Saturday, January 25, 2014

Product Review: 2014 Upper Deck National Hockey Card Day

January & February is a special time to collect hockey cards. For the past few years Upper Deck has provided fans across Canada and the US free cards to collect to celebrate National Hockey Card Day.

Hardcore collectors try and challenge themselves to complete the set within the day of going to different retailers or hobby shops and ripping open packs. Some even after a week are still trying to track down those one or two cards they missed to complete their set.

This years set featured Rookies, Stars of the game and Legends. There are two sets to collect and both the Canadian and US versions have different players. We'll focused on the Canada side of this promotion since we live in Canada and had an opportunity to participate.

The Canadian set is made up of Canada's Rookies (1-10), Pride of Canada (11-15), Hockey Heroes (16-20), and Memorable Moments card #21. All of the cards are found in the 5 card packs except for card #21. Those are given out to those who spend $10 or more at shops.

With 5 cards per pack you can finish your set pretty quickly if you don't run into any doubles. We ended up with only 3 packs this year to try and have a sample of what the average collector would receive. Also since this promotion is trying to draw in more younger fans of the game that don't collect, it's a good sample to see if Upper Deck could attract this new generation of collectors.

Here's how we did:

Pack #1
Rookies: 3 - MacKinnon, Hamilton, Gallagher
Pride of Canada: 1 - Giroux
Heroes: 1- Hawerchuk

Pack #2
Rookies: 2 - Galchenyuk, Monahan
Pride of Canada: 2 - Stamkos, Crosby
Heroes: 1- Lemieux

Pack #3
Rookies: 2 - Conacher, Schultz
Pride of Canada: 1 - Crosby
Heroes: 2 - Lemieux, Yzerman

A pretty good assortment of cards out of our packs. We managed to only find 2 doubles which is great and they were of the two of the best players in the set. The design of the cards are nice and fun looking. The checklist of the set is amazing with all of those big time stars and legends included. Having rookies from the Double Class included is also a treat.
We did spend over $10 for the packs so we also received card #21 with MacKinnon and Huberdeau as the Canadian Memorable Moments.
Pulling 13 of the 20 cards in the set is very good for any collector. Looking from an inexperienced or novice collector, National Hockey Card Day is a great thing. Your bound to receive a really well known player in each pack and it can temper new collectors to try other products in the future. Upper Deck has done a great job with this tradition and really look forward to it continuing for years to come.

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Tuesday, January 07, 2014

The Story behind that PC find Part 2 - 1995 Fleer Flair Preview Set (written by guest blogger: Sport Card Collectors)

Back when I first started collecting, I dabbled into different products and different sports. But when I came upon Fleer 1995 football...I became addicted. 

Every time I  went to the grocery store, I needed more. Yup, back then cards were pretty much found EVERYWHERE. The one thing that caught my eye about Fleer was its unique color design and its inserts. I had actually put together a decent amount of great looking insert sets I was trying to together from the product such as TD Sensations, NFL Prospects and Pro Vision.

However, one of those insert sets I really wanted a set of was the beautiful Flair Preview inserts. It was a preview to the "high end" product Flair that would soon release. There was just something about it. The design, color and just overall layout had me chasing them down. It was a must have set! And chase I did! Back when card shops and card shows were relevant where I live, I used to go around hunting for those I didn't pull from packs. The good thing about the Flair Preview cards was they were inserted one per pack. The bad thing was, you got a lot of doubles.

I had put together 29 of the 30 card set but one card kept evading me. And it was the one card I wanted the most from the set. Rodney Hampton. My favorite Giants player at the time. I had to have it, not only for the set, but because he was a Giant. The card shop didn't have it. The shows didn't pop up any and I couldn't pull it. So I was stuck. That's where the second half of this story begins.

At this time I was still in school. And we used to write to a trucker who traveled all over the country. And the one thing I would always talk to the trucker about  in my letters to him was card collecting. Come to find out he was a collector as well. And I got to talking about missing the Hampton from my set. He said he would do his best to find me one. I thought to myself it was impossible and there was no way he was going to find one. 

A few months later, the trucker scheduled a visit to our school. I was out sick that day so i was a little disappointed I wasn't able to ever meet him. But the following day back at school the teacher handed me an envelope with a letter in it. I opened it up and BAM out popped the Hampton! He said he found one on the road after stopping at a few places and was more than happy to help me finish my set. It was one of the most memorable collecting stories I have and still a set in my collection as well. 

I did write the trucker back to thank him and tell him I was sorry I missed him. We communicated for rest of the year before I moved on from that classroom. It was a kind thing that he did that I will always be grateful for as a collector.

Sport Card Collectors

Part 3 of the series "The story behind that PC find" will be out later this month. 

Thank you for your support towards The Pack Gambler
Make sure to visit our storefront at, or our COMC account ThePackGambler 

If you have any similar stories about one of your PC cards or items please send us an e-mail and let us know at We might feature you in an upcoming story just as we did with Sport Card Collectors.