Wednesday, October 8, 2014

2014-2015 Upper Deck Artifacts Review

Artifacts is the first 'serious' hockey product of the year. This hit-filled product has always been a collector favorite. Each hobby box comes with an autograph and a handful of memorabilia cards. For about a hundred dollars, it is a product that many box breakers can afford to bust. Artifacts looks to be as solid as it has always been yet again.


Base Card Design -
To me, the Artifacts base cards have always been great looking premium cards. This year's iteration continues to impress. Each base card has a primarily white ice-like background that fits perfectly with hockey. The foil and graphics used are elegantly done and tasteful. Nothing looks out of place or distracts. Visually, the cards are modern, clean, and beautiful to look at. Upper Deck has also chosen to be a bit creative again with their player photo selection. You'll see players in their All-Star jersey's like Logan Couture above as well other cards of retired greats and current stars.. It's a pretty big mish-mosh of images that gives the set a nice variety of player photos to look at.


The back design compliments the front of the card very well. A similar ice background is used as well as familiar design elements. The backs are full color and feature both stats and a short write-up. The picture used on the back is the same one used on the front. It's not a bad thing, but sometimes companies will really go for it and use different photos on the back.


Back this year are the serial numbered goalie base cards. Each card is numbered to 999 and has a golden-ice background look. Other than the golden hue and numbering, these cards are the same as their base card counterparts. You will find about one of these per box. Last year Upper Deck also inserted Team Canada serial numbered cards. Those cards are not to be found this year.


Rookie cards finish off the Artifacts base set. They too have serial numbering and a special color - blue. Added to these cards is a special 'Rookie' notation above the team logo. The logo is pretty large and a bit distracting for my tastes, but overall the card has a pleasing design, and it's easy to tell them apart from the standard base cards and goalie cards.

Base Card Design Score:
9/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
I find it funny that the box states that it is 'chock full of hits!'. Each box will have at least 3 memorabilia cards and one autographed card. At least one of the memorabilia cards will be of a combination of players. Packs without autos or memorabilia will have either serial numbered cards or a rookie redemption in them.


Besides memorabilia, Artifacts is known for its numerous parallel cards. You'll find short printed base variations as well as variations of cards with autographs or memorabilia on them. Collectors who enjoy the chase of finding a complete rainbow will definitely have their work cut out for them with Artifacts. Shown above is a standard base card parallel with blue foil numbered to 85.


Dual jersey memorabilia cards like the Michel Goulet card I pulled are a staple of Artifacts. These are very prevalent when opening packs of the product. More premium version of these cards will have patches and autographs included on the card with serial numbering much less than 125.


Here's a Tundra Sixes card of the Montreal Canadiens. The jersey pieces are pretty small, but the size worked out well to fit all six of them and a player photo on the front of the card. I prefer to have everything on one-side rather than having to flip the card around to see the rest of the memorabilia.


I was very surprised to find two Tundra Sixes in my box of Artifacts! Instead of having just one team like the Canadiens card, this one has three Islanders and three Devils in sort of a versus matchup. I do like the variety of colors found on this particular card.


Auto Facts sticker autographs are the typical autographed card in Artifacts. If you don't find an Auto Facts, you'll probably have an autograph combined with memorabilia on a parallel card. Typically it is difficult to find Auto Facts cards of the bigger named players. I was pretty happy when John Tavares came out of a pack from my box.


Rounding out my box was this Wild Card Rookie Redemption. Each team has rookie redemption cards, and overflow players will be randomly slotted for these Wild Cards. Collectors will have to be patient as these rookie cards won't be available for quite a while.

Artifacts is a product that has so many hit types. Opening just one box will not allow you to really see how much is put into the product. Tags, sticks, and fight straps all make appearances this year. Also, the Autographed Rookie Redemption cards have returned once again. Those cards have always been a popular pull with box breakers.

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos Score:
9/10

Overall Rating -
Artifacts has shown me once again that it is a worthy first product for serious collectors. It comes in a small footprint of ten packs, but as the box says... it's chock full of hits! I've always had fun opening boxes of Artifacts, and this year looks to provide more of the same enjoyment. The box I opened today was especially good, but don't expect all boxes to be like this. Tundra Sixes don't come out that often! Truth be told, the shop owner opened up a box after I did and it did not impress. It had all the required hits, but the player selection was not there. You win some and you lose some... that definitely still applies!

But all-in-all, Artifacts looks to be strong once again and I can definitely recommend it for purchase. I'm glad it's out because now we have some really rare and beautiful cards to chase down and find!

Overall Rating -
9/10

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

38 comments:

  1. Great box man, might buy one too.

    Youtube: Attwalthecollectingchief

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really like the desgin of Artifacts this year!!
    I really like the Tundra Sixes card of Montreal Canadians!

    Youtube: Gabriel T.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice review! I will keep my eye out for this product.
    Youtube: crazyshnitzel

    ReplyDelete
  5. GOULET!! Great break. Way to go with this review!
    YT - Skroeker24

    ReplyDelete
  6. They put some really good detail and design in the cards!

    YouTube: CanucksCollector721

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice jt and canadiens six way
    Youtube:RedWraith

    ReplyDelete
  8. Love how this set is looking, I'd love to pull a tag or a stick.

    YT:SexyOmlet43

    ReplyDelete
  9. As always, Upper Deck are coming with another solid product ! Can't wait to see series 1 and 2 !!!

    YT: Simon L-Roy

    ReplyDelete
  10. very awesome break :) and review as always

    YT: newyorkislanders777

    ReplyDelete
  11. Your box was solid! Two Tundra Sixes and a JT Autograph. Cant complain. Artifacts always is my favorite product every year. Look forward to getting my box in soon! YT-icollectboston

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great review!
    YouTube; Blackberryboldjeff

    ReplyDelete
  13. I might buy some Artifacts this year. The base card design looks great and you get a hit a pack (well let's say 1:2). Nice box break!

    Youtube : frankthachamp

    ReplyDelete
  14. decent product
    Nice design
    Yt SBHockeycards

    ReplyDelete
  15. + You can get some great low-numbered cards.
    + The base cards lokks oretty good as always.

    - The 'rookie' logo on the rookie cards.
    - The fact that the box states that it's "chock full of hits".

    Youtube: Majlfp

    ReplyDelete
  16. that canadiens six way jersey is awesome! so is the JT! Youtube:GoCanucksGo

    ReplyDelete
  17. You got a pretty solid box. Hits to me are designed like all artifacts hits are. One thing i really like this year is the base design.

    YouTube: andicardsnstuff

    ReplyDelete
  18. might just have to buy one of these boxes. They really stepped up their game with the hits. The swatches one the 6 way are a bit small but its worth it for the hits you receive.
    Thanks!
    YouTube: CanesOnTheBrains

    ReplyDelete
  19. This years autofacts look great, gongrats on the JT auto. Thanks for the video and review.

    YT: PoorlyUseMeBlade

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good Box

    YT: HockeyCardCollecter

    ReplyDelete
  21. The card looks very good and you have a very great box!

    Youtube: kinggaby29

    ReplyDelete
  22. You got an amazing box. Love the product and the review.

    YouTube: Mohamed Hakim

    ReplyDelete
  23. Nice review like always! Got a decent amount of hits and nice Goulet!

    YouTube: Brennan Osinski

    ReplyDelete
  24. Very Sick BOX Product improved by its hits wise same design thoough sick box YOUTUBE:Dm Hockey Cards

    ReplyDelete
  25. that was a sick box love artifacts and the hit complex of it and I think the base actually looks pretty good like always youtube is ironjeep58

    ReplyDelete
  26. Nice break with those Six way jersey cards ! i wondering what the blaster r going to be like .

    YOUTUBE:David Krawczyk

    ReplyDelete
  27. Great product this is what got me back into collecting heavy a few years ago :D yaa Arti YouTube WesThePest

    ReplyDelete
  28. GREAT BOX!

    YT: devilscollector18

    ReplyDelete
  29. Really liking the base card design this year! Keep up the good work.

    YT: LIGHTman7x

    ReplyDelete
  30. Nice box. Tavares card was nice

    Youtube: wildcow6000

    ReplyDelete
  31. Love the design for the base, and love that Tavares

    YouTube: McCarthysCards

    ReplyDelete
  32. As always Artifacts does seem to deliver the same each and every year, but this year I have realized the boxes are a little more loaded than previous years. I still don't like the fact that some jersey cards aren't numbered.
    Graboguru

    ReplyDelete
  33. Great video and good box! I really like the Tavares and the Tundra Sixes! Keep up the great video!
    Youtube: TheDevynator

    ReplyDelete
  34. Nice box and great review
    Youtube: Andrew Jamo

    ReplyDelete
  35. Really nice box!

    Youtube:https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTpBlRMVM_sOVmjvb8mtl7g

    ReplyDelete
  36. mike green treasured swatches 9/12 stick and tape

    ReplyDelete