Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Jimmy Howard: AMPIR IIHF 2017 WC

This year has definitely been a good one for adding to my Jimmy Howard collection. I've gotten a bit of everything from base cards to some oddballs to cards from The Cup. I even got a couple of Team USA cards all the way from Riga, Latvia of all places. Speaking of Team USA stuff, my latest pickup is an awesome IIHF card from Russia.

A while back I had been doing some searching online for Howard Team USA and stumbled upon the website for AMPIR Trading cards. There was a single listing for Howard and it just happened to be from the same 2017 IIHF World Championships as the other two cards I posted back in March. There was just one in stock and I jumped right on it.

This one from AMPIR has a nice action shot of Howard playing during the 2017 tournament on top of a cool blue background with the American flag in the upper left. 

If you're into cards like these they actually have a decent selection of cards available. There are plenty of NHL players included in the IIHF World Championship sets for 2017, 2018 and 2019. Of the ones still in stock there were quite a few recognizable names.

The site was very easy to navigate and purchasing the card went pretty smoothly. I was able to pay with PayPal, which made me feel a little better knowing this was from a random Russian site I had never used or even heard of before. 
The only issue I ran into was the shipping time. I placed my order on 3/13 and it was subsequently shipped on 3/14. Tracking was provided and I was able to see its progress all the way through. The problem was after it left Moscow the tracking didn't update for almost two months. I figured it was lost forever a that point. Not a huge deal for a $3 card, I was just disappointed that it was the only one in stock.

Luckily though I just happened to check the tracking for fun one last time on 5/31 and it had updated to show it scheduled to be delivered the next day. After all that waiting I was just happy to actually have the card, one that I'm not sure many other collectors have.

Monday, June 21, 2021

Jimmy Howard: Winter Classic Memories

With Jimmy Howard being retired now, there are likely not going to be a lot of new cards for him any time soon. So when I see him included in any of Upper Deck's 2020-21 checklists, I want to jump on those cards as soon as I can. One of the nice surprises that came up this season is the Winter Classic Memories set from Black Diamond.

This was an eleven card set spanning multiple Winter Classics and it includes names like Alexander Ovechkin, Patrick Kane and Henrik Lundqvist. They are relatively thick cards and have a recessed area in the center for a rainbow foil insert. They look great in person.

Howard's card has a nice close up shot of his Winter Classic mask and even has some nice snowfall in the background. You can even see a bit of his custom brown glove that was part of an awesome overall setup. If only the ref wasn't in the background, it would be perfect.

In addition to this regular version, there is a gold version serial numbered our of 14. The 14 representing the 2014 Winter Classic. I lost out on one via eBay unfortunately and the other BIN prices I've seen are just a bit too high for me right now. Hopefully I'll be able to track one of them down for a decent price sometime in the future.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

MVP Super Script Update

Last summer I decided to expand my MVP Script project to include the original main MVP set from 1999-00. That one came out before the Stanley Cup Edition. I've only picked up a few cards from that set as I'm only grabbing them when the price is right.

I've always liked those first three MVP sets (98-99, 99-00 and 99-00 SCE) from Upper Deck and they will always have a special place in my collection. Those were some of the first hobby boxes I opened as a kid and I still have all of the cards from them in my collection.

My latest pickup from eBay for the 99-00 Super Script set is card #70 featuring Brendan Shanahan of the Detroit Red Wings. It is serial numbered 11/25. Somehow I was luck enough to get it for just $5 plus shipping. That was a deal I couldn't pass on.

In addition to that, I was able to snag my very first Super Script from the 1998-99 MVP set. This one is card #153 and features Dan McGillis of the Philadelphia Flyers. This one is serial numbered 21/25, but you can't see it as for this set it was on the back of the card.

As far as the design goes, these are lacking a bit compared to the later versions. I believe this was the very first Super Script set from Upper Deck, at least in MVP hockey. They're actually hard to differentiate from the Silver Scripts other than the rainbow foil signature. The rest of the foil on the card is the regular silver just like the Silver Scripts.

Even if it's not the best of the early MVP Super Script designs, I'm still happy to have this one in my collection and to have a start on this set as well. I may not get these as often, but they bring back good memories of my early collecting so I'll always look for them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

SCE Super Script Update

Time for another update on my favorite set. Its been a little while now since I picked one of these up. I'd have to go back to last year at this point. After all, the set is another year older and getting harder and harder to find. I know I'll probably never actually finish it, but that's part of the fun and it keeps me going even after all these years chasing it.

The latest addition to my Super Script set came from eBay a few weeks ago. Here is card #15 featuring P.J. Axelsson of the Boston Bruins. This one is serial numbered 10/25.

I was a little hesitant about buying this one because the listing showed there was a slight crease in one of the corners. It didn't look all that bad and for just a few dollars I didn't think it was that big of a deal. I don't see these every day so I had to jump on it.

I was pleasantly surprised when I got the card that you can't even tell there is anything wrong with it until you look very closely at the back. In the scan of the front above you would never know there was an issue. Definitely a win in my book.

This one brings me to 86 out of 220 for the Super Script set. I believe it is only the second Bruin I've been able to grab, the other being Joe Thornton. That leaves me needing six more to complete the Bruins team set.

SCE Super Script Total: 86/220

Monday, June 7, 2021

Jimmy Howard: OPC Manufactured Patch

As a player collector, it is always great when I come across something on eBay that I didn't even know existed in the first place. One of my latest pickups is a perfect example of that. As I was scrolling through my saved Howard search I found something new and unique for my collection, which is of course a manufactured patch as stated in the title.

While I probably could've found that Howard was on this checklist just by scrolling through TCDb, somehow I had never noticed this one before. I also had never seen one for sale until this listing. New cards are harder to come by now that Howard is retired, so I jumped on this one right away and luckily ended up with the winning bid.

Here is a look at card #P-13 from the 2015-16 O-Pee-Chee manufactured patch set. The patch itself is recessed into the card so it looks a little odd in the scan. It is much nicer in person. These are not serial numbered and I have no idea what the print run might be.

I'm not sure if Howard has any other manufactured patches like this, so I'm definitely glad to be able to add this to my collection. One of these days I'll have to finish putting together a master want list so I know more about what's all out there to chase.

Similar to any of the event-used banner type cards, I like that these are a bit different than most cards. If everything was the exact same all the time it would get boring, right?