Monday, September 22, 2014

It's not too often you can pick up a Parkhurst card for 50 cents

Once in a blue moon, while surfing eBay, I pull up a list of all the card auctions that are closing soon.  I figure that if I troll for long enough, I'll find a deal or two that I can snipe. 

I happened upon this card one day last week:

Outside of a couple of Leafs cards from the last half of the 50's and a handful from the 60's, Parkhurst cards are something that I've shied away from because of the price tag.

I saw this card and was intrigued, especially since the opening bid was 50 cents!  I figured that I would throw a bid out on a lark, expecting that I would be outbid later.

Unbelievably, the 50 cent bid held and today I received this card in the mail.

A little bit of paper loss on the back, but definitely something that I was willing to overlook at that price tag.

I was skeptical that I would even receive the card; you know how it is, a seller gets a bid or 2 on a card and it ends up selling for far less than they expected, so they hold on to it and refund your money.  That skepticism ended this morning.


thanks for reading, Robert

Sunday, September 14, 2014

No longer turning my nose up at Topps

I really don't know why for many years I didn't bother with Topps hockey.  It's pretty much the same as OPC hockey was back in the 70's and 80's, with the exception that the sets were smaller. 

What's even stranger is that I'm not actively trying to put any sets together from either the 70's or 80's (save for 76-77 OPC), so if my predisposition to larger sets is no longer in the way, what's the problem.

Well, I guess there isn't one any more.   At the National (yea, I know it's been over a month), I found a table with dime boxes full of late 70's and early 80's Topps hockey.

I went to work digging out the Leafs...

Some great names from that era here...Salming will always be one of my favorite Leafs, along with Sittler.  Vaive and Derlago from the Canucks really was a steal for the Leafs; Tiger Williams was the "fighting" heart of the team, and Jerry Butler was a solid penalty killer and 4th line player.  But the Leafs get Derlago, 4 seasons of 30+ goals, and Vaive who becomes the first Leaf ever to score 50 in a season.  I love that I now have a card of someone not named Gretzky wearing the number 99 in the NHL as well.  Paiement wore it in Toronto for 4 seasons between 1979-82 before being traded to the Nordiques. 

Fast forward to the mid 80's, the Leafs are in the middle of a decade long run of below .500 seasons despite having some decent talent on the club.  Rick Vaive and Steve Thomas both got a Leafs photo on their 87-88 Topps card even though they were traded to Chicago in September of '87.  Same goes for Derlago, as he only played one game in Toronto in the 85-86 season before moving to Boston for Tom Fergus. 

The 85-86 design is one of my favorites from that decade, I like the logo placement in the upper corner, with the players name and position in the bar on the bottom that features the teams dominant color.  87-88's design wasn't as thrilling to a lot of people; it kind of reminds me of a couple of 60's baseball sets with the team name in a circle. 

The 77-78 and 78-79 designs were from my early collecting years, and are still are a pair of my favorites.  Getting players such as Sittler and Salming for 10 cents apiece still makes me smile because if I had waited until November at the Expo to pick these up, I probably would have had to pay more to get them. 

Unfortunately the table that had these cards was at the end of my National trip, and the funds were starting to run low.  There was quite a few cards that I could have picked up and started a few Topps sets from these years, but I would have been able to start only one of them, and choosing which one would have been difficult since I like them all.

I guess I just had to find a bunch of cards at 10 cents apiece of my beloved Blue and White heroes to change my mind about Topps hockey.  

I guess I'm just weird that way...

thanks for reading, Robert

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Welcome back MVP

I was always a fan of this set.  Back in the 90's it was a cheaper alternative to the myriad of other sets that were on the market, plus it had one of my favorite parallels ever, the silver signature parallel.

When I recently read that Upper Deck was going to resurrect MVP as a base brand again rather than an insert as it has been the past few years, I was happy.

Cheap cards, with a little something to chase, is right up my alley.

I bought a blaster while I was up in Canada during August, and when I amazingly spotted one in the card aisle today at Wal Mart, I quickly snapped it up.

The set consists of 300 cards, as it has in the past.  But now card #'s 201-300 are SPs, found 1:1 in hobby packs, 1:2 in retail/blasters.  That breakdown was a little disappointing, but not unexpected in today's SP driven card market.

The design is nice, although there may be a little too much border on the front for some people's tastes..

I think Upper Deck wanted to make sure that people knew that these cards were the MVP brand.  The logo/lettering appears twice on the front.

And twice more on the back customers are made aware that this is the MVP brand.  A little bit of overkill if you ask me.  Maybe a secondary photo on the back instead of the MVP logo would have enhanced these cards.

Also returning are my beloved silver script parallels.  I like the fact that they are distinguishable from the base set by the silver borders (along with the faux signature).  This blaster was very good to me, as I pulled 6 quality players.   This is probably going to be a chase set for me again, as I'm finally about to finish the 99-00 MVP silver sig set very shortly. 

Now, the blaster I bought in Canada netted me a Mikkel Boedker gold signature card.  I figured that I just got very lucky, since the gold signatures are #'d to 100.  Well, either I'm very lucky, or the gold signatures are in each blaster, because I pulled another one...

Love it.  Ryan O'Reilly, #'d 98/100.  In the past versions of MVP, I never pulled any gold signatures that I can recall.   Now 2 in 2 blasters?  Can my luck be changing that much?

Now this next insert I'm going to gush a little bit about...

The 3 stars of the week inserts are a fantastic idea in my opinion.  Not based on just guys who are young, or hot in the collecting world, these cards feature players that earned the 3 stars during a specific week during the NHL regular season.  

How many times are you going to see Taylor Hall, Semyon Varlamov and Max Pacioretty on a card together??  I don't recall seeing any kind of inserts like these in the past, and I'd love to see more of these in the future.  With 26 of these available (one for each week during the season), it's also an attainable insert set to put together.

MVP also has a colors and contours parallel set that is found in hobby packs that will drive team and player collectors a little more crazy as well. 

Sorry for the blurry image

No, I unfortunately don't have the Joe Sakic die-cut yet, but naturally as a Sakic collector I would love to have one for my PC.  A quick search of eBay shows that these have a bit of a wide price range so far; a lot of the commons going for about $2-$3, while a Bobby Orr purple die cut has a $40 BIN price tag on one auction that I found.

I'm hoping by the time the Hockey Expo in November rolls around that the price tag drops a bit, which I'm thinking it will since the 14-15 Upper Deck series 1 releases that week.

All in all, this has been a fun and inexpensive rip so far, and it just may replace my OPC chase this year.

thanks for reading, Robert