Tuesday, September 11, 2012

2011-2012 The Cup Review

This is IT. No other hockey product ever compares to the anticipation of opening Upper Deck's The Cup. The potential of getting something absolutely monstrous is always a possibility. Year in and year out no other product has a higher-end feel than this. Other products have tried and come close, but somehow The Cup always takes the cake. This year's release continues the amazing tradition.


Base Card Design -
With all the mind-blowing hits found in The Cup, the base cards can often feel left out - but they shouldn't. These base cards are of the highest quality. This year's base design can best be described as 'clean' and 'formal' - which I think fits with the nature of the product. Since this is the last release of the season (for Upper Deck at least), The Cup is a set that brings things to a close. And to me, the base cards look almost yearbook-like in their design. The background the player sits atop of has that artsy photo studio backdrop sensibility to it. The entire card has a simple, yet classy look highlighted with silver foil. Everything from the grey tones to the minimalist graphics on the card works to make these cards a strong anchor for the entire 11/12 Upper Deck card line. Yes, that's a good word for these cards... strong. They aren't flashy... they aren't trying too hard... they are simply strong and solid cards.


The back of the base cards continue in the same vein as the front. The backs deliver all of the relavent stats and bio information that is necessary. There is nothing flashy about the back. All that needs to be there is there. It's done well with no distractions or gimmicks. Again, just a strong card back that is what it is. No flash. No faults.


Numbered to 199 are the non-autographed rookie cards. These cards actually carry on the yearbook theme more than the standard base do. Each of the cards feature a close-up view of the player. Because of this, it really does like like a photo taken right out of someone's high school yearbook. If there was one fault with these rookie cards, I would say they underwhelm. I'm not sure if it's the colors used on these cards or the close-up photo... the card just has a softer (weaker) feel to it. It looses its strength of design. It's funny how just a slight tweak of a couple elements could make a card stumble.


Standing tall, though, are the Rookie Patch Autograph cards. These cards really bring everything together cohesively. Though Upper Deck has chosen to use the same 'rookie-hues' as with the 199ers, the design of the card is completely changed. These cards look great. They are less formal than the base cards. They have a sleeker, more modern design that is both solid and flashy. It's as if they took the best of the base cards, threw out all the boring elements of the rookie cards, and fused them together. These RPAs are yet again another stunning rookie design that will become instant classics for collectors to chase. As always, these cards come in two forms... the standard /249 rookies and super-collectible and valuable /99ers.

Base Card Design Score:
9/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Each tin of The Cup is hand packed. The folks at Upper Deck try to ensure that each tin has at least one 'hit' in it that a collector will enjoy. Packs with case hits usually will have cards of lesser values in them. It's just the way it's done. So don't expect to get a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins rookie card/99 and a Sidney Crosby/Mario Lemieux dual auto in the same pack. But some packs can yield multiple cards of solid value. I think my pack was one of those.


The Stanley Cup Signature cards have been a long running tradition in The Cup. They've all had very elegant designs, and this year is no different... what is different though, is the lack of foil on these cards. Upper Deck has gone with a more flat finished card rather than the shiny foil that they've used in other iterations. It's nice. I actually wasn't a huge fan of last years Stanley Cup Signature design and am glad they chose to change it up a little this year. The autograph is very visible in the white autograph area at the bottom. These are great cards, and relatively affordable ones too, to get of your favorite players. Each single-autographed card is numbered to 50.


Honorable Numbers have also been a staple of The Cup. These cards are more similar to past designs than the Stanley Cup Signatures. The main attraction of these cards are the inclusion of an autograph, patch, and low numbering. Depending on the player, the card can be extremely short printed. The Matt Duchene I pulled in my tin is definitely on the shorter print side of things. It's also hand numbered rather than machine stamped. That's a really cool personal touch. Honorable Numbers are always a great card to add for any player collector. Of course, if your player is someone like Taylor Hall (number four), it can make things pretty difficult.

Autographs, crazy patches, tags, and low numbered cards abound in The Cup. Each tin you open is creates such an incredible moment. It's definitely worth it to crack a tin and see what you can find if you can afford it. The hits are simply INCREDIBLE.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:
10/10

Overall Rating -
The Cup is a product that I wish everyone could at least try a tin of. Like I just mentioned, there is nothing like opening up a tin. Obviously the tin price is beyond the reach of most collectors. But the good news is that very nice singles can be obtained through eBay and trade forums for reasonable prices. And actually, I was pretty surprised at the prices of The Cup this year. I am pretty sure the cost of a tin is significantly higher this year than last. And that's totally nuts in my opinion!

But anyways, The Cup is The Cup. It's awesome. I feel really privileged to be able to crack a tin of the stuff. I definitely recommend the experience if you can do it. It's the best stuff of the entire year. From the base cards to the nastiest patch auto, these cards have no equal.

The best of the best. Good job... again... Upper Deck!

Overall Rating:
10/10

Check out my tin of The Cup!

67 comments:

  1. Nice break, the Duchene is out of this world. I baulked at spending $200 on Prime, but this is plain nuts. The cards look fantastic, UD always do that classy edging on their patch cards that I really wish Panini would pick up on. The temptation is strong, but man, that is a lot of money.

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    1. oops...

      - reebz0r

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    2. Wow nice break Luke the Cody ekin is really but the cup every year is a lot of money so I won't be opening any time soon

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    3. Sweet



      hockeycardcollecters

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  2. The Cup is really nice, but it have to be with that price. I like the design of many auto/gu-set's, and as you said the base cards also looks really good. I have seen some crazy patches out of this already, but it have to be at least one very big hit to make up for the high price.

    YouTube: Majlfp

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  3. Loving the battle for high-end: UD's The Cup Vs. Panini Dominion/Prime.
    This battle has been key for the hobby - and there doesn't seem to be ANY slowing down for the future!
    Awesome review.
    YT - Skroeker24

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  4. These are some really awesome cards, which sadly I will never be able to afford. With the prices going up I think that prime will have some more sucsess because of the decent price

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  5. cup obviously the biggest product of the year, but dont think its worth 500 bucks, still nice tho.

    brendar7

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  6. As always, The Cup has the best looking cards out of all products. From base cards to autographed memorabillia,the design of the cards look really good. The Stanley Cup Signatures have to be my favourite though. One day I hope to open a tin, this product is awesome!

    -iginlasfan12

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  7. i love watching breaks of the cup . nice dutchene books 200 hopefully ill win !!

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  8. 500 Bucks worth? I don't think so, maybe if the price on it was a little cheaper I would buy it. On the design side of it, the cards look amazing, especially the disgusting patches that get pulled.
    Good review Luke, - Youtube - Trey Haglund

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  9. im vancanuckman1234

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  10. I think the cup is awesome a ton of nice looking cards like the Duchene, fleury and eakin i like how the rookies look and a ton of nice patch.

    Thanks for the contest Luke

    TheCanuck91

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  11. Sweet product
    Hope I can win this contest because there is no way a kid my age can get that kind of money and with my favorite gaming franchises releasing all their new games this/next month that explains a lot.

    Elyk Namhsuc

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  12. Another great review luke! The cup this year is sick!!
    the rookie patch autos are really nice

    YT - GelzySports

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  13. ive always loved the cup n thus year its amazing

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  14. I think the Cup looks great this year, but the price has really gone up. It really is a hit or a miss. Nice Duchene /9 btw.

    HCC1817

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  15. hey luke, i cant post on the site so can u help me post, thanks
    i think the cup this year is dissapointing because of the increase in price. I do however like the patches but i think panini prime is similar and have some nastier patches and it is a lot cheaper.
    -MrSensfan11

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  16. heres my entry for the contest luke. cup seems to be a little less ''bland'' this year. almost every year its the same set and same design. this year it looks like they put more effort into the design and sub sets. in my opinion, it is still a hit or miss product. not really worth the money unless you get lucky and hit big rookie or a superstar auto.
    -3jackjohnson3

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  17. Hi Luke. I liked your review . I like the cup this year. You did really good pulling the Duchene and the Fleury for your pc . I really like the look of the RPA's this year , they look fantastic and they also made the video revolution cards in the cup this year . That's really dope.
    YouTube name: elijahking13

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  18. The Cup is always great, but this year it just really isn't worth $500 plus for a tin.

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  19. The cup look awesome this year as always! great review! youtube name: 49ersfan619

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  20. The hits that you can get from this are AMAZING!!!!!

    -BruinsMA888

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  21. classiest product, and p.s. i think the review is labeled wrong isnt it 11 12 the cup? haha :P
    - seguinsupporter12

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  22. best product ever never opened one but hoping to soon great review and love your videos

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  23. love the cup such a high end product and btw nice duchene!

    -nuddymud

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  24. Classy product, love the cup. Of course i'll never spend that much fore five cards but great review and nice PC hit on the Fleury!

    YT: SuckYourHeadphones

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  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. by the way my YouTube name is 87Leafsfan.

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  26. i love the product.. but sadly.. the value isnt :( time to save up all the change i guess ;) ahah! awesome review as usual, luke!

    YT - canucks112785

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  27. I think the cup is a great product. There are all sorts of different hits you can get! It's Great!
    -Nothinbuthockeycards

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  28. The Cup is the most anticipated product of the year and it has great hits!!!
    Youtube: Graboguru

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  29. Upper Deck does a much better job than Panini in high end products. Great Job Upper Deck!

    Youtube Username: MrHockeynut77

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  30. I think The Cup just destroyed Prime. Way better look.

    YT- jdlax99

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  31. The Cup this year is like The Cup every year. Strong, solid, nothing fancy, but untouchable as the highest end product. Very good stuff, too bad it came out so late though.

    - jpbboyle

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  32. I can't think of any reason to ever spend $500 on a tin of the cup.

    aronowm2

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  33. The Cup this year is a great product!

    Youtube Username: mjhockeycards101

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  34. i don't really like the cup this year. the cards i don't think look very nice. and i think that you don't make your money back on some tins
    phxfan19

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  35. If i had money or a job, I would DEFINITELY buy this highroller's crapshoot of a product. Thanks luke.

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  36. Too big of a gamble and for such little chance of getting your value back. I'm probably going to buy a tin and hate myself afterwards. But that's the game. Fuck.

    -ryannturnaa

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  37. great review as always ! nice pull. hoping to get some cup cards soon :)

    youtube: brandynzawadiuk

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  38. Of course like every year, well its insane. But, in my opinion, it's price should definitely be lowered. It's a little overpriced. Anyways thanks for the contest Luke!

    Youtube: mtn8ice

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  39. Great review as usual luke cup has always been amazing.

    YouTube name: CUB3Jsg22 (Pronounced Cube J S G 22)

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  40. Amazing review as always. Great videos and keep it up. I'm hoping to get the cup as well, better start saving :)

    EverythingHockey93

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  41. The Cup is pretty nice, alot of nice cards i have seen pulled.

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  42. The Cup is pretty nice, alot of nice cards i have seen pulled.

    Oops forgot my username

    Sports149

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  43. The cup is sweet but i can't afford to get a tin of my own but I always enjoy watching you break the latest products, thanks Luke! :)

    Youtube Name- cn2117HabsFan

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  44. The Cup cost more than Prime and u get more hits in
    Prime so I think Prime is the best high-end of the year
    YT- adlsam19dew

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  45. Great stuff year in year out. I actually love the ARP designs this year! They just need to make an unorthodox design to just wow collectors in future though. Beginning to turn into ITG designers with such similar designs.

    YT - warriorsmi

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  46. The Cup looks really good but its way too expensive.

    Youtube:LIGHTman7x

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  47. Wish I could win the cup ,I just started collecting and my bday was in August I was hoping to get enough money for the cup but I came up short..... sadley. Well thank you for giving me the chance to win the cup

    Thank you-XplodingmonkE11

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  48. I like the cup but the price is too high! Its worth 300$ not 500$!


    martinsprisdtavlaet

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  49. I love the cup this year, but to expensive!

    youtube-Irbehockeycardcolect

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  50. Great review! The cards look great, I especially like the autograph card design. Besides the great quality, it is a little pricey though.

    YT: blackhawks61895

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  51. I love the cup. so does everyone. the best product produced every year. fanominal cards that book up to the 1000$ mark. really pricey box tho you dont get much for 600$. the cards are the nices yet 10/10 !!

    youtube user- Priceforthewin

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  52. i really like the cup this year the only problem i have with it is i think its way over priced even buying singles is super expensive but i still really like it and i agree with your review!

    Thanks for the contest!

    -CalebClardy

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  53. this years cup looks awesome...i wish i have enough to get a tin

    -alstonk98

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  54. The Cup this year is not my favourite design, but still it is very polished and crisp. The cards have a consistant design and the quality is always there.

    YouTube: 14opc

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  55. I like the cup product. Duchene 8/9 was nice and Fleury too.

    Youtube:64AllSports

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  56. wow that duchene 8/9 was sweet and so was that eaken but that fleury is nice to!

    youtube: cardkid34

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  57. I really like the cup. Some nice designs on the cards, and that Duchene is sick! I also like the Fleury auto. Nice review Luke!

    Youtube Username: reimer134

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