Tuesday, February 28, 2012

1995-96 Topps Series 2 Box Break!

Last week my girlfriend went to an antique market, while there she asked me if I wanted anything and I asked her to keep an eye opened for sealed boxes. I figured the usual garbage would be there if anything, so I was surprised when I got a text saying "92-93 score $32 and 95-96 Topps $15". I had to do a double take. I did indeed confirm it was the right box by asking my girlfriend in a way she would understand: "is there a guy in a New York Rangers jersey on the box with a silly looking helmet?". She confirmed with a "yes" I instantly called her and asked her to buy it for me. I figured it was series one so I mentioned to her that the series two boxes are much tougher to find, she replied" it is series two".  She bought the box for me and I decided to put it in my sealed wax box collection.

This past weekend we went back to the antique market, this time together. I picked up another box, to open this time and did very well.

These are the odds for inserts on the back of the packs:

Profiles 1:24
Young Stars 1:48
Mystery Finest 1:72
Finest Refractor 1:432
Home Grown 1:36
Power Booster 1:72
OPC Parallel 1:1

I was in tough to pull many inserts from the box, given that the box has only 36 packs of 5 cards each. I was really happy that each pack yielded a OPC parallel. These are tough to find and because this box is the Canadian retail version, they yield one OPC per pack.

This is the first card I pulled in my first pack. Great for me as I don't have this Soderstrom card already and secondly, it's an awesome looking card.

Now on to the hits!

I did really well! The box yielded two Home Grown Dougie's, back to back pack hits. I pulled a Marquee Men Gretzky 1:72 packs and not to mention the best hit out of the power boosters. I hit some nice OPC parallels including an Alfie Rookie and the above Chris Chelios.

The Sakic profiles and Gretzky Marquee Men are doubles and are for trade.

My master set of the 95-96 Topps series is looking a lot better now. I will post a want list from the set very shortly. The antique market has two more boxes, so I may find a way to get back there.

Friday, February 24, 2012

90's Inserts and Parallel Lot Pick Up Part #4

I'm trying to get myself caught up with all my mail. I recieved another lot yesterday, so I am hoping  to get this first lot posted so I can show off the next lot.

This is another large chunk of the lot. I still have some more cards to go. I really like the Leaf Press Proofs of Thibault and Tabaracci. These cards can be a challenge to find for a fair price. The skybox deflectors are doubles, so they are available for trade.

I don't have much ambition to go after all the crazy parallels Pacific put out, but I have no issue picking up as many as I can for cheap and see what happens!

This lot is mainly goalies, the Redden card is one of the very skater cards in the lot.

Matt Capps TTM Mail Day

It's not very often I get a baseball success. This one was sent out maybe two years ago and I have no idea where it got sent to.

I'm happy to see these back as I'm casually working on the heritage set. I hope to send out more baseball TTM's this season.

Troy Gamble TTM Mail Day

An AMAZING TTM success. Gamble has been tough to track down. I have wanted to get his 'graph since I started TTM collecting about eight years ago.

Sadly,I have heard through the Internet community that Gamble's son was killed in Afghanistan. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family if this is true.

Gamble retired in the mid 90's after finishing his career with the Houston Aero's. He is still living in Houston today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

90's Insert and Parallel Lot Pick Up Part 3

A few silver scripts were included in this lot. I always liked the look of the silver scripts and I'm starting to accumulate a nice amount of the 98-99 one's (Ranford).

I'm hoping to post the rest of the lot very soon as I recently received over 800 inserts & parallels from the 90's and I would like to post up the nice gems of the lot.

Reunited and it Feels So Good

I posted a while ago that I had picked this card up again after selling it off a few years ago and that I had always regretted it.  I now have it in hand again! Time to celebrate!

Sergio Momesso TTM Mail Day

Sergio Momesso never fully lived up to the hype from his junior days. He did manage to put together a decent enough career, mainly finding success with the Canucks.

Momesso signed in dreaded ball point pen, although I am never one to complain about getting an autograph.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Why I Don't Go After Current Releases

1) Upper Deck Series One & Two

Each year, Upper Deck is a very popular player in the market thanks to "Young Guns" rookie cards. When the set goes live, the demand for these cards is high and people literally fight over these cards paying top dollar. I always tell people that the worst investment you can make in the hobby is loading up on the current years hottest young guns. These cards don't hold there value.

When I was selling cards I tried busting a case of 2009-10 UD series one. The set had already been live for about a month and the cards were still selling for a decent amount, especially the young gun of John Tavares. In my case I only pulled one Tavares rookie and sold it for roughly $70 with shipping. Tavares is currently putting together the best season of his young career and his coming off a red hot January with 22 points in 13 games. Presently his Young Gun rookie is selling for $30-$40 plus shipping.

While the big name young guns always seem to decline in value, the lesser known players who emerge later on can you make a small profit. Take Erik Karlsson for example. When I broke my Upper Deck case, I sold off some of the cards with free shipping. I pulled two Erik Karlsson young guns and sold each for under $3. The card is currently in the ten dollar range with some selling as high as $15. Not a massive profit by any means but at least the card increased in value.

2. Way Too Many Releases

As you can see above, these are sell sheets for 2011-12 releases. Not all products are on there as well, including all ITG products. So that list is just the tip of the iceberg!

For a set collector and even a player collector, all these releases present a nightmare, it can even drive people away from collecting all together. It's not very often that you come across a set collector for current products. Most people don't have deep enough wallets and this causes them to part ways with collecting all together.

The only company I have any interest in, for recent releases is ITG, as they use a nice collection of retired players, not to mention they offer a product (BTP), that complete caters to goalie collectors.

3. Redemptions and Delayed Release Dates

These are a major headache and I have heard so many horror stories with redemptions never being filled and being replaced with very poor alternatives. Some products have way too many redemptions and it really takes away the thrill of box breaking. Most of the redemptions can be found on higher end products, mainly with the bigger names like Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby etc.

Delayed release dates drive me nuts! Especially considering for each product, you have a large amount of collectors who are looking forward to the release date for a long time and have saved money accordingly.  A big reason why I have taken to ITG product is that they stand by there release dates and have all products out on time. Considering how expensive the hobby is now, companies owe it to collectors to get all products out by the promised release date.

The list could go on, but I don't want to hate on new products too much. This hobby is really great and everyone has there own way to collect that they really enjoy. For me it's going after kids from my childhood, with a small amount of more modern releases.

What do you dislike about newly released products this season?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Scott Scissons TTM Mail Day

Most of you folks out there are probably asking, Scott who? In the 1990 entry draft the New Islanders thought very highly of him and picked him 6th overall in the draft.

His pro career was very short lived due to injuries and after only parts of three pro seasons, he retired from hockey. Sad if you ask me. At least he can say he made it to the show, even though he only played in two games and was held pointless.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Vincent Damphousse TTM Mail day

A pretty good success, Damphousse had a good career, although his little hic-up post career with his wife may have tarnished his reputation.

Not sure why I sent all Habs cards! I guess I wasn't thinking at the time as I would have liked to get a Sharks card signed seeing as I already have a Leafs one signed from a previous submission.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

90's Insert and Parallel Lot Pick Up Part #2

A few Leaf steel cards! These cards are actually made of metal and quite nice. These cards have a protective layer on them, however three of the layers were already peeled off the cards when I got them. Not really a big deal to me, still great cards. I hope to do the set!

To do this day, I still can't believe Eric Fichaud never established himself as a pro goalie, he really had all the tools, it just didn't work out for him.

David Aebischer TTM Mail Day

I really though this guy would have a better season in the minors. After being away from North American hockey for a few years, Aebischer is back and putting up average numbers in the AHL. Eddie Pasquale has out played him this season and given that he is the younger of the two, I'm sure Jets management wants him to play more.

After Patrick Roy's retirement, Aebsicher was suppose to take over in the AVS net for years to come. His career declined pretty fast and he never really lived up to the hype. Still, I hope Aebischer does make it back to the NHL, even for just one game as a nice gesture of sticking it out when things don't really goes as planned.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sergei Gonchar TTM Mail Day

One of the best offensive d-men from the last few decades, Sergei Gonchar! While is career is on the down swing, I really wonder if he has mentored Karlsson and has contributed to his success this season as being the premier offensive d-men in the league.

One of the side sets I'm working on for autographs is 08-09 OPC due to the simple set design and the non gloss stock. The set is quite big and I only have about 50 cards signed.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pat Riggin TTM Mail Day

I pulled this card as a kid in one of those mix packs from Toys'r'us, just like the Bob Froese card. It's been sitting collecting dust ever since and I figured it would look nice signed. I'm glad I got around to sending this card out as it looks great signed.

I'm still catching up with mail, you will be seeing a few more TTM successes posted in the next few days.

Friday, February 10, 2012

90's Insert and Parallel Lot Pick Up Part #1

I managed to pick up a pretty sweet lot of 90's inserts and parallels. There is a total of 80 cards in the lot and I paid $10 including shipping. A fantastic deal that I could not pass up! I will be posting a few cards here and there over the next little while. My first batch consists of some electric ice parallels from 1995-96!

Not sure if I will ever do the electric ice set as it's pretty large but you never know what could happen when I pick up a few cards here and there.

I'm also happy to mention that most of the cards in the lot are goalies! Look for part 2 soon!

Paul MacLean TTM Mail Day

Current head coach of the Ottawa Senators! Another card to knock off my 90-91 Topps list. I am glad he got the job with Ottawa because before I had no idea where this guy was!

Not a bad player back in his day, MacLean once posted 100+ points for the Jets back in the mid 1980's!

A Comeback, A Call Up and Some Mail!

I have not been able to post much lately due to a busy life, although the mail box has been quite full these days!

The comeback and call up in my title features myself and my attempt this season to get back into hockey. My last full season was in 2008-09, playing for my school team. In an injury plagued season, I finished with 7 goals and 21 assists in 31 games. Not stellar numbers, but decent considering I was playing at a very high level.

Once I got my diploma from school my life became focused on establishing myself in my career and letting my body heal. I thought I was done with hockey. The only problem is hockey becomes a part of you and you are never really done with it. Every year in the late summer, I kept getting the bug to play. Finally, healthy this past summer I decided to do something about it.

Starting a new job in the summer didn't give me a whole lot of flexibility for joining a team, so I got myself in shape and let my friends teams know that I was ready and able to play if they were ever short.

Three month's into the season I had heard nothing from any of the teams an despite getting myself in to great shape (working out and playing shinny 2-4 times a week) I was losing motivation and ready to get on with my life.I almost went an entire week without playing, thankfully I forced myself to go out at week's end and a day later I got the call I had been waiting for: I was getting called to go played in an organized, official game of hockey.

As expected my first game back was a little bit sluggish, but by the third period I had found my legs, although it was too late as the team got pounded 7-2.

A little bit disappointed and not sure if I would get another call, I did, this time two weeks later to play against the same team that had beat us when I had played before.

This time, things were different, my legs were in to it right away and I was getting some good chances. I assisted on the game tying goal in the third, in a hard fought close game. We went on to lose the game in overtime 4-3. Not a bad result after we had just been pounded by the same team just two weeks ago.

Any way's on to the mail!

Still working on the set, although I'm getting really close to completing it! Just a few more to go!

A really cool looking acetate insert from classic. These guys were really ahead of the game in terms of inserts in the early 90's.

An amazingly sweet insert card from Donruss Elite. Limited to /2500 copies. Considered a high print run these days, in the mid 90's this was very low printed!

I love these press proof gold cards from 97-98 Donruss. This one was a steal for $2! A nice card for my McLean PC!

A major white whale of mine! I have been collecting McLean seriously for about two years now and not once has this card came up on eBay. I found this card on another site for the low price of $2.50!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Mistakes and Regrets In This Hobby

In life we've all made mistakes, some can be fixed, while others will stay with you your entire life. Luckily in this hobby, thanks to the Internet almost any card can be tracked down no matter how short printed it is (Yes even 1/1 cards can re-surface and change hands fairly often). I have a few regrets in this hobby and a lot of them boil down to being desperate for money, selling off some cards, then wishing I hadn't later on.

About five years ago I made a massive mistake of selling my second favourite pack pull of all time:

The card picture above is a 1997-98 Donruss Press Proof Gold of Patrick Roy numbered to /500. In 1998 when I pulled this card it booked in the $150 range and I got a few substantial offers for the card. I turned them all down in a heart beat.

Growing up my weekend's were spent on the road traveling to my hockey games or my sisters ringette games. We went to all sorts of small towns and the best part of the trips (other then the games) was going to local flea markets. Growing up it seemed I was at, at least one to two markets on a weekend. Cards were really big back then and ever flea market had a large assortment of cards. I was rushed at one of the larger markets and my Dad told me he was going to the car and that I had two minutes to get there. I wanted a pack and I had about twenty open boxes to choose from. I settled on a pack of 1997-98 Donruss that I'm pretty sure was $3 and raced back to the family station wagon. I recall cracking the pack open right away and I couldn't believe that I hit the Roy.

I treasured this card for a long time. In my early twenties I did not really collect much hockey and in desperate attempt at some money, I sold my prized childhood possession. I have regretted it ever since. My collection has not been the same without it.

Finally, the card is coming home. I won the card auction style tonight for about the same as I sold it for in 2007.

When I get this card in hand, things will be different this time. I made the mistake of once selling this card and I can assure you that I won't make the same mistake twice. It's in my PC to stay!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Montoya Mail Day

I picked this gem up for a great price! The seller had it listed as buy it now for some absurd price, but posted it after a while as an auction style listing starting at .99 cents.

This is the black version of the card is 1 of 6. At first I wasn't crazy over the card design as I thought it was a tad boring. The card actually looks a lot better in hand and I'm glad to add this to my growing Montoya collection.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The One That Got Away

Not a whole lot of mail to report these days due to the fact that my focus for my collection is changing. About six month's ago, hoping to boost my overall collection quality, I decided to only purchase higher end cards and to trade only for anything low end. The BIG problem with this is that "smalls" as I like to call them, are where my heart is, especially anything from the 90's. I really enjoy collecting the inserts and parallels from the 90's, especially 95-96 and 97-98. Secondly, my trade list is not very great considering I tried my hand at selling on eBay for a few years and  kepy on moving out anything not pc.

So, back to my title, the card that got away from me today;

This card is actually a dual autograph with Eric Lindros. It ended up selling for $122 and change, about $40 more then I was willing to pay. Ever since this card came out, I dreamed of owning one. A big reason I collect 90's stuff is because it has so much sentimental value to me. It takes me back to my carefree days of childhood. I think of all the hours I spent going through beckett, drooling over cards I never thought I would own. This all changed when I started going to the sports card expo a few years back in Toronto. I discovered my child treasures had severely decreased in value and that a lot of the cards I thought I would never own, could be had for just a few dollars.

While I'm disappointed I lost this card, a big time childhood Holy Grail of mine, it just means the money I would have spent can go towards crossing off a lot of my wants, mainly lower end 90's inserts and parallels.I'm also happy to know that this card does indeed exist and that I've finally been able to see one and try to acquire it. I also can't forget about some big wants of mine this year: adding some big name autographs to my collection: Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky. I really hope to add these autographs in the coming year. It will also be nice to come across those old score autographs of Bobby Orr and Maurice Richard.