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2012 Toronto Fall Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo Review

November 11, 2012

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Friday was Toronto Fall Expo day, the second of the two biggest days on the collecting calendar for me.  I took the afternoon off of work and headed down to the International Centre where I met up with my dad to spend the day visiting the hundreds of dealers who set up at the show in search of new items to add to our collection.

Over the course of the roughly nine hours that we wandered the aisles of the Expo we bought a total of 77 cards to add to our collections, along with roughly 30 cards that fall under the umbrella of my Investment Project for 2012.

Those 77 cards not related to my Investment Project breakdown as follows:

  • 15 cards of Mario Lemieux;
  • 5 cards of Jeremy Roenick;
  • 1 card of Sergei Samsonov;
  • 30 cards of Joe Thornton;
  • 7 cards of Steve Yzerman;
  • 4 cards from the Panini Molson Stanley Cup card set, which cover off all of the Red Wings, Blackhawks, and Penguins cards in the set (the favourite teams of myself, my dad, and my brother respectively);
  • 10 cards for my 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces Master Set project, including: 1 Blue Border /50 parallel, 2 Green Border /99 parallels, 1 Red Border /25 parallel, 2 Brushstrokes Brown Borders, 1 Brushstrokes Blue Border /25, 1 Canvas Clippings Blue Border /50, and 2 Canvas Clippings Green Border /85;
  • 4 Silver Cut to the Chase parallels from our 1997-98 Donruss Preferred project; and
  • 1 lonely card (a 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee Michel Ouellet) from all of those base sets that I’m trying to finish off.

Look for a complete recap of those cards in my next Want List Wednesday/Project Progress Report Combo that will be posted in early December.

I had a great time at the show as I always do, scouring box after box and pile after pile of cards in search of items, talking cards and collectibles with dealers and other collectors, and joining the old man and his brother for some catching up over “pops” in the parking lot.

If there was anything disappointing about the day for me it was my complete and utter lack of progress on my my 2006-2010 Toronto Blue Jays project and my want lists related to the base sets I’m attempting to finish off.  Aside from that single 2008-09 O-Pee-Chee card (which finished off that set), I didn’t buy anything else that addressed those two areas of my want lists.

But let’s not dwell on that.  Here’s a look at some of the standout moments of the day for me:

Favourite addition to the permanent collection of the day.

This one could have gone to any number of the 72 cards we removed from our want lists on Friday, but the stand-out to me has to be the 1997-98 Donruss Preferred Precious Metals card of Steve Yzerman.

Easily the single most expensive addition of the day, this is a card I have rarely ever seen and have even more rarely been able to afford.  Luckily my dad and I had kept our spending to a reasonable pace and when we came across this card with barely an hour left until the closed we still had enough cash left to comfortably afford it.

While it ended up meaning that my budget for the show was entirely depleted by the end of the night instead of coming home with some leftover cash, this was one of those items we felt we simply had to jump on and I’m happy we did.


Biggest bargain addition to the permanent collection of the day.

Again, there were a number of options is could have gone to any number of cards from the list of pickups, but I’m going to have to give have to give this one to the 2008-09 Upper Deck Masterpieces Brushstrokes Blue Border /25 that I grabbed of Mike Foligno.

Not the biggest name in the set by any means, but after a couple of years of searching for cards from this set online and at Expo shows and knowing what they’re likely to cost me, to be able to add one of the rare Blue Border variations of the Brushstrokes set for a mere $7.50 is a major find in my books.


Most awkward moment of the day.

That honour goes to this short encounter with one dealer at the show:

Dealer: “So how’s the show been going for you guys?”

My Dad: “It’s been going really well actually, we’ve found a lot of stuff that we need.  How’s it going for you?”

Dealer: “Not great!”

Me: “Uhhhh…sorry?”

Talk about a conversation (and potential business) killer.  Needless to say I didn’t stick around at that table to do much searching since having someone dump their negative experiences on me wasn’t really something I was in the mood for.


Most unique moment of the day.

Seeing my name appear in an article about Steve Yzerman cards and collectibles in the December 2012 edition of Beckett Hockey.  This edition of the magazine has yet to hit store shelves, but it was available at the Beckett booth, where I also met the author of the article, Beckett Hockey Editor, Susan Lulgjuraj.

I’ll write about being featured in this article in more detail sometime soon, but the short story is that it is definitely one of the more unique things to happen to me in all my years of collecting.


And with that another Toronto Expo show is in the books, which means it’s time for me to start saving for the next one by getting my Investment Project purchases scanned and posted on the auction block in my eBay Store! 

If you were at the show then be sure to share your own experiences by posting a comment, sending me an email at, or connecting with me on Facebook and/or Twitter.

Stay tuned for a post about my break of another box of 2011-12 Panini Rookie Anthology that I picked up at the show, along with December’s Want List Wednesday/Project Progress Report Combo in which I’ll show off all of the goods from the show and the rest of the month too.

Until Wednesday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!


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