Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Upper Deck 2013-2014 Hockey Series 1 2 Tin Break

I happened to be in my local TRU because, well, I was.  I love looking for the cool sales right before Christmas, and today's card special was $16.99 for any collectible card tin, I grabbed a tin of the current and red-hot Upper Deck NHL series one and it rang up $39.99 on the price check, but I took it up to customer service and they price-matched it for me.  It was such a good deal I bought two.

Here's the breakdown: 12 packs of 8 cards each = 96 cards.

Tin 1
Topper - 5x7 MVP #35 Mario Lemieux

86 x Base.  No doubles (4 Kings Greene, Carter, Clifford and Kopitar)
3 x Young Guns (1:4) #209 Jean-Gabriel Pageau, #223 Alex Killorn, #238 Nathan MacKinnon

2x MVP (1:8) #2 Adam Henrique, #21 Jeff Skinner
1x MVP Rookies (1:24) #60 Vladimir Tarasenko
2x UD Canvas (1:6) #C4 Milan Lucic, C21 Brayden Schenn
1x Shining Stars Goalie (1:12) #G7 Martin Brodeur
1x Case Hit (1:600) Hockey Heroes Header

Tin 2
Topper - 5x7 MVP #42 Wayne Gretzky

84 x Base.  No doubles (1 King - Voynov)
3x Young Guns (1:4) #201 Carl Soderberg, #212 Tom Wilson, #250 Checklist

2x MVP (1:8) #1 Tomas Fleischmann, #2 Adam Henrique
2x UD Canvas (1:6) #C7 Carey Price, #C44 Mark Letestu
1x Shining Stars Goalie (1:12) #G2 Henrik Lundqvist
1x Hockey Heroes (1:12) #HH42 Mark Messier
1x UD Game Jersey (1:24) #GJ-BS Borje Salming

All told: 190 Cards

170 Base (2 Doubles)
6x Young Guns (1:4)
4x MVP (1:8)
1x MVP Rookie (1:24)
4x UD Canvas (1:6)
2x Shining Stars Goalie (1:12)
1x Hockey Heroes (1:12)
1x UD Game Jersey (1:24)
1x Hockey Heroes Header (1:600)

When you're paying about $40 for the equivalent of a box of brand new Hockey cards that retails for around $80 you're already ahead of the game.  I'm actually pretty happy with my purchase, I'm really close to a full set when I include the few packs I picked up prior to today.  Nothing I pulled outside of the Hockey Heroes Header is all that exciting though, and really the header isn't all that much either.  Sure it's fun, and it reminds me of the early 90s trying to pull the Baseball Heroes sets, but since this is my first foray in Hockey cards in several years, I'm not even sure who most of these guys are, outside of the Los Angeles Kings.

So here's my list of base needs.  All the inserts I pulled above, plus an Ovechkin MVP and a Bossy Hockey Heroes are up for trade.  Not trading  Young Guns at the moment.   I also want ALL Los Angeles Kings cards.  From any year.  I've got a large collection in storage of the pre-Kopitar/Brown era, so I'm really looking for more recent Kings.  My current and up-to-date Needs list is located HERE and I promise to update this as needed.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

ReBlog - Inside the Making of an Upper Deck NHL Set

I love these types of behind the scenes videos, the process of making a card is really interesting to me, especially the design aspect.  I'd love to work at a Trading Card company.  I should look into that.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Further Adventures in Custom Trading Cards

I'm really having a great time making custom trading cards lately, especially when there's an event that I can piece together to make a fantastic collectible.  We attended the Los Angeles Kings v. New York Islanders tilt on Saturday night having gotten tickets to support the Girl Scouts Family Night at Staples.  This being our second game of the season we were really pumped to see a Kings victory.  When I found out that we'd be getting to see Martin Jones second start in the NHL I got really excited, yes I know a true hockey fan shouldn't get happy over a rookie goaltender, but I really think that Jones, age 23, could be the future of the franchise, not that current starter (since Jonathan Quick got injured) Ben Scrivens is chopped liver.
Martin Jones getting ready for his NHL Debut against the Duckies.

Jones first NHL game came on Tuesday of last week, facing the hated Anaheim Ducks.  His numbers were pretty darn good in the regular session and even better in the overtime.  He stopped 25 of 27 shots in regulation and one in overtime.  The only goals he allowed were a tip in by Ryan Getzlaf where he was screened badly and an early 3rd period power-play goal by Corey Perry The Kings got goals by Jeff Carter to start the scoring and then when they were down 2 - 1 with about 15 minutes left in regulation the Captain Dustin Brown tied it up on a wrister.  After the overtime we go to a shootout these days.  The Kings have the second best shootout record in the NHL currently, with 5 wins to only 2 losses, however both of those losses happened recently, one against Buffalo in the game where Quickie got injured and Scrivens had to come in for the 1:20 remaining in the overtime and face the Sabres one-on-one.  Versus the Ducks neither team had any success in the shootout for the first EIGHT rounds!  Jones made some incredible saves that looked nearly impossible and Dwight King finally put it past Jonas Hiller in the 9th round.  It was a beaut and good enough to give Jones his first NHL victory.

It was Larry Murphy Legends night on Saturday, which meant two things; one we each got a nice Murphy bobblehead and two the Kings wore their throwback Purple and Gold uniforms, which really looked incredible in person contrasted with the old-school white and orange Isles sweaters.  Everything was set up to be a great game, but in the first period with no scoring and lackluster play from the home squad it really wasn't looking that great for our boys.  Until Anze Kopitar received a fantastic pass from Alec Martinez fought off Travis Hamonic and went top shelf against Poulin.  I've never seen a prettier goal in person to be honest.  It starts at about 1:09 of this video.

Dustin Brown scored his second goal in two straight games in the third and ROY candidate Tyler Toffoli added an empty netter for Jones first shut-out.  He wasn't even that busy, he only had to make 16 saves, and only a couple of them were really quality scoring chances.  This kid looks incredible and I'm really happy to have been able to see him play in one of his first games of his hopefully long and storied career.

We actually got three physical tickets for the game, something that is in short supply these days.  With the home printing of tickets and scanners at the game making sure everyone has a bonafide seat there just aren't that many stubs made for each game.  After my success with the Don Rickles Cut Signature Card I really wanted to make more cards.  What better memorabilia to embed than our own ticket stubs?  I used Topps 2009 Ticket to Stardom Baseball set as inspiration and I'm pretty happy with the results.  I'm making two this time, even though we have three tickets, one has to go into my ticket stub scrapbook.

One of these is going to my daughter, I'm keeping the other.  She said she's going to hold onto it forever and give it to her kids.  She's seven.  Now she wants to make her own trading cards, good thing I have some canvas types that she can just draw on, because there's no way I'm giving her an exacto-knife.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Adventures in Custom Card Making

A couple of months ago I found myself wandering around the massive new arts and craft store Michaels with my wife.  Perusing the artists' supplies I found several packets of blank trading cards, both canvas and thick card stock and best of all they were on clearance costing me about 50 cents per pack.  I dutifully bought several dollars worth and promptly forgot about them.

Cut to a couple months later and we bought a brand new Brother all-in-one Scanner/Printer, that has spectacular color printing.  After yet another clearance purchase of some thick card stock I had the brilliant idea of creating my own trading cards.

My first effort is this lovely piece of my family and I meeting Thor on the first day of the Treasures of Asgard experience at Disneyland.

My process was pretty simplistic, I grabbed a couple of pics off the internet because my own pics of the exhibit weren't that great.  I then laid everything out in Word, because I'm not a PaintShop expert.  Printed, glued and trimmed, it's a great effort, but nowhere near perfect.  Still I'm rather proud of my 1/1 card.

 Recently I was gifted with a cut signature of the legendary insult comic Don Rickles.  I won't say how I obtained it, but my first impulse was to make my own cut-signature card featuring "Mr. Warmth" in one of my favorite roles, Crapgame from Kelly's Heroes.  Honestly if I could obtain them, I'd make cut sigs of all the stars of that movie, and there's a TON.  Clint Eastwood and Donald Sutherland are still alive and shouldn't be too hard to obtain.  Telly Savalas has been gone for almost two decades so his sigs are out there but they are getting expensive.  A quick perusal of eBay says I can get one from a certified check for about $90.  That seems a bit too pricey for me to simply cut it up and put it in a trading card that I'm never going to sell anyway.  Still it's a dream and you never know with dreams.

Here's the Don Rickles card:

Now on the Thor card I simply transcribed the narration of the event itself (from my own video I might add).  For the back of the Kelly's Heroes card I wrote my own copy.  I'm especially happy with the pic on the front of the card which is straight from the theatrical poster.  I love the expression on Crapgame's face, and that gun, if you've watched the movie, is a point of contention for the Sarge.  Now I haven't met Mr. Rickles, but I sure would like to, just to say "Hi" and thank him for years of laughter.

I have no idea what my next card will be, I'd like to try a memorabilia card with a swatch of Jersey or fabric embedded.  I own a Los Angeles Kings practice worn jersey from the Gretzky era, but I have no idea who actually wore the jersey.  So while it would be fairly simple to cut a small swatch off the jersey without ruining it completely, I'd like to picture someone on the card that I knew wore the jersey.  However at this point it's impossible to prove the provenance of the piece, even when I purchased it from the Kings themselves (though the Art of the Game store at Staples Center) they didn't know who wore it either.

I also own a piece of fabric that came from the same bolt that was used for uniforms in Star Trek Nemesis but I'm not sure exactly where that fabric happens to reside at the moment.  I'm also thinking that a ticket stub card would be cool, though these days you don't always get physical tickets when you go to a sporting event.  Though oddly enough we have tickets for tonight's Kings v. Islanders tilt at Staples and we do have physical tickets, and since it's Girls Scouts night, and Larry Murphy Bobblehead night a card featuring one of our stubs from tonight's game would be really neat, especially with a cool pic from the game.  Hmm...