Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Patiently Waiting

2009-10 UD NHL Artifacts is now live. I bought a box and received it today. Unfortunately, it will have to sit unopened for the next few weeks. I'll also accumulate a few boxes of UD 09-10 NHL Series 1 in a few weeks as well as one box of ITG Ultimate 9th Edition and one box of '1972 - The Year In Hockey'. These will all be packed into my suitcase and shipped up to the Sport Card Expo in Toronto on November 13th -15th.

For those who don't know, In The Game and Upper Deck both have booths at the Expo. They don't sell product there, but during the Expo, you can line-up at the booths and when you get to the table, you open your box of cards. When finished, the company representatives will take your wrappers and you will randomly receive a short-printed card made especially for the weekend. Some times it's an autograph, other times it's memorabilia. You can usually open one box per day at the booths.

I was especially lucky at the Upper Deck booth last year and received these cards on Friday and Saturday:

It's a great bonus for those who can make it to the Expo. It's great for the dealers too as it encourages more product to be sold and busted. I'm not 100% sure on the products which can be broken at the Expo as ITG has released their list but Upper Deck has not so I'm taking a guess on the Artifacts and the UD Series 1. Regardless, these boxes will be busted in a few weeks... free cards or not.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Hey, I heard you collect hockey cards..."

Recently, while a group of people that I work-out with were out for lunch, one of the guys leaned over and said "Hey, I heard you collect hockey cards." Now I used to get my hopes up when I heard this statement. In the past, I would imagine finding a new hobby friend and someone to discuss the new releases and our old treasures. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10 this just isn't the case.

My response has become standard now. "Oh yeah, cool. When did you collect?" Almost without exception, the response is, "In the early '90's." Then my heart sinks. I know that they're going to say that they've got all the good players and that they were curious what kind of value they have and where they might be able to sell them. It's my unfortunate job to tell them the facts and the hard truths.

As many of the collectors know, it's almost impossible to move cards from the early 1990's. Over-production by most of the manufacturers created a lot of short-term collectors and far too many cards to make any of them worth very much now. It's unfortunate that if you collected before 1990 and after 2000, things were pretty good. It was that darn decade in the middle.

It really challenges the pride I have in my collection and my hobby. So many of the early 1990's collectors learn that their collection is almost worthless so they assume that everything that I collect is without value too. And it makes it very hard to get them interested again. Corporate greed corrupted a potential generation of collectors. The hobby will always survive but it makes you wonder if it will ever really thrive again.

Here's a tip - Toss those cards into a shoebox and sell them for a low price at a flea market or yard sale... or just give a few thousand cards to the neighbour's kids. It's a chance to create interest, rebuild the hobby, and show that the collectors are the real good guys. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall Sports Card Expo 2009 - Toronto (Update)

The autograph guests have been released for the 2009 Sports Card Expo in Toronto, Ontario. We've known for a while that Mario Lemieux and Gordie Howe would be the main draws but now we've got an update with more names. No doubt there will be a few more guests too as there are always a few surprises at the show.

November 13th, 2009

Larry Jeffrey (Toronto, NYR, Detroit - Age 69)
Any Item - $15.00

Pete Stemkowski (Toronto, NYR, Detroit, LA - Age 66)
Any Item - $20.00

Bob Pulford (HOF coach and player - Age 73)
Flat Item - $25.00
Premium Item - $35.00

November 14th, 2009

Gordie Howe (Mr. Hockey - Age 81)
Flat Item -$99.00
Bulky Item - $149.00
Premium Item - $299.00

Parker MacDonald (Former coach and player - Age 76)
All Items - $20.00

Bill Gadsby (Former coach and player - Age 82)
All Items - $20.00

November 15th, 2009

Mario Lemieux (HOF Superstar - Age 44)
Regular Item - $179.00
Premium Item - $299.00
VIP Premier Pack - $999.00
($50.00 inscription or personalization)

Pierre LaRouche (Former 50 goal scorer - Age 53)
All Items - $20.00

Monday, October 19, 2009

Awesome Card of the Week

From 1995-96 Upper Deck Be A Player comes this image of Luke Richardson biting through his hockey stick:

Not only an imaginative pose, this card features Richardson's autograph as well. A nice autograph from one of the game's toughest customers.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

'Staches, 'Fros, and Bad Do's - Part II

In The Game's "1972 - The Year In Hockey" has done more than bring the stars from almost 40 years ago back to the forefront of our minds. It has also brought us style which we just don't see any more from the players of today.

Darryl Sittler, sporting an afro, Rick MacLeish, workin' that hair style, and Rogie Vachon, smiling under that feather-duster were all skilled and often selected as all-stars of 1970's and 1980's. They're often added as autograph inserts in today's products as well. Unfortunately, we rarely see them looking like this.

Pictures like these are one of the reasons I continue to collect cards from pre-1980. Seriously, how could you not? :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Real Sports Card of the Day

"1972 - The Year In Hockey" is loaded with interesting players, stats, and facts.

It's also loaded with interesting hair styles and large moustaches.

But best of all, it's loaded. Period. Lots of hits, hard-signed autos, and large jersey pieces from older stars and from players who have long been hidden.

And it's got Orr. Bobby Orr.

I was lucky enough to pull this:

1971-72 1st Team All-Star Jersey (white but a nice texture) - Possibly /10.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fall Sports Card Expo 2009 - Toronto

This year the National Sportcard and Memorabilia Expo will take place in Toronto, Ontario on November 13, 14, and 15, 2009. The highlights this year will include autograph guests Gordie Howe and Mario Lemieux. Their autograph prices are expensive but they are two of the greatest NHL players ever. I had the honour of meeting Gordie Howe and getting his autograph at a previous Expo and I still consider it one of my most memorable experiences.

With hundreds of tables of autographs, jersey cards, inserts, and hard-to find items, the Expo is a must-see. Every sport is represented and lots of non-sport items and odd-ball items that you rarely see are there as well.

For more information, please visit