Saturday, December 18, 2010

$20 Worth of Blastin' Artifacts

Yesterday, on the drive home from work, I decided to stop into Wally World and see what the card section looked like. Now, with this being Canada, I have learned to accept that the card section will be completely devoid of Baseball or Football. All that exists here is Hockey.

Hockey, Hockey, Hockey, Hockey aaaaaannnd........Hockey!!!

Needless to say the usual players were there. 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1 tins, 2010-11 Upper Deck Series 1 blasters, Pokemon, Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh.


Lower to the floor are usually the 1 to 3 year old forgotten blasters that they refuse to put on sale because some chump like me might be frustrated enough to actually pay full price. This time, however, the shelf looked different. There were these big red stickers on the boxes that looked as though they might be promising. They read, "50% Off".

This was worth a look.

As I dug around I found something that I was even collecting. 2 years old but still collecting nonetheless.

This is where it got strange. The first handful of blasters were emblazoned with those '50% Off' stickers. Near the back I found a couple with '60% off' stickers. Same product, just different skew numbers. Sure enough, a quick pass under the laser price reader showed one box for $12.49 and the other box for $10.00. I dug around for another box with the same skew number, cashed out and made my way home.

Up until this year I have liked the look of the Upper Deck 'Artifacts' Hockey release. The small size of the set and the players included make this a fun little set to put together. The challenge is there as well for those who want to go for the SP/Serial #'d half of the set as well.

$20 for 80 cards of this set sat well with my wallet and the outside shot at an insert or two made this a done deal. I say outside shot at an insert because the insert ratios with 'Artifacts' blasters is pretty steep. The lowest odds are 1:20 (1/2.5 blaster boxes) for Legends/Stars/Rookies serial #'d out of 999. The rest of the ratios, as listed on the box, are;

Rookie Redemption cards (1:96)
Regular set parallels (1:80)
Treasured Swatches (1:36)
Frozen Artifacts (1:36)
Auto-Facts (1:720)

So, as you can see, going in to this I was not expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised at the end of ripping all 16 packs. Firstly, for those unfamiliar with the look of 'Artifacts', here are a few of the better base cards I managed to pull.

Jonathan Towes, Larry Robinson, Gordie Howe, Evgeni Malkin

Sidney Crosby, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Hull

As always with hockey cards, the most colourful and sharpest looking cards are the goaltender cards. I pulled a total of 13 goalies. Gotta show the goalies!

Carey Price, Henrik Lundqvist, Tim Thomas, Cam Ward

Marc-Andre Fleury, Vesa Toskala, Josh Harding, Marty Turco

Domenic Hasek, Evgeni Nabokov, Manny Legace

Mikka Kiprusoff, Tomas Vokoun

I mentioned earlier that I was pleasantly surprised after breaking these two blasters. With the odds they way they were I figured on one insert at best. I managed to pull 4 inserts out of these two blasters with two of them being keepers. 2 were from the 'Legends' serial numbered portion of the set, 1 was from the 'Stars' serial numbered part of the set and I lucked out and pulled a 'Frozen Artifacts' Jersey swatch inserted 1:36. Not bad at all.

'Legends' Insert #822/999 - Dino Ciccarelli

'Stars' Insert (Silver Parallel) #051/100 - Alexander Ovechkin

'Frozen Artifacts' Jersey - Lanny McDonald

Lastly, this is one of the lowest print run cards I have pulled since coming back to collecting and to pull it from a blaster was even better. Now, it is no Gretzky or Ovechkin but he is still part of one of the best Dynasty teams of all-time.

'Legends' Insert (Gold Spectrum Parallel) #5/5 - Bob Bourne

Altogether this was a great value break for me, so much so that I am actually heading out the door after posting this and seeing if there are any more $10.00 blasters of this stuff left. If any of you reading are collecting this set or are interested in any of the cards here, drop me a comment or an e-mail and we can definitely work out a trade.

Thanks for stopping by and seeing what I had to say. It is always greatly appreciated.


RIP - Artistic Genius

No words, just watch.

"You want to be a different fish, you gotta jump out of the school." - Don Van Vliet