Thursday, August 30, 2012

2012-13 Score Hockey pack break review...

Since Upper Deck woke up early and got OPC out the door in time to catch the bus for school, you had to know the Panini would drive their little one out early as well.
2012-13 Score hockey hit the shelves a few days ago. Panini's low end hockey offering. After two previous years of complete and utter failure, let's see if they improved as much as OPC did this year.
I shouldn't be comparing the two lines so much.... U.D. charges waaaaay too much for OPC. Kinda like buying a Sony tv instead of an LG. You pay a lot extra for that Sony logo. No difference here. OPC should be $1-$1.50 a pack at most..... give Score credit. .99 cents is a nice price.
36 packs per box, 7 cards per pack, usually $29 a box.
Considering their past "efforts" though, I played it safe and bought two packs. That's me... Livin' on the edge!
The wrapper.
 Pavel Datsyuk on the cover... the best player in the game, so why not? I know I probably upset some Ovechkin fans by saying that, but remember, I live on the edge.

Ha! PK Subban right off the bat. Sweet. There are guys at the local card shows that always put Carey Price and Subban base cards for $1 out in hopes I need/buy them. This will allow me to laugh in their face as I have both OPC and Score now. $1 for base cards............. for the love.
 Where was I ? Oh yeah, the review.... the fronts are better this year. At least they fixed that horrible and huge white space at the top that their football cards have this year.
 I was impressed by most of the photography in the few cards I've seen... a good mix and some great action shots.

Although the bottom of the cards suffer. No one cares what conference anybody is on. You could've put the team name, or how about the player's position???? Also, the logo in the corner would be better with a rounded corner instead of the squared corner it is.... or maybe put a little effort and put the logo inside of an angled puck? This looks like something I could do at home on photoshop.
Here's Al Montoya wearing the worst sweater in the history of hockey. Although points for Score for the 'Signed by Winnipeg on 7/4/12' transaction line at the bottom.

Score did really improve on the backs. They are full with no wasted space, regardless of being a veteran or young player. If you have no stats, they fill up the card with other stuff. Good job.

You knew there had to be short print rookies, didn't you? Not just rookies mind you, but
 HOT Rookies. Can we just go back to the time when rookie cards had no designation as such? Please?

A super huge wet kiss to Score for doing away with the useless and hated Glossy one per pack parallel.

A super huge wet raspberry to Score for adding the useless and hated Gold one per pack parallel.
 wow. I'm all shivery. And short of a base card because of it.

There are of course a couple of insert sets.... one being Season Highlights. I didn't scan any of the three I got because they were that spectacular.

One I did get and like, is The Franchise. There's two versions I think. One for modern and one for retired players? Maybe it's all one set, I don't know. Regardless.... I've seen four of the retired cards and they look pretty good.

All in all, I'd give Score a 2.5 / 5. Which is pretty good since last years got a 1/5. It's obvious that Panini fired all of their hockey staff 2/3 of the way through last season and now the new people's influence is slowly taking hold.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Habs Bourque out 8-12 weeks....

Montreal Canadaiens General Manager Marc Bergevin announced today that winger Rene Bourque would be out 8-12 weeks following abdominal surgery performed today.

No word as to whether the Habs had a backbone installed at the same time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012-13 OPC Hockey Box Break Cardboard Review

Hey kids! It's that time of year again! That's right, football is in full swing and the smell of another NHL lockout is in the air. Let's have a big round of applause for Gary Bettman and Jeremy Jacobs who year after year, try to do their best to ruin my damn game. Idiots.

Anyways.... oh yeah! Cards! Even though there are still four? five? sets of 2011-12 product yet to hit the shelves... the first of the 2012-13 product has arrived.

Don't try and figure it out. Just go with it.

May I present the 2012-13 version of O-Pee-Chee hockey. No Gordie, Bobby, or Wayne this year.
Jonathan Toews makes an appearance.

500 base cards, 100 SP's, 32 packs, 8 cards per pack for $63. You can get these online for around $59 for those of you without a shop nearby.

I asked for a box and my buddy reached blindly and grabbed one off of the shelf. I flipped it over to see who was on the bottom.

 He asked if I wanted a different one. Seeing as he grabbed me the Carey Price one without looking, I saw it as a good omen and kept the one I had.

Good call.

The wrapper..... as usual, a lot like the box.
 The base cards are quite a bit different than past efforts. Gone is the monstrously huge O-Pee-Chee logo. It only took 8 years of whining. The picture is also bigger.
 I like the changes. Although the border confuses me. It's still a white border..... but they took a pastel yellow and airbrushed it close to the edge. Why I have no idea. The jury is still out on that move.

When I am elected Grand High Poo-Bah, I will decree that the Kings must wear these uni's full time.
 The backs are kind of a miss for me. Upper Deck switched to brown cardboard from grey. The result is a dark mess on the back of the card. Has no one at UD ever looked at an old OPC card? They were always coloured! Not natural grey or brown.
 The use of vital statistics and career stats is a big plus...... if you could read them. But for those that haven't had long careers........
 UD failed to do anything to use up the blank space. No little write up, not even a cartoon. Remember those?

 As mentioned, after the 500 base cards are 100 SP's. These are divided up into 50 Legends and 50 rookies. Or are they?

The Legend cards are brightly coloured, but the picture has been altered to a sepia like tone. Again, why I have no idea.
 The backs are cool as again, full career stats. This is great for those of you who haven't necessarily heard of or researched some of these older players. It's a chance to look at his career and go, Whoa! Alex was good! And he was.
The "50" rookies are still a photoshopped nightmare.

Look at all of those craptastic graphics on the bottom.
 With the backs, they did a little write up and how the rookie was acquired. Cool. Why couldn't they do that with the base set as well?
 And you may have noticed I put the 50 in quotation marks. The reason is this year there are not 50 rookies in the set. Not true rookies anyways.
Last I checked, Super Mario's RC was in '85/86 OPC, not '12/13. There are five cards like this, as well as a checklist. So that makes 44 rookies in the set. Cool gimmick?

No. Let's be real. There just wasn't 50 rookies worth the cardboard to put in this set. That's the price of coming out so early.

As usual, there are parallels to chase. The Rainbow Foil of course.....

My scanner seems to love Rainbow Foils.

And of course, Black Bordered Rainbow Foils,  #/100.

 You can really see the airbrushing of the faux border on these. Foils are 1:4 packs. I somehow ended up with 12 of them, 5 black bordered, instead of the 8 I should've received.

A few years ago, OPC came out with a Retro parallel. In 08/09, I LOVED them. In 09/10 I did not. In 10/11 I LOVED them. In 11/12 I did not. So that must mean that in 12/13 I must LOVE them again, right?
 Damn right. I am all over these. Vinny demonstrates the base. Very 1954/55 if I rememebr correctly.
 There are also retro Rookies as well as Legends.... You'll find a retro card in every pack.

Oh, by the way, did I mention that this year OPC is including stickers in their hockey set? STICKERS!!!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
 Stickers are found 1:3 packs. I found 12 over the 10-11 expected.
 OPC is also including Pop Ups. Just like the old days. I rememebr getting Pop Up cards in my cereal box waaaaaay back when. Well they're back! At an insertion rate of 1:16 packs, I should've found two. I didn't get any. Boo!


OPC is also including Team Logo Patches. These are found every 3 boxes, or 1:96 packs. Yeah, you know where this is going.
 Woot! A nice little semi-case hit.

But wait....

What's this?

Could it be?

Not one, but......

Ok. I'm not so upset about the Pop Ups anymore.
Supposedly four patches per case, and I find two in my one box. Hmmm.... fine by me.

So there you have it. My want/trade list will be up shortly. Anyone out there going to collect this set?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

one man's junk.....

I remember a few days ago, Fuji asked everyone who reads his blog, why do you collect cards? I answered a few reasons, but one that I forgot was.... one man's junk is another man's treasure. I'm of course talking about trading. Getting rid of crap you don't want in exchange for some treasures you can't for the life of you figure out why anyone would part with.

Trade night at one of the local card shops was this past Thursday. It was a really good time. Fifteen to twenty people sitting around tables, passing around trade boxes while chatting and watching tape delayed coverage of the Olympics.

I managed to come home with a few beauties for myself. Only one new Carey Price though.
People are really reluctant to rid themselves of his cards.
 I added another die cut Masked Men card towards my set. Ryan Miller joins the party and gets me within 5 of the 50 card set.
 This framed Ice Kings card is similar to what Gypsy Queen does, and by Tuesday should be in the hands of the man featured on the card itself. Hopefully he will sign it and send it back to me. Fingers crossed.
 Another Jimmy Howard. I've quietly put together an extensive Jimmy Howard collection. Why  I have no idea.... but it's cool to have a collection of someone who doesn't play for Montreal.
 Speaking of Montreal, I added another auto from the Parkhurst Champions set. I think that makes around 20 or so..... and I haven't spent a dime. Love it.
 Two more cards for my goalie autograph collection. The first from the frog subset in Between the Pipes.
 And a goalie better known for his coaching abilities than his playing days.
The last two are youngin's who haven't really found their place yet.

Fourth generation player Blake Geoffrion.
 Blake's card is odd in that the windows for the jersey pieces are recessed deep into the card. There is an 1/8th of an inch gap between the surface of the card and the swatch. Very odd.

Speaking of odd........ A "Rookie Rivalry" card featuring Louis Leblanc vs. Ben Scrivens.
Not quite sure what a rivalry they have. They've played against each other......... once. The very last game of the season. Montreal won. Louis played 13 minutes and had 3 shots.
Not exactly the Hatfields vs the McCoys.
But it's a good looking card, so I'll look the other way.

For those of you who have read this far.... can you believe that the new 2012-13 OPC set is coming out in 2 weeks?