Toronto Expo 2012 Review:
Friday was my one and only day at the expo this year, so I thought I'd write about it a little for those who couldn't make it. (Sorry it took so long to get this up, but had a peppy four year old keeping me busy all day)
Others who are their today (Sat.) or tomorrow (Sun) are more than welcome to add to this and share their experiences as well. On that note:
Arrived at the big show around 12:30pm and hopped in line with about 200 ppl in front of me and my buddy. Met a a few people in line and shared some good conversation. After finally getting in, I was able to take in the gravity of the situation: Hockey Card Christmas :)
Getting to sell all your base is a fun experience, even if it's only a few bucks, so I helped a newer hobbyist complete this task and put another thirty bucks in his pocket. Turned into a "free" Boston Bruins jacket for him (Special thanks to Steve M for the deal)
Dropped by the CnC booth to say hello to the guys there and signed their banner. They had one of the best collections of cards available. Normally I don't enjoy looking through stacks of toploaders in boxes, but it was all gold at the CnC booth.
Viewed hands down the finest collection I have ever seen at one vendor (The Money Pit I believe) that consisted of highlights including 5 Crosby Auto Shields, 5 Gretzky Auto Shields, Roy Shields, 2 Howe Property of 1/1's, An Orr Property of, Malkin, Messier, Lemieux, Gretz, Property of... the list goes on, but you can see from the flavour of those examples that it truly was the creme de la creme of many product runs.
Next we went off to In The GameLand, and since we got there early we both had a free spin on the prize wheel. I ended up winning a free blaster of H and P. Love the product and free stuff is a bonus! Pulled an auto and a jersey from that blaster too. After trying to open up the locked out safe I was able to chat with Dr. Price about the upcoming History of Hockey product. Loved to see how excited he was for this product, and it was great to be able to share my enthusiasm with him as well. No other company gives you this kind of access to the head honcho. Pardon the pun, but it was "Price"less to be able to have some face time with him.
Deal or No Deal was a raving success as usual, although I'd like to offer my game show hosting skills in the future :) I did not however take a shot at the goalie, although I wish I did. A bunch of youngsters were there and I'll always put kids first, especially at the expo, we need young people in our hobby badly! I might have taken advantage of the redemption programs at ITG but the product I wanted to buy (superlative) was currently out of my price range. If history of hockey was out though, I would've sold my soul to open up that stuff! Upcoming product of the year so far. Good luck to the other two companies beating it. You're gonna need it.
Up next was a visit to the Panini Redemption program. By opening a box of Certified I was given six redemption packs to open. Love the deal, although I was pretty let down by my box of certified. Luckily my buddy did better and pulled a 1/1 Versteeg in his box and also a 1/1 Hagelin in his redemption packs. He also pulled an RGIII Jersey in his redemption packs AND a Chris Kreider jersey, apparently they're both out of fifty so I was very happy for him. I pulled a few low numbered cards out of my redemption packs, as well as an Andrew Luck RC /399. I had no clue who this was so finding out he was the 1st overall pick this year in the NFL was a very nice surprise. I did pull a redemption dual auto out of certified, and let me tell you I"m not a fan of redemptions AT ALL. Thankfully they had their redemption replacement program up and running so I was immediately able to trade out a bit of a scrub redemption for a Pat LaFontaine Private Signing! Pretty pleased overall, even if it was a less than stellar box that I opened.
In the past Ive ALWAYS stopped in at the UD booth to crack a box or two and pick up a priority signing, but this year I just can't bring myself to buy any series 1. Same reasons as most, that being that last years holdovers aren't enough to drive the product. I apparently wasn't the only one thinking this because there never seemed to be more than a few people in line when in the past it was the longest line at the show. They did have a great presence though, and a great looking booth.
Spent the rest of the day mixing it up with the other dealers, with both hockey and non sports. There is a FANTASTIC hollywood auto booth there that has just about any celebrity auto you could ask for. Great company out of NB who clearly care about customer service. There prices were unbeatable and they are partially charity driven, so if you get a chance stop by the Markken booth. Other dealers of note were Frozen Heroes and WAD Enterprises, both offered great prices and was able to make great deals with them.
In short this expo was exactly what I'd expect it to be. Lots of good times mixed in with a few nice surprises. Get there if you can!
Keep your eyes peeled for my expo only panini redemptions in the trade/sale threads tomorrow :) A few cracked ice variations (panini tells me they're #'ed to 25 or less) a Baertchi RC /399 , and a Ryan Miller /5 among others