Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2017-2018 Upper Deck SP Authentic Review

SP Authentic has always been a collector's favorite. In fact, for a long while it was my personal favorite set to collect. The clean design and opportunity to collect on-card rookie autographs were a big draw. SPA still has many of the hits that collectors know and love, but over the years it feels like Upper Deck has decreased the number of hits you can find in boxes of the product. SPA is still a great brand, but I wonder if the value is really there.


Unlike many of Upper Deck's recent products, SPA has remained very similar in terms of how it comes to collectors. SPA comes in a longer box configuration with three columns of packs. There are 18 total packs in the box with Upper Deck guaranteeing 2 autographs within it. With 18 packs to choose from, getting the hit would take a hot hand if buying by the pack. Two hits, with one of them guaranteed to be a Future Watch rookie, seems like less than what you used to get when buying SPA. In past iterations of this brand, I remember getting around 3 autographs per box. And that didn't seem like enough back then. Getting just two is just bogus!

While I feel that there should be more hits in SPA, the look of the cards are still top notch. The cards retain their elegant simplicity. I love the subtle team colors incorporated in the background of the card. The amount of foil is just right. These cards may not be the flashiest produced, but there is just something about them that absolutely screams quality. The backs of the cards are also quite nice. They are in full color and provide a good amount of stats and a write up to read.

The main draw of SP Authentic are the Future Watch Autographs. Hitting a great rookie from this set is like striking gold. It's a great feeling. Getting a rookie patch autograph would be even better! The only issue with this is that getting that one spectacular card is very daunting. With only one FWA per box, trying to land a top tier rookie is tough. And like I mentioned before, I remember getting about two FWAs per box just a few years ago. Getting just one is definitely discouraging.

While the hits have seemed to fall off in recent years, the number of subsets and inserts have gone up. One of the more unique inserts are the Upper Deck Bounty cards. They have a special scratch off plate on the back that reveals a code. Collect these cards and they can be redeemed for a limited set from Upper Deck.

Pink parallel cards are also found in packs along with Upper Deck updates and Milestones. All the cards look very nice (especially the Milestones), but they fall shot because of the lack of hits per box! I just want one more hit per box!!!

And I guess that's just it. Getting one more hit for the price of a box would have made this product very good, if not great. As it stands, I still think SPA is worth a buy, but it does seem less of a value than it used to be.

Overall Score: 9/10

9 comments:

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