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.

Suggestions to Fix Expired Redemptions

Expired redemptions are a black mark on the hobby today. When you open a pack or a box of older cards you always fear the worst. You don’t fear a career minor leaguer, you don’t fear being shorted hits, and you don’t fear pulling a Gypsy Queen jewel relic (or something like it). You fear pulling an expired redemption, especially if it’s of a great player. I was watching some YouTube box breaks today and saw someone pull an expired Sidney Crosby autograph. How crappy does that guy feel?

Redemptions are in the product because the athlete had not signed the card (or sticker, jersey, etc.) and it was not back in the factory at the time of pack out. That leaves little printed stickers on cardboard telling you they owe you a card. Also on that card is an expiration date. Why? Some states apparently consider redemption cards “sweepstakes” and there must be a definite start date and end date.

First, why not make the end date 10 years from the start date? Extending the redemption end period would solve so many problems. Upper Deck has claimed close to 90% of redemptions are claimed within the two years. How about making it 99% and extending the redemption dates? Especially for those players that take forever to sign. I’m talking to you Vince Carter and Monta Ellis.

Speaking of players taking forever or not signing, why not add in a little something to the contract? If you do not autograph these items by xx/xx/xx your contract for this product is void and you are not getting your money. Hit them where it hurts. I know you want to get checklists out and promos out ahead of time but which is worse? A late checklist or angry customers because they never get their redemption? It should be focused on customers first.

But what is done with the cards once the redemption has ended? Some companies use those cards as replacements to other redemptions that people have sent in. Others are known to destroy those cards. Why in the world would you destroy them? Why not just use some of the older redemption cards as replacements for an expired redemption? How about a box of cards from the latest product for those higher end redemptions? What about another sport? I’m just tire kicking here but there has to be something the company can do.

You want to “bring back the card shop” then do something to help make their boxes worth something if they have extra product laying around. Prices of boxes with expired redemptions are dropping and the “hobby shops” you all adore are having to take losses because of these redemptions. They will continue that trend for as long as redemptions are in products and expire after two years. How much will you be able to get Panini Limited hockey for after their redemptions expire? (In case you don’t get the reference, some Limited boxes have had as many as 3 redemptions inside.)

What Box To Break?

Well I was hoping to bring a nice surprise retail break today of Gypsy Queen since everyone else is doing it, but Fred Meyer did not have any Gypsy Queen to be had. Sorry, I’m not going to drive a half-hour to try Target or go get shot at my Wal-Mart 20 minutes away. So with no Gypsies or Queens to be had, I pocketed the money to wait. There was a plethora of 2010 blasters available at my disposal, but nothing I really wanted. Oh, and NO HOCKEY! Why do I have to live in a state without any hockey love. Our WHL team is in the finals and they can’t even fill the lower bowl at the Rose Garden. So, my attempt to bring Gypsy Queen has failed.

So that leaves me with pretending I had cards to open. I was stuck looking at previews of products soon to come out. Sure, I have a little money in my PayPal account but it’ll take forever to get a hobby box here. Plus, I WAS going to save the majority of it for a couple boxes of 2010-11 Upper Deck Ultimate hockey but it was delayed…again, like every other Upper Deck product. I think it was pushed another month to June 24th. Same thing happened when I wanted to buy The Cup last year. I had the money available and they kept pushing it back. I ended up spending the money on something else.

Okay, I’m done ranting on that.

But a good thing did happen today. After I got home from failing to find some GQ, I looked in my mailbox and received a package from Panini. In March, I had opened a box of Certified hockey up in Edmonton and did not receive the correct number of hits. I’ve never requested a replacement before as I figured it was just luck of the draw but this time I did. I sent in all the information and my replacement was received today. It was this:

2010-11 Certified Certified Champion Jordan Staal Auto #/50

Not bad for a replacement, wish it was his brother Eric though. It’s definitely better then nothing and I thank Panini for sending me the hit I was missing in my box.

Speaking of boxes, I really want to open some boxes. I want to open one hobby box from each sport and review it here, preferably using each of the major card companies. So I need ideas. I also wouldn’t mind just one from each card company so we can see what each one brings to the table.

I would like at least one Topps, one Panini, and one Upper Deck. If I have anything extra I could try some ITG too. What should I review? Let me know your thoughts.

No Purchase Necessary (NPN)

Do you love the gamble of opening packs or boxes of product? So do I. Well the fact is that it pretty much is a gamble when you buy a pack of cards as you are hoping to pull something big. The odds are stacked against you to pull an insert, game used, autograph, etc. Well because the odds are stacked against you, companies had to create the option of getting one of those cards for free or else they would have to limit the people who could buy packs. If they had to limit the people then obviously the customer base would get smaller and since it would then be considered gambling, it would have to be heavily taxed.

No Purchase Necessary (NPN) is found on the back of all your packs of cards that you open. Right after it gives you the odds of what you can pull, the NPN information is located. Usually it requires you to send an index card with your name, address, and telephone number to an address. Upper Deck’s NPN is slightly different, and in my opinion better. They have you go to the Upper Deck NPN website. I likeĀ  their NPN system better because you don’t have to go through the effort of filling out an index card, putting it in an envelope, and then paying for a stamp. Using the online system you never have to worry about the postal service getting your mail there. I’d love it if every company adopted that system.

Plus if you’re Canadian and terrible at math, you don’t have to answer the always funny “skill testings” question. In case you Canadians are wondering, the reasoning behind the question is basically that Canadian law does not ban gambling if it is a “skill” game instead of just plain gambling odds. So if you Canadians are good at math, that is considered a “skill”. I always thought the best Canadian skill was people with good manners and creating poutine (just kidding, I love you neighbors to the north). The sad thing is, I don’t think you have to actually get the answer right.

I’ve probably entered 10 NPN sweepstakes in my sports card collecting career, accumulating one winning prize. A 2009 O-Pee-Chee Premier Alex Tanguay autograph #/50. I am mainly an autograph collector so I was stoked when that prize came in from Upper Deck. I know it’s not a high value card, but a free card? Can’t beat that.

Review: 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports

This may be rough, but it’s honest and that’s the way I’m going to keep it.

This is a review of 2010 Upper Deck World of Sports provided to me by Upper Deck. The video of the break is at the bottom. But first a little back story on how I got the box. Upper Deck had a contest on their Facebook page located on the Upper Deck official Facebook page. Check out the link and Like them for a ton of contests and the chance to win free stuff. Anyway, the contest I entered was called the “most different box break”. At the time I had a box of 2009 Exquisite Football and happened to be going on a trip. So what do I do? I open the box of Exquisite in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on the cruise ship. I use the word Exquisite alot, promote the Upper Deck Facebook and Upper Deck, it was alright. A month or so later I get an email from Chris Carlin, their Marketing and Social Media dude saying I won. Awesome, I had no idea what was I would be getting. I ended up receiving the 2010 SP Authentic Football box that I reviewed and Upper Deck World of Sports which I am reviewing now. I decided in both videos to do something a little “different” hence the little pre-break show. My acting is terrible and I have a playoff beard. The video is at the bottom, but on with the review!

Upper Deck lost it’s license on several professional sports over the last couple of years and decided to come out with a set of a mix of all sports creating this, World of Sports. Featured in this box are a ton of sports from baseball and basketball to BMX and Lacrosse and everything in between. All main sports are in college or Olympic uniforms so it really is a wide range of cards. The cool thing is your can pull an autograph from pretty much everyone in the base set from Tiger Woods, Stephen Strasburg, Michael Jordan, Sidney Crosby, Taylor Hall, the list keeps going. Every box contains 2 autographs, 1 game used, and 1 Clear Competitors numbered insert which is an acetate card. Here is what I pulled.

Base:

Autographs:

Game Used:

Clear Competitors:

Design:

This would of been a 4 star rating had there not been an Athletes of the World subset without any pictures on it. I assume it has something to do with not being able to secure image rights on the person. If not, there really isn’t an excuse for a card with just a sticker autograph on it. Other then that, the photography is solid and the designs are crisp. I’m a sucker for acetate cards and have been since I was little and the first time I opened a pack of acetate cards. The autographs are sticker autos (ew) and I think the cards would look better had they been hard signed. I like that there is only one game used per box as game used is kind of a dying breed of cards and the design is what you’d expect from Upper Deck.

Checklist:

When you open a pack and don’t recognize a name on the pack, that is a bad thing. I know sports, I’m a fan of the 4 major sports plus I know all the stars from soccer around the world. But when you open a pack and don’t know a name, that is kind of depressing. There are 400 regular cards in the set, so you can see how many athletes there are that you probably will not know. Since every person has an autograph, your odds of pulling something of someone you know are lower. Luckily, I’m a Portland Trailblazer fan and know who Armon Johnson is or else I would not know who anyone was (except Yao, of course). Honestly, I don’t know what to say about some of the names added. How many names were just thrown in to fill the set out? The sell sheet says to look for some of the best from extreme sports but where are the snowboarders and skateboarders? I didn’t pull any, just a Matt Hoffman BMX card. The X Games are huge around the world, but some of their athletes were not represented well.

Value:

Go huge or go cry yourself to sleep. You can pull a huge name or a bunch of names you have never heard of. That seems to be what this box consists of. Where is the medium level talent that people have heard of? With the current price of this box at $60, I really can’t justify that price if most boxes are like this. The card stock is ultra thin, the checklist is sub-par and could be better, and some autographs don’t even have the person’s picture, but I guess the Clear Competitors fall one per box so they don’t over do the inserts. That isn’t enough to bring the value up to a 2 and I was even lucky enough to pull an extra autograph. I don’t see the value here, maybe I’m missing the point?

Overall:

Well the design is there and features the players more than anything else, which is a good thing. Autographs on stickers are common even though people are starting to dislike them more and more. The checklist is bad and could have had so much more potential to be a great and fun product. Pulling cards of people you never heard of really hurts this product, especially if your hits are all people you haven’t heard of as well. It hurts to open this and I didn’t even spend any money on it! Well I guess my Exquisite paid for it, but most people would be spending real American or Canadian dollars on this and I have a feeling that most won’t be too happy. I love what you are trying to do Upper Deck, I really do, but this could have been so much better.

As promised, here is me making an idiot of myself opening this box:

And finally, you’ll understand this if you watch the video.