I figured with the NHL season done and the Boston Bruins crowned champs, it was finally time to open the hobby box of 2010-11 Pinnacle hockey I had been sitting on for over a month. I paid $80 at a show in May and felt like I was getting a good value, but now they’ve dropped under $60 online and that’s a flat-out steal.
So let’s take a look inside the box:
Not all the photos are this unique, but a lot are.
The first thing I noticed when I started ripping packs is that the photos aren’t the typical on-ice action shots that you get from 25 other releases each year. It’s definitely cool to see some of the behind-the-scenes stuff, and it actually makes it feel like the base is worth collecting. To that end, I got 177 of the 200 true base cards, which gets me close enough to a complete set that I can just trade for the rest online. (So uhh, anyone got any dupes they’re looking to unload?)
What’s that? All you care about is hits hits hits?
Look out Sid, menace Dave Steckel is also in this post.
You’re guaranteed four hits in a hobby box and I got five, so that was cool. I think the City Lights relics would have looked better with a thick black border around the swatch window, but that’s a minor complaint.
As for other inserts, it’s Pinnacle so that means starburst/dufex! Actually, they’re calling it Nufex technology and the parallels are called the Rink Collection…
I was pretty skeptical after seeing initial scans of some of these because the faces of the players looked really washed out, giving them a sort of ghost-like creepiness, but in person they look pretty good. To give you a better idea of how they compare to the base cards, here are a couple side-by-sides:
They look good, but I think I still prefer the UD Black Diamond base cards with similar foil technology. And that segues nicely into the negative portion of this review…
Ice Breakers rookies are cards 201-250 in the set and they appear to be seeded around 1:4 packs, so they’re very short printed compared to the rest of the base set (cards 1-200). I only got four base Ice Breakers, plus one Rink Collection and one auto.
I thought I'd see more of you. Well, the base at least. The auto was a nice bonus.
The Ice Breakers Autographs are also part of the base numbering (cards 250-270), which is an OCD nightmare because I know I’ll never complete the “full” base set without dropping some serious cash.
Then there are the inserts with the standard Panini design flaw: big empty spaces that might as well say “PLACE STICKER HERE.”
Clearly no amount of complaining about this practice is going to change it.
They look fine when there’s an auto on them, but they’re just kind of ugly without. I’d rather the auto-less cards just not exist and know I’m not going to get as many inserts per box.
Finally, the Artist’s Proof inserts seem to be typical of the tack-on mentality at Panini when it comes to parallels.
I don’t mind parallels, but I prefer my parallels to be obviously different than their base counterparts. It took a couple looks just to figure out what I had here, and what I had was “not much added value.”
I know there’s some magic number of inserts-per-pack to get collectors to buy a product — or at least I’m assuming the card companies have done some research — but these just don’t work for me.
That being said, I can’t end on a negative note because I really had a blast opening this set. Even though I only need 23 more cards for the base set, I could easily see myself buying another box or two just for the hits. For the price, you can’t lose.