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Friday, November 30, 2012

Group Break Part 2: 2011-12 ITG Enforcers

Next on the agenda is 2011-12 In the Game Enforcers. This is a one-pack-per-box product focusing on the toughest competitors in hockey's history. Each pack contains five base cards, five autographed cards, and two memorabilia cards.

So, let's get to it:

Here's a breakdown of the cards, and more importantly, which teams they will be heading to:

Brad May Instigator Prime Jersey (VAN)
Dave Schultz & Terry O'Reilly Combatants Dual Jersey (PHI)

Terry O'Reilly Auto (BOS)
John Wensink Auto (QUE/COL) (I may have said Toronto in the video, but he never played for the Leafs. The closest I could identify the jersey to was the Quebec Nordiques)
Craig Berube Auto (WAS)
Bob McGill Auto (TOR)
Trevor Gillies Auto (NYI)

Tony Twist & Bob Probert Bloody Battles (STL)
Bob Probert & Tie Domi Bloody Battles (NYR)
Laus/Worrell/Thompson/Belak Tough Franchise (FLA)

Link Gaetz & Gino Odjick Tale of the Tape (VAN)
John Kordic & Basil McRae (MIN/DAL)

There you have it for Enforcers. It was a cool product to open and we got some pretty unique cards. Just one more to go!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Group Break Part 1: 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology

Well, the cards are finally here! Let's get things started.

First up is 2011-12 Rookie Anthology. It's a 10-pack box with 5 cards per pack. Each pack will contain either a hit or an extended rookie card from Pinnacle, Crown Royale, or Contenders. Four of the hits will be in the packs themselves, and the fifth one will be in the form of a one-card bonus pack.

Without further ado, here's the video:

Here are the scans of some of the major cards

The Hits:

Gustav Nyquist Certified Auto/Jersey 64/299 (DET)
Erik Gudbranson Rookie Treasures Auto/Dual Jersey /499 (FLA)

Carl Hagelin & Adam Henrique Rookie Rivalry (Randomed to NYR)
Louis Leblanc & Ben Scrivens Rookie Rivalry (Randomed to MTL)

Jason Spezza Luxury Suite Stick/Jersey (OTT)

And here are the rookies:

Erik Gustafsson Pinnacle (PHI)
Dylan Olsen Pinnacle (CHI)
Cody Eakin (WSH)
Anders Nilsson (NYI)
Andy Miele Contenders 960/999 (PHO)
Tomas Kundratek Crown Royale (WSH)

One important note on the two Rookie Rivalry cards that were randomed off. I had planned on doing the randomization directly on video at the very end of this box, but my battery ran out. So, I ended up doing the randomization at the end of the Enforcers box break. I wanted to do it on the same video as one of the boxes, since both cards contained players from teams that I had. This way, you all would know that everything is on the up and up.

There you have it. We're off to a good start so far. The next box, 2011-12 ITG Enforcers will be posted tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Black Friday Box of 2012-13 Certified Hockey

While doing some Black Friday shopping last week, I stopped by my LCS to pick up a few things. I've already written about by Black Friday packs and the Rookies and Stars Football box I had to purchase to get them. Here's the box of hockey cards I picked up to go along with it.

With the 2012-13 hockey card year so young, pretty much the only products out there are Score, Certified, Upper Deck, and Artifacts. I've purchased Certified and Artifacts already, and enjoyed both, but being a Panini guy, I decided to go with another (this would be my third) box of Certified.

Without further ado, here are the hits:

I must be perfectly honest, I was pretty disappointed in the hits at first. There's a Freshman Signatures autograph, which is fine, but my other auto was one I just pulled a couple of weeks ago!!! The relics were ok, but nothing too spectacular.

My opinion soon turned when I did a little more research. If you'll notice, the Dylan Prout and Frans Nielsen card have some low serial numbers (/50 and /75). As it turns out, I had stumbled upon a "Hot Box."

I haven't been able to nail down any concrete details of what a Hot Box entails, but from what I understand, it basically ensures that your box is filled with rarer-than-usual inserts, like the Prout and Nielsen.

What it also means is that every pack contains special refractory Hot Box parallels in place of the base cards. Here's a look at the regular (left) and Hot Box (right) versions.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, as it basically ensures that NONE of these "base" cards can be put toward the base set that I'm building. On the other hand, they can be flipped on Ebay for a decent amount, which would allow me to purchase those base cards, plus a few extras.

I also got two other "Hot Box" cards, a mirror gold Taylor Hall and a Riley Sheahan rookie card. The Hall might not be a Hot Box card, and its rarity (14/25) may be coincidental, but the Sheahan (91/99) is definitely a Hot Box variation.

I also received three non-Hot Box Inserts: Mike Bossy Immortals 818/999, Henrik Zetterberg Certified Stars 78/999, and Stephen Weiss/Martin Brodeur 230/99.

While I won't be collecting the set of Hot Box parallels and won't be including them in the base set I'm working on, I am keeping these 6 for my player collections. I also pulled a Ryan Getzlaf that will be heading over to Greg Z. The other 35 will be hitting Ebay at some point soon.

Group Break Update - One More Day

Hey everybody, just a quick update on the break. I checked the UPS tracking on the boxes, and it looks like they still won't be delivered until Thursday. I was hoping for an early delivery, with the Thanksgiving holiday, but it looks like that won't be the case. Anyway, secondary teams are still available to be traded, but I'm cutting off the trade deadline at midnight tonight. I'll keep you posted if they somehow manage to find their way here a day early. Thanks!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

2012 Rookies & Stars Football Hobby Box Break

I went to my LCS on Black Friday hoping to score not only some more hockey cards for my collection, but a few of those special Panini Black Friday packs as well. The packs were the main objective, so whatever I would need to do to obtain them would greatly influence specifically what it was that I would purchase.

Unfortunately for me, there were specific Panini boxes that were good for the Black Friday promotion, and the only hockey product that qualified was 2012-13 Score, which I wasn't really interested in. So, I decided to take a risk on a football product.

I ended up going with a box of 2012 Rookies & Stars, mostly because that box resulted in the most Black Friday packs. Here's a look at what I got.

This is EASILY the coolest card of the box. It features Jaguars rookie Justin Blackmon and is serial numbered 22/50. The card has a slide of Blackmon taken from a photo at the Rookie Premier, and the signature is directly on the slide itself. The card is cut out around the entire side on the front and is cut out on the back side of the card just around the slide image, to let light through and make it more visible. I don't care about Blackmon or the Jaguars a whole lot, but this card might be a keeper, just for the coolness factor.

The next hit was a jersey card of Broncos rookie Ronnie Hillman. The card is from their Crusade relic set, which features a large swatch on the side of the card, and is a purple variation, which carries the low serial number of 28/4.

An auto of Bengals rookie George Iloka serial numbered 170/499. While this card isn't anywhere close to being as cool as the Blackmon, I do like that their are a couple of autographed cards in every box.

My fourth hit is of another rookie, Michael Egnew of the Miami Dolphins. It is serial numbered 109/399 and comes from the True Blue variation of the Rookie Materials insert set.

I got lucky with my Texans content as well. I only plan on buying this one box of Rookies and Stars, so it sure was nice to be able to hit the big 3 (Schaub, Foster, and Johnson) plus four rookies.

Each box also contains one Longevity foil parallel, and I was extremely lucky to have mine be of Texans running back Arian Foster, numbered 12/249.

This product was one of the first releases of the year, so a lot of people who ended up on new teams had not yet played in their new uniforms. Panini made an extra effort, though, to feature two of those players, Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow, in the practice gear for their new teams.

Just some parallels. Nothing too special with these.

More inserts, including a gold parallel of Clay Matthews numbered 279/500

These die-cut pennant cards are pretty cool, too, but none of them are for teams or players that I am remotely interested in.

These are the final group of inserts that carry the biggest star power, and provide me with one final Texan card.

There you have it. Considering I don't buy football all that much, this was a fun box to open. I don't like that all four hits were of rookies, but at least there were some cool ones instead of just the plain white swatches and sticker autos we're all used to (although those were there, too).

Anyway, I'm keeping the Texans cards, but everything else is up for trade, so just let me know if you are interested,

Monday, November 26, 2012

More Random Cards From Ebay

Here's a few more cards I picked up off of Ebay.

I would write more, but I worked an over-night shift last night and haven't gotten a bit of sleep since I woke up from yesterday's nap at 5:15 p.m.

So here's a quick look at some cool cards, then I'm going to bed.

2011-12 Dominion Rookie Auto Paul Postma 182/199

2000 Fleer Gamers Randall Cunningham Jersey

2012-13 Artifacts Ryan Getzlaf  112/125

2011-12 Limited Cam Ward Crease Cleaners 9/99

Good night, everybody.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Brian Strait Dominion Printing Plate

I just picked up a rather unique deviation for my 2011-12 Dominion Rookie Patch Auto collection. Partially because it's part of the set that I am trying to build, but mostly because he's a Penguin, I grabbed up a magenta printing plate of Brian Strait.

Despite my expansive collection of Pittsburgh Penguins cards, this is actually my first 1/1. It may not be a huge milestone, considering how many printing plates there are out there, but it is a noteworthy one, still. Anyway, the red plate can sometimes be a little weird, but in this case, it still shows a good amount of detail. One cool thing about these plates, is that along with the regular version featuring a patch, this one does too, which is a cool extra touch. My only complaint is, if they can do that with a patch to match the regular version, couldn't they have also thrown a sticker auto on the front to match it that way as well? 

The other cool feature of these plates is that instead of just throwing a sticker with a basic description on the back, they put the regular card back. The only difference from the original is that it still has the rounded edges that most printing plates do, plus it has the all-important 1/1 designation in the upper right-hand corner.

Un unexpected surprise, however, came in the casing of the card. The seller was kind enough to put it in a hard-plastic magnetic snap-down case. That's where it would be going anyway, but it saves me from having to use one of mine.

It may have been a little bit of a deviation away from the specific set I am working on, but it was too cool of an item to pass up.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Group Break Update - Randomized Secondary Teams

Okay everybody, I have now officially closed the entries to my group break. Thanks to three more teams being claimed in the last few days, I am only needing to cover four slots myself, which is nice. Anyway, here's the final list of which teams have been claimed and who has claimed them:

1. Pittsburgh Penguins - Matt Pederson
2. Los Angeles Kings - Arno
3. Boston Bruins - buckstorecards
4. Philadelphia Flyers - Brad's Blog
5. Edmonton Oilers - Roy-Z
6. Minnesota Wild - Roy-Z
7. Chicago Blackhawks - Nick B.
8. New Jersey Devils - Dave H
9. Toronto Maple Leafs - CoffeeJunkee
10. St. Louis Blues - CoffeeJunkee
11. Tampa Bay Lightning - Justin G.
12. New York Rangers - Matt Pederson
13. Detroit Red Wings - Matt Pederson
14. Colorado Avalanche - Matt Pederson
15. Washington Capitals - Matt Pederson

The 15 remaining teams will be placed in the randomizer, randomized 3X, and then assigned to those 15 slots in that order.

Randomized once:

Three Times:

And here is the final list of assigned teams:

1. Matt Pederson - Pittsburgh Penguins & San Jose Sharks
2. Arno - Los Angeles Kings & Carolina Hurricanes
3. buckstorecards - Boston Bruins & Winnipeg Jets
4. Brad's Blog - Philadelphia Flyers & Montreal Canadiens
5. Roy-Z - Edmonton Oilers & Vancouver Canucks
6. Roy-Z - Minnesota Wild & Nashville Predators
7. Nick B. - Chicago Blackhawks & Anaheim Ducks
8. Dave H - New Jersey Devils & New York Islanders
9. CoffeeJunkee - Toronto Maple Leafs & Ottawa Senators
10. CoffeeJunkee - St. Louis Blues & Florida Panthers
11. Justin G. - Tampa Bay Lightning & Phoenix Coyotes
12. Matt Pederson - New York Rangers & Dallas Stars
13. Matt Pederson - Detroit Red Wings & Columbus Blue Jackets
14. Matt Pederson - Colorado Avalanche & Calgary Flames
15. Matt Pederson - Montreal Canadiens & Buffalo Sabres

Those are the final lists. However, if you don't like your secondary team, and have another one you have your eye on, you are more than welcome to trade your team for another, if the other person agrees to it. Just be sure that all team trading is done on this post.

The boxes shipped out on Wednesday and are expected to get here on the 29th. (I guess UPS is taking a few days off for the Thanksgiving holiday as well as Saturday/Sunday, as their "Four Business Days" comes out to eight actual days.) Once they get here, I am going to close off trading, so be sure to swap your teams, just in case they arrive early.

Thanks for participating, everybody!

Friday, November 23, 2012

8 Packs of Panini Black Friday

After making a trip to my LCS at 7 a.m. Friday morning, I came away with eight packs of their special Black Friday cards. Of course, I had to stray away from hockey to do it (they were only available with certain Panini Products, so I bought a box of Rookies and Stars football), but after missing out on last year's promotion, I decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about this year.

Each pack contains 2 cards. Here's the pack-by-pack of what I got:

Pack 1:
Jermaine Gresham Breast Cancer Awareness Football Relic
Jonathan Quick

Pack 2:
Kyrie Irving
George Brett Diamond Kings

Pack 3:
Tony Romo Thanksgiving
Russell Wilson Gridiron Kings

Pack 4:
Tim Tebow Thanksgiving
Ray Lewis

Pack 5:
Bryce Harper
Blake Griffin

Pack 6:
Biz Markie
Eli Manning

Pack 7:
Alex Ovechkin
Peyton Manning

Pack 8:
Dont'a Hightower Prestige NFL Draft Patch Relic
Albert Pujols

For eight "free" packs, I'd say I did pretty well. Two relics wasn't bad at all. I LOVE that four-colored patch card of Hightower, and as the husband of a cancer survivor, I can definitely appreciate the Gresham. Of course, I'm sure I'll just throw them both, and most of these, on Ebay as soon as I get the chance, but overall, I'd say this was a pretty fun experience.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Trade With Cardboard Collections

Although I am primarily a hockey card guy, it's nice to do a trade or two from one of my side collecting interests. In this case, wrestling. Colbey from Cardboard Collections is a fellow WWE fan and collector, and when I saw the contents of a box of 2012 Topps WWE that he opened, I had to get my hands on this mat relic card of Dolph Ziggler.

The cool thing with this card is not only is it of a wrestler that I'm a big fan of, but it's identified as being a piece of the very mat used during Wrestlemania 28. During this event, Ziggler, who was part of the 5-man "Team Johnny" took on "Team Teddy" to determine who would run both Raw and Smackdown: John Laurinaitis or Teddy Long. Ziggler's team would win, thanks to The Miz (one of my other favorites) hit the Skull-Crushing Finale on Zach Ryder.

Ziggler currently holds the Money in the Bank briefcase after winning the MIB match at the July Pay-Per-View event, which guarantees him a championship match whenever he chooses for the World Heavyweight Championship. His star definitely appears to be rising, as he is currently involved in a feud with John Cena, the WWE's top superstar.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Upcoming Group Break: Last Call on Teams. Plenty of Slots Available

Hey everyone. I just wanted to send out a quick reminder that sign ups for my group break are now live. I will be opening up a box each of 2010-11 Luxury Suite, 2011-12 Rookie Anthology, and 2011-12 ITG Enforcers. Each slot is just $16 and includes two teams (1 your choice, 1 random). Please take a look at the following link and give some consideration to joining up. There are plenty of good card to be had.

TWENTY hits will be opened from the boxes, and I will throw in a hit from my own collection to anybody who does not get one from these boxes. This way, everybody has 100% certainty that they will be coming away with something.

I placed the order for the boxes today and it has already shipped, so sign-ups will soon be closed. I will give 1 more day to see if there are any takers. Since I will have to foot the bill for any unclaimed teams, I will claim the remaining slots for my own, but all slots will still get a second randomed team. I will randomize the secondary teams tomorrow, which should give a few days for you to trade off your alternate teams, if you decide to do so.

Anyway, go check it out, and anyone who is already involved, if you could promote it on your blog, I would really appreciate it. Thanks!