Sunday, December 28, 2014

Retail Review #133 (09/10 Upper Deck Series 2 Blaster)


It's been a good long while since I've opened one of these 09/10 Series 2 blaster boxes. I remember these cards fondly as they were the first hockey cards I bought when I returned to the hobby. Though I don't really need any of the rookie cards found here anymore, it's still fun to open up one of these blasters for a trip down memory lane.



Price - 
$9.95

Packs - 12
09/10 Upper Deck Series 2 Blaster Packs

Back in 2010 I bought a lot of UD Series 2 retail at my local Target store. I remember buying pack after pack out of the same retail box they had of the shelf. I almost bought out the entire box, but I didn't get one Young Gun card or hit. I wonder if that box was searched... or maybe I was just unlucky. I don't know, but I sure did spend a lot of money on a ton of base cards back then!

I know that I'll be finding insert cards and Young Guns in this blaster. Upper Deck is always good about putting in a little variety when it comes to their main brand retail blasters to keep things interesting.

I'll open this blaster and see what comes out:


Review -
I don't know why, but I always forget about the Victory update cards that can come out of these blasters. Putting these cards in the packs adds even more variety to the opening experience. Victory is definitely not a brand of card that is on my favorites list, but it's still nice to have a chance at pulling some rookie cards of the top players that year.

I actually got quite a few non-base cards from this blaster. There was a Mark Messier Hockey Heroes card, a Draft Day Gems Mark Streit, and a Rookie Debut of Jonas Gustavsson. I remember fondly inserts like Rookie Debut and Draft Day Gems. They had a nice theme to them and added a little bit of fun to the set.

Here were my favorite cards out of this blaster:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Evgeni Malkin Card No. 293
This card actually made the top 3 the last time I opened up a blaster of 09/10 UD Series 2 hockey. I guess I like it that much! Super photo right here.


#2 - Victor Hedman Card No. 332
Hedman was one of the bigger rookies to get in 09/10. He was a very high draft pick, but because he plays defense his cards may never rise to the highest levels.


#1 - Mikael Backlund Card No. 454
I didn't get a huge name Young Gun, but I do recognize Backlund from back in the day. I'll always be a fan of these Young Guns - they are always a pleasure to pull!

Overall Value -
This was not the best Series 2 blaster ever... but it was pretty solid. I really enjoyed the experience of opening it, and I think other collectors would too. 2009/10 was a pretty good year for rookie cards. In Series 2 you can even have the chance of pulling my favorite player's Young Gun: Logan Couture. Though I've opened up a lot of these blasters, I definitely wouldn't mind busting some more in the future.

Let me know what you thought of my 09/10 Upper Deck Series 2 blaster in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
7/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Retail Review #132 (Panini Select Blaster)


This is definitely going to be a break that goes by pretty quick. I've opened up Select on Retail Review before, and it's just a fast two pack break. Premium products like Select tend to offer higher quality cards but at the cost of card quantity. You better hope that you hit something when you buy these blasters because if not you really are left with very little!


Price - 
$11.95

Packs - 2
13/14 Panini Select Packs

The last blaster of Select I got was disappointing. I pulled an insert card and a bunch of base. Let's hope that my luck changes and something a bit better comes out of this one. This is a product I really want to like because there are so few 'higher-end' retail products like this out there.

If I don't get a hit, at least I'm hoping for a nice prizm parallel card of a nice rookie. That'd be a good pull. There are plenty of rookie cards in this product as this was the year of the double rookie class. A lot was made of that fact, but not that much was shown from it. Hopefully some of these rookies will really take off!

Let's open this little guy up:


Review -
Well, that was a lot better than the last time! Even though there were just two packs here I did manage to pull a pretty sweet auto jersey rookie card. Besides that I also got a rookie card of Jason Akeson and a regular prizm of Mikko Koivu.

I didn't pull any huge names like Crosby or Ovechkin, but that was ok considering what else came in the packs. I'm glad that this blaster turned out to be pretty good. My confidence in this product would have definitely taken a hit if I missed on two straight blasters!

Here's the top three this week:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Dan Boyle Card No. 55
I loved Dan Boyle when he was with the Sharks. He was a consistent and classy player through and through and it made me sad when he didn't get a chance to return this season. It's always nice to pull his cards still though... one of my favs!


#2 - Pavel Bure Card No. 180
Bure was a player back in the day that I really enjoyed watching. He had blazing speed and an amazing scoring ability. It's cool to see that he is making his way back into some products. I hope to get an autograph of his one day.


#1 - Beau Bennett Card No. 279
This was, of course, by far the best card from this break. It's not often that numbered auto jersey cards come out of blasters so this was a real treat.

Overall Value -
I was happy to get a nice card out of this blaster. Opening up just a couple of packs out of a box doesn't make for a long enjoyable break, but cards like this definitely make up for that! I have another Select box waiting to be opened in a future Retail Review. I hope that blaster can top this one! We'll just have to wait and see.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
8/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Retail Review #131 (13/14 O-Pee-Chee Blaster)


Here's a break for people who enjoy a more old school or retro feel to their cards - it's O-Pee-Chee! OPC is typically released at the beginning of the collecting season. It is a very large set of cards with a lot of inserts and parallels to chase.



Price - 
$7.95

Packs - 14
13/14 OPC Blaster Packs

Sometimes I wish collectors would value OPC more. Obviously it's never going to be able to compete with the high-end brands, but it would be nice if there were more collector interest in it. As it stands, OPC is a brand targeted for a very specific set of people. OPC is for collectors on a budget, set builders, or fans of the O-Pee-Chee brand of old.

If therese cards were released 20 years ago, they would have probably flied off the shelves. It has the perfect combination of parallel cards and inserts. It's mastered what a 90's card set should be! Unfortunately, we're way past that point in collecting. So OPC is a fun product, but it doesn't hit the bit time card collector's interest.

Let's rip this blaster and see what comes out:


Review -
This blaster of OPC had surprisingly little in terms of a ton of fun. Usually there are things like pop-out cards to add some spice to the break. This blaster just had parallels and stickers. I was able to pull a couple of retro cards of big name goalies and two foil parallels. I also found a handful of star player base cards... which are harder to pull in this set due to its large size.

If I were a new collector and opened this box I probably would be decently happy pulling some of the names I got. As a long time modern card collector this box would probably be pretty disappointing at the lack of a hit or rare insert card.

Let's see the best three from this blaster box:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Douglas Murray Card No. 7
I used to PC Dougie Murray when he was with the Sharks. He was a gigantic player that was fun to see on the ice. I was sad to see him traded. Murray doesn't have very many cards so when I actually pull one it give me pause.


#2 - Sidney Crosby Card No. 475
Sid-the-Kid is always a nice pull. He's in all the other sets that are produced, but his base card in OPC might be one of the harder ones to find just for the fact that the base set is 600 cards.


#1 - Patrick Roy Card No. 318
Getting a specific retro card is difficult. Pulling Roy was a nice bit of luck as he's a legendary player and well-liked in the hobby. I personally like him in a Habs jersey over an Avs one.

Overall Value -
For under ten dollars this blaster wasn't a huge loss of money, but there really wasn't anything I would want to hold on to from it. It was a fun break with some good names, but it didn't give me enough of what I wanted.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
5/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014-2015 Upper Deck Black Diamond Review

Black Diamond, an early season favorite, was released recently. This long running brand continues to chug along year after year with its foilboard cardstock and gem themes. I wonder if Black Diamond will be a rehash of past sets... or if Upper Deck was able to refresh the brand a bit this year. Let's take a look at what a box has to offer.


Base Card Design -
Black Diamond comes at collectors with another version of their all-foil base cards. These cards have silver foil in the background with a glossy embossed photo of the player on the front. Having the player remain 'un-foiled' helps them to really stand out on the card. It's an effect that makes it look as if the player is jumping out. The biggest design element on this year's base card is the large foil area to the player's right. This foil design acts as a very large border on the card, and makes these cards distinct from previous years. I can't say that I really love the Black Diamond design, but it's definitely not hideous. It's just another new Black Diamond base design that joins the ranks of many before it.


The back design is pretty simple and straight forward. There are quite a few geometric lines and shapes that adorn the back. It's a design that works, but doesn't stand out to me. It's functional... but that's pretty much it. I would have liked to see much more from the card back.


Triple and Quad Diamond Rookie Gems have once again returned in Black Diamond to denote the cards of the rookies. The Rookie Gem design this year is a bit more flashy than in past years, and I would say is much better looking than the standard base card. These cards lose the standard background and replaces it with a patterned design full of glittery looking foil. These cards are certainly flashy and notable - a nice thing to see in Black Diamond!

Base Card Design Score:
7.75/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Each box of Black Diamond will come with an assortment of single, double, triple, and quad diamond cards. Though they are all base cards, the higher the diamond level, the more difficult to get. This year's Black Diamond box should yield two jersey cards with other possible inserts and hits.


The standard hit in boxes of Black Diamond are the dual jersey puzzle cards. Each card features two swatches of jersey and a piece of a logo or picture. If you collect all the players in a picture, you can put them together and see the design it creates. This concept isn't new. It has been around for the last few years in Black Diamond. When the idea was first released, it was pretty novel... but these jersey cards have definitely gotten a bit long in the tooth.


Autographs will occasionally come out of a box, but it's not guaranteed. Black Diamond autographs have always been a bit of a challenge to pull. This Gemography autograph continues from a long line of Gemography cards. It is a sticker autograph on a glossy card. Black Diamond also offers base parallel autographs that look much better than these.


Speaking of parallels, the red parallels have made their return to Black Diamond. These cards have been in Black Diamond sets for years, and collectors will have to find them to complete their rainbows.This particular red foil parallel of Chris Tierney is nice as the foil has a shimmery look to it.


New this year in Black Diamond are bonus packs containing orange parallel cards. Out of all the cards available, I think these are some of the best looking you can find in this product. The orange really stands out in a big way. It would look awesome as an entire set.

Other inserts and parallels can also be found in boxes of Black Diamond. The most amazing thing you can find from a box would be a true diamond card one-of-one. Those cards have real diamonds embedded in them. I bet they're amazing to look at!

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:
8/10

Overall Rating -
I wish I could say that Black Diamond has a ton of new things to offer with this years release... but I can't. Sure, there's the new bonus pack of awesome orange parallels, but I can see the excitement for these fading pretty quickly. All I can really say is that Black Diamond is Black Diamond. Collectors know exactly what to expect from it.

If you've traditionally liked Black Diamond, then by all means dig into this product, but if you've been a bit hesitant about in the past... this year's iteration probably won't change your mind.

Overall Rating:
7.5/10

Check out my box of Black Diamond from D&P Cards in Sacramento, Ca:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Retail Review #130 (13/14 Panini Prizm Blaster)


Prizm is a product that I haven't opened much of at all. In fact, it's a product that I really don't see at my local retail stores. I would consider Prizm to be one of the 'higher-end' brands when it comes to retail. The cards are of premium quality with not that many coming per box.


Price - 
$14.95

Packs - 7
13/14 Prizm Packs

I'm always excited to open blasters that I usually don't have access to. Prizm was a brand known mostly for its parallel card potential in the hobby, so hopefully that translates well to retail. Hobby boxes usually came with a couple autographs, but they usually weren't too spectacular - especially in terms of design. The autographed cards looked just like base cards with an area for an autograph to be placed.

The parallel cards, however, looked amazing. The chrome look of the cards would really sizzle with the different colors. Some of the colors, like gold, were numbered very low and were collector favorites.

I'm hoping to find a lot of color and shine in this blaster:


Review -
This box was a bit underwhelming to me. I did get some red parallels, but most of them came in the little bonus cellophane pack rather than from the packs in the box. I'm glad that the blaster had the bonus cards though... otherwise the break would have been even more mundane.

The Prizm cards are impressively done and have a very thick stock to them. Anyone buying Prizm at retail should appreciate the quality of these cards. I only was able to pull one insert and a few parallels from this box. Of course, there were rookie cards too, but none of them were of any note.

Here were my top picks from this break:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Steven Stamkos Card No. 93
You know I'm reaching when a simple base card makes the top three! Even with that, it's always nice to get Stamkos base cards. He's one of the great players that seem to elude me in packs.


#2 - Tyler Toffoli Card No. II-8
This insert card of rookie Tyler Toffoli has some nice textural design elements that make it stand out from the rest. It was my only insert card in the entire blaster.


#1 - Joe Thornton Card No. 174
Now this is a card I do like! The red parallel color and the rainbow shimmer on this card makes it look really stunning. It's a great looking card of a star player on my favorite team.

Overall Value -
This particular box wasn't a great value to me, but it wouldn't stop me from wanting to purchase more Prizm blasters in the future. The quality of these cards are nice, and it's fun trying to find parallel cards of the best players in these packages. Prizm has definitely come down in price at the hobby level... it might be a good choice to find those boxes if you're really into the set.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
6/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Retail Review #129 (12/13 Upper Deck Series One Tin)


I'm definitely excited to open this tin of 12/13 Upper Deck Series 1. People are always recommending tins to me, but they are just so hard to get a hold of where I live. I've finally gotten one of these to check out here on Retail Review - I hope that delivers in terms of my expectations for it!


Price - 
$9.95

Packs - 12
12/13 UD Series 1 Packs

2012/13 was not a great year for hockey, so that's probably why these tins can be had a such a low price now. Comparing just the packaging, I'd definitely go for a tin over a blaster any day. It just feels a lot more special to be opening up a tin rather than a standard blaster box. There's something about a tin that just ups the ante.

I'm sure that comparing tins to blasters shouldn't be too different. I'm expecting to get a couple of Young Guns and some insert cards. In terms of rookie cards, there's not much I'll be looking for as this year was not a good year for rookies. I'm hoping for some nice cards of established stars in the NHL.

Let's pop the lid off this tin and see what's inside:


Review -
The break started off pretty slowly as I opened up what seemed to be base pack after base pack. But once those were through, the tin definitely picked up and got better. The actual packs inside the tin feel thicker than those you get in a retail blaster. Everything about this opening experience was enhanced compared to those.

I ended up getting a pretty large stack of base cards as well as some nice canvas and insert cards. I pulled three canvas cards out as well as a Silver Skates foil card of Daniel Sedin. I have to say that I felt satisfied after getting all these cards out of the tin. Did it meet expectations? Yup!

My favorite three cards of the break are as follows:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Ryan Callahan Card No. WC-11
This jumbo sized card came in its own holder inside the tin. These types of cards may be difficult to store, but they make nice bonuses inside tins.


#2 - Joe Pavelski Card No. C70
I've got to put Pavelski here at two because I'm a huge Sharks fan. This photo of Pavs is pretty nice as well as it looks like he is trying to channel Bobby Orr.


#1 - Anders Lindback Card No. GJ-AL
Nice! A hit! It's great to get a hit in retail. Now that I've gotten a UD jersey from this tin, it makes me wonder if there are hits in every tin. I don't have enough experience with them to know for sure.

Overall Value -
For ten dollars this was a very nice little break. I was very pleased with the break, and would happily get more of these to open up. The tin delivered more content than a regular blaster would have. It's no wonder that people recommend these Upper Deck tins to me! They are a very nice retail product.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
8/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Retail Review #128 (2013 Goodwin Champions Blaster)


It's been a while since I've opened up a blaster of Goodwin. I find myself continually drawn to this product because of all the variety it offers. It's always fun to see all the different stars from the different sports represented here in a creative and artistic way. It's pretty difficult to find hits in these blasters, but there's always that slight chance to find one!


Price - 
$7.95

Packs - 12
2013 Goodwin Champions Blaster Packs

If I were to associate Goodwin Champions with a certain sport, it would be baseball as it has many characteristics that some baseball sets have. One of the most notable characteristics are the mini cards found in this product. The blaster states that collectors will find 5 minis per box. That's not a huge incentive for me to buy the product, but for some it may be as they enjoy those little collectibles. Mini cards come in a variety of parallels. It's important to always check the back of the mini cards as that is generally where the variations show up. They may have different colored ink or different designs.

I'll go ahead and open up this blaster and see what comes out:


Review -
I thought that I have opened one of these blasters before, but I didn't recognize the base design. I guess this was a first for me! That always makes things a little better actually as I like being surprised.

The blaster came with a huge mix of different people from a variety of subjects. I got Abraham Lincoln! It was fun seeing the artistic drawings once again. Goodwin Champions is definitely a bit of an oddball product, but I think that's what gives it its charm.

In terms of minis, I got five as stated in the box. Checking the odds, I found that to get an autographed card it would be 1:480. Wow, those are hard odds! Memorabilia hits are a bit easier and clock in at 1:96.

Here were my three favorites from this break:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Don Maynard Card No. 89
This particular mini card is a Lady Luck parallel card. It's denoted by the green borders and different graphics on the back. 


#2 - Venus Card No. WT-3
I'm sort of a space geek and I just saw Interstellar so this card was pretty cool to find in the blaster. The Eagle Nebula card also come in the blaster, but this one I like because it's closer to home.


#1 - Mats Sundin Card No. 42
My only hockey mini card was of HOFer Mats Sundin. It's always cool find these hockey cards in Goowin Champions. They give a pretty fresh take on the players.

Overall Value -
At under eight dollars, I thought this break was decent. I got everything I thought I would get, but nothing more. I would have loved to find a unique memorabilia card, but that wasn't to be. I would have to say that I enjoyed this box purely for looking at the different cards. Nothing here would have any significance to my collection as a whole though.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
6/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Retail Review #127 (11/12 Panini Pinnacle Blaster)


I've opened up quite a bit of Panini Pinnacle on Retail Review episodes, but they haven't gotten boring yet! These blasters are very affordable, contain hits, and are great fun to open. It's awesome to find them at such good prices now.


Price - 
$5.95

Packs - 10
11/12 Panini Pinnacle Packs

This blaster box was once $20 to buy at a retail store. I got this one for about six dollars at dacardworld.com. That is a great deal. These blasters come with a pretty decent amount of cards, and includes great looking base cards, several inserts and parallels, and a hit to top it all off! These might be the best deal you can find in terms of discounted retail boxes. This is a blaster that I already know I'll enjoy - I'm just looking forward to seeing what's in it.

Let's go ahead and open this box up:


Review -
What a fun box to open! This box came with a lot of variety in terms of card types and card images. Pinnacle's photo selection could even rival those from Upper Deck Series One and Two. They are that unique! There were several times I just had to stop and look at the photo on the card. For collectors who enjoy photographs, this is definitely a must see set.

Besides the inserts and hits, I was also able to get two NuFex foil parallel cards from this box. It was nice to get one rookie card and also a standard parallel. I've always enjoyed the look of these cards and am happy to pull them out whenever I open up Pinnacle.

Here were my favorite cards of this break:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Paul Stastny/Matt Duchene Card No. 3
I like the look of these Foundation Tandems cards. Usually I'm not a fan of multi-player cards, but these have a clean and fresh look to them that is enjoyable. If I'm not mistaken, these cards were only available in retail.


#2 - Jordan Eberle Card No. 8
Canvas cards are very popular nowadays, and for good reason... they incorporate some nice art and textures into their design. Eberle was one of my favorite players out of the 10/11 rookie class and pulling him is never a bad thing in my opinion.


#1 - Steve Ott Card No. 25
I'm not a Steve Ott fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a fan of getting hits out of blasters, even if they are just jersey cards. The Threads jersey set may be a standard jersey card, but the design is colorful and full. These are nice looking cards.

Overall Value -
For six dollars this blaster of Pinnacle was a great deal. I thoroughly enjoyed the breaking experience and got some nice cards out of it. I'm sure these blasters won't be around forever, I'd take the chance to get them now while they are dirt cheap before they are all gone! These are top quality, well-made, cards that may not be rare, but they are solid hockey cards to add into any collection.

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
8.5/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Retail Review #126 (09/10 Upper Deck Champs Blaster)


I began collecting hockey cards again during the 2009/10 season, and I remember Upper Deck Champs really well. It was a product that was very similar to some Topps baseball and football products at the time. There really hasn't been a set much like Champs in hockey since it was discontinued. That's too bad, I liked it quite a bit!


Price - 
$9.95

Packs - 12
09/10 Upper Deck Champs Blaster Packs

Champs is an eclectic mix of many things. You'll not only find hockey players, but also historical figures, items, and even animals. The cards come on an O-Pee-Chee-like old school card stock, which adds to the nostalgic and classic feel of the cards.

Mini cards found one-per-pack was one of the main draws of Champs. Collectors could expect to find one mini card per pack. Both the mini cards and the standard cards had parallel variations, some of which were extremely difficult to find.

Champs was a very polarizing product as some collectors loved it and others really hated it. I was one of those who really enjoyed the set, and wished it never left the shelves. I'm very excited to see what comes out of this particular blaster box of cards!

Here goes:


Review -
What a fun break! This blaster had a wide range of interesting cards and even a hit! I was very pleased with the results of this break and enjoyed it thoroughly. There aren't too many cards per pack, but I was able to find quite a few different parallel variations of cards. The most common variation was the lighter blue/teal base card parallel. A few of those came out.

In the mini cards, I got two rookie cards. The rookie cards come with a golden border and ornate design that really stands out. It was great to get some big names out of the mini card pulls from this blaster. Kim Campbell, the chirostenotes pergracilis, and the Statue of Zeus were the three non-hockey related cards from the box.

There were lots of cards to choose from, but here were my top cards this week:

Top 3 Cards


#3 - Joe Thornton Card No. 280
It's always great getting nice Sharks cards to add to the PC. This particular card is a great addition in that it is unique and I think looks very cool. This break makes me want to get more of these mini Sharks cards into the collection.


#2 - Nik Antropov Card No. MT-NA
It's so surprising to find a hit in retail! This mini card is of Nik Antropov when he was with the Thrashers. It's funny that I've been pulling more Atlanta cards as of late. 


#1 - Patrick Roy Card No. 253
Usually the hit in the box is the top card, but I think this red back parallel of Patrick Roy tops that. Roy is a legend, and these red backed cards are not easy to pull! This is a very sweet pull.

Overall Value -
Champs is such a fun product. The original price was twenty bucks, and I probably would break down and buy it for that price even today... but luckily, they are heavily discounted online. For half the original price, these blasters are great fun to break and don't break the bank. If you're wanting to try a product that's a little off center, I would highly recommend opening up some Champs!

Let me know what you thought of my break in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:
9/10

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014-2015 Upper Deck Series One Review

I love the time in the hockey season when Upper Deck Series One comes out. This is THE set that all hockey collectors no matter what will get at least a bit of during the season. Upper Deck's signature set is consistently beautiful and a great celebration of the game on ice.


Base Card Design -
Upper Deck does not go wrong with this iteration of Series One. The cards are clean and crisp and 'oh so beautiful'! The photographs pop off the cardboard with a glossy sheen. As Upper Deck has traditionally done with this set, the cards are all about the photographs that adorn them. The images are stunning to look at, and it's a thrill to just flip through the set and enjoy the pictures. The graphical elements on the front of the card are minimal and out of the way. They compliment and provide a nice frame for the card. The fonts and colors used are very modern... really a superior design.


The Series One backs do a great job of utilizing the front elements, but overall the card backs don't excite too much. It's a very traditional Upper Deck card back that looks good, but doesn't overwhelm in terms of eye appeal.


The Young Guns this year come with a fresh and exciting look. The look this year is a bit reserved, but I really did enjoy the actual 'Young Guns' marquee that was used this year. The silver foil and the light blue work well together on these cards. My only complain about the Young Guns cards is that if you go through the card quickly in the pack they can be missed as they have a similar feel and look to the standard base cards. Other than that I would say that these Young Gun cards are a great addition to the overall Young Gun card line-up.

Base Card Design Score:
9/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
If you're buying a hobby box of Upper Deck Series One you can expect to find two memorabilia cards and a smattering of inserts and parallel cards. Though Upper Deck can be considered a mid-lower-end brand, Upper Deck has inserted some very short-printed and extremely desirable cards for collectors to find.


One of the the sweetest looking insert cards that came out of my break of Series One was this blue parallel Wayne Gretzky Shining Stars card. The card looks like a jewel shining in the light. Standard versions come on a silver foil backing. These Stars Inserts remind me a little of the insert cards once found in Upper Deck SP products in the 90's. There was definitely an emphasis on making a card really good looking first and foremost back then, and these cards do just that.


The Hockey Heroes set is back... AGAIN. Ughh. As you can tell I'm not a fan of these cards. Though I like the fact that there is a set that runs through each set of Upper Deck every year, these cards just aren't that great looking. I'm definitely tired of them. Many of the past Hockey Heroes sets have been of retired players. It's a bit strange to see guys like Alex Ovechkin adorning these cards.


Canvas parallel cards have also been put into Upper Deck packs. These popular cards have a canvas feel to them and feature even more unique photographs than their base card counterparts. I see these cards as being very popular again, especially the Canvas Young Guns... collectors seem to go crazy for them each year.


My box of UD1 had the standard two jersey cards inside it. It's nice to be able to pull hits out of Upper Deck, but these jersey cards tend not to fetch much in terms of money value. In terms of design, these Game Jersey cards look good. They are colorful and actually remind me of a base card design with a jersey on it. Super short-printed patch variations of these cards are the ones to really look for in boxes.

Autographs and other short-printed cards are also available in Upper Deck Series One this year. I would have to say that the box I opened was a typical box. If you're able to pull an autograph out of this product, you're doing pretty well. Some of the most desirable pulls this year will be of hand numbered buy back cards from the 90's.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:
7.75/10

Overall Rating -
As a set of hockey cards, you can't go wrong with Upper Deck Series One... it's just so solid! I would say, however, that many times this set lives and dies by the Young Gun class that it contains. If there isn't a stand-out Young Gun to be found, the set value usually suffers a bit. That being said, there are plenty of goodies that Upper Deck has put into this set of cards that should make collectors drool over.

Upper Deck Series One is a set that I would recommend purchasing 'just because'. And that's the way it is.

Overall Rating:
8.5/10

Check out my box of UD1 from D&P Sportscards in Sacramento, Ca: