08/09 Upper Deck Champs Hockey preview

10 12 2008

Do you like Allen and Ginter baseball, but just wish it was done with hockey players and said “Champ’s” on the bottom instead of the Allen and Ginter bit?  Well then 2008-09 Champ’s Hockey (ppt file) is the release for you!

The cards are named after a 1924/25 hockey card release by the Champ’s Cigarette Company of Canada.  The original release was a 60 card set of minis (so they’d fit in the pack) and featured a black and white picture of the player with a white border and the players name in small type on the bottom.

The cards that Upper Deck are putting out, however, look nothing like their namesake originals and almost exactly like Topps A & G cards with a different name. Exactly.

The base set features 200 cards with 100 short printed rookies seeded one in two packs.  Pretty standard stuff for Upper Deck hockey.

But that’s not all, and here is where I think the set becomes more annoyance than novelty. There’s a mini parallel set (like A & G) that actually doesn’t parallel the base set all that much. It’s a 480 card set that features 192 base cards, and 95 short printed rookies (1:8).  The rest of the set will feature such superstars as the Hippopotamus, the Kakapo, and the rookie card of the Iguanadon. Yep, animals.  And not just fifteen or twenty of them, but close to 200 animals and dinosaurs get their due as part of the “Natural History Collection” subset. Even better, Upper Deck’s decided to short print them all (1:3). Bonus.

Upper Deck’s reincarnation of Champ’s also canabalizes the Upper Deck Goudey release by including memorablila cards of athletes from other sports as well called “Hall of Legends.” As if that weren’t enough, there’s 14 different “Fossil and Artifact” cards that feature actual fossils and artifacts from history, including dinosaur teeth and trilobites. It all feels very roadside novelty stand to me.

Plus there will be Upper Deck’s usual assortment of odd colored parallels inside as well.

One thing I do like the look of is the mini signature cards, and I imagine the mini relic cards will be just as nice.

I guess I shouldn’t complain about Upper Deck Champ’s Hockey too much, though.  After all, the base set isn’t too outlandish here.  But that mini set is something else, isn’t it? Close to 200 cards of just animals? Anyone else think that’s a bit of overkill?

The box features 24 packs of 5 cards each, and each box will contain 2 mini signatures, 1 mini threads card, and 1 brown back parallel as well as the assortment of short prints.

The raptor teeth and trilobites relics are case hits, as well as the non hockey memorabilia cards.

No release date or price point is available at this time. Animal lovers stay tuned, I guess.

UPDATED:  Finally figured this thing out.  Images, courtesy of the sell sheets here. Beware the Jaguar!





Updated more: Presells are up and running around $90 a box.




3 responses

10 12 2008

I’m really looking forward to this release. I love A&G, so I am happy to see something similar in hockey, even if it isn’t Topps (that’s for other people to worry about).

I think the product breakdown looks good, and I don’t mind the assorted minis of ‘other’ things. It will be a fun set to put together, however one chooses to tackle it. The breakdown per box looks pretty good as well. Two autos and 1 GU per box in one should be a set builders product is pretty good. Kind of cool to see the fossils and other stuff as case hits, instead of being incredibly rare.

10 12 2008

This looks interesting, it all depends on the price. It would have been nice to include a few more cards per pack to make it easier to complete your base set (A&G had 8 cards instead of just 5).

At least UD is introducing something new (to hockey at least) and not adding another SP set with gimmicked rookies or game used, with the exact same 100-card base set of players.

10 12 2008

Too many “National Geographic” cards for a sport set but the retro style is a nice touch for a hockey card even when is very similar to A&G. By the way thanks for the info.

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