Monday, September 28, 2015

RETAIL BREAK: 100 Hockey Cards

I'm always a sucker for retail hockey repacks. Sure, the cards aren't tempting and I'm confident I'll finish busting the product with a fist full of 1990-91 Bowman cards, but the opportunity to obtain a collection of random cards from different years and manufacturers always interests me.

I usually get my fix from a local Target, mainly because A.) there are so few hobby shops in my area and B.) none of the existing ones have a "dime box" or anything of that sort. Thus, getting a repack is my best option (besides for grabbing a bunch of random cards that I need to fill sets. Usually, I don't do too shabby with filling holes in my set lists with these repacks.

Nobody rules the kingdom of repacks quite like The Fairfield Company. Their products usually line the shelves of the Target card aisle, with a foot in just about every single type of trading card. I actually do recommend their products, mainly to collectors trying to get back into the hobby. I feel that their repacks offer collectors a chance to reestablish themselves within the realm of collecting, by offering random cards to add and giving the collector a chance to see cards that they may want to build a set upon.

Their 100 card repacks aren't a new thing, but they've abandoned their old packaging and have now begun offering their products in small boxes, as opposed to a "rack pack" type packaging or hard plastic enclosure like the one seen below.

Source: A Pack To Be Named Later

The boxes instantly caught my eye as a "new product" and the 1:4 chance to obtain a "hit" made it even more interesting. Not only do I get 100 hockey cards, but I also get one pack to go along with them, which I can only assume will be a fresh pack of Panini Dominion. Feeling lucky, I decided to pick up two boxes priced at $5 each.

As stated, there was a mountain of Bowman cards (44) with eight of them being doubles. I don't have the entire 1990-91 Bowman set, but I did pick up Paul Broten, Brad Marsh, Gord Murphy, and Mike Ridley for my set. I still have about 26 cards until that particular set is complete.


There were quite a collection of Upper Deck cards, as well, primarily 1990-93; prime junk wax hockey! Most I had, but others were able to fill some gaps in the set collection lists. I did get a 2014-15 Ryan McDonagh UD Black Diamond card, as well as some 2007-08 UD Ovation cards of Niklas Lidstrom and Joe Thornton. I've gotten a few of these Ovation cards in the last few repacks that I've busted and I like them. I might try to build the entire set. Very attractive cards, I think.

I also got an Upper Deck VIP The National card of Sidney Crosby. I've gotten a few cards like this over the years in repacks, mostly of "superstars" like Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and Rick Nash. I'm not sure of the story behind them, other than my guess that they were given out to people at The National Convention. I'm guessing they aren't worth much. If you have more information about them, please comment below!

The pack also brought upon me two more 1990-91 Topps cards of Scott Arniel and John Druce. This set is probably the first hockey card product that I have any sort of recollection of collecting. I remember having the doubles that my older brother didn't want anymore, and I'm confident that those were my first hockey cards. After all, I didn't expect him to give me his 1995-96 Score cards. Those were much too valuable to just give to your little brother!

I also got a really cool card of Brian Mullen during his brief tenure with the New York Islanders. Apparently, Brian Mullen suffered a small stroke in 1993. He hoped to return to hockey, but a seizure in 1994 forced him into retirement. Considering the circumstances, this picture is even more special. It depicts Mullen with, whom I assume is, his son. I love cards that show the lighter side of hockey like this.

One of the reasons I picked up the second repack box was because of the card seen in the front; a 2012-13 Gold Marquee Legends card of Patrick Roy. Not only is it a great card to have, but these are generally pretty uncommon. If I remember correctly, this particular subset was only available through retail blister packs. I have a few already, so the Gold Roy was a nice addition to my collection.

And speaking of junk wax, take a look at this 1992-93 Fleer Ultra card of personal favorite Curtis Joseph! The design, the uniform, this just screams junk wax hockey and very loudly says "I'm worth, maybe, two cents!" And if that wasn't good enough, I "scored" his 1990-91 Score Rookie card! Sweet!

I'm always surprised to see newer releases in these repacks, and I got two cards that I certainly wasn't expecting, courtesy of our friends at Panini. Both cards are the first in their respective sets to make it into my collection. The first is a 2013-14 Contenders card of Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf. The design mimics that of a ticket, which I feel would make a better "back" of a card than a "front" but that's why I'm not in hockey card design I guess. The other was more suited to my tastes; a 2011-12 Certified card of Bruins fan favorite Brad Marchand. As a Bruins fan, I love Marchand...most of the time. Sometimes he drives me nuts with the dramatics and he's too talented to need to do it. Otherwise, he's an exciting player. Glad they didn't get rid of him during the summer cleaning by new B's general manager Don Sweeney.

Naturally, I enjoy myself some junk wax and I was able to get three cards to add to one of my favorite junk wax era sets; 1993-94 Leaf! I feel like 1993-94 was such an amazing year for junk wax. Premier was pretty iconic, Upper Deck had a great design, and Leaf was amazing. The front design is gaudy in a great way, and I'm a complete sucker for the city landscapes and monuments on the back. Just an overall great design. I was in St. Louis last April and got a stack of about 100 for $1 at a hobby shop. Wish I grabbed their other stack, too. Luckily, the repack provided me with three Leaf cards; two of which I needed! Chris Chelios and Stephan LeBeau. Maybe I can throw together a complete set one day.

Score also provided me with cards from the 1991-92 Rookies and Traded set, and more specifically, a young Pavel Bure! One of the great scorers of the junk wax era, Bure is a fresh-faced kid in this card and one that's a welcome addition to my collection and, of course, that beautiful Canucks jersey!

The two packs were both 2011-12 UD Victory. Nothing exciting, with the only highlights being a red bordered Jonathan Bernier card and an MVP card of Alexander Ovechkin. Other than that, just some strays to that growing section of my collection.

Overall, it was a pretty good pull from both boxes. I'd say about 55% of the cards were new additions to my collection. I can live with that. If I have some money to spend and I find myself in the Target card aisle, I think I'll make another purchase of these. I also vow to improve my scanning of cards skill, so stay tuned for that!


  1. Nice repack! I like the Bure card best I think.

  2. 1990 Bowman really is the patron saint of hockey repacks.