Sunday, October 6, 2019

8-Pack Break: 2019-20 Upper Deck Tim Hortons

It's that time again, where Sidney Crosby adorns each pack of Upper Deck's 2019-20 Tim Hortons cards and collectors try to land one of the 87 signed cards of his while dishing out $2 for each pack of three cards - two base cards and one insert.

This year again, they're all-foil and beautiful, with the backs of cars showing statistics from the past five seasons to get a clear picture of what makes the selected players "stars":
The picture on the back is a cropped version of the one on the front, but that's not something I mind in this set, it works well.

Eight packs means I got eight inserts, and I thought I could feature them in ascending order, saving the best for last. It starts off with "meh" season review-type cards, of which I landed one from the so-called China Games (the first two games of the regular season between the Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames) featuring Tuuka Rask, and a Winter Classic card featuring the Bruins' Patrice Bergeron:
Of note, the French translation are mediocre at best; the Winter Classic card is O-Pee-Chee-level bad, where instead of saying the French equivalent of "Bruins defeat Blackhawks at Notre Dame", they wrongly use a verb that reads similarly to the French words for "loss" ("défaite") and instead come off as saying "The (yes, they added an article here) Bruins undo the (another new article) Blackhawks at Notre Dame". I mean, there were only six fucking words, guys.

There are also cards depicting past award winners called "Highly Decorated", of which I landed Joe Thornton, the only player ever to win an Art Ross Trophy in a year split between two teams (although the picture is more recent, from the Old Man Jumbo era):
A staple of the Tim Hortons sets is the Game Day Action sub-set, such as this one featuring the one and only Alex Ovechkin, this year with a nice, clear place to have players sign... if Ovie did such things:
the foil looks black/dark, but it's actually silver to the naked eye
I also landed three"red" parallels this time around, of Bergeron, Brent Burns and Clayton Keller:
They look great.

As does this Gold Etchings card of Patrik Laine:
I feel like this uniform comes out too often in 2019-20 cards so far (urgh wordmarks), but I'm one of those who feels Laine will be a perennial 40-goal scorer with a couple of seasons in the 50-goal range, possibly even a high of 60. His shot and skill level really is that good, he just needs to mature a bit and play a more complete game with maximum effort regardless of who he lines up with.

These cards' price tag still makes me balk for the poor collation (although I didn't get any doubles this time around) and the fact that it's supposed to be a mass-market product with a "for kids" part that shouldn't be forgotten, but they look and feel really cool, and I'm always glad I have them, year in and year out.

It's another solid 7.5/10 for me this year, particularly since the base features 120 players, which is higher than a few years ago.

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