Thursday, January 23, 2014

And the wait is over, my replacement card is..

So my first experience with Upper Deck and redemption replacement success. Upper Deck informed me that they were not making my 12-13 UD Artifacts Dino Ciccarelli Auto Black /5 and I would need to contact them for a replacement. I gave them my list and true to their word they found a reasonable replacement.

First part that was cool is it is from the same set, same numbering. Secondly, they gave me a HOF'er in place of a HOF'er. Lastly, they gave me a player from my team of choice (Edmonton Oilers). So in the end, what more could I ask? Here it is:

12-13 UD Artifacts Paul Coffey Auto Black /5
Here is Paul as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins. The card is pretty awesome, the auto is really the only weak point of the card but then again Paul is more of a scribbler than a scriber so it is pretty much on par with most of his autos. In all, it is an awesome card and a cool addition to the collection. I am not 100% sure what I will do with this in the long-term. It does fit my HOF/Mem/Auto project though I already have his rookie and his game-used card. I know I can pick up a certified auto of Paul's for much less than this card would be worth so I need to decide, do I keep it? Trade it? or Sell it?

Thanks for a great replacement Upper Deck!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

13-14 Select Box Break - Panini Contest Win

Before you read this post, I need to clarify two things. First off, I am not trying to be whiny or ungrateful. Secondly, chromium cards do not scan well especially when in a screw-down or top loader.

So just before the holidays, I entered my 700th Panini contest and patiently waited to find out I lost. However, something strange happened and that was I WON! I received my email stating I won and they asked for my address. I thanked them profusely and gave them my address. 3 weeks later just before Christmas my box arrived and I was stoked. I put the kids to bed, sat down and busted 12 packs hoping for MacKinnons, Yakupovs or anything cool and fun. Each box has two mini boxes and each mini box has 6 packs, promising two hits. That is where my problem happened.

I busted my first mini box and only had one hit. I wasn't disappointed because I saw someone online actually pull two hits from a single pack so maybe my other mini box would have three hits and it would all average out. Sadly, it didn't. So my free box was a defective box with only three hits. If I had paid for this box I would have been pretty bummed out. So just in case, I contacted Panini to see if they could do anything about this situation. They kindly told me since it was free, NO.

So there you have it, even when I am lucky, I am unlucky. I have since entered other Panini contests and....lost.

Well here is the box in case you are interested.

Base and Prizm cards.
The cards are pretty nice looking, very shiny and thick. Here is one of my Prizm cards I landed. Nicely enough, I also got an Elias Prizm card too. They are extra shiny and un-numbered.


Each pack has something fun so for the 11-13 bucks you pay you should get something. I got a few inserts but nothing worth really showing, so here are my three hits.

13-14 Select Nick Petrecki Auto Rookie /399
Nick Petrecki, don't know him. Research shows me he was a former first round pick, plays defense and likes PIMs. He is a beast at 6'3" and 230 lbs. He also have played 1 NHL game in his career.

13-14 Select Jarred Tinordi Auto Rookie /199
My Montreal curse continues...except they are Habs I am really not dying the have. Jarred is someone I had heard of and being another defenseman this card isn't going to be putting my children through University. However, I do plan on keeping this one as he could be a pretty decent defensive star someday.

13-14 Select Danny DeKeyser Auto Rookie /399
Having hit his Young Gun in a box I broke earlier I had at least heard of Danny. Danny is a rookie defenseman off to a pretty decent start and like many late maturing defenseman that are making it big these days he was a free agent signing out of college. Not a super exciting pull but I guess it is better than Petrecki!

So there you have it, my free box. Like I said before, if I had paid 130 bucks for it I would have felt seriously bummed out and avoided any future packs and boxes like the plague. However, there is always that chance that had I paid for the box, Panini would have sent along a 4th hit and who knows what could have been in that. So do I recommend this product? Only if you have 130 bucks burning a hole in your pocked and you don't want to save another 70 and buy a Dominion box.

With all that being said, I went on eBay a few weeks back and started selling off some inserts and cards I really didn't have much use for but had some value. My hard work paid off as I have replaced them with a fourth hit I bought for myself....

13-14 Select Nathan MacKinnon Auto Rookie /399
Being a MacKinnon fan and liking what the Select rookies looked like I went on the prowl for a decent deal. Many of these rookies were selling well in auctions online (65-85 dollar range) so I decided to see if I could find a BIN/OBO below that range and sure enough I was able to use my PayPal dollars and get one for a very fair price.(again excuse the scan, Select rookies in screw-downs really really don't scan well)

So not only do I get myself a MacKinnon rookie at long last, I use some of my unwanted cards to help fix my box injustice and land a hit that stands proud in my collection.

Monday, January 20, 2014

A few holiday breaks

As I mentioned, been on a bit of a busting bust lately. Boxes even with statistically favourable odds haven't been yielding much my way these days. In fact, you will see in my next post which is a box break of 13-14 Select how bad my luck really is!! In the meantime, I have a blast box I bought my wife for Christmas, a Fat Pack she bought me and a box of 11-12 Certified my in-laws bought me.

First the blaster:

13-14 UD Series 1 Joakim Nordstrom
Could be a while before I find out if this is a good card or not. Currently 12 goals and 11 helpers in 32 AHL hockey games.

13-14 UD Series 1 Nathan Beaulieu
I think this is my second one of these. After a few boxes and a blaster I have loads of Young Guns (20+). The best three I have pulled from all of those are: 2 Huberdeau Rookies and 1 Monahan. Pretty sad, I am so done with series 1.

The fat pack

11-12 Upper Deck Joe Colbourne
This was a little unexpected. My wife dislikes buying cards as presents so that is why she got a blaster! She did surprise me with a fat pack from a set I am still working on. I was able to land a few base I needed which was nice and an actually young gun. Former first round pick on his third team. Not too exciting.

11-12 Certified box

Each box has 4 hits and some good base (because I am working on the set). My hits were:

Ryan Smith Game Used
Shawn Horcroft Game Used
Justin DiBenedetto Auto Rookie

Yeah three strikes....

11-12 Certified Marcus Kruger /499
The best hit of ALL my boxes. Shame I already have three of his autos already. Good news I guess is I have an extra one or two to trade away now. I will keep this one because I am keen on the set, but I do have the following up for trade now: This and This

Well there you have it, my failures minus my next post. I think what I will post next will top these stinkers.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The waiting is the hardest part....

Tom Petty sure got that right! I have a redemption story that started nearly a year ago... So pour a glass of port, stoke the fire and settle down for a tale. While the story isn't over yet, it will be soon! Upper Deck promises..

So as I mentioned in the past I have a few buyers I always watch. One reason is they are just awesome and have been good to me in the past and secondly they have cool stuff up for auction or BIN all the time. One seller who is practically in my backyard posted almost a year ago a redemption for a 12-13 Artifacts Dino Cicceralli Black Auto /5. How could is that! A HOF auto (which I need), numbered to 5 and Artifacts Black cards always look amazing.

Just picture this card, minus the game used pieces and a sticker auto instead. It would have been AWESOME.

The problem is, the seller who posted it actually sells for other people too. So, the price sometimes isn't picked by him and that was the case. Starting bid was 40 dollars which was far steeper than I would ever pay, mostly because I am cheap. However, it didn't sell. It was re-posted a few times with a BIN or Best offer of 40 dollars. Clearly there is a pattern where someone wants 40 bucks minimum for the card. Best offer are my favourite two words so I send him an offer of 20 bucks. It was a perfect price in my opinion, HOF auto, rare but still a sticker auto which deters some of the purists out there. Dave was kind and wrote back that he couldn't do that price right now but thanked me for the offer. So I waited and more time went by with no sale. Then the day came where it was re-posted for auction and starting bid was 19.99. I said BAM, here is a bid and I went a little over 20 just in case someone wanted to sneak it away for 50 cents more than my supposed top. However, luck would have it no one touched it and it was mine for 20 bucks. Three months or so later after first seeing it, it was mine! I was excited because this card was going to be cool!

Then the months tick by, I check periodically on the website for a status update and each time I am told the "athlete is committed to signing". However, after about 6 months I begin to wonder if I am ever going to see the card I was very excited to receive. Getting worries that I would just randomly receive some strange card in the mail so I contacted Upper Deck and asked them how long do they wait before they give up on their autographs and the answer I received was the very informative "it depends" which is good and bad. Good because there is no set in stone timeline, but bad because it doesn't help me much. True I could just request a new card because 6 months is more than a long enough time to wait but I really wanted my Dino! Well luck or fate would have it a week later I was told in my status checks that the "card was not produced" and I had to contact customer service.

So knowing what they were going to ask I prepared myself a list of acceptable players and teams ready to answer whatever questions they had and sure enough I had to give 4 players and a team. So I said:

John Tavares
P. Kane
and the Edmonton Oilers

I picked mostly guys I collect or don't have much of in the way of autos. I added the Oilers because Eberle is on the team as well as many young players I wouldn't mind picking up autos for.

So now the new waiting game begins, I have been informed recently my card is pulled and packed for shipping so I suspect in the next 2 weeks to have my replacement, but until then...The waiting continues.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Card Converting My 1 for 2 New

A while back I busted a couple of boxes of 13-14 UD Series 1. I am currently riding a pretty bad streak of box busting that has gone on for a few months now which of course is one reason why I haven't been posting my breaks. The other reason is time, my posts have been pretty infrequent because life is demanding these days. One box I busted of 13-14 UD Series 1 was even missing cards, let alone giving me garbage ones. Two packs in the box were three cards light with no cool patch-like inserts to explain the lack of base. So I contacted Upper Deck, filled out the correct paper work etc and a month or so later they sent two replacement packs.

First pack had a pretty rare (1:428 packs) game-used hit of fellow Thunder Bay-ite Patrick Sharp. The second pack had an even more rare (1:720 packs) Lord Stanley's Heroes Teemu Selanne. Having had success selling my Nick Lidstrom Heroes from the same set I decided to sell Teemu.   

Cool card, but I just don't find they are worth as much to me as they are to other collectors. I was able to use all the funds from this sale (just short on the shipping part) but I was able to buy the following pair!

13-14 Artifacts Nail Yakupov Rookie /999
I had no luck with my box, but I was able to not only get one Yakupov rookie which is numbered to /999.

13-14 Artifacts Nail Yakupov Ruby Rookie /299
I was able to get a second numbered to /299. The seller had both together in the same auction and I was able to land it for a very agreeable price.

So while my UD Boxes were both busts, I was able to convert a nice gesture by Upper Deck into two Yakupov rookies which I would love to have hit in my boxes and 2 of them for that matter. Both are much more limited than the Young Gun version and for now both will remain in my collection. I could be tempted to trade one if the right offer came along but I will certainly keep the Ruby one for good.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Holiday Gift from The Hockey Card Geek

While I was expecting something in the mail from Shane (and was blown away by its contents), my next holiday surprise came completely unexpectedly from Duff at The Hockey Card Geek. Duff had sent along a very nice Christmas card and a cool hockey card attached inside of it. 

09-10 Ultimate Cody Franson Ultimate Rookies /299
What a cool treat. Auto rookies are my favourite card and to get one from a star NHL defenseman is an extra special treat. Thank you very much Duff, and I assure you payback is coming and I am hoping you are as happy as I am.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Christmas Gift from Shoebox Legends

After one of my many Brett Connolly posts (who btw has had three consecutive games with three points (4 goals and 5 assists)), Shane from Shoebox Legends wrote me about something he stole on the internet. He said he had a Panini Prime Signatures Brett Connolly auto that he landed for 99 cents plus shipping and since I am a big Connolly fan, he offered it to me for my PC. However, the last time he sent me something, poor Shane discovered that the USPS can be a cruel when you ship to Canada so he decided this time round he would add a "few" travel companions so he would get more value from the crazy shipping costs. Little did I know what was in store for me. Enjoy, I sure did!

11-12 Panini Prime Brett Connolly /99
 This baby is a nice on-card rookie year auto. Love the effects that Panini did with their photos on these cards. Just about as cool as it gets in modern cards.

The next batch Shane gave me are some nice retro on-card autos he got from another collector and thought I would like them. He was right, and Shane, I am pretty confident these are indeed legit so many thanks for the nice autos.

86-87 Topps Bobby Carpenter
 Here is a nice auto from a former 50 goal scorer and former New Jersey Devil. He won one cup as a player with the Devils and 2 cups as an assistant coach. Nothing but good memories of Bobby. His daughter is representing Team USA at the Sochi Olympics in hockey.

80-81 Topps Terry O'Reilly
 This auto is neat because it looks like Terry started with a dead black pen and then switched to a nearly dead blue ball-point pen. What is cool about this card is the fact that no one scratched the puck! Terry was a fierce competitor and this is my first auto from him!

86-87 Topps Rick Middleton
 Here is another auto I didn't have in my collection and oh boy am I glad I do. I have a Rick OPC rookie, Rick game used card and now the auto. It is a shame he isn't in the HOF as that would be a hat-trick of memorabilia for my new PC. Rick had 448 career goals and 998 career points, if not for a career ending injury, I would like to think he would have reached 500 and 1000 and maybe got he call to the Hall.

84-85 Topps Guy Lafleur
 Classic player, classic card and classic auto. Just plain awesome.

86-87 Topps Doug Bodger
 Another player I didn't have an auto for, Doug Bodger. Doug was a very steady and solid defenseman at the NHL level and played in over 1000 games. 49 of those games were with the Devils in 97-98 when he was picked up mid-season in a trade for John MacLean. His offensive numbers were never as good as they were in junior, but he still managed to 528 career points which is nearly 0.5 points per game.

Shane also sent along some cards from his current hockey passion, the Panini Classics auto set. You should check out some of his posts, the set looks great and he has made some amazing progress to this point.

12-13 Panini Classics Auto Bernie Nicholls
I honestly don't know how much of an impact Gretzky had on Bernie's career. I am a fan of Bernie and before Wayne stepped into his life he was a 2 time 40 goal guy and hit 100 points three seasons before "the trade". What is truly amazing, both for Bernie and Wayne is in just 1.5 seasons, or 126 games, Bernie Nicholls TORE up the NHL. In just 126 games, he had 97 goals and 225 points. That is nearly 1.79 points per game and if he could have done that over a period of 4-5 seasons, that could have cemented him as a surefire HOF'er. However, he was dealt in a blockbuster deal for Tony Granato and Tomas Sandstrom. Bernie still had an amazing career which included some time with the Devils. 1209 career points in 1127 games including a 70 goal, 150 point season is something that many kids dream of and Bernie made it look easy.

I have wanted this card for a while and even bid on a couple, thanks to Shane I don't need to search any more for a Nicholls auto (which as an aside, is much more scribble than scribe).

 12-13 Panini Classics Auto Dave Babych
 Cool auto from a very underrated 80's defenseman.

12-13 Panini Classics Auto Jean Pronovost
The on-card autos in the set are nice, but the photos are what make these cards look amazing and Jean Pronovost is a great example. Classy auto, awesome photo. Look at the ancient lumber, nasty helmet and wicked retro Pens jersey. This auto was also missing from my collection and any former 50 goal scorer is a welcome addition. Jean began his career as an NHL thanks to the Pens purchasing him from the Boston Bruins. Jean joined the Penguins in what was just their second NHL season and would stick around for a decade with the club. During that time he would score 20+ goals 9 out of the 10 seasons including 40 three times and 50 once. 

So just when you think Shane has given enough, he also surprised me with a thrown in set as well. Not just any set either, but the 88-89 OPC Mini set. I am not sure how he knew, but I actually was in the market for one of these sets. I had singles form both the 87-88 and 88-89 growing up but it wasn't until a traded for the 87-88 a few years back that I had a compete one. I was still missing the 88-89 and had ever intention of trying to buy or trade for one and Shane answers the call by surprising me with it. 

88-89 OPC Mini Set
Here is one example of a card from that set. Brett Hull Mini rookie. I remember these in the early 90's fetching nearly 20 bucks at LCS's when his main rookie was selling for over a hundred. Though the demand has diminished, my appreciation hasn't.

Thank you Shane for an amazing Christmas parcel, I hope you enjoy the one I sent your way as well as I have mine. I took a different and similar approach to what I sent you, but I am hoping that you are pleasantly surprised.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

11-12 Prime Brett Connolly Rookie Silver /50

Here is my other Panini Prime Rookie pick up. This gem was picked up for less than a pack of Artifacts and it was worth every penny.

11-12 Prime Brett Connolly Rookie Silver /50
Unlike the Henrique, this one has a pretty sweet patch as opposed to a seam piece. This patch has silver trim with a black piece attached to the blue jersey. The other three pieces are just regular jersey pieces but still are all cool together and an on card auto makes this a winner. The silver holofoil shines nicely and like the Henrique this card is a great addition to my major PC.

Next couple posts are some holiday generosity I was fortunate to receive and a few box breaks.