Sunday, July 1, 2012

Retail Review #3 (11/12 UD Black Diamond Blaster Box)

Welcome to the third installment of Retail Review! Thanks to everyone for suggesting products for me to open. Unfortunately, the Target that I live near has an incredibly small selection of hockey cards. I did, however, pick up a blaster box of 11/12 Upper Deck Black Diamond that someone had asked to see in a comment. So there ya go! Let's see how I do!

Price - 
$19.99 + Tax

Packs - 6
11/12 Upper Deck Black Diamond Blaster Packs

Black Diamond is a mid to lower level price range product that comes out early in the hockey season. It has a more premium feel than the standard Upper Deck Series, but is definitely not as popular. In terms of design, Black Diamond has always utilized a foil board card that looks pretty nice - it's a signature for these cards. Back Diamond is also known for a unique tiered system that classifies cards into single, double, triple, and quad diamond rarity levels. In terms of retail level packs, I have always avoided getting them. I have never felt that getting anything of substance was really attainable given the crazy odds in Black Diamond. Checking the odds for the different types of cards available is downright scary. A simple jersey card which comes 2 per hobby box is a staggering 1 in 48 packs within a blaster. Each blaster contains 6 packs... so on average there should yield 1 jersey card per 8 blaster boxes. Eight blaster boxes would cost you $160... you could get almost 2 hobby boxes (4 jerseys and more) for that amount of money. Well, Retail Review is not about making sense of price levels... it's about OPENING RETAIL! So here we go!

Let's see what I got in my 11/12 UD Black Diamond Blaster:

Review -
This blaster box of 11/12 Black Diamond was great compared to my expectations of it. I had gotten one blaster of Black Diamond as a gift for Christmas last year, and that box had absolutely nothing in it. If memory serves me right there may have been one double diamond card in it. So my hopes for this box were along those lines. Even though the names I pulled may not have been the greatest, I totally won in terms of beating the odds. I was sort of holding out a bit of hope in getting a jersey, but my expectations were completely fulfilled by getting a Gemography card. Add to that a decent quad diamond rookie and you have yourself a relatively happy consumer.

For my top 3 cards this week I will pick the 3 cards that I was most excited about getting within this product. Having a bunch of single diamond cards makes selecting the top three pretty easy. Number one and two are no brainers here. In fact, they could be switched around depending on what criteria I wanted to base it on - value or rarity.

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Gordie Howe Card No. 20
There are so many things that are cool about this card. The first has to be the combination of retro and modern. It's awesome to see a black and white photograph given the Black Diamond foil treatment. I just think this card looks great with those two opposing elements. The second reason I like this card is because of a design coincidence. Black Diamond utilized black, silver, and red in its base card color scheme this year. Well, red happens to be Detroit's main color. Having those red highlights on this card is a beautiful, if not unintentional, thing. And lastly, it's Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe! That's gotta count for something too!

#2 - Brandon Saad Card No. 240
This card could actually be number one in my top three if I were going strictly by value alone. But to me it's the number two card of the break. Brandon Saad is a relatively popular rookie this year, and he definitely has some followers. I should know because I actually pulled the gold version numbered to 10 of this same card and sold it for quite a hefty amount to a Saad fan when the product was first released. Getting a Quad Diamond Rookie Gem is great, as even in hobby boxes they are only about one per box. Saad could turn out to be a very good player and this card is one that could see a rise in value. Glad to have my hands on this one.

#1 - Arturs Kulda Gemography Autograph Card
I just had to put this card at number one. The odds of pulling a Gemography autograph according to the side of the blaster box is 1:1200 packs. Wow... I mean WOW those are some tough odds! In terms of boxes, these Gemography cards are put one into every TWO HUNDRED blaster boxes. It was definitely more than a surprise to get this card. Though I am disappointed at the name on the card, I am still happy that I was able to pull a card like this from a blaster. I bought a few boxes of Black Diamond this year and never pulled a Gemography. I would have never thought I would get one from a retail blaster from Target. My shock value at this makes this cards number one. By the way, this same card is available on eBay 'Buy it Now' for $1.99.

Overall Value -
$20 for a six pack blaster box of Black Diamond is usually not worth it. In my case today I clearly broke the odds and got some decent things out. Would I ever recommend a blaster of Black Diamond to anyone... the answer is a resounding NO! I would instead suggest getting a blaster of Upper Deck Series 1 or 2 over this. They are a better value and much less risky. So my overall score today is skewed upward a bit, please keep that into consideration as I believe my box was an anomaly.

I wonder what I'd pull if I got another blaster of Black Diamond...

Let me know what you thought of my 11/12 Black Diamond blaster box down in the comments below. Have you ever gotten anything good from a Black Diamond blaster? I'd love to know!

Overall Value Score:

Every Sunday look out for another exciting installment of Retail Review!

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