Tuesday, November 29, 2011

TTM Mail Day Todd Gill & Tomas Vokoun

This Vokoun has been out for a while, maybe two years. Vokoun's signature looks rough like he speed signed the card and probably about a thousand others. Still, I'm happy he signed.

Now on to some Todd Gill cards, former NHL d-man and current coach of the Frontenacs:

What do these three cards have in common? They come from three of my favourite sets as a kid: 92-93 score, 95-96 score and 95-96 topps. I easily busted 200+ packs from these three sets as a kid. 

More Montoya Pick Ups

I got this mail day on Monday but haven't had the time to post until now. I'm pleased to post this after Montoya had his third straight start for the Islanders tonight and won the game 2-1. He made some really solid saves late in the game, especially when the Islanders were down two men on the penalty kill. Take a look at these saves:

Talk about all out effort, just what I like to see from a goalie. Montoya never seems to give up on any play, even when down and out. I am very happy to land the goalie graph card to my collection for .99 cents plus two dollars shipping!

Now the real gem of the mail day.....

My first ultimate card in my collection and it's a beauty! I got this card for about $8 with shipping and I'm very pleased to own it. My only knock against the card is that the patch is so think it's making the card crease around the patch box. Still a very nice card to own!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Shopping and a Shout Out!

I wanted to thank Mike for offering up a Montoya card to me. Thanks for the offer, although I already have that card!

A few web site's had some Black Friday deals on boxes. I usually don't buy boxes because of the fact that they are way too expensive for what you get. A typical current box is about $60 to $80 and you would be lucky to get even half your value back.

I had been eyeing some older Pacific boxes for sometime, the prices dropped considerably and I picked up four nice boxes:

These boxes will be a lot of fun to break and I will get value for my money with the amount hits per box. The two titanium boxes feature 8 packs a box each, with one double sided jersey card per box. The draft day edition features a serial numbered RC per pack as well!

I picked up the Vanguard box because I wanted to try and hit the Brathwaite/Turek dual patch card.I have seen this card usually go for about $30 and the box cost about half that amount, so I think it is a fair gamble. Only two game used per box though, so my odds are not great.

The last box, Pacific Exhibit, features two game used cards per box, one of them being a time warp insert, that features an older star and a newer one. The card will will feature one side with a signature and the other side with a game used. These cards look great but they never really caught on since they were over sized.

Now I get to sit and wait for my boxes in the mail. Two of the boxes will actually be gifts for Christmas from family members and the other two boxes are a gift to myself. So look for me to be breaking the boxes and posting the results after Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Montoya Pickup, Head Shots and Crosby's Return

I picked this card up on the cheap and now I just need the base and 1/1 version. I find these parallels funny considering they just stamp a regular base card when in reality, it's just a regular base card and it's the stamping, not the card itself that makes it rare. I was still suckered in to the card despite knowing this.

I have not been impressed at all this season with the job the NHL has done at protecting goalies. Miller absolutely got destroyed by Lucic, in junior that would have been a suspension for sure. Two other goalies got hurt via hits by players: Al Montoya & James Reimer. Both have been out as result of those hits:

Reimer has missed a considerable amount and I still don't understand why Gionta did not get suspended as he obviously was trying to crash the crease. It makes me sick that a play like this would not be talked about more.

I could not find the video of Montoya getting hit by Daniel Winnik of the Avalanche. The resulted hit led to neck spasms but Montoya is currently out of the lineup with "a strained hamstring".

The media coverage from Crosby's come back game was insane and as a result of this, almost everyone who knows hockey spoke about the "comeback game" today. While Crosby is a great player, he is after all a human being and the game was boosted way up high on a pedestal. I feel bad for other guys, who have sat out with concussion issue for twice as long that received next to no fanfare when they returned. Matt Lombardi of the Leafs is a good example (not quite twice as long as Crosby though).

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Montoya Pickups

I have been mainly focusing on my Monotya PC lately due to budget. While there is some demand for Montoya cards out there, it's not too much as prices stay reasonable.

My first pickup is a 11-12 Score Black Ice. Black ices are inserted one per case. They are a tough pull and I am happy that Montoya was pulled. I am not sure how many cases were produced but I believe that there is less then 50 of each black ice card.

A pretty cool looking card. I believe there is a jersey version of the card but it's numbered to /1. I have seen some of the regular inserts priced for a large amount and I was happy to find this one for dirt cheap.

It's funny that these two play on the team together now and I wonder if they ever laugh about this fight. It was actually a fight that gave Montoya another chance in the NHL, thanks to Brent Johnson caving in Dipietro's cheek.

The All-Goalies set was a great idea and the base set was very nicely done. It's a shame that the jersey card, inserted one per box did not feature a better checklist. I can't tell you how many breaks I have seen that managed to pull an Andrew Raycroft jersey card.

Again, another great idea for a set but a poor autograph checklist really hurt the quality of this product. In the future, I really hope that score features retro designs again, especially 1995-96 Score.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Short Printed Montoya Pick Up /10

It's hard to see the serial number between Montoya's pads but this is an UD Exclusives 4/10. I debated as to whether or not I should pick this card up given the price but I knew I may not see this card again for a very long time.

Some nice Montoya cards have been popping up on ebay lately and I have been on the out side looking in. An ITG jumbo glove 1/1 recently sold for $150, best offer and an 05-06 Ultimate Shield 1/1 went for $200 best offer. While I really enjoy collecting Montoya, I could not justify spending that much on a card. I don't think I spend $350 on cards total in 8 or 10 month's total!

Regardless of missing out on some nice cards, I think I have done well lately with my collecting and have enjoyed myself a lot more thanks to more focus on collecting habits.

Jamie McLennan Mail Day

This was a very quick turn around, about a week. I created an autograph set for "goalies of the 90's". I really liked McLennan when he played with the Blues, as he was a solid backup for some great Blues teams.

For the custom, I originally  started off with a white back ground, trying to go for a 95-96 Score look. I found the cards challenging to cut, so I needed to change the back ground color. I'm happy with the final look, very simple.

I looked through tons of boxes to find some more singles to get signed for McLennan but I couldn't seem to find any other then this UD card.

I hope to keep sending out some cards before the mail slows down for the Christmas rush and I hope to see some customs back before then.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On the topic of ITG VS Upper Deck

I have been a big fan of ITG product over the last few years, especially since they produce a good amount of product for retired players. I really appreciate the creativity they use when creating different sets every year compared to upper deck, which for me has grown somewhat stale.

While I feel this way about ITG, apparently I'm way off the map considering I didn't see a whole lot of ITG product, especially singles at the Sports Card Expo in Toronto. I would say 20% of the singles I saw were ITG, while more then half were produced by Upper Deck.

For the past week I have tried to come up with a reason in my head why people would choose Upper Deck over ITG. I do notice that the trend now seems to be going after the hottest new rookies each season. This is a trend that Upper Deck caters too, considering how highly sought after the Young Guns are when they get released. ITG does not really produce true rookie cards.

When it comes to game used product, ITG is the leader of the pack by far. I have been blown away by the singles I have seen from 11-12 Ultimate. The game used product is just un-believable and in my opinion, it's the best new product I have seen in a long time. Now if only I could afford a pack as $160+ is way too much money to spend on three cards, which mostly would not be PC cards.

I have never been one to stick to trends in collecting. I enjoy collecting players from my childhood and it seems that ITG has really captured a corner of the market by bringing back players from the past.

More Montoya Pick Ups!

I don't understand why Nabokov keeps getting back to back starts with sub .900 save percentage and Montoya playing so well. It seems unless Montoya allows one goal or less, he won't be getting back to back starts. It's a shame because I think he could really help the Islanders if he could get about 45 starts this season. From what I've heard, the price for Nabokov right now is a second round pick, which seems pretty steep for most teams.

Montoya seems to have two poses for his 05-06 rookie cards. The one pictured above from a photo shoot and another pose of him standing in his regular stance from a photo shoot. This is why I find myself slow to add all of his Upper Deck rookie cards. I really like the design of the 05-06 SPX rookies.

Another Upper Deck rookie and the exact same pose. Still this is another nice looking card with an on card autograph.

Three cards, all the same pose. I'm on the lookout for the patch variation of the ultra, so if anyone has one please let me know. On the topic of 05-06 Fleer Ultra, this was the set that actually got me back into hockey card collecting after a five year absence!

Donruss Color Guard Pickup from the Sports Card Expo

Here is another nice lot of cards I snagged at the sports card expo. This lot was $25, which I'm pretty happy with. I originally had Roy & Brodeur in the lot but the seller doubled his price to $50, which was too steep for me considering I would be spending about 40% of my budget on only 8 cards and I had only made it through the first row of sellers.

I'm really happy to knock these off my want list and I'm really close to killing the set. One card I have not seen around for the set is Eric Fichaud. If anyone has this card please let me know and I would love to trade.

I really miss the creativity of hockey cards from the 90's when there wasn't autographs and game used cards. Price points were much more reasonable and the hobby was not so much of a business like it is today. I shouldn't complain because I love collecting, just sometimes I feel like I'm off in my own world stuck in the 90's!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

BAP Lot Pickup from the Sports Card Expo

I managed to find a large amount of BAP autos from 1995-97 on top of a dump portion of a sellers table. The cards ranged from $2 to $4 a piece, After some talk back and forth, I managed to allow me to pick out 20 cards for $25.

I really have wanted a lot of these singles since the product was released especially the link to history die-cuts of Lalime, Vanbiesbrouck and Lafontaine.

Some more nice autos, especially the Khabibulin, who is a tough signer. I really like the goalie subset in 95-96 BAP and I'm happy to add three more to my collection. Hebert has been a tough man to track down lately, so I'm glad to have added a certified auto.

My two favourite cards of the lot and considering I paid only $1.25 a card, this lot was a great deal. I am happy to add Mogilny autos and Kurri autos to my collection as I previously did not have any. I really like that Mogilny is in the old school Canucks jersey.

So there you have it, 20 awesome cards for only $25!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Toronto Sports Card Expo: My Top 3 Finds

After counting down the days for the last six month's the day of the sports card expo finally came. As much as I can't wait for the day to come, I dread when it does because I know once the day is over the countdown will start again.

I usually spend quite of time planning before a show. Going through wants and checking sets for singles I need. The preparation time is quite long and the day of the show it feels like a test to see how well I have prepared.

Being my 5th show, I feel like I was more prepared then ever. I knew what I was looking for and I stayed away from loading up on too many impulse buys. I was glad I did but I can't help but feel that I failed. While it's tough to prepare for and you don't really know what sellers will bring, I feel I failed because I didn't land my top five wants: 11-12 OPC Al Montoya Retro Blank Backs, 10-11 ITG Decades Kirk McLean Signature, 10-11 ITG BTP Signature Kirk McLean, 01-02 Pacific Vanguard Brathwaite/Turek dual patch and 01-02 Titanium Ront Tugnutt Game Used Stick.

Despite not landing some major wants I did find some nice stuff. Here is my top three:

3) 1997-98 Donruss Priority Patrick Roy Stamp of Approval /100

I can't believe I found this card in a dump bin for $5! I see common's sell in the $8-$10 range on ebay, so i figure I could fetch maybe at least $15-$20 on ebay if I sold this. But it's staying right in my collection as it's a beauty of a card!

2) 2008-09 ITG BTP Draft Day Duos Al Montoya/ Marek Schwarz

A great card for my Montoya PC. I have been looking for this card for a year and it`s limited to 40 copies. The seller wanted $15 but he took my offer of $10 right away.

1) 2005-06 Hot Prospects Al Montoya Prized Prospects Patch RC FOUR COLOR PATCH!!

I already have this card, except my patch is a boring one color. I found this card and the seller wanted $25. At the time I was not sure, so I said I would think about it. I walked around and realized I would probably not have another chance at a patch this nice, so I returned and landed the card for $20.

I managed to pick up some other nice stuff and will post it all in the coming days.