Friday, July 26, 2013

Two Score 2013-14 Box Breaks


As has become tradition since Panini resurrected the Score brand, I pre-ordered two boxes of the 2013-14 product when they were announced; I was shocked to receive them so soon, barely a month after the Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Boston Bruins en route to their second Stanley Cup this decade.

I guess they didn't want to have to deal with all the players changing teams after the free agent frenzy began...

The first thing that struck me was its price tag: at $55, it was nearly double what I was used to spending on their 36-pack box in previous seasons; on the other hand pack sizes increased by 40% (as is clearly stated on the front of the box), going from 7 cards per pack to 12. I decided to get two boxes anyway, as that was my habit. Also, after not getting a single autograph card last year in two full boxes and some 70 extra single-purchase packs, I was more than happy that they went back to ''guaranteeing'' a signed card in every box.

This year's regular set contains 550 cards, plus 30 ''Team Leaders'' cards, 10 ''highlights'', 60 Hot Rookies (last year's rookies AND this year's), 59 Hot Rookies autographs (with a different design from the regular rookie cards), 25 ''Check-It'' hard-hitters cards, 20 of the First Goal variety, 10 ''Team Score'' and 15 ''Future Team Score'', 20 Net Cams, 20 ''Recollection Collection'' autographs of past legends on old designs, 39 Score Signature autograph cards, 48 Team 8s jersey cards, as well as 30 The Franchise and 10 The Future Franchise cards. View the complete checklist here. No ''Award Winners'' this year, but then again, there wasn't a ceremony. An action shot of each player would still have made for a nice card, though.

The wrappers are foil, reminiscent of the very first Upper Deck packs in the early 1990s:


Here's what the cards look like, first the front:



The scan may not show it too well, but they are way over-Photoshopped; they look like paintings more than pictures, and they're a lot glossier than in years past. They will definitely require some pre-erasing for autographs.

Here are the backs:


Pretty plain, as if they spent all their budget on the front. But I don't mind. Look-wise, they're a solid 7/10, maybe a weak 8/0. I love the pictures, if not the effects used on them.

Here is how the first box broke down:

36 packs, 12 cards per: 432 cards

Regular cards: 349

'Gold' parallel: 40 (including two Hot Rookie, one Season Highlights and one Team Leaders)

Hot Rookies: 23 'normal' ones plus the two 'gold' versions, four big names (Viktor Fasth, Vladimir Tarasenko (regular and gold), Dougie Hamilton and Emerson Etem), and two Habs - Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu (regular and gold).

The Franchise: 2, Patrick Kane and Shea Weber.

Net Cam: 2, Cory Schneider and Carey Price.

First Goal: 1, Alex Galchenyuk.

Team Score: 1, Claude Giroux.

Season Highlight: 4

Team Leaders: 9

Autograph: 1 (will feature soon!)

Montréal Canadiens (my home team): 10 regular ones, plus both recent acquisitions Daniel Brière and George Parros, plus the two/three rookies, the Net Cam, the Team Leaders and Galchenyuk's First Goal.

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Here is a breakdown of the second box:

36 packs, 12 cards per: 432 cards

Regular cards: 348

'Gold' parallel: 40 (including two Hot Rookie, one Season Highlights and one Team Leaders, and 9 wearing a Canadiens uniform)

Hot Rookies: 23 regular ones (plus the two gold), no Habs, but four big names: Nail Yakupov, Filip Forsberg, Mikhail Grigorenko, and Mikael Granlund.

The Franchise:
2: Taylor Hall, and new retiree Miikka Kirpusoff.

Net Cam: 2, seemingly taken in the same game:


First Goal: 1, Damien Brunner.

Team Score: 1, Alex Pietrangelo.

Check-It: 1, Dougie Hamilton.

Season Highlight: 4 - the exact same four as the first box!

Team Leaders: 9

Montréal Canadiens (my home team): 14, including two departed players (Michael Ryder and Tomas Kaberle), plus new tough guy Parros in his Florida Panthers garb.

Hot Rookies Autograph: 1 (featured soon!)
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Panini guaranteed a black variant in every box, but I got none - in two. Don't mind at all.

This remains my favourite product of the season, slightly ahead of UD's Victory. The number of players available is only surpassed by O-Pee-Chee, but the pictures and multitudes of sub-sets (rather than multitudes of parallel cards) rank it far higher.

Of course, this is all regarding the lower-end products, affordable to all, but I feel these are the most important products on the market, first because they can introduce kids to the hobby with a large number of cheap cards, but also because you can afford to keep up with the set's evolution throughout the years without busting your budget. Lastly, because I don't mind shelling out $30-60 bucks for 400+ cards and an autograph I view as a bonus, compared to spending over $100 for less than 10 cards and ending up with 'hits' of guys who'll never play 100 games in the NHL (or when they do, will never score 20 goals in their careers); I don't mind getting those as commons, but HATE getting them as 'hits'.

3 comments:

  1. those were retail boxes you got... hobby boxes sell for around $100-$105 and have 12 packs with 52 cards in each pack. Each hobby box has two autos and a 8 player relic card.


    I'm assuming you're keeping all of the Habs, if not I'm interested. I'm also interested in any Blues you got.

    Email me if you want to swap.

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  2. Thanks for the info. You've been emailed!

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  3. If you're still interested in the stuff from my boxes, shoot me an email (jonkatje at hotmail dot com) and let me know, I have it all set aside. Sorry it took so long to get back to you, I went on a quick vacation.
    --Jon

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