Parkhurst Champions: Upper Deck’s Nod to NHL’s Legends

Upper Deck has released 2011 NHL Parkhurst Champions, the first set the company has produced consisting entirely of retired NHL legends in several years. The base set is the perfect challenge for set builders. It consists of 160 cards seeded at varying rates of scarcity.

Autograph hunters will be in heaven as they search of hard-signed autograph cards of hockey legends like Ray Bourque, Mario Lemieux, Mark Messier, Brett Hull, Joe Sakic and others. Upper Deck also has the exclusive rights to produce autograph cards of Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Bobby Orr, who are featured prominently in the set. All these players signed a variety of unique insert cards, including “Wire Photo,” multi-player “Wire Photo,” “Renditions Color,” “Renditions Black & White” (in gold paint pen) and Champ’s mini-cards.

Outside of the base set and autographs, look for the return of the Champ’s brand, with one mini card found in every pack on average. Champ’s card Nos. 1-45 are considered commons, while card Nos. 46-57 are short-printed and found 1:20 packs on average. Each of the cards in the Champ’s set was painted by famed sports artist Ron Stark within a beautiful design that harkens back to the prewar era of tobacco cards. Similar to the base set, the Champ’s mini cards also parallel out to hard-signed autograph versions, including the rare red-ink variations that will be numbered to just 15 copies or less.

A new type of NHL card debuts in 2011 Parkhurst Champions with hand-painted “Parkhurst Masterpiece” cards. These keepsakes feature an impressive selection of 30 NHL legends limited to just 10 copies each. They are also autographed by at artist on the back of the cards.

Upper Deck is also bringing back one of the most popular elements of the Champ’s set with the inclusion of rare Champ’s Fossil and Artifacts redemption cards. Upper Deck has really pushed the envelope with this set, creating some incredible cards for a set where the ice meets the ice age. There are some incredible artifacts in the set like an ancient cave bear tooth (still embedded in a jaw bone), the brain cavity of an Auroch, teeth from prehistoric creatures like the Spinosaurus and ancient coins dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire.

“Our new 2011 NHL Parkhurst Champions product is absolutely loaded with some of the most compelling NHL trading cards in recent years,” said Josh Zusman, Upper Deck’s hockey brand manager. “It pays honor to retired NHL superstars with superb imagery for autograph cards and the new ‘Parkhurst Masterpiece’ cards are going to really blow fans away. With the inclusion of the Champ’s Fossil and Artifacts redemption cards, 2011 NHL Parkhurst Champions represents a tremendous value for collectors.”

Upper Deck’s 2011 NHL Parkhurst Champions releases today in stores. Each hobby box contains 20 packs, with five cards in each pack.

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