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  1. Inside the Design of a Hockey Card Set

    6 Comments by Pheebs888 Published on 02-09-2018 08:04 AM
    By Karine Hains aka Pheebs888

    As collectors, we’ve all got favourite sets or products, there are things we like about cards and things we dislike big time but we’ve all got that one product that we really like. For me, there are 2 such sets; the 2008-2009 Upper Deck Masterpieces and the 2008-2009 Upper Deck Montreal Canadiens Centennial. I absolutely loved busting box after box of those products one could say that 2008-2009 was a very good hobby season for me and I didn't think anything would ever come close to it.... Fast forward to the summer of 2017 and I had to change my mind.

    I was in the mist of my summer holidays, you know, the dog days of summer when there’s no hockey and you're left with either crappy reruns on TV or baseball? Well, on a quiet Monday evening, an e-mail landed in my inbox and brightened up my day. That e-mail was from Chris Carlin, the Senior Marketing and Social Media Manager at Upper Deck and its contents were exciting to say the least. Chris was telling me that Upper Deck had decided to attend the upcoming sports cards show called L’AntiExpo in Montreal at the end of September and planned to offer a wrapper redemption program much like they do at the Toronto show. Even better though, was the fact that he was asking me, along with Richard McAdam (a fellow Habs obsessed fan, collector and friend), to come up with a list of Memorable Moments from the Montreal Canadiens recent history. The set would not only be a wrapper redemption program but also a complement to the Memorable Moments set that was featured in one of my favorite product ever; the 2008-2009 Montreal Canadiens Centennial set. Even better yet, he also requested that we try our hand at writing the text for the back of the cards and offered to send us a special mail day to thank us.

    Needless to say, I was chatting with Richard seconds after reading the e-mail and was happy to see that he was just as excited as I was! We decided to each come up with a list and compare them afterwards. As expected, our lists were eerily similar with a few differences. Even though it was getting quite late, I decided to send in my list in its integrity. It included 14 moments and Chris was after 9 but I just couldn’t make any cuts….And since I’m a completist, I couldn’t help but write-up my suggestions for the back of each of them before sending them in, in fact I even suggested which picture should be used on the front of each card.

    2 days later, Chris came back to me saying what we had provided was all they needed and they would get things in motion for the set to be produced in time for L’AntiExpo. Both Richard and myself were very excited to see the final result and about a month later, Chris sent us the PDF files of the front and back of the cards. I must admit that it was quite a thrill to see a set that we had designed come to life. One of the cards didn’t feature the photo we had suggested as the representative of a player from another team who would have been on it declined to give permission…The card featured the Canadiens magical play-off run in 2010 when Halak backstopped them all the way to the semi-final by beating both the Capitals and the Penguins in 7 games. In the end, the replacement picture was one of Halak with Alexander Ovechkin in the handshake line, still a pretty sweet memory.

    At the end of September, I made the drive up to Montreal for the show and met up with Dianne the Upper Deck representative. As Chris had promised, she gave me a bag full of the set including the short printed Drouin card as well as a blow-up version of my favorite card from the set “Roy Comes Home”. This one depicts November 22, 2008 when Roy’s jersey was raised to the rafters. As some of you may know I am a huge Roy fan and I was over the moon for about that gift! I was a real treat to see people line-up with their wrappers to get their hands on our set. I emailed Chris to thank him for all the free sets and told him I would split them in half and send Richard his. He replied and said that there would be another surprise for us down the line…


    Being of a curious nature it was hard to wait to find out what the surprise was but it was well worth it! In early February, a package came from Upper Deck and it included not only the UDRAK (Upper Deck Random Act of Kindness) I had won in the latest Volunteer Alliance Mission but also a huge box of the shot printed version of our set which was made in the last few months. It was a sepia version and only 100 copies of each card was made. When I opened the box, I realized that Chris had sent us 50 copies of each card. That’s right, half of the print run was for us and he had also included copies of the design sheets. I spent much of that night sorting through the cards finding out that we had some jersey numbered cards as well, Price 31/100, Roy 33/100, Subban 76/100, Gallagher 11/100 and Weber 006/100 and the whole set 32/100. To be honest, that night of sorting reminded me of what it was like to collect before the days of the memorabilia and autograph cards, when it was all about enjoying simple cards.


    Once again, I split the loot down the middle and sent Richard his half as well as some of the design sheets. On my way back from the post office, I stopped by a photo studio to drop in my copy of the design sheets to get them made into a laminate. It’s not every day one gets to design a set so I figured that was a worthy keepsake. There you have it, my complete account of how I contributed to the making of a set featuring my favorite team. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and if you are one of those jaded individuals who says and thinks that Upper Deck doesn’t care about collectors, think again. Not only did they ask real collectors what they wanted in this instance but they gave it to them and I should also add that in my UDRAK I received 3 Certified Diamond Dealer conference exclusive Goodwin Champions autograph cards, 2 of which were short prints (Patrick Roy and Carey Price), talk about a company that cares!

  2. Total Comments 6


  3. #2
    Amazing! A once in a lifetime opportunity.
    Thanks for sharing that!
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  4. #3
    We had a lot of fun with this - and you've really captured the spirit of the whole thing, Karine. I think some combination (if not both) of the Habs and Upper Deck should hire us for our creative input into making things awesome for the Habs. LOL
    Carey Price fan and collector!
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  5. #4
    Thanks for the comments :)
    @RGM81 Well Richard, that's a great idea! if only it could happen lol

  6. #5
    That is pretty awesome!

    But I can't be too happy for you because that Habs/Caps playoff series was one of my most bitter hockey memories...
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  7. #6
    Great read, congrats on all of these memories - And a set of a lifetime of course! Awesome job all around!
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  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RGM81 View Post
    and you've really captured the spirit of the whole thing, Karine.
    If Karine Hains wrote it, it MUST be true!

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