Archive for hockey cards

Thrift Treasures 109: An impossible pull from a sealed junk wax box (1990-91 Pro Set NHL Stanley Cup Hologram)

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

img_0970So there I was stopping at one Goodwill on the way home from work on Oct. 12, 2016, when I saw in the showcase a sealed 1990-91 Pro Set Series One NHL box of cards. Typically these boxes get left at thrift stores and they have already been pilfered of anything of value, OR they are priced in such a fashion they are not worth the gamble.

And what gamble is there, you might ask? A long shot at hitting a winning lottery ticket in the form of a Stanley Cup hologram limited to 5,000 copies.

We have to set the scene with Pro Set before we go any further. Long before there were autographs and relics cards that we see today, chase cards from the early 1990s usually meant the cards were glossy as compared to your typical matte finish, or they had some sort of flashy foil to make it obvious that you had something special.  With Pro Set they made holograms, and they were an absolutely needle in a haystack to find.

Perhaps the most famous Pro Set hologram is the Lombardi Trophy hologram that was inserted into the NFL product of 1990.  But more valuable is the Stanley Cup version inserted randomly into Series One packs of 1990-91 Pro Set hockey.

If you think they’re easy to pull because there are 5,000 of them guess again. There literally are close to — if not more than — a million produced of each base card in most brands these years, rendering them worthless. The shiny holograms that were impossible to pull have held their value. The Lombardi hologram usually fetches between $40-$100 in raw condition and much more if graded. And a quick check of eBay while I was in the store Wednesday night showed that the Stanley Cup holograms were selling upward of $125 in raw condition.

img_0971I looked at the box through the locked case and was able to see the $6.14 price tag. I figured the box was worth the price of two cups of Starbucks coffee.  After all, 10/12/16 was the Opening Night of the NHL season and it gave me something to open while I was watching the San Jose Sharks defeat the Los Angeles Kings.

So I paid for it, drove home, ate dinner, turned on the game and opened pack by pack slowly looking not only for the hologram, but also any errors/variations which also have a following.

I got 35 packs deep into the box with nothing really special when this happened:


The third or fourth card in that stack isn’t like the others because … it’s a HOLOGRAM!

You newer collectors might night be laughing at this pull because by today’s standards because unless anything is numbered to like 50 copies you don’t consider it rare.  But for us who grew up in the junk wax era, finding something like this is insane. And to make this case even more impossible it comes from an abandoned g box located at a thrift store.

Anyhow, when I saw the shiny hologram the first thing I did was pulled out my phone and take the aforementioned picture and then record this video.

The card isn’t mint, which is crazy since this was a sealed box, but it’s probably going to stay in my collection as this is an epic pull given the circumstances.

Total cost of this Thrift Treasure: $6.14.

You can see more Thrift Treasures posts Here.


Thrift Treasures 69: Mem cards, a Lemieux rarity and a box of rocks

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on June 20, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

Usually when I find card at thrift stores, they are usually tattered cards from the 80s and 90s that mildly entertain me as I wait to stumble across my next true treasure.  Well, Friday brought me some good fortune in a form that I’d never seen before at a thrift store.


Among the toys stuff in plastic bags were three “bricks” of hockey cards that were being sold for $1.49 each.  This actually is a pretty typical find in stores around here.  Baggies filled with 90-91 score or similar type cards that sit forever. But as you can see from the picture above, one of them actually had a memorabilia card on the front of the bag, and another had a serial numbered Mario Lemieux also showing — this is not typical. There was a third that didn’t have anything remarkable showing, but I figured it was worth a shot since the three bags collectively would cost me less than $5.

I won’t go through every detail of what was in bags, but I’ll touch on the highlights.  There were 17 1993-94 OPC Premier gold parallels, two sealed packs of 1993-94 OPC Premier — one had a Wayne Gretzky base and each had a gold, bringing the total to 19 — there were two 1993-94 OPC Premier Team USA inserts (these were seeded 1:12), and a handful of rookie cards and inserts.  Like I said, no need to delve into the meaningless details there when there are three actual highlights from the baggies.

So I started with the “mystery” baggie, the one that had nothing showing, and int he middle of the stack of cards was a dual mem card, a 2001-2001 Upper Deck Chasing The Cup Brenden Shanahan, featuring a white swatch (with what looks to be a seam) and a red swatch.


The second one I opened was the multi-relic baggie.  I could see a Jerome Iginla single-color white swatch and a Valeri Bure two-color red/yellow swatch showing.  What I didn’t know was that this was a quad-mem card from 2001 Heads Up. The reverse has swatches for Marc Savard white with silver pen marks (probably part of a signature) and a single-color red swatch for Rico Fata.


And the third baggie had the back side of a Mario Lemieux card, with a serial number 122/149 showing.  The card turned out to be a 2001-02 Pacific Retail Limited parallel,  which obviously was limited to just 149 copies.  Not super rare, but rare enough to still draw interest.


So that’s that … well, wait.  Look at the title of this post. What’s that “box of rocks” business?


This is not card related at all, but there is a slight connection to a parallel world, comics.  In a bag random items was this box clearly marked “Kryptonite Rock.” When I think of Krytonite I think of Superman.  I looked a little closer and saw that there was a “1977 DC Comics” sticker affixed to the rear.  I did a quick eBay search and saw instantly that these were indeed linked to Superman. The only difference between mine and the ones on eBay was the fact that the ones there had the Superman character actually on the wrapping. I decided to go ahead and buy it — figuring I could sell it for profit — since I was already in the green with the card purchases. As it turned out, there were three rocks inside the box, which appears to be customary. The rocks don’t glow at the moment, but the box boldly claims that they can be recharged in the sun.  Guess what I’m doing tomorrow?



Thrift Treasures 61: DuFex! DuFex! DuFex!

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2013 by Cardboard Icons

ThriftTreasuresLogoAbout four years ago when my Thrift Treasures series began I discovered a local thrift shop that often sold cards 10 or 20 at a time for $1.  Usually the store would receive boxes of cards and they’d dump them into some large plastic container.  The price varied — as I noted earlier — depending on the cashier.  Either way, the price was hardly something to quibble over.  I mean where can you select the cards you want and pay either a nickle or a dime a piece?

Anyhow, that store is still there.  It’s still open.  It still has bins of cards.  Problem is they have not had anything new in the boxes in almost a year.  Every time I’d returned to the bin, I’d see the same stacks of 1986 Topps football and 1991-1992 Pro Set Hockey that’d been pilfered dozens of times over.

But that changed this week.  I stopped in and it appears that someone dumped a small collection of hockey cards (not my forte) and some random 1996 football stuff.  Go figure.

I dove into the bins and spent about 30 minutes shuffling through thousands of commons — including a large majority of which were the aforementioned Topps football and Pro Set hockey. All I came out with was 20 cards that I purchased for a single dollar.  And even though hockey isn’t what I collect, I figure I should be able to flip them for something else that I might actually want.  And it that fails, then at least I saved these from getting scrapped. Yep, I’m a hero like that.

So, without further adieu, here they are, the 20 cards that Cardboard Icons saved from the landfill!

Lets get these out of the way:  I didn’t Neid these … (knee slapper!)


The great thing (I’m kidding) about the 1990s was the abundance of unlicensed cards.  Actually, in their own way they were kind of fun.  For team and player collectors who were about a decade away from seeing the world of parallels upon parallels and hits, they liked to have new issues to chase.  Well, collectors of then super prospect David Neid of the newborn Colorado Rockies had a limited release to chase in this small Pro Motion set of what appears to be composed of four cards.  The cool part:  they’re serial numbered to just 10,000 copies!  I guess that was a magic number in the early 1990s,  that’s what all the Donruss “Elite Series” inserts were limited to.


I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, 1991 Topps may have had the best photographs in recently memory of any base set.  That said, this Oscar Azocar image featuring him supposedly balancing a baseball between two bats always captivated me.  Funny thing is I look at this card now and I can clearly see the dowel that holds that ball to the bat.  It should be noted that this card would be even greater if it were his rookie card.  It is his first Topps card, but Azocar had rookie cards in 1990 Fleer Update and Score Traded. Grrrr.


Quick hitter:  remember these throw away offer cards?  I actually like them because when I was a kid I never took the time to look at them.  Now I continue to hope that I find weird Topps items like this hat in a local thrift store.  I actually wonder if anyone actually ordered these …


Moving onto a pair of football cards:

Can’t leave this 1995 Action Packed Steve McNair rookie card behind, right?


And this 1996 Score “Field Force” parallel (feels like paper, not glossy) Jay Novacek had to come home with me.


It should be noted that the reason I kept digging through these boxes was the abundance of 1996 football cards.  Why you ask?  Well, I was hoping there was  Ray Lewis rookie card just sitting there.  Clearly there wasn’t.

And now onto the hockey portion of the post … where, oddly enough, is where I spent the majority of my 100 pennies!

Rookie cards.  Who needs a 1990-1991 Upper Deck (American) Owen Nolan or a 1997-1998 Olli Jokinen?!  Love that Nordiques logo by the way.


How about a 199601997 Starting Line-Up Peter Forsberg?


So, the title of this post is “DuFex! Dufex! DuFex!”  Here’s Why!  Nine 1994-1995 Pinnacle “Rink Collection” DuFex parallel cards.  No big names here, but check out that badass redemption cards.  Possibly the best-looking redemption card I’ve ever seen.



Total cost for these Treasures:  $1

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