Completed my Champ’s base set

I just acquired the last five base cards needed to complete my 2008-09 Champ’s Hockey base set. I also picked up four Champ’s Rookies–including Drew Doughty and Justin Pogge. I now have 76 of 100 Champ’s Rookies.

Most sane, normal hockey collectors would stop either once they have the Champ’s base set or the base set and 100 rookies. But I am not a normal collector. For some foolhardy reason, I am also trying to collect all of the Mini Rookies and all of the Natural History Collection cards. I must really like this set, eh? Anyway, here is what I need to have a complete “master set” of Champ’s:

– 24 Champ’s Rookies cards

– 79 Mini Rookies cards

– 169 Natural History Collection cards

Yep, those last two will take a while. Anyone who has any extra Champ’s cards, please see my Want List. Maybe we can work out a trade.

One Game Wonder #1

1994-95 Score card #217 – Josef Cierny

1994-95 Score card #217 - Josef CiernyIn the 1990s, trading card companies tried very hard to be the first to feature a player – any player – in their sets. They lowered their standards to include practically anyone who came within 10 feet of an NHL sweater. Forget the cup of coffee – even a whiff of coffee would suffice. Josef Cierny was one such player, a one-game wonder who appeared on one NHL trading card. His game was for the Edmonton Oilers in the 1993-94 campaign; good enough for inclusion in Score’s 1994-95 set. Continue reading “One Game Wonder #1”

Review: 2008-09 Collector’s Choice

Victory-like set is un-victorious in making an impression

2008-09 Collector's Choice #23 - Carey PriceIn 2008, former super-pest Claude Lemieux came out of retirement. So did Collector’s Choice hockey cards. After a ten-year hiatus, Upper Deck has dusted off this brand of low-price cards. First produced in 1995, and lasting three seasons, Collector’s Choice was intended to be “kid-friendly” with its price – about a buck a pack – in a market that was rapidly become less affordable for younger collectors. But Lemieux’s comeback was short-lived – he retired after the Sharks were eliminated from the 2009 playoffs. Collector’s Choice’s comeback might be short-lived too. Continue reading “Review: 2008-09 Collector’s Choice”

2006-07 TriStar Hidden Treasures pack

I’ve seen these TriStar Hidden Treasures hockey cards floating around for a few years now, and have avoided them like the H1N1 Virus. Sure, they put an alluring (if you can call it that) photo of the 1951-52 Parkhurst Gordie Howe rookie card on the wrapper, along with several other small pics of desirable vintage hockey cards. But we all know that this pack will contain mostly Pro Set, Score and other worthless, overproduced hockey cards from the 1990s. Feeling thrifty, I purchased a pack–a whopping 99 cents–to see what I’d get:

2001-02 Upper Deck Victory #161 – Josef Stumpel
Wow, a card that isn’t from the 1990s. That was kind of surprising, given that I was expecting only cards from 1990 to 1995.

2001-02 Upper Deck Victory #189 – Patrice Brisebois
Two Victory cards in the same pack? What is this–a pack of Victory?

1996-97 Pinnacle Zenith #126 – Bryan Berard
Oooooh, shiny! Plus, it’s not a Victory card.

1994-95 Upper Deck #57 – Gilbert Dionne
The surprised look on Dionne’s face says it all.

1991-92 Score Canadian #346 – Dominik Hasek
Paydirt! I was expecting to get a lame card from the early 1990s, but instead I got one of the best. Hey–any card with a “Beckett Value” of $2.00 from the early 1990s is a darn good card. The TriStar wrapper claims that you get one star card per pack. Hasek is obviously the star in this pack, but it sure was nice that it just also happened to be his rookie card.

Overall, this pack gave me exactly what I expected–five undesirable hockey cards. Or, I guess you could say four undesirable hockey cards and the Hasek RC, which was a nice surprise. But I won’t be buying any more packs of these anytime soon. I’d recommend skipping this product altogether. But if you really want to pay a dollar for five useless cards…well, I got about 20,000 such cards that I’ll gladly sell to you.

1963-64 Parkhurst #21 – Gilles Tremblay

This is one cool card. Tremblay’s gaze is solemn. The horizontal lines add to the seriousness of the composition. All of that is slightly undermined by his mouth, which is trying very hard not to smile. It is as if he is trying to show that he is a proud member of Les Habitants, but at the same time cannot completely stifle his exuberance for being on the Canadiens.

Nah. I’m probably just reading way too much into that. Either way, this is the 8th card I’ve added to my Parkies set (91 to go).

Review: 1985-86 University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs team set

Starring a very young Brett Hull

1985-86 UMD Bulldogs #28 - Brett HullDuring the 1985-86 season, a company called Tim & Larry’s Sports Cards in Duluth, MN released a 36 card set of the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs hockey team. The WCHA Champions the prior year, the team had another reason for being a popular draw – their captain was Brett Hull, son of the legendary Bobby Hull. Brett was a top player in his two seasons with UMD, and is the main reason why this set – despite being 25 years old – is not too difficult to find. Continue reading “Review: 1985-86 University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs team set”

2008-09 Champ’s Hockey box break #2

About two weeks ago, I purchased a second box of 2008-09 Champ’s Hockey. I got it for $90 even…how could I refuse? Of course, I must ask why I’m paying $90 for a box of cards in the first place! Despite the high price, I guess I really love the design of the cards. Three hits per box doesn’t hurt either. But this may be the worst–or best–box I’ve opened. Here’s what I got:

58 base cards – unfortunately, I only needed 10 of them for my set

12 Champ’s rookies – but only 2 were ones I needed

33 mini cards – I bought a whole set of minis for cheap, so of course I didn’t need any of them

3 mini rookies – fortunately, I needed all 3 of them

8 Natural History cards – Would you believe that these are the exact same eight Natural History cards that I got in my first box? Like, WTF? There are almost 200 different Natural History card…why is Upper Deck’s collation so bad?

And now, the “hits”…

Mike Iggulden Mini Signature

Mike Iggulden? Seriously? I try not to swear too much on this site, but this card SUCKS BALLS. Allow me to explain why. First, this dude played 12 games in the NHL–not the kind of player whose auto I’d want to pull from a $100 $90 box of cards. Secondly, the photo shows him as a Shark, but the bottom reads “New York Islanders,” which is his present team. It frustrates me to no end when the photo and team name (or logo) are mismatched, but on an autographed card in a high-end product that is unforgivable.

Walt Tkaczuk Mini Signature

Tkaczuk played 13 seasons for the Rangers (1969-1981), and as much as I enjoy having his autograph, I wouldn’t exactly break down a door to get this card. I can think of so many other 1970s-era players whose ‘graph I would have rather scored.

Glenn Anderson Mini Threads

The guy is a Hall of Fame player, but this card would have looked so much better with a blue or orange swatch, instead of the stark white square that was used here. Had the swatch been colored, I’d have been pretty ecstatic to have pulled this.

Fortunately, there was a surprise fourth “hit” in this box…

Yes, a redemption card. A one-per-case fossils and artifacts redemption card. I swear, my heart skipped a beat when I got this. In 8 to 12 weeks, I will be the proud (?) owner of a Neolithic Stone Tools card. (Would I sound like I was complaining if I said that I’d prefer a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth instead?) I will be anxious to see what this card looks like when I get it.

So, was this a good box? Or a crummy box? It’s hard for me to say, but I’d love to know what you think.

1963-64 Parkhurst #91 – Terry Harper

As much as I’d love to add something new to this site every day–and I really should if I ever want to build up a following–it is sometimes impossible due to my college schedule. I had a final project that involved a long article (about 1,200 words), an interactive flash piece and a short video. The good news is that it was about comic books. With school done for a few weeks, I can now dote on this site for the next few weeks.
I recently added the 7th card to my still-diminutive 1963-64 Parkhurst hockey set. It is dinged at the bottom–which is hard to see with the “” watermark over it–but good enough for this set (considering that my Gordie Howe card has a pin hole and ink on it). Seven down, 92 to go…