Wednesday, September 12, 2007

06-07 Hockey Card Round-Up

By my count, Upper Deck released 30 different sets for the 06-07 season. Since I don't have the time or money to buy and write about each set, I am only going to cover the four affordable sets that I could find.

Upper Deck
Cost: $4/8 card pack

Easily the best set of the year. A nice simple, classy design plus lots of horizontal cards (five in my pack of eight cards) and lots of action shots. Probably my favorite set in the last ten years. Of course, like everything Upper Deck releases now, there are more subsets, inserts and game worn memorabilia cards than there are base cards. While that does make collecting the complete set from the pack difficult, it seems that there are lots of people who don't even want the base cards-- meaning you can buy the complete set off of eBay for about $10.

Best card from my pack: #143 - Robert Esche (back)

Cost: $2/10 card pack

The more I look at and feel these cards, the more I like them. Fleer has that great rough cardboardy texture that I thought was extinct from hockey cards. While the photography in this set isn't particularly exciting, the cards aren't boring to look at either, and the fact that this set reminds me more of O-Pee-Chee than Upper Deck's O-Pee-Chee set earns it several bonus points. This is the closest anyone has gotten to the budget cards of the early-90's in a long time. Add five more cards to the packs, get rid of most of the inserts and drop the price of the full case to around $30, and this is a ten out of ten in my books.

Best card from my pack: #56 - Sergei Fedorov (back)

Cost: $1.50-2/6 card pack

Upper Deck really messed this one up. They took the most important brand in hockey card history, and instead of giving it a classic design deserving of its name, they farted out an ugly brown border and stamped the O-Pee-Chee logo on it five times bigger than it needed to be. I know that O-Pee-Chee's last set (92-93) was bad, but why did Upper Deck have to try to up the ante on ugly? The photography does manage to follow in the tradition of O-Pee-Chee cards: lots of close-up non-action shots. It's just too bad that that was the only point that they could get right. I suppose they did also make a simple, two colour back, but it's simple to the point of laziness. I can't think of any sets with backs that are more boring than this brown quadruple-spaced turd. They couldn't even be bothered to put in the right headings for the goalie stats. Pretty lame!

Best card from my packs: #419 - Vesa Toskala (back)

Cost: $2/6 card pack

I guess Upper Deck put all their effort into thinking of thousands of uncollectable subsets, so their actual sets were just thrown together when they needed something to package with their inserts. Victory is an uninspired set that looks like a second rate Score. Everything about these cards is unspectacular. Why is it necessary to have the big Victory logo behind the player when the logo is in the top left corner anyway?

Best card from my pack: #91 - Alexander Frolov (back)


Jonny Chance said...

Wow, those O-Pee-Chee cards are really really ugly.

Fredrik Vilborg said...

Hi. There are fully affordable sets from ITG as well, and i think it's important to push for these since the NHL gave Upper Deck the monopoly of producing fully official sets of the NHL.
ITG is as you may know a totally serious company in every way with years of producing NHL licensed cards. They are nowadays also the only competitor to UD and needs to be helped to damage UD monopoly.

Great blog by the way, i love it. The best of all is that you're back now after the summertime.

Bruce said...

Thanks for the nice words. I haven't really seen any ITG cards around, but I'll definitely look into making a post about them sometime in the future. I see they put out a bunch of sets each year, is there any one you'd recommend?

Fredrik Vilborg said...

Sorry it took a while, hav'nt got back into the rutines of visiting your blog since your vacation thingy there.

Hav'nt bought any ITG myself, just traded for them, but 2006-07 In The Game-Used International Ice Signature Series is a nice one.
It is possible that all ITG are more expensive packs than normal, i dunno.
ITG does have the best creativity when it comes to the design though.
One problem they have is that they cant use NHL logos on their cards.
God i'm tired.