Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Victory Black Print Run

Last year I bought a box of 09-10 UD Series 2 and I shared my break with you. See post here:

Fast forward another year and it looks like my big hits from the box are doing pretty well. Couture is up for ROY and James van Riemsdyk is playing like a second overall pick with 7 goals in 9 playoff games. The nice thing about the van Riemsdyk RC is the rarity of it. Victory black used to be one of the hardest to find hits in hockey. In fact, back in 05-06, if you found a Victory black card in a pack, you had yourself a card numbered to 5. Even the gold cards from that set were numbered to 100 (I pulled a 05-06 Victory Gold Kovalev #/100 once).

Times have changed in Victory land, gold and black cards are much easier to pull now than they were in 05-06. Upper Deck stopped numbering the cards in 06-07 and more recently, they started releasing 1 rookie and 1 regular black parallel in each case of UD Series 2.

So how many Victory black rookies are there? If you look on eBay, sellers are taking advantage of the idea they are still numbered to 5, but that hasn’t been true since 2006. There is no way of REALLY knowing how many there are, but I can tell you the minimum number of them.

The key to calculating the number rests in the fact that UD exclusives cards are numbered and seeded. There are 250 cards in the 09-10 Series 2 set, of which, Upper Deck produced 100 numbered cards of each of them. These cards are distributed at a rate of 1 in 48 hobby packs. That means there are 1.2 million hobby packs produced for 09-10 UD Series 2. If you factor in there are 2 Victory black cards for each 288 packs (the number in a case) then you are looking at about 8333 Victory black cards in all those hobby packs. If there are 90 victory cards in the update set, that means there are 92 Victory black cards for each card in the set.

92 is the minimum number, if you factor in there could also be Victory black in retail and fat packs that number would be higher. If they distributed the cards unevenly (ie the imbalance between 50 regular and 40 rookie cards in that set, that number could also rise).

Either way, it seems to expect there are only 5 victory black rookies is quite unreasonable now as the number seems more like 100. If you find yourself wanting to buy a victory black card on eBay, keep this in mind. Sure these numbers are only applicable to the 09-10 Victory Update set, but I imagine the numbers aren’t much different for the 10-11 Victory Update set as well. In fact I think the reasonable expectation is a print run of about 80-100 Victory black cards.

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