Sunday 31 January 2021

As a Matter of Artifacts - Box 3

 One final box of Artifacts - because I'm absurdly gullible. I'd watched enough breaks of this to realize that a lot of the boxes weren't really living up to the advertised level of content. Some boxes would have only one hit, but it would average out in the case with some boxes containing 5 or 6. And some would be as advertised in terms of hits, but all would contain dinged corners on the base cards. 

Absurdly gullible.

But at least I completed the Ottawa Senators base set with this DuClair. At least he's finally playing again as a member of the Panthers.

A couple more base cards, as you get a look at the design used for the rookies, and for the legends portion of the set. Jagr is in full mullet here with a photo from the 1996 game, the only one where he skated while sporting that jersey.
Here's the rookie redemption in this. This will probably end up being a Joey Keane card, but I'd love it if it were local kid Steven Lorentz.

Parallel #1.
And parallel #2. Hey! It's an ebay 1/1! Last one stamped!
As for the hits, I hope parallels of the base cards are your thing, because that's what they were limited to. But at least the box was accurate. The first two were the standard gold parallels, but it was nice to see 2 different colours for both the swatches.
But here's something a little more colourful. Even though it isn't pictured on the the uniform in question, the purple works really nicely with a Los Angeles Kings card. And as I've said in the past, like with bronze on a Senators relic, silver always makes a Kings swatch a little more special. Even though I did get the correct amount of hits and numbered cards in this, I'll probably limit myself to group breaks after this.

And there you have it! Tomorrow, I'll make a quick trip into the mailbag.

Saturday 30 January 2021

Any Port in a Storm

To say the retail shelves were threadbare would be an understatement. The card section at Wally World had nothing there. Not even any gaming cards. Fortunately for myself, there were a few hanger options near the check-out area. They had hanger packs of 20-21 UD Series 1, but since I'd put together the 1-200 base set, that wasn't really interesting. So, it was this. I guess I had the chance at a card of top Raptors pick Malachi Flynn.

Who didn't appear.

But it was a pretty good card for adding cards of some lottery picks. It might be a year too late, but here's a card of a Pelicans top draft pick with the Lewis. The Raptors drafted a Jalen as well with the 59th pick, but Jalen Smith went a little earlier, with the 10th pick to the Suns. The Crusade is a subset, not an insert set here, and Hayes was the highest pick among the base cards, 7th overall to the Pistons.

Prizm means parallels. For these packs, it is pink cracked ice parallels that one would find. We've got the highest and lowest picks from the pack with these two. Okoro was the 5th overall pick of Cleveland, with Achiuwa being the 20th selection by Miami. That might be my favourite of the pack, since I really like how the blue of the uniform and the team colours work with the pink.

And there you have it! I guess I'll have to order some repacks from the source to get some retail.

Thursday 28 January 2021

Recapping Raptors

I'm returning to my latest COMC mailer with the Raptors content. 

It is a very insert intensive post, but here's the only base card in the bunch, as Anunoby rocks one of the alternate uniforms. As usual, the foil cards show off how filthy my scanner is. 

You think I'd avoid foil scans with the scanner as such, but here's the only one in this post that isn't from Optic or Mosaic. It is strange when a card commemorates a specific moment, in this case the tip-off from game 5 of the 2019 NBA finals, with one of the participants not listed with their pictured team. I was on a tour in France at the time of this, and woke up at 3 am to watch this potential clinching-game. 

This design gives such a great vibe of the quarter-gobbling goodness of NBA Jam. 

I was hoping this would be an insert set showcasing the tenseness of a Game 7, and for a Raptors card featuring the shot against the 76ers. Alas, no. But it was still an inexpensive addition to the team collection. 
Here's the only appearance Kyle Lowry makes in this post. He just picked up his 10000th point in a Raptors uniform this week.

And I can start and stop this post with the same uniform design. I love any time I can sandwich a post like that.

There you have it!

Wednesday 27 January 2021

All Good Things Must End

 With the unopened product drying up, and what is left costing beyond I'm willing to pay, this box of 13-14 Rookie Anthology that I've been waiting to post since the fall will probably end up as the last box of it I'm busting. 

Here's the Rookie Selection card. Spooner's still playing, albeit he's now one of several that is now in the KHL.

While the gold parallel wasn't of the most spectacular one available, it was still a need. This member of the Staal hockey family topped out at 2 NHL games.

Hey! That's a pretty good one to get as the Score autograph in this! I have a few Seth Jones autographs in the collection, mostly from 13-14 releases, but it is always nice to pull a big name.

The Prizm content - all of these were dupes. 

But this isn't. This is the second straight post where I have a card that I'm sure would have been welcomed by a Wolverines collector on my trade list, but this one will be moving into my 13-14 RA binder.

WOO-HOO! A nice shiny gold autograph /10! While this isn't the Colorado (or Calgary) player you'd prefer to pull, it is still a pretty nice addition.

Collation only provided a single select card in this, but at least it was a shiny need.

'tis a Jared Staal hot box!

But in addition to a Jared Staal hot box, it was also a hot box for guys named Jones. That's a far better choice. Titanium had rookie cards in this that were numbered to both the player's jersey number and to their draft position. The former were considered true rookies. And it is another player who is still relevant and in the league. And it goes nicely with a long ago pulled 1/1 Black Select.

I probably should have wrapped up with that Jones, but this is a pretty nice final card from an RA box to show off as well. This one is low numbered and includes some ink and a 2-colour seam, so it is probably a better representation of the product's content than the Jones. 

And that's that for my adventures in RA releases. I suppose I might do another box here or there if they return to a saner price level, but any additions to  the collection will probably be through random singles instead.

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Bills! Bills! Bills!

Day #2 with cards from the latest COMC shipment, and this time, it is Bills content.
This was the only Bills card in this (2/14 content notwithstanding) that wasn't either an autographed or numbered card. With apologies to a collector of Michigan Wolverines alum, I'm keeping this as my only Mark Campbell content in the team collection. I think Euhus has made my previous appearances.
Here's a nice bunch of /2013 numbered Bills cards from 2013 Topps. I remember hunting down ebay misspelled cards for EJ ManuAl when he was the QB of the future. Good times.
Ross was a 4th rounder in 2014 out of Duke., He only lasted one season in Buffalo before being released, but is still in the league and has a chance at a Super Bowl ring 2 weeks from now as a member of the Bucs.

I'm not sure how to parse Jaquan Johnson out of that signature. I guess those are supposed to be Js, even if they look like pretzels. He was a 6th rounder in 2019, and remains on the team.
Tyrel Dodson was undrafted, but signed with the Bills after the draft. And then he got a domestic violence charge. But he was back with the team post-suspension, and after time on the practice squad saw some action this season. I'd forgotten about the charges and subsequent plea deal when I added this card. Serves me right for being a completist. 

Here's a draft pick from this year - and he's actually got some pretty decent penmanship for a 2020 rookie, even if he probably needs to plan better to get the rest of the name on the sticker. Dane Jackson is the 5th of the 2020 rookie class to join by collection with an auto. 1 more is on the way, and at this point, AJ Epenesa, their top pick, is the only one I will lack.

Tyrod Taylor, with his rather conservative style, was enough to lead the Bills to their first playoff appearance since the Music City Miracle. That still wasn't enough for the Peterman experiment to blow up in their faces against the Chargers. He deserved at least one autograph in my collection, and it might as well be an on-card autograph, complete with a nice photograph highlighting his rushing skills.
Maybe I should have open with that Taylor autograph, then I could have players with the initials TT sandwich all the others in this post. This buyback autograph comes out of 2018 Classics, one of my favourite football releases in recent memory. (It's the pennant design for the base). Much of the buyback set was on-card autographs from 2017 rookies. Does a card you just happened to have around the store really count as a buyback? But that doesn't matter, as this definitely does, with a the slant of his leg allowing for a perfectly-placed auto of the Bills legend. 

And there you have it!

Monday 25 January 2021

The Maple Leaf Forever

So the Bills game didn't go quite as I'd hoped, but deep down, I'll admit it went as I expected. But let's lead into something I didn't expect yesterday - my latest COMC package's arrival. On a Sunday?

There were about 60 set builders in the package for 19-20 O-Pee-Chee and another 20 for 06-07 Parkhurst that I won't bother posting, other than maybe a One Card Only post of the Dick Irvin from the latter. But at least I've got a some 2/14 content, Raptors content, Bills content, e-pack content and more for future posts. And there was a little Blue Jays content too!
I'm probably understating the term 'content' when I show this beauty off. What a patch! It is always a gorgeous relic card when the material is too big for the window. The slight mix of uniform and patch on this card makes it seem it comes from the front logo on their white jerseys. This is listed as a player-worn item, but if I could pick a portion of the Jays jersey I'd want on a high end card, this would be my choice, except maybe a portion of the eye on the Jay. Throw in some pretty respectable penmanship, and you've got a really nice card. 
From a pretty common jersey in terms of card appearances, to a couple non-so-common ones. The reds made regular appearances on Canada Day or during the 2017 season, but those Chatham Colored All-Star ones only made a couple appearances in the early 00s. I'm legit surprised there was more than 1 card out there with them, but I won't complain about there being more than 1 option. My fave former Jay, Carlos Delgado, already makes an appearance in his collection with these, so I'm happy to welcome a couple into my regular Jays collection.

There you have it!

Sunday 24 January 2021

Pre-Game Reading


OK, so it might not be the verbose literature out there.

But you never should judge a book by its cover, since the inner contents were pretty nice. 

Saturday 23 January 2021

Always time for RA

 Even if it is not my beloved 13-14 RA, there's still plenty of double relic autos from previous years to go around. Such as 12-13. Of these three, only Ness was still playing on this side of the Atlantic last season. Glennie would definitely be considered a flop, being drafted 8th overall, with only 1 game in the NHL to show for it. 

I'm gonna end up completing this set too, aren't it?

I don't know any better, do I?

Thursday 21 January 2021

As a Matter of Artifacts - Box 2

 What was hidden with the packs of Box #2?  More dinged up base cards, and these:

At least one of the base cards was a candidate for my Kitchener Rangers alumni collection. I've never been too much of a stickler for condition for that, although if a better card does appear, I'll make the switch.
Here's a look at the design for the Legends portion of the base set, or at least the copper parallels. 

Any other season, this would be a guarantee of a card of the #1 draft pick. But since UD was granted an exemption to include cards of Alexis Lafreniere in their sets prior to his debut, probably not this year. Seeing this going for 3 digits on ebay with the high likelihood this isn't a Lafreniere card makes it really suck to have a conscience.
No Aurums here! So that does mean 3 hits in the box. Egor played one game in the NHL, and has been loaned back to the KHL for this season. Still, a hit is a hit!
While I would have loved to have seen Rangers-alum Jeff Skinner as one of them, this is still a pretty nice card from Artifacts' mainstay Tundra Teammates insert set. Like before, these quad cards are /99. I'm glad they're all the same colour, since it gives a connection across the card. If there had been a single outlier, it would have looked strange. 2 blue and 2 white would have worked as well as all 4, since it doesn't give a 'one of these things just doesn't belong' vibe.

And here's my first Artifacts auto. Jake looks to be sticking around in Montreal, so that's pretty impressive for a 7th round draft pick. With Viktor Olofsson and Ondrej Kase also being 7th rounders in 2014's draft, that's a decent group of late round NHLers.

I might try one more box of this over the next few weeks. For now, there you have it!

Wednesday 20 January 2021

As a Matter of Artifacts - Box 1

Let's try the new product on the market! Fresh from shelf of the LCS.

Here's the base design. The colour gives the vibe of Engrained, without the wood feeling to them. Perfectly fine for this brand.

Standard backs for this product as well - reused photo, partial stats, write-up. Exactly what I'd expect.
The only Sens card in the box.
The base set continues with the numbered 'stars' portion /499.
And the rookies /999. Again, all pretty standard for this. 
Here's the first parallel of the box, with copper making a return for its second year in the product.

But here's the big parallel of the patch. There's no names in this that were not in previous releases, so short of getting Alexis, this is one of the bigger rookies available as a non-redemption rookie in this.

Speaking of those, here's the redemption in this. I don't have any idea who this will be at this point, with it being a Wild Card, but it will be /999.

Aurums return this year as well for the bounty program, which I have zero interest in. As always, these scan horribly, but at least the player isn't Aurumized this year. They still shouldn't replace a hit, though.
Also replacing an actual hit is a redemption for one. At least this should be for one of the better rookies, and include a patch whenever it arrives (I'm guessing October).

And my only actual hit in the box is a simple one-colour Coyotes relic. 

That Liljegren really saved this box.

But I did land an autograph in one of the bonus Overtime packs that came with pre-purchase. So, yay?

Tomorrow's box will hopefully be better.