The show I mentioned you all are well aware of, it was Canada's "National", a 400 table event at the International Center just outside of Toronto. I haven't been to one of these shows since the late 90's, and to be honest it really hasn't changed much. Aisle after aisle of some great memorabilia. Not only cards, but jerseys, sticks, masks, and meat (YES, I said meat).
After perusing the show for the better part of 5 hours on Saturday, I realized I learned a lot of things:
1. I'm 44 years old, and I can no longer do the things that I did when I was 24. 20 years ago I would have had no problems walking that floor and chatting it up with every dealer that had an interesting card. This year, it's sad that after only a couple of hours, the most memorable thing for me was seeing an elderly woman riding in her wheelchair and thinking "I could use one of those right about now".
2. I still love hockey, and hockey cards. Yes, I said it. You can take the boy out of Canada, but you can't take the Canada out of the boy. There was a ton of hockey cards there at some absolutely sick prices. You'll see some of the cards I grabbed over the next little while at prices that were anywhere from 50-90 % off.
3. Set builders at these types of shows are a dying breed. Unless you're building a set of jersey cards, or building vintage sets from the 50's and 60's, which currently I am doing neither, you are out of luck. I could count on maybe two hands the dealers that had stacks of commons boxes, and most of those weren't anything that I was collecting. Maybe I'm just out of line with what's hot in collecting.
4. I'm ready for another show like this. There is a show in a Pittsburgh suburb every May that has a great selection of dealers carrying a wider variety of singles and sets. I'll be there.
Well, the show for me was a great success, I was able to pick up some wax for dirt cheap prices, including a couple boxes of 08-09 series 2 UD hockey at $22 a box, along with a bunch of singles to put towards my Leafs collection. Here's a couple of cards I really liked:
|The mustache says it all|
The first card I featured above is from 08-09 UD Artifacts, a dual patch card of Lanny McDonald. Yes, it features him in his Flames uniform, but it also had a blue swatch, and my favorite memories of him will always be when he was wearing the blue and white. Great card, numbered 19/50.
Next up, another great longtime Leaf (of course):
|Had to have it|
2008-09 Black Diamond Mats Sundin 4 swatch card. Again, another card I got on the cheap, and loved the blue and white swatch in the lower left.
These cards symbolize what's right, and what's wrong with the hobby right now. Yes, I do love these cards, the fact that I got them for half "book" value, and that they picture two great Maple Leafs players. But the show focused on what seemed to be nothing but these types of cards, especially from high end products such as the Cup, and Dominion.
I hit one booth, I'm going to say he had approximately 10 shoebox storage boxes full of nothing but jersey cards! Crazy. Why?
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that I'm conflicted. The set builder in me really wanted to hit this show and knock off a few of the set want lists that I brought with me. The truth there is, I never took them out of the bag, because I couldn't find any of those sets.
So I settled. Settled on buying wax and jersey cards. I loved the show, don't get me wrong, but a part of me left there unfulfilled. Probably because the true collector in me didn't get to come out.
Thanks for reading, Robert
(words in this post: 721, total for the month, 7073)