Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Expanding My MVP Script Quest Again

Two years ago I decided to more actively pursue script parallels for the regular MVP from 1999-00. I've loved those early MVP sets from Upper Deck since I was a kid and thought it would be another fun project to work on. While I am still pursuing that set, lately another MVP set has caught my attention and I've decided to make another PC project out of it.

Before being into the Stanley Cup Edition set, I had gotten a hobby box of 1998-99 MVP as a gift back when it came out. That was one of my very first hobby boxes and every time I see cards from that set I'm reminded of those good times as a young collector.

Fast forward to 2018-19 and for the 20th anniversary, Upper Deck created a Colors & Contours version of the original design to go along with the tribute Silver Scripts and Gold Scripts. While these have been around for a few years, they just recently came onto my radar and I cannot get enough of them. In photos and scans these things look amazing.

Here is a look at an original 1998-99 base card of Wayne Gretzky and a Colors & Contours tribute of Nico Hischier. I love what they did with this design, especially how close they kept it to the original unlike the Stanley Cup Edition tributes. My favorite part might be the red foil. Something about that stuff just looks nice on a card like this.

Between the three original MVP sets and the two tribute sets I've got quite a bit to chase after for the foreseeable future. If my math is right then there are 3,290 different cards between all the different variations. Here's a quick breakdown:

    1998-99 MVP Base [220]
    1998-99 MVP Silver Script [220]
    1998-99 MVP Gold Script [220]
    1998-99 MVP Super Script [220]

    1999-00 MVP Base [220]
    1999-00 MVP Silver Script [220]
    1999-00 MVP Gold Script [220]
    1999-00 MVP Super Script [220]

    1999-00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition Base [220]
    1999-00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition Silver Script [220]
    1999-00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition Gold Script [220]
    1999-00 MVP Stanley Cup Edition Super Script [220]

    2018-19 MVP Tribute Silver Script [100]
    2018-19 MVP Tribute Gold Script [100]
    2018-19 MVP Tribute Colors & Contours [100]

    2019-20 MVP SCE Tribute Silver Script [100]
    2019-20 MVP SCE Tribute Super Script [100]
    2019-20 MVP SCE Tribute Colors & Contours [100]
    2019-20 MVP SCE Tribute Colors & Contours Update [50]

Some of these will obviously be harder than others to complete. The base sets shouldn't be a problem at all, I just need to go through everything I've got to get an accurate count. The only sets I know for sure I have completed are the SCE base and Silver Scripts.

The Silver Scripts should be relatively attainable as well. There are maybe just a few names that would cost a bit more than the rest (e.g. Gretzky, McDavid, Crosby, etc.), but even then they're not that expensive in the scheme of things. Should be a fun build.

The Gold Scripts are where things start to get trickier, especially for the original sets. While they show up for sale occasionally, they're still not super common to see. When I do find them, I try to avoid overpaying so those are even slower for me right now.

The Super Scripts are still my favorites of the bunch and of course even harder to find. Rather than going for any of the big names, I just continue to be on the lookout for the less popular players and the great deals that can be had for them.

Finally, the Colors & Contours are a bit of a mixed bag. There are a ton to be had for a great price on COMC and Sportlots, but there are also some that fetch big money, especially with the way things are in the sports card world right now.

I know I'll probably never actually complete this 3,000+ card project, but that's the fun part: I will always have something to chase. After all, I get more enjoyment out of these simple MVP cards than I do for a lot of the crazy autos and patches out there today.

Anyone else really into the MVP script parallels? Or am I one of the oddballs going after these sets? Either way, as plenty of others have said, collect what you love. I love MVP and all the awesome script parallels, so that's what I'm going to collect!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Topps 75th: Rails and Sails

While I've been off to a bit of a slow start blogging about cards in 2022, I still have a ton of posts in the queue, just not enough free time to squeeze them in as often as I would like. Among these is today's post about one of my favorite side projects: Topps Rail and Sails.

Recently I was able to add another piece to my rainbow for the 2013 Topps 75th Anniversary set. This time it is the regular base version of the Locomotive 999 card from the original 1955 set. It is an exact replica of the original other than the 75th logo in the upper left and the fact that it is actually 2.5" x 3.5" in size.


Unlike the rainbow version I posted previously on here, this one is printed on the old school card stock and feels just like the originals in hand. Also, while it's hard to see in the scan, the 75th logo is actually done in silver foil, but looks great on the card.

Back to the rainbow thing, there are four different versions out there: base, rainbow foil, modern gloss (/10) and diamond sparkle (/75). I'm halfway there now and hope to grab the other two someday when the price is right. Would make for a really nice display piece.

Sunday, April 3, 2022

Masks: 2002-03 BTP The Mask II

Mask cards are one of my favorite things about collecting hockey cards. I always thought they were the coolest thing when I was a kid just starting out back in the mid 90's. Back then it was the Pinnacle designs followed by the ITG designs, all of which were awesome.

Thanks to a nice lot I picked up on eBay recently, I am nine cards closer to completing my 2002-03 BTP The Mask II set, at least the regular version. Up first is one of my favorites of the lot with Marc Denis and his Stinger themed Columbus Blue Jackets mask.


Up next is card #M-2 featuring Milan Hnilicka of the Atlanta Thrashers. I've always loved the Thrashers original look and any mask that was designed for it looks great. This one makes use of their secondary logo front and center on the top of the mask.


Another random name from the early 2000's is Roman Cechmanek. While playing for the Philadelphia Flyers he had some pretty nice looking setups, especially his masks. I love the font used for the Flyers text on the chin of this one.


Up next is one that actually goes with the teal design of the set. Card #M-25 features Miikka Kiprusoff of the San Jose Sharks. There is a lot to love about this mask design from the fin logo on top to the splash effect to the Kipper nickname on the chin.


Another really cool mask design was Steve Shields' tribute to Gerry Cheevers of the Boston Bruins. I believe this was one of the first like it and I always thought it looked nice in photos. Glad they went with the white cage as it really completes the look.


Here's another mask with the goalie's nickname on the chin. Card #M-7 features Jocelyn "T-Bo" Thibault of the Chicago Blackhawks. There is a lot going on with the design, but it works. The black cage looks great in this case too.


Up next is card #M-19 featuring Rick DiPietro's patriotic mask from his time with the New York Islanders. It is pretty simple overall with the primary logo on top and the wordmark on either side. Always like seeing the jersey number on the chin like this too.


Speaking of masks with the primary logo on top and the jersey number on the chin, here is card #M-12 featuring Tommy Salo of the Edmonton Oilers. In addition to the team logos there is a really cool viking design on either side. The cage should've been copper though.


Last we have another of my favorites from the lot: card #M-14 featuring Felix Potvin and his iconic mask design, this time in the gorgeous purple of the Los Angeles Kings.


These nine bring me a bit closer to completing this edition of the The Mask. Not sure how many I've got at the moment, but there are 30 total cards in the set. Plus, there are silver and gold versions as well, but those are a bit to pricey for me to go after.

Since there are not any new Mask cards like these anymore, I am glad that I still have several of these BAP/ITG sets to chase after. They are some of the nicest looking hockey cards out there and I would like to have them all someday.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Viktor Arvidsson: OPC Platinum Seismic Gold

The hockey collecting community has been very great to me over the last ten plus years I've been doing this whole blog thing. Between fellow bloggers on here and collectors on the message boards and Twitter, pretty much everyone I've dealt with has been awesome.

The latest example of this was an amazing RAK from a fellow Predators fan and collector on Twitter. @PeeryNotPerry sent me a package with some OPC Platinum Seismic Golds for my Viktor Arvidsson collection. Like I said, the hockey card community is great!

This one from 2019-20 is my new favorite Arvidsson card. While it looks pretty nice in the scan here, this thing looks even better in hand. The gold goes very nicely with the Preds colors and I love that Arvidsson is isolated from other players in the photo.


The other awesome Seismic Gold was from 2017-18 OPC Platinum. I like that this one has the older style of Preds jerseys, those were the ones they wore during the run to the Cup Final back in 2017. The gold looks just as good with this as the other one.


I love all the parallels from OPC Platinum in recent years and hope they continue to expand and come up with new ideas for them. As far as Arvidsson stuff goes, I'll be focusing only on his Preds cards so I at least have a few years of his cards to chase for these rainbows.

I actually have a few more versions of these two cards from my most recent COMC order, but I am saving them for a separate post. Once I get around to that I'll put together updated visual checklist grids so I can see how the rainbows are coming along.

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Predators: Pekka Rinne 2020-21 Allure

This update for my Predators collection is only one card, but it seemed like a good time for it after watching the Stadium Series last night. Unfortunately the wrong team came away with the win, but one of my favorite Preds was there and a part of the pre-game.

Continuing where I left off with my last Preds post, I have another piece for my 2020-21 Allure rainbow of Pekka Rinne. This is the 1917 NHL Shield variation and is serial numbered /17 on the back of the card. It looks just like the 2005 Shield variation, only here the outline of the shield is yellow instead of grey. It looks really nice in person.


Being numbered /17 I wasn't sure how much this would set me back, but I was pleasantly surprised when it popped up for sale at just $10 on eBay. I couldn't hit the buy it now button fast enough. This one brings me to 10 out of 26 for all the possible variations.

Here is a look at my updated visual checklist grid. 


While there are still plenty of gaps here, I love seeing all of the ones I have together. I keep cards like these stored in top loaders so they are easy to flip through and arrange all together. As far as completing the rainbow, I am going to only go after everything down to the /10 Purple Diamond variations. I've got a ways to go, but this will be a long term project and something to keep me busy with between other collecting projects.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

SCE Super Script Update

Time for my seemingly once a year update on my favorite set of all time: 1999-00 Upper Deck MVP Stanley Cup Edition Super Scripts. There are a handful of these for sale on various sites, but I avoid overpaying for them so I don't get them all that often.

Speaking of cards for sale from this set, the one I am showing off today has been on my eBay watch list for over a year now. The price wasn't too bad at $10, I just never got around to hitting the buy it now button until just recently.

Here is card #144 featuring Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes and their gorgeous original kachina jersey. This one is serial numbered 07/25 and goes nicely with the other Coyotes I've already got for my set including Travis Green, Sean Burke and Keith Tkachuk.


Even though this MVP design isn't the fanciest in the world, every time I add one of these to my set I can't help but stare at it for a moment. I've been a fan of this set for over 20 years now and still get the same level of excitement with every new addition.

This one bring my SC Edition Super Script total to 87/220 or 39.5% of the complete set. It also breaks the current tie I've had between the Golds and Supers for this project. I only need three more to complete the Coyotes team set at this point.

Sunday, February 6, 2022

SCE Tribute Update

It has definitely been a while since my last update on this project. I have to go all the way back to April of last year for my most recent post. That one was for a tribute Super Script, this one is for one of the awesome Colors & Contours parallels, which I'm also collecting.

This particular eBay pickup has actually opened up a whole new can of worms for me regarding this project. I say that because I didn't even realize there was an update set that was a part of the flagship Upper Deck set from 2019-20. There are actually 50 more of these, all of which are serial numbered /99 rather than the regular /249 version.

Here is card #142 featuring Taro Hirose of the Detroit Red Wings. I only got this one because the starting bid was $0.99 and it never moved from there. He hasn't made much of an impact with the Wings yet, so maybe his cards are that desirable just yet.


I have to say these are really growing on me. At first I wasn't super into the die-cut designs, but now that I've got five of these things I am really starting to like them. The original MVP logo always brings back good collecting memories for me, especially when the Stanley Cup Edition is involved. I also really like the red foil, especially for the Red Wings cards.

This puts me at 1/50 for the rookie update set and 5/150 when you include the original tributes from the main MVP set in 2019-20. These /99's might be a little trickier to complete just because of the names included in the set like Hughes, Dach and Fox.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Jimmy Howard: Cardboard Cameos

Now that Jimmy Howard is retired, the likelihood of him having a lot of new cards any time soon is pretty slim. That being said, I am obviously not going to be stopping my primary player collection and will continue to focus on his existing cardboard.

The fact that he is retired also has me going back and actually looking through my box of Howard cards more often lately. After all, what's the point of having them if you're not going to pull them out of the box and enjoy them every now and then?

Anyway, after noticing the Wings backup goalie in the photo on Howard's 2021 MVP card, it got me thinking about the chance that Howard was in the background of any other Red Wings cards. That in turn made me think of the posts on My Hockey Card Obsession about Trevor Linden cameos. Click here for some examples of what I'm referring to.

Another recent example that helped inspire this post is from @creasecollector on Twitter with his Jhonas Enroth collection. Click here to check out his blog post on the subject.

For my cameo cards of Jimmy Howard, I was able to grab three as part of my latest COMC order. I've been slowly building a want list for these as I stumble upon them and the price was just right so I had to have them for this neat little side project.

Up first is my favorite of the three, a UD Canvas card of Mike Green from 2018-19 Upper Deck. This one has a cool shot of some action in front of the Red Wings net in what appears to be Nationwide Arena. Definitely easy to see it is Howard in goal.


Up next is another card from the same set, this time featuring William Nylander of the Toronto Maple Leafs. This one once again shows Howard in net, this time in the foreground at Scotia Bank Arena. This one is neat because all you see is Howard and one other player.


For the last of the three, we circle back to Mike Green. This time we have a base card from 2018-19 Upper Deck. You can clearly see Howard is the goalie behind Green, although his head is almost hidden by the Upper Deck logo in the upper right corner.


These are just some of the examples of cameo cards for Jimmy Howard. There are plenty more out there, I just need to track them down for the collection. I always like finding new and exciting ways to enjoy collecting. After all when your main PC player is retired, you've got to find something like this to keep things interesting.

As far as my Howard collection, I am not going to be counting these as part of the main collection. They will be their own separate category and I'll keep them in separate posts like this in the future. For me, that just makes it easier to keep everything organized.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Predators: Pekka Rinne 2020-21 Allure

I finished 2021 with a post about a newly started Pekka Rinne rainbow for my Predators collection, so why not start 2022 with a post about another Rinne rainbow? As you can tell from the title, this one is for Upper Deck's 2020-21 Allure set, which has a ton of parallels.

There are actually 26 different Rinne cards needed to complete this Allure rainbow. Now, some of these are 1/1's, so it is very unlikely that I would ever be able to actually complete it. The next lowest numbering is /10, so those are likely the top end for me.

Since I have yet to pick up a base card, we'll get things started with the Black Rainbow, which is one of the non-serial numbered versions. This one takes the base design and swaps the silver chrome for a black rainbow type foil. It looks really nice in person.


Up next in the non-serial numbered category is the NHL shield version, specifically the 2005 design. There are actually three different shield parallels, the other two (1945 and 1917) are numbered /45 and /17 respectively. I didn't like these at first upon release, but they are growing on me and I am glad to have this one as part of my rainbow now.


Now we're getting into the more rare parallels. This one is the Yellow Taxi version and while not serial numbered, they only fall one per mass blaster pack. This is one of my favorites and it looks amazing in person. It goes nicely withe the Predators colors too.


Up next we have something completely new from Upper Deck: the Leopard Print parallel. Seems like a really cheesy idea, but the execution was excellent. These are one of my favorites too. Definitely not a pattern I ever thought we would be seeing on a hockey card.


Moving back to regular colored parallels, we have the Red Rainbow version. This is the same pattern as the Yellow Taxi, just a different color. I do like the contrast it provides against the Preds uniform. This one is 1:5 hobby packs and is not serial numbered.


Now we're getting to some of the better stuff. The first die-cut parallel available is this Orange Slice version. These are 1:10 hobby packs and are not serial numbered. I really like how the die-cut follows the shape of the base design in the center portion.


My favorite of them all so far is this Pink Leopard print version. I mean, who would ever think of something like this? Love it. I mentioned this on Twitter a while back, but together this and the regular Leopard version remind me of Fred and Dino from the Flintstones.


So we're eight cards in now and finally getting to the serial numbered parallels from 20-21 Allure. This is the White Diamond version and is serial numbered /50. They have a white border and a really cool looking diamond foil pattern that looks great under natural light.

Last but not least is my first memorabilia version: the Red Rainbow Jersey version. This is not serial numbered and shares the same design as the regular red parallel. I got a great deal on this one and had to have it just for the yellow swatch to match the photo.


I guess nine cards isn't a bad way to start off a new rainbow, right? In reality, I got these over a few months at the end of last year, I'm just now getting to scanning and organizing everything. Part of that process is putting together a visual checklist grid, something I've really gotten into doing for any new rainbow project I've started. 


So between this and my Rinne OPC Platinum rainbow project, I've got plenty to be on the lookout for. Rinne was always one of my favorite Preds to watch so these will always be a good reminder of that. Now I just need to see what I can do about filling in the holes.