2009-10 Champ’s Hockey box break #1

Chris Chelios adorns the front of this year’s Champ’s Hockey set.
  • 20 packs per box
  • 5 cards per pack (3 standard-sized cards, 2 mini-sized cards)
  • 4 “hits” per box (jerseys and/or autographed cards)
  • Between $65-$70 per box

I thoroughly enjoyed last year’s Champ’s Hockey set. Sure, some of the cards–of dinosaurs and passenger pigeons and such–were a bit odd. And the rookie card mini set was nearly impossible to put together. But the standard set itself had a classy, early 20th century look that I enjoyed.

This year’s Champ’s set looked just as cool–and boxes are around $70, instead of $100 like they were last year. So I decided to jump in with both feet and purchase two boxes.

This is what I got in the first box:

49 base cards

This year, the base cards have a muted blue border. In fact, none of the jersey or other colors are bright, either. If he subdued colors don’t bother you, then you’ll probably like this design. Personally, I like the muted hues because it adds to that old-timey feel. 100 of these make up the base set.

5 light blue parallel cards

Unfortunately, this year’s Champ’s set is heavy on the parallels. You get one light blue bordered parallel card in every four packs. But if that isn’t bad enough…

 2 orange parallel cards

 …then there’s also orange-bordered parallels, falling one in every ten packs. And yes, I did get the normal (blue), light blue and orange versions of Nikolai Khabibulin in this box…which would be great if I collected variants of Russian goalie cards, or something to that extent. 

1 yellow parallel card

 Does anyone else see the uselessness of these parallels. I’d rather be 8 cards closer to completing a base set than get 8 cards with variant border colors. These yellow variants come one in every 20 packs. I guess that matters if you have a fetish for yellow-bordered cards. 

18 mini cards

The mini cards are closer in size to the cigarette cards from a century ago.There are 192 of the mini “non rookie cards”, so it will take you some time to put together this set.

1 “blue back” mini card parallel – the only difference is that the ink on the back is printed in blue instead of black. A dumb variation that is not even worth scanning. 

5 mini Champ’s Rookies

This year’s Champ’s set skips out on the regular sized Champ’s Rookies, and instead only offers the mini-sized rookie cards. The slightly shiny gold border of these mini rookie cards somewhat betrays the early 20th century design. Also, only 5 rookie cards per box is kind of depressing if you think about it.

5 Natural History

For some inexplicable reason, I like these cards. Yeah, they are kind of pointless in a hockey set. Maybe that’s why I enjoy them.

4 Historical Figures

Presidents and Prime Ministers? Apparently, Lester B. Pearson was a Canadian Prime Minister, and not just a trophy name. I learn something new every day.

1 Wonders of the World

Why? Seriously–why? Oh, and at one per box, you know some idiots will be trying to get $10-$20 for one of these on eBay.

Mini Jersey – Chris Osgood

Osgood has played a long time, and red-colored Red Wings jersey swatches are quite plentiful. So, it’s not like this card is super rare or anything. Nonetheless, Osgood has had a mighty fine NHL career.

Mini Jersey – Daniel Alfredsson

Rockin’! And it’s a black swatch too–which looks a lot nicer than a white swatch against the tan card background.

So that’s two decent-looking jersey cards of two stellar NHL players. Onto the autographs, then…

Mini Autograph – Oscar Moller

Uh oh….you know you’re in trouble when you pull a signed card of a guy you’ve never heard of. Of course, people in Los Angeles know who this guy is, but until now I didn’t. Maybe I’ll get an autograph of a “known player”…

Mini Autograph – Andrew Ebbetts

Andrew Ebbett? Come on! Yeah, I know this guy…he played 10 games for Chicago this season–a season where he started in Anaheim, went to Chicago and is now currently with Minnesota. Sorry if I can’t get too excited about pulling this signature (FYI, I wrote to Ebbett a few months back, and he is very fan friendly with TTM autographs).

Balancing out the two decent jersey cards are two mediocre autograph cards. You’d expect ‘graphs of these guys in lower-end sets, but in Champ’s? Of course, at the $65-$70 range, Champ’s is more of a “mid-range” product now; a step above Upper Deck proper, and a few steps below Black Diamond or Artifacts.

Later this week, I’ll post what I got in my other box of Champ’s, as well as some other goodies I scored at the card show this past Saturday.


Author: Sal Barry

Sal Barry is the editor and webmaster of Puck Junk. He is a freelance hockey writer, college professor and terrible hockey player. Follow him on Twitter @puckjunk

4 thoughts on “2009-10 Champ’s Hockey box break #1”

  1. Hmm…these cards interest me but I'll probably just try to pick up a base set of the 100 regular size cards. I'm not big on minis.

    That Lanny McDonald card is fantastic though!

  2. I have been on the fence about buying a box of this stuff or spending the money on vintage and/or autos I need. While I like the base set, building it through packs seems pricey considering the parallels.

    I've never been a fan of mini cards, so…I think I'm going to pass. But I wouldn't mind getting the cards of the old-time players.

  3. Last year's set was more expensive, but I seemed to get much better "hits" in a box (Mario Lemieux jersey, Steve Stamkos autograph).

    This year, it is cheaper, but the hits aren't as good. So you might be best off to just buy the base 100 cards–many of them are of retired players.

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