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.