Don’t Mess With Messier

1990-91 Score Canadian Mark Messier – Promo Card

Every now and then, trading card companies release promo cards to dealers and distributors, to show off what a new card set will look like, and hopefully increase orders for the product.

In the late summer of 1990, trading card manufacturer Score issued several such promo cards for their 1990-91 Score Hockey set. The promo cards were almost identical to the actual cards that were issued in the set a few months later.

But not this card.

Continue reading “Don’t Mess With Messier”

Review: 1987-88 Topps Hockey

Robitaille and Oates stand out in this sleeper set.

1987-88 OPC #15 - Mario LemieuxDuring the 1986-87 season, Topps increased its hockey set from 165 cards to 198 cards. This year continued the trend of 198 cards, as that seemed to be a comfortable number of cards for Topps to handle. Hockey cards were not popular in the United States in the 1980s – remember, there were no Topps hockey card sets for 1982-83 or 1983-84. So, it would not make sense to make their hockey sets as large as say, their annual Football set, which was usually around 396 cards. Continue reading “Review: 1987-88 Topps Hockey”

Review: 2006-07 SP Authentic

Run-of-the-mill set with legends thrown in for good measure

2006-07 SP Authentic #89 - Ryan Miller

The 2006-07 SP Authentic set featured the typical short-printed rookie cards and one-per-box autographs. The short-printed cards were limited to just 999 copies each. Since many collectors bought multiple boxes with dreams of getting some expensive insert card, the result is that they end up with multiple base sets (1-100). Go on eBay, and you’ll find people trying to get rid of base sets for $5 or $10.

Since I only have the base set, that is what is reviewed here. Continue reading “Review: 2006-07 SP Authentic”

Change to Upper Deck N.P.N. program

Today, I got a letter in the mail from Upper Deck, which read as follows:

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for your continued interest in Upper Deck’s “No Purchase Necessary” program. Upper Deck is pleased to announce that as of January 1, 2008, Upper Deck will be going to an online method of submitting entries. Upper Deck will no longer be accepting mail-in entries after December 1, 2007. To submit your entries beginning on January 1, 2008, please log on to npn.upperdeck.com.

Sincerely,

The Upper Deck Company

The letter was signed by “T.R.L.”, which I think are the initials of their N.P.N. Manager. Either that, or they want me to watch MTV’s “Total Request Live”.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Upper Deck’s “No Purchase Necessary” Program, it was a chance for you to get an insert card without making a purchase. For a chance to “win” an insert card (such as a jersey card, a rookie card, an autographed card, etc.), you would actually have to write out by hand–no photocopies or other reproductions–your name, address, daytime phone number and evening phone number on an index card, and then send that in a hand-addressed envelope. They would only allow you to enter once per day, meaning that they’d discard one of your entries if they received two from you on the same day (or so they say).

When I first learned of the N.P.N. program in May of 2006, I would send an entry to Upper Deck every other day, in a vain attempt to win something. After 15 entries or so, I decided that it was a waste of stamps, and stopped. A month later, I got a 2005-06 Parkhurst autographed card. In the fall of 2006, I entered a few more times, just for the heck of it, but received nothing. A few weeks ago, I received an insert card from 2007-08 MVP. So, I guess they would keep all entries on file, and just pull from them every day or something.

Either way, it seemed like a waste of stamps and energy–who wants to *write out* their information for a *chance* to win? Ugh!

This new method sounds like it wouldn’t be much harder than sending an email or filling out an online form. I can deal with that. Of course, I don’t mind writing things out by hand–I send fan letters to hockey players, asking them to autograph a few cards, and I *always* handwrite those as they should be personal. Contest entries don’t need to be personal.

Overall, I think this is good news. While Upper Deck still holds an unhealthy and unfair monopoly on the hockey card industry, it is great to see them take great strides forward in customer service–first with their redemption programs, and now with their N.P.N. programs. Now I’ll have a chance to win some insert cards without wasting stamps.

Fight Card

1973-74 Topps card #151 – Phil Roberto

Phil Roberto 1973-74 Topps Hockey CardMost hockey card photography from the late 1960s and early 1970s consisted of either portraits or posed shots. By the mid-70s, Topps and O-Pee-Chee started to use game action photography. And nothing says ACTION like two hockey players fighting. Phil Roberto, of the St. Louis Blues, is shown here fighting¬† New York Islanders’ goaltender Billy Smith while two linesmen attempt to break them up. Continue reading “Fight Card”

Review: 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Super Photos

Four times the size and almost twice the fun of regular hockey cards

1980-81 OPC Super Photos #5 - Lanny McDonaldBigger is better, or so they usually say. The O-Pee-Chee Super Photos set, released in 1981, features cards that are 5″ wide by 7″ tall – four times the size of a standard hockey card. Twenty four portrait-type photographs comprise the set. As cool as these jumbo cards are, the bland, almost blank backs, leave something to be desired. Continue reading “Review: 1980-81 O-Pee-Chee Hockey Super Photos”

Great Save, Great Shot

1990-91 Upper Deck Mario Gosselin – card #91

Mario GosselinAction speaks louder than words. Upper Deck took that meaning to heart when they started making hockey cards in 1990. This card you see here, of Los Angeles Kings backup goaltender Mario Gosselin, was one of many cards that demonstrated that Upper Deck was serious about becoming the best hockey card company out there, with their blend of high quality products and exciting action photography.¬† Continue reading “Great Save, Great Shot”

New hockey 2-packs by McFarlane

McFarlane Toys has announced that they will release three hockey 2-packs that will be sold exclusively at Lowblaws stores in Canada. These will go on sale on December 26, 2007–a.k.a. “Boxing Day”.

Each pack contains previously-released figures, giving fans a second chance on a favorite player they might have missed. The 2-packs are:

— Jarome Iginla (Calgary Flames) vs. Roberto Loungo (Vancouver Canucks)

— Sakiu Koivu (Montreal Canadiens) vs. Martin Brodeur (New Jersey Devils)

— Bryan McCabe (Toronto Maple Leafs) vs. Jason Spezza (Ottawa Senators)

Since these are being sold only in Canada, they tend to focus on Canadian-based players, with the exception of Martin Brodeur–who has been the best goalie in the NHL for a while, as well as Team Canada’s goalie in the Olympics and such. Brodeur has not been available since 2004, so this is a good chance for fans to get a figure of him now.

You can see the full article on the Spawn.com website here.

2007-2008 MVP Box Breakdown #2

I recently purchased another box of 2007-2008 Upper Deck MVP Hockey cards Here is the box breakdown. You get 24 packs in a box.

– 165 base cards
– 12 MVP Rookies

Inserts
– 4 Monumental Moments
– 4 New World Order
– 2 Game Faces
– 2 Hart Candidates
– 2 Gold Scripts
– 1 One-on-One dual jersey card (Doug Weight / Michael Handzus)
– 1 Rookie Redemption card (good for 3 RCs)

Last month, I purchased my first box, and posted a box breakdown here.

After two boxes, I have 299 out of 300 cards for the base set, and 24 of the 50 short-printed rookie cards.

Again, I hope to post a review of this set once I have all the cards 1-350.

Completed my 70-71 Topps set

Today, I went to a card show here in Chicago, and tracked down the last card I needed to complete my 1970-71 Topps Hockey card set…

Look, boys and girls–it’s Bobby Orr! Now my set is complete!

Many people, when building a set, put off buying the most expensive card until the end, hoping to find a deal. I think I did pretty good on this card. It currently “books” at $75, but I got it for $20. No, it is not a “Gem Mint PSA 10+++” grade or whatever…it is “raw”, it has a dinged corner. It is not perfect, as is the case with so many old hockey cards. But it still looks awesome, and for $20 how could I go wrong?

One thing I love about card shows is that you can see so much in one place. As much as I love buying things online, sometimes it is nice to just go out and get something on the spot, without any bidding or waiting…or shipping charges. Plus, you can always negotiate the price.