Sunday, June 30, 2024

Ahead on Leafs

 Back with another pack of 2020-21 Upper Deck Extended series packs from the box I bought a while ago from 401games, so let's see how we do on this one.

Not too shabby a pick up with a post-Toronto Optimus Reime. I also have a bit of a soft spot for Bobby Ryan who had his ups and downs.

Definitely a good pack overall in so much as not a single dupe in the pack, so good success there. I also thought, with all the blue and white on the cards, I'd end up with some Leafs in this one.

I wasn't disappointed...

Three Leafs in a single pack makes for a successful pack in my eyes. Still loving that Frederik card for a horizontal design. Too bad he didn't end up as successful a career in Toronto as the picture on the card succeeded in being awesome.

As for the insert in 12 packs has one of these...

After a few years with the Kings, Gabe moved on to Winnipeg. His first year in Winnipeg was as successful and could have been more successful than his last in LA if he was able to play more games, but a good part of the lower games was injury like an enlarged spleen.

As for the card itself, design is fine and reminds me of late 90s Collector's Choice type of insert. A good pack for the day though, so very nice!

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Trades For Shares!

 We interrupt the regularly scheduled 2020-21 Upper Deck hockey extended series pack opening, with a couple TCDB trades to share. First up, a PWE trade with sspeegle.

We have the typical new to me Jays as well as a single 1994 Studio base set helper.

The 1995 Pinnacle Olerud is a Museum Collection parallel, my first such Jays card even though they were only inserted into every 4 packs or so.

The Sports Illustrated card comes from the 1998 Sports Illustrated World Series Fever set and the Extra Edition parallel which is serial numbered to just 98. The one is numbered 69.

Having the 1999 Topps boxed set, I added the UER cards to my want list so I don't forget about them, and picked up a few here.

We then end with a photo variation version for Tiedemann to close the great little PWE out.

The other trade to share is with member smitha1, and though I don't usually do trades for just a couple cards.. 

Hill is SN to 599, so I went for it. First such parallel for 2008 Topps Chrome, and well worth the little trade.

Back to packs tomorrow!

Friday, June 28, 2024

A Slower Day

 Another pack of 2020-21 Upper Deck hockey and we get a little closer to half/half on the keepers which I am not a fan of, but probably going to get that way as we get through more packs.

Pettersson, Laine and Domi some of the hits from the pack which are new for me, but the insert wins the day.

Kaliyev Young Gun card in the retro frame is a solid one. He has remained with LA the last few seasons and seeing solid time.

The dupes...

Always up for a trade, and if you want to keep it in the set, I have plenty of needs from series1 and series 2!

Thursday, June 27, 2024

I Guess Not All Packs...

 So, I haven't thought about it too hard with the first few packs, but I kind of assumed you were getting one "hit" per pack. Just has happened with each of the first few, and given 26 cards in total, seems to be what we are seeing and getting something makes sense. I guess no guarantees though as we get a pure base pack today.

Not complaining, but more just stating facts as I still need a bunch of base and we have all new save a few again today. A few reminders in the first bunch why goalies generally make better or more unique photos for cards than any other position.

I get putting a player on the checklist cards, but putting a couple seems to be trying to pander to get as many stars into a set or into a card to make it more collectible. Works if you are an Oiler fan especially in this case I guess.

The duplicates:

Bound to be a few since there should be enough cards for the base extended series set of 200 in these 18 (well opening 17) packs.

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Do We Need This?

 More 2020-21 Extended Upper Deck hockey cards today, and more question on whether they did try to colour coordinate.

I mean, most of these definitely look like some work was done to pick photos with complimentary background colours, and honestly, it works well. Second back in and out of the 26 cards just a couple duplicates so that works out well.

The last couple here are the dupes - so figured it works to show the backs. When there is all that empty space I don't know why they can't just show full stats or at least more years and push the write up down further. I know, it may take some work to do, but better use than to just leave blank space. I can't complain too much these days as 5 years is more than a number of sets do.

Winners from the pack today...

With 26 cards a pack, would figure we get a Leaf a pack (I haven't looked at the actual distribution of cards in the set, but just based on number of teams, that seems reasonable, add in the All-Star subset and probably makes it more likely).

The Boeser card makes me feel old though. I mean, we are pulling retro designs from what was about 15 years at the time. Not long enough! I mean, It's not 30, 40 or 50 years ago, it's just 15. Maybe it's just me but I feel 20 years is about the mark to bring back designs, anything less and I just feel like - who cares, let me just collect the original set if I want to. Then again, it's a big part of the Archives and Heritage set draws, but generally those deal with older sets.

A solid enough second pack though - even if it makes me feel a bit old.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

This Will Be Extended

I didn't get a chance to write briefly on the Stanley Cup final yesterday, but it was quite the series and almost full comeback by the Oilers. A shame they couldn't pull out Game 7, but it is what it is. McDavid showed he can get over that playoff hump that Auston and company seem to still be stifled by. There's always next year I guess...Leafs are going to do it next year, right?

I haven't been collecting the 2020-21 Upper Deck flagship hockey set - wasn't on my radar, had my Leaf base cards, but then I saw a little sale. 401games was selling a box of extended fat packs for about $40CDN. I figured 18 fat packs, less than $3 each, not a bad price for a fun rip. Should get most of the base set of the Extended part of the base set done, and who knows, may get an interesting insert or two along the way. So, in the interest of this very blog and my own enjoyment, here we are. I went through my traders and I actually have almost 100 of the 730 card set before starting on these and if I get most of the extended base set, that should get me to about 320 cards all in which isn't too shabby. Being a recent base set, trading for cards would be on the easier side for those YoungGuns which are always a paid.

One pack aside for the unopened pack collection, and here are the pack odds up close and personal for those interested (like me):

Let's take a rip of the first of what will then be 17 packs to open which, even at just 20 cards a pack from the base, would have the opportunity to get the extended set near done from a base set perspective.

Gogliano is a sharp looking card with the matching green background. Same is true with Andersson. Not a fan of the horizontal cards, but decent photos at least for them.

I get the extended series is like a rookies and traded stand alone product with some dabbling of all star type cards, but a bit surprised they don't bloat it to 250 cards to match series 1 and series 2.

There we have some of the All Star subset cards I mentioned. A clean sweep of cards I needed which is great, and the stars of the pack...

Though I have never opened a pack of extended until today, this is my 8th Wayne Simmonds base card from this set. Still all good, I'm just impressed I have had that many come into my collection without any being from packs until now.

Last up is a Dazzler of the Orange variety which I believe is exclusive to fat packs and tins. P.O. Joseph has spent parts of the 4 seasons all with Pittsburgh so has been able to stick around. Nice card that plays off well with the Pittsburgh yellow and with these every 10 packs, will be interesting to see if I get another.

Monday, June 24, 2024

Not Quite There

 Last pack of 2022 Panini WWE NXT 2.0 and the blaster I purchased (probably about 6 months ago), and we don't quite get to where I was hoping as far as base set completion with only about 48 of 125

Won't complain about a nice Gigi pick up or Ricochet, very good base cards there, but half new, and half not so much makes me sad again for the collation.

If I was going to get this many dupes, I'd expect it in the last pack of a second box, not while still in the first.

Bayley was amazing in NXT, really connecting with the fans and being a great over babyface. It worked well to start her main roster run as the plucky face, but she really found her way after turning heel. It wasn't right away, but she got there and did some great heel work with Damage Control (however you want to spell it). It was a great story turning to her great Wrestlemania moment this past year and winning the title. Always love her success as it's well deserved and I think she is not only a great talent now, but seems like a great teaching talent for the next generation as well.

Taking a best guess at inserts, the box was good - just plagued by poor collation which hurt the overall score. Ranking feels about right, so seems to be working so far for me.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Back And Forth

 I feel teased by this box. TOday's pack is another with more trade bait than I would have expected from a single blaster box.

I don't get Kit - I mean, the tag team Pretty Deadly is fine, but I don't expect either will easily be able to grow out of the tag team and become a singles star, or at least it will take a lot of work to get there. I mean, if they want to be a tag team for many years in the WWE, it could work, but would be middle of the card at best.

Then we have Nikita Lyons who reminder me very much of Beth Phoenix - strong, solid bodied and can go, though she may need a bit more experience in the ring, will be interesting to see where she can go to.

We finish with NXT alumni Drew. He was like two different characters looking at his first run and coming back on his second. The first, he was too young and pushed too hard. It's a shame he had to go away to find himself, but the Drew that came back has been extremely good for most of his run in NXT and on the main brand as well.

Well, if I am going to see base dupes, Bron isn't a bad one to get I guess.

As for the inserts...

Zoey is another one who could go somewhere on the main roster. I think she just needs some time for character build and to show more of her personality to get people to buy in - whether to love her or hate her, and she should then be on solid footing on the main roster.

Alexa Bliss - glad she had the time to go off and do the family thing like Becky did.

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Back To Good

 Pack three of five from the WWE NXT 2.0 2022 box and we get what we should expect - a bunch of new cards - yay!

For those who don't follow wrestling, NXT was the "minor league" for WWE starting in about 2010 after previously using a relationship with a couple smaller promotions from which to get and train talent (think FCW and OVW - if you know, you know). NXT was really bringing it in house and making a run of it as a third show/promotion within the WWE brand.

NXT was originally black and gold themed, and this lasted until the great brand re-do in Feb 2021 when "2.0" was introduced. It was like a re-set done to revamp the brand and image and make it more "next generational"

I was never a fan of it and always loved the original look and gritty feel. 2.0 was too colourful and flashy and seemed to be about the stars being their best there instead of being their best to move on from there. Many stars had a great time through the NXT system, and though some stayed there for longer than others, Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, many of the stars now spent some time there growing and many went on to great main event success - Finn - would have been a much different main event run if it wasn't for the 1 day Universal Title drop which you suffered due to injury, but you finally rebounded greatly with Judgement Day.

Here are a couple stars that, since NXT time have already done quite well on the main roster. I find it amazing looking at WALTER's physique even in this card compared to where he is at now on the main roster - such a transformation. He was a big guy in NXT, he may not weight the same now, but still a big guy, just crazy fit too.

May not have any amazing pulls yet, but this pack was very solid at least!

Friday, June 21, 2024

This Doesn't Bode Well

 In for the second of the 5 packs from the 2022 WWE NXT 2.0 Panini blaster, and I will say - 15 cards in a pack is a nice number. I mean, these days you are lucky to get more than 8, so it's a nice throwback to when you would regularly get that many in the late 80s or early 90s.

If I said, the above were the new base for me, would that surprise you for just the second pack in? The below, are all dupes, again, in just my SECOND PACK.

Now, I will give Panini a hard time because they are lazy and use the same picture on the back as used on the front. I will do this all day, but I will also complain that, the logo for NXT / NXT UK could have been much smaller and given more room for the write up. Would look much better. The photo is almost pointless since it's the same as the front.

The inserts...

I really like Gigi, and not just for the red hair (which is TOTALLY natural, right?). I think she gets her character and can play it well. Will be interesting to see how she will do on the main roster, hopefully not being lost in the shuffle.

The green parallel stands out a bit more than the silver, but also no SN on it, so not sure how much they are printed and pull rates, but that's fine.

I can't believe the collation is this bad, just after two packs. Here I thought I might get over the half way mark - heck - 65 of 125 base cards if they are all unique in the packs I open, but doesn't look like it will go that way.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Starting In NXT

 Today, onto a wrestling blaster box to start sharing...

I picked up two of these off Amazon because they were on sale for about $25 CDN, and given there are 90 cards, that's not too bad a deal these days unfortunately. Today we start with the first blaster and I am starting with 1 of 125 base cards already in my collection, so plenty of chance for this to be a solid box opening. First up, pulling a pack for the unopened pack collection, but let's look at one front and back for show...

Both the cover and the pack have the same photo work - not a surprise from Panini who seem to like reusing photos as much as possible. Bron is now on the main roster while Mandy, who had an amazing run in 2021-2022 in NXT is gone from the company which, from all accounts has to do with her desire to move forward with her OnlyFans and social media endeavors. Unfortunate from a wrestling standpoint as she had really sunk her teeth into the second NXT run and done really well for herself.

Now, Panini being Panini, they don't really give per pack odds, so I am going to have to do a bit of best guess work on my scoring, but I'll figure that out as I go. For now, to the cards!

A solid base card design. I can see how the use of the border colours can be used for multiple parallels, and then of course there is also the ability to change up the foil too. We start with getting Bron, one of the faces of the brand at the time, with his rookie card. Cora Jade's a good pick up too. I know of the UK guys a bit, but never followed the UK brand too closely - there are only so many hours in the day and Raw, SMackdown, and NXT provide enough for me to try and keep up with.

THe back part of the base set has a sub set for essentially all-time NXT stars, and we get Otis from the section here. Otis has done pretty well for himself overall on the main roster. He hasn't been a main event guy really, but solid mid-carder at times.

We have a couple inserts, as promised. An NXT Gold insert with Asuka who had an amazing run on the brand, and a silver parallel (not SN'd) of Sarray. I am going to, from my looking up of other breaks online, say the silver parallels are about every 3 packs and the NXT Gold about event 5, so will use those for scoring.

I will say, that posed photo of Asuke looks right on for how I remember her in her heights on NXT - definitely a lot more show on her main roster look with the added face paint and wardrobe.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Magic Catch Up

 Before the next opening...maybe something wrestling...a share of some Magic cards from 401games which are from a few relatively newer-ish sets and The List 

I do enjoy my "un" sets and plenty from Unstable and Unfinity that I still need  I will say that the galaxy foil cards in Unfinity look really good in hand.

The Celestial Prism from the 30th Anniversary set is the third artifact card from the expensive set, though the three I have are all cheap.

Then, a whole bunch of cards from The List 

The List is a group of cards, rotated in and out over time, which reprints cards in their original design, just adding a Planeswalk symbol in the bottom. Left corner. Happy to add all these, though I do have the original prints as well, they are definitely different cards to me.

Besides, any chance to get another Fodder Cannon into my collection works for me