Box Break: 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Hockey

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Fleer is quickly becoming that go-to set that Upper Deck puts out when they want to infuse some 1990s nostalgia into the hockey card market. In the past, they released a set called Fleer Retro, which played heavily on 1990s base card and insert designs. The 2015-16 Fleer Showcase set is sort of their retro set of this year, with designs from two decades ago. A box costs around $110 online, and has 12 five-card packs. Here are the results of my recent break of Showcase.

51 Base Cards

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Normally, I’m pretty indifferent to most designs by Upper Deck for their higher-end sets like SPX, SP Authentic, Black Diamond, etc. This season’s Fleer Showcase base set is a cut above, though, with an eye-catching design. The player photo is cut out and superimposed in front of a gold-and-white background. Gold foil behind the player makes a sort of a curvy X shape, which draws your eye to the player. (As a side note, this actually would have made a good design for an SPX set, with the X shape in the background.) The player name — also in gold foil — along with the Fleer Showcase logo, position and team are put at the bottom and out of the way.

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Card backs show some biographical data (height, weight, etc.) as well as the past five seasons of statistics. For retired players, a five-year span from a epoch in the player’s career is used.

1 Flair Showcase Auto Patch Rookie Card

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Well, if you were going to wish for an autographed card with a piece of a jersey patch, I guess you can’t do better than Connor McDavid. This card is super-thick, printed on shiny foil stock and serial-numbered out of 35 copies. Does it earn the coveted “rookie card” status? I don’t know. It is part of the “Flair Showcase” insert set, so probably not. The patch piece is “event-used” from a rookie photo shoot.

1 Fleer Showcase Hot Prospects Rookie Auto Patch

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This rookie card of Derek Forbort is numbered out of 499 copies. Like the McDavid card, it is signed on a clear sticker that was applied to the card. The patch piece is also event-used from a photo shoot.

1 Flair Showcase Game-Used Jersey Card

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On the other hand, the jersey piece used on this Claude Giroux jersey card is indeed game-used. Fortunately, it is orange too.

2 Flair Showcase Inserts

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2015-16 Fleer Showcase has a lot of different “retro-inspired” inserts. These two Flair Showcase cards, of Jonathan Toews and Wayne Gretzky, look like 1990s basketball cards. Yup, basketball. Flair Showcase basketball came out during the 1996-97 season. And now you know.

2 Flair Showcase “Blue Ice” Parallels

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Serial-numbered to 99 copies are these Flair Showcase “Blue Ice” parallels. I’m pretty sure that the 1996-97 Fleer Showcase Basketball set did *not* have “Blue Ice” parallels. I’d even bet money on it. Anyway, the two that I got here are Jeremy Roenick and Henrik Lundqvist.

1 Flair Showcase Rookies

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The sole Flair Showcase Rookies card that I got was of Dallas Stars center Mattias Janmark. It is not serial-numbered, but it sure is shiny!

1 Fleer Ultra Rookies

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This Fleer Ultra Rookies Max Domi card is limited to 699 copies.

3 Fleer Metal Universe Rookies

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Printed on shiny stock are these Fleer Metal Universe rookie cards of Nicolas Petan, Nikolaj Ehlers and Nikolay Goldobin. I scored a Nick Trick!

What I like about 2015-16 Fleer Showcase: Seven rookie cards — or at least seven cards of rookie players — per box is pretty great, considering that some higher-end sets only put one or two RCs per box. The variety makes for a fun box break, and there is definitely a nostalgia factor with the throwbacks like Metal Universe and Fleer Ultra. The base card design is appealing, too.

What I do not like about 2015-16 Fleer Showcase: I grew up collecting Fleer Ultra in the 1990s, so I think I wanted this to be a little more like 2012-13 Fleer Retro, with the throwback designs. The Flair Showcase cards feel retro-y, but not the Ultra or Universe inserts. Speaking of which, the Fleer Metal Universe cards are kind of boring, with their lack of planets or cosmic nebulas in the background. (Hey, if you’re going to do Metal Universe, do it right.)

4.5 out of 5

Sure, I did get a Connor McDavid autograph in this box, so it would be easy for me to give this five pucks based on that alone. But assuming that I got a lesser rookie instead, I still like what this box yielded: two autographs with patch cards, one game-used card and seven rookie (or  at least rookie-ish) cards. For around $100 – $110, you have the potential to get some nice pulls here. 

Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

3 thoughts on “Box Break: 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Hockey”

  1. I think you probably got the case breaker box with that McDave card! That’s hot, hope you dropped it into a protector immediately.

    Can’t say I’m crazy about the base cards but the others all look pretty nice. While the rainbow cards look really neat, the downside to them is that Sharpie’s don’t write on them very well for autographs. I’m sure this sounds like a very meager problem, but when you’re trying to balance a handful of cards and pucks, a wet autograph is precarious. Just my 2 cents, but it’s what I think of when I see them.

    Good write up!

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