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National Hockey Card Day is looking a little different this year… for one it’s in July! Instead of shaking off your snow boots, you will be hiding from the heat in the Okanagan!
We are going to have a fun day in the store! Come to the McDavid door to receive your FREE packs of cards and kids will have a chance to build their set. Check out great specials around the store and Spin the Wheel with purchase to win discounts, prizes, Upper Deck Swag and more!
We also need to continue to be aware of covid safety regulations so we won’t be able to host our Scavenger Hunt this year but don’t worry it will be back again! Over the next few months, we will continue to open up more and hope by the Fall, can host more in-store events.
We know not every town has a hobby shop to pick up a pack of cards, or perhaps you are a bit hesitant about being around lots of people – we understand that! You might have a niece/nephew/ grandkids/kids etc living in a small town and you wish they could get a free pack!
We have come up with a MAIL OPTION!
We can mail a free pack of cards wherever you live in Canada! All we need is an address & toonie to cover postage. Let’s get hockey cards in as many kid’s hands as we can!
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It doesn’t matter if he raised you from day one, barely saw you because he worked long hours to support your family or you found him later on in life — celebrate the father figure who guides and supports you through it all on this special day.
We have the perfect gift ideas at Players Choice for your dad, father-in-law, husband or son. We have hundreds of memorabilia items from many teams to choose from, a card from their favourite player OR brand new hobby boxes to open – hockey, basketball, baseball, football, wrestling and more.
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FOR MY DAD:
When I scratched my knee,
Or if I bumped my head,
When I was afraid of the dark,
Or that thing under my bed,
When I cried in the night,
Or even in the day,
You were there for me
To make it all okay.
You tickled my feet
And laughed at all my jokes.
You taught me to believe
In having high hopes.
You are my father.
You did what you had to do,
But more than a father
You are my friend, too.
You made everything good
That was once bad.
I just want you to know
I love you, Dad.
Upper Deck NHL® Series 2 picks up where Series 1 left off delivering a new crop of Young Guns® rookie cards and incredible new content. The expanded base set includes more players for each team featuring incredible imagery, including players who were acquired later in the offseason. Finding short-printed Young Guns® cards will allow collectors to get their hands on rookie cards from some of the most talented young skaters in the NHL®.
The most important aspect for most fans is the new Young Guns lineup of 50 cards (#451-500). Falling 1:4 packs, this rookie subset contains some key names.
As always, the parallels include Clear Cut (Hobby only) for base (1:96) and rookie cards (1:288). Additional choices consist of Exclusives (#/100) and High Gloss (#/10), plus the new French edition for base cards (1:30) and rookies (1:120).
Collectors can also count on the next round of UD Canvas cards, which average 1:8 packs. Joining 90 veteran cards, look for the short-printed Young Guns (30 cards – 1:48), Retired High Series (15 cards – 1:192) and Team Canada Program of Excellence (15 cards – 1:192) groupings.
The all-new Box Filler (1:359) insert set features some of the top enforcers in the game – past and present. All cards are printed on PTEG stock* and the set is exclusive to Series 2. A few prominent names included in the set are Paul Bissonnette, Matthew Tkachuk, and Georges Laraque.
The Day with the Cup insert is an annual tradition for the Upper Deck flagship release. The set features six different Tampa Bay players who played a prominent role in the teams championship run hoisting the coveted Stanley Cup. These elusive cards are 1/1,000.
The Rookie Materials and Rookie Dual Materials are series 2 Exclusive inserts and feature low-numbered patch parallels. Hockey fans will find them featured with young stars like Dylan Cozens and Kirill Kaprizov. The duals will have pairs like Bowen Byram and Shane Bowers.
Looking to prior seasons, Rookie Photoshoot Flashback Materials (1:576) displays images from the UD event along with an event-worn jersey swatch. Each relic set mentioned has a Patch parallel numbered to 25 or less.
Opting for some flashy designs, the 2020-21 Upper Deck Series 2 Hockey inserts add extra pop to the series. Picking up from Series 1, the UD Portraits Rookies (1:6 packs) set supplies cards #51-100. These feature Gold Foil (#/99) and Platinum Blue (#/25) parallels.
Dazzlers is back, as well, with 50 more cards to collect. Options include Blue (1:24) and Pink (1:144) versions.
The popular Fluorescence insert returns, giving hockey fans another brightly-colored set to collect. Five different color variations are available with a new checklist of rookies and cards numbered as low as five. These come in Gold (#/150), Blue (#/50), Green (#/15) and Magenta (#/5) color schemes.
Dazzlers are a new addition for the 2020-21 season and were a huge hit in Series One. Collectors can continue chasing the set with new brightly-colored, full-bodied cards. In Series 2, collectors can find two versions of each player – blue (1 per box, on average) and pink – for all 50 players featured in the insert set.
Another normal element is O-Pee-Chee Update, which brings rookies (1:6) and the ’19-20 award winners (1:24) to the main 2020-21 O-Pee-Chee lineup. Parallels include Blue Border and Hobby-only Red Border. In addition, the O-Pee-Chee Retro Rookie Update set adds Black Border (#/100) parallels.
hot… Rookie Breakouts is another popular insert set featured in Series 2. The cards feature a unique design and are numbered to just 100; printed on acetate, along with Fluorescence, which comes in Gold (#/150), Blue (#/50), Green (#/15) and Magenta (#/5) color schemes. Also, it gives hockey fans another opportunity to collect cards from some of the NHL’s top young superstars.
Unannounced Surprise Easter Egg Content will get collectors talking and their hands shaking as they discover these unexpected gems in packs of 2020-21 Upper Deck NHL® Series 2. Includes another round of the base Street Clothes variations and more artistic Fanimation inserts. There’s a new batch of Signature Sensations. Collectors can also find an update for prospects in the MVP Colors and Contours die-cut series.
People of all ages are loving Series Two… with a fantastic group of hot rookies, awesome content and great Easter Eggs, it’s a product you won’t want to miss out on!
Who knew that entering the 2020s would lead into a world wide pandemic, who knew that life as we knew it would be changed and who knew that retail shopping would look entirely different than it had in the past.
It definitely has been an interesting year being in retail. We have had to adjust, rearrange, and pivot on more than one occasion. Last March, we didn’t know if we would even still exist after being in business for 16 years. Luckily for us, the sports card industry has boomed this past year and we continue to grow and build for the future. But what a year it has been.
When covid started to affect business last Spring, Jason, the store owner and my partner, was in LA with my son on a much deserved trip. They were excited to be going to their first NBA games and were going to see LeBron, Zion Williamson, Russell Westbrook and more in action. They did make it to the very last NHL game of the season and then suddenly the NBA cancelled all games due to covid. All events were cancelled, the amusement parks were shut down and people were told to stay home; they said the LA streets became eerily quite until they could get home. I was running the store on my own and had to navigate changing store hours, limiting people in the store and wondering what was going to happen next. We decided to shut down the store for the rest of March as the boys came home to self-isolate and we made plans to adjust. We were in the middle of preparing for the WHL Memorial Cup coming to town and had to pivot our plans – cancelling guests, events and even product orders.
If you haven’t been in a sportscard shop, you wouldn’t know that the experience is as much fun as the product you buy. A dad and his kids would come in for a few hour on Saturday afternoon, going through cards to find that one they were missing for their collection, and give their mom a much needed break. We would host birthday parties and event nights, where groups would come in and open cards, watch a hockey game and enjoy a few hours of fun. In the summer, families would stop by the store and just look around for an hour or two, as part of their tradition, as if we were a hockey museum with all the uniques pieces they could find. When covid began we had many questions…how does a store who focuses on experience keep going? How does a store that sells “extras” keep going when people are losing their jobs?
We had been working on integrating our inventory with a new website with a local company, Okanac. With everyone encouraging local shopping and supporting small businesses, we hoped to bring people to our store online and continue to add new products. A friend gave us the idea of hosting online auctions to sell single cards. We thought it was a great plan to encourage community and fun in the hobby; we have people tuning in regularly from Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, BC, Utah, California and even China! We have done over 100 auctions, including two charity auctions raising almost $10,000, and two memorabilia auctions. We run auctions Wednesday and Friday nights on Facebook and YouTube. We started our YouTube channel for this and expanded to include our “FLEX SHOW” – where we highlight some BIG cards, unique memorabilia and current happenings in the sports cards industry. We’ve had a NHL player as a guest and plan to expand our guest list in the next few months to share more stories.
We adjusted to pickup, rearranged the store so people can’t walk around touching items, have had to limit people in the store, and on some occasions have had to tell people we aren’t open for browsing. Have we lost sales? Yes. Have we had people frustrated they can’t come in and look around? Yes. Have we lost customers? Yes. But at the same time, most have understood that we had to adjust to covid regulations and check us out online. As people stayed home, they started going through their old cards and wanting to find out value and start collecting again. People wanted a hobby they could enjoy at home and with kids or friends. As professional sports teams adjusted to bubbles or shortened seasons, people are home watching more games than before cheering on their teams. Stars have emerged, the Game has gone on, so to speak, and the interest has peeked.
Personally, this year has taken a toll. Everyday I am thankful we can stay open when so many can’t, but I know my anxiety and tiredness show through on some days more than others. I get teased that this past summer, I wouldn’t let a Hall of Famer NHL player into the store, but to be honest, I was just making sure we didn’t have too many in the shop. Luckily he was a good sport and waited his turn.
We are thankful for the Downtown Kelowna Association, who has done a great job of promoting so many downtown businesses. While many get shoutouts from local influencers & media sources, we continue to expand our reach through our own social media outlets and come up with new ideas to promote our store and partner with others. Stay tuned for some great projects in the coming months!
As we move into 2021, we continue to enter the unknown. Our days are full of phone calls and emails from new and old collectors, excited about what’s happening in the hobby and wondering the value of their collections. Half the store looks like a shipping depot, as we ship cards around the world and we do our best to continue to fulfil our purpose of helping multi-generations build their collections of sports cards and memorabilia. In the past we’ve tried to figure out how to work smarter and not harder, but these days it seems we just have to keep working harder, smarter and longer because we don’t know what’s around the next corner. As we navigate the retail world tinged by covid protocols and an unknown future, we are thankful for our customers who have stuck with us and help to promote us to others.