Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2016-2017 Upper Deck SP Authentic Review

After a few weeks without a new product out, Upper Deck releases SP Authentic! SPA is a collector favorite and a product that I have really been looking forward to. It's moderate price point coupled with excellent cards and on-card autographs make it superb selection for any collector. I'm not sure why I think this is such a big deal... but I love the fact that the box is back to its three stack configuration!


Base Card Design -
SP Authentic cards have always been on a white backdrop enhanced with graphics in the back. And guess what... Upper Deck has kept it the same. But there's good reason to as the cards look extremely sharp and attractive. These cards are of high quality with a design that is fresh and modern. I absolutely love the look this year as these cards proudly carry on the tradition of what SP Authentic is all about. The base cards subtly highlight each player's team with the team's colors in the backing graphic. The foiling is minimal, but adds a premium quality to the card. Sadly, base cards are always thrown to the wayside nowadays, but I would plead with collectors to enjoy these beauties!


The back of the SPA base cards are equally as nicely done as the front. Rather than having something plain, these cards continue on the sweet graphics used on the front. This time, however, they have been smartly utilized around the smaller player photo. This little design element shows a deft hand at creating a back that has some thought put into it. It's also good to see that each player in the set has a little write up for collectors to read. Like I said before, there is much to enjoy about these cards.


The Authentic Moments subset has been around for a few years now and adds a splash of color to this mostly uniform set. Though the cards are designed nicely, I feel that these cards don't fit the overall SP Authentic theme. These cards look like they would belong more in Upper Deck's Series One or Two flagship collection. Perhaps some collectors would enjoy these, I just don't as much.


The signature rookie set for SPA are the Future Watch cards. This beloved set is the staple of the product. This year's FW design does not disappoint. The elements of the card come together very nicely. There is not a lot of dead space on the card - it's just balanced so nicely! This year's look has to be one of my favorite for SPA in a few years. Future Watch cards come in autographed and non-autographed forms. Most of the big name rookies will be autographed.

Base Card Design Score:
9.5/10

Inserts/Game-Used/Autos -
Boxes of SP Authentic come with 18 packs, and every pack has something to look forward to. Collectors can hit big with an on-card autograph or pull an update card to the main Upper Deck set. Each box guarantees at least two autographed card to find.


Above is a Spectrum card of Mitch Marner. It's basically a parallel to the main set. Interestingly, these Spectrum cards have a scratch off component on the back. If you collect an entire set of these you can scratch them all off to get a Bounty Award card. The first 50 people with a complete Spectrum set also receive a gold version of the set as well. It's an interesting way to make these cards interactive. I'm not sure I have the patience or the money to complete a set for myself... but I'm sure there will be those to go for it!


Silver Skates are inserts cards named after one of Upper Deck's best insert sets of the 90's. These cards are a nice way to get more star and rookie content into packs of SPA. These cards don't really have much going for them to keep me interested. I wish there was a die-cut or some design element that made these stand out. As they are, they just add some filler to the overall SPA product line. Thankfully better variations of these cards exist with autographs and limited numbering.


Looking to finish that Upper Deck set? Well, here's your chance! SP Authentic packs have updates to Series One and Two. I'm not sure what to call this... Series Three??? Anyways, these cards add a final chapter to the main Upper Deck line. You'll get standard updated base, season highlights, and new Young Gun rookie cards!


Each box of SPA is guaranteed to have at least 2 autographs (down from three in previous years). The autograph besides the Future Watch auto was this Sign of the Times card of Matt Murray. Sign of the Times is a classic SPA autographed card. The set of Sign of the TImes isn't as large as it once was, but the design featuring a nice large autograph is still there. I really like the large bold autograph on this card.

With only two guaranteed autographs per box, you'd have to buy many boxes in order to see the range of different hit content there is to find in SPA. Just as always, there is a huge amount of spectacular content in SPA... it's just hard to get!

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

Overall Rating -
SPA is a great product that all collectors can drool over. The cards look great and the on-card autographs are icing on the cake. Most collectors can get on-board with what SPA has to bring to the table.

The only qualm I have with this set is the drop from three autographed cards to just two. For collectors who buy by the box, getting one less autographed card for a little less money per box isn't the best thing. It would have been awesome if there were still three autographs per box. I can see a lot of collectors not liking this.

That being said, SPA does have a lot of cool things to offer. I really wonder how this bounty program with the Spectrum inserts will work out. Hopefully it does catch on and creates a type of card that is very popular (and valuable) for collectors.

Overall Score:
9/10

Check out my box of SPA:

70 comments:

  1. Awesome break. Love SPA.

    YT: BarDownFilms

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  2. Agreed, SPA is a product I cannot not buy a box of.

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  3. awesome looking set, great review as always

    YT: SBHockeycards

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  4. Nice review! That was a pretty awesome Murray auto too!

    YouTube : crazyshnitzel

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  5. Interesting with the spectrum, but the base cards are great as always.

    Yt: Justin Lee

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  6. Awesome break, I really like the look of the base cards as well.

    YT: Josh Bittner

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  7. Love the pronunciation of the rookies lol

    yt: herosofprotest

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  8. Always liked the base card design of SPA...

    YouTube: chanedw

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  9. Nice the base card design nice break yt mgcards

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  10. Love SPA. Thank you for the Box Break!
    YT: RH LP Klassik

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  11. i love these cards great video

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  12. Great break. Spa looks great this year and that Marner is a great card to pull.
    YT: GoShawks 48

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  13. Love the cards this year but I think the price vs return is very small. I was in a case break and it was pretty bad. Nice Murray auto though!

    YT: freshestemo

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  14. i agree with the overall rating, it shouldn't be any lower, but has some room to improve. Great Review!!

    Cooper M

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  15. Always a clean classic base. The Silver Skates look great. I don't like the ideal of having a scratch off on a collector card. The last thing I want is a lower end card like basic Upper Deck as an insert card.

    YT: Michael Martin

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  16. I like everything about this product, finally a great product other than s1 or s2!

    Youtube: matt gauthier

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  17. Love your reviews. SPA is a solid product.

    YT: Mark Siuda

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  18. Hate idea of scratch offs. Super Marner though !!

    YT: Jeeparooooo

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  19. solid box and solid product

    YT: 22canucksfan33

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  20. I love the design of the future watch cards this year! I wish the box wouldn't be so expensive....

    -YT; xXEROXx

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  21. I enjoyed reading your review! I am a huge fan of this set this year, it looks super cleans and s lot of the inserts are very clean. My only issue with this set is that they include upper deck base in it. Personally, I'm fine with pulling young guns out of these packs but it would bother me to pull upper deck base cards, I'd rather pull SPA base.

    YouTube- CalebClardy

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  22. One of my favourite products.

    YT: Mitchtheman17

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  24. One of my favorite products !! The future watches look really clean this year I love it! Nice videos Blacksheep btw! thumbs up.

    YouTube: vincent quintal

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  25. That Tarasenko card from the UD update, is that from the winter classic? That was the first game I watched in it's entirety, after starting with the sport in November. Now the NHL is a part of my life every single day, but that game is important to me. If it is from that day I need a copy of that card. I'm not sure why everyone is giving their YouTube as I can't watch the video but I will play along too, it's elcaminobilly

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  26. Solid SPA break, Luke! Nice autograph pulls in this box. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the design - the Future Watch look definitely features a clean-cut look.

    SCF/YT: McBones

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  28. Sick break man, nice autos!!! and nice inserts
    looks like a fun set to collect
    yt:emkaybe

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  29. I feel like this is an overpriced product!

    YT: SJFLAMESFAN

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  30. Love the Matt Murray card!!

    Yt: Bostonbruinsfan4

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  31. Spa is by far my favourite product of upper deck always clean looking this years isn't my favourite design wise but definitely still my favourite product can't wait to pick up a box

    YouTube: Luis Ortega

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  32. It's a really good product and you got cool hits/inserts

    YT : Julien Bouchard

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  33. I like the set this year. Though it sucks at the same time because they reduced the autographs from 3 down to 2.In canada its $146 which is a lot of money lol. Great review:)

    YT: OilersHobby123

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  34. I like the base cards very sleek and you get cool inserts and hits

    Youtube: HockeyHighlights 7903

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  35. Great break. Still don't know how you're making your money outside of the Murray and Marner.

    YouTube: Paul Courcelles

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  36. Nice Murray always loved sp
    YouTube: VCcanucks 101

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  37. Nice simple design.Always loved spA
    Yt:HockeyMtg

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  38. Great video thinking of buying this product myself! YouTube: MarlyNation

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  39. I love how the autos are so bold and perfected.
    YT:Mkapps19

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  40. Great base cards and the autographs look great

    YouTube Username:Jian Wang

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  41. This year you're only getting two autographs from SPA, and it also seems like I'm the only one not liking the base design too much. I was a bit disappointed by this.

    YT:ZeroWolfGiven

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  42. You've had the luck with Marners!

    YouTube: Johnny_Canuck81

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  43. Base cards are nice and modern looking. Love that Murray auto and Laine moments card!

    YouTube: Brennan Osinski

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  44. Definitely the best product of the year so far! Great review!!

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  46. Great review! It was very detailed. I think this product is awesome because you geta future watch of a rookie that could be a star one day and you get a current star with the sign of the times. I also like how you can get UD update cards including young guns. The inserts and base cards also look very nice! Great product!

    Youtube: Ben Pilger

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  47. I love the base design but the fwas look ugly!
    YT: Akhunterboy and Mysteryyoda101 (sorry if this is second comment my first one didn't show that it published)

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  48. I really like spa but never find the money to buy a box I normally stick with series 1 or 2. The base cards look amazing as usual. Great break

    Yourube Name: Brayden Morgan

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  49. SPA is almost always a solid product. Really like this years cards. Couple nice autos in your box and a good amount of inserts to keep it interesting.

    youtube: Kyle Waters

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  50. Looks good this year, not sure if I love the FWAs though.

    Instagram: @fuelledbypassioncollectibles

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  51. That Murray card is a beauty

    Yt: Brendan roskewich

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  52. Ahoy man, thanks for the awesome review. The base cards look nice but I thought UD could have put more effort into the future watch cards. The scratch part on the back I think is a turn-off because ppl will complain of card damage. Keep up the cool vids!

    Youtube user name: sapphirecore

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  53. YouTube theangelsbroccoli

    I like the upperdeck updates!!!! Those ygs tho! :$

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  54. Awesome Quality Video as Usual!!!
    Love SPA always a fun product to open each year! I loved the base card design this year! I thought your review was very accurate! Keep up the great work blacksheep!

    YouTube : Ryese Richards

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  55. Nice break thx for the vid!

    YT: Lars from Mars

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  56. Great video, enjoyed your review. SP Authentic has always been one of my favourite products. I like the sharp clean design and hard signed autographs. Disappointed with the reduction of one autograph. Fans deserve more.

    YT Angrydorito

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  57. Awesome hits! Would love to get the Murray :D

    YT: CY Lam

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  58. Great card
    Great set
    Yt:Hockeycard44

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  59. Nice video as always! Cool break. Love spa, may have to buy a box myself. Great reveiw and cool Murray auto!
    YouTube: Sniper87

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  60. Good video nice break
    Nice Murray auto!
    Very cool spa
    Yt:Jeremie Drouin

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  61. Amazing break
    Good card
    Spa is very nice
    Yt: Hockeycool44

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  62. I wanna see a SPGU break ;)!!! #Requesting :)

    YouTube : theangelsbroccoli

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  63. Very nice break
    Sp authentic is one of my favorite products
    Cards are nice.
    YOUTUBE: HawksFan50

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  64. cool base cards and some sweet signatures
    insta:Flamesfan_24

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