Saturday, January 18, 2020

2019-2020 Upper Deck Trilogy Review


Upper Trilogy is what I would term as a mid-high-end brand. It certainly isn't cheap, but the quality and types of hits in it aren't the most desirable. It ends up being stuck in an awkward space within the card collecting hobby. In years past, Trilogy had a clear theme of threes... now it's just its name.

Product Thoughts
Trilogy is released as a product in a vein similar to that of Artifacts. In fact, the box is about the same size. There are a few hits per box (typically 3), but with no guarantee of an autograph. When breaking a box, collectors will predominantly find base cards and Rookie Rendition cards. The base cards have a very typical design for Trilogy - but these cards have never been a collector favorite. 


Trilogy has their 'Rookie Premiers' line of rookie cards within the product. These come in three levels of collectability. The cards feature a full foil surface with serial numbering. As the levels go up, the rarity goes higher as does the closeness to the player in terms of their photograph. The most desirable versions of these cards would be the autographed ones. But just as with Trilogy as a whole, Rookie Premier cards aren't a huge hobby favorite. They are passed up by more popular rookie sets such as Young Guns and Future Watches.


Rookie Renditions are prominently featured within packs of Trilogy. I personally feel that there are too many of these cards within the set. The cards look 'ok', but the bottom portion of the card is taken up too much by the brand and set name. I find these cards redundant as there are already Rookie Premier cards for the rookies. These Rookie Rendition cards don't seem to have much of a purpose other than to flood this set with rookies.


If you're' looking for plain jersey cards, you'll enjoy these Rookie Rendition jerseys. Of course, these are just the lowest form of these cards. Better versions will feature autographs, patches, and low serial numbering. Unfortunately, most collectors will be stuck with these plain jersey cards in their boxes.


As if plain rookie jerseys weren't enough, the base cards have jersey variations to them as well. Though this is a plain jersey card, the design does look quite nice with the red color in it. Similarly to the Rookie Renditions memorabilia cards, these also come with many different levels of parallels that feature better and rarer materials.


Some collectors have really enjoyed the Signature Puck cards found in Trilogy in the past. I can see why as the puck is such an integral part of the game. These cards remind me of the baseball material cards that Upper Deck used to make. It's a decent concept and the cards are fun, but there is just something about the standard version of these that needs a little more pop. Or it could just be that the one I got was Oliver Bjorkstrand.

Positives:
  • Less expensive to purchase than in years past.
  • Lots of rookie content.
  • Chance to get tags and patches.
Negatives:
  • A product that collectors are lukewarm about.
  • Still expensive for what you get.
  • Boxes contain mostly jersey cards from what I've seen.

Overall Rating:

6/10

Monday, January 13, 2020

2019-2020 Parkhurst Review


Parkhurst has been out for a while now, but I have only just seen it at my local Wal-Mart. It's a Wal-Mart retail exclusive which makes it a pretty difficult find for me since hockey isn't big where I'm at. Parkhurst is a relatively low-tier brand that nets you quite a bit of cards. The pack opening experience harkens back to the days when there were actually quite a few cards per pack. Thankfully, there are more than just base cards to look forward to when opening up this product.

Product Thoughts
For me, white borders usually signify a lower-end product. Throughout the 90's and early 00's, lower-end cards had these white borders. I'm not a huge fan of them as they give the cards a cheap feel to them. The green Parkhurst color scheme is also a bit awkward on hockey cards. Green isn't a color that is particularly associated with hockey, so having it prominently splashed over the card makes for a curious choice. I just find that the cards have a dated look with design choices that aren't up to par for a modern card. I don't believe Upper Deck is trying to design a retro looking card here either. These cards are just stuck in the middle of nowhere.


Rookies (and All-Stars) have a special designation added to them. I do, however, get the same vibe as the standard base card. These cards look dated and the 'Rookie' addition just heightens the dated look. The font used is questionable to me. However... for some strange reason I like it... it's sort of pure cheese!


Opening up a blaster of Parkhurst will net you quite a bit of inserts and parallels. Thankfully, there aren't any pure base packs to be found. The inserts typically take on a shiny form with parallel cards opting for gold or silver borders. The standard inserts are very common, but some very low numbered cards as well as autographs can be found in the product.


I'm a bit mixed when it comes to this product. I am not a huge fan of the design, but somehow its cheesiness attracts me a little. I suppose it does bring back a small sense of nostalgia for cards made at the turn of the century. If I saw some again on my visit to Wal-Mart I'd probably want to pick up another blaster of it as it is a pretty fun break.

Positives:
  • Lots of cards to find in blasters.
  • Inserts cards can be found in just about every pack.
  • Not an expensive product.
Negatives:
  • Only available at Wal-Mart (and Upper Deck e-Packs).
  • Awkward design elements that seem dated.
  • Hits are very tough pulls.

Overall Rating:

7/10