Tuesday, September 20, 2011

2010-2011 Hockey Card Rankings #10-14

This next group of products are the card sets ranked ten through fourteen.  Some of the products in this grouping started off at too high a price point, but have settled to levels appropriate for what they give out.  Do you agree with where these products fall?

#14  Limited.


+ It was nice to have a higher end product come out earlier on in the hockey season.  Since there was no UD Black in 10/11, this was pretty much it in terms of higher end early season product.  Limited provided a chance to get some very low numbered cards as well as premium memorabilia pieces such as whole Reebok logos on cards.  You could also get a variety of autographed and memorabilia cards of rookies, current players, and retired players.  

- Looking back at Limited, the product feels like it wasn’t worth the price tag.  The card stock is thin for a premium card - I actually feel like the Certified base cards were better executed than the base of Limited.  Also, many of the jerseys and autographs were just stuck onto the front of base cards.  It didn’t look good and collectors have not shown much interest in collecting them.

Final Comments: At the time Limited seemed pretty strong – but that was because there was nothing else to compare it to.  Now that products like Ultimate Collection (probably it’s closest comparable product) and Luxury Suite are out, Limited just doesn’t feel like it measures up.  At this point I would go for the later season releases over this.  Panini was smart to release it when they did.  If they do the same thing in 11/12 they should be ok.

#13  SP Game-Used.


+ Getting a jersey card in each pack as a bare minimum is a nice feature to have.  The jersey cards and insert sets are very cleanly designed and attractive.  Putting together words using their letterman cards is fun to do and a challenge for collectors.    

- SPGU’s concept of one jersey per pack comes at too high a price.  Jersey cards are not worth what they used to be and purchasing a pack at about $50 is just too much.  Most packs will scarcely give you back $5 in return.  The rookie cards that come in SPGU, though limited, are not attractively designed and their selling price reflects this.  Collectors are cold towards these rookie cards.

Final Comments: SPGU is simply too risky a product to purchase for the price by the pack or by the box.  This product would be much better at the $125/box range, but most sellers have it between $150-200.  The letterman cards are fun, but the fact that they are manufactured and not ‘game-used’ detracts from them.  SPGU’s main attraction is supposed to be its memorabilia cards.  Unfortunately, collectors are cooling towards this kind of card unless it has a great patch or is with an autograph.  SPGU’s abundance of plain jersey cards is getting old… and fast.  This brand needs an image change STAT!

#12  Luxury Suite.


+ There are multiple hits per pack – all with serial numbering.  The cards are thick and cleanly designed.  Many of the stick piece cards look fantastic.  Autographs are on card.  The price of this product has drastically fallen.

- There are no base cards in Luxury Suite.  Panini attempts to give collectors only hits and rookie cards.  There are many rookies in this release – most of whom are not collectible, nor will they ever be.  Regular jersey cards do not hold much value and multiple memorabilia card swatches are very small.

Final Comments: Initially I would have ranked Luxury Suite much, much lower.  This product came with such high expectations, but fell from collector’s good graces because of it’s price point.  At its current available price, Luxury Suite is a very nice product with a good potential for nice hits.  There are limited rookie cards and some very nice memorabilia available.  I’d jump on it getting some now.

#11  Zenith.


+ The Dare to Tear cards are great fun.  It’s what makes opening Zenith exciting.  You are able to get National Treasure auto rookie cards as well as Elite auto rookie cards within the large tear-able cards.  On card rookie autographed cards are a very nice draw for this product.  The nufex enhanced insert cards look nice and some of the legend cards within the base set have interesting pictures (like Cam Neely as a Canuck).

- The Winter Warriors jersey insert is one of the ugliest and boring designs I have seen all year.  Mosaics jersey cards that carry only 1 or 2 jersey pieces when there are three total players on the card look ridiculous.  The base card set is very plain and boring.  Non-autographed rookie cards are hard to distinguish from the base set.  They are easily passed over if flipping quickly through the cards.

Final Comments: I feel the same way about Zenith as I do about Luxury Suite.  It had high expectations then came out at a price that was too high for what you got.  Now that current box prices have fallen, I feel it is a product worth purchasing – especially in trying to get a good card out of a Dare to Tear jumbo card.  If you get something good out of it, the rest of the box is like icing on a cake!

#10  SPx.


+ SPx surprises collectors this year with a distinctly modern design.  The base cards are classy and the rookie cards are bright and vibrant.  The rookie autographed with jersey cards are particularly good looking cards, as are the flashback fabrics.  Each insert that can be obtained in SPx this year has a superior design – from their Spx Finite Rookies to the amazing looking Shadowbox cards.  This set really stepped it up from the previous year’s offering and comes at an appropriate price point.

- SPx rookie cards will never be the most desired rookie card to get.  They fall in the middle of the pack even though this year’s look so nice.  Individually the base cards are nice looking, but all together – particularly in a binder – they all look completely the same and are, quite frankly, boring.

Final Comments: This year’s SPx offering gives collector’s a strong value and some great looking cards.  There is a nice assortment of autographs, jersey cards, patch cards, and the stunning Shadowbox insert set.  The price of this product has remained stable since it came out.  It’s not a product to heavily invest in, but does give fairly strong value per box and is a solid choice to pick up in its price range.  UD has found a nice formula and design this year.  Let’s see them continue to improve this product.

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