Friday, April 16, 2010

Box Break - 2009-10 Upper Deck Champ's Hockey

Alright, so after I busted a retail pack a while back I swore I wouldn't be buying a hobby box of this year's Champ's hockey release. I'm not really a big fan of mini cards at all, and I had already gotten a good idea of what a hobby box would produce from reading breaks on other blogs. For some reason though, these cards started to grow on me. Let me rephrase that, the base cards started growing on me. I couldn't get enough of the old-style borders and outdoor backgrounds. I've had a real itch to bust a hobby box, and Blowout Cards was offering them for just $58 with free shipping if you spent $100 (which I did, more on that later). I figured I'd have fun opening the box, keep all the regular size cards and then use the minis to get some good stuff via trade. 20 packs, 5 cards per pack, here's how I did:

50 Base Cards - Not bad, pretty much all boxes seem to be standard in terms of numerical breakdown. You can expect a hobby box to net you about half of the base set, which is exactly what mine did. Look at that Esposito! How can you call yourself a hockey card collector and not like that card? I think the fact that the checklist is peppered with retired stars is a large part of why I like the set so much.

5 Green Parallels - Seeded 1:4 packs. 2 of my 5 were Bruins (pulled a Terry O'Reilly as well) so I can't complain about that.

2 Red Parallels - Messier was by far my favorite of the 2. These are seeded 1:10 packs. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I actually like these colored parallel cards. If you've read my blog at all in the past you know that I normally can't stand parallels, but considering the base set is only 100 cards, and a hobby box nets you half of that, these don't really bother me at all.

1 Yellow Parallel - I was really glad that my single yellow parallel card was a retired player. Denis is a name I'm quite familiar with from my childhood collecting days too, as he was still active in the late 80's/early 90's when I was accumulating cards like it was my job. Not as cool as the Lanny McDonald yellow parallel Sal from Puck Junk pulled, but I'll take it. Well, that's about all I was interested in out of this box. Most people find the minis to be the biggest draw to this set though, so let's see what I pulled:

5 Rookie Minis - Seeded 1:4 packs. Nothing special here, just a gold border, tightly cropped photo and a Champ's Rookie logo that takes up nearly 1/3 of the card. I chose to show Benn's card since he's a local guy (Boston College) and did see action in 24 games with San Jose this year.

18 "Regular" Mini Cards - The Rookie Minis comprise cards 101-200 in the set, and after that comes a series of (200 I think) regular mini cards. Like the base set, these are comprised of a mix of retired and current players. The design of the regular mini cards is very minimalistic. This Clarke is pretty cool, but most of the minis aren't as aesthetically pleasing as this one. I also pulled one "red ink back" mini (Jack Johnson of the LA Kings), which is just plain stupid.

3 Historical Figures Minis - This subset consists of former United States Presidents and Canadian Prime Ministers. Snooze...

5 Natural History Collection Minis - This is the subset that gives Champ's a lot of it's feel. This is where you find the dinosaur cards, etc. Unbelievably, out of 5 cards I pulled 2 different owls.

2 Wonders of the World Minis - I have to admit, pulling a card of the Galapagos Islands was kind of cool. The other one I pulled was of Lake Baikal in Russia, which I was pretty fascinated by when they covered it on the Planet Earth documentary. Finally, we have the "hits"...

Champ's Threads Tomas Kaberle - This is about what I expected for a "hit" after seeing a few other boxes broken. This is a prime example of why I buy more retail than hobby. A big part of the reason why this box cost me $58 was that it promises 4 hits. Well, they are usually junk and I don't care about them in the least. I would literally rather have 4 more base cards. Oh well, I knew what I was getting into when I made the purchase so I can't complain much...

Champ's Signatures Andrew Ebbett - Even worse. I watch a TON of hockey and I've never heard of this guy. A quick search shows that he played for 3 teams just THIS SEASON! That's not a good sign. Ebbett is now with the Minnesota Wild.

Champ's Signatures James Sheppard - Another guy from the Wild roster. He literally scored 6 total points in 64 games this year though. Thankfully I did get 1 hit that was actually pretty cool...

Champ's Threads Steven Stamkos - Sweet! Here's your co-Rocket Richard Trophy winner, tied with Sidney Crosby for the league lead with 51 regular season goals. Not bad for a 20 year old in his second season huh? The Bolts better lock this guy up before he reaches free agency! Amazingly I've never really pulled a good Lightning card until just a couple of days after receiving the Cam Neely I just posted about from Justin G. Justin, send me your new address and the Stamkos will be on its way!

Well, that's a wrap. I can now definitively say after opening a box for myself, that I will not be buying another hobby box of this product. I will say it was a lot more fun to bust than the last hobby box I ripped. I would like to finish the base set and accumulate some parallels, but that's about it. I'm hoping I can use my minis to make a big dent towards accomplishing that, but if not I will be going retail to help finish off the base set. At $2 a pack, you get the same number of full size cards as hobby (3), just one less mini, which is fine with me!

2 comments:

Casey said...

I have about 30 or so base cards I'd be willing to trade. Let me know.

Justin G. said...

Sweet! I will shoot you an email with the new address. I knew someone got my box by mistake!!!! :)

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