In this SWAGNIFICIENT new episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the 2023-24 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey card set. The guys also discuss Frozen Frenzy, the NHL waffling on pride tape, a record-setting sales of a Topps Now sticker (you know which one), and more. It’s 117 minutes of hockey goodness.
Show Notes, Links, & Images
Two New NHL Documentaries (NHL.com)
Sport Card Expo Toronto Website
2023-24 Upper Deck Series 1 Checklist (Trading Card DB)
Finally, here’s that Alexandre Daigle hockey card advertisement from 1993:
Plus: The Return of Topps Now Stickers
Episode #168: October 18, 2023
In Episode #168 of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the 2022-23 Black Diamond Hockey Card set. Other topics include the return of Topps Now Hockey Stickers and Game Dated Moments for 2023-24, Ebay’s revised policy for trading card listings, and how Tim organizes his Pittsburgh Penguins hockey card collection. It’s 83 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes, Links & Images:
The first six Topps Now Hockey Stickers (Topps)
Info on Game Dated Moments (Upper Deck)
Revised Policy on Ebay Trading Card Listings (Ebay)
Ebay Trading Card Conditions Explained (Ebay)
Connor McDavid “Gold Label Edition” SportsPicks Figure (McFarlane Toys)
A few Images of 2022-23 Upper Deck Black Diamond Hockey Cards:
Hockey fans loves free stuff and will sometimes go through great lengths to get it. How else do you explain thousands of fans lining up outside of the rink on a freezing February night a good 90 minutes before puck drop – all so they can get a free bobblehead figure that kind of looks like their team’s star player?
Pro sports teams know this all too well, or they wouldn’t do it. Suddenly, a game that may have not drawn a sellout crowd does – all because of a special hat, shirt, or whatever the Flyers decide to put Gritty on this year.
Since today is the start of the 2023-24 season, now is a good time to see what free goodies NHL teams have lined up for ticket-buying fans this year. Twenty-two out of 32 teams are planning at least one giveaway.
Bobbleheads seem to be the most-popular item, with 12 teams planning on giving out at least one, and 39 different bobblehead figures being given away across the league. The Kings have five bobblehead giveaways planned, including a unique Dia De Los Muertos Goalie Bobblehead figure. The Red Wings, Canadiens, Kraken, and Blues are all giving out four bobbleheads during the season. The Blue Jackets are giving out three bobbleheads this year, including a special Bob Ross bobblehead limited to just the first 500 fans who buy a special ticket package.
However, the Blues may have out-bobbled the competition this year with two of their planned releases: a bobblehead of Jordan Binnington on a motorcycle…
…AND a Jordan Kyrou figure dressed as The Mandalorian – complete with removable helmet.
Now, THIS is the way!
The giveaway, that is.
In fact, Star Wars themed nights seems to be the way that NHL teams are trending this year, as nine teams are giving away some sort of Star Wars trinket to help sell tickets:
Carolina Hurricanes – Star Wars-themed item (TBA)
Columbus Blue Jackets – Star Wars-themed jersey
Florida Panthers – Star Wars Shirt
Los Angeles Kings – Star Wars Retro Tin Lunchbox
Nashville Predators – Star Wars Predators Jersey
New York Islanders – Star Wars Bucket Hat
Ottawa Senators – Star Wars Senators Puzzle
Philadelphia Flyers – Star Wars Poster
St. Louis Blues – Star Wars Jordan Kyrou Mandalorian Bobblehead
Other interesting, non-Star Wars items that teams are giving out this year include an Arizona Coyotes Kachina Trucker Mullet Hat, a Columbus Blue Jackets Nesting Doll Set, a Detroit Red Wings Gravy Boat, Philadelphia Flyers Gritty Earmuffs, a Pittsburgh Penguins Trapper Hat, and a Washington Capitals Sonny Milano “Chia Head.”
Below is a list of the best promotional items that NHL teams will be giving away during the 2023-24 season.
In the latest episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Clemente Lisi ask their biggest questions of the 2023-24 season: how well will Blackhawks rookie Connor Bedard play – and can his 1/1 rookie card hit six figures? Can the Golden Knights repeat as Champions? What will the Lightning do without Andrei Vasilevskiy? Plus, they talk about the upcoming ODR Hockey Heroes video game. It’s 90 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes & Links:
“Blog” was actually the Word of the Year in 2004 (Wikipedia)
ODR Hockey Heroes game trailer (YouTube) ODR Hockey Heroes Kickstarter Campaign (Kickstarter)
Download and play demo of ODR Hockey Heroes (Steam)
NHLPA/Upper Deck Rookie Showcase (Sports Collectors Digest)
Now three years into its comeback, Skybox Metal Universe hockey cards feature colorful designs of NHL players superimposed over space backdrops, with metal design elements. Hence, “metal” and “universe.” The cards are also printed on shiny, foil cardstock, While the designs aren’t quite as over-the-top as the Metal Universe cards from the 1990s, they will still appeal to both oldschool collectors who remember those sets, as well as the newer collectors who want something different.
A hobby box of 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe contains 15 packs. Each pack has seve cards, for a total of 105 cards. Hobby boxes originally cost around $130, but are now down to around $120 per box. A box has 15 various insert cards – including autographs, though those are not guaranteed – and 30 short-printed cards.
I recently opened a hobby box of 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe hockey cards. Here is what was inside.
Plus: The Return of NHL SportsPicks
Episode #166: September 29, 2023
In Episode #166, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about the new 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey card set, including what’s great about it, what could be better, and strategies for completing a set. They also discuss the new NHL SportsPicks figures by McFarlane Toys, Brad Marchand being named team captain of the Boston Bruins, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Mike Babcock getting fired for doing Mike Babcock things, and more! It’s 100 minutes of hockey goodness.
Show Notes, Links and Images: Todd McFarlane Interview (Puck Junk)
The National Picks Chicago as Site for 2026 (Twitter)
Panini Stickers Feature on 60 Minutes (YouTube)
A few images from 2022-23 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey:
It is no secret that Todd McFarlane, the founder and CEO of McFarlane Toys, is a huge hockey fan. McFarlane was a part-owner of the Edmonton Oilers from 1998 to 2008, and designed the “gear” logo that adorned the Oilers’ third jersey from 2001 to 2007. His toy company made a line of hockey action figures called SportsPicks from 2000 to 2014.
SportsPicks were the “gold standard” when it came to hockey action figures, for their attention to detail and great player likenesses.
As popular as the figures were, McFarlane Toys stopped making them in 2014. But after a nine-year gap, SportsPicks are coming back with an all-new line of action figures featuring eight different NHL players.
I recently had the opportunity to ask McFarlane about the new line of NHL SportsPicks figures – and why they stopped making hockey figures in the first place.
Sal Barry: Why did McFarlane Toys stop making NHL SportsPicks figures in 2013? And hockey SportsPicks altogether in 2014? (NOTE: The 2014 figures were in Team Canada Olympic jerseys and were not licensed by the NHL.)
The 2021-22 Credentials Hockey set by Upper Deck was released in August 2023, just a few months shy of the 2023-24 hockey season. That makes Credentials a bit of an “old” product, with rookie cards from almost two seasons ago. More so, Credentials also contains cards from the cancelled 2020-21 Credentials cards, as well as rookie update cards from 2019-20 Credentials – meaning, you can get rookie cards from three different seasons in one box!
A box of 2021-22 Credentials hockey has eight packs. Each pack has six cards for a total of 48 cards. When 2021-22 Credentials was released, it cost about $150 per box. Now, it’s around $110 per box. A hobby box contains either an autographed card OR a non-autographed acetate card.
I recently opened a box of 2021-22 Credentials. Here’s what I got in my box.
Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about TWO sets of recently-released hockey cards: 2021-22 Credentials and 2021-22 Stature. Other topics include 2022-23 Parkhurst hockey cards on e-Pack, the Upper Deck Rookie Showcase, and an auction for a Connor McDavid Young Guns rookie card that exceeded $100k. It’s 79 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes, Links and Images: Sign up for the Puck Junk Email Newsletter here.
Sport Card Expo Toronto Fall 2023 Guests (website)
Upper Deck NHLPA Rookie Photo Shoot (Sports Collectors Digest)
Sal’s story on how he got a Tuukka Rask rookie card (Puck Junk)
Upper Deck’s Stature Hockey cards, first released during the 2019-20 season, features serial-numbered cards printed on thick, shiny foil stock. These accoutrements give Stature a sense of gravitas to them. The cards are shiny and thick, while most are numbered. Upper Deck released its 2021-22 Stature Hockey set in August of 2023; yes, that is a full year after the season it is based on had ended!
Regardless, if you liked Stature hockey cards from the past two seasons, then you will like the 2021-22 Stature set as well. A hobby box contains eight cards and costs around $145. That’s a bit cheaper than last year, when Stature was selling for around $180 for an eight-card box.
A box of 2021-22 Stature Hockey contains two base cards, one rookie card, one autographed card, one insert card, and two numbered parallel cards. The eight card in the box is either an additional rookie card, autographed card, or numbered parallel.
I finally got my hands on a hobby box of 2021-22 Stature Hockey. Here is what is inside.