So, I was in my local Walmart the other day and like I do every time, I took a look at the card selection. Living in Texas, I don’t expect a bunch of hockey and I got what I expected. Most of what I can find right now is 2014-15 Upper Deck and that is to be expected. We all know that retail blasters don’t give us very good odds, so I like to look for anything marked down. I was pleased to find another 2013-14 Select, for the price.
I’ve bought a handful of these at the same store, on clearance, always one at a time. There is never more than one out and when I purchase one, another one has magically reappeared by the time I am back. I have had relatively good luck with these, as I have hit a Jack Campbell RPA and also a Justin Schultz RPA. The Schultz was numbered out of 99. I still haven’t found a good home for him through trades, but I’m sure at some point I will. I believe I’ve hit another one, but can’t seem to find it when I scroll through my traders bucket. Maybe it’s not scanned and up yet, who knows.
Strangely enough, I’ve found the most desirable pieces from the blasters to be the “Fire on Ice” inserts. I’ve included both a Phil Kessel and a Mikael Granlund. Someone asked about the Kessel within the first couple of days I posted it. I was working a trade for a Tyler Seguin Young Guns and a Mario Lemieux second year card and he told me we had a deal if I threw that Granlund in with the other Wild cards I was offering. I wasn’t letting a $10 card get between myself and that pickup.
Back to the subject at hand. I went ahead and picked up the blaster, figuring that I’d hit an RPA and maybe a Fire on Ice that I could trade off. Well, I thought wrong. For $12 (and $20 if I had purchased for markdown), I received 12 cards. Here is the entire “bounty” that I received for my money.
Now, I am not one of the fools that opens product thinking I’m going to make money. Anyone with half a mind knows that you RARELY “make” money on a box. However, you’d like to at least feel okay with your results after spending your hard earned money. I do not feel that way after this.
I understand that retail blasters aren’t intended to have the best product. I understand that for the most part, the card companies are trying to protect brick and mortar card shops, online card “shops” and probably even breakers. However, Panini really craps the bed on this product. If you’re going to drop an Andrew Jackson, at least let me get SOMETHING!
When you by a box of Upper Deck hockey, at least you know you’re going to pull a couple of Young Guns cards. Even if you don’t hit a Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin, you can likely find a trading partner for cards you don’t want. Also, you’re going to get a solid handful of cards. You’re not spending money to get two packs of six cards each. It was certainly not the case here.
Upper Deck gives you possibility for value. I actually “made” a decent amount of money on 2014 Topps WWE blasters because of some of the items they added and I was able to turn. Panini definitely failed here.
At the end of the day, the hobby is about fun for me. It’s not about money. I look at it like I look at buying anything else. I spend the money and it’s gone. I don’t EXPECT to get any of it back. However, it’s disappointing to walk away disappointed. The less cards in an item you open (pack or box); the more likely that is to happen.
Happy Easter, everyone!