Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look Back at 2012 + Goals for 2013

It's hard to believe we're already coming up on the start of another new year, 2012 just went by way to fast, right? Anyway, I thought I would put together a quick summary of my collection over the past year. Here's a quick update on my main PC projects (all 10 of them) for 2012 and my goals for these projects for the new year:

Jimmy Howard: 
Still my primary player collection, which shouldn't change anytime soon. Only 29 new cards in for the PC in 2012. Not as much as I would like, but I'm still only on the lookout for great deals on Howard stuff and refuse to overpay for anything. For 2013, I'm hoping to continue what I've been doing by looking for great deals and I'd also like to get more of these through trades if possible, so I'm not wasting as much money on shipping with eBay.

Dominik Hasek:
One of my two secondary player collections. No new cards for the PC in 2012, only decided to restart the project back in November. For 2013, I think I'm going to focus primarily on base and low end inserts with this one and see what I can grab at the local card shows from dime and quarter boxes. Hasek has a ton of high-end stuff that is way out of my price range, so why even waste time trying to track any of it down.

Patrik Stefan:
My other secondary player collection. 30 new cards for the PC in 2012. This is another project I started in 2012 and hope to continue with in 2013. Stefan has a bunch of cards from 1999-2006 and they can usually be found in the dime and quarter boxes around here, so that's what I'll be doing for this project in 2013. 

MVP SC Edition:
My primary set collection and part of the reason I started the blog. I think I made a pretty good dent in the want list this year: 18 Super Scripts, 8 Gold Scripts, 18 Silver Scripts, 2 Clutch Performers, 2 Golden Memories, 1 Cup Contenders, 2 Second Season Snipers, 1 Playoff Heroes, and 1 GU Souvenirs. Some of this was from another hobby box I busted. Anyway, that's 53 new cards for the project, the highest total of any of my projects for the year so far. For 2013, I plan to continue what I've been doing scouring eBay for Super and Golds then hoping to land the rest at card shows or through trades.

Metal Universe:
This is my secondary set project and has been one of my favorite base sets since I first saw it back in 1996-97. This year I managed to get 8 new base cards through trades and contests, but in addition to that I also busted a hobby box that brought me a bunch of much needed base cards and 2 lethal weapons inserts. Right now I just need 3 cards to complete my base set. For 2013, I'd like to track down those three and start working on the insert sets and maybe even the Super Power parallel insert sets. 

UD Showcase:
This is currently my tertiary set project and I've kind of just been grabbing singles when I see them for cheap. In 2012, I managed to get 6 new Rookie Showcase cards including a Sidney Crosby for just $10. In addition to the Hockey Showcase cards I got back in 2005 with the UD promotion, I have 26 out of a possible 76 cards for the combined set. For 2013, I'd like to keep looking for good deals on cards for both sets.

This is more of a side project than anything. If I see any Mask card and the price is right, I'll get it because who doesn't love goalie mask cards? I only ended up getting 2 new Mask cards in 2012, and both only cost me just $1. For 2013, I'd like to do the same, if the price is right I'll pick these up but otherwise they're not exactly my top priority.

Red Wings:
The Wings are the team I grew up with and they will always be my favorite, so I'm always on the lookout for Wings stuff on the cheap. 2012 brought in a ton of cool stuff for the PC, so much that I don't feel like trying to count it up. For 2013, I'd like to continue what I've been doing and go for anything that catches my eye as long as the price is right.

Goaltending Gallimaufry:
This has become my favorite side project and I love the variety it provides. I never know what set the next card in the project will come from, which makes it that much more fun. 2012 brought 48 new cards to the project, bumping the total from 59 to 107. For 2013, I'd like to keep looking for these at card shops and card shows as dime and quarter boxes are the best place to find them.

Captured on Cardboard:
This is my other side project and has not moved along as fast as Goaltending Gallimaufry, but is still a fun one. 2012 brought 5 new cards to the project, bumping the total from 7 to 12. For 2013, I'd like to keep looking for these in the dime and quarter boxes at the local card shops and shows, they're just a bit harder to find than the Gallimaufry cards.

Collecting in General:
As far as collecting goals in general for 2013, I would really like to work on getting rid of the stuff that has no place in any of my PC projects. I've got hundreds of autos/jerseys/inserts/parallels that I need to inventory and add to my trade lists. On top of that, I probably have two 5000 ct boxes worth of base cards from 1990-2012 that I could go without. I'm hoping to start work on cataloging those too, but we'll see.

My other main goal is to make it up to Toronto for the fall expo. I've been wanting to do that for years now and every year I plan on going, something seems to come up. This time I am determined to go and will do whatever I can to make sure it finally happens. 

All in all, 2012 was a good year for me and my collection. I love blogging and I still enjoy collecting cards as much as the day I started this blog. Thanks to everyone that stopped by this past year and I wish the best of luck to you and your collections in 2013. 

Happy new year everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Goaltending Gallimaufry: Lightning in Dallas

Gallimaufry [gal-uh-maw-free] A hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley. 

Man this trade just keeps on going doesn't it? I've got another card to show from Kevin over at Kevin's Collection that came as part of the trade we worked out recently. This one is for my Gallimaufry project and features former Stars goaltender Johan Holmqvist. 

The reason for this card making the cut is the blue and white you can see on Holmqvist's pads, gloves, and stick. Definitely does not work well with the black, green, and gold of the Stars' jerseys, does it? The reason for the mismatch: Holmqvist spent most of 2007-08 in Tampa Bay before being traded to the Stars at the trade deadline. 

This is the only card I have to show for the project today. Its another great example of whats out there as goalies are constantly changing teams. I wonder if there are many other cards with Holmqvist and his blue and white gear in Dallas along with the plain black "I've just been traded" mask. Who knows, maybe this is the only one.

Goaltending Gallimaufry Count: 107

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Patrik Stefan: ICE 1st Rounders Jersey

Yesterday I posted about a trade I made with Kevin over at Kevin's Collection that brought me two new Jimmy Howard cards. Also included in the deal was a nice piece for my Patrik Stefan collection, a 2000-01 Upper Deck ICE 1st Rounders jersey.

This is my new favorite Stefan card. It an acetate card from back when ICE was actually a cool looking and feeling set. I like how you can see through the area behind the ICE logo and that you can see the back side of the jersey swatch from the other side of the card.

The other cool thing about this card is the way the jersey swatch window is cut in the shape of a number one. Its also a plus that it comes from the maroon portion of the Thrashers jersey as that is a bit more scarce than either the dark blue or white.

This one makes for 7 auto/memorabilia cards in my Stefan collection and is the 60th different card of his I've been able to track down. Not as impressive as my Hasek and Howard numbers, but it'll get there one of these days as his stuff is usually dirt cheap and there is almost zero demand for it.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Jimmy Howard: 2011-12 Between the Pipes

Thanks to a trade with Kevin from Kevin's Collection I now have two new Jimmy Howard base cards to knock off the want list for the PC. They both came as part of a trade he and I worked out over the last little while.

The first was this base card from 2011-12 Between The Pipes. This is one of those types of cards that I refuse to throw down a few bucks plus $3 for shipping on eBay when I can eventually grab it in a trade like this.

The other one was also from 2011-12 BTP, this time from the Stars and Stripes subset. It features some of the great American goaltenders both past and present including Mike Richter, Jim Craig, and Jonathan Quick among others.

These two are nice because the have great close-up shots of Jimmy's last two mask designs. The regular base card has his mask from 2010-11 and the Stars and Stripes has his mask from the 2011-12 season. I think its kind of neat that they carry the same basic card design through the main set and the various subsets. It gives the overall set a more consistent look. What do you think?

They also bring my Howard base card total 36. That doesn't seem like much, but the way I see it is I have plenty of time to track them down and its not like they're that rare anyway.

Thanks again to Kevin for the trade!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Goaltending Gallimaufry: The Net Detective

Gallimaufry [gal-uh-maw-free] A hodgepodge; jumble; confused medley.

It's been a little while now since I've been able to put together a post for this series. While I haven't made any purchases towards the project in a while, I have had a nice stack of cards waiting to be scanned that were in my collection all along. Today's trio features "The Net Detective" Jim Carey of the Washington Capitals. 

The first one comes from 1995-96 Pinnacle Zenith Edition. This one has Carey pictured in the Capitals new (at the time) home jersey with his red and white gear from Portland. You can even still see the Pirates logo on the top of his mask.

The next one comes 1996-97 Upper Deck and features Carey in the Capitals new road jersey. The only difference between this and the Zenith is his mask. Here he is sporting a mask with an eagle, which is definitely more in line with the jersey than the pirates mask.

The last one comes from a set that I remember collecting as a kid, 1995-96 SkyBox Emotion. This one is the same as the Zenith other than the color of the jersey. 

That's it for now. I'm slowly chipping away at the stack of these things I have waiting to be scanned from my collection of 90's card I accumulated as a kid. I'm a little past the 100 mark now, but I'm really interested to see how far I can take this project.

Goaltending Gallimaufry Count: 106

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Cards for Christmas

It's rare that a Christmas goes by without me getting at least some hockey cards. This year was almost an exception though, until I got to one of my last presents yesterday. Normally I end up with a few packs or even a blaster box from Target, which is perfect because how can you turn down free cards? 

While I didn't come away with any packs or boxes this year, I did end up getting two nice cards from my parents. While they don't really fit into any of my PC projects, I still like them and as with everything else this time of year, it's the thought that counts, right? 

Here's a look at what I got:

Did you get any cool cards for Christmas this year? Also, do you tell people that you want them as gifts when they ask? I find it hard to ask people to get me cards because there are so many out there that's its hard for non-collectors to get exactly what I am looking for.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jimmy Howard: OPC Sticker

Stickers are hit and miss with me. For whatever reason, I really like the ones featured in this year's OPC release, but at the same time I'm not really a fan of the Panini stickers. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the OPC ones are actually card-sized and come from packs of actual cards, where the Panini stickers are their own standalone set. 

Regardless, my guy Jimmy Howard is featured in both sets and now, thanks to Sal over at Puck Junk, I can cross the OPC sticker off my want list. Here's a look at it:

Definitely not going to miss this one when sorting through my stack of Howard inserts. On top of the bold contrast between the yellow border, this card has an excellent low-angle shot of Jimmy guarding the Wings net. Together it makes for a sweet addition to the PC.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Outside the Box: My Dry Cell Collection

I'm sure most of you, like myself, have plenty of interests other than hockey and hockey cards. Anyway, after reading some of the "Outside the Box" posts over at My Hockey Card Obsession, I thought I would take a crack at this and bring something completely different to the table today, so know that before reading further.

You may have noticed that I added a "Song of the Day" box to the bottom of the sidebar. I did that because music is probably my next biggest interest after hockey. I like all kinds of music, but I'm particularly into modern rock, that being late 90's through today. If I had to chose a favorite band from this time period, it would have to be a now defunct group out of California, known as Dry Cell. Not surprisingly, there is a tie-in with hockey.

I first heard them on the Red Wings 2002 Stanley Cup championship DVD where they have two songs featured, one in the opening montage and a music video tacked onto the end of the video. Soon after seeing the DVD, I looked up who they were and they immediately became my favorite band. It was hard to find a song of theirs that I didn't like. This was all the way back in the summer of 2002.

They were supposed to be release their debut album "Disconnected" late that summer through Warner Bros, the company responsible for the Red Wings DVD. Long story short, due to a dispute between the band and the label, the album was scrapped and never released until many years later as a digital download on iTunes.

Backing up a little bit now, the band broke up around 2004 only to reunite again in 2007. At that time there was talk of another new album and they did in fact record several new songs. But, after all the talk of new music and new albums, nothing ever materialized and as of today the band is officially done. I don't know much about what the rest of the band is doing at this point, but if anyone is into watching "X Factor" then you might be surprised that the band's lead singer Jeff Gutt was featured on the show this past season (his rendition of "Hallelujah" can be seen here). Its a real shame he didn't get to take his talents more mainstream with Dry Cell. They had all kinds of potential as a group, but no one will ever know how far they could've gotten.

Ten years later, although completely non-existent now, this band is still by far my favorite. That being said, I have always been on the lookout for any kind of Dry Cell memorabilia. While my collection of stuff isn't very big, it still means a lot to me to have at least something commemorating my favorite band. Now it's time for a little show and tell. 

As with any band, there are always CD's to collect. That being said, at the moment I have four different albums. That may not seem like much, but considering none of these were never "officially" released on a mass scale, it's a nice little collection.

First I have a very generic looking 3-track sample CD:

Then there is this 3-track promo CD:

Then there is this single for the track "Body Crumbles":

Lastly there is the advance version of the "Disconnected" album:

I have a few other cool pieces of memorabilia too. The first one is this 8x10 black and white press photo that I picked up for a few dollars on eBay.

Then there is this cool 12" x 12" poster of the "Disconnected" album cover. Some people think it's creepy, but I love the picture they used for this one.

The last piece is my favorite so far. It's a test print of a Dry Cell poster from back in the day. The coolest part is that its uncut from the original print. You can see it has a title block in the lower right hand corner with some information about the design. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this on a music poster site a while back and got it for under $10. Needless to say, I've never seen another one of these and I'm glad to have it in my possession.

So there you have it, a break from the usual here. Hopefully it wasn't to boring of a read. I'm sure everyone else in the hockey card blogosphere has interests other than hockey, and I think it's fun to share things like this once in a while, don't you?

Do you have a side collection for your favorite singer or band? Also, have any of you ever heard of the band Dry Cell? If not and you're into modern hard rock, I encourage you to check them out, even if they are no more.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dominik Hasek: Highlight Video

Finding and posting my latest Jimmy Howard highlight video got me thinking I should do it for all of my PC guys. Well, I thought about that for a sec and realized there probably is no such video for Patrik Stefan, so I thought I would focus on The Dominator this time around. 

This particular video focus on Hasek's career from around 1998 through his first season with the Red Wings in 2002. That works out perfect from my perspective, bucause those are the times that solidified him as my favorite player and got me in to collecting his cards.

Aside from the awesome saves in the video, my favorite part is the music. The song featured in the video is the work of my favorite composer, Steve Jablonksy. He is known for movie scores like The Island and the Transformers series among others.

The song in this one is featured in one of the Transformers movies and is a great example of what he can do. I think his kind of music is the perfect match for a highlight video like this. If you haven't heard any Jablonsky's work, I encourage you to check it out.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jimmy Howard: Another Highlight Video

Its Sunday night, there's no NHL hockey to be seen and I'm bored, so I've spent a bit of time surfing around YouTube watching various highlights. I came across one video in particular that I thought I would share just to changes things up around here. Check it out:

I love videos like these, especially when the music works well like it does here. While it's not as dramatic as the one I posted back in February (click here to see that one), its still fun to watch. Kind of makes me miss the NHL a little bit more than usual the last little while.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Jimmy Howard: UD Exclusives

Not sure what it is, but lately I've had little to no motivation to actually sit down and write a post for the blog. I think its mostly the long hours at work lately with all of our customers trying to get things done before the Christmas break. Anyway, today's mail has finally given me something to be excited about as far as collecting goes. 

About a week or so ago I came across a listing for another Jimmy Howard card on my want list, an Exclusives parallel from 2011-12 Upper Deck. This one was numbered 094/100.

The best part was winning it for just $0.99 plus $2.50 for shipping. Considering how much something like this would've cost me at a local card show plus the gas to get there, I'd say this was a pretty good deal. Now I just need to track down the spectrum version.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Patrik Stefan: Pickups from Hobby Insider (HI)

I've only recently become a member of the Hobby Insider (HI) boards, but now I can say I've made my first successful transaction there. When I created my signature, as I did on SCF, I listed the players I collect including both Patrik Stefan and Jimmy Howard. 

Well, a little while back I got a message from another member with a list of Stefan cards he thought I might be interested in. I took a quick look and needed most of them, so I agreed to the deal and the cards were on their way after sending a little PayPal his way.

The best of the bunch was this Gold signatures card from 2000-01 BAP Signature Series.

My next favorite was a 1999-00 Stadium Club Chrome refractor. I love the old Topps refractor cards, which makes me wish they will someday get a license to produce hockey cards again, but I doubt that will ever happen.

Next we have an insert from Stefan's rookie year. This Premier Rookies comes from the 1999-00 Topps Premier Plus set. I like the burst pattern in the background, but the "Premier Rookies" text is a bit obnoxious, don't you think?

Then there was this really cool looking insert from 1999-00 Crown Royale. Specifically, it's from the International Glory insert set, which you wouldn't even know unless you look at the back of the card down with the number.

Here's another one of his RC's, this time from 1999-00 Ovation.

Here is the base RC version of the refractor from above.

Now we have the base RC from 1999-00 Topps Premier Plus.

Another lost set I really like is Topps Gold Label. These were really cool when I was a kid in the late 90's and I'm happy to add this RC to my Stefan collection. The fun part with this set is going to be all the different levels of parallels, and all the 1/1's that go along with it.

 The next one if from 1999-00 Ultimate Victory.

Here's one from my 1999-00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition set. I had a couple of these in the PC already before this deal, but you can never have too many cards of a PC guy, am I right?

Lastly, we've got a base card from 1999-00 Upper Deck. Apparently back then there were Young Guns cards as well as base cards for rookies, or at least that was the case with Stefan. This is definitely one of my favorite UD base designs.

That's it for this deal. Eleven Stefan cards for the PC, all for just $4 including shipping. These bring the collection to a total of 59 different cards. There are still plenty more out there, but most of them are pretty cheap and there is not much demand for his cards.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jimmy Howard: UD Rookie Threads

I know I've said this before here, but patience is key when it comes to player collecting. I've got another great example of a card that's been on my radar for years now, but for whatever reason I was never comfortable with any of the prices I came across for it. That is until last week when I happen to find one up for auction and I threw out a bid that I wasn't exactly sure would bring this one home.

Obviously I won that card, or I would be writing this post, so here's a look at my new two-color jersey card from the 2005-06 Upper Deck Rookie Threads set: 

It's a great looking card and the almost 50% split on the two color swatch just makes it that much better. Another thing I love that I didn't notice before was the threaded texture on the word "Rookie" at the top of the card. Pretty fitting for a set called "Rookie Threads."

The surprising thing about this one was the ending price. I ended up getting it for just $1.79 plus $2 for shipping. Not bad considering this card is listed for a lot more on several occasions (here for $49.99, here for $59.99, and here for a more reasonable $12.95).

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thoughts: Scans/Pictures for eBay Listings

Am I the only one who finds it annoying when you do an eBay search and a bunch of results come up with a generic picture and not an exact picture of what is being listed? The other day when I did some quick searches for Stefan and Hasek cards I noticed a lot of the following, all from the same seller:

Here is a listing for a Patrik Stefan from 1999-00 Ovation:

Here is a listing for a Dominik Hasek from 1999-00 Ovation:

I understand that someone like this seller probably lists a ton of stuff at the same time and just uses the generic picture in the interest of saving time. That's all well and good, but I tend to just skip right over these listings because it's more of a hassle to have to go and ask for a scan of the card. Personally, I would like to see a scan of what I'm bidding on.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you skip right on by listings with these kind of generic pictures for those that actually show what is being listed? Or do you just take the sellers word for it and hope you're getting the right card in decent condition?