Box Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Trilogy

“Three shall be the number of the counting and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither shalt thou count to two, excepting that thou then proceedeth to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the number of the counting, be reached…” you shall then open your box of 2018-19 Upper Deck Trilogy.

I hope the Holy Grail reference didn’t go unappreciated as my lead in for reviewing this year’s Trilogy product from Upper Deck. As you may have already guessed, Trilogy has always been focused on groups of three, whether it’s three players pictured on a card, three parallel levels, three autographs, serial numbers to three, etc.  Even the set logo has a three in the title in place of the “g.” Is it a conspiracy? A puzzle? The Illuminati? I don’t know, but the 2018-19 edition of this mid-range product is no different.

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Box Break: 2018-19 Artifacts Hockey

When it comes to new hockey card releases, I am frequently a late bloomer when it comes breaking boxes. This year, 2018-19 Artifacts was no different. Released October 4, 2018, Artifacts is usually one of the first products to hit the market at the start of the new season (as well as MVP and O-Pee-Chee). I hadn’t had a chance to pick this product up until recently and I wanted to share my break and thoughts with our readers.

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2018-19 Panini NHL Sticker Collection Box Break #2

Last month, I purchased two full boxes of 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers. My first box had quite a few foil stickers, and very few duplicates. So I was excited to open the second box of Panini stickers, and hoped that the collation would be as good as the first box. 

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Box Break: 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers

After purchasing boxes of 2016-17 and 2017-18 Panini NHL Stickers this summer, I decided to go “all in” and collect the 2018-19 Panini as soon as they came out. That is, instead of being thrifty and waiting for the season to end — and thus the price of a 50-pack box to drop significantly — I am going to try to build and complete this set during the season. 

One reason I am doing this is because it is more fun to collect a modern set the year it comes out, instead of one or two years after the fact.

Another reason why I decided to build the 2018-19 set during this season is because I was very impressed with the collation of the 2017-18 box that I purchased, which had only 11 doubles out of 350 stickers.

Maybe Panini finally realized — after 30 or so years — that if collectors buy a full box of stickers, they don’t want to get doubles and triples within that very same box.

I recently went to a card show in Chicago, and one of the dealers was selling full boxes of 2018-19 Panini NHL Stickers for $35, so I decided to pick up two boxes. Here is my break of the first box. 

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Box Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey

My second-most anticipated event that comes around every fall, besides opening night puck drop, is the release of Upper Decks flagship set. The new crop of Young Guns rookie cards, the great photography of the new base cards and the new insert sets — or the new designs of the recurring ones — are all reasons why I look forward to Series One. So of course, I had to pick up a box at my local card shop. Let’s take a look at what I pulled from my box of 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One.

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Box Break: 2017-18 Panini NHL Stickers

I will be the first to admit that I’m a little slow when it comes to buying and opening Panini Hockey Sticker packs.

This is because I’m too cheap to spend $1 per pack (plus tax) for however many packs it takes to build a set; it’s usually over 100. I also don’t want to spend around $40 plus shipping on a box. So, I usually wait until the season ends. Then the price drops significantly, I purchase a box or two, and trade for or buy whatever stickers that I still need. 

Panini Hockey Stickers usually have terrible collation. Earlier this year, I purchased a 2016-17 box, and 57 out of 350 stickers (roughly 16%) were doubles. Despite shoddy collation, I still like Panini Hockey Stickers enough to try and build a set every year. 

However, this box might be a turning point for me with Panini Hockey Stickers because the collation was actually darn near perfect.

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Box Break: Farfield Triple Deke Box

Last week I dropped in to my local Target store to shop for leftover Halloween candy, to leave a few snakes hidden in the toy aisle and nab the latest issue of Cosmo (hair care tips, bro!).

I decided to swing by the cards to see if there were any overpriced Upper Deck tins I could sneer at, walk away from and feel better about myself for being a cheap skate. Now, most of the time, there are mixed boxes of random packs of sports cards; usually baseball, football, and basketball, but almost never hockey. Lo-and-behold! Target actually had some in an unassuming product called the Triple Deke Box for $14.99. 

Not stopping to consider how bad of a name this is, I bought it anyway out of curiosity and it promised — PROMISED!!! — an autographed card and memorabilia card along with “3 Card Packs” and “1 Hobby Pack.”  OK, so you mean four packs? Pictured on the box are three cards that you will never find in one of these things: autos of Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid and Auston Mathews. While NOT promising this, the box did tease “Look for randomly inserted redemption cards for bonus items,” which are presumably rookie cards for current ECHLers who sell cars in the summer time. BUT LET’S TAKE THE DIVE!

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Multi-Pack Break: 2018-19 Upper Deck Tim Hortons

Make that 54 packs, to be exact

The Tim Hortons Collectors Series produced by Upper Deck is back for another hard-hitting and infuriating release, and let me say it is a widely popular event around Canada that brings out the best and worst of the collecting world.

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Box Break: 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee Hockey

At last! It’s finally here! The annual hockey set builders dream release, better known as 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee. Upper Deck has had the O-Pee-Chee brand back in circulation since the 2006-07 season and shows no signs of letting up. The annual monster set features 500 base cards plus an additional 100 short-printed cards that feature Marquee Rookies, League Leaders, Team Checklists, and Season Highlights. With a selection of 600 cards, you are bound to get a card of your favorite player — even if it happens to be Scott Foster.

For 2018-19 O-Pee-Chee, hobby boxes feature 24 packs of cards with ten cards in each pack. 240 cards isn’t bad when you consider a box will generally run you about $70 (so roughly $.30/card). This year’s design actually uses quite a bit of real estate devoted to the player photo, unlike some other years. The fronts feature an action shot of the player with the team logo on the bottom corner. The borders on the base cards is a light gray/white color with an interior border around the photo that features a cut out on top for the team name and on the bottom for the O-Pee-Chee logo and the player name. The position is also located on the bottom above the brand logo but is very small.

The backs (assuming anyone cares) are dominated by that corrugated cardboard color with black text. There is another inset border like the front that surrounds the player name, vitals, card number, and statistics. If you are looking for career stats, you will find most of them in their entirety on the back of O-Pee-Chee cards.

Enough about the design — lets get to the good stuff. 

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Box Break: 2018-19 MVP Hockey

NOTE: Veteran blogger Tim Parish — a.k.a. “The Real DFG” is now sharing his wit and sarcasm as a writer for Puck Junk. Please welcome him in the comments below. 

It’s that time of year again, ladies and gentleman.  Yes, the hockey season is upon us. With training camps about done, I figured it is a fine time to break the first box of the year.

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