Card of the Week: Howe Awful!

2014 Panini The National VIP #43 – Gordie Howe

“Jim, I need you to write a Puck Junk post about a card I found,” Sal said to me recently. “And you’re the only one who can do it.”

“Uh, OK,” I replied.

So he sends me the Gordie Howe card you see above, and my first reaction was not good. (WARNING: It really was not good at all.)

When I was able to put my nose back on with bond and duct tape, I had so many questions about why this card exists in the first place. Continue reading “Card of the Week: Howe Awful!”

Is the Cost of Cards Worth the Reward?

Money photo by Tracy Olson via Flickr.

Y’all — that means “You All” for the Yankees — the hockey card market is getting out of hand. Normally I’d look at buying a box of Upper Deck Series One or Two to enjoy, save the hits, collect a few of the players I like, and entertain everyone with another Best of the Worst post. This past fall with Series One, I dragged my feet on writing that post because there weren’t a whole lot of crazy photos and I wasn’t super-inspired.

I also wasn’t too crazy about the price I paid for the box vs. the cards that I got out of it. Two out of three boxes didn’t yield a jersey card, and outside of a mildly-rarer Shining Stars Alex Ovechkin and one or two Young Guns that may or may not pan out, it was fairly hitless. I shopped around to buy that box online for $70-75; in a local shop it would have cost me at least $85 to $100! The same goes for Series Two which was released in March. Looking at the list of who is in that set and the likelihood of getting anything of value, I can’t say it’s worth the price of admission. There just isn’t much going on in there.

The disparaging look of the other products out there doesn’t seem to help either. Continue reading “Is the Cost of Cards Worth the Reward?”

Panini America and My Long-Lost Redemption Card

How long is too long when waiting for a redemption card to arrive? Six months? A year? Two years? More? My most recent redemption took nearly four years of waiting, followed by four weeks of nagging, but it finally arrived. 

Recently, in my never-ending request to clear the piles of cards off of my desk, I found a redemption card that I had redeemed long ago. This was supposed to get me an autographed Akim Aliu rookie card from the 2012-13 Panini Limited Hockey set. I opened a box of these cards way back in mid-2013, registered the redemption number via Panini’s website, and then forgot about it. So did Panini. 

Continue reading “Panini America and My Long-Lost Redemption Card”

Box Break: 2015-16 Panini Anthology Hockey

Hi, have we met? Good, then you know I hate Panini. But I do love a good deal when it comes to hockey cards. A little while ago I found a “box” of Panini Anthology cards marked down from $125 to $45 “for a limited time.” Spoiler Alert: they’re still $45 everywhere. Now, before I get to the cards, let me tell you about the “box,” yes in quotation marks. Pandora’s Box was easier to open and frankly had less regrettable contents than this “box.” Here is what I had to do to get inside:

STEP ONE. Get my knife out and cut off the shrink rap.

STEP TWO: Slice open the plastic seal at the lid of the box.

STEP THREE: Open the box. 

STEP FOUR: Come the realization that the box was housing a smaller box…ALSO IN SHRINK WRAP!

STEP FIVE: Get my knife out AGAIN and slice open the second layer of shrink wrap.

STEP SIX: Open the INNER box.

STEP SEVEN: Shake the little box violently to remove the six cards housed inside that also has a block of polystyrene holding them in place with a vacuum seal!

So I’m already pissed off at these cards because of this and I haven’t even seen them yet. They must be something special and awesome for this much trouble and for a company to ask well north of a C-note in price.

God, you disappoint me so much, Panini. 

I’ve never opened a pack/box of cards that unsatisfactory to me as much as this and after that much work. You know when it’s the Fourth of July — or “July 4th and oh God is America attacking??” if you’re in Canada — and you see a rocket shoot off into the night sky, zipping in a squirrelly fashion and leaving a bright trail of sparks behind it? The sparks trail off into the darkness and you’re all like, “ooooh, this is gonna be a big one!”….aaand nothing, it’s turns out to be a dud that falls back to the earth unseen and unheard from again.  That’s this box of cards.

Continue reading “Box Break: 2015-16 Panini Anthology Hockey”

Panini Presents: Another Confusing Card of Purported Value

headerPanini, my old foe…we meet again!

You know what grinds my gears in the card collecting world? Absolute laziness fortified with an attitude that no one will notice. On Friday evening, I’m sitting back in my dapper, leather high-back Georgian wing chair, enjoying a freshly poured adult beverage consisting of Scotch old enough legally buy itself and nothing more, when my phone pinged with a message.

“PiiiiiiiiNG!”

It was an email from an online sport card retailer that I frequent, directing my attention to a sale. I adjusted my pashmina afghan, tipped my yachting cap back on my brow, and dove in to see what wares awaited my eyes.

Shortly into the list, and much to my surprise, I saw a Ryan Miller card that looked familiar…eerily familiar. Continue reading “Panini Presents: Another Confusing Card of Purported Value”

The Ballad of Shawn Hunwick

Shawn_Hunwick_TV
[Credit: NBC / YouTube]

Hello Sports Fans and welcome to another installment of, “Why God, Why Would You Give Me THIS Pack of Cards?” A few months ago I celebrated my birthday by buying too many hobby boxes of hockey cards because…

A) it’s fun, and

B) it’s my birthday and my wife can’t say anything. (Love you, honey!)

Plus that gives me plenty of fodder to write blog posts about!

One of the boxes I got was Panini’s 2012-13 Rookie Anthology, and when I buy hobby boxes, I play the numbers: what’s the price versus how many (and how good) are the hits!

It’s simple math but I’ll spell it out in different terms. You could throw down $20 for that CD of Barry Manilow’s Greatest Hits! And you know it’s packed with awesome tunes like Mandy, and Copacabana, and that song about writing songs…it’s pretty much gold! But $20, that’s a lot of clams for 15 songs (Hey, he’s gotta save something for Greatest Hits 4, right?) So you look in the dust bin and find a cassette of Wang Chung’s Greatest Hits for 99 cents! Wang Chung had TWO good songs — that’s less than 50 cents per awesome song! Your mom’s Cavalier still has its tape deck after all; it’s hipster-relevant! So, that’s why I buy those Wang Chung Hobby Boxes.

Where were we…Oh right, Panini’s Rookie Anthology ’12-13. According to the box, you get “One Rookie Treasure Autograph Jersey Per Box.” And my draw from this box was THIS card of a hot up and comer named (drum roll, please)… Continue reading “The Ballad of Shawn Hunwick”

Box Break: 2008-09 Panini Stickers

boxKMart stores in Illinois are selling full boxes of older Panini Hockey Stickers at heavily discounted prices.I purchased a box of 2008-09 Panini Hockey Stickers for $21.99 plus tax at a Super K-Mart in Bradley, IL yesterday. A box contains 50 packs. Each pack has five stickers. Packs originally sold for 89 cents, so at $22 a box I basically got these at half price. Although I acquired an album a long time ago, I never did bother to build this set. I figured now was a good time to do so.

Unlike other sets, though, there are no jersey cards, autographs or other “hits” to hope for. My only hope was at building a complete set. Continue reading “Box Break: 2008-09 Panini Stickers”