Wednesday, August 3, 2016

2015-2016 Upper Deck Black Review

This is a product I remember very fondly. Upper Deck Black was one of the best looking sets when it was first released about eight years ago. The black look contrasted with the ice theme very well leading to some gorgeous looking cards. Black has been MIA for a while now, only appearing as inserts within some Upper Deck products the past few years. Here's it's proper return with a full set of cards.



Base Card Design -
The base cards in this year's black are busy and energetic. There's a lot going on in the background of the card, but it all looks so cool! I love the prismatic foil used to highlight the Black logo in the background as well as the player name, UD symbol, and brand name. The design is quite eye popping. I think what makes this work so well is that the background is darker save for the foil elements. It almost looks sort of like a microchip or computer motherboard from the movie Tron. Black definitely has a modern design that is very appealing and unique.


The back of the base card is quite a bit more basic than the front - almost disappointingly so. There is no foil highlights making the back jump out at you. It's all rather bland, in fact. I've seen Upper Deck have some very creative back-of-card designs on lower-end products, and wish they'd have done something more creative here. These backs are very sparse with just some stats - there's not even a little write up! Though I don't particularly like the back side of the card, I do want to mention the side of the card. Like with previous Black releases, these cards have sort of a layered look on the side. It's a very unique property of the Black cards that I appreciate and enjoy.


Rookie cards in Black come on thick sandwiched cardboard and are either numbered to /199 or /299. The /199 rookies are the bigger named guys such as Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. These Lustrous Rookies are all hand-signed except for Eichel because of his exclusive deal with the Leaf company. There's quite a bit of foil shown on these rookie cards, but to me it's too heavy handed. I loved the thin lines of the base cards. I wish the designers would have done something along those lines rather than this.

Base Card Design Score:
8.5/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Initially, Black had a packaging design that contained two small boxes in one larger box. Opening up a box of black had its own flair that many enjoyed with a product that was quite expensive. With this release of Black, Upper Deck has gone with the one-box, one-big-pack packaging that they've done with other similar products this year. Each pack/box contains 6 premium cards.


Super-premium products usually put a bunch of jersey cards in the set as fodder, and black is no different. Black Rookie Coverage jersey cards contain a piece of photoshoot worn material and have no numbering on them. The design of these cards is pretty pleasing, but it doesn't make-up for the fact that these cards will be a dime a dozen on the secondary market.


A bit nicer than the Rookie Coverage cards was this Rookie Showcase Relic card I got of Malcolm Subban. This card is numbered to just 25 and contains a rather nice patch piece. It states on the back of the card that the piece came from the 2013 NHLPA Rookie Showcase Game - so that's better than a photoshoot at least. The design of the card is again very nice with the thin gold foil lines on it. An autograph would have made this card a lot better though. UD does have autographed version of these cards numbered to 10 - wish I had gotten that version!


Probably the best card I got from my break was this Pro Penmanship card of John Tavares. It's a very nicely designed card with an acetate feel on the surface. The autograph is hard signed in blue ink on an icy white spot. The card is pleasing to look at and I'm glad I have this card to add to my collection. Tavares is a quality player and sometimes it can be hard to get bigger name players out of rookie heavy products such as these.

Black has a ton more to offer than what I was able to pull out of this one box. Pride of the Nation flag patch cards are back - oh, I want one of those cards SO BAD! There are even cards like what Panini had with the full tied string portion of the jersey available. They are called Black Tie Affair cards and are 1 of 1 redemptions.

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

Overall Rating -
Man... I just LOVE the way Black looks and the cards you can potentially pull out of it. Upper Deck has really done well with the design of these cards and it just makes me want to buy, buy, buy! The only problem is the price point of the product. Being a super-premium product, Black has a super-premium price. These little boxes in the US are going for $260-275 per and even more in Canada. That price-point really puts a damper on people getting multiple boxes of it, let alone a single box. I estimate the value that I got in my hits to total well under $100. That really sucks. And I'm sure that will be a common breaking experience unless a collector is lucky enough to pull McDavid or Gretzky.

UD Black is definitely for the rich collectors who have the money to spend on this high roller of a product. It's definitely a hot or miss brand with the vast majority of boxes being misses in terms of value. The gamble sure is fun though!

I suggest waiting for a little while and start finding single so the cards you want on eBay. You'll save yourself a lot of money and though you won't have the thrill of opening a pack or the off-chance of pulling a Connor McDavid auto rookie, but you'll also spare yourself some pain if you miss on your pricey pack of Black.

Overall Rating:
7/10

Check out my box of 15/16 Black:

68 comments:

  1. Nice set pretty cool youtube is MG Cards

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  2. I like it but it is a bit pricy by the way where did u buy this product my yt name is dullknife gaming

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  3. Beautiful looking cards. YT: Trevor Cavanaugh

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  4. Black is always a nice product but way too expensive for me

    YT: brendan roskewich

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  5. nice looking cards but wouldnt spend my money on that
    youtube is mackenzie timlock

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  6. I like the look of these cards..great review as always!!
    YouTube name- Lori Barry

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  7. awesome john taveras auto that was the best card out of the pack.. youtube name Adam Ha

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  8. Nice Malcolm Subban patch.. all the cards have a nice look, too pricey in my opinion though
    YT: 11shua11

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  9. I like that Bennett card, but I think this is a little pricey based off what I've seen.
    YT: Mitchman1771

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  10. This product is an awesome release my name is Thegaminghoneybadger

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  11. Very awesome product, I love how they are very eye catching designs cause I feel hockey cards aren't as colorful and foil covered than football or baseball. great job!

    YouTube: bruins fanatic
    Instagram: bruinsfanatic1717

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  12. I like the look of this product and agree with most of your statements but I think it cost a little too much in my opinion! My YouTube is YorgoHabsFan and I love your videos amd keep it up buddy! :)

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  13. I think Black is a nice product. Nice Subban and Tavares! Those were your two best cards by far.

    YouTube: Paul Courcelles

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  14. I'm sorry, but for a "super premium product" this is just horrible :/ I think they're using the big name of UP Black to their advantage on this one. Making the product cheap feeling and looking but using the popular product name so that this would be a must have for collectors of the original black (sorry if that was wordy af). I dont like how the cards are "double layered" and your hits will probably sell for $5 a piece (besides the tavares). TBH the best looking card in this box was actually the base imo XD (great review as always though)
    YT: Dylan James Chang

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  15. It is really nice and love the Jonathan auto!!! I love your vids

    youtube crazyness1241

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  16. Upper deck is rippi g us off at this point. Theyre a monopoly now because no one else makes hockey cards anymore. They just jack up the prices, less cards per pack, less packs per box and more not so premium hits. Pisses me off

    YT: matt gauthier

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  17. Great review! That subban patch was my favourite out of all of them, it was a very nice patch.
    Youtube:crazyshnitzel

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  18. Black has always been nice. The base are beautiful and so is that Tavares!
    Youtube:RedWraith

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  19. great review, really expensive so unless u get something massive i dont think id be super happy with a personal box.

    YT: EmKayBe

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  20. Product looks great but I'll have to pass on this pricey one. Not a bad box, but 2 plain jerseys are kind of too much for the price range. Nice Tavares though! I will buy some MVP instead!

    Youtube : frankthachamp

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  21. Cool review might break this one
    YouTube: JFAGAMINGHD

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  22. Cool product!

    YouTube: HC96.Trading.Company

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  23. I really like this product but just like you said it's a hit or miss and I don't really think it is worth spending $260 on this product for most likely getting nothing of extreme value. But I'm sure it is just fun to open no matter the results!! Thanks for your AWESOME review, can't wait to see the next one and keep up the hard work!

    YT: Bro Bro-ntosaurus

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  24. Looks like a good brand but I won't be buying because of the price point great review as always
    YouTube:Captainstorm2311

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  25. Price is too high, but may look for singles for sure. YT: Judson Rempel

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  26. Hey there I thought I would say that the base card design is one of my favourite of the 2015-16 year. it is awesome and looks great. My youtube channel is nucksfan167 so if you could enter that name for the contest that would be great. love your youtube keep it up and I cant wait to see the 2016-17 mvp break!!

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  27. Nice product, nice review, but definitely not a nice price point. Yt Dj joey555

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  28. Great review as always! I really like the John Tavares auto and the look of the set this year, but it seems like the price is a little steep.

    YouTube: littlekidjuggling

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  29. Ive never seen upper deck Black before today. I really enjoy this brand now and cannot wait to pick up a box. Great break btw.

    Youtube name: Brayden Morgan

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  30. A pretty cool product that I'm not familiar with but nice Tavares!

    YouTube: Brennan Osinski

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  31. really cool product. what is the pricing on this?
    youtube: giosol1

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  32. Never had a chance to see black when i was collecting. Cool looking product for sure.

    Yt: Justin Lee

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  33. Good review ;) Tavares fortunatelly save that break

    YouTube-Viky Haken

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  34. + The Rookie Coverage jersey cards look good.
    + I liked Black back in the days, so it's nice that it's back

    - Having so much event worn material in a product this expensive is a shame. Honestly, how exciting is it to pull a piece of a Rookie Showcase jersey?
    - The Lustrous Rookie design could've been great, if they wouldn't have used that much foil.

    Youtube: Majlfp

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  35. Might crack a box for the thrill, but yeah, too rich for my blood these days. Let the case breakers handle this and pick off some singles on the secondary market. Shame though, always wanted Black to return to the lineup.

    - reebz0r

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  36. The product overall looks very good.

    YouTube: Hockey Highlights

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  37. This a new product to me and it looks awesome! Never heard of it before

    YT: Anime Nerd12

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  38. This product is really awesome I love it! You did a great job!

    YouTube: MarlyNation

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  39. Your review is exactly on par with what I thought about this series as well. Way to pricey for the average collector.
    YT: Troy Radics

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  40. I feel that this product is little bit more pricey than what you get in it , thats just me, but i did really like the base card design, idk if i would pick one of these up , but all definitely a pretty solid product might get one in the feature. YouTube : michael corrao

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  41. Really nice product. Card are beautiful by the way. But I think the price is a little bit too expensive. Probably by the fact that McDavid is in ... but what are the chance to got that freaking McJesus ? ... so personnaly I will not buy a box of it ! But maybe some single cards on ebay.
    Youtube : Alex Rioux (alexrioux7@gmail.com)

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  42. Really love this product! The look of the silver ink on the black card looks really sweet!!! I would love to break a box of this stuff but it's way to expensive for me! Great review as always!!!
    YouTube: sniper87

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  43. Awesome set with phenomenal cards! But as everyone else had said they're way too expensive and I can only afford retail packs lol!
    YouTube is carsonartt58@gmail.com

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  44. awesome product i just started collecting hockey and this product looks amazing cant wait to try a box myself even though its an expensive product i would try at least one box the base cards could look a little better but all and all its a nice product youtube:gmangaming16

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  45. Good Review!
    Nice looking cards, but too expensive!

    Youtube: oldieonekenobi

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  46. cool product but costs way too many $$$
    youtube name: Francois Leroux

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  47. Great Prodect!Youtube WBSpenguinsfan 8!

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  48. Such a high priced product.. Especially for what you get. Nice JT hit though.. Not a fan of those 1 color relics.. You would think for the price it would be 2 / auto.. Even 3 color maybe even a detailed patch.

    Good break.. Just for the JT.

    YT: freshestemo

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  49. I really like the design of the cards!

    Youtube:VCcanucks 101

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  50. Great review as always! Black pack looked really nice
    my YT is tomcojocar

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  51. Thanks for review, will be buying a box soon now because of the video and review :) YouTube- bibo65603

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  52. Awesome review. lately ive been watching alot of your videos. I thought it was a pretty decent box, not amazing, but pretty decent.
    Youtube- kaeden rogers
    instagram - Hockeycards_101

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  53. Thanks for sharing your break, Luke! Quite a hefty price to be paying for a box of Black for the selection that you pulled. Wish you had better results. Very nice pull on the Pro Penmanship card of John Tavares!

    YT/SCF: McBones

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  54. Loved it so much I opened 2 boxes yesterday and did my very first youtube video of the breaks. Very cool and high end stuff! I did not get a McDavid, but opened about12 2016-17 MVP, 2 Black, 1 Ice and 1 Champs, great year for hockey! I also got 2 Austin Matthews from MVP redemptions!

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  55. Nice Product. Very good looking cards! but i think it's too expensive.

    Youtube name: Kim Rosman

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  56. That Pro Penmanship card of John Tavares look awsome. I think i'll save a bit and get one pack of Black !

    YOUTUBE: Justin Bilodeau (n0LiF3)

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  57. nice product

    YT: Thejerseycards

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  58. I need to get me one of these boxes!!!!!!!!

    YT: Jonathan Ha

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  59. really nice subaan!

    YT: Kristjan Primrose

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  60. i have seen that tavares card pulled before. as a big isles fan that makes me happy lol. But i like black hockey this year anc they by far are in contention for the best base cards. YT-23ryan42

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  61. Nice product, but too expensive.
    YT: ZeroWolfGiven

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  62. Best hockey product of the season, IMO. These are beautiful cards!!! Sure it's expensive, but you want a nice product it's going to cost more.

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  63. Best hockey product of the season, IMO. These are beautiful cards!!! Sure it's expensive, but you want a nice product it's going to cost more.

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  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  65. Love it when a Tavares auto is pulled! Great break!

    YT: Lars from Mars

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  66. Great review, product looks real good. 300 cad is a lot for 6 cards IMO . Ive just been buying cards for my PC from eBay at 5-10$ a pop... Definitely won't be going out to buy this anytime soon.

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