Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thoughts: Full Disclosure

I'm sitting here on my lunch break at the office and its got me thinking about the fact that nobody here really even knows that I collect hockey cards or have this blog for that matter. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, its just an observation. I guess I haven't fully disclosed my main hobby and interest with my coworkers. Everyone here knows I am the hockey nut in the office, but only when it comes to watching the Red Wings or playing roller hockey. 

I don't know about the rest of you, but I find it difficult to work hockey cards into a conversation at work. There are plenty of sports fans among us, but I'm the only one that I know of that collects any kind of sports cards. All that ever gets talked about here sports wise is how bad the Lions are, the Tigers when they're doing good or bad, and the Wings if they're in the middle of another playoff run.  

Don't get me wrong, I wish there were more people around me that were into collecting, but that's just not the case. At least for me at the moment anyway. I'm guessing it's a bit more common north of the border to have fellow hockey collectors around more often, but correct me if I'm wrong on that. 

My question for you is to what extent have you disclosed your hobby interests among co-workers? Are you the only collector in your workplace, or do you have others around you to discuss and debate this great hobby with?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My Picks #91: Brendan Shanahan

I'm closing in on 100 of these posts now, which is quite a bit more than I thought I would get to, but I keep finding cards that catch my eye. Some are from my existing collection and some come from card shows and card shops. No matter where I got them, the only thing that matters is that I like them for whaterver reason good, bad, or ugly. 

Today's pick would be one of the latter as it is another obnoxious looking insert from the mid-90's. I found it searching through one of the dime boxes at a recent card show, but just never got around to scanning it until now. It's from the 1994-95 Fleer Ultra Red Light Special insert set and features former Red Wing Brendan Shanahan. 

Hard to miss this one, isn't it? While this card comes from just a few years before I really got into collecting, it seems like something I would've thought was cool back then. I remember having a ton of stuff like this from sets like Fleer Ultra, definitely brings back good memories. Gotta love the 90's.

What are some of your favorite inserts from the 90's?

Monday, January 28, 2013

SCE Super Script Update

After a rough day at the office, it felt good to come home to a bubble mailer I've been waiting for since last week. In it was another one of my recent eBay purchases, another Super Script as you can tell from the title of the post. This one had a bit of a twist to it at the end of the auction, another one of the little things that makes this hobby fun. 

When I first came across this auction I wasn't sure where it would end up because the player, Ted Drury in this case, wasn't the main attraction. That leaves it up for team collectors or set builders like myself. Anyway, I was winning the auction up until the end when I got sniped. At that point I thought oh well, maybe one of the other 24 Drury's will surface again someday. Can't win them all, right?

Not so fast. About an hour later I got an email from eBay for second chance offer as the winning bidder withdrew their bid. The message from the seller said this, "Hi there, The other buyer make a mistake, he already have it in his collection and ask me to cancel the transaction. Here is your second chance offer." Awesome, I jumped on the opportunity and took them up on this offer knowing it was my only chance for a while. 

Here's a look at my newest Super Script numbered 12/25:

This one adds another team to the Super Script project. I'd like to get at least one from all 28 NHL teams included in the set, that would be pretty cool. It's also the 43rd overall that I've been able to add to the set, which puts me at 19.5% for the set.

Have you ever gotten something cool from a second chance offer on eBay? This is the first time I've done so and I have to say I'm a fan of the option.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cardboard Creations: Metal Universe

It's been way too long now since I've actually sat down and knocked out a full set of custom card designs. Since May of 2012 actually. That said, my last post got me thinking about how I would design my own Metal Universe set, something I was actually playing around with in Inkscape back as far as last year. Anyway, I've been working on these for a few hours today and thought I would show off what I came up with. 

Here is one of the nine featuring Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals:

I wanted to reuse as much of the original design as I could as far as the bottom of the card goes. I kept the same basic shape and color scheme, minus the player and team names. It actually wasn't all that difficult to recreate the Metal Universe logo portion of the design. The hardest part was getting the exact shape to match by manually adjusting the points on the trace lines I created. 

For the backgrounds, I thought I would go with some more fractals, which I made great use of in my "Fractal Mask" sets a while back. These are always different and there's plenty of them available on the internet.

Now here are all nine of them together:

What do you think of my attempt at a reboot of the Metal Universe set? Like the mockups that UD posted on their blog, these closely replicate the original 1996-97 version. I can only hope that the version they are coming up with looks something like these.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thoughts: 2012-13 Metal Universe

After reading the latest article post over at My Hockey Card Obsession about Upper Deck's plan for the remainder of the 2012-13 collecting season, there is one set in particular that I am definitely looking forward to: 2012-13 Metal Universe. This will supposedly be part of Upper Deck's Fleer Retro set due out in April. 

Here is a look at one of the initial mock-ups featuring Wayne Gretzky:

I've been hoping that someone would bring this set back from the dead and it looks like that has finally happened. Even though this is a quick mock-up, I love the look of these cards as the are basically the same as the original 1996-97 version.

Here is another one of Jarome Iginla:

Now there are not many details about this out yet, so I'm not even sure if its going to be something along the lines of an insert set or subset, so we'll just have to wait and see. I can't wait to see what they actually come up with. If these two are any indication of the final product, it will be awesome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Red Wings Card of the Day: 1994-95 Fleer Mike Vernon

Since I am still waiting for a few things to show up in the mail, I thought I would jump back into my Wings card of the day posts, which I've decided to simply title RWCOTD for now on, with another monstrosity from the mid-90's. This one comes from 1994-95 Fleer and features 1997 Stanley Cup champion and Conn Smythe winner Mike Vernon. 

Definitely hard to miss this one sorting through a stack of cards with the bright green and blue areas of the background. The other thing that I notice right away about this set is the fact that the vitals are listed on the front of the card. Don't see that very often, do we?

The weirdest part about this set is that the design varies from what seems like team to team. Looking at COMC, all of the other Wings cards have this same basic look to them, but some of the other teams do not. Have you ever noticed that about this set before?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Picks #90: Bill Ranford

Tonight's post comes out of nothing but boredom as I sit here listening to the Red Wings-Stars game. It's 1-0 Stars after one period. Anyway, I am waiting on a few things in the mail, but they weren't here when I got home, so this will have to do for tonight.

I chose this one because it's got a lot of things going for it. One of the first things I notice about it is the nice framing of the picture. This is what a base card should look like, other than the obnoxious TSC logo and text on the bottom.

The coolest thing about it is the way the puck is frozen in mid-air just as Ranford is about to make the glove save. It's also nice that there are no other players visible in the picture, just Ranford, the puck, part of the net, and the fans in the background.

Not bad for a so-called worthless base card from the mid-90's, right?

Monday, January 21, 2013

SCE Super Script Update

Time for another show and tell post for one of my favorite sets. I've been after these things for years now and still get really excited every time a new one pops up on eBay. I would've actually had an update on this set earlier in the month if I hadn't gotten into a bidding war that went just a bit beyond my comfort level for single card spending. Oh well, hopefully that one will show up again one day. 

Enough about that, onto the ones I was actually able to come away with. These two both popped up from one seller just over a week ago and they were on my radar since day one of the auctions. I also got into bidding wars on both, but they settled down toward the end and were right up against the upper level of my self-imposed limits, and were a enough combined deal to pull the trigger on the pair. 

The first was this Ryan Smyth numbered 11/25. 


The second was this Nathan Dempsey numbered 20/25.

While I paid a little bit more than the average for these things in the past, I was glad to add these to the collection and knock them off the massive want list for this set. One cool thing about these two is that they came from a seller less than 20 miles from me, so the shipping was super fast for these Super Scripts.

These are the 41st and 42nd for my set, so I'm almost caught back up with the Gold Script total, something that hasn't happened in quite a while now.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Box Break: 2012-13 Artifacts Blaster

Gotta love getting Christmas presents in late January. This past weekend while on vacation met up with a friend that I hadn't seen in a while. This landed me a blaster box of 2012-13 Artifacts, which was both unexpected and awesome. First, here's a look at the box.

As you can see above there were 8 packs in the box and 5 cards per pack. That means I should end up with 40 cards altogether. I wasn't expecting much more than 40 base cards, but was pleasantly surprised to end up with just 39 base cards. You'll see why in a bit.

Here's a look at my top nine base cards:

The first three were an obvious choice as my favorites. I really like the fact that they chose to picture Shanahan with the Wings as I will always remember him in the red and white. As far as the next three, Ovechkin is my favorite non-Red Wing, the old school North Stars jersey is just awesome, and I don't have many Bobby Orr cards so I figured why not.

The last three are a nice look at some of the different All-Star uniform designs. I love the 03-04 jerseys from Minnesota and the mid 90's turquoise and purple uni's were sweet. The last one is just awful though, not sure what they were thinking with these things recently.

Frozen Artifacts:
In addition to all the base cards, there was one hit in this box. This Frozen Artifacts featuring Jarome Iginla of the Calgary Flames was definitely a nice surprise in about the 6th pack of the box. The stated odds on these things for blasters is 1:80 packs.

All in all not a bad blaster. I really like the look of the base set and got some really cool cards for my Wings collection. Other than those Red Wings cards, everything is available for trade including the Iginla Frozen Artifacts. By the way, what do you think about 2012-13 Artifacts? Have you had any great luck with any packs or boxes?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Red Wings: A Few Generous Acquisitions

In my last post I mentioned I was taking a few days off and would maybe get some blogging in as a form of relaxation. Well, obviously that didn't happen the last three days, but now that I'm home from our trip, this is a good was to de-stress and show off a few more cards for my growing Detroit Red Wings collection. 

These are some of the rest of the cards that I got from Casey over at Drop The Gloves last week. Thanks again Casey! There is a nice mix here with a few from UD Masterpieces, three from Pinnacle, and one from OPC.

I think my favorite of the bunch has to be the Zetterberg from Pinnacle. It's got a cool pregame shot that you don't often see on cards. How cool would it be to be that kid getting to see the Wings off to the ice before the game? 

That's all I have to show for today, but I did come home to a nice package thanks to a recent eBay purchase. I'm getting those cards scanned tonight, so hopefully I'll be able to get that post typed up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Dominik Hasek: A Few Generous Acquisitions

Yesterday I posted the Hasek I got for my Gold Script set, today I get to post a bunch of cool stuff for my Hasek collection that came along with that Gold Script. There is a real nice mix here and that's one of the things I love about going after Hasek's stuff. There are all kinds of different cards of his from the last 20 years or so.

Up first is a really cool retro parallel from 2001-02 Topps. I remember getting a box of this stuff as a kid and I always liked these parallels with the obnoxiously bright color schemes. Hasek and his black Sabres jersey really stand out against the lime green background.

Next is another one for the base card collection. This one comes from 2006-07 Fleer and has a nice full body image of Hasek guarding the net for the Wings.

Then there was this one from 1995-96 Pinnacle Summit, which is the base version of the Summit Ice parallel I showed in my last Hasek post here. I like how they leave the background behind Hasek on just the left half of the card.

Next was another one from Hasek's short time in Ottawa. This one comes from 2005-06 Fleer Ultra. I can't tell if he's stretching or making a save in this pic. Either way, its still one I didn't have and am glad to knock off the want list.

Here's one more base card for the PC, this time from 1993-94 Topps Premier. I will say I really like any card that shows Hasek in the Sabres blue and gold, even though I prefer to see him in the Winged wheel.

I saved the best for last, which was this hard-signed auto from 1995-96 BAP. This was one of those sets where the NHL logos could not be shown, so they were photo-shopped right out of the pictures, which still looks strange to me even now almost ten years later.

That's it for today. Not sure if I'll be doing much posting the rest of the week and into the weekend as I'm off work and determined to try and relax a bit. We'll see, sometimes I find blogging the most relaxing thing to do just to get away from everything else.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gold Script Update

Its been almost four months now since and update on this set, so this one is definitely a welcome addition to the project. It came as part of a package from Casey over at Drop The Gloves! this past week and goes perfectly next to it's Super Script counterpart. 

Here's a look at my newest Gold Script, Dominik Hasek numbered 077/100:

This one marks a bit of a milestone in my master set progress as I now have 50 Gold Scripts. That leaves 170 more to complete the set, but the fact that I have 50 is actually pretty cool. These things aren't exactly the easiest thing to track down.

This one also brings up an interesting dilemma. Do I count a card like this as part of my Gold Script collection, my Dominik Hasek collection, or both? I'm leaning towards just the Gold Scripts because that is my number one set project and probably the third most important project in my collection behind the Super Scripts and Jimmy Howard. What would you do in this situation.

Thanks again Casey!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Thoughts: ITG Motown Madness

I can't remember the last time I was actually excited about an upcoming product release, but a new set due out next month has me thinking about actually going out and buying a brand new box of cards. That product would be ITG Motown Madness. Not only does this product celebrate my favorite hockey team, it features two of my main PC guys: Jimmy Howard and Dominik Hasek. Click here for a link to a post on the ITG site about this set.

Here's a look at Howard's base card from the set:

I love the look of the base set, other than the obvious fact that the real Red Wings logo is absent. While they get as close as possible without using the actual logo, it's the only downside to this set. Otherwise it's just awesome. I love the Detroit skyline in the background and the way the players picture pops out of the circular window.

As far as the rest of what's been shown in the set so far, I have to say I really like the Goaltenders and Tough Materials jersey cards. 

I know not everyone is going to be into this set as a lot of people can't stand the Wings. Me on the other hand, I can't wait for this set to come out. Even if I don't end up getting a box right away, I'm definitely looking forward to grabbing some singles. 

Anyone else a fan of this set? Anyone not care for it at all? After all this is a thoughts post and I've given mine, so what are yours?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dominik Hasek: Card Show Pickups (Part 2)

Time to show the last of what I got at the Gibraltar show last weekend. These are all the inserts and parallels I was able to grab for my Dominik Hasek collection. There is some cool stuff in here spanning from his time with Chicago to his last stint with the Red Wings.

The first one is my favorite and cost me the most of any single card at $1. It's an Epix Play Orange from 1997-98 Pinnacle. These cards focus on individual plays and this one specifically talks about a save that Hasek made on Mario Lemieux.

My second favorite was this 1995-96 Summit Ice parallel. This card really popped out when I was sorting through the box, so I just had to have it.

This next one was kind of neat. It's from 1996-97 Upper Deck, specifically the Generation Next insert set, and is two-sided featuring Hasek's countryman Roman Turek.

The next one is a bit newer, coming from 2008-08 Victory. While these Stars of the Game inserts are usually pretty lame, I do kind of like the design of this one. It also helps that you get a nice, centered, full body image of Hasek without too much to distract from it.

Back to the older side of things with this NHL Icons insert from 1997-98 SP Authentic. I keep seeing online that there are regular and embossed versions of this card and I cannot tell which is which, anyone know anything about these?

Here's another cool goalie themed insert set from the mid-90's. This one is from the 1994-95 Fleer Netminders insert set. Its got a nice horizontal action shot of Hasek with the background washed out and covered in the word netminder.

This next one was another one of my favorites. It comes from 1996-97 Leaf Preferred Steel insert set. The coolest part about this set is that the cards are actually made of metal. While I left the protective cover on to scan this card, I ultimately decided to take it off.

Here we've got another goalie themed insert set, this time from the 1994-95 Leaf Crease Patrol Set. Its really nothing more than a horizontal base card with some extra text added, but it's still another one I'm glad to cross off the want list.

This next one comes from 1996-97 Upper Deck. That year they had this set called Superstar Showdown where there were two die-cut cards that would fit together to form a Superstar Showdown. Not sure who the other card is for Hasek, anyone else know?

The next one is actually a parallel version of the base set from 1994-95 Topps Premier. According to COMC, these are listed as "Special Effects" versions of the card, so in my book that goes with any other base set parallel.


Here's another Special Effects from the same set, only this time the card is part of the goals against average leaders subset. It's really hard to tell from the scans, but these cards do in fact have a bit of a rainbow chipped ice look to them in the right light.

One more from this set, this time part of the save percentage leaders. At least with these they decided to use different pictures for each of the three different cards.

The last one comes from Hasek's days with the Blackhawks. It's from the 1992-93 Upper Deck All-Rookie team insert set and features a photo shoot of Hasek wearing an All-Rookie team jersey with his Blackhawks goalie gear.

That's it for my Gibraltar show pickups. All in all I would say I did pretty good for spending just $12 on cards. I got a nice mix of things for my various PC projects. Now its off to get ready for two roller hockey games later this afternoon, one of which I may be playing goalie in. We'll see how that goes...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dominik Hasek: Card Show Pickups (Part 1)

One of the things I was really looking for at the last Gibraltar show was stuff for my Dominik Hasek collection. I figured that I would be able to find a good amount of his Wings stuff and I definitely did when it comes to base. Here's a look at 17 new cards for the PC:
This first one is from 2006-07 Upper Deck. This one has a nice action shot, but I find it interesting that they used a photo from way back in 2001-02. Not sure why they couldn't have gotten one from his second stint with the Wings in 2003-04.

Next is another nice horizontal card, this time from 2003-04 ITG Action. I remember getting a box of this stuff back in the day and there are some nice actions shots like this one.

Next is one from 2001-02 Top Shelf. This one shows Hasek at the press conference with the Red Wings after they traded for him in the summer of 2001. Sometimes I think people forget that the Wings actually traded Slava Kozlov for him.

Then there was this one from 2008-09 Artifacts. This is probably one of my favorite Artifacts designs of the last few years. I really like the background choice and the bronze foil design in the four corners is a nice touch.

Another one that makes use of an older photo is this one from 2006-07 OPC. Its shows Hasek playing back in the 2001-02 season and I know that based on the pads he's wearing. Those ones were only used during his first season as a Wing.

Another OPC, this time from 2008-09. Definitely a downgrade in card design from the last as I don't think they could've gone much bigger with the OPC logo. I mean seriously, other than the picture, it's the largest design element on the front of the card.

The next one comes from 2006-07 SP Authentic. I haven't seen all that many singles from this set, so it was kind of nice to be able to add one to one of my collection projects.

This one is from 2007-08 Ultra, one of the better looking designs for this set the last few years in my opinion. I really like the font they used for the player's last name and the fade to black at the bottom is a nice touch.

This next one is from 2003-04 Bowman. I completely forgot that there were Bowman hockey cards at the end of Topps' run of hockey during the early 2000's. It's actually a pretty nice looking base card even with all the random shapes and patterns.

Here's one from what I think is one of the worst MVP set designs. I've said it before, but ever since they changed the "MVP" logo, these designs have gone downhill. Still, its another Hasek card for the collection so its definitely a welcome addition.

This next one is from 2006-07 BeeHive. I really like the look of this set with the simple border and a nice full-body image. Now I just need to start working on the many parallels that go along with this one including blue, gold, matte and wood.

Here's another Beehive, this time from 2003-04 Beehive. It's a bit simpler of a design as the whole thing just looks like a wooden plaque you would hang on the wall. Not a huge fan of the design, but it's unique so that's kind of neat.

Here's another great example of the quality photography that Upper Deck makes use of in it's flagship set. Definitely a plus that this one is a horizontal card because you get a great wide look at Hasek making a save on his blocker side.

This one comes from 2007-08 Hot Prospects. It's got a nice close up shot of Hasek where you can get a good look at the front of his mask. While this one is good, I think I will always prefer the one he wore at the end of his first season with the Wings.

Time for something a little bit different. This one from 2005-06 ICE is the first one of the haul to show Hasek in his Senators gear. Still seems weird to me. I tend to forget about his time there between stints with the Red Wings. Pretty cool mask though.

Let's add one more team to the mix now. This one is from 1997-98 ICE, back when ICE cards were actually made out of acetate. I really wish UD would bring that back for all ICE cards, but oh well we can't get everything we want as collectors, can we?

Last but not least, we have this once from 2003-04 SPx, one of my favorite SPx designs. While it's not as cool as the ones from the 90's with all the die-cuts and what not, it's way better than some of the more recent attempts at this set.

That's it for the base card additions to my Hasek PC. I think this may have overtaken my Howard PC now when it comes to the total number of cards, but that's only because Hasek's got 20+ years of cards to go after, where Howard only has 8 years of stuff now.

Stay tuned for the inserts and parallels, those should be posted here soon.