Site News: 2 Boxes Arriving

Just a quick note:

My post for today will be later then usual. I have 2 boxes coming in today that I will be breaking and reviewing.

2010-11 SP Authentic hockey
2010-11 Panini Contenders hockey

Stay tuned.

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Site News: Incoming Boxes

For all you who enjoy box breaks of nice products, I have 3 boxes coming in. One from each of the 3 major league card companies.

- 1 Box 2010-11 Upper Deck SP Authentic Hockey

- 1 Box 2010-11 Panini Contenders Hockey

- 1 Box 2010 Topps Triple Threads Football

I wanted to do a “fight to the death” of Upper Deck and Panini hockey products. I think Contenders has a serious chance to take SP Authentic on as one of the hockey favorites of the year. So this will be a head to head product break and review.

I wanted to get Topps in on the madness so I also ordered a box of Triple Threads football. Probably the second best Topps football product of the year (after 5 Star) and just fit in my price range.

And finally, to add one more bit of madness to this, I ordered 2 of the boxes from Blowout and the other box from DA Card World. There will be blood! I will review both companies afterwards as well.

The Triple Threads should be here first, as Contenders isn’t released until Wednesday. At least, I think that’s how it works. I’m not sure if the product will be sent to arrive after release date or if they have to wait to send until street date.

So I hope you’re looking forward to the breaks and reviews. At least I have some time to think of more ways to make an idiot out of myself on camera.

Depending on when they come in and when I can get something totally awesome done for this site, I might be having some giveaways in celebration. Stay tuned.

Preview Update: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey Brass Bonanza Found

I asked Tracy Hackler of Panini for an image of what the Hartford Whalers Brass Bonanza set would look like so I could see what I will be searching the ends of the earth for. He got back to me he that he would find something for me.

In the mean time, I’ve done my own detective work. This is PROBABLY what Tracy would of sent me anyway. Maybe I can convince him to send me an image of a card not seen yet.

But I unveil you this:

Oh it was so tiny. Now it’s blurry because I had to make it bigger. But at least this will give you an idea of what to look for all you Whaler fans out there.

It looks like Shanny is confirmed.

My personal checklist would be:

Gordie Howe (UD exclusive, sadly), Brendan Shanahan, Ron Francis, Bobby Hull, Kevin Dineen, Geoff Sanderson, Pat Verbeek, Dave Babych, Ulf Samuelsson, Dave Keon, Sean Burke and Mike Liut

I would add Andrew Cassels just for the fact he has the most career goals…knocked in with his face. Check out his first goal with his face and his second goal with his face.

Anyone else going to go for the full set of Bonanza Brass? I can’t wait for July to come.

My Acetate Problem

If you say the title, My Acetate Problem, really slow it sounds like I need some Preparation H. As Austin Powers said, “Preparation H is good on the whole.” But my problem is more of the sports card variety. For some strange reason, I love acetate cards.

I remember the first time I ever received an acetate card. I was in a horribly over priced card shop in 1999. I had just moved practically right next door to Grand Slam Sports Cards in Vernon, CT. I doubt you can find anything about that shop nowadays as it’s been out of business for probably 10 years now.

I was buying a couple packs of cards with some left over lunch money I had saved and decided to buy some football since football season had just started. I saw a product that the packaging looked cool and bought a pack of it. It was 1999 Fleer E-X football. I opened it up and found two cards, great design and I could see right through them. I was bewildered, bemused, and befuddled at the same time.

What kind of alien technology is this? I never thought I could see through Jerome Bettis. I put that card and the other from the pack in my favorite pile when I got home. I did it not because they were valuable, but because I had thought they looked so cool.

A few months later I took a hiatus from the hobby. When I came back 6 years later, I had completely forgot about acetate cards until a friend sent me a gift. A Cam Ward Upper Deck ICE Glacialgraph. THE ACETATE! I was instantly brought back to 1999 in this card shop with my friend Eric when I caught my first glimpse of clear cardboard. I peered through my new Cam Ward card looking through to the other side, moving my hand back and forth, and admiring the card as well as showing how easily amused I am.

Since then, I’ve been loving every set that comes out with acetate or clear cards in it. UD Glass, Trilogy, and everything I could find had to be in my collection. I hated when I heard that Upper Deck would not be coming out with ICE again this year. But then, redemption! The good kind. Panini’s new product Contenders hockey will have some of this acetate-sty goodness in it. The best part is their featured card on their blog has another Carolina Hurricane on it, Tuomo Ruutu. The guy who usually puts other player’s faces through the glass.

So I ask, if anyone has any acetate-sty cards to trade me of teams I collect, please send them this way. Just like I’ll be hunting down this Tuomo Ruutu autograph.

Note: You do not want to be between the glass and this guy. You might go through it.

Tuomo Ruutu will kill you

Preview: 2010-11 Panini Dominion Hockey

I wanted to keep my blog down to one post per day. This one has to be the exception.

Panini has finally put out their preview for 2010-11 Panini Dominion hockey.

This is going to be Panini’s effort in direct competition to Upper Deck The Cup and ITG Superlative. Will it contain the goods to dethrone them? So far, I think it may have a chance.

At $350 a box, this product is going to be up there. Your 350 clams will give you 8 cards per box with at least 6 of them being autographs or memorabilia. You will be guaranteed that 3 of them will be autographed. Oh, and by the way, every autographed card is hard-signed. No sticker autographs here. That’s what I’m talking about.

You want to know what’s included in this set?

  • Kindred Cuts, a 1/1 cut signature of some of hockey’s greats.
  • Peerless Patches, a dual or quad booklet featuring patches of some of hockey’s best players of today and the past.
  • Engravatures, cards embedded with real silver that are etched with former Stanley Cup winners, just like Lord Stanley’s Cup.
  • Nifty 50, hard signed autographs of single season 50 goal scorers.
  • Tape to Tape, a very interesting set featuring autographs of stars on embedded pieces of hockey tape from their sticks.
  • Brass Bonanza, saving the best for last. Can you hear that tune yet? I can. A tribute insert set featuring autographs from the legends of the Hartford Whalers.

Now I don’t get very excited often for boxes of cards. But when I hear there is going to be an insert set in tribute to the Hartford Whalers, that gets my attention and excitement. It just brings me back to the days of sitting in my grandfather’s den with the Whalers game on TV, watching the likes of Ron Francis and Kevin Dineen while putting together a puzzle. I wasn’t aware at my young age what the organization was going through and the fact it would leave me without a professional hockey team years later. Flash forward to 2009 when the NHL finally got the rights back to the Whalers name and logo. I knew someday, somewhere the Whalers would return in cardboard form. Okay, back to reality.

Going over the designs shown for the cards I see some very cool concepts with a lot of larger then average swatches. I also noticed that unlike some other Panini products, the over-sized swatches don’t overtake the main focus of the card, the players. I give credit where it’s deserved and these cards look nice. Looking especially nice is the Showcase Showdown insert, which looks fantastic and is pictured below. Sadly, Panini did not post anything featuring the Hartford Whalers and their Brass Bonanza set. I think I’m going to have to bug Tracy Hackler for that.

But overall, despite my overwhelming crush on the Whalers insert set, I believe this set may have what it takes to seriously contend for the high end Cup. Low numbered cards, great autographs, and new ideas may set this apart.

Panini America’s NHL brand manager Al Muir stated, “This is for the high-end hobbyists, the whales.” The “whales” is right.

Pucky is back.

Want more Dominion preview goodness?

(SCB Note: Do you want to see a 2011 Panini Dominion checklist?)

Last Look: About to start packing out Dominion!