Before I pack my bags and head up to Pensacola for Christmas I figured I'd leave my readers (Hi Mom and Dad!) with one last product review. As an early Christmas present to myself I picked up a box of 2009-10 Upper Deck MVP from Blowout Cards. They had the best price that I could find on the intrawebs and right now they are running some nice year end specials so go check them out (look to the right of the blog for a very convenient link).
Back to the cards. Why MVP? Two reasons my merry readers. The first, and most important, is the price point. Less than $40 will get you 24 packs with 8 cards per pack. You will also get a relic card and usually an insert per every other pack.
Reason number two - on average, every other pack will include a rookie. Odds-wise MVP is usually the best shot you have of landing the big name rookies for an affordable price. True to form my box landed me 12 rookies.
Without further delay let us dive right into what was in my box. We're starting off with those rookies.
Victor Hedman! It's my first card of the Big Swede who's manning the blue line for the Lightning. So far he's seemed to have made the adjustment rather well, although occasionally he does struggle with the speed of the game.
Jonas Gustavsson, The Monster. It appears he's on his way to being the Leafs number one goalie.
Ryan O'Reilly. Along with Matt Duschene he's part of the young blood that's bringing the Avalanche back into contention in the west.
Other rookies were Yannick Wever (Montreal), Grant Lewis (Atlanta), John Negrin (Calgary), David Van Der Gulik (Calgary), Byron Bitz (Boston), Joel Rechlicz (New York Islanders), Alec Martinez (Los Angeles), Erik Karlsson (Ottawa), Ilkka Pikkarainen (New Jersey)
Next up let's see what Lightning cards I acquired along with the Hedman.
If you thought that Vincent Lecavalier would be among these cards then you haven't been reading this blog very long. Another box bought without landing the Lightning captain. Unlike the 2009-10 Series One break I had, he didn't even make a cameo appearance on any other cards.
It was nice to pick up my first Steve Downie in a Lightning uniform card. He's managed to garner a lot of bad press for someone who's only 22 years old, but he seems to have settled down a bit and is one of the more exciting players to watch on the Bolts (and new personal favorite of Wasteland friend Big Mike).
Now we move to the numbered parallels that I got. This year they break down to:
Gold Script # to 100
Rookie Gold Script # to 100
Super Script # to 25
Rookie Super Script # to 25
No super scripts for this guy, but the rookie gold script is numbered 100/100 which is kind of cool.
Your basic inserts - Hart Winners and Hart Candidates. You see the Hart Memorial Trophy is awarded to the leagues "most valuable player" and this is Upper Deck MVP. See what they did there? Huh? Pretty crafty Upper Deck!
A Sidney Crosby Hart Winner. It's always nice to have an insert of the league's poster boy, especially with his awesome teenage mustache.
The MVP Candidates look to be Upper Deck's idea of the best player per team.
And finally the big hit of the box - a Two on Two 4 Jersey Swatch!
On the front Owen Nolan (yes he's still in the league) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard show off their Christmas spirit with a red and green swatch. How nice.
Only white pieces from Olli Jokinen's mesmerizing eyes. Look into them and be haunted! Jerome Iginla rounds out the foursome. A familiar face to Lightning fans. There aren't many fights in the Stanley Cup Finals, let alone between the team's top offensive players so it was a bit of a shock when he dropped the gloves against Vincent.
Total inserts: 10
Rookies: 12 (13 if you include the Backlund Gold Script)
Base Completion (not counting rookies): 166/200
Overall I really liked this box break. It's not designed for the big hit seekers, but if you're into team collecting and rookie cards definitely give it a whirl.
I'll probably buy another box just for fun to see if I can complete the set and maybe pick up a Tavares Rookie.
Final grade - Rookie Defenseman*
All cards pictured (except for Hedman and Gustavsson) are available for trade. The rookies that I listed but didn't include in the photo are also available.
*A needless reminder that the Wasteland Grading system means absolutely nothing and should have no bearing on if you buy this product or not
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