Hobby Musings: Golden Knights popular with card collectors – The NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights have continued their successful inaugural season with a berth in the Stanley Cup Final. Whether they can finish the season with a title remains to be seen, but as their success has grown, so has their popularity. This has been true on the ice as well as with collectors. For more on the cardboard treatment the team has been receiving in its first season, I had the chance to catch up with Upper Deck’s Chris Carlin over email.
KS: Chris, Upper Deck recently released a Las Vegas Golden Knights boxed set. For fans and collectors who may not know, what are the product details and highlights of the set?
CC: It’s going to be a larger set that we produced earlier as a promotional set. Having 35 different players in the base set gives fans a really deep checklist so that all the fan favorites are represented. Being able to include memorable moments from the season with an additional 15-card set is pretty cool, as well as Vegas definitely had plenty this year. The last five cards will be made up of parallels and possibly an autograph card. Being able to score and autograph of Vegas stars like Marc-Andre Fleury or James Neal is quite a thrill.
KS: You actually released a commemorative set for the Golden Knights earlier this year. Was there any worry that doing an additional set for them would be overkill?
CC: Not really. We really didn’t make very much of the Inaugural Images promotional set for the Knights, and it was really designed to get people into the shops in Vegas. It definitely succeeded there. The new set is really for that broader audience that have come to love the team this season from all over the place.
KS: Las Vegas’ run to the Stanley Cup Final has been unprecedented for an expansion team. From a hobby standpoint, what kind of reception have you seen for their cards?
CC: The only thing I can compare it to in my 20 years in industry is when the Winnipeg Jets came back. Fans were going nuts for anything Winnipeg then, but that was primarily just in Winnipeg. There’s tremendous interest in Knights collectibles from all over the globe. They are a team that has certainly captured the interest of puck fans everywhere as they continue this historic run.
KS: Are there any players in particular who have stood out for demand among collectors?
CC: Alex Tuch is the hot rookie fans have fallen in love with this season. He was originally drafted by the Wild, so some of his rookie content is from Minnesota. William Karlsson is another young player and former Anaheim Duck draft pick who has really come on to have a career year. The other big names are Marc-Andre Fleury of course, who has carried the Knights to the Final with incredible netminding, and James Neal, who really started off this season on fire for the Knights.
KS: If they can pull it off and win the Stanley Cup, will Upper Deck produce another updated special set for the team?
CC: We will be producing a Stanley Cup Champion box set that will be offered exclusively through Fanatics. More details will come on that as the playoffs conclude.
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