Friday, September 23, 2011

Hockey Card Rankings #1 and 2

THIS IS IT.  It comes down to a showdown between the best that Panini and Upper Deck have to offer hockey card collectors.  Many have wondered if the new kid on the block could dethrone the current king... 

...it was an tough battle, and the freshman made a valiant effort, but in the end the veteran holds the title of BEST HOCKEY CARD PRODUCT OF THE YEAR!

#2  Dominion.

 
+ Dominion is a very refreshing entry into the ultra high-end hockey card world.  The cards are cleanly designed and look great.  Panini gives collectors generous amounts of jerseys and patch swatches on these bad boys.  Some of the patches that I have seen are absolutely stunning.  Panini truly did save their best memorabilia pieces for this product.  There is a wide selection of players to be collected – many of which are new to the high-end market.  Booklet cards featuring up to 8 players are quite a find.  Oh, and the box it comes in is very classy! For a one pack super high-end product, it feels like you get a ton of cards per box – I guess you could say it’s a good value!  (The previous statement is a joke, if you didn’t get it, sorry!)

- There are a few too many plain jersey cards and parallel cards in the set.  Some of the subsets have names that are silly.  Price is out of this world for most collectors.

Final Comments: I’m glad Panini has their own ultra high-end product.  It brings new life to the hobby and makes things very interesting.  Dominion really surprised me this year.  I didn’t know what to expect of it, but I can say with confidence that it beat all initial expectations I had of it.  There is a little tidying up to do with this product.  Panini should address parallels and plain jersey cards, but Panini really only has to implement a few tweaks to improve upon this already great product.  If Panini takes a delicate approach to improving their top product it may soon be number one!


#1  The Cup.


+ High-end collectors LOVE The Cup.  Hands down it is in a league of its own.  Upper Deck’s top product has steamrolled along ever since it burst into the hobby world with its 05/06 release.  It is a trusted brand that holds the most desired rookie cards of the year.  Opening a tin of The Cup is an experience I wish all could savor.  There isn’t anything else that gives so much anticipation.  The Cup is loaded with high dollar cards and superstar players.  Upper Deck always chooses only the best to put in The Cup, and within in it you may find exclusive legends like The Great One and Bobby Orr.  Everything about The Cup screams premium and best of the best.  Even the base cards are like bricks!  This is a magnificent set to behold and is what all collectors clamor for.

- Hitting a bad tin of The Cup can make you cry.  The price of the cup is out of this galaxy for most collectors.

Final Comments: Last year’s Cup designs focused more on simplicity.  It was a different feel for The Cup and I wondered if Upper Deck was going to continue on that path.  They didn’t.  I don’t know if it would have been bad or not… but the creative geniuses at UD decided to take The Cup back in a classy, regal design – more akin to pre 09/10 designs.  It worked out great.  The Cup shows that it is the BOSS of all hockey cards.  The set feels epic.  It IS epic.  And collectors have shown this to be true because people are still cracking tins of The Cup.  Momentum has not slowed down even with competition.  It’s incredible to see just how respected The Cup is.  Even non-hockey card collectors stop and gawk when a tin is opened.  Just amazing.

Thank you for reading my hockey card rankings.  I hope you enjoyed it!  It was fun to recall all that Panini and Upper Deck brought us this past year.  I really appreciate both companies efforts in giving us these products that we enjoy so much.  My hats off to both companies.  I look forward to the new season of cards.  Victory is already out (I'll review it once I get my hands on some) and Artifacts will be releasing shortly.  I have a box incoming so be on the look out for my review of that in a few days.

To end, I would like to post some comments from normal hockey card collectors.  I asked collectors on Youtube to tell me what their favorite and least favorite hockey card products were this year.  The collectors have truly spoken!  Thanks to all who chimed in with an opinion.  Below are the actual comments and Youtube handles.

my favourite set from this year would have to be sp authentic i just love the future watch autos and all the nice patches my least favourite would have to be contenders for the price point getting four autos is nice yes but not when there all unknown rookies (thats what i got in my box) - MrSp0rtsfreak 

my favourite set is o pee chee because its fun to try to get all the cards since theres over 600 in the base set! my least favourite is donruss because its kinda hard to complete that base set because of ALL the doubles that you get in the breaks. - flyers1220cp 

My favourite 10-11 hockey set is Sp Authentic because all the autos are on card and my least favourite product is 10-11 Donruss because the cards look to plain and the cards dont have too much value. - HCC1817

I think the pinnicle set was my favourite, because i really liked the photos and cool jerseys. I hated the score set, it was overpriced, had no jerseys, and bad photography. - CanucksCollector

SP Authentic is the best because they have on card autos and the price point is very nice for many people. Zenith is the worst because the cards are plain and there are too many plain jersey cards. Only positive is the Dare to Tear. - warriorsmi 

Favorite set is artifacts love the patches they put very nice ones! also like how they sepratley made the base 1 type eastern and 1 type western just very nice cards as usual. worst is Black Diamond, too many paralells hate the singles doubles triples just too much of a bother - leafsfan451

My favorite set from this year is Between the Pipes. Clean base, likeable insert sets, a great variety of game used cards and a large group of autograph cards. My least favorite was Contenders. As a competitor to SP Authentic, it did not have real "gigantic hit" potential like SP Authentic did. As with panini products, there was a good amount of parallels and some iffy coalation of cases. - hockeyrocks8477 

Personally, I was a HUGE fan of Crown Royale. The stuff has great looking base cards and really delivered in quality. Not to mention the Rookie Silhouettes are gorgeous! I would say I didn't like Zenith that much. I thought the Daret to Tear was the only good promotion for the product. - gkolodziej1108 

My fave set would have to be Pinnacle! I've had such good luck with it.. and the price is decent for the hits you get. Also my least fave is SP Authentic.. It's a nice set.. but you get so many base packs. - JaredCowenFan

i think my favourite set this year was the artifacts set it basically always gives your money back and the cards have fabulous designs not to mention the great black autos /5 and all the rainbows you can complete. but i think my worst favourite card set this year was pinnacle although alot of people liked the cards and the designs i found that the designs of the card was dull i also found that there was no big chaser cards! unlike artifacts that is my favourite and least favourite sets!! - lolskateboarder

My product that i hate the most this year was opechee! SERIOUS UPPER DECK? opechee haha it's one of the worst products out there, you barely get anything and the cards arent worth a lot! :)
My favourite set/product for this year would have to be Artifacts, Why? good question because the base sets looked sick! it was very smart of ud to have different colours for eastern conference and western conference. Also you are guaranteed something in a box, there is no miss! you are guaranteed something in a pack, it is such a great product to buy single packs and boxes. Also for the price of a box it's worth it!
- MrSport4life

I loved Pinnacle this year because the blasters had a guarantee jersey which was decent for your money. As well, the hobby boxes had around 3 jerseys and 1 auto, plus a nice amount of rookies that sell pretty well if you hit someone good. I didn't like Victory because it's always the same low end product with not a whole lot of value. - UHF91

There are MANY more comments.  If you would like to see all of the comments (I'm looking at you UD and Panini!) or post your own, click HERE.

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