Monday, August 24, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Much More Mail

With the final days of summer upon us, I can't help but be slightly bummed that I didn't get out golfing more this year.  Hopefully I have one or two rounds left in me but I'm not holding my breath.  But with the clubs nearly put away for another year, I have jumped back into the card collecting realm with both feet.

There are a great number of Linden cards to be had these days.  A quick ebay search showcases a bunch of In The Game Used offerings....many at very low prices.  I guess oversaturation of the market does have its benefits.

But in addition there are some sweet UD Premier Mega Patches, Artifacts always rearing its ugly head, OPC with its (yawn) same ol' and the odd toughie from years past still hangin' around on my wantlist.

I've been able to knock off four over the past week and I'm really happy to do so.  Some great cards and some equally good prices.

2014/15 Upper Deck Artifacts
#31 Patch/Tag  /5

This would go down as the favourite in the bunch.  I love the solid 4 color patch that is evenly distributed in the window.  The tag....I've seen that old CCM logo somewhere before me thinks.  Patch one day....tag the next.

But what I really like about this card is the way I obtained it.

I first saw this card during the Chicago National a few weeks back.  It had been tweeted out by Sports Card Direct.  I had seen their logo before but never really gave it the time of day.

Until now.

I was mentioned to them by a mutual hobby board follower and we quickly started a dialogue regarding the card.  It had a price tag associated with the card....which wasn't overinflated by any means, it was just not in my wheelhouse at the time - especially with the horrible Canadian dollar.

Darren at SCD quickly came back with a "give mean offer you feel is fair".  I must say, I gotta love when I deal with people who have that attitude.

So I sent off my offer, along with a note saying that he would likely get more than that on the open market...it would be doubtful that I would be able to compete with the high bids (can't win 'em all).

Almost immediately, Darren responded....happily accepting my offer.  He felt it was fair and he knew that the card was going to a good home.

It was a really smooth transaction and I was thrilled when the card arrived.  It looks even better in person.  Thanks very much Darren.  I hope it's not the last time we do a deal for a sweet Linden card.

2014/15 Upper Deck Black Diamond
#129 Emerald Autograph  /10

The final piece of the 14/15 Black Diamond Puzzle (minus the 1/1) is this nice looking Emerald parallel.  I had seen a couple copies of this card come and go on ebay and I just couldn't go as high on the final prices as the winning bidders.  But that's ok.....patience pays off.

This one popped up one evening with a Buy It Now - at a very good price...less than the final prices of the other two auctions.  So I didn't hesitate.  I can only imagine what the seller must have thought when a card he uploaded literally seconds earlier was snatched up.

The sticker autograph doesn't really do much for me, but I can appreciate the parallel offerings that Black Diamond had in their product.  A regular base card, an Orange 'bonus pack' parallel, a Ruby /50 and this Emerald auto /10.  A good smattering that's not overwhelming.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#GU3J-16 Triple Jersey Gold  /20

Talk about overwhelming....Leaf's ITGU is one of the most robust products ever for Linden cards.  I think the count is over 35 now (as I've recently seen printing plates in the mix).  Way....WAY too many cards.

And a big beef with me is the triple memorabilia pieces.  Fine, put him on a line with Lindros and Sakic and fire off the parallels....but to then do the same set-up of cards with Modano and Hull just reeks of a company looking to dilute the market.  That, or they have way too much Linden material and they're looking to get rid of it.

If there is a benefit from this bombardment, it's that the prices are incredibly low.  And I've passed on a few of the great deals myself.  I guess low sometimes isn't low enough.

Cards /10 or /5 for well less than any other /10's or /5's ever - EVER in the Linden market.

I'll peg these off slowly and won't miss a beat if I never do finish off the thirty-whatever cards.  They don't do much for me.

2014/15 Leaf In The Game Used
#RM-TL2 Rare Materials  /5

This is one of the few cards from this product that did get me a little excited.  It's a nice looking card at first glance, but then I just realized it's just six windows with stuff in 'em.  No 'complete jersey' feel to it, no fight straps or distinguishing windows.  Just six small patch pieces.

Don't get me wrong, they're nice patches....but they lose their lustre pretty quick when there's really nothing to the concept of the card.

I mean....what's 'rare' about this material?

And I don't know about you, but the fact the photo used doesn't match the pieces in the windows does bug me a bit.  I thought we were past a time when it was THAT difficult to acquire a photo.

Speaking of the photo....what's that little bit of missed photoshopping on his chest?  Did they just say "aw, that's enough removal of the crest".  If you're going to paint out the logos....then do it right.

Geez.....makes it seem that I'm not too thrilled with these last couple cards.  And that's not the case....I'm just hyper-aware of the shortcomings that many cards have these days.  It really shouldn't take much to get these looking razor sharp.

But it's four off the list....and I'm ready for hockey season.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

OUTSIDE THE BOX - One Hall Of A Cool Gift

Just got back from my week-long golf trip to British Columbia.  Six rounds in four days......and while it was a ton of fun (and I played some of my best BC golf ever - I'm done with whacking the little white ball around for a while.

I've got a couple new Linden adds that I'll show off later in the week.  Instead, I thought I'd share a very cool gift that came in a recent package.

Five years ago (yes....5), I posted about a great pack ripping evening with my niece.  She had the magic touch when it came to landing the big Upper Deck Young Gun in my $1 packs.  I still remember that moment quite well.  It's one of the few times my niece has dipped her toe into my card collecting hobby, and for just a little while she got to experience the thrill of pulling a solid hit.

That card was eventually parlayed into a tough '1 vs. 100' serial number (I think it was the /8 if I remember correctly).  But every time I see a Taylor Hall YG, I am reminded of that pack rip.

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  I received a package from a fellow Linden collector (and part-time US auction bidder for me....keeps the cost of shipping way down).  He shipped over some great Oscar Gamble cards for my growing collection, some items for other local collectors, and a very cool gift.....for my niece.

When I first saw the card, I thought of her, but I didn't realize that I had received the card for that reason.  I thought it was going to someone else.  Until I asked.

Turns out this was a card he picked up on the cheap and thought my niece would get a kick out of it.  I know she will.  We'll both have a good laugh over the memory.

I've even got an extra card stand that'll go along with it.  I can only imagine what her friends might say when they see it out on her shelf - proudly displayed for all to see (She'll display it right???  Hockey cards are cool if you're a high school girl???).

I'll be seeing her tomorrow and am anxious to see her face when she sees the Hall.

Thanks Kevin for the great gift.  You've got a pretty darn good memory.

And I do too.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

WALLET CARD - Mailday Showoff

One of the packages I received last week included a sweet batch of Oscar Gamble cards.

I've been passively....VERY passively building an Oscar Gamble pc.  After choosing my 76 Topps card as my #WalletCard for the year, it seemed like a logical choice.  But this is all about fun - FUN!!

I've seen dozens of Gamble cards on ebay over the past few months but have been rarely active in buying any.  Most of his cards (about 150 or so) are on the low end of the $$$ scale...which is absolutely fine by me.  What it does do though is make me less interested in buying them online.

Instead, I'd rather pick them up locally or through trade.

But a few months back I was contacted by someone who was making a couple online purchases from sites that focus on lower-end cards.  So....when in Rome...

I also did grab a couple cards that I thought would fit in the "tougher to find" category.  When all the cards arrived, they were packaged up and sent my way.

Now I'm not going to scan each and every one of the penny base cards, but I will share my favorite.

This 1984 Topps card has a lot going for it in my eyes.

First off, I love the classic, horrible centering job.  It's so bad....it's good.  The card has great surface sheen and strong corners, Topps just couldn't get that darn photo in the middle of the off-white rectangle.

I like this card for the flashback memory it gave me since I collected baseball cards in the early 80's - and I remember buying packs of 1984 (it was OPC though since I live in Canada).

Lastly, is it me or is that a dead ringer for Richard Pryor circa Brewster's Millions?

You be the judge.

As for the rarest card to cross my deck, it was one that I absolutely hate the concept of and upon closer look think it's a complete laugh.

This cut signature card put out by Tristar reeks of horrible.

It's a cut auto of a guy who's living.  It's a cut auto from some existing photo (I hate those....especially when said signer is still alive).  And the signature doesn't fit in the window.

Upon closer look, the auto isn't even placed in the background of the top die-cut layer.  It's like a puzzle piece cut and then placed into the window.

But hey....it's /5 so that makes it a super-rare and desirable piece right?  WRONG.  It was a cheapie on COMC that I made an offer on as opposed to flat out buying.  In the end, it cost me a little over $10.  And I'm pretty sure that the product it comes from is more than a $10 product.

Overall, I'm happy to add these (and all the other cards into my collection.  It feels nice to make some progress.

This card is in serious consideration for the bike spokes.

Friday, August 14, 2015

LINDEN CARD(s) OF THE WEEK - Some Premier Patches

After a long and grueling summer work schedule, I am thrilled to say that I am now officially playing on holiday time.  For the next 10 days I will be staying far away from the workplace and knee-deep in other....stuff.

Actually, I'm really looking forward to Monday when I trek out to do some golfing in BC.  Letting some others hold the fort down while I smack the ball around for four straight days - that sounds wonderful.

And will the scorching hot temperatures in the city of late, I'm now fully climatized and ready for some perfect golfing conditions (cuz THAT'S the key to my game).

But before I head out, I get to share some fun bubble mailers.

It was a full mailbox for the past couple days.  Lots of goodies to show off.  Some Oscar Gamble adds that my #WalletCard will be sure to enjoy, a couple of real neat gifts and a pair of choice Linden cards that I've been anxiously awaiting.

When I caught wind that Upper Deck Premier would be including Mega Patch cards consisting of Linden in a Team Canada jersey, my ears perked up.  Never before had a Team Canada jersey been used in a memorabilia card of his.  And to see some of the initial cards hit the market....I was drooling.

Aaaaaaannnnnnnd purchasing.

This was the first Linden Mega Patch to hit ebay and I had the radar on full.  Clearly a good chunk of the red leaf and just an overall aesthetic that I found simple...yet completely attractive.

It was on trade night earlier in the month that I was glued to my phone as the auction ended.  And while I paid just a little more than I wanted to (darn exchange rate), I'm more than happy to score this piece.

And when I saw this one pop up a couple days later, I started thinking of going for the Mega Hoarding project.  How about grabbing all 27 cards in the crest?  Why not!!!

OK....that's clearly unrealistic, but I would like to get my hands on a few of these cards as opposed to just one.  So I bid, but not nearly as high as the first copy.

It did the trick and now I've got two.  I'm more than 1/14th of the way there.

What I like to do with Linden 1/1 cards out there (and do not be fooled by the serial numbering....these patches are each a 1/1) is keep track of who has them.  I also like to grab scans of any and all Linden 1/1's as part of my master database.

I just checked it out....there's a lot!!

I'd love to eventually scan each of the 27 Linden patches in.  I think THAT would be a cool accomplishment....not to mention WAY MORE realistic.

This copy I'm licking myself on.  I saw it as a Buy It Now a couple nights ago and didn't pull the trigger.  It was (what I felt to be) at a fair price but I had to step back.  I've been buying a few cards of late and I didn't want to get in over my head.

I'm sure the feeling will pass as more of these cards come and go.

It's a nice one though.

Just saw this one tonight on a hobby board.  I've put an offer in on it so we'll see what happens.

Looks like it's from closer to the middle of the crest.  No jersey material it seems.

Another one I let go by the wayside on ebay.  Can't grab 'em all.

I wonder why they didn't get the letters more centered?  Obviously centering the whole crest is key when chopping it up, but just a little bit to the right.....

...and this one would've been a little better too.

I think it going to say Canada.  But don't ruin it for me.

These cards are definite highlights of the year so far.  Something new that I've never seen before in terms of Linden cards.  And you'll never see me complain about that.

Friday, August 7, 2015

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - And So It Begins

It's official....I'm buying cards again.  Woo-hoo!!!????

I don't know if that warrants any sort of celebration, but I'm happy to be back participating in the hobby again after a bit of a lull (self imposed).

I went to the monthly trade night last night and it was slim on the turnout.  But that's ok, chit-chatting with the few that were there got me re-energized about collecting.

Unfortunately, I participated in some poor, poor purchasing choices.

Three-way pack wars with 2013 MLS Soccer (even at .25 cents a pack) is a horrible idea.  And I won 9 out of 12 rounds!!!

Panini Americana was even worse.  Horrible hits and of course the house wins the bonus pack with the only good card - a Mickey Rourke auto.  Drat.

Topps baseball Series II????  Why would I buy a jumbo pack?  I don't even collect baseball.  And I got a hit in my pack to boot.

Call me rusty...it'll wear off.

The big purchase of the evening came from a few clicks on my phone.  Ebay was beckoning me and I responded.  You'll have to wait a bit for the payoff though.  No hints.

In the meantime, I came home from work today to see a bubble envelope in the mailbox (been a long time since I've seen one of those).  I was excited to tear into it.

2014/15 Leaf/In The Game
In The Game Used
#GU3P-15 Game Used Triple Patch Gold  /5

That's a pretty good start IMO to the monstrous 32 card checklist I've added to my Linden list with regards to this new ITGU release.  I saw a swarm of cards hit the secondary market - and the inflated prices that I expected.

But it took almost no time for the prices to slide down....even plummet.

I think the saturation of Linden cards on the market combined with the lack of big names on the card (in comparison to HOFers like Richard, Sawchuk and Phil Tony Esposito made these cards less desirable to others.

But not me.

While the patch might not be stunning, the price was (alright "stunning" might be exaggerating).  It had a very respectable Buy It Now price...less than what people were asking on cards /10, /25 and even /45.

But me being me, I threw out a Best Offer.  The cdn dollar is so crappy right now, I had to try and offset it a bit.

To my shock, the seller accepted.  I received the card today.

I'll be honest, it's not a bad looking card.  Thick, thick stock, fancy gold shiny stuff, decent layout.  Would've liked better pics (the Linden is ok, but the Hull just looks weird and Modano looks like he's gonna take a puck in the chops any second) but overall....not bad.

One down.....31 to go.

Curious to see what the local market has on these price-wise when the monthly shows start up again next month.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

LINDEN CARD OF THE WEEK - Jumping Back In

I took a quick peek at my ebay buying history through the first seven months of 2015 and was surprised to see less than a dozen purchases.  Combined with the local trades and purchases, I'm thinking that I've landed only about 20 or so cards for my Linden collection so far this year.

Of course there was my summer hiatus (of sorts) and not too many new offerings early in the year, but I think I can chalk up this decline in purchasing to one thing - lack of interest.

I've seen numerous cards cross my path over the last while - heck, I even inquired about a triple patch /3 and an Artifacts auto /5.....and am hesitant to pull any sort of trigger.  Most of the time I just say to myself "I'll wait until the next one" or "Pass....still too high a price" when realistically the asking price is fair.

The Canadian dollar does factor in on my decisions even more now.  It's horrible.  And add to that the tough shipping prices from the States and a $20us card can quickly become a $50-60cdn investment.

Ultimately though, I think this "funk" is more about the lack of excitement towards my player collection.  There are very few cards that have got me truly excited to chase.  I've had more fun landing cards that have been on my list for over a decade than the "new" offerings from many of the products he's in.

Over the past week, Linden has been plastered into the new Leaf/ITG product "In The Game Used".  32 cards - and many of them with high, high starting prices.  I just can't compete with that volume at that price.  I learned my lesson a few years ago.

It just takes a bit of the wind out of my sail when I see 30, 40 , 50 auctions and I don't see myself bidding on any of them.

Surprisingly I did come away with one card this weekend.  It's a triple patch /5.  It was set at a good price, but the currency rates made me decide to ask for a lower price.  I was surprised to get it.

It's a start.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the local shows and trade nights might fetch in terms of picking anything up in person.  I'm optimistic...but very cautious.

I do have one card to show off.  I didn't even have to leave my house to get it.

2014/15 Upper Deck
#86 SP Authentic

It's a base card.  Nothing special....other than the fact it was gifted to me.  I always appreciate those that are keeping an eye out for me and my Linden collection.  There are a lot (heck...most everyone) locally who know I chase anything with his name on it.

Thanks to Captain Canuck for the help on this one.  Another one off the list.

And I'm looking forward to another season of chasing......I just need to warm up a bit getting back on the bike.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

OPINION - What's Wrong With This Picture?

It's been a quiet few weeks on the hobby front - at least in my little collecting world.  Work is just now simmering into a time where people aren't going gangbusters and we all will have some time off to enjoy the summer weather.

I went golfing for the first time this season.  With all the rust, I can't believe I shot one of my best rounds ever.  Must be the muscle memory or something (I'm going with the "something").

On the hockey card front, I've done a lot of snooping on ebay, but haven't pulled the trigger in a while.  In fact, I've only picked up 3 cards this summer - all in early June.  I'd say that's a hiatus....even if I wasn't really trying.

I did some design work for a challenge set up by another blogger.  Yeah, that went south quick.  No updates, no nothin'.  I think I'll just tackle it on my own over the next little bit.

On the Linden front, there have been a few new releases with his name inserted.

14-15 Sp Authentic has a nice three-card chase.  Two of them autos.  Should be fun.

14-15 Premier has what could be some very interesting cards.  Much like the jumbo patches from Prime over the past couple years, Upper Deck has followed suit with the Mega Patch.

Linden has 27 chest logo cards (all of them are 1/1's...so in theory you could build the entire front crest - which would be a crazy amazing accomplishment), 3 shoulder logo cards and 4 sleeve number cards.  I'd be happy with picking up one of each.  Actually....I'd be thrilled.

And last (and maybe least).....The Leaf/In The Game frankenstein release of In The Game Used.

I've seen a few pictures, and while the cards do look nice, I can't help but stop when I see the hand coming towards my face to slap me silly.

You see it?

In my opinion it just gives me a bad taste in my mouth.  Mistakes like that just shouldn't be made on a high-end product like this.

Linden has 8 cards in the product.  But here's the catch.....each card has 4 versions.  Do the math.  That's THIRTY-TWO cards.

Yeah.

Here's another gem.  Too bad the "T" in Thompson didn't curl around properly.  Again....how do you miss that?

Oh, and back to the Linden cards...28 out of the 32 cards are limited to just 20 copies or less.  Brutal.

I really feel like Leaf/ITG just ignores the player collectors out there and puts out shiny colored parallels with serial numbering to 3 or 5 just to create that feeling of "value".

I look at the cards that I've come across (and passed on) this summer.  Many of them are "super rare" and "one of a kind".  And of course, the price tag associated with it just makes me laugh.

There's no way I'm dropping 32 x "a big bundle of cash".  The math ain't adding up anymore.

Last one.

This one is off the sell sheet so it might be a mockup.  But boy...what an accomplishment for Maurice Richard.  50 Points in 50 Games.

(facepalm)

Well, I've added the 32 cards to my checklist, but I'm not holding my breath to even adding 5 of these to my collection.  I just dont' have the appetite for it.

And God help me if they spell it Trever Lindin.