Monday, November 26, 2018

2017-18 Upper Deck Golden Knights Inaugural Season Box Break

From the minute I saw this box of cards advertised, I wanted to get my hands on Upper Deck's 2017-18 Vegas Golden Knights Inaugural Season box sets; of course, my luck being what it is, I did not get an autographed card, which usually comes once in every 20 boxes.

What I did get was a very nice-looking set of special players providing special moments in a very special season. I'd rooted all year for these guys and even though they fell short of the Stanley Cup, the mementos remain to bring back memories of an extremely exciting year of puck-watching.

Here is what the regular-issue player cards look like, front and back:
The "Gold" variants just have embossed gold foil on the front, the back is the same:
The "gold" variants also come with the Season Highlights cards (in fact, most of them are from this sub-set, a 3:2 ratio compared to the player cards in my box when the set itself is 15:35):
One of the best things of the Golden Knights' season was their success despite having to resort to five different goalies, because of injuries; all five made the cut:
As you'd imagine, Fleury also appears many times in the Season Highlights.

All told, I was a bit sad to not land an autograph card, but this set looks great and is everything it set out to be. The original price was $30 (U.S.) for the 50-card set plus five goldies, but many places now have it discounted at $15 (U.S.), including online outlets, which is where I got mine.

At that price, I'm thinking of buying two to keep one intact and use the other one to get cards signed.

This set deserves a solid 8.5/10.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

2018-19 Upper Deck Tim Hortons: 15-Pack Break

As usual, I bought myself a few Upper Deck Tim Hortons packs this year to see if I liked them, and to have "special and unique" cards to try to get signed. At $1.99 per three-card pack, these have been consistently priced for nearly half a decade, which I guess is a good thing.

They also consistenly look good, although they usually come curved, so it's nearly impossible to get true gem mint cards in a given pack. Still, you can't say that these don't look terrific:
I chose to feature Pierre-Luc Dubois' back, which consists of only one season, but it's good to note that the cards show the semi-detailed stats from the past five years, with career totals.

I landed five All-Star Standouts inserts, which look like this:
That's Auston Matthews, Carey Price (twice), Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid. Hard to do better, even if it's only for the trade value of the Matthews, Price and Crosby (any takers?).

I also fell upon three nice foil Game Day Action cards of Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov and Brad Marchand (not pictured, of course):
My favourite sub-set, though, is probably Superstar Showcase, for which I pulled McDavid, Matthews and Taylor Hall (not pictured):
The set does its best to feature the biggest stars, the best youngsters and a few players per team, all within a 120-card checklist that includes former Leaf Tim Horton himself, which means that for a Kyle Palmieri and Rasmus Ristolainen inclusion, there is a Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Ellis or a Thomas Chabot missing.

It's a hard and expensive set to complete (I have never completed a series myself), but a very nice collection to just get cards for fun from, which makes it a very good flashback/nostalgia piece, bringing me back to the days when, as a kid, I couldn't afford more than a pack of cards per week, maybe two, and it was more about the fun of seeing what I was going to pull and trying to trade for a Patrick Roy or a Wayne Gretzky than completing a series.

The player selection and price bring this note down, but the look and card stock make up for it. This is a solid 7.5/10.