Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Champ is here! The champ is here! The Wasteland Breaks a Box of Cards *Now with Sexy Update!

I haven’t broken box on this site for quite some time. Finances are a major reason for that. After all, it’s hard to justify dropping $75-$100 on a box of cards when there are bills to pay and no money coming in. However, thanks to some shrewd dealing on eBay and people willing to pay top dollar for gimmick cards I was able to pick up one box of 2009-10 UD Champs.

I stayed away from this product last year because of the price point. If I remember correctly my local shop had them for $4.00 a pack. In that pack you get 5 cards, two of them of the mini variety. Collecting the entire set through packs would be next to impossible.

This year I saw a box on Dave and Adams for under $70 and armed with a $5.00 coupon I copied from someone’s Beckett I made my purchase (paypal is a wonderful thing). Five days later the UPS guy dropped it off and I got to rippin’. One box, 20 packs, 5 cards (on average) per pack.

Here are the results along with the odds of pulling according to the back of the wrapper.

Base Cards:

48 cards, no doubles, one Lightning, no Vincent Lecavalier.

As usual I didn’t pull any Vinny cards. I think this makes 5 boxes in a row without a card of the Lightning captain. Regardless of that I do enjoy the base cards. There is a nice mix of the usual veterans and today’s stars.

The faded, blue background frames the action shots nicely giving the cards a portrait-like feeling. I do get a kick out of the “EST. 2008” below the photo. It reminds me of the local sub shop that has been serving the neighborhood since “2002”. I guess you have to start somewhere.

There is 100 cards in the base set and it looks like you get about ½ of that amount in one box. It’s a good start, but still tough for set builders to put this together without spending a lot of money.

Without a glossy front these cards would be perfect for sending through the mail for autographs, something that I will probably do once I move to my new location.

Colored Parallels:

Green 1:4, Red 1:10, Yellow 1:20

I received 5 green parallels, 2 reds, and 2 yellows. So in that sense I beat the odds, woo-hoo!. The colors aren’t too garish and will make a nice, and not too difficult to collect rainbow for player collectors.


Usually they come two to a pack and are not parallels of the base card. They feature a different photo and design.

Mini Rookies:

Again I hit the box average as I pulled 5 rookies with the best being Atlanta’s Evander Kane. Nice close-ups and solid gold borders make these attractive cards to collect.

Mini different color packs

Red 1:20, Blue 1:80, Green 1:160, Parkhurst 1:320

Because even the mini’s need parallel versions I guess. This is an example of where card companies have gone a little too far with a concept. Is there any need for having 4 different variations of a subset? I think not. I had one red back (which actually looks more orange than red).

Mini Subsets

1:2 Wonders of the World/ Natural History/ Historical Figures

I pulled 10 of these cards, so again I was right on the box odds. To break it down further I received 2 wonders of the word (Lighthouse of Alexandria, Aurora), 4 Natural History Collection (Gros Morne National Park, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Richardoestesia, Western Red Lilly) and 4 Historical Figures (Sir Mackenzie Bowell, James K Polk, Harry Truman, Franklin Delano Roosevelt).

Nice cards, but nothing that I would feel the need to chase.


Each box boasts 4 hits (on card autos or relics), but the back of the pack lists the odds at 1:7 which means there are probably boxes out there with only three hits. Luckily for me I did get the four hits.


Tim Kennedy

Mini Relics

Daniel Alfredsson, Dion Phaneuf, Derick Brassard

Apparently, my box fell in the “d” line of relic sorting. At least they are three different colors, if I had gotten three plain white relics I would have been a little disappointed. They do make a nice red, white and blue theme. Go America!

Final thoughts

The fact that you get four hits per box is the saving grace, anything less and this would be drastically overpriced. It will be interesting to see if the price goes up or down as time goes by. It would be nice if Upper Deck dropped one of the minis in the pack and added another base card.

I would recommend that set collectors wait till the collated sets start showing up on the secondary market, collecting pack by pack will kill your budget. Player collectors should enjoy the chase of completing the rainbow, and while the hits aren’t big budget multi swatches, at least you get the joy of seeing something every 5 packs or so.

On card autos are always appreciated and the card design features is nicely. The base cards lend themselves nicely to getting in person autos or through the mail autos. The rookies look nice, but I wonder how they’ll sell since they are mini’s and not full size cards.

All inserts are for trade, if you’re collecting the mini’s let me know which ones you need and I’ll see if I can send some your way.

Overall I rate this product a second line center. It scores well, but has room for improvement.

* Update!

So upon further review I didn't beat the odds on the yellow parallel borders. In fact, I only received one. The other yellow card was a Yellow ANIMAL ICON parallel seeded 1:80 packs.

See it has animals on it! Ain't they the cutest? So that means I did just a tad bit better on the box than I intially thought. This card is going up on eBay (hey I gots to make money!)


dogfacedgremlin said...

I pulled that Stamkos, too. Only I bet yours doesn't have a giant crease across the top that imbeds itself on the front and back. I didn't post about my apparent condition sensitive box on the blog because I am still waiting to see if UD is going to do anything about it.

I may be interested in some of those mini's though and possibly the Historical Figures cards

shanediaz82 said...

I like the yellow Bourque. Sal from Puck Junk pulled a yellow Bruin too, Wheeler I believe...

Justin G. said...

DFG - I didn't have any condition issues in my box..from what I hear UD is usually pretty good about helping out. Any minis (regular or insert) are yours if you want 'em.

Shane - I like the yellow borders as well, just a hint of '91 fleer in them :) I'm surprised I didn't pull a Krejki for you. It seems I have in all the other boxes this year.

John said...

Bad News for Ebay Sellers.

Today was the first day of free postings under 99 cents on ebay (up to 100 a month - up from 5).
Yesterday there were 207,000 Topps cards listed for sale. Today there is 1.5 Million listings for Topps cards.