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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.

Monday, September 26, 2016

2015-16 SP Authentic Box Break (Major Connor McDavid Hit!!!)

Next to The Cup, SP Authentic is one of the most sought after products released by Upper Deck every year. Upper Deck has done a great job of building the prestige of its rookie cards, from the Young Guns of the flagship product to the Rookie Patch Autos of the Cup, and with SP Authentic, we have the Future watch autos and auto patches.

I've only opened one box of SP Authentic before and did really well, pulling a redemption for a Bo Horvat Future Watch Patch Auto, which I then traded for 3 out of 4 Sidney Crosby printing plates from 2011-12 Pinnacle. I was hoping this box would be just as good, so let's see what I got!

From the base cards, I got players from 2 out of 3 of my player collections with Sidney Crosby and Zach Parise (Shane Doan doesn't have a base card in this set, just a high-priced Franchise Icons SP). The base cards stay similar to past year's thematically, but like years past, they work out amazing for IP or TTM autos, which is always a plus for me.


I also got 4 Legends SPs, which are included at a rate of 1:5 packs, which are nice, especially when one of those Legends is Wayne Gretzky


Next on the SP portion of the base set it the All-Time Moments and Authentic Momemts, which chronicle specific events from the past season (Authentic Moments) and seasons past (All-Time Moments). Cards featuring individual players are inserted at a rate of 1:13 packs, while those with multiple players, like the Joe Sakic/Patric Roy that I pulled are 1:50


To close the base set out is the Future Watch rookie cards, which are always the big draw of this particular product. I only got one unsigned Future Watch card, of Ottawa Senators rookie Ryan Dzingel. He played in 30 NHL games this year, scoring 3 goals and 6 assists, and considering the variety of rookie cards that make it in to products each year, you could do a lot worse.


As far as inserts go, on of the ones I like is the Updates, with gives updated cards of the flagship product to players who changed teams throughout the season, and Young Guns rookies to players who made their NHL debut late in the season.


Lastly on the insert list is the 1995-96 Retro cards, which pay tribute to the SP cards from that particular year.


Now to the hits. Each box of SP Authentic is guaranteed to contain three autographed cards, and all of them are hard-signed, which is a major plus for me. The first is from the long-running Sign of the Times insert set signed by Matt Beleskey of the Boston Bruins.


While I ended up with only one unsigned Future Watch rookie card, I did pull two autographed ones. The first is of Calgary Flames. Poirier spent most of the 2015-16 season with the AHL's Abbotsford Heat, making it to the NHL for just two games


As underwhelming as that one was, my final hit more than makes up for it, as I pulled one of the biggest cards from this product, with a Connor McDavid Future Watch Autographed card! Of course, like many players of this era, McDavid has a scribble for a signature, but all things considered, it is still a great-looking card. The design works really well, as it is able to showcase the player image, as well as the autograph, and all of the white surface on the card really makes the important elements stand out. Of course, regardless of looks, the fact that I pulled one of the top 5 cards of a once-in-a-generation type of player, makes it all that much better.


Of course, the fact that I pulled such an amazing card may sway my opinion, but I thought that the was a great product. The base cards look good, the inserts are cool, and there is a really good chance you could pull something major. Combine all of that with a decent price point, and this is really a great product to take a good chance at.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Top 10 Pack Pulls of 2016

Here's a running tab of the top 10 cards I have been lucky enough to pull from packs during the 2016 calendar year.

Updated 10/6/2016

10. 2015-16 Contours Sean Couturier Youth Movement /399

9. 2015-16 Contours CM Punk High Profile Fans


8. 2015-16 Contors Oscar Lindberg Rookies /499


7. 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Guy Lafleur Jersey /25


6. 2015-16 Fleer Showcase Nikolay Goldobin Hot Prospects Rookie Auto Patch /499


5. 2015-16 SPX Connor Hellebuyck Rookies Auto Jersey


4. 2015-16 Exquisite Mikko Rantanen Rookies /249


3. 2015-16 Ice Seth Jones Rinkside Signings


2. 2016-17 Artifacts Evgeni Malkin Base Materials Autograph /25


1. 2015-16 SP Authentic Connor McDavid Future Watch Autograph




Friday, September 16, 2016

2015-16 Upper Deck Ice Box Break

I bought this box, like three months ago, did the scans and everything, but just never got around to posting it Anyway, I want to get this up, so I suppose I'll just power through it, with brief analysis, before I get my next boz of cards and get double behind.

Ice is really cool, because it's an all-acetate set. It's tough to really convey that through scans, but just imagine all the white parts are clear.


There are varying levels of rookies, with varying serial numbers based on that tier. I got four in total: Brady Skjei 1311/1499, Brendan Gaunce 652/1499, Joel Vermin 1719/1999, Mike Condon Level 2 731/799





Zachary Fucale Global Impact
These cards have a simple concept, in that they focus on a players country of origin. With the country's flag superimposed (is that the right word?) over a world map, they are some very cool-looking cards.


Zachary Fucale WJC 23/1299
This guy again!  Not much to explain here These cards focus on players who have represented Canada in the World Junior Championship.


Nick Ritchie Fresh Threads Jersey
Now to the hits! Unlike the base cards and inserts, the Fresh Threads cards are not done in an acetate material, which would be tougher to do with a thicker card. 


Mikko Rantanen Exquisite Collection Auto 80/249
These are actually really nice-looking cards. Exquisite is kind of it's own seperate set, with cards eing inserted across various products. It's done with a thick card stock, and the clean white finish really gives it a high-end look.


Seth Jones Rinkside signings Auto
This is definitely the best card out of the box, not only because it's of a player I really like, but because it's just really cool. It's a thicker card, but the signature is done on an acetate surface shaped like an ice rink that is inserted into the card. I always love to find something like this that shows you something you can't really find anywhere else. 


That's it for the box. Ice is a popular product that made its return when Upper Deck added to their annual product line-up. It's also nice to see that they are trying to do something unique with what they put into it. There really are some amazing cards to be pulled from it.