Monday, March 31, 2014

More thanks to Sebastian from Hell's Valuable Collectibles

For the regular readers you may remember this trade I posted a little while back between myself and Sebastian from Hell's Valuable Collectibles. Well, he sent me a message after he received my goods and told me more might be on their way. Well sure enough not long after a second package arrived with more surprises.

13-14 OPC Adam Henrique
 I don't have this and I am sure glad I do now. The design is pretty nice and based off this card I might have to try and track down the set some day.

13-14 Score Adam Henrique
 This card is another I didn't have in my collection. It does feature an amazing moment in Devils history when Adam Henrique scored the OT winner to knock off the Rangers and send the Devils to the 2012 Cup Finals.

11-12 Victory
Surprisingly enough, didn't have this one either. A trifecta of cool is topped off by this Victory Rookie. Now Sebastian didn't stop there, there was a fourth card which was the Score rookie base of Adam Henrique. I did already have one in my set, but it was nice to have a second that I can display when I want and not take it out of the binder its in.

So thanks again Sebastian for the excellent trade and I will keep an eye out for stuff you may be interested in, in the future!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Back Checking - 1981-82 OPC Reggie Lemelin Rookie

Remember back to a time when you used to scour your collection to try and find those "rare" error cards? Errors that were caught very early by the manufacturers could be worth hundreds of times more than their corrected counterparts. For example, Mike Krushelnyski's 90-91 Pro Set card is hardly worth the paper it is printed on. However, his error card, that is a completely different story. There are none of them for sale on eBay as of now, but I have seen some in the past listed for well over $50 dollars which is a fair bit more than the book value of 5 cents for the corrected version.

Other errors are very common and sometimes the errors are never corrected. Recently I was thumbing through rookies and I gave Reggie Lemelin's an extra close look.

1981-82 OPC Rejean Lemelin Rookie
 Here is the front of the card. I promise not to go on about how awesome 81-82 OPC cards are, but they are pretty great. Reggie looks like he is taking a lap or two around the rink before he is finding a comfy spot on the bench.

Here is the back side of the rookie. Lots of neat and strange things back here. First off, Reggie didn't get a rookie card printed until he was 27 years old! I find that really hard to believe and if you see the back, he played in 3 part seasons before he was granted number 44 in the 81-82 OPC set. His FTC (first Topps Card) wouldn't happen until 1984-85. If I were to guess when he SHOULD have had his rookie printed I would have figured 79-80 OPC given he played in nearly a 1/4 of the NHL season but alas with many changes going on in the NHL with that set, it is easy to see how he was overlooked.  After you get past his age and his stats, I did find a small error in the bottom facts. The problem isn't statistical but rather a small "typo" with the word "clubb". Very easy mistake to make and very easy to overlook. Now the Beckett doesn't list this as an uncorrected error (UER) but without having another copy I really don't know if there was a corrected version or not.

If you happen to have a Reggie Lemelin rookie and a free moment, take a look. I am curious if OPC ever caught the error and fixed it or if it remained as a typo for all to observe.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

11-12 The Cup Brett Connolly Gold /25

Ok, I think its official! I must have more Brett Connolly cards than his own mother. I was never much of an obsessive PC collector but in the last two years I have done a pretty good job of circling the market on BC cards and Henrique (since Clarkson departed for Toronto and forgot his game in NJ). 

This recent addition is one that doesn't have any auto or game used involved with it. Instead it is a lowly gold parallel of the monster set The Cup. Despite its short comings, it is actually a really nice looking card with a shiny rainbow-gold foil that really catches your eye. The low print run does add to my personal appeal but in all I really like the design and photo on the front. 

11-12 The Cup Brett Connolly Gold /25
Brett might be wearing Silver in this photo, but I assure you its ALL Gold!

Here is the back side. I really like the back, lots of the things I do look for in a hockey card are all here. Strangely I was expecting the UD hologram on the back to be gold as well (which they use in high end stuff) but for some reason it is silver. Were they worried about clashing? Even the "core" of the card is gold/yellow instead of the usual white which seems really neat and weird all at once. But I somehow can't shake the fact I think I have seen this back before...oh wait:

I had seen something similar. 

Well there you have it, an I finished yet? Buying yes. Trading? Well if something fun comes along I will probably trade more than book value for it because I dig this guy. But in the meantime, I guess my super collection just got more super. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

11-12 Dominion Keith Kinkaid Auto Rookie /199

Before there was Cory Schneider, I really felt and still think the Keith Kinkaid could be a good option for the Devils. With Cory having done very well this season, it looks like next year it is between Scott Wedgewood and Keith Kinkaid for the back-up job. The early favourite is Keith and he already has NHL cardboard so that makes sense right?

As far as top cardboard goes, UD's The Cup has been king since 2005 but when Panini entered the game in 2010, they took a stab at the top dog with their Dominion brand. In my opinion I find them every bit as nice and little to no difference in design or quality. Both are super think, both have "player worn" patches and autos. Both are very expensive to buy by the pack and both are very limited in print run.

So why do collectors pay that much more of a premium for The Cup over Dominion? Is it familiarity or is there something I am missing? This card set me back 2 bucks!

11-12 Dominion Keith Kinkaid Auto Rookie /199 
Here is the front, nice auto, limited to 199 copies and good balance of foil and photo.

Here is the back, I prefer stats and vitals but still it isn't wasted space because of a huge pointless guarantee. So what am I missing? Why is this card so inferior to The Cup? True, Kinkaid has a player worn swatch on his UD version but apart from that, even common auto rookies from The Cup sell for much more than their Dominion counterparts. Another example is my Brett Connolly Dominion Gold Patch Auto Rookie /25. I paid roughly the same price for my Brett Connolly The Cup Rookie which doesn't have as nice of a patch and has been produced in a much greater quantity, nearly 10 times as many copies. Even recently I have seen others which still aren't as nice selling for 35+ dollars with shipping and still don't feature as nice of a patch.

Idea? Why the hate for Dominion? Or is there just room in the market for one super high-end product and Panini was not renewed due to redundancy. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

13-14 Select Max Reinhart Auto Rookie /399

So far my set of the year is the 13-14 Select set. As far as content and value goes you can land these babies for very fair prices and they look awesome in person. Autograph, limited production and shiny what isn't there to love about these. In 2010 and 2011 I was in love with Certified so when I heard Panini wasn't issuing a Certified set this year I was pretty disappointed but when I saw the Select cards I felt that they were every bit as cool. This is the last of the ones I added to my collection to go with my Box Break, my Yakupov and my MacKinnon.

13-14 Select Max Reinhart Auto Rookie /399
Here is the front, much like all the others. Sticker auto, chromium stock and thick. These cards definitely remind me a bit of the OPC Metal cards from 08-09. Max is the oldest of the 3 hockey playing sons of Paul Reinhart. Griffin and Sam are the other two who most recently represented Canada at the WJHC. 

Here is the back side of the card, 11 game last year and 3 points to show for it. Not the greatest start but Max is one of those guys who just gets better and better thanks to his hard work. This year he has been playing very well in the AHL with 17 goals and 46 points in 53 games which is good enough for the team lead at the moment. I think if the Flames are patient and take their time with Max he could be as good as Paul Stastny over time. In the meantime, I do enjoy having this one in my collection and I think as he progresses it will be a fun to have.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

When eBay sellers mess up and then make up for it.

If you buy and sell enough things on eBay you will eventually run into problems. I have been ripped off, sold damage stuff and have been misinformed. Sometimes the buyer makes good, sometimes the buyer doesn't and you are out the cost of shipping their crap back to them and even worse, sometimes you need a dispute settled. No one wins in the last case because you have the stress of trying to solve your problem and getting your money takes even longer than when you sell something!

However, this past summer I did have a pack that took nearly two months to arrive and the seller was kind enough to make up for their mistake with some loot. I bought 40 05-06 Upper Deck Ice rookies for 10 bucks with shipping. Yep, 10 bucks for 40 rookies, sure they were all level 4 ones but I am considering finishing the level 4 set so it is a nice head start. Biggest names were like Dustin Penner and Ryane Clowe but still not a bad deal in my books. The seller apparently didn't pay enough postage the first time and it was bounced back to them so they had to do a resend and things got busy etc. But to make up for it they threw in two game used cards (Tanguay and Zubov) and an auto!

Here is the auto that was thrown in which in my opinion exceeds the rest of the package. Good to know there are great people out there and all the extras certainly weren't necessary but it did make things better and it got them a positive review. Any stories you have come across in your experiences with sellers making good?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

So I am moonlighting on myself..... Check out my post at Two Pad Stack

I am very excited about a new website that I am writing on and it's called Two Pad Stack. Check out my first of many posts on the site:

If you like what you see, please add to your blog roll!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Who's your daddy? Henrique is pwning many NHL goalies at the moment.

 With nine goals his last 6 games, Adam Henrique has been on fire. See photo below for what that might look like.

11-12 Score Hot Rookies Auto Adam Henrique
With 9 goals and 2 assists since the Olympic break, Adam Henrique has been playing the best hockey of his NHL career. 11 points in 6 games has helped the Devils stay competitive at a time when the team hasn't been playing the best defensive hockey. I got these two cards in a trade with Sebastian from Hell's Valuable Collectibles. During one of his posts he made mention of the card below and the card above. I decided that I would try and make an offer he couldn't refuse for the card above and he was kind enough to accept and send along BOTH cards. A great deal for all involved I assure you.

13-14 Upper Deck Series 1 Game Jersey - Adam Henrique
While my collection is loaded with Henrique autos and memorabilia. I actually didn't have of his stuff that was actually "game worn". Too much player or event worn but nothing legit so Sebastian helped me out there by sending along this card too. He also included a 13-14 Score Henrique base card which I didn't have as well so many thanks go out to Sebastian and I look forward to our next trade as well. 

*Late note, no sooner do I hit publish and I get a message that Adam Henrique was this week's third star. Last week he was second star so this young man appears to have shaken off last year's sophomore slump and turned around a slow start this season.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

13-14 Artifacts Emerald Rookie Patch Auto - Scott Laughton /8

My LCS guys love vintage and hate modern cards. Especially Rookie Patch Autos. A simple sawbuck a couple months ago brought home Team Canada's most recent World Junior Captain.  

13-14 Artifacts Emerald Rookie Patch Auto - Scott Laughton /8
Scott could be every bit as good as Mike Richards or as good as Steven Rice. Time will tell on this one, but this year he is doing awesome in the OHL with 39 goals and 86 points in just 53 games. If you figure in the 73 PIM it is easy to see he is equal parts offensive and sandpaper. Love the look of these cards especially when the auto and patch additions.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

10-11 ITG Heroes and Prospects Number Black Brett Connolly /6

I have loads of Brett Connolly NHL stuff and very little from his junior days. Given he was a solid prospect during his time in the WHL, ITG has a few things out there from his time with the Prince George Cougars. A while back I was bidding on two, lost the one and landed one. This is a pretty cool one if you ask me and another good addition to my BC PC.

10-11 ITG Heroes and Prospects Number Black Brett Connolly /6
 Great swatch from the back of his jersey back when he wore number 8. You can see a little white of the jersey and then three solid colours which are Red, White and Black. Not sure why the red in the card came out a little salmon like but still a nice swatch nonetheless.

Here's the back, again my pet peeve is with a low print run of six, why not number them? If not by factory, then by hand? Still, as long as ITG keeps their website going I can prove it is numbered out of 6 but if the internet ever shuts down when the Machines decide to rise up then I am screwed with a nice looking card.

Good news for me is Brett is set to be an RFA after this season so hopefully if TB isn't going to use him for good then they will trade him somewhere so he can get a legit shot or at the very least get signed to an offer sheet elsewhere and choose his own destination.

Friday, March 7, 2014

06-07 The Cup Alex Brooks Rookie - Or a reason not to buy a box of The Cup

One thing I have always flirted with was the idea of buying a box of The Cup. The thought sounds very exciting and expensive. Sadly I have never had enough free and available hockey card money to just go out and try that idea and really if I did have the needed 500 bucks to buy a box I think I would likely spend it on a Gretzky Rookie (Topps) or buy a couple 51 Parkhursts and forget I had the money in the first place. 

Spending 500 bucks on a Tin/Box of The Cup is really like buying into one of those high-end lotteries. True you are guaranteed some hits and in some cases they can be worth thousands. But at the same time, they could be worth less than an extra value meal at McDonalds. For example, if you bought a tin of 06-07 The Cup which has Malkin, Kessel and Kopitar rookies as big draws, would you be happy with Mr Alex Brooks?

06-07 The Cup Alex Brooks Auto Rooki
 As a hardcore fan, I DO remember Alex with the Devils. His time was brief (19 games in the NHL) to say the least, but he was a great farm hand for a number of years.

Recycled photo on back and McWilliam guarantee.

So, you spend 500 bucks which is rent money for some or a very nice car payment for others. You end up with this as one of your sure hits. Are you disappointed? Do you have buyers remorse? See I am a Devils fan and I am happy to own this card. I would have been sick to my stomach if I dropped 5 c-notes on a tin and this was one of my 4-5 sure hits. But, when I paid 2 dollars for it, I felt it was a very fair price and makes my enjoyment of owning the card much greater.

In the end, I do own quite a few The Cup cards and I have never come near to paying a combined price of a single box in spite of the number I own. But at the same time, I don't own a Crosby, Malkin or Toews The Cup rookie either so nothing ventured really is nothing gained as far as the jackpots go.

If you won an office lottery or something and got yourself 500 bucks you didn't plan on getting, would you buy a tin? Would you buy cards at all? What would you do with it?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

91-92 Parkhurst Bill Guerin Rookie (XRC)

There are some cards you covet and track down right away and there are other cards that take time to land. Both taste just as sweet in my books but this one card has a story. Back in the early 90's when every kid on my street collected cards, I was slightly different than most. Many were dumping loads of cash into Upper Deck and Pro Set (which I did my fair share too), I was also very interested in the older cards. Being the early 90's prices on older cards had skyrocketed too so many were beyond my price point but I bought up rookies like Bill Barber, Eric Vial and Dennis Hextall because they were reasonably priced and old. When Parkhurst came out, it was like a perfect product. Old time name, current players and a design that was very attractive. In my personal opinion, the best looking set in 91-92 and 92-93 were the Parkhurst cards. It was like Pro Set finally did something right. The inserts were even cool.

Here is what the cards looked like:

 Front side features a Parkhurst logo and a marbleized left margin. The cards are a nice thickness with a cool gloss that at the time made them seem very premium.

Here is the back, loaded with stats and information. I really like the backs of these cards and unlike most Pro Set products, these were well done and time and care went into them.

The set was well balanced with Vets and Rookies and the price wasn't too crazy (50 bucks a box is a number that rings a bell back then). My step-dad and I went so nuts that between the two of us we built like 8 base sets (yeah I still have them all). Pro Set even came out with a series two which featured more base and rookies and I bought a bunch of those too. I recently finished the whole PHC set (I have loads of the first 5 but because I didn't go as hardcore with series 2 I didn't have many from 6-10), and I will share soon as a sets of yesteryear. But what I didn't have was the Parkhurst Update set.

You see, there was a special promotion on the back of packs of Parkhurst which allowed you to mail in a cheque or money order to get a special Update Set. I remember being a 12 year old who didn't have a chequing account or access to money orders and debating on if I should do whatever I can to order one of these sets. In the end I decided to keep my paper route money and spend it on something else and I never did get one of those sets.

A little while later, the set started appearing in the Beckett Hockey Monthly and it was listing for a pretty high price which had me a little bummed out over a missed opportunity. But, actually what would sting even more about a year after my missed chance was the inclusion of card #453. Bill Guerin quickly became my favourite player in the NHL around 1993 and I found out that Bill was included in the Parkhurst Update set. It would be the only card issued for Guerin in the 1991-92 season and since it was a mail order set it was labelled an XRC. 92-93 would see 10 Bill Guerin rookies but 91-92 held the only one I wanted.

I even got Bill to sign a 92-93 Parkhurst rookie back in 1995 as my first TTM but still I wanted that 91-92 Parkhurst Update Rookie.

While I still don't have the Update Set (if you do and want to trade it please message me, I will make it worth your while!) I do have the Bill Guerin card at last.

I had never seen this card in person before until it arrived at my door.

91-92 Parkhurst Bill Guerin Rookie (XRC) #453
 In 1991-92, Bill Guerin played 5 regular season games and 6 playoff games. Since this set features updates from the 1992 playoffs, I think there is a good chance that is where this photo came from. Bill played very well for us in spite of the Devils bowing out in the first round. Bill had 3 goals in those 6 playoff games he played in. I wonder if he knew that in three short years he would be lifting Lord Stanley's Mug?

Here is the back, lots of cool background info. The photo on the back was taken from the regular season because the Devils met up with the Rangers in round 1 and clearly Bill is lining up against a Nordique player here.

It is worth pointing out that I almost won this card two years ago when someone had a graded version up for auction. It was only graded 8.5 but I didn't care too much about condition I just wanted the card. Sure enough I was winning the auction with about 16 hours to go and the seller pulls the auction. My bid at the time was like 4 bucks. I contact the seller and he didn't like the price it was at so he pulled it but informed me he was relisting it with a BIN. So I wait and sure enough it is posted. BIN $39.99USD

So for fun I kept watching him and sure enough it wouldn't sell time after time after time....I even saw it for 5 bucks one time and then he pulled the listing and relisted for 14.99. Needless to say I wouldn't have bought the card off him for a toonie with shipping. But, I did get enjoyment out of watching the fool not sell a card that I would have gladly took off his hands for a fair price.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

So I sold my Jordan LaVallee 1/1 and this is what I bought.

So about 5 years ago I bought a few packs and I had my first ever 1/1 from a pack of 08-09 Artifacts. At the time I was excited because it was a 1/1 rookie but not knowing who he was or if he would ever amount to much also intrigued me. Fast forward a few years, poor Jordan never makes it back to the NHL but I decide to share my 1/1 on here at random anyway because it is a 1/1. 

Little did I know anyone would ever be on the hunt for my lowly 1/1, well sure enough there was and I shared my hit at the perfect time. While digging through old comments I saw one from a person named Kevin who was interested in my LaVallee. It turns out Kevin was a LaVallee super collector and in our discussions he shared some of his collection with me via email. Check it out! 

Check out the Artifacts rookies, /999, /100, /75, /50, /25 looks like he could use a 1/1

Check out all those plates!

So what do you sell a card like that for? Its a 1/1, one of a kind, no others. Well I have seen some pretty stupid prices on the 'Bay and honestly seeing how big of a fan this guy was I was not going to fleece him on it. To be perfectly honest, I didn't know how high he was going to go either and I am not an asshole so I thought long and hard and came up with a price I felt the card was worth TO ME. If he was willing to pay what it was worth to ME, then in my opinion he can have it. So I gave him my price which I felt was very fair (about the price of a blaster) and in return he offered a few extra dollars to help me cover the cost of shipping so we both were very happy in the end.

So I took my money, bought the Jagr auto you just saw in my last post and I got myself three other cards. I paid for the shipping out of my own pocket so the total was a tiny bit higher than the funds earned but totally worth it in my opinion.

2001-02 BAP Signature Series Ryan Smyth Auto
 Second auto I picked up was one of Captain Canada Ryan Smyth. He earned the nickname after being Captain of the World Championship team for 5 straight years from 01-05 and then again in 2010. I guess there is an advantage to playing for a non-playoff team. Regardless, I do have fond memories and respect Ryan a great deal and I knew I wanted an auto from him and it was a pretty cheap pick up.

2001-02 BAP Signature Series Claude Lemieux Auto
 Arguably one of the most clutch players in NHL history. Claude was a huge reason for two Devils Cup wins and was a large factor in his Cup wins with Montreal and Colorado as well. I wished I could land his auto in a Devils uniform but as far as certified autos go there were very few of him in the 90's especially in a Devils uniform.

10-11 The Cup Marco Scandella Auto Rookie
When Marco played for Team Canada at the WJHC in 2010 I was really impressed with his skill and dependability. I was a big fan from the start so I had been trying to get a card like this for a while. When Kevin bought my LaVallee rookie I made it a priority to land this card and sure enough after a few Best Offer attempts one dealer liked my offer and accepted it. A nice patch here with a little red peeking out with the green and white cream. 

In all, I was very happy an important card ended up with the right collector and in the end I found myself 4 really cool cards which I do enjoy more than the 1/1.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A cardboard tribute to Jaromir Jagr in honour of 700 goals and a rookie auto.

Growing up in the 90's, I have had a chance to really seem Jagr perform through out his career. I was always in awe of his skills and abilities. But since joining the Devils, I have really had a chance to see him as a person and man is he funny! Check out this video for a classic example. Jagr's favourite target is Dainus Zubrus who he has played with a few times. If you don't have the time to watch it, essentially Jagr says Zubrus should have won the Selke Trophy in 01-02.  The reason why is because when he joined the Caps and started playing WITH Zubrus, his own scoring went from 121 points down to 79 points and Zubrus was the one shutting him down. They are hillarious together and Jagr is often the instigator.

But, that isn't what the post is about, its about 700 career goals. That is pretty amazing, and it has only happened 6 other times by guys all in the Hall of Fame. Here is a look at all Jagr's "rookie cards" and a recent pick up, my first and only Jagr auto.

90-91 OPC Premier
 This one is my favourite of all his rookies and it is also the most "valuable". With a book price of 12 bucks, it is head and shoulders above the value of all his other rookies. It is also one of only two rookies with an action shot of him playing.

Here is the back side of the card, very simplistic and no previous season stats. I guess OPC wasn't interested in what he did in Kladno but they did give a good side profile of his mullet.

90-91 Pro Set
The other rookie with an action shot is one what I would consider to be his most underrated rookie. Not sure why I like the one as much as I do, but a good action shot on the front and loads of info on the back make it a pretty decent rookie. Book value is a mere $1.25 the lowest of his rookies. 

Here is the back side of the Pro Set rookie. Very young photo of Jaromir and his two previous seasons with Kladno are also listed.

90-91 Score American
My least favourite rookie of the crop are the the Score ones. Very dull and staged studio shot on the front. The blue writing on the front is one way to tell Score American and Score Canadian apart. Book value on this and the Canadian version are the same and it is about 2 dollars.

On the back, the text is all English in the US version and it actually has more info and different info than the Canadian version. Apparently Jagr isn't real flashy.. I hope that isn't the scout that placed Nedved higher than Jagr because he may have lost his job.

90-91 Score Canadian
Here in Canada we like red eh? Same front just Red text on the Score logo.

Here is the back, much less info but there are some in French too. The additional french is a quote which says that "In addition to handling the puck well, he is patient in heavy traffic." I always like reading the French text because sometimes you do actually get more or different info than the English text tells.

90-91 Score Traded
This isn't considered a rookie but I still like it included because it is what I wished his rookie looked like. Great action shot and the back is very well done as well. The book value on this card is about 2 dollars, a little more rare but lacking the rookie status hurts its attractiveness with some collectors.

Here is the back and there is a short story on Jagr here. Look, first goal against the Devils, 700th goal was for the Devils.

90-91 Upper Deck
This was the first Jagr rookie I ever scored and the one I have the most copies of too. Book value is about 4 dollars which is about what it would cost you given shipping costs online anyway but at cards shows and LCSs you can probably land it for under a dollar.

Here is the back of the card. One of my favourite backs of all time. Well laid out, useful info and good stats. 

90-91 Score Jaromir Jagr Auto Rookie
Bought this online from a dealer who specializes in autos. Got the background story on it, felt it was worth a chance and when it arrived and I checked it out with a magnifying glass I felt very confident it is legit. Very interesting marker was used on this one. It isn't a sharpie but rather a chisel like purple marker. The front looks scuffed but the card is still in the screwdown the dealer sent it in and I haven't changed it yet. Really happen I got this one for  my collection and I was able to pay for it with some money I made from a private sale of a 1/1 card I had pulled a while back. I will share that story and the rest of my loot in my next post. 

Btw I was technically missing two Jagr rookies. There is one extra with Pro Set when you consider he has an Error and a Corrected one and I am missing the 90-91 UD French Rookie. Hope to land the French one some day but I would prefer to do it via trade instead of buying.