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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.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

2013-14 Fleer Showcase Box Break

With Upper Deck soon to become the only official licensee of hockey card products, I have been trying to transition my buying habits more in that direction, if for no other reason, to discover what they really do well and what products of theirs I really like. With that in mind, I picked up a box of Upper Deck's most recent release, Fleer Showcase. Similar to last season's Fleer Retro, Showcase pays tribute to various Fleer products of the past, keeping true to the older products, while updating them with new players.

Each box contains 15 packs of 5 cards. Each pack contains an insert or a hit, and the big guarantee is the Hot Prospects cards, which feature an autographed rookie card, complete with a patch piece. One Hot Prospects card is promised in each box, and there are also two other autograph or memorabilia cards guaranteed.

So, without further ado, here's the video of my box, with scans to follow:

Plenty of good base cards here, with a nice, clean design. I'm not sure if these are based on a specific design from the past or not, but they definitely look like something from the early 2000s. I got two Penguins, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Malkin is pictured as an All-Star, and the cool thing with the All-Star cards, is that the team logo used is the All-Star logo from the same game he is pictured in.

I also got a Hot Prospects Trios card of Ben Hanowski, Drew LeBlanc, and Oliver Lauridsen, numbered 173/399. With the dual rookie class, this allows them to get as many rookies as they can into the set, while keeping the set size down.

The Fleer Ultra cards are very similar to the 2007-08 design, with a few tweaks, and feature veterans, retired players, and rookies. My four were base cards of Steven Stamkos and Peter Forsberg, with rookies of Linden Vey 270/499 and Morgan Rielly 64/499.

Each set also has parallels, like this Red Medallion Parallel from Ultra of Marian Gaborik, numbered 44/99. 

Like Retro last year, Metal Universe is a big part of Showcase. The five I pulled were Tyler Seguin, Brett Hull, Cam Neely, Vladimir Terasenko, and Claude Giroux. They don't scan well, but these are some interesting Cards. The look very "late-90s," which is appropriate, since I think that's the era that the set comes from.

One Skybox Premium card came in my box, of Detroit Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman. This might actually be a set that they grabbed from a different sport, as I don't think there has ever been a Skybox Premium hockey set before this one.

As far as hits go, I pulled a jersey card of Montreal Candiens goaltender Carey Price. It may just be a plain white swatch, but it's good to pull at least someone from his team. I just traded a bunch of Canadiens away, so I need to restock.

I was aslo lucky enough to pull not one, but two, Hot Prospects cards. These are the big draw of the product, as they feature all the top rookies from the dual rookie class. Not only that, but they also  feature and autograph, as well as a patch piece. Each one is numbered to 375, or 175 for the higher profile rookies, with parallels numbered to 27 or 18, with pieces of fight strap or glove. This one here is of Washington Capitals winger Tom Wilson, featuring an amazing three-colored swatch that I think comes from the shoulder patch of the home jersey, numbered 65/375.

I also pulled another Hot Prospects card with a three-colored patch, of Tampa Bay Lightning winger Richard Panik, numbered 357/375. I got excited when I saw a Lightning card as a big rookie hit, but unfortunately, this isn't one of the two Lightning rookies nominated for the Calder Trophy. He did spend the entire season with the team though, scoring three goals and 10 assists in 50 games.

If you have the chance, I would definitely give this product a shot. You get some great looking cards, with a bit of nostalgia thrown in, and no matter what, you get an autographed rookie patch card. Upper Deck really did this product right.

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