Well, I purchased a box of Panini Prizm hockey last month, and I'd say I made out pretty well. After watching some other box breaks of this product, though, I soon came to realize that I was VERY lucky with what I opened, and knew there was no way my luck would return, if I opened another. So, I did what any other less-than-rationally thinking card collector would do: I joined a group break.
For about half the price of one box, I picked up five teams for the three boxes that would be opened. My teams were the Colorado Avalanche, Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets, Florida Panthers, and, of course, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I ended up spending about half of what a hobby box would be, so I figured, as long as I got half a box worth of hits (1 autograph) I'd be happy.
Here's a look at what I got. I'm not going to show every card of every team, just the highlights.
The Colorado Avalanche gave me my only non-autographed insert out of the break, with a, Immortalized die-cut card of Joe Sakic. These cards feature a player who has won the Stanley Cup in the past next to an image of the Cup, with the card die-cut on the right. The silver of the cup next to the silver of the card, makes these some of the coolest inserts of any line so far this year.
One thing I'll have to keep in mind when joining group breaks this year, is to pick the Panthers. Despite just being an early release, I got FIVE Panthers rookies, including Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau and University of Minnesota standout Nick Bjugstad.
With the Wild, I got a few of the newer residents of the "State of Hockey," like Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, and Jason Pominville, as well as rookie Mikael Granlund.
For the Penguins, I did pretty well, falling just one James Neal short of a team set. I was also short both rookies, Beau Bennett and Eric Hartzell, but I'm pretty sure I got Neal and Bennett out of the box I opened myself.
Lastly, there was the Winnipeg Jets. Nothing exciting, so here are the two rookies, Eddie Pasquale and Anthony Peluso.
Lastly, the hits. In picking up 1/6 of the NHL teams available, I was hoping, at least, to get 1/6 of the hits, which would be one autograph. Luckily, I ended up with two! The first one is Beau Bennett, which I am happy to add to my collection, and is my second one of his, after the Upper Deck Trilogy auto I purchased a month or two ago. The Drew Shore is a Prizm Parallel, which is numbered 33/35.
While group breaks can be risky, they are also quite a lot of fun, and you can get some really cool cards in the process. I lucked out here, for sure, and I now have plenty of cool cards to add to my collection, without having to pay full price on a full box.