Box Break: 2015-16 Upper Deck Contours Hockey

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Contours is a new hockey set that came out towards the end of April 2016. It is a “hit-based” product, meaning that it is meant to appeal to those who like high-end game-used cards and autographed cards more than building large sets. A box costs around $100 and contains four five-card packs. Each pack is guaranteed to contain one hit. Here is what I pulled from a recent box I opened:

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Hockey Card Gamble: A Seduction of Hits…and Misses!

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Hey, who out there likes to gamble? Maybe take a little trip to Vegas, or just a friendly card game between buddies? I don’t mind it from time to time, and now I’ve found a way to mix my love of inked cardboard and the thrill of laying it all on the line: case breaks!

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Box Break: 2015-16 Black Diamond Hockey

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Upper Deck has upped their game with this year’s release of Black Diamond Hockey. Over the past decade, Black Diamond was one of those $100-per-box, impossible-to-complete sets that most collectors bought just for the hits. So, in 2015-16, Upper Deck has made Black Diamond all about the hits. Seems like an obvious idea, but it was a great idea, too.

This year, a box of Black Diamond contains only one five-card pack, plus a bonus pack of Exquisite Hockey. (Collectors can find packs of Exquisite Hockey in other sets released throughout 2015-16.) Of all the six cards, they are either an autograph, a jersey card and/or a card serial-numbered to 199 copies or less. But all those hits come with a price; a box of 2015-16 Black Diamond costs $250.

I recently busted a box of 2015-16 Black Diamond. Let’s see what treasures were found within.

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Box Break: 2015-16 Full Force Hockey

2015-16 Full Force Hockey Hobby Box

I was excited when I first saw the promotional images of Upper Deck Full Force, a new hockey card set for the 2015-16 season. From what I could tell, it seemed like a set that would have a very 1990s look and feel to it, with lots of fun inserts and/or subsets. Plus, the name “Full Force” just sounds like it would have been right at home with other 1990s sets such as “Metal Universe” and “Electric Ice.”

A hobby box of Full Force has 18 five-card packs and costs in the $65-$75 range online. Here is a breakdown of a box I recently got my hands on:

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Box Break: 2014-15 Masterpieces Hockey

2014-15 Masterpieces Hockey Unopened BoxI love cards that use paintings instead of photos. Sets like the Hall of Fame postcards from the 1980s, Donruss Ice Kings from the 1990s and 2010s, and even the Upper Deck Hockey checklists from the early 1990s were all “must haves” for my collection. There’s just something awesome about seeing your favorite player rendered as a painting; it makes them seem even more iconic. So when Upper Deck announced that they were making a new set of Masterpieces Hockey, I knew I had to buy a box. It took me a while, but I finally got my mitts on one.

A box of 2014-15 Masterpieces costs around $100 and consists of 15 five-card packs. You are guaranteed three hits per box, with at least one (read: probably just one) hit being an autograph. Here is what I got in my most recent box break.

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Pack Break: 2014-15 Panini NHL Stickers

wrapper_frontEven though they lost their license to make NHL trading cards, Panini is soldiering on with their annual hockey sticker set for 2014-15. I probably won’t collect this year’s sticker set, but I’m still glad it came out. Panini has made NHL sticker sets since 1987-88, and it is nice to see that trend continue. Plus, this gives people a choice if they don’t want to collect any of Upper Deck’s offerings. A pack costs $1.00 and has seven stickers. There are 500 stickers in the set. I recently bought a pack to see what this year’s set was like. Continue reading “Pack Break: 2014-15 Panini NHL Stickers”

2014-15 Upper Deck Series 1 box break #1

box_1Upper Deck Hockey is the one set I’ve looked forward to each year for the past 25 years. It’s a great mix of  high-quality production values, a decent-sized base set (when counting Series 1 and 2), plus all the rookies that matter. So, of course when this year’s set came out, you know I had to buy a box or three. There’s nothing more relaxing than watching a hockey game while opening up some cards. And that’s just what I did. Continue reading “2014-15 Upper Deck Series 1 box break #1”

Hockey Extreme Value 10-Pack Box Break

boxNormally, I avoid re-pack boxes unless they guarantee something spiffy. A few years back, I bought a so-called Hockey Cube because it promised two autographed cards and a full set of 2010-11 Score Traded. This particular box of packs, repacked by the Fairfield Company in Iowa, made no promises, other than a 40% savings.

Still, I was enticed by that pack of Be A Player, clearly shown in the right window of the box. We all know that Be A Player packs tend to have a higher ratio of autographed inserts than other sets. For $20 $12, I took a gamble to see if I’d pull an autograph. Continue reading “Hockey Extreme Value 10-Pack Box Break”