Every 2018-19 Upper Deck Hockey Card Arena Giveaway

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Eight different NHL teams, as well as two American Hockey League teams, will be giving away Upper Deck hockey cards during the 2018-19 season. While these giveaway cards look similar to 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey cards, there are some differences that make these cards unique enough that they will appeal to player collectors, team collectors, or completest nuts like me. 

The Andrew Shaw card on the left is from 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One. The Andrew Shaw card on the right is from the Montreal Canadiens team set, which will be given away on December 15.

For example, the silver foil is removed and replaced with standard ink. So, all team logos are in full color instead of silver, while the silver “swirlies” at either side of the logo are replaced with a dominant color from the team’s uniform. The Upper Deck logo is also de-silvered, and printed in color. However, the most interesting change is that some of these cards use different photos than what was used on the standard 2018-19 Upper Deck Series One Hockey card. 

The first arena giveaway will be at the Anaheim Ducks game on Friday, November 23. The promotion will visit seven other NHL teams — and possibly several others — plus two AHL teams. Here is information on every team that is giving away these unique hockey cards, and how to get them.  Continue reading “Every 2018-19 Upper Deck Hockey Card Arena Giveaway”

2017-18 Upper Deck China Games Chinese Hockey Cards

Longtime collectors will remember when Upper Deck used to make hockey cards written in French for fans in Quebec in the early 1990s. Taking that idea to a whole new level, in 2017 Upper Deck issued hockey cards written in Chinese, and gave them to attendees of the NHL’s “China Games” — a two-game preseason series between the L.A. Kings and the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings won the first match 5-2 on September 21 in Shanghai, and again in the shootout 4-3 on September 23 in Beijing. 

The series marked the first time that NHL games were played in China, and for many in attendance, it was probably the first time they saw a live hockey game. Likewise, it was probably the first time many of the Chinese in attendance saw a hockey card too. Upper Deck gave away an eight-card panel of hockey trading cards. 

China may not be big on hockey, or hockey cards for the matter, but fans in attendance got some pretty sweet cards. 

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1993-94 Stadium Club Proof Card

Being a collector of oddball items, there was no way I could pass up this 1993-94 Topps Stadium Club proof card of Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux. Measuring 2 7/8″ by 3 7/8″, the proof card is 3/8″ bigger in width and height, showing some of the photo that was ultimately cropped out.

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1991-92 Stadium Club Proof Card

When you collect for a long time, you begin to crave unique items that you don’t see all that often. I try to collect every Chris Chelios card that I can find, including offbeat stuff like this 1991-92 Topps Stadium Club proof card. As you can see from the comparison above, the proof (right) is bigger than the standard card. The proof measures 2-7/8″ wide by  3-7/8″ tall — 3/4″ of an inch bigger in both directions. There’s an interesting reason for this. 

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1994-95 Action Packed Badge of Honour Promo Hockey Pins

Action Packed was a trading card company that pinned its hopes on four new sets of hockey collectibles scheduled to launch during the 1994-95 season. Unfortunately for the company, none of its odd memorabilia items saw the light of day, mainly due to the 1994 NHL Lockout. One of these ill-fated Action Packed items was a set of hockey lapel pins called Badge of Honour. 

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2015-16 Upper Deck Chicago Blackhawks Arena Giveaway Promo Cards

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Seven exclusive Chicago Blackhawks trading cards, made by Upper Deck, were given away at a Blackhawks game during the 2015-16 season. At a glance, these closely resemble the standard 2015-16 Upper Deck hockey cards found in packs of Upper Deck Series One and Series Two. However, upon closer examination there are several notable differences. Furthermore, some cards even use entirely different photographs, making for an odd, offbeat parallel for team or player collectors.

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1991-92 Pro Set St. Louis Blues Midwest Collectors Show Promo Cards

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Pro Set cards may have made the most overproduced hockey trading cards from the hockey card boom years, but if you look around hard enough, you will find a few rarities among the clutter. One example are these four St. Louis Blues cards, which were given away at the Midwest Sports Collectors Show. The convention took place on November 15-17, 1991 in downtown St. Louis, featured over 300 tables and had Blues’ star Adam Oates and baseball legend Mickey Mantle as autograph guests. Fans could also get these four exclusive Blues cards, made by Pro Set.

Although not particularly rare, they are enough of an oddball variant that a completest might want them. Also, the promo set features a Blues’ player that probably should not have been included.

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Pittsburgh Penguins “Man In Black” Promo Cards

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Back in the 1990s, many unlicensed hockey cards were made by those looking to quickly — and illegitimately — cash in on the booming sports trading card industry. Some of the more notable fake cards that circulated include a card of Wayne Gretzky as a member of the WHA’s Indianapolis Racers, and another that featured Eric Lindros, Sergei Fedorov and Ed Belfour.

Allegedly, a men’s clothing store called “Man In Black” put out a cheap-looking, six-card set that featured popular Pittsburgh Penguins players. While the Penguins in the 1990s were great, these cards of them are awful.

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CoaStars: A failed set of collectible hockey drink coasters

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Mark Messier will protect your surface from spills.

Trading card company Action Packed really wanted to make hockey cards in the mid-1990s, but they couldn’t get the license to do so from the NHL. At the time, the league was limiting how many companies were making NHL trading cards, so Action Packed did the next-best thing and attempted to launch four different lines of hockey collectibles — including a set of drink coasters called CoaStars.

Get it? They’re coasters…of stars? Star hockey players. Hello?  Continue reading “CoaStars: A failed set of collectible hockey drink coasters”

1996-97 Donruss Elite Eric Lindros & Mario Lemieux uncirculated autograph

lindros_lemieuxThe shiny card you see here is from the 1996-97 Donruss Elite Hart to Hart insert set. I purchased it from a dealer recently. However, there is good reason to believe that this card may have “escaped” from the Donruss facility in 1997 and was never circulated in packs. Continue reading “1996-97 Donruss Elite Eric Lindros & Mario Lemieux uncirculated autograph”