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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Best of the Worst: 2015-16 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey

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Upper Deck Series One Hockey came out earlier this month, so it’s time once again to see which of these hot dogs come off looking like weenies — thanks to some intrepid hockey photographers and Upper Deck’s editors!

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Deja Vu Tuesday: Mike Gartner

2000-01_UD_Legends_GartnerWhenever a company makes a set of retired greats, the likelihood is high that a photo used on a card many years ago may find its way back on a card again. Take for instance this photograph of Mike Gartner on his 2000-01 Upper Deck Legends card. I knew I saw it on another card before. You just don’t forget a menacing, pissed-off glare like the one Gartner is giving here — even if it isn’t directed at you.

It turns out, I was right…from a certain point of view, as Obi-Wan Kenobi would say.

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Aaron Ekblad, Supersized!

ekblad_oversized_cardThis year, the NHL Draft was held in my home state of Florida, and I was lucky enough to be able to make the trip down to the BB&T Center in Sunrise to attend. On day two of the Draft, Upper Deck was sponsoring a free autograph signing with Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad. He went first overall in the 2014 draft, and at the time of the 2015 draft was only days removed from claiming the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. So the fact that he was scheduled to sign autographs — and sign them at no cost — was a pretty big deal to me.

After getting in line and waiting a few minutes, the Upper Deck staff, as well as arena staff, came over to the line and informed us that Ekblad would only be signing a card provided by Upper Deck, Continue reading “Aaron Ekblad, Supersized!”

The New Upper Deck Replacement Policy

Upper Deck LogoUpper Deck’s policy on replacing damaged cards has changed. They will still replace damaged cards up to a year from the date of the card’s manufacture, but you can no longer just drop the cards in the mail; the process is a bit more involved.

I’ve documented my most-recent return of defective cards to Upper Deck, so you know what to do — and how long it will take – if you get damaged cards in your latest box break.

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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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The Best Hockey Card of 2014-15

stlouis_fThis 2014-15 Upper Deck hockey card of Martin St. Louis does not have an autograph on it, nor does it have a piece of jersey embedded in it. And you know what? It doesn’t need any of those gimmicks to be the best hockey card of the season. All it needed was this amazing photograph that, coincidentally, was taken exactly one year ago today.

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Puck Junk Podcast #3 – May 27, 2015

…with your hosts, Sal Barry & Tim Parish!


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In Puck Junk Podcast #3, Sal and Tim (a.k.a. The Real DFG) talk about:

  • The St. Louis Blues naming Martin Brodeur as their Assistant General Manager (0:01 to 4:52)
  • Mike Babcock signing an 8-year, $50 million coaching contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs (4:53 to 16:09)
  • The 2014-15 Fleer Ultra Hockey card set (16:10 to 24:11)
  • The 1998-99 Pacific Hockey card set (24:12 to 33:37)

Trigger Warning: We mention Mike Keenan twice in this podcast. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Pictures of some of the cards we discuss are after the jump. Continue reading “Puck Junk Podcast #3 – May 27, 2015”