It isn’t necessarily hard work, but it is time-consuming work.
For my second box of 2022-23 Topps Hockey Stickers, I streamlined opening the packs. Normally, I would open a pack, look through the stickers, and sort them by 100s. This time, I would open the pack and remove the stickers, but just put it in a pile until I opened 10 packs. Then, I’d thumb through the stickers and sort them. This seemed to make opening and sorting the stickers go much faster. With a pack of cards, I want to savor the moment, look at each card — and hopefully get a hit. With stickers, there are no “hits” and you don’t get anything rare; just four paper stickers and one foil sticker.
One of the packs was put into the box sideways. This caused some of the stickers to “curl,” but fortunately they were easy to flatten out. If they were creased, I’d be annoyed.
Another pack was — gasp! — missing a sticker.
Here’s my breakdown of my second box of 2022-23 Topps Hockey Stickers.
Every year, I usually purchase three or four boxes of Topps Hockey Stickers for the difficult-but-not-impossible task of completing the annual sticker album. This year’s sticker collection has 679 stickers: 539 regular stickers and 140 shiny “foil” stickers are needed to complete the album. Stickers measure 1-7/8″ wide by 2-5/8″ tall.
A few weeks prior to my birthday, my sister asked me what I wanted. I sent her a link to an online retailer who was selling boxes of 2022-23 Topps Hockey Stickers for about $38 per box. I asked for three boxes — asking for four seemed greedy — as well as two sticker albums. And before you ask, yes, it is because I put stickers in one album but still want to have an empty, “mint” album. Weird, I know, but what do you expect from a guy who blogs about hockey cards and collectibles?
A box of 2022-23 Topps Hockey Stickers has 50 packs, with each pack containing five stickers — four regular “paper” stickers and one shiny “foil” sticker. This year, the stickers have soft paper backings instead of the hard backings of the prior three years, which made the stickers seem more like little trading cards. Also, the wrappers are not like trading card wrappers that are “crimped” shut at the top and bottom edges. This year, the wrappers are two pieces of paper glued together, just like the way Panini stickers were. No idea why Topps made these changes, but my guess is that it was to cut down on production costs.
The three boxes that I was gifted — thanks, sis! — would put me at 750 stickers. I know that many of those will be doubles, so there will be some trading involved.
And that’s another thing that makes collecting Topps Hockey Stickers so challenging: you can’t just buy the last few stickers you need from Topps. When Panini was producing an annual hockey sticker album from the late 1980s to the late 2010s, you could purchase the last few stickers that you needed directly from them. It wasn’t cost-efficient for buying a whole set, but if you needed 30 stickers or less, it was a worthwhile option. With Topps, you have to trade with other collectors, keep buying packs, or overpay on eBay, to finish your album.
No one said collecting was easy. Or cheap.
Anyway, let’s see what the breakdown was like for my first box of 2022-23 Topps Hockey Stickers.
Every NHL head coach has played hockey at some time in their life prior to stepping behind the bench. Some were NHL superstars, others grinded it out in the minors for years, while others got into coaching soon after their junior or collegiate careers came to an end. All 32 NHL coaches for the 2022-23 season has had at least one hockey card issued picturing them — either as a player or as a coach, because not all of them were “good enough” to get a card while they were playing.
Here is my annual list of rookie cards for every head coach in the NHL this season — updated to include Rick Tocchet’s replacement of Bruce Boudreau midway through the season. I’ve also included the comparative monetary value of each card — spoiler alert: most are worth very little — as well as how tough it is to track down…you know, in case you want to start a John Tortorella hockey card collection.
Plus: The 2023 NHL All-Star Game
Episode #142: February 10, 2023
In this supersized episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal and Tim talk about the career of the late Bobby Hull, including his numerous awards and accomplishments, plus some of his best hockey cards. The guys also discuss the 2023 NHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition. It’s 100 minutes of hockey goodness!
Chicago Blackhawks legend Bobby Hull — nicknamed “The Golden Jet” — passed away on Monday at the age of 84. I had heard rumors late last year that Hull was in poor health, but I was still surprised when the news broke of his passing.
There are two camps of writers who have eulogized Bobby Hull over the past few days.
There are those who want to stick to his myriad of accomplishments, only touching on Hull’s history of domestic abuse and racist comments.
And there are those who really just want to demonize him, but will begrudgingly acknowledge that Hull was one of hockey’s all-time greats.
Plus: Canucks Fire Bruce Boudreau
Episode #141: January 27, 2023
In this episode of the Puck Junk Podcast, Sal Barry and Tim Parish give their thorough review of the 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey Card Set — including the good, the bad, and the shiny…oh, so shiny! They also discuss the Vancouver Canucks disastrous firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau, the 2023 NHL All-Star Reverse Retro jerseys, and the All-Star Game voting controversy. Pitter, patter, let’s get at ‘er! It’s 83 minutes of hockey goodness!
Show Notes, Links and Images:
Canucks fire Bruce Boudreau, hire Rick Tocchet as replacement (ESPN)
Picture of the 2023 NHL All-Star Game Jerseys
2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe Box Break (Puck Junk)
If you are like me, you enjoy putting your trading cards in pages and albums, so you can protect your collection in a way that also lets you easily look at it. But one point of frustration for collectors is when they come across cards that are not the standard 2-1/2” by 3-1/2” size. What’s a card collector supposed to do with postcards, odd-sized team-issued cards, or even cards that are just a touch larger than normal size? Fortunately, BCW has you – and your cards – covered, as it has archival-safe pages that will fit almost any collectible.
The goal of putting your cards in pages is to protect them with as little “wiggle” room as possible, because you do not want the card to shift around or slide out of the pockets when you are flipping through a binder. Here’s a breakdown of the different pages that BCW has available to store your collection of odd-sized cards. Read the rest of the story at the BCW Supplies Blog.
This week, Sal Barry and Tim Parish talk about if and how changing teams affects a players collectability. Do hockey card collectors still chase after cards of a player they like after he has been traded or leaves as a free agent — or do they dump his cards first chance they get? Plus, a look at some upcoming hockey card sets, including the 2023 Upper Deck First Peoples Rookie Cards. It’s 68 minutes of hockey goodness.
Show Notes and Links:
Press Release about the 2023 First Peoples Rookie Card set (Upper Deck)
2023 First Peoples Rookie Cards checklist and front/back images (TCDB)
Facebook discussion thread on player collecting (Puck Junk FB Group)
Twitter discussion threads on player collecting here and here.
I was a big fan of the 2020-21 Skybox Metal Universe Hockey card set, so naturally, I was excited when I heard that Upper Deck was coming out with Skybox Metal Universe for 2021-22. And they did — about halfway through the 2022-23 season. No matter. What’s important is that the cards are out now and ready to collect. Skybox Metal Universe cards are etched metallic foil (hence “Metal”) and have space-y backgrounds (hence “Universe”).
A hobby box of 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe costs around $150 and has 15 packs, each containing seven cards for a total of 105 cards. I recently got a box of Skybox Metal Universe. Here’s what was inside.
Plus: 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe
Episode #139: January 13, 2023
Sal Barry and Tim Parish look ahead to the upcoming 2023 NHL All-Star Game in Florida, including some of the players who were named to the teams — and players that should get voted in. They also look back at the Winter Classic and the World Junior Championships. Plus, the guys talk about 2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe hockey cards. It’s 70 minutes of hockey goodness.
Show Notes and Links:
List of the first 32 players in the 2023 NHL All-Star Game (NHL)
2023 NHL All-Star Game fan voting for the last 12 players (NHL) South Park makes fun of NFTs (YouTube)
2021-22 Skybox Metal Universe checklist & images (Cardboard Connection)