Those iceberg graphics were always one of my favorites.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

SCE Super Script Update

After picking up what seemed like a ton of these last year, I am only now getting my second Stanley Cup Edition Super Script of 2020, and we're into October now. I guess with a set as old and limited as this you're going to have some up years and some down years.

If price wasn't a consideration I would've gotten at least half a dozen more this year, but I'm not going to drop over $100 on singles for this set, at least not right now. I've been watching several of them listed for obscene amounts (Peter Bondra for $175, Steve Kariya for $200, Darius Kasparaitis for $180). Those are just a bit too much if you ask me.

Thanks to another more affordable eBay find, I have one more for my set. Here is card #69 featuring Pat Verbeek of the Detroit Red Wings. This one is serial numbered 07/25.

Sometimes I forget that Verbeek even played for the Wings. He was here from 1999-2001 and played in in 135 games putting up 37 goals and 78 points. Now that I think about it I almost remember him more from his time as a broadcaster with Fox Sports. 

If I remember correctly this will be my fourth Red Wings Super Script. I'm still missing two of the bigger names in Yzerman and Fedorov. Hopefully I'll be able to track them down someday and complete my Red Wings team set. Now that would be awesome.

SCE Super Script Total: 84/220

Monday, October 5, 2020

MVP Super Script Update

When it comes to Upper Deck's MVP sets, if I had to choose a favorite after the Stanley Cup Edition it would be the regular set from 1999-00. I'm not really sure why, but I've always like the look of that set. I liked it when I was a kid and still do now.

My latest pickup for this set is card #95 featuring Donald Audette of the Los Angeles Kings. This one is serial numbered 14/25. The grey border for these looks great here with the Kings purple. Anyone else think they should go back to this logo and color scheme?

While this isn't my primary MVP set, I still keep an eye out for these and try to grab them when the price is right. In this case it was listed for $3.75 plus shipping so I couldn't click the buy it now button fast enough. I just wish these would show up more often like this.

MVP Super Script Total: 3/220

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Topps Rails and Sails Update

Time for an update on my new favorite train related set. In addition to the first four cards I posted recently, I was lucky enough to win another lot from eBay with 13 new cards for my set. There were 16 total, but the last three I already had. Even with the duplicates, I couldn't pass on such a great deal for cads for this many cards from a set like this. 

We'll get thing started with card #1 featuring Locomotive 999 from the New York Central Railroad. This one is the same locomotive featured on the reprinted version from the Topps 75th anniversary set that I posted recently. This one is in great shape considering its age.

Up next we have card #70 featuring an electric locomotive from the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. This one is another great example of the excellent card backs these have. I never knew a lot of the facts on the backs of the cards, like in this case how these trains ran on two different types of power depending on which tracks they were on.

Here is another one for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad that happens to be one of my favorite cards in the set. I've always been more into diesel locomotives and since this set is about the history of railroads leading into the 1950's, they are not as common as in more recent sets.

Up next we have card #33 in the set featuring a 2-8-0 Consolidation type steam locomotive from the Lehigh Valley Railroad. I love the industrial background artwork on this one.

This next one is my first card featuring some rolling stock instead of a locomotive. I really like that the included some cards like this to show off other parts of the railroads. This card featuring a three-dome tank car is #13 in the set.

Card #40 features an experimental locomotive nicknamed Holman's Absurdity. Definitely a different looking steam engine. The odd wheel configuration is something I had never seen before looking at this card. Here is a link to some more information about this loco-motive.

The next one takes us all the way back to Civil War times. Card #56 features a locomotive that was part of some wartime shenanigans that involved Union soldiers sneaking into Confederate territory and stealing it. The best part is their plan failed because they ran out of fuel and water. I love that I keep learning new stuff from this set.

Card #8 features another electric locomotive. These were built by the General Electric company and the American Locomotive works and operated on 3000 volts of electricity.

Back to some more rolling stock with card #10 featuring a ballast dump car. This one was built by the Clark Car Company in 1924 and has a capacity of 100,000 pounds.

Card #62 features something a little bit different with the McKeen Motor Car. I never even knew what these things were before learning about them from this card.

Up next we have card #44 featuring another odd looking locomotive: the Muddigger. These were built starting in 1844, so its kind of fitting that it matches the card number.

Getting back to more rolling stock we have card #11 featuring a stock car for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. I used to have a bunch of cars like these on my model train layout as a kid.

Bringing up the rear of this post is the caboose of course. Here we have card #9 featuring a steel caboose from the Clinchfield railroad that was built way back in 1942.

I have to say I am really enjoying my first vintage set project. These cards are awesome and knowing they are 65 years old makes them that much cooler. They've all been in relatively nice condition too, which is kind of surprising considering I've have paid a ton for them yet.

I still have a ways to go before I get anywhere close to full set, but that's ok as this is more of a fun side project that gives me something to search for between other PC pickups.

Rails and Sails Set Progress:  17/130 = 13.1%
Cumulative Cost (including shipping): $24.10
Average Cost per Card: $1.42