Wednesday, June 29, 2016

2015-2016 Upper Deck SP Authentic Review

Some of Upper Deck's most anticipated products are beginning to come out. Today, the popular SP Authentic was released. I rushed out to get a box as SPA is one of my personal favorite brands of all time. SPA is a premium brand that is still within reach of most collectors. Hitting a star Future Watch autographed card is what all collectors want out of their boxes. Let's see what comes out of my box.


Base Card Design -
Upper Deck has traditionally kept the SP Authentic base cards simple in design. These cards are no different, but they are just a touch busy to me. The lines going everywhere throws me a bit off as there is a hint of an SPx vibe with these. I do like the clever use of team colors in the background though. SP Authentic has always done a great job of subtly putting in teams colors on the cards, and here it looks really nice. I used to put SPA sets together in 9-pocket pages, and the cards all together with the colors really made the set a joy to look at in the binder. In terms of foil usage, these cards have just enough so they the foil acts as a nice accent on the cards. It's just right.


Upper Deck does a magnificent job with the backs of these cards. The SPA back is filled with information that is presented in a dynamic way. The back includes a full-color player photo, team logo and colors, as well as a write-up to read. I'm really impressed with the efficient use of the space and wish more card backs were like these.


Every few packs popped out a Legends subset card. Replacing the player name on the card is the word 'LEGENDS' in giant foil font. The largeness of the font really accentuates the legendary status of the players represented on these cards. Rather than having the team color in the background, Upper Deck decided to use black as the accent color. The bold Legend logo and the black gives these cards a seriousness that I really enjoy. It's awesome how just a few tweaks can change the way a card is received.


Another subset in this year's SPA set are these Authentic Moments cards. We've seen these cards before and they are back again this year. I love the name of this subset as it works so well with the brand, but I personally feel these cards have too different a look than the entire rest of the set. I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy them even more if Upper Deck found a way to incorporate standard SPA design elements into the these cards. As they stand, they really stick out (like a sore thumb). 


Just as in every year of SP Authentic, there are basically two tiers of Future Watch cards - the non-autos and the autos. The non-autographed Future Watch cards come earlier in the set and are numbered to 999, just like the autographed ones. Though these cards share the same print-run, lacking an autograph severely hamper the value of theses cards. Jack Eichel, one of this year's biggest rookies, would usually not be in the group, but his autograph rights are with Leaf. This card may hold some good value if it's his only Future Watch card.


The autographed versions of the Future Watch cards are the hot ticket here in SPA. Collectors with some money in hand will probably want to attempt to collect this set. I did it for a couple years before bowing out of that game! Of course Connor McDavid will be the huge catch this year. Finding him will be difficult as boxes only guarantee on FWA per box. Upper Deck has put some variations of these cards in the set this year. Some of these cards will have special inscriptions on them from the player. They will be specially numbered to just 30 copies each.

Base Card Design Score:
8.75/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Upper Deck guarantees three autographed cards per box with at least one Future Watch auto. SPA has always been about amazing on-card autographs, so collectors should enjoy finding the autographs hidden in these boxes. This year's SPA has a huge variety of autographed cards to find. I looked at the comprehensive checklist for the product. It is enormous!


You really can't have SP Authentic without Sign of the Times cards. This popular autograph set has been updated... with tons of color! Wow, this was certainly a surprise to see. I'm not sure if I like it or not... but I'm leaning towards liking it. It's a pretty radical look for SPA, but perhaps the SOTT set needed a good kick in the butt to be more interesting. 


Upper Deck is once again putting in retro cards into their SPA set. These cards harken back to 1995. I liked these cards quite a bit when they were originally released, but unless there's an autograph on the card, they don't really do much for me. I'd actually rather have buy-back autos in the set rather than these. Though I do like the look, I don't particularly have a big interest in these retro cards.


My best pull from this box was this very nice Auto Patch card of Matt Duchene. These cards are very similar to the Future Watch variations that are also in the set. A few years ago UD decided to spice things up and include veteran players with patches and autographs. No complaints from me! Collectors should be very pleased with quality cards such as these.

As I mentioned before, SPA has a wealth of autographed card types to find. There are even booklets now! It's incredible and I can't even list everything. Just know that when you get some SPA this year, there is huge potential in the cards you may get.

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

Overall Rating -
SP Authentic is one of the products this year that I definitely recommend buying. Yes, it did increase in price, but there really isn't anything that can compare to it so far this season. The amount of on-card autographed content is just too appealing to pass up.

With SPA, Upper Deck combines great design with the potential to pull great players. There is a mix of both veterans and rookies so I feel that this product has a good balance to it. You just can't say that about other releases this year.

I'm glad of how SPA turned out, and I'm sure it will be a popular product that will provide hockey collectors with a wealth of cards to lust and chase after.

Overall Rating:
9.25/10

Check out my box of 15/16 SP Authentic here:

77 comments:

  1. Nice product like the design and inserts. Nice hit. Also how about today in hockey! Subban to my preds. YouTube is MG Cards

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  2. Nice product! That duch' card tho 😍

    YT: JacobLP

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  3. Nice Duchene! Very nice box! I really like the legends inserts and the retro "SP" inserts.

    YouTube: Paul Courcelles

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  4. Love that Duchene!

    YouTube: Logan Purdy

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  5. That Duchene had a sweet patch!! The hextall looks awesome too! Great box and break!

    YouTube: SportCardNation

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  6. Good box and really nice duchene. I hope you give the duchen away����

    YT: Jerry Zhang

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  7. I wait to hear your input then I decide if I'm going to buy it. Very nice duchene card!

    YT: Freshestemo

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  8. Base cards look nice and I love those retro cards. Awesome Hextall and Duchene hits!

    YouTube: Brennan Osinski

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  9. Very Sweet Duchene!! Love the old SP cards!

    YT: Sniper87

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  10. Nice Review! Some really nice cards I will have to pick up a box! Thanks for all your considerate thoughts and comments. Would really love that Ron Hextall Auto! Good Work, keep it up!!

    YT: Bro Bro-ntosaurus

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  11. Nice Review! Some really nice cards I will have to pick up a box! Thanks for all your considerate thoughts and comments. Would really love that Ron Hextall Auto! Good Work, keep it up!!

    YT: Bro Bro-ntosaurus

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  12. Just noticed Aaron Ekblad was not the first overall pick in 2015. He was the 1st overall pick in 2014. Is that a screw up?

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    Replies
    1. On the card its when he won the calder trophy so it really was in 2015

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  13. Love the base card design of this years product! It looks very modern. Also, sweet Duchene pull!

    YouTube: littlekidjuggling

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  14. Awesome review as usual . I opened 6 packs this morning and I got some decent cards I like the product it has some cool hits and inserts .I will definitely buy more packs of spa soon .

    YouTube: Habscollector13

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  15. Spa is looking GOOD ! Impressed again and again by Spa !

    YT:Simon L-Roy

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  16. Great box!! It's always nice to get a patch! Love the design of the Future Watch set this year as well. Uses the team colours really well!

    Love your videos and reviews, keep it up!

    Youtube: DWoool

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  17. I think its alot better than last year. Nice duchene!

    YT: matt gauthier

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  18. Nice duchene, and as always awesome review!
    YouTube: crazyshnitzel

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  19. Looks like an awesome product

    YouTube: JFAGAMINGHD

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  20. Lots of hits it seemes for the price. I like this product but Im waiting on Premier

    Youtube: EmKayBe

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  21. SPA is always a favorite of mine every year and this year it doesn't disappoint. I love the old school feel of the FWA design along with retro cards themselves (or maybe that's just nostalgia speaking) haha. The Patch autos are truly the icing on the cake for me with this product and I'll be doing my best to track some down for the collection. Excellent review per usual.
    YouTube: Kreider20x20

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  22. Nooooiiiiiceeee box buddy!
    YouTube: BlazingMachine9

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  23. SPA is always a great buy! Great buy!
    youtube: giosol1

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  24. Nice break man! I think they should put their own inserts instead of putting the Upper Deck Series updates, but that's just a detail. Amazing Duchene auto patch!!!
    YT: chiefrocka97

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  25. Can't wait until I pick up a box!!

    Youtube: HockeyEditz

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  26. nice looking cards .Cant wait to get a box

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  27. In my opinion, Also if the price is pretty high, this brand in general, especially this year is really good both base cards and hits

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  28. Great product I love the base card designs and the inserts and hits. Keep up the great breaks.
    My youtube name is Brayden Morgan

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  29. SPA looks SO GOOD this year!! Thanks for the review!

    Youtube Username is Austingrabas

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  30. Nice review! The product looks awesome.
    YT:Alexandre Joyal

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  31. Great review of SPA. That Duchene card is amazing!
    YT: Viky Haken

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  32. A really nice review and the cards look amazing

    YouTube: VCcanucks 101

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  33. Really good review and very nice pulls

    YouTube: Giancarlo Vendittelli

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  34. Sick review!!!
    YT: Josh Hockey Awesomeness

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  35. Great Box! YouTube WBSpenguinsfan 8

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  36. This is a really nice product!!
    YouTube: Nicolas Bond

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  37. Great box and great hits (the duch is sick)
    YouTube is 88Blackhawks Fan19

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  38. Nice product

    YT:brendan roskewich

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  39. This is by far one of my favorite hockey products this year. Awesome review! Youtube: goldensportscards

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  40. The base looks simple but good. Also very upper deck looking.

    YT Anime Nerd12

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  41. Nice box! The Duchene Patch auto and the Hextall auto are sick! My LCS opened a case and they got a Gretzky auto. Nice product, I like the cards design. I may grab a few packs.

    Youtube : frankthachamp

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  42. I like the base card design
    My youtube user bame is Dullknife gaming

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  43. The design of the hits is great!! My YouTube account is Philippe Bond

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  44. Luke, another quality break and review as usual! Congratulations on your 3 autograph hits. They are all beauts! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and offering us, the viewers, a chance to win!

    YT/SCF: McBones

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  45. Future watch autos look great.

    YT: Justin Lee

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  46. Future watch autos look great.

    YT: Justin Lee

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  47. + Good looking Future Watch autos.
    + Not only rookies are included in the auto checklist, so there is a good chance of pulling Duchene, Hextall autos etc.

    - 999 autos is enough. The Future Watch auto set shouldn't have any variations!
    - In some way, I think the base card design is a bit to busy. I usually like the plain look of them, but this year the team color make them too colorful in my opinion.

    Youtube: Majlfp

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  48. Looks like a fun product. Love the Hextall!

    YT: Flames fan14

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  49. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  50. Awesome pulls!

    YP: Gordie rules 09

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  51. Sick duchene! 2 patches in every case!

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  52. Snazzy cards! I like the review as well. Thanks!
    YT:Skroeker24

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  53. I really like the look of the cards in this box aswell as the possible huts you can get. My youtube is: Heis Of State

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  54. The duchene card looks amazing!
    YT: ZeroWolfGiven

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  55. Sick looking product
    YT: SBHOCKEYCARDS

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  56. Great Break ! love the dutchy and mccann ! YT: NHL Factory

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  57. I totally agree with your assessment, especially with the changes in the base cards. Sometimes, UD cards have so much going on on it that it just gets confusing. As they say, less is more, and that really holds true for SPA.
    Youtube: CY Lam

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  58. Go For Duchene !!

    Youtube: Martin Bond

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  59. You are Great !
    YT: DanielBeland

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  60. nice box!!!

    YT: Thejerseycards

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  61. very cool McCann auto!

    YT: Jonathan Ha

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  62. Nice box, however can't say much of the design work in this set is winning me over.

    - reebz0r

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  63. Nice hits! Please give the Duchene away.

    YouTube: Hockey Highlights

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  64. Great review I would love to get one of these my self. My YouTube is playeroftheweek100

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  65. Hi the base cards look very nice and the hits too. You make a really good review and the Ron Hextall hit is amazing.

    Youtube: Ozzy Mike

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  66. outstanding box! you had one of the best boxes I've seen opened and I'm pretty interested in buying one.

    yt: thehabsguy

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  67. Great review! Can't wait to get my hands on a box!

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  68. A must buy every year as the on card autos are huge selling points. Always never satisfied with just the 1 box though.

    YouTube: ryannturnaa

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  69. A must buy every year as the on card autos are huge selling points. Always never satisfied with just the 1 box though.

    YouTube: ryannturnaa

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