Hello fellow card maniacs,
About a week ago, 13/14 Upper Deck Artifacts NHL hit hobby shops and the response (in my store at least) has been nothing but spectacular. Collectors suffered through the rookie freeze-out that plagued Puckheads everywhere last year when there were essentially no new rookies in what few 12/13 products were created.
While none of the brand new 2013 draft picks are live in the release, collectors have learned to embrace the rookie redemption cards that appear one per box. Upper Deck again upped the ante by adding redemptions good for autographed singles from the newest guys to hit the ice. While we do not yet know who the redemption cards are good for, it is a safe bet that the Colorado Avalanche (possibly Nathan MacKinnon) and San Jose Sharks (possibly Tomas Hertl) should garner a lot of the early attention.
For just under a C-note per box, Artifacts also promises 3 relic cards including 1 multi-relic card per box. In addition to the single player relic cards, you can also find 2 player Tundra Tandems, Tundra Trios, and Tundra Sixes. I have to tell you that for swatches that are mostly dime sized, Upper Deck made sure to save some of the sweetest relic pieces for this product.
Isn’t it cool when getting a 1/1 card means that the company threw more than a solid white swatch that could have belonged in any unnumbered card? This one sold for $127.
The coolest looking singles in the set might be the Auto/Patch/Patch cards. Once again, some of the swatches in this set look like Mini-Me versions of The Cup and are topped off with signatures. Some of the possible players that continue to make this product sizzle include Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Joe Sakic, Mario Lemieux, Mike Modano, Sidney Crosby, some guy named Wayne Gretzky, Martin Brodeur and the coach of the currently 6-0 Avalanche, Patrick Roy.
Appearing 1:1000 packs are the Top 12 Rookie Signatures set. Here is your chance to play a little catch up with autographs from the top dozen rookies from last season. The players include Alex Galchenyuk, Beau Bennett, Brendan Gallagher, Charlie Coyle, Cory Conacher, Dougie Hamilton, Emerson Etem, Jonathan Huberdeau, Justin Schultz, Nail Yakupov, Tyler Toffoli and Vladimir Tarasenko
There are even more insert including Treasured Swatches Red with stick and tape and some buyback autographs from Tuukka Rask /5, John Tavares /18, Steven Stamkos /25 and Sidney Crosby /40 that should only serve to further motivate case shredding.
My store did an 8 box break this past weekend. Please check out a sampling of the cardboard goodness that we found in just a half case.
Mike Fruitman owns Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora, Colo. You can read his column here every week (or close to it), focusing on what products are selling best in hobby shops. See his eBay listings here. Enjoy new arrivals and big hits from Mike’s on Twitter. Mike’s is always looking for more friends on Facebook and you can email him at [email protected]