Another stop on the box review for 2008-09 Upper Deck Champ’s Hockey. The minis. There are base set minis, and then there are parallels for all the base minis. The base mini cards have black printing ink on the back of the cards. The parallels are Brown (1:25 packs), Red (1:144 packs), Blue (1:288 packs), and Purple (1:576 packs). So, long odds on a lot of these for sure. The parallels combine to fall 1:24 packs. In my box, I hit a blue back parallel of Brian Gionta. Nice to get one of the rarer parallels. Not so nice to get a guy that doesn’t get much hobby love.
Upper Deck extended the base set for the minis – basically, they aren’t a straight parallel for the larger base cards in each pack. There are 192 mini veterans, as opposed to 100 in the base set. This is great – it makes buildign the set more challenging and it also gives player collectors of the lesser known guys a little something extra to chase.
There are usually two mini cards per pack. I had packs with three minis, and I had packs with only one mini. There was no discernable pattern to this. Packs with extra minis didn’t necessarily have a ‘hit’ mini or anything like that.
Base minis are said to have a 1923-1924 design. I can’t find any of the originals on eBay or Google to compare with. Its a pretty cool design though. Jarret Stoll and Chris Kunitz were two of the guys I collected when I was hardcore into hockey.
Mini Rookie Cards again have a different design. I’m not sure if this is also reminiscent of 1923-24 or not. Mini rookies should fall 1:8 packs. I hit those odds right on and landed three mini rookies in my box. None of them were very good – this will be a challenging portion of the mini set to collect, with there being 100 of these as well.
Overall grade for the base minis and parallels in this set – 8/10. Challenging, without being impossible (hey – trading is half the fun of set building), and the parallels give some added value to the box. One quibble is that I am not a huge fan of parallels where the only difference is visible on the back. Makes it sketchy buying and trading online.