Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Slew of Score!

I've learned that for the most part, I'm not a retail wax guy.  It's very tempting whenever I'm in Target to cruise through the card aisle by the registers and take a peek at what's in stock.  More often than not though, when the pack ripping is done I haven't had quite as much fun as I envisioned when I plopped down $20 plus tax.  For this reason I've yet to cave so far in 2016, and have been buying singles I like from COMC instead.

The problem is that I really do enjoy opening packs.  It's how I started collecting the first time around, more than 25 years ago (yikes, that is alarming to type!).  My solution for the most part is to find discounted wax.  If it's a bust, or doesn't provide much enjoyment, I don't feel as guilty.  I guess it also pleases my "frugal" side.

Well, in the Dave and Adam's Card World order I placed earlier this year, I got a deal that definitely did just that:

What you see there is a whole lot of unopened 2013-14 Score hockey (and a couple of opened packs as well).  This set has continued to grow on me over time since its release a couple of years ago.  I appreciate the simple design, and the unique photographs on many of the cards.  With a checklist 750 cards deep (650 cards from this series, plus another 100 released later with Rookie Anthology), but no crazy expensive or valuable cards, it seems like a challenging yet approachable set to build.  Helps that I also had at least a couple hundred cards already.

Unbelievably, the clearance sale deal the weekend I placed my order was 24 12-card packs for $6.95.

I wouldn't say I was quite as excited as Tyler Seguin here when I first saw the deal, but I was pleased enough to put two lots in my cart for checkout.  48 packs for $13.90, which comes out to 29 cents per pack, between 2 and 3 cents per card.

Because I tend to hoard unopened packs for some weird reason, I decided to split the stash into three sets of 16 packs, and have only opened the first 16 so far.  I'll try not to show you too many cards from a set that's already been out there for some time now, but I did pick out a few favorites to share.

There are a whole lot of celebration photos in this set for some reason.  Enough so that I could see it bothering some collectors.  I think they're interesting, and do a good job of displaying the emotion in the game, as opposed to another generic, tightly-cropped pre-game warm-up shot.

A checklist organized by team has been the standard for Upper Deck's yearly flagship set for some time now, and the folks at Panini followed suit here.  The original Score sets that I collected as a kid weren't like this, but oh well.

With a checklist as large as this one is, there are some boring base cards for sure, of subjects that even die-hard hockey fans have probably very little knowledge of.  For every one of those though, there's a gem like this Dan Cleary.

Another great celebration shot, with a photo-bomb by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

We've seen similar images to this one used on a few different Canadiens cards in recent years.

I realize not everyone is big on Panini, but when they had a license I really did like a lot of their sets.  I mean this is just a great hockey card.  Malkin perfectly framed in celebration, with the hometown crowd going nuts in the background, and a dejected Lightning goaltender and defender behind him.  To me, a perfect example of a simple base card that I enjoy as much as, if not more than, many hits.

In looking through the images I selected, it's becoming obvious that I have a bias for the horizontally-oriented cards.

One last lowly common from the main portion of the set.  I'll put this up against any photo in this year's Upper Deck set.

There's a nice 10-card "Season Highlights" subset towards the end of the checklist.  Sid the Kid here is the only one I ended up with so far.  Kinda stretching it a little when "fifth fastest to 400 assists" warrants a card.  Not saying it's not an impressive feat, and Crosby is one of the more talented and successful players out there, but still.

At the end of the checklist are 60 Hot Rookies which I believe are inserted every other pack.  I didn't pull any super desirable rookies from this first lot of packs, but wanted to show one nonetheless.  Hopefully in the next batch!

In each pack you'll find one Gold Parallel (two every once in a while).  Doesn't bother me much, adds another element of interest to each pack and with a dozen cards per pack doesn't harm your set-building quest all that much.

A couple more nice photographs from the Gold parallels I pulled.  Looks like Jimmy Howard's gonna make the stop here.

In this case, I'd say a sure-fire goal for Tanner Glass.

There aren't a lot of inserts, and honestly most of them are pretty uninspiring to me.  This The Franchise Sean Couturier card is sitting in my trade box now for example.

I did get one insert that I will be keeping though, a Future Franchise (oh, the irony) card of defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

Oh yeah, and I also pulled an autograph:

Alright, if you want to get technical it's a guy with 5 career NHL games to his credit, who's now playing back in Sweden, and who has one of the laziest signatures I've ever seen.  Nilstorp did win the Calder Cup with Dallas' AHL affiliate the same year this card came out, so that has to count for something right?  This one's available if any of my trading partners are for some reason interested...

I've had a lot of fun opening these so far, and best of all I'm now sitting at 385 out of 650 cards for the low series set, with this first round of packs taking me well past the 50% mark as far as that goes.  I've got a healthy stack of doubles building too if anyone's working on this one?


Dave H said...

Now that's a sweet Score!! Couldn't pass up a pun. Nice job and good luck with the set, I personally have always liked the Score product that Panini put out.

Brad Parsons said...

I have quite a few from this set, many for trade. I miss Panini Hockey products :(

Hackenbush said...

I was under the impression that the photos from Score weren't very good. Guess I was wrong.

Fuji said...

If I ever decide to bust some hockey wax... I'll definitely go the Score route. They always have a solid... simple design with great photography.

Adam Sanders said...

That's quite the giant haul of packs! Those look like some really nice cards, next time I'm snooping around a hockey bargain bin, I might go for some of those.

Marc said...

Score has some of the best photographs on cards. The celebration cards are awesome. Especially the horizontal ones.

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