2010-11 The Cup: Collectors Willing to Roll Dice

Upper Deck’s 2010-11 The Cup, the final hockey card product still tied to last season, hit store shelves late last month and again, collectors seem enamored with taking a shot at what might be inside.  Box prices have risen from $300-325 to over $450, even though there is no guarantee what’s inside will be worth that much.

Collectors are willing to take a gamble that there might be a big score like a low numbered signed patch card of Wayne Gretzky or one of the league’s top rookies.

Packed inside fancy tins again, The Cup offers just five super thick cards per box, but each is very limited in distribution.  Even base cards are numbered only to 249.  There’s no doubting the quality of the cards, which lean more toward memorabilia than trading cards.  The autographs, when not packed out as redemptions, are on card, which is appreciated by most hobbyists.

Each box has at least two and sometimes three autographs.

It’s not necessarily considered a ‘collector’s product’.  Many of the boxes are opened by those simply looking to flip the contents for a profit.  One forum has begun cataloging the results of those breaks, with results tending toward the negative side of the ledger.

With such few cards per box, the biggest challenge in watching one of the numerous box breaks on YouTube is getting them open. Rookie autographs of P.K. Subban seem to be popping up everywhere, but sales have been strong on eBay.  A Taylor Hall rookie redemption auto, numbered to 99, brought more than $2,000 this week.

Collectors who just appreciate the cards for what they are, can often pick up cards dumped onto eBay by sellers for far less than what they would have paid for a box. A search for 2010-11 The Cup late Thursday showed nearly 1,000 listings for single cards, boxes and cases.  Click here to check them out.

Here’s the breakdown from Upper Deck.

3 boxes per case, 1 pack per box, 5 cards per pack

Each Tin contains (2) Autograph Cards and (1) other Signature, Memorabilia Card, or low-numbered Parallel Card

2 Autographed Patch Cards:
– 1 Signed Rookie Patch card
– Another Signed Patch card, featuring an NHL star or a great rookie in a signed patch insert
– 1 Signature, Memorabilia or low-#’d parallel

Autographed Rookie Gear Booklet Cards:
– The Rookie Fight Strap makes its debut alongside pieces of jersey, patch & jersey tag

Signed Draft Board & Patch Booklet Cards: (Superstars flashing back to their Rookie Years)
– Paying tribute to game’s biggest stars, with a Draft Board/Patch combo.

Scripted Sticks:
– Just like it sounds, signed right on the player’s stick

Dual Autographed Rookie Bookmarks:
– This super-premium folding card features two 1 x 1 patches + 2 Awesome Signatures

Legendary Dual Cut Signatures:

– Regular Card Black Patch Autograph Parallels – all 1-of-1 – now featuring Amazing 1″ x 1″ laundry tag swatches featuring the Canadian Flag
– Six (6) Autographed Rookie Patch Cards #’d to 99 – Hello Monster Hits
– All Base Set parallels now feature 1″ x 1″ swatches

– Limited Logos – Huge Patches, Great Sigs, Exquisite Value
– Programme of Excellence – Honouring Team Canada’s best
– The popular dual signature cards return too
– Autographed Draft Boards
– Property Of … Stick Nameplates
– Dual-sided Autographed 1-of-1 NHL Shield cards
– Also look for Cup Enshrinements, Stanley Cup Signatures & Honorable Numbers
– Grab the latest Artist Proof Renditions
– Emblems of Endorsements, Single & Dual Scripted Swatches

Signed Rookie Patch Cards:
– Autographed Rookie Patch Level 2 – #’d to 249
– Autographed Rookie Patch Level 1 — #’d to 99

Autographed Patch Cards:
– Limited Logos – #’d to 50
– Emblems of Endorsements – #’d to 15
(NEW) Autographed Rookie Gear – #’d to 25
(NEW) Dual Auto Rookie Bookmarks – #’d to 25
(NEW) Autographed Draft Board & Patch (Rookie Flashback) – #’d to 10
– Signature Patches – #’d to 75
– Signature Patches SP – #’d to 35
– Dual Signature Patches – #’d to 35
– Honorable Numbers – #’d to jersey #
– Dual Honorable Numbers – #’d to jersey #
– Scripted Swatches – #’d to 35
– Dual Scripted Swatches – #’d to 15
– Autographed Cup Foundations Quadruple Patches – #’d to 5
– Dual Autographed NHL Shields – #’d to 1
(UPGRADE) Regular Card Auto Patch variation (featuring Tag Patch with Canadian Flag!) – #’d to 1
– Autographed Rookie Patches, Gold Rainbow // – #’d to jersey number

The Cup’s Upper-Echelon Autograph & Memorabilia Inserts:
– Stanley Cup Signatures – #’d to 50
– Stanley Cup Signatures Dual – #’d to 25
– Stanley Cup Signatures Triple- #’d to 10
– Programme of Excellence – #’d to 10
– Programme of Excellence Duals – #’d to 5
– Autographed Rookie Draft Boards — #’d to 25
– Autographed Rookies (non-patch) – #’d to 199
(NEW) Scripted Sticks – #’d to 35
– Cup Enshrinements – #’d to 50
– Cup Enshrinements Duals – #’d to 35
– Cup Enshrinements Triples – #’d to 15
– Cup Foundations Quadruple Jerseys – #’d to 25
– Cup Foundations Quadruple Patches – #’d to 10
– Autographed Cup Foundations Quadruple Jerseys – #’d to 15
– Dual NHL Shields – #’d to 1
– Legendary Cuts – varied #ing
(NEW) Dual Legendary Cuts – varied #ing
– Property of … – #’d to 1
– Cup Trios (jerseys) – #’d to 25
– Cup Quads (jerseys) – #’d to 10
– Cup Trios Patch // – #’d to 10
– Cup Quads Patch // – #’d to 5
– Rookie Masterpiece (pressplates) – #’d to 1
– Autographed Rookie Masterpiece (pressplates) – #’d to 1
– The Cup Masterpiece (pressplates) – #’d to 1
– Artist Proof Redemptions (for un-cut sheets!) – varied qtys.
– Regular Cards Jersey variation – #’d to 25
– Regular Cards Patch variation – #’d to 10
– Regular Cards Patch variation – #’d to 1
(UPGRADE) Regular Card Patch variation (featuring Tag Patch with Canadian Flag!) – #’d to 1
– Regular Cards Auto variation – #’d to 1

Regular Set Parallels:
– Regular Cards Gold Spectrum // – #’d to 25
– Regular Cards Black // – #’d to 1
– Autographed Rookies Gold Rainbow // – #’d to jersey number
– Rookie cards Gold Spectrum // – #’d to 25
– Rookie cards Black // – #’d to 1