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Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2013-14 Crown Royale Box Break

One of the more popular Panini hockey products makes its return as Crown Royale gets its first full release in 2 years. The product was one of the ones cut last season, as lockout based restrictions forced card companies to scale things back. 2013-14 brings things back to a full release, with hobby boxes containing just four packs of five cards, each pack contains one autograph or jersey card, with one of those guaranteed to be an autograph. Of course, each product has their big drawing point, and with Crown Royale, it is their Silhouette cards. After watching a few on-line breaks, each one has contained one Silhouette card, but I'm not sure if that's an "official" collation, or if it's just coincidental.

Anyway, here's a video of my box, with scans to follow:


I've said it before, but I think that Crown Royale is the one brand that can basically put out the same-looking product every year, and people will still eat it up. Now, I'm not saying that as an insult, it's actually a compliment. What that is a tribute to, is finding something interesting and different, sticking to it, and being careful not to let those elements bleed into your other sets. Either that, or maybe people just like the idea of a die-cut base set.


Apart from the base cards, I did pull one Rookie Royalty card of Drew LeBlanc, numbered 470/499. These cards are modeled directly after their base counterparts, but feature a gold foil on the crown, instead of silver. The interesting thing about these, though, is the set numbering. Cards 1-100 are base, cards 101-200 are Rookie Silhouettes, cards 201-215 are Rookie Royalty, and cards 216-240 are Rookie Royalty Signatures. These 15 cards are the only non-autographed rookie cards in the set.


Sovreign Sigs seems to be Crown Royale's "sticker dump," insert set. There are some stars, but the majority of players in this insert set are players who were rookies the past year or two and may or may not have made their permanent mark with an NHL team. That being said, if I was going to pull one, this Riley Sheahan was a pretty good one to pull. After playing in just one game each of the previous two seasons, Sheahan has suited up for the Detroit Red Wings in 26 games this season, and has been quite productive, scoring five goals and ten assists. Let's hope the 2010 first-round draft pick can keep it going.


What I really like about Crown Royale is that they really put a lot of bright, bold, colorful designs in their insert sets, as seen in this Mythology Materials card of Doug Gilmour. The set, using "Mythology" as a reference to the past, features retired players, most of whom are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Gilmour was inducted in 2011, allowing me to add this card to my Hockey HOF Relic Project.


I'm always happy to pull a Seth Jones card, especially when it looks as great as this Coat of Arms prime jersey card, numbered 41/50. Jones was one of the most highly-touted prospects going into the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, and was projected to go as high as #1. After his home-team Colorado Avalanche selected Nathan MacKinnon, Jones fell to #4, behind Aleksander Barkov (Florida) and Jonathan Drouin (Tampa Bay). While Jones was drafted from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL, he spent two years with the USHL's USA National Development Program, but that was just before I moved up to Fargo and started attending Fargo Force games on a regular basis.


Lastly, I got a Silhouette! This one is of Dallas Stars rookie Alex Chiasson and is the prime jersey version, numbered 1/99. Getting any of these cards in hand will immediately let you know why it is such a draw for the Crown Royale product line. Unlike most other Crown Royale inserts, they actually hold back a little bit on the design of these cards, allowing the necessary elements to stand out. For one, there is plenty of white space on the bottom to give the player plenty of rook for a signature, and they place the serial number right next to it, which allows it to be clearly visible. This year, they took the player's image away from the center of the swatch window and moved it to the right side of the card. This allows not only for them to place a larger player image on the card, but also to give a much wider open space for the different colors of the jersey.


The four packs per box, with four base cards per pack design isn't great for set-builders, but man, Crown Royale is a fantastic product to open. From top to bottom, base, inserts, and hits ALL look amazing, and it's one of the more fun box breaks you'll get out of hockey. If you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, pick a box up. You're sure to find something you'll enjoy out of it.

6 comments:

  1. If I collected hockey I would open this stuff until I went bankrupt. I love watching breaks. Thanks for posting!

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  2. I agree with PATP and Matthew...Chiasson is one of my favorite young players and these cards look incredible!

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  3. Nice break! Please let me know if Alex ever makes it to trade bait!

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    1. Everything in my collection is up for trade if the right deal comes along. Let me know if you have anything in mind.

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  4. Congratulations on pulling that beauty of a silhouette.

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