Sunday, November 30, 2014

Retail Review #129 (12/13 Upper Deck Series One Tin)

I'm definitely excited to open this tin of 12/13 Upper Deck Series 1. People are always recommending tins to me, but they are just so hard to get a hold of where I live. I've finally gotten one of these to check out here on Retail Review - I hope that delivers in terms of my expectations for it!

Price - 

Packs - 12
12/13 UD Series 1 Packs

2012/13 was not a great year for hockey, so that's probably why these tins can be had a such a low price now. Comparing just the packaging, I'd definitely go for a tin over a blaster any day. It just feels a lot more special to be opening up a tin rather than a standard blaster box. There's something about a tin that just ups the ante.

I'm sure that comparing tins to blasters shouldn't be too different. I'm expecting to get a couple of Young Guns and some insert cards. In terms of rookie cards, there's not much I'll be looking for as this year was not a good year for rookies. I'm hoping for some nice cards of established stars in the NHL.

Let's pop the lid off this tin and see what's inside:

Review -
The break started off pretty slowly as I opened up what seemed to be base pack after base pack. But once those were through, the tin definitely picked up and got better. The actual packs inside the tin feel thicker than those you get in a retail blaster. Everything about this opening experience was enhanced compared to those.

I ended up getting a pretty large stack of base cards as well as some nice canvas and insert cards. I pulled three canvas cards out as well as a Silver Skates foil card of Daniel Sedin. I have to say that I felt satisfied after getting all these cards out of the tin. Did it meet expectations? Yup!

My favorite three cards of the break are as follows:

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Ryan Callahan Card No. WC-11
This jumbo sized card came in its own holder inside the tin. These types of cards may be difficult to store, but they make nice bonuses inside tins.

#2 - Joe Pavelski Card No. C70
I've got to put Pavelski here at two because I'm a huge Sharks fan. This photo of Pavs is pretty nice as well as it looks like he is trying to channel Bobby Orr.

#1 - Anders Lindback Card No. GJ-AL
Nice! A hit! It's great to get a hit in retail. Now that I've gotten a UD jersey from this tin, it makes me wonder if there are hits in every tin. I don't have enough experience with them to know for sure.

Overall Value -
For ten dollars this was a very nice little break. I was very pleased with the break, and would happily get more of these to open up. The tin delivered more content than a regular blaster would have. It's no wonder that people recommend these Upper Deck tins to me! They are a very nice retail product.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Retail Review #128 (2013 Goodwin Champions Blaster)

It's been a while since I've opened up a blaster of Goodwin. I find myself continually drawn to this product because of all the variety it offers. It's always fun to see all the different stars from the different sports represented here in a creative and artistic way. It's pretty difficult to find hits in these blasters, but there's always that slight chance to find one!

Price - 

Packs - 12
2013 Goodwin Champions Blaster Packs

If I were to associate Goodwin Champions with a certain sport, it would be baseball as it has many characteristics that some baseball sets have. One of the most notable characteristics are the mini cards found in this product. The blaster states that collectors will find 5 minis per box. That's not a huge incentive for me to buy the product, but for some it may be as they enjoy those little collectibles. Mini cards come in a variety of parallels. It's important to always check the back of the mini cards as that is generally where the variations show up. They may have different colored ink or different designs.

I'll go ahead and open up this blaster and see what comes out:

Review -
I thought that I have opened one of these blasters before, but I didn't recognize the base design. I guess this was a first for me! That always makes things a little better actually as I like being surprised.

The blaster came with a huge mix of different people from a variety of subjects. I got Abraham Lincoln! It was fun seeing the artistic drawings once again. Goodwin Champions is definitely a bit of an oddball product, but I think that's what gives it its charm.

In terms of minis, I got five as stated in the box. Checking the odds, I found that to get an autographed card it would be 1:480. Wow, those are hard odds! Memorabilia hits are a bit easier and clock in at 1:96.

Here were my three favorites from this break:

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Don Maynard Card No. 89
This particular mini card is a Lady Luck parallel card. It's denoted by the green borders and different graphics on the back. 

#2 - Venus Card No. WT-3
I'm sort of a space geek and I just saw Interstellar so this card was pretty cool to find in the blaster. The Eagle Nebula card also come in the blaster, but this one I like because it's closer to home.

#1 - Mats Sundin Card No. 42
My only hockey mini card was of HOFer Mats Sundin. It's always cool find these hockey cards in Goowin Champions. They give a pretty fresh take on the players.

Overall Value -
At under eight dollars, I thought this break was decent. I got everything I thought I would get, but nothing more. I would have loved to find a unique memorabilia card, but that wasn't to be. I would have to say that I enjoyed this box purely for looking at the different cards. Nothing here would have any significance to my collection as a whole though.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Retail Review #127 (11/12 Panini Pinnacle Blaster)

I've opened up quite a bit of Panini Pinnacle on Retail Review episodes, but they haven't gotten boring yet! These blasters are very affordable, contain hits, and are great fun to open. It's awesome to find them at such good prices now.

Price - 

Packs - 10
11/12 Panini Pinnacle Packs

This blaster box was once $20 to buy at a retail store. I got this one for about six dollars at That is a great deal. These blasters come with a pretty decent amount of cards, and includes great looking base cards, several inserts and parallels, and a hit to top it all off! These might be the best deal you can find in terms of discounted retail boxes. This is a blaster that I already know I'll enjoy - I'm just looking forward to seeing what's in it.

Let's go ahead and open this box up:

Review -
What a fun box to open! This box came with a lot of variety in terms of card types and card images. Pinnacle's photo selection could even rival those from Upper Deck Series One and Two. They are that unique! There were several times I just had to stop and look at the photo on the card. For collectors who enjoy photographs, this is definitely a must see set.

Besides the inserts and hits, I was also able to get two NuFex foil parallel cards from this box. It was nice to get one rookie card and also a standard parallel. I've always enjoyed the look of these cards and am happy to pull them out whenever I open up Pinnacle.

Here were my favorite cards of this break:

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Paul Stastny/Matt Duchene Card No. 3
I like the look of these Foundation Tandems cards. Usually I'm not a fan of multi-player cards, but these have a clean and fresh look to them that is enjoyable. If I'm not mistaken, these cards were only available in retail.

#2 - Jordan Eberle Card No. 8
Canvas cards are very popular nowadays, and for good reason... they incorporate some nice art and textures into their design. Eberle was one of my favorite players out of the 10/11 rookie class and pulling him is never a bad thing in my opinion.

#1 - Steve Ott Card No. 25
I'm not a Steve Ott fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a fan of getting hits out of blasters, even if they are just jersey cards. The Threads jersey set may be a standard jersey card, but the design is colorful and full. These are nice looking cards.

Overall Value -
For six dollars this blaster of Pinnacle was a great deal. I thoroughly enjoyed the breaking experience and got some nice cards out of it. I'm sure these blasters won't be around forever, I'd take the chance to get them now while they are dirt cheap before they are all gone! These are top quality, well-made, cards that may not be rare, but they are solid hockey cards to add into any collection.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Retail Review #126 (09/10 Upper Deck Champs Blaster)

I began collecting hockey cards again during the 2009/10 season, and I remember Upper Deck Champs really well. It was a product that was very similar to some Topps baseball and football products at the time. There really hasn't been a set much like Champs in hockey since it was discontinued. That's too bad, I liked it quite a bit!

Price - 

Packs - 12
09/10 Upper Deck Champs Blaster Packs

Champs is an eclectic mix of many things. You'll not only find hockey players, but also historical figures, items, and even animals. The cards come on an O-Pee-Chee-like old school card stock, which adds to the nostalgic and classic feel of the cards.

Mini cards found one-per-pack was one of the main draws of Champs. Collectors could expect to find one mini card per pack. Both the mini cards and the standard cards had parallel variations, some of which were extremely difficult to find.

Champs was a very polarizing product as some collectors loved it and others really hated it. I was one of those who really enjoyed the set, and wished it never left the shelves. I'm very excited to see what comes out of this particular blaster box of cards!

Here goes:

Review -
What a fun break! This blaster had a wide range of interesting cards and even a hit! I was very pleased with the results of this break and enjoyed it thoroughly. There aren't too many cards per pack, but I was able to find quite a few different parallel variations of cards. The most common variation was the lighter blue/teal base card parallel. A few of those came out.

In the mini cards, I got two rookie cards. The rookie cards come with a golden border and ornate design that really stands out. It was great to get some big names out of the mini card pulls from this blaster. Kim Campbell, the chirostenotes pergracilis, and the Statue of Zeus were the three non-hockey related cards from the box.

There were lots of cards to choose from, but here were my top cards this week:

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Joe Thornton Card No. 280
It's always great getting nice Sharks cards to add to the PC. This particular card is a great addition in that it is unique and I think looks very cool. This break makes me want to get more of these mini Sharks cards into the collection.

#2 - Nik Antropov Card No. MT-NA
It's so surprising to find a hit in retail! This mini card is of Nik Antropov when he was with the Thrashers. It's funny that I've been pulling more Atlanta cards as of late. 

#1 - Patrick Roy Card No. 253
Usually the hit in the box is the top card, but I think this red back parallel of Patrick Roy tops that. Roy is a legend, and these red backed cards are not easy to pull! This is a very sweet pull.

Overall Value -
Champs is such a fun product. The original price was twenty bucks, and I probably would break down and buy it for that price even today... but luckily, they are heavily discounted online. For half the original price, these blasters are great fun to break and don't break the bank. If you're wanting to try a product that's a little off center, I would highly recommend opening up some Champs!

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014-2015 Upper Deck Series One Review

I love the time in the hockey season when Upper Deck Series One comes out. This is THE set that all hockey collectors no matter what will get at least a bit of during the season. Upper Deck's signature set is consistently beautiful and a great celebration of the game on ice.

Base Card Design -
Upper Deck does not go wrong with this iteration of Series One. The cards are clean and crisp and 'oh so beautiful'! The photographs pop off the cardboard with a glossy sheen. As Upper Deck has traditionally done with this set, the cards are all about the photographs that adorn them. The images are stunning to look at, and it's a thrill to just flip through the set and enjoy the pictures. The graphical elements on the front of the card are minimal and out of the way. They compliment and provide a nice frame for the card. The fonts and colors used are very modern... really a superior design.

The Series One backs do a great job of utilizing the front elements, but overall the card backs don't excite too much. It's a very traditional Upper Deck card back that looks good, but doesn't overwhelm in terms of eye appeal.

The Young Guns this year come with a fresh and exciting look. The look this year is a bit reserved, but I really did enjoy the actual 'Young Guns' marquee that was used this year. The silver foil and the light blue work well together on these cards. My only complain about the Young Guns cards is that if you go through the card quickly in the pack they can be missed as they have a similar feel and look to the standard base cards. Other than that I would say that these Young Gun cards are a great addition to the overall Young Gun card line-up.

Base Card Design Score:

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
If you're buying a hobby box of Upper Deck Series One you can expect to find two memorabilia cards and a smattering of inserts and parallel cards. Though Upper Deck can be considered a mid-lower-end brand, Upper Deck has inserted some very short-printed and extremely desirable cards for collectors to find.

One of the the sweetest looking insert cards that came out of my break of Series One was this blue parallel Wayne Gretzky Shining Stars card. The card looks like a jewel shining in the light. Standard versions come on a silver foil backing. These Stars Inserts remind me a little of the insert cards once found in Upper Deck SP products in the 90's. There was definitely an emphasis on making a card really good looking first and foremost back then, and these cards do just that.

The Hockey Heroes set is back... AGAIN. Ughh. As you can tell I'm not a fan of these cards. Though I like the fact that there is a set that runs through each set of Upper Deck every year, these cards just aren't that great looking. I'm definitely tired of them. Many of the past Hockey Heroes sets have been of retired players. It's a bit strange to see guys like Alex Ovechkin adorning these cards.

Canvas parallel cards have also been put into Upper Deck packs. These popular cards have a canvas feel to them and feature even more unique photographs than their base card counterparts. I see these cards as being very popular again, especially the Canvas Young Guns... collectors seem to go crazy for them each year.

My box of UD1 had the standard two jersey cards inside it. It's nice to be able to pull hits out of Upper Deck, but these jersey cards tend not to fetch much in terms of money value. In terms of design, these Game Jersey cards look good. They are colorful and actually remind me of a base card design with a jersey on it. Super short-printed patch variations of these cards are the ones to really look for in boxes.

Autographs and other short-printed cards are also available in Upper Deck Series One this year. I would have to say that the box I opened was a typical box. If you're able to pull an autograph out of this product, you're doing pretty well. Some of the most desirable pulls this year will be of hand numbered buy back cards from the 90's.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:

Overall Rating -
As a set of hockey cards, you can't go wrong with Upper Deck Series One... it's just so solid! I would say, however, that many times this set lives and dies by the Young Gun class that it contains. If there isn't a stand-out Young Gun to be found, the set value usually suffers a bit. That being said, there are plenty of goodies that Upper Deck has put into this set of cards that should make collectors drool over.

Upper Deck Series One is a set that I would recommend purchasing 'just because'. And that's the way it is.

Overall Rating:

Check out my box of UD1 from D&P Sportscards in Sacramento, Ca:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Retail Review #125 (12/13 Upper Deck Series 1 Blaster)

2012-13 was one of the worst years for hockey cards. That was the year of the lock-out, and the card sets released that year were cut short. No big name rookies have really emerged from this year's set of cards. I do remember buying these at my local Target for the full $20 asking price. Man... that was expensive!

Price - 

Packs - 12
12/13 Upper Deck Series 1 Blaster Packs

Will anything good every come from this rookie class? Well, I guess I can't call it a rookie class in that the featured rookies were hold-overs from 11/12. But there's always a chance a sleeper will emerge! I guess the one good thing about this year was that most of the cards can be had a heavily discounted prices.

The main draw of a card product every year are the rookie cards, but with no desirable rookie cards, collectors only have the veteran and retired stars to look forward to getting. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Pulling a big name like Crosby or Gretzky from these products would still make for an amazing hit.

Let's open up this blaster and see what it has inside:

Review -
I was a bit surprised at the amount of inserts found in this blaster. My recent Upper Deck Series 1 and 2 blaster have really skimped on the insert cards. But this one had an insert in just about every other pack. Though UD has amazing photography to carry the set, the inserts found can really break things up a little and make the pack busting a more fun experience.

Though I didn't pull anything very big, I found myself enjoying this break more than I thought I would.

Here were the top cards of the break:

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Warren Peters Card No. 230
I mentioned in the video that this year's Young Gun design was amongst my favorites of all Young Gun designs. I love the clean white and red color scheme. It definitely has a future/modern feel going for it.

#2 - Matt Watkins Card No. 242
I got my 2 Young Gun cards from the box that were expected. I've heard of Matt Watkins... that's more than I could have said for Warren Peters... so that's why Watkins gets the second spot in the top three.

#1 - Logan Couture Card No. 40
Well, all of you know that my PC player is Logan Couture,  so getting an insert card of his will most likely be in the top three. It's always nice to get the player you collect in a pack.

Overall Value -
It's pretty hard to recommend 12/13 Upper Deck Series 1. There just isn't much there to look forward to, however, I was able to pick this blaster up for under $7... which is pretty darned good. I guess at that low of a price point it's an ok buy.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!