by Rich Klein
I mentioned in the last iteration of Rich Ramblings how I was putting up with the NHL lockout because the NHL Network was playing vintage programs which may be in their inventory but not broadcast very often. The other day, during a very early morning, I saw highlights of the 1954 Stanley Cup finals. I don’t know about you, but seeing footage of players such as Jacques Plante, Jean Beliveau, Doug Harvey, Maurice Richard and Gordie Howe during their peak years was a treat.
Why talk about the 1950’s when we are reviewing a product like 2012-13 Upper Deck Series One hockey? Because. as a long-time hobbyist whenever there is prolonged work stoppages any hobby manufacturer biggest challenge is to keep the product interesting for today’s collectors who are not seeing their heroes on the ice on a nightly basis. While Upper Deck was preparing the first series product, I’m sure they were aware of the possibility of the labor situation but as a card producer you have to prepare products with the concept the sport will be played. After all, even the original six era gets boring eventually in terms of card content.
So, with all that, how is the Upper Deck product doing on the secondary market? . There are are 24 packs per box with eight cards per pack in 2012-13 Upper Deck hockey Series One. The full-bordered cards themselves are very attractive with the player’s photo covering most of the card with the player’s name, team logo, position and team name near the bottom. The horizontal backs have biographical information, seasonal and career statistics as well as a brief informational blurb. A major selling photo of the product is the six Young Guns inserts in every box. There is also supposed to be an average of two jersey cards in each box and there are always other surprises which makes Upper Deck hockey popular among collectors.
At the time this is written leading online retailers have this box in the $65-76 range. My local card shop (Triple Cards in Plano, TX) reported selling almost one case through at $68.50 per box. Considering Dallas is not really a hockey town and the current labor situation he was perfectly satisfied with his sales up to this point. There’s not much doubt that hockey cards may have a rough go of it now that the league has canceled games through mid-December, including the All-Star game but for those who want something to do during the ongoing dispute, at least there are cards to open.
There has been a lot of product opened since release earlier this month. In fact, there were about 7,000 listings on eBay over the weekend.
So how did we do from our box?
Base Set: 167 of 200 or almost 85 percent. No duplicates.
UD Exclusive Parallel (#d to 100): Alex Tanguay
Young Guns: Tyler Cuma, Cody Goloubef, Shawn Hunwick, Lane MacDermid, Mark Stone, Jason Zucker
Hockey Heroes the 1970’s: Marcel Dionne, Tony Esposito
MVP: Dany Heatley, Henrik Lundqvist, Joe Pavelski. Patrick Sharp
Canvas Guns: Tyson Barrie
Silver Skates: Adam Henrique, Milan Lukic
Game Jerseys: Jarome Iginla, Jaromir Jagr
As many of my readers may realize I’m a big fan of “base” products because usually the downside is very low and the upside is in both the bulk, and the surprise hits. No autographs in this box or big money cards but the six Young Guns and the two jersey cards almost pay for the whole box in terms of book value and all the extra cards are just a bonus. And for a card geek like me. learning about hockey by looking at the stats is always a ton of fun.
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]