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2012 Toronto Spring Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo Review

May 6, 2012

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Friday was the first of the two biggest days of the year when it comes to my hobby. 

As I almost always do, I took a vacation day from work to head down to the International Centre in Toronto for the Spring edition of the Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo, joining my dad for the day’s festivities.

As usual we also met up with my uncle and his friend on a few different occasions throughout the day to enjoy some “pops” in the parking lot as we reviewed what we’d been able to track down over the course of the day.

Once again the day was a huge success when it comes to removing cards from our (massive) want lists.

The details of my additions to our collection will be revealed in June’s Project Progress Report/Want List Wednesday Combo article a month from today, but here’s a quick rundown of what we were able to find for our player-specific collecting projects:

  • 8 cards of Mario Lemieux;
  • 6 cards of Jeremy Roenick;
  • 8 cards of Sergei Samsonov;
  • 23 cards of Joe Thornton; and
  • 7 cards of Steve Yzerman.

The removal of 52 cards from our want lists is definitely something I consider a success, but for the first time that I can remember that success was outshone by the additions we made on our want lists for our other collecting projects.

On that end of things we found the following:

  • 9 cards of our favourite teams from the Panini Molson Stanley Cup card set; 2 for the years the Blackhawks have won in my dad’s lifetime, 3 for the years the Penguins have won during my brother’s lifetime, and 4 for the years the Red Wings have won in my lifetime.
  • 35 cards for my 2006-2010 Toronto Blue Jays card collection;
  • 7 cards for my 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces Master Set project including 3 Brushstrokes Brown Borders, 1 Brushstrokes Green Border, 2 Canvas Clippings Blue Borders, and 1 Canvas Clippings Green Border;
  • 29 cards from various base sets that we’re working on, three of which were completed entirely in the process; and
  • 13 cards for our 1997-98 Donruss Preferred Cut to the Chase parallel set including 3 Silvers, 8 Golds, and 2 Platinums (the pictured Gretzky included!).

The last of the items on the list above was especially sweet as these cards are always difficult to find and are almost always much more costly than some of the bargains we tracked down this time around.  When I’m able to find cards from the Gold portion of the set for only $2 a piece then I’m a happy camper!

Aside from the success on our want lists, here’s a few other things that stood out for me at this edition of the show:


This is a purely anecdotal observation, but just as was the case at the 2011 Fall show, to me the crowd seemed larger than it had in recent years.  Always a good sign for the hobby when there’s a larger number of people involved!


The selection of wax continues to dwindle.  While there were a fair number of dealers selling boxes, the bulk of those focussed their attention almost exclusively on products involved in manufacturer redemption programs.  In fact, there was only one dealer with any sort of wide selection of years and products available, as none of the other usual sources with a similar selection set up at the year’s show.


Perhaps as a result of the point above, for the first time that I can remember, I didn’t buy a single box of packs at this year’s show (though I did pick up a 2010-11 Panini All-Goalies factory set and a 2010-11 Score Rookies and Traded factory set). 

A few years ago this would have seemed unfathomable for me to even consider, but there just wasn’t anything available that piqued my interest enough to get me to buy.

Not an entirely bad thing though as I ended up with some money left in my pocket at the end of the night.


Dealers seemed to bring a lot more of their “older” stuff to this show than in shows past with the amount of cards from the mid-90’s to mid-2000’s seeming much more plentiful than usual.


Finally, although I’ve complained about disorganized bargain bins/boxes/tables at these shows in the past, sometimes it really does pay off to dig through some of them.

A pretty significant amount of our 1997-98 Donruss Preferred finds came from those sources, as did more than 60 cards I intend to flip through my eBay Store as a part of my investment project.


So there it is, another Expo is in the books.  Were you at the show this weekend?  If so, what were your thoughts on it?

Share your experiences by posting a comment, sending me an email at, or connecting on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!



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