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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.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2013-14 Black Diamond Dustin Jeffrey Gemography Autograph

Even though he is no longer a member of the Pittsburgh penguins, I just had to pick up this Dustin Jeffrey autographed Gemography card from 2013-14 Black Diamond.


Jeffrey played for the Penguins since signing a free-agent contract in October of 2007, until being waived by the team in November of 2013. He spent his time with the Penguins going back and forth between Pittsburgh and their AHL affiliate in Wilkes-Barrie, with his most productive year being in 2010-11, when he scored seven goals and five assists in 25 games with the pro club. The Dallas Stars picked up his rights after Pittsburgh placed him on waivers, he played 24 games in Dallas, and finished the season with their AHL affiliate, Texas Stars, and helped the team win their first Calder Cup as the AHL champions. During the 2014 off-season, Jeffrey signed a one-year contract with the Vancouver Canucks.

Friday, September 26, 2014

2012-13 Limited Bobby Ryan Game Pucks /25

Here's a hockey card I got, just simply for the fact that it looks cool:


From 2012-13 Limited, this comes from the Game Pucks insert set and features a piece of a game-used puck. The card is numbered 25/25 and features what is obviously a New York Rangers puck, meaning that this puck came from a Ducks/Rangers game that was played in Madison Square Garden. I'm not particularly a collector of Bobby Ryan, or the Ducks, or even the Rangers. I just thought it was a fantastic-looking card & didn't want to miss the opportunity to add it to my collection.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Replacing an Average-Looking Hit with a Much Better One: Jonas Brodin National Treasures Rookie

As much as I loved opening up my box of National Treasures a couple weeks ago, I HATED the fact that my Jonas Brodin Autographed Patch Rookie card had a one-colored patch. It is supposed to be one of the showcases of the product, but without at least a secondary color, it just looks so bland. So, I set out to get myself a better one, and picked this one up, numbered 19/25.


There are three colors in this patch, and it looks SO much better than the solid colored one that I pulled. I guess that was my big frustration with it. This is supposed to be a high-quality product, but they can't seem to take the time to ensure that we get high-quality memorabilia pieces, especially when you're dealing with a rare parallel. It's frustrating, but at least I have a better card now.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2013-14 Prime Zach Parise Prime Skates Extreme 1/1

While I've posted on some awesome cards I have pulled from packs over the past year, here's one I just received that moves to the top of the list of individual cards that I have purchased as singles. From 2013-14 Prime, it's a Zach Parise Prime Skates Extreme 1/1.


I actually got this card because of the Jamie Benn Prime Skates Extreme 1/1 I pulled from a box of Prime last month. After pulling the Benn, which has a Bauer logo literally bursting out of the cardboard, I posted it on a Facebook Hockey Card group that I am a part of. Before the evening was over, I negotiated a deal with a buyer that was simply too good for me to pass up. In the past, I have sold some high-dollar pulls, and ended up dispersing that Paypal to a few different ones, turning one awesome card into a few really good ones.

I was determined not to have that happen this time.

I'll admit that I did have a slight bit of seller's remorse, almost immediately, but a deal is a deal. To remedy that, I determined that what I needed to do, was use those funds to purchase an even better card, and turn it not into a sell, but really more of an upgrade. Looking at other Prime 1/1s on Ebay, I was concentrating mostly on Prime Skates Extreme, Prime Gloves Insignia, and Prime Ties. One card I came across was this Parise. The seller had it listed at WAY more than I was willing to spend, but he had a "best offer" option available. Upon looking at the listing, I realized that it was halfway into a 30-day listing period, and there had been no offers. I was hoping to eventually purchase the card at 50% of his listing price, so I gave him a low-ball offer of 40% thinking he would counter with the price I was hoping to pay. It took a few hours, but lo and behold, I would receive a message from Ebay saying that I had bought this item, meaning he accepted my offer. Not only that, but the price worked out that I would only have to add $25 to what I was paid for the Benn to Purchase the Parise. I was very happy with the "exchange rate" for the two cards.

Truthfully, between the Parise, the Benn, and the Pascal Dupuis that I already own, none of the scans of any of these cards do them justice. This one in particular has the fabric as almost a vinyl type of material, which gives it a texture and a slight amount of grey variation throughout. The logo itself is stamped in to the fabric, and it seems like there's just a slight amount of a sheen to the black and red coloring. What really sold me on this card, apart from the player it comes from is the stitching on either side of the logo, which signify it as coming from the heel of the skate. As cool as Benn's Bauer logo was, the heel placement and the stitching from it was just way too cool of a feature to pass up on.

Monday, September 22, 2014

2013-14 National Treasures Sidney Crosby Century Materials Prime Jersey 42/50

A couple of weeks ago, I opened up a box of National Treasures, and actually pulled a Penguin, getting an Evgeni Malkin Prime Jersey Booklet /25. I pulled a few other good cards as well, and was able to flip one of them for another Penguin. I parted ways  with a Brendan Gallagher autographed card and got this one in return:


From the Century Materials insert set, this is the Sidney Crosby Prime Jersey Parallel, numbered 42/50. I'm always glad to add another Sidney Crosby card to my collection, and it's even better when I can get a multi-colored swatch as part of it. Like Panini usually does, the seam of the swatch goes right down the middle, with the black and white clearly visible. It's a great card, and as much as I would have been ok holding on to the Gallagher, I had no problem swapping it for this one.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Gint-A-Cuffs VI, Part 5: The Conclusion

My Gint-A-Cuffs score has been pending for the past month, as I waited for the Commissioner to make a ruling on my box-topper, which was a five-card pack of red-bordered minis, serial-numbered to 33. Up to this point, my point total stood at 176.6.


According to the ruling, the cards are worth 4 points each, and with no favorite team or favorite player bonuses, will give me 20 points.

Pack Total: 20
Box Total: 196.6

As of now, this puts me in third place, but hopefully a generous bribe will help me create a few points out of thin air and I can pull ahead.

Either way, this is my second year doing Gint-A-Cuffs, and win or lose, I had a great time putting my portion of the contest together. See you all next year for Gint-A-Cuffs VII!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2-Box Break of 2013-14 Upper Deck Ultimate

So, I opened up 2 boxes of 2013-14 Ultimate about a month ago, and any time it takes me that long to post a box break, you know it didn't go that well. Anyway, Ultimate is Upper Deck's precursor to the Cup, and is their second-highest-end set of the year. For about $100, collectors will receive a four-card box, which will contain one base card, one rookie card, and two autograph or memorabilia cards, with at least one of those being an autograph.

Here's the video of my break:


Base cards: Pavel Datsyuk 50/499, Mike Ribeiro 55/499
Ultimate Rookies: Eric Hartzell 104/499, Sami Vatanen 396/499


The Hits

Hampus Lindholm Ultimate Rookie Jersey


Sean Monahan Ultimate Rookie Jersey


Mikael Granlund Ultimate Rookies Autograph /299


Jeff Skinner Autographed Threads 67/99


...and that's it.

This was my first time giving Ultimate a try, so I wasn't sure of exactly what to expect, but for some reason I felt underwhelmed. It seems like for a $100 2-hit box, there would be better than an un-numbered jersey card. At least all of the autographs are on-card. But when you compare the money I spent on these two boxes to the same amount spent on Prime, there are miles apart when it comes to value.

Man, I'm really going to miss Panini this year.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2013-14 Panini Prime Box Break

After going in for three boxes of 2012-13 Panini Prime last year, and pulling my top 2 hits of 2013, naturally, I had to give in to this year's product. Prime, every year, strives to be the top-of-the-line product when it comes to game-used memorabilia cards, and this year, they went big. With Panini's NHL & NHLPA licenses running out at the end of the 2013-14 collecting season, they dumped all of their leftover autographs, jerseys, patches, skates, gloves, and whatever else they had in stock, and the collectors benefited in a big way.

Each seven-card box of Prime is guaranteed to contain seven cards, which should consist of one base card, one autographed quad-jersey rookie card, one autograph, one memorabilia card, two additional autograph or memorabilia cards, and one additional base card or insert. Many boxes also contain an extra card or two of hits left over from previous releases.

Here's what my 8-card box gave me:

Base: Jonathan Quick 230/299, Erik Karlsson 102/299
The base cards this year actually combine elements from the previous two years. We have the diagonal design for the player name & brand logo like from 2011-12, and there's a closer-up photo in front of a smoky team-colored background, which is similar to 2012-13. I was also pretty happy with the players that I pulled. Of course, I wanted a Penguins, but with Quick and Karlsson, I could have done much worse.


Prime Rookies Autographed Quad Jersey 37/199
They did a great job this year of tying the design of the rookies with the design of the base cards. I know they have done similar things in the past, but I think this time they made them the most similar.  Laughton was drafted 20th overall by the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Since then, he made it up to the NHL for 5 games during the 2012-13 season, but failed to register a point. He was returned to the Oshawa Generals of the OHL for the 2013-14 season to get some additional seasoning, and he lit it up, scoring 40 goals and 47 assists in 54 games. He seems like he'll turn out to have a pretty good NHL career once he's ready. If only he wasn't a stinkin' Flyer.


Dave Dziurzynski 2013-14 Contenders NHL Ink Autograph
This is my bonus hit from the box. I'm not sure if these were leftover cards, or if they ended up being unfulfilled redemptions that people requested replacements for, but either way, I'm always happy to accept a bonus autograph.


Joakim Nordstrom Prime Time Rookies 26/50
The Prime Time Rookies cards are weirdly low-numbered,  considering it's just a jersey card. Of course, it is a jumbo swatch, so maybe the size has to do with the rarity. It's also a really cool card when you get into the patch /10 and NHL shield 1/1 variations.


Taylor Hall/Adam Henrique Prime Duals 77/200
These are the cards Prime is known for. Basically, anywhere from one to four players are depicted on the card. Jersey swatches are placed behind die-cut letters that tie the two players together. In this case, "FIRE" is in reference to the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL, where Hall and Henrique played junior hockey.


Viktor Fasth/Frederik Andersen Prime Signatures Gold 5/25
These are just great looking cards. You get player images on the left side, which are a bit pushed together, but there is plenty of room to the right for both players to leave their signatures. Like the Prime Duals card above, the Prime Signature Duals tie the two players together with some kind of connection. In this case, both players were Anahem Ducks goaltenders during most of the 2013-14 season. Andersen worked his way up to a starting position with the team, and Fasth was traded to the Edmonton Oilers, where he will compete with Ben Scrivens for the starting job. And as an extra bonus, this card is a gold parallel, with a /25 serial number.


Jamie Benn Prime Skates Extreme 1/1
Now this card is really what Prime is all about. The product has built up a reputation for showcasing some truly unique pieces of memorabilia, and this year saw the debut of Prime Skates Extreme, which is a 1/1 card showcasing the brand logo from a player's skate. In the case of Bauer, the logo is almost like a bubble, with it literally bursting out of the card, in fact, from the side, you can even see where the top layer of cardboard couldn't even make it to the rest of the card, due to it being pushed out so far. 



Just a day or two after opening this box, the card was already out of my hands. I sold it to another member of a Hockey Cards Facebook group that I am a part of. I almost made my money back on the box & it was just too good of an offer to pass up. I used that money, along with a little of my own, to purchase another Prime Skates Extreme card. I'll be sure to post it when I get it, but be assured, while I wasn't sure of whether or not I wanted to part with the Benn in the first place, it was a no-brainer to get rid of it for the card I landed.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Contest Results: We Have A Winner!

Hey everyone. Thank you all for following my new blog, Not Pulled From Packs. I had a total of 12 people enter, which gives me a great start on bringing in some traffic for my latest blogging endeavor.

All 12 people were placed in the randomizer in the order that their comments appeared on the Contest post. Two people promoted the blog on their own blog, giving them one extra entry each. I randomized the list 3 times, and here's what we have:

Random 1:

Random 2:

Random 3:

Congratulations to Al Kawamoto! E-mail me your address to matt-pederson(AT)hotmail(DOT)com and I'll get your prize out to you.

Thank you to everyone for your support!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CONTEST: Promoting My New Blog

Hey, everyone, I just wanted to make all of my followers aware of a brand new blog that I have begun publishing. It is called "Not Pulled From Packs," and focuses on in-person autographs, through-the-mail successes, game-used memorabilia, and every other part of my collection that is not found on a piece of cardboard.


So, anyway, to promote this blog, and by "promote," I mean "pander to my readers of this blog for follows on that blog," I am holding a contest. Basically, all you have to do is go to Not Pulled From Packs, follow the blog, and leave a message here saying you've done so. That's pretty much it. This Friday at noon CST, I will randomize the entries and award someone their prizes.

What are those prizes? How about this:

Since there's no way for me to know of an entrant's favorite sport, I'm throwing in one really cool card from each of the four major sports:

2010 Panini Century Collection Tony Gwynn Souvenir Stamps Jersey/Stamp 228/250


2013-14 Fleer Showcase Richard Panik Hot Prospects Auto/Patch 357/375


2010-11 Treads Wayne Ellington Century Collection Materials Patch 34/50


2012 Crown Royale Dwayne Allen Silhouette Auto/Patch 225/349


One lucky winner will receive all four cards.

Entries will be gathered just from the replies to this post, and from no other means. Also, if anyone wants to plug this contest on their blog, I will award one extra entry. Be sure to note that in the comments of this post as well, if that is the case.

That seems to be it, so get those entries in & I'll see you all on Friday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2011-12 Limited Sidney Crosby Team Trademarks Aurographed Prime Jersey Card

Here is an item I have been eager to get my hands on for quite some time. A couple years ago, I went on a pretty hardcore spending spree with 2011-12 Limited. I was just starting to really go all in with hockey, and it was my first experience with a high-end set. Maybe for that reason, I was just blown away seeing the base cards, inserts, and hits of a high-quality set, and I still have an affection for this particular year of limited. 

In fact, on my very first pack of the product, I pulled a Sidney Crosby Prime jersey card numbered to 25, but I now have a card even better than that one.


This beauty comes from the Team Trademarks set, and actually is a parallel. The base version is just a basic insert, but rarer versions contain a jersey swatch or an autograph, or a combination of the two. This version is serial-numbered 23/25 and contains a prime jersey swatch, along with an on-card autograph. I always love the prime swatches, because you are always guaranteed to get that seam down the middle. A good patch is better, but you always run the risk of the dreaded single-colored patch. Either way, this one gives me a clean autograph and a beautiful two-colored memorabilia piece, making it an amazing addition to my collection.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Quad Contenders Auto With A Duo of Penguins

Here's a pretty cool card from 2013-14 contenders that I picked up on Ebay, featuring two players from the team I love, and two players from the team I hate.


Besides being soiled with two stinkin' Flyers (Scott Laughton and Matthew Konan), this card features autographs from the top two Penguins rookies this year not named Olli Maatta. Beau Bennett was actually a rookie during the 2012-13 season, but due to restrictions stemming from the lockout, didn't have any cards produced until 2013-14. Jeff Zatkoff saw quite a bit of playing time last year, as Tomas Vokoun was out with an injury, and did pretty well, although he stunk in EVERY game I saw him play including the one NHL game I attended live this year, when they visited the Minnesota Wild. This coming year should give Bennett a good chance at a big opportunity, as he is a leading candidate to line up next to Evgeni Malkin and Patric Hornqvist. Zatkoff on the other had, will really have to fight for a permanent NHL slot, as newly-signed Thomas Griess is expected to be Marc-Andre Fleury's backup on the pro squad.