Sunday, December 6, 2009

Upper Deck Review - Hockey Cards!

As the calendar turned to December I treated myself to a little gift. It’s amazing what a relief a steady paycheck is. Of course, some of that pay had to be turned into cards. So after a short perusal of the internet I picked up a box of 2009-10 Upper Deck Hockey Series 1. The flagship product always delivers on sharp photography, nice selection of rookies and a couple of hits.

For just over $60 I was looking forward to six Young Guns rookies, two game used memorabilia cards and a smattering of other inserts. The case hits (otherwise known as cards I wouldn’t be getting) are an oversize Playmakers jersey swatches, Cleary Canadian Die-Cut Acetate cards or Clear Cut Trios Acetate cards.

So how was the break? To sum it up in a word: typical.

Typical for me means I didn’t get cheated out of any cards, didn’t pull anything mind blowing and my “hits” were average. It also means I didn’t get any Vincent Lecavalier cards. That didn’t bum me out too much since his base card isn’t in series one.

Let’s take a look at what I did get.

Young Guns:

With a deep rookie crop this year I was holding out for at least one of the big names (Victor Hedman, Jonathon Tavares, Matt Duschene). I didn’t get any of them. Despite that at least three of the rookies I got were having decent seasons. Jamie Benn, Tyler Myers and Jason Demers are all in the top 20 for scoring for rookies.

Random Inserts:

Marc Staal Exclusives - a parallel of the base set that’s numbered out of 100.
Mike Green and Pavel Datsyuk All-World Team - Typical Hockey Insert that celebrates the geographic diversity of the league.

Radom Inserts II:

Eric Staal Top Guns: Tops scorers in the league with a fighter jet motif.
Pavel Datsyuk and Mark Messier Draft Day Gems - An insert set that explores some of the greater players that weren’t first round picks.

Lightning Cards:

According to the checklist the only base Lightning card I didn’t get was Marty St Louis. The inclusion of Noah Welch is a bit odd and a sharp reminder of the vast array of blue liners that rotated through the roster last year.

Hey isn’t that?

As I said Vincent was not in the checklist for Series One, but that didn’t keep him from popping up on two base cards. Bonus Vinny!

Last but not least - the game uses cards:

Michael Frolik and Francis Bouillon UD Game Jerseys. Now don’t go crazy offering huge money for these cards. They aren’t for sale….they are, however, available for trade. That goes for any of the inserts you see listed here.

The numbers:

Total inserts: 13
Young Gun Rookies: 6
Duplicates: 0
Base Percentage (not counting Young Guns): 169/200 ( 85%)

Final Thoughts:

A solid box for the cost. Anytime one box gets you almost the entire set you can’t be upset if you’re a set builder. Big hit hunters know that they should stay away from any base product so it’s not geared towards them. Nothing shocking I grade the box as a solid second line winger*.

* Please note that the Wasteland’s grading system is completely arbitrary and has no basis in reality.

No comments: