As I've mentioned in a previous post I've cut down on my card purchasing. Some of it has been financial, most of it has been space-related and a slim portion has been lack of interest. It's not that there haven't been sets that I want to buy, just none that have motivated me to the point where I've said to myself, “I'VE GOT TO HAVE THAT!” and immediately logged onto the internet to purchase.
I have picked up some new cards through trades (trying to be more active in that regard this year) and have been dutifully picking up my free virtual cards, but I wanted to get some hot-off-the-press, shiny new cardboard in my hands. So, instead of buying a box, I plopped down $40 for a Dave and Adams group break.
I've done a couple of low end breaks sponsored by other blogs in the past, but this is the first time I've gone in on a higher end case break sponsored by a major distributor. The product – 2015-16 Upper Deck Black Diamond. The amount – one case, five boxes.
One of my problems with group breaks is that I don't do a lot of research on the product before plunking down my money. I had no idea that Black Diamond was transitioned from a mid-tear product with a relative easy base set followed by a bunch of short printed 3-and-4-Diamond cards to a high-end, hits-based product.
Heck I went into the break without even knowing how many Lightning cards were on the checklist. A post-break search of the checklist showed that the answer to that question was – not many. Steven Stamkos had a base card and a mini relic. There was a Stamkos/Ondrej Palat Exquisite combo relic and a Slater Koekkoek rookie patch card. That's it.
So, as I fired up the computer to watch the break I thought, even if I didn't end up with the Lightning I would end up with a stack of base cards and maybe a nice insert or two. I got nervous when I saw that a box contained one pack of about five cards (with a “bonus” Exquisite card thrown on top). I'm not good at math, but with only about 30 cards getting pulled, I quickly realized that I might not end up with anything at all.
The random generator didn't land me the Lightning and I couldn't create an account for the chat function quick enough to work out a trade so I was stuck with the team that random.org fated I should be paired with – the Winnipeg Jets. Which ended up being.....not too bad. I actually had one of the better breaks out of the group as I walked away with three cards (whoever had the Lightning got zero).
For my money I walked away with:
A Redemption! An Andrew Ladd Black Diamond Pure Black Signatures #'d to 99 Redemption to be exact. I don't have the red-rage factor for redemptions that some folks on the internet have. That's probably because I've had pretty good luck getting the actual card I've submitted or that Topps took care me of the one time I didn't get the card I was expecting. Will that streak continue? We'll find out in 12-16 weeks!
A Nikolaj Ehlers Black Diamond Rookie Team Logo Jumbo. I kind of like the idea of this card. Take a manufactured logo of a team and split it into six cards. If you can put together all six cards, you get the entire logo. It makes more sense than random patches of jerseys. Will I go for the other five cards? Maybe.
A Nikolaj Ehlers Black Diamond Rookie Signature Material Placards #'d to 125. Nice lay out with a big swatch of a jersey that was worn in a rookie photo shoot (at least they're upfront about it) and a sticker autograph. If they're going to use a sticker, at least they did it in a format where it's not hideously out of place. Well done Upper Deck.
So it was nice to pull a couple of cards from this break. Did I make my money back? Probably not, but I did get a few cards that are nice to look at. If you're interested in trading for them – make me an offer (email at yerf (at) hotmail.com).
As for the group break process with Dave and Adams. It was pretty smooth. You go to their live group breaks web page, find a break you want to participate in, add it to your cart and check out as usual. You can watch the break live or a replay on their YouTube page.
For a high-end break like this, they send out base cards as well as the hits. For a break with more base cards you can request your base cards. After your team is assigned by random (which they show on the break) you are given a chance to make a trade. Your chances depend on how many people are watching live so it can be hit or miss. The cards were shipped out a day or so after the break so that was nice.
I would never spend $249 on a box that only contained 6 cards. For $40 for 30 cards, it was a gamble I was willing to take. So it's not a bad way to dip your toes into a higher-end product.