Sunday, September 29, 2019

SCE Gold Script Update

Wow, I just took a look back through my older posts and saw that I have not added to my Gold Script set for over five years now. It definitely does not feel like its been that long. I guess I need to start making up for some of that lost time. Luckily I was able to do that with some recent eBay shopping I did as a birthday present to myself.

Through my regular eBay searches I recently found a seller from Sweden that listed a ton of Super and Gold Scripts for sale. I mean they had somewhere around 30 different cards from the set for sale all at once. The kicker was that most of the auction listings included the Gold, the Super and even the Silver Script for at least 20 of them. 

While I was bidding on all of the auctions this seller had for these things, I only ended up winning nine of them. That's plenty to make me happy though. The rest ended up getting out of my price range. I'm just glad to have some of them because these things do not surface all that often, especially the Gold and Super together like this. 

The only downside to this was the fact that of the nine I bought, three of the Golds were already in my collection. That's ok with me though as it was still worth it just to have the corresponding Supers. Those are a lot less common than the Golds after all. 

Here is my favorite of the six new Golds. This Patrik Stefan is card #13 in the set and serial numbered 031/100. If only the 1 and the 3 were swapped in the serial number. 

Up next is Jarome Iginla. This one is card #33 in the set and serial numbered 008/100. This is also the first Flames card I've been able to add to the Gold Script set. 

The third one features Mike Keane of the Dallas Stars. This is card #62 in the set and serial numbered 033/100. This is another first as I didn't have any Stars before.

Number four finally adds another goalie to the Gold Script collection. This Tommy Salo numbered 051/100 is card #71 in the set and the first Oiler I've added to the set.

This next one doubles the number of Oilers in the my set. Card #76 in the set features Ethan Moreau and is serial numbered 071/100.

Last but not least was this one featuring Karl Dykhuis of the Montreal Canadiens. This one is car #94 in the set and is serial numbered 047/100.

So there you have it, another nice dent in the want list for this set. This was a nice mix of names to add to my set. Some I remember a little better than others from my youth like Stefan, Salo and Iginla. They all bring back great memories of watching as much hockey as I possibly could. I was in middle school during the 1999-00 season when this set came out so hockey was what I cared about most at the time. 

Gold Script Total: 69/220

Thursday, September 26, 2019

SCE Silver Script Update

I want to start this by saying I'm not really sure how to feel about this update. It is one of the biggest single purchases, as far as the number of cards, that I've made for any of my main collecting projects. It also completes my MVP Stanley Cup Edition Silver Script set. Thanks to this purchase I now have all 220 cards in the set.

This was a case where I found an eBay deal I could not pass up.

In fact, not only did this purchase complete my set for me, it was an entire 220-card set. The cost, only $20. I had to do a double take when I first saw the listing on eBay. I assumed maybe it was a misprint and it was only the base set or something. Nope, it was the entire Silver Script parallel set, for $20. I couldn't click the Buy it Now button fast enough. 

In reality, it was $27 including shipping. That works out to just $0.12 per card, which is a really good deal if you ask me. Some of the individual cards in the Silver Script set are going for way more than that. Here are just a few examples from COMC.

     - #13 - Patrik Stefan = $1.98
     - #22 - Dominik Hasek = $2.54
     - #51 - Patrick Roy = $2.15
     - #65 - Steve Yzerman = $2.61
     - #104 - Martin Brodeur $1.65

I know that is probably not the best resource for prices on these things, but at least it is a point of reference. Even if you assume each one is let's say $0.50, that would be $110 for the entire set. At $0.25 per it would still be $55. I don't recall ever seeing these in a dime box at any card shows, so I feel like I got a pretty good deal here. 

Now for the fun part, let's see what the remaining 78 that I needed to complete my set look like. We'll get things started with the goalies. I only needed nine so that worked out perfectly when arranging the scans. This is a pretty good group of netminders overall, primarily the top six. I mean you have the top three winningest of all time with Brodeur, Roy and Luongo. Joseph is fifth, then Osgood and Hasek are 13th and 14th respectively.

Everything after these is in numerical order. Since the Hebert and Maracle completed my Mighty Ducks and Thrashers team sets, we'll get started with the Bruins. Seeing some of these names definitely brings back memories of watching hockey as a kid.

This page has a few big names. Forsberg, Hull, Modano and Fedorov have all been inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame within the last ten years. As far as the Red Wings in this set, I have no idea why Stacey Roest was included over someone like Nicklas Lidstrom. Upper Deck really makes you wonder sometimes, am I right?

This page only has two hall of famers: Pavel Bure and Luc Robitaille.

Here we finally have the first page without a hall of famer. For the names that are shown here, I would say I was the most familiar with Sergei Brylin. I was a huge fan of the Devils for some reason back when the won the Cup in 2000.

Eric Lindros is the lone hall of famer of the next page. There are some other prominent names from back in the day though including Fleury, Alfredsson, Primeau and Tkachuk. These are the guys I grew up watching on TV so its nice to see them again here. 

Here is another group with some very good players like Shane Doan, Owen Nolan and Robert Lang. I love seeing some of the older uniforms in this set, especially the Coyotes.

Markus Naslund is the best of this next grouping. I'm familiar with some of the other names, but don't know a ton about them. Not sure why Paul Kariya's brother was featured in this set. You would think there would have been some better choices on the Canucks.

Last but not least we have more of the CHL subset cards. These are slightly different than the base cards as they do not have the facsimile signature. Instead there is a silver foil CHL logo. Upper Deck also made parallel versions of the two checklists.

That's it for my final Silver Script update.

Now back to how I feel about this. On one hand, I am thrilled to get such a great deal while simultaneously finishing one of my favorite sets. On the other hand, it was kind of fun to acquire these at a slower pace as they came about. Now I no longer have that ability.

Would you pull the trigger on a deal like this to complete a set you're working on? Or would you prefer to build a set like this slowly over time?

Friday, September 20, 2019

Jimmy Howard: New Mask for 2019-20

Finally, the NHL's regular season is almost here. It is also the time of year when goalies masks and equipment for the upcoming season begin to show up. In the past I've does posts on here showing Jimmy Howard's masks, although its been quite a while now. I'd like to change that and show off his new mask for the upcoming 2019-20 season. 

Howard has had some really cool masks over the years. This one is no different. It was done by his usual painter Ray Bishop of Bishop Designs. He's done virtually all of Howard's Red Wings masks. Here is a good look at the left side and the back plate.

Similar to his mask from last season, this one is non-symmetric. This has the newer Hockeytown logo as well as the team logo centered on top of the mask so it wraps from one side to the other. It also has some horizontal striping that breaks it up into several alternating sections of red and white.

Also, this is probably the largest I've seen a goalie's numbers on the side of mask. That's not a bad thing, it just doesn't seem like something many goalies do.

Here is a look at the right side of the mask. This again has the large 35 and the est. 1926 right below it. The only difference from the left side would be the Spirit of Detroit instead of the city skyline in the red stripe near the bottom.

Finally, here is a cool look at the front of the mask. Another nice touch is the old school "D" on the chin. This photo kind of reminds me of those early 90's Pinnacle mask cards. So much so that I decided to have a little fun in Inkscape and turn it into an actual Pinnacle Masks card. This was one of the easiest custom designs I've made in a while.

It was nice to find these images on the Red Wings Facebook page without the usual painters logos covering up parts of the mask design. I understand why they need to put those things on there, but this just looks so much better without it. Plus, I was able to make a custom card from it relatively easily. 

There are a lot of new masks for the upcoming season, which one is your favorite?

Monday, September 16, 2019

SCE Tribute Update

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I have to say again that 2019 has been a great collecting year for me so far. I'm on track to post here more than I have in any of the last five years. Part of the reason for my renewed interest in collecting has been Upper Deck's 2019-20 MVP set with the tribute cards to my favorite set: MVP Stanley Cup Edition. 

There are both Silver and Super Script versions available as a new 100 card set. These are almost identical to the originals, although with a few exceptions. They also added the newer Colors & Contours parallels into the mix, which is kind of cool too.

Here is my first tribute Super Script featuring one of my favorite current Predators: Viktor Arvidsson. This is card #61 in the set and is serial numbered 09/25. I was lucky enough to land this on eBay for just $0.99 plus a few bucks for shipping.

These things look awesome in person and I'm looking forward to finding some good deals on more of them. It should be a little easier to find them for this tribute set since it just came out and there are only 100 of them as opposed to the original set of 220. 

Super Script Tribute Total: 1/100

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