Thursday, September 22, 2011

2010-2011 Hockey Card Rankings #3-4

Products ranked three and four are stellar offerings from both Panini and Upper Deck.  Each of them, coincidentally, come in 10-pack hobby boxes.  Both offer a wide array of desirable hits, and both of them are great fun to bust open.  One gets the edge because it has a more favorable price point.  But really, they are both neck and neck.  Here they are!

#4  Certified.

+ This first release from Panini really set expectations high for all their subsequent sets.  Certified has a premium feel to it, and there are plenty of hits to be found within each box.  Collectors have enjoyed chasing the numerous variations of cards, as well as the plentiful game used and autographed cards found within.  Certified came out very early on in the collecting season, but still managed to have autographed rookie cards of the most desired players – that was impressive.  Certified gives a very satisfying box breaking experience and has cards that still hold up in value and desirability today.

- The base set is difficult to collect.  I have heard stories of people missing a handful of base cards while others had multiple copies of those same cards.  Collation seemed to be an issue with Certified.  Box prices have risen to a point that makes me hesitant to purchase it.

Final Comments: Certified delivers in a big way.  The cards are designed well and there are plenty of things for everyone to chase in it.  The high-end feel of this product doesn’t come at a super high-end price, though prices for it have certainly risen since it first rolled into stores.  I really enjoyed cracking into Certified this year.  This brand has gotten off to a strong start that I’m sure can continue for years to come.

#3  Artifacts.

+ Artifacts breaks top 3 products in my opinion because it is such a fun box break at a very good price.  Weighing in at under $90, you get 10 packs with something in each pack.  The best aspect of Artifacts are the game-used cards.  Landing a dual or triple memorabilia card is not too difficult.  And there are some really amazing patch cards in the product to make it worthwhile.  Though not a high end product, the base cards feel premium and are elegantly designed.  The rookie redemption card makes for a little excitement, and the autographs are really just icing on the cake. 

- The design of the dual and triple memorabilia cards featuring multiple players could use an overhaul.  The color schemes make it difficult tell who they are, and the names on these cards are difficult to read. 

Final Comments: You definitely get a little bit of everything when buying Artifacts.  I would not hesitate to say that Artifacts gives you a great bang for the buck.  You get memorabilia, autos, redemption cards (and these are not the ones they put in because the athlete didn’t sign in time), low serial numbered cards, and great looking base cards all in one 10-pack box.  When collectors ask me for something affordable but nice I always turn them to this year’s Artifacts.  Great job on this product Upper Deck!

Tomorrow we'll see the top 2 products of the year!  Who do you think will be the card king?

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