Monday, July 9, 2012

DOUBLE PACK RIP - SpX and Contenders Hockey

Summer has finally hit Vancouver, and right when it does, I'm packing up to leave. I'm not too sad though, me and my family are leaving for two weeks to California (LA, Palm Springs)! So I guess these past few sunny days were a precursor to the real heat down there.

Anyways, back to hockey cards. Two weeks ago I went to my LCS and decided to test a few products I've yet to rip. Although I can't afford buying boxes of all these new products, I try my best to buy at least one pack of every new thing that comes out. On that days menu was SpX and Contenders (UD vs. Panini).

I've seemed to have pretty decent luck pulling some decent and even great cards this year from packs and boxes. I plan to do a full recap at the end of the hockey card season, but the last time I picked up two single packs I got a Tim Erixon RC AUTO from Elite and a Gilles Gilbert AUTO from BTP. Would I keep that roll going?

Starting with SpX...

Alright so when I originally saw scans online I thought these cards looked pretty cool. In person though, they are probably one of my least favourite designs for a mid-high range product this year. The square nuisance of gold foil where the team logo appears is gaudy at best. The players buckets are cut off and for some reason the font that says "SPX 2011-12" is bigger than the players name.

The back design is the same as the front minus the foil. The backs are bearable in my opinion, but still needs improvement. As for the actual last card in the pack it was...

...a foil covered "Legends" hockey card. Foil can be great and hell in some instances a card can be completely covered in foil and look good (Saving Face insert set) BUT not in this case. Even though this card is numbered to /499 and contains the presence of a great hockey player, it still doesn't resonate well with me.

On to the other pack and here's hoping it's's not...

This could be a really cool product if Panini had executed it correctly. The untouched full picture design for a hockey card is a cool idea and team colours work very well with that. Unfortunately, the untouched, borderless picture affect didn't turn out great. It's like the information bar on the bottom is glossy and nice and the actual picture is flat and matte finished. If they had used better photos, glossed the entire fronts, did some small border and gotten rid of the Conference logos these cards could have potential. 

The backs are a complete wreck. They look so grungy and 90-ish and just plain boring. This product had some really neat AUTO's and GU cards though and that is what really carried it because the base cards are just plain bad! In particular I like the all black cards with the silver AUTO, sometimes they include a patch. As well those three die-cut puzzle cards that make a line of information make me drool every time! 

Do you think I pulled either one of those?!

Nope! What the hell is a Cup Contender anyways? The line-up in this parallel set is ridiculous and just a bad excuse for cardboard. Rookie Contenders I get, but I do not get this! What an awful feeling pulling this piece of work!

So about 16 bucks later, I ended up with 7 base cards and two high serial numbered cards. Awesome work Michael, maybe next time you can just throw your money directly into the trash...


Anyways, like I said I'm leaving for vacation Wednesday but if I get the certain card I'm waiting for in the mail tomorrow than look for another post tomorrow night. If not see you guys in another 2 weeks and enjoy your summer!


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