It all started harmlessly in the early-90's with parallels. Then there were serial numbered cards. "What?! Companies made only a certain number of cards?", many collector's thought. Forget parallels, I want these! After the serial number cards became customary, companies thought, let's put pieces of a player's uniform on the cards! Collector's started pulling these and charged top dollar on the secondary market. Then, autographed cards. No longer did a collector have to stand in lines at a ballpark, a hotel, or mail a 3x5 index card to players, they could just bust packs. Two birds with one stone really. And over the years, all three of these inserts have been combined, and that is where we are at currently in this hobby.
But that all changed with Allen and Ginter last season. Topps turned the clocks way back, before the times of man. Now you had the chance to pay a couple of bucks for a pack of Allen and Ginter and pull a relic card, of dinosaurs or Wooly Mammoths. Not that Allen and Ginter needed any help in selling packs, but dinosaur bones? Not to mention, this set also included DNA Relics of former Presidents.
But when does this become too much? At what point, not as collector's, but as humans do we say "This needs to stop?" Putting pieces of cloth on cards isn't too much to do. Hell, even most companies now don't even say the pieces of cloth are game used, rather, event used. Even some of the higher mid end product like last year's UD Sweet Spot Classic had "event used" cloth. Just ask Dave of Fielder's Choice.
But dinosaur bones? There's only so many of them to be cut up. The part that worries me is that collector's want to pull these cards. They are "white whales". And since the demand is super high, I could see more companies try to put prehistoric fossils in their cards.
It makes plenty of sense logically for Upper Deck to try and get a piece of the prehistoric card craze from Topps. And that is exactly what they will do come mid-March. But not in any sort of Americana card set. Nope, they are putting prehistoric bones and teeth in a hockey set. Are hockey cards really not selling that well that UD needs to put scare relics that don't even have anything to do with the sport into these packs? I was pretty sure UD Black Diamond is one hell of a product when it comes to the NHL.
2008-2009 NHL Champ's by Upper Deck is exactly where you can pull this card pictured above. You don't want a T-Rex bone, well how about a piece of it's tooth? No? Alright then, take your pick from a Spinosaurus, T-Rex, and Pterosaur. What's that, you don't like dinosaurs? That's totally fine, how about a bone relic of a Wooly Mammoth or Wooly Rhinoceros.
Sooner or later we'll have collector's trying to piece the whole animal together with relics they've pulled from cards. A miniature Jurassic Park in their basements.
Now, I know I realize it's only a few bones and hair clips from these animals. But it really makes me question if this is the beginning of something bigger and that extinct animals will have more of a prominence in this hobby. Maybe I just don't understand why dinosaur cards are going to be featured in a Hockey Set. I always thought it was the Ice Age that did the dinosaurs in? Wooly Mammoth's and Wooly Rhinoceroses I can sort of understand being in a hockey product, if only that they lived through the Ice Age.
But in the end, it still is a hockey product and I don't think hockey cards need dinosaur relics, but apparently Upper Deck thinks so.