Hobby News and a Tip
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by Karine Hains aka Pheebs888

The hobby is an ever evolving world and here are some of the news that caught my eye this month. Firstly, as a Patrick Roy collector, I was rather interested to learn that the Habs legend has inked an autograph exclusive deal with Upper Deck. While I'm not necessarily a fan of exclusivity deals (they often result in a hike in price), I have to say that I'm relieved he signed it with UD as they are the only hockey card company to have a licence. While unlicensed companies do their best, I just can't get on board with cards depicting the league's greats with no team logo, it just incomplete for me. Remember in 2015 when Jack Eichel signed his exclusivity deal with Leaf? How disappointing was it to pull the Jack Eichel Future Watch Rookie in SP Authentic and see it didn't have an autograph? And what about The Cup? A solid regular of that product is the Rookie Patch Auto set and yet there is no such thing for the 2nd overall draft pick in 2015, it's just plain wrong. While Roy's rookie year is long gone, I'm just glad I'll still be able to add complete cards of his to my collection.

Now for what has me VERY excited this year; the release of SP Game Used. Now, let's be honest I'm not normally a fan of this product, got a box once and the value just wasn't there but this year, it will feature something special for me. Remember January 1st, 2016? On that day, the Montreal Canadiens took on the Boston Bruins in Foxborough at the almighty Patriots' stadium and triumphed 5-1 in what was a Winter Classic for the ages. I had dreamt for years of attending an outdoor game of my beloved Habs and so I made the trip to Boston that year. It was without a doubt one of my best sporting event experience and this year, SP GU will feature a lot of cards commemorating that massive event. I was excited when the UD series 1 tins came out and I was able to build the 14 oversized card set of the Winter Classic they contained, I was hit hard when I saw the Mega Patch cards in Premier which featured the WC jerseys but this is something else. As the product is coming out on January 25, Upper Deck has released both the checklist and some pictures and they are breathtaking! For me, all of these cards will be on my want list:

WCGUP-BG Brendan Gallagher - Montreal Canadiens
WCGUP-MC Mike Condon - Montreal Canadiens
WCGUP-MP Max Pacioretty - Montreal Canadiens

Net Cord
WCNC-AG Alex Galchenyuk - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-AM Andrei Markov - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-BG Brendan Gallagher - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-DD David Desharnais - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-LE Lars Eller - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-MC Mike Condon - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-MP Max Pacioretty - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-NB Nathan Beaulieu - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-PB Paul Byron - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-PS P.K. Subban - Montreal Canadiens
WCNC-TP Tomas Plekanec - Montreal Canadiens

Banner Year
BWC-AG Alex Galchenyuk - Montreal Canadiens
BWC-AM Andrei Markov - Montreal Canadiens
BWC-BG Brendan Gallagher - Montreal Canadiens SP
BWC-MC Mike Condon - Montreal Canadiens
BWC-MP Max Pacioretty - Montreal Canadiens
BWC-PS P.K. Subban - Montreal Canadiens
BWC-TP Tomas Plekanec - Montreal Canadiens
BWC-AG Alex Galchenyuk - Montreal Canadiens B 1:528 (Auto)
BWC-BG Brendan Gallagher - Montreal Canadiens B 1:528 (Auto)

And if you're not a Habs fan, well there will no doubt by something for you too! You can check out the full checklist here: http://gogts.net/wp-content/uploads/...-Checklist.pdf

And if it's pictures you want, I suggest you head over to Upper Deck's Facebook page and check out the goods in all their glory here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/UpperDec...54279312133951

In the meantime, I'll just leave this one picture right here:

Also coming up in not even one month, on February 18, 2017 National Hockey Card Day both in Canada and the US. Most of you probably know what this means, i.e. hit a participating card store and get a free pack of specially produced Upper Deck cards. Now, in some stores, there will also be some discounts on that day but there's no guarantee. I should also add that for all of you Young Guns collectors, Upper Deck Series 2 is slotted to come on on February 15th, I can already see the hunt for the Patrik Laine Young Guns exploding on eBay.

This last item is by no mean news but rather a tip. A little while ago I made a low value trade with another member, a Montreal Canadiens common Young Guns and a couple of Portraits card from Series 1. While I appreciate that the cards are not worth much, I do expect them to get to me in tip top shape and the best way to ensure that they do is to ship them properly. Perhaps we do not all have the same approach to shipping but no card leaves my house without the following:

-a penny sleeve;
-a top loader;
-decoys (if you are not shipping many cards and they could be bent in the post, adding a decoy helps ensure that they are not);
-a team bag (and if you shut it really tight it is in my opinion acceptable to forgo painting tape)
-painting tape to hold the top loader shut which ensures that the card does not come out of its plastic case

Furthermore, to me a bubble mailer is mandatory. I do not care how much the cards are worth plain white envelopes are not acceptable. If you intend to ship in one please do let your trading partner know because this could be a deal breaker. Pictured below are the cards I received in their “packaging”:

For obvious reasons, I've blanked my address but the picture still shows the issues. First, the cards came in a plain white envelope. Secondly there was no top loaders but rather a cut up cereal box in which the cards were slipped. Thirdly only one of the cards was in a penny sleeve because it was taped to the cereal box and the other cards were underneath it. In accordance with SCF rules, I left a neutral feedback as the cards were miraculously not damaged but had it been left up to me, that would have been a negative feedback. Even if that package did not contain a McDavid rookie, I still value the contents. I collect the Montreal Canadiens with a passion and I build the Portraits set every year for display purposes so I do not want any of those cards to be damaged, it's just common sense isn't it?