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Reflecting on Collecting – From the World of “Why?”: 99-00 Pacific Revolution Ornaments

February 2, 2011

Over my nearly two decades of collecting sports cards there have been a many things that I remember about the new, exciting, and innovative things that card companies have done that have left a long-term positive impression on me.

I remember when Upper Deck introduced collectors to memorabilia cards in its flagship product in 1996-97.  I remember that same year when that same company gave us the first ever 1-card pack with SPx.   And I remember when entire products came already “slabbed”, beginning with In the Game’s Be A Player Ultimate Memorabilia in 2000-2001.

Unfortunately there also a number of sets and products that have come along that leave me wondering “why”? 

Why would they ever produce that?  Why would someone ever think that was a good idea?  Why would anyone ever want that?

This latest category of posts that I am introducing today will look at those “why” moments of my collecting experiences.  Some will deal with specific products in their entirety, others will look certain sets within a given product, and some will look at some of my own (sometimes poor) decisions for my collecting habits.

For today’s article, I’m going to go back a little over a decade to revisit what, in my opinion, was one of the most incomprehensible insert sets ever produced in the history of hockey cards: the 1999-2000 Pacific Revolution Ornaments.

I was reminded about this set a few months ago after picking up one of those mystery value packs at Wal-Mart on which the packaging states that you will receive a minimum of $50 in cards for roughly $12. 

Say what you will about the merit behind buying those sorts of packages, but my own experience with them has actually been very positive.  Without fail, each time I buy one I either find the occasional long sought after insert or parallel for my collection, or more often than not, end up with a quick (and sometimes significant) profit by flipping anything I did not need for my projects through my eBay store.

Regardless, it was this type of repackaged product that brought back my memories of the debacle I find the Ornaments set to be as included in one of those packages was a Vincent Lecavalier card from the set.

As you saw at the top of this article, the Lecavalier card was cut in the shape of a bell, which to me looks absolutely ridiculous. 

What is scary is that the insanity/tackiness did not stop there, as other Christmas themed layouts were included in the set as well, such as Christmas trees, traditional ball-shaped ornaments, wreaths, and stockings. 

Not only that, but the cards also come with the bonus of a hole punched in them and piece of gold fabric-coated elastic, so you can actually hang them on your own Christmas tree!

Top it off with Pacific’s usual massive overuse of blinding foil that makes the words illegible on the card and you have a truly awful idea that was turned into an even worse set.

I remember not being able to figure out the purpose of these cards back when they came out more than ten years ago now, which I’m guessing would have been shortly in advance of the holiday season, otherwise this nonsense makes even less sense. 

At the time, Revolution was something of a “premium” product.  Generally speaking, premium product buyers are looking for strong value and return on investment, not gimmicks intended to generate some short-lived interest in the hobby.

As awful as these cards were and still are, I might have been a little more accepting of them had they been included in a lower tier product.  Kids buying cards at a dollar per pack probably would have thought they were pretty cool actually.  Unfortunately, that still does not mean it was a good idea, and especially does not mean they should be dropped into a product that collectors are looking for much more out of.

The good news for me is that the Lecavalier card that made me cringe at the sight of it and brought my memories of how much I disliked this set was put up in my eBay store and sold within days, limiting my experience with the set this time around. 

The bad news is that both Steve Yzerman and Sergei Samsonov, two players I collect, both make an appearance in the set, meaning I will forever have to say that I have cards from this set in my collection and look back on them, wondering “why”? 

What are your memories of and opinions about this set?  Did you find it as truly awful as I obviously do?  Or did you like the twist that Pacific added to the Revolution product with their inclusion?

Leave a comment on this article, contact me on Twitter (@bb_bros), Facebook, or by e-mail at bb_bros[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Until Sunday’s eighth and final post in my Toward Self-Sufficiency Series, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



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