Sunday, May 26, 2013

Retail Review #50 (08/09 Upper Deck Artifacts Blaster)

Someone out there asked for an Artifacts break... and I just so happened to have ordered one! This blaster is from the 08/09 season. This actually might be the first time I've ever opened an 08/09 Artifacts product. It'll be interesting to bust into it as I'm not sure what even the base cards look like. I usually try to stay away from Artifacts (of any year). Will this box show me that I should buy more of this stuff... or continue staying away from it? Let's find out!

Price - 

Packs - 8
08/09 Upper Deck Artifacts Blaster Packs

Upper Deck usually puts out a solid product with their Artifacts line of cards. The design is always on the elegant side, and UD doesn't shy away from a generous use of foil. When buying hobby boxes of Artifacts, collectors get a very complete opening experience. Hobby boxes are loaded with jersey cards, autographs, and rookie redemption cards. When buying retail, the experience changes quite a bit. The cards are still beautiful and pleasing to look at, but finding hits within retail is very, very difficult. Since the suggested price of a blaster is so high, you would expect to have a good chance of at least a jersey card... but that is not the case. I'll be interested to see what exactly comes from this box.

Let's take a look at what comes out of it:

Review -
As I opened up the packs of Artifacts, I was struck by how well the design has held up. Though just about my entire break was base, they were good looking base cards. If I were a non-collector purchasing a box of this, I think I would enjoy the cool design and the amount of star names found within the box. As Artifacts usually has only a small number of cards per base set, the chances of pulling star names is pretty high - and that was evidenced in this box of Artifacts.

The problem with Artifacts retail blasters is that they are not satisfying to the general card collecting population. Collectors look for hits... but sadly those are very few and far between when opening blasters. There aren't even really any interesting non-hit inserts to try and find here. The one 'special' card found in this blaster was something that could probably be found in the $.25 bin at a card show somewhere.

It just wasn't very fun opening up packs of base after base.

Still gotta come up with a top three, so here they are for this week:

Top 3 Cards

#3 - Patrick Marleau Card No. 16
Patty Marleau shows up as he was one of two Sharks to come out of this blaster. Marleau is having a solid time in the playoffs this year, and has always been a solid player for San Jose. I like this card because the teal colors of the uniform really stand out from the brown/bronze background. Though it clashes, the effect is pleasing and makes Patrick really jump out of the card.

#2 - Dominik Hasek Card No. 67
Probably my least favorite uniform I like to see Hasek in is the Red Wings... but he is still always a fun pull to get for me. Many of you know that keep a small PC of the Dominator. He was a great goalie with truly unorthodox methods. You loved it or you hated it!

#1 - Brad Richards Card No. 69
This Richards card gets the top spot as it was the only card of note to come out of the blaster. This base parallel card is has gold foil rather than the regular bronze and is numbered 74/75. I can't really say much about this 'special' card as I don't find it very special - a disappointing card for the top spot!

Overall Value -
I asked myself if this box would make me want to purchase more Artifacts blasters in the future... well... the answer is a resounding 'NO'! Artifacts is just not worth it at retail. If Upper Deck guaranteed a hit per box, that would be a different story. But as it stands now, Artifacts is a terrible buy at just about any price. Though the base cards are pretty, this retail product just doesn't deliver for amount of money it costs.

Let me know what you thought of my 08/09 Upper Deck Artifacts blaster in the comment section below. Have you ever pulled anything good out of one of these? I'd love to hear about it.

Overall Value Score:

Look for a new episode of Retail Review every Sunday!


  1. hi i was wondering if you buy your boxes of cards or do you get them for free? I am just wondering this because you have so many boxes of great cards. Thanks!

    1. thanks for the question! i do get some boxes free to review from panini... but the majority of the boxes you see, and all retail review boxes are ones that i bought with my own money. i try to find the best deals possible on them and save on shipping by getting them in bulk when possible.

  2. Ok, thanks and one more question. Did you contact Panini and ask them for a box or did they contact you?

    1. i contacted them and had some talks with them. i've also reached out to upper deck and itg with no success.

    2. Thank you! i also wrote to ITG, but they said they will think about it and Panini did not give me a response. Where did you contact Panini? Did you email them or used the Contact Us page? How long did it take for Panini to respond?
      Thank you very much!

  3. I oppened one of these as well and i payed $10 for it and i got 2 jerseys. Eric Cole and Joe Thornton so not bad for 10 bucks.