... because the first hockey cards for 2009-10 have been released!
Upper Deck Victory is the first release this season (as it has been for the past few seasons). You can find the cards at most any big box store (Walmart, Target, etc) or your local grocery store. Heck, there may even still be a card shop near you that is still open (I have no idea if there's one near me - I just get sucked in when I go into the nearest Target).
The cards are pretty basic, as you can see by the scan. I liked a few things about them:
- They are bright and colorful to catch your eye.
- The back of the card has the pronunciation of the player's name, which is always helpful. It also has the team logo and the vitals for the players (height, weight, shoots and born).
- The set is small - 200 cards in the "base set" (that is, any card that is not a rookie and not an insert) so it's easy to collect.
- The photography does a nice job with facial expressions, as you can see by the unfortunate expression on Kopitar's face.
- The biggest issue is that the player's position is NOWHERE on the base cards, front or back. If you're aiming this set as an entry level set for kids and adults, and you do manage to pick up a few casual buyers, how can you not put the player's position on the card? It's a pretty glaring oversight that would have been easy to fix.
- The stats on the back only show the last 5 seasons. I understand sticking to a format, but if you're going to do that, at least give us something other than the big VICTORY logo on the bottom right eating up real estate.
- If you're going to use a photo on the back, make it a different head shot than the front.
- I know it's a basic set, but do we really need a "Victory" watermark on every base card? It looks dumb. I'd rather see the entire photo unaltered.
One thing I did like (mostly) was the Stars of the Game insert. These were colorful and looked nice - quite different from the plain white borders of the rest of the set. They're also fun, with a different layout and fonts to grab your attention. They might increase your vocabulary too (see "prodigious"). We need more nice inserts like this to grab your attention, instead of the sleepy "Game Breakers".
All told, they'll never be worth anything financially (except maybe the limited parallel cards, and probably not even those), but if you want a simple set to put together with your kid, or you refuse to grow up, this isn't a bad choice. I'd wait until you can get the boxes really cheap on ebay. You can pick up a box of last year's Victory edition for about $20.00, give or take a few bucks.