Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Beckett Website

Beckett has been behind the growth of the sports card industry since the early 1990's and their website has been a great asset for player collectors, organizing collections, their magazine and their online price guide.   Recently, Beckett has over-hauled their website.  The new format has been met with criticism on many forums  due to its lack of user-friendly features, introduction of trading fees, and changes to many of its formats.  Collectors are frustrated due to the amount of time it takes to familiarize oneself to the new site and the difficulty in doing tasks which used to be simple.

From my experience, the site has declined in usefulness.  The new site is not user-friendly and is overly complicated.  However, besides the handy player collector features which allow a person to create a list of most available cards of a certain player, I never used the site much to begin with.  The reason... it never offered anything else that I needed.

If I want a list of player cards or a quick price check, I go to Beckett.  If I want insightful discussion on new products, uncensored hobby talk, access to cards thru trading, or opportunities to buy/sell without using eBay, then I will visit one of the many message boards and web forums available online.   Using the Beckett website is similar to only getting your news from CNN.  You're only getting one story from one angle.   The various web forums such as HobbyInsider give many viewpoints from many different collectors, and for the most part, these views are uncensored and do not serve the interests of a corporate entity.

If the new Beckett website wants to alienate collectors, fine.  Other than the production of a price guide and the player collection database, its relevance to the hobby has been declining on an annual basis.  Real collectors have much better assets available to them on the internet anyway.  And for the most part, they were already using them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fake Sports Card of the Day

This one would definitely end up in a few collections... and it would be the cornerstone of my Montreal Canadiens collection.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sports Card Expo

I've booked my flight for the Sports Card Expo in Toronto for November 14-16, 2008. It is the largest sportscard/memorabilia show in Canada. This will be my third consecutive appearance. It is a great experience and a great opportunity to meet and get autographs from former professional athletes and the selection of merchandise is unsurpassed in Canada.

It is also a excellent chance to meet other collectors and to visit display booths from manufacturers such as In The Game and Upper Deck.

Friday, August 1, 2008

2007-08 The Cup Break - Card by Card

Okay, well in my mailbox was a fresh tin of The Cup.  The plastic packaging is off and the cover is about to be lifted.  I'll break it card by card.

Here we go:

Card #1 is....  Bernie Parent base card /299.  Not bad.  A great goaltender in his day for the Flyers.  I can also tell that there appears to be 5 cards in this pack.  I believe you're guaranteed 4 cards so hopefully I get something a little special or a nice Montreal Canadien (not Michael Ryder though).

Sliding Bernie Parent out of the way....
Card #2 is...  Curtis McElhinney RC Patch (black) Autograph /249.  A Calgary Flames goaltending prospect.  I can't say much about him as I don't know much about him other than he's got one of the best in front of him before he could be called a starter.  He does have a nice autograph though.  Hopefully, he turns out to be a player.

Sliding Curtis out of the way...
Card #3 is...  this could be interesting, I see Mario Lemieux's face.  I've never rec'd an autograph of his before... fingers crossed... BEAUTIFUL!  A Mario Lemieux Limited Logos Auto Patch /50.  The patch is gold/black/white with stitching/black.  And his auto is very stylish.  Now I know what one looks like in my own hands.  Sweet.  The final two cards are just a bonus after this.

Sliding Mario slowly out of the way...
Card #4 is...  a Martin Brodeur Gold Jersey card /25 (white).  Pretty boring.  I've never been a Brodeur fan.  In my opinion, his statistics are just a product of the defensive trap system played by New Jersey.  He'll never match Patrick Roy in my eyes.

Moving Brodeur out of the way... final card...
Card #5 is... Rob Schremp Magenta Printing Plate 1/1.  Very nice!  A plate from UD MVP, I believe.  A solid Edmonton Oilers prospect.  The Oilers could have an exciting team this year.  

All in all, a very solid pack.  An auto/patch of one of the greatest to ever play.  A 1/1 printing plate, and three goalies.  Never a bad thing when you play nets yourself.   :)  No Habs though... another time.