Thursday, April 26, 2018

2017-2018 Upper Deck Ice Review

Upper Deck's acetate-a-licious brand comes at collectors with on-card autographs and the chance to land one of the coveted Ice Premier rookie cards numbered to just 99. Ice has been a favorite among collectors for years because of its unique design and rare inserts. Let's see how Upper Deck continues the Ice tradition in this year's release of the product.

When it comes to the base cards, Ice has some of the best around. The all-acetate cards look great. The acetate has a blue tint to it so it is not completely clear. The player's name, team, and position are all collected on the left side of the card. On camera, the foil made the player's name a bit difficult to see but in standard lighting there was no problem reading it.

The back side of the card is well done as typically acetate cards leave little room for much. But Upper Deck has the experience now to make sure the backs of these cards don't look like an afterthought. They've done a nice job with the limitations an all acetate card can bring. Great job to the designers of this card as it comes together very nicely.

Since going to the all-acetate formula a few years back, the Ice Premier rookie cards have lost a little bit of their thunder in terms of their uniqueness in the set. I thought it was cool that the rookie cards stood out as the only acetate cards in the main set. As they stand now, though their design is different than the standard base, they don't really pop out of the set as they once did. I'm sure the big rookies will still be worth their weight in gold... but from a design perspective I think there is a little less luster here.

Boxes of Ice only come with 6 packs, and you only get 4 cards per pack. There really isn't much you get when buying a box. I feel that Upper Deck has really refined the product. Sometimes I miss the larger box with more cards, but in the end, I think the modern collector will be alright with having higher quality (but less) base cards.

In terms of hits, each box of Ice has an on-card autographed card and either a memorabilia or Exquisite card. I love that the signatures are on-card. The blue ink on the acetate imparts a sweet look. I am, however, a little bummed at the decision to make the Exquisite card a possible substitute for another hit. Their are Exquisite hits available, but my box had a plain old Exquisite base card - and that wasn't a very exciting pull.

Overall, Ice is a fun product to break with some very nice looking cards to collect. There are a ton of hits to find, but not a lot of hits when buying at the box level. Ice is a moderately priced product that can be attained by most collectors. I'd definitely give it a try as Ice is one of Upper Deck's better brands.

Overall Score: 8/10

Friday, April 6, 2018

2017-2018 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee Platinum Review

After a few weeks of no new NHL releases, Upper Deck comes out with OPC Platinum for collectors to get their hands on. OPC Platinum is a brand that has been around for a few years. It's pretty friendly on the budget and offers collectors an array of parallel cards to chase. Hit collectors will appreciate that each box contains an on-card autograph to look forward to.

Each box of OPC Platinum comes with 20 packs. At four cards per pack you'll get eighty total cards after you're all said and done. In opening my box, I found that you'll pretty much get three base cards and 'something else' in each pack. That 'something else' could be a retro variation, parallel card, or a hit. OPC Platinum boxes come under that hundred dollar mark. I would consider this product to be in the mid-end range when compared to everything else that is out there.

The OPC Platinum base cards are completely foil board. Often times all foil cards in sets like these tend to bend, but these cards are slightly thicker in feel. I don't suspect that they will bend or bow as time goes on. In terms of design, the OPC Platinum base cards carry the same look as their standard OPC regular cards released at the beginning of the hockey season. The back of the card is nice and glossy as typical of a modern release, however, how cool would it be if these cards had the foil front and old school cardboard backs? Make it happen Upper Deck!

The variety in this collection of cards comes with the parallel cards. If you love chasing parallels and collecting rainbows, this is the set to do it with. The standard rainbow parallel has a refractor-like shimmer. These are the easiest to find as they fall one in four packs. Other colors have more difficult rates and some are even serial numbered. The Golden Treasures parallel is the top of the class as they are 1 of 1's.

Mixing it up a little are the insert cards found in OPC Platinum. Platinum Records, Destined for Glory, and In Action are all insert sets found within OPC Platinum this year. These insert cards share the same foil look as the base, just with a different design. Autographed variations of the insert cards can be found in packs, but they are usually pretty tough pulls.

Most of the autographs found in OPC Platinum will be the rookie autographed cards. These come about one per box and have a nice on-card signature. Upper Deck has done this for the past few years with OPC Platinum and it has been a nice draw for collectors to chase when busting boxes of OPC Platinum. Getting only one rookie auto in the box does make the chances of pulling a great one pretty difficult, however.

O-Pee-Chee Platinum isn't a bad product, but it also isn't that exciting. For me, there are probably too many parallels of the base cards. I tend to like cards that carry a lot of value, and the parallels here aside from the very rare ones seem to be just filler. Putting an entire rainbow of a player would be pretty cool looking though. I think OPC Platinum works best as a retail product. There are plenty of fancy looking cards and enough hits to be exciting at that level. As a hobby product, I'm just indifferent.

If you like comparisons, OPC Platinum has a very similar feel to Panini's Prizm product. If you like that set then this one should be right up your alley!

Overall Score: 7/10