Thursday, December 31, 2020

2019-2020 Upper Deck Chronology Volume II

It's seems like a long while since Chronology Vol. 1, but Volume 2 of this release is out and adds current players to the mix. Collectors will find on-card autographs in the product along with Letterman and Masterpiece autographs. Back also are the Time Capsule rip cards that give you the opportunity to either keep the card intact or open it to reveal a mini card inside. It's an interesting, but pricey, product that collectors will have to weigh the merit of before buying.

Product Thoughts
Each pack comes with just four cards to enjoy - and one of them is a base card - so the price per card is pretty steep. Boxes of Chronology will run anywhere between $125-175 USD depending on where you find it. The base cards are serial numbered, but their values will be pretty minimal. The base cards actually remind me a bit of Artifacts from years back. They have that marbled look to them that evokes a time when civilizations would build huge monuments and buildings with pillars. Sadly, these cards don't have the heft of that era of time. The base cards feel a bit thin so you don't get that premium card quality to them. It would have been nice to either eliminate the base cards or at least make them the thickness of an Ultimate Collection card - or better yet - get really creative and have a faux marble feel to them. That might justify the price these costs a little more. As they stand, they are the equivalent of serial numbered Artifacts base cards.

When I first learned about Chronology Vol 2, I thought the set would be completely made up of current players. That's not the case as you'll still find retired players within the packs. I don't mind getting retired players, but I thought it would be nice to really distinguish the two sets of Chronology between current and retired players - making each set very unique. Though one good thing about the older players is that their signatures tend to be much better than the current players' sigs. Notice the signature of Chris Nilan above. It may not be the most fancy, but it has a unique quality to it and quite obviously is his full name.

Now check out Ryan Poehling's autograph! It's basically just his initials on the card. I'm not a fan of his signature. And speaking of not being a fan of something... the Letterman cards are also kind of bogus. Upper Deck tweeted out that because of the COVID situation, they couldn't get the letters manufactured as they typically do, so the Letterman cards were printed on these plastic-y name plate material. Unfortunately, it's not a good look for the set and very puzzling for collectors who end up pulling them. Perhaps they should have renamed the set something like locker room plates - at least that would have made a little more sense.

I was really hoping to get a Masterpiece autographed card in my box, but ended up with a Time Capsule instead. The Masterpiece cards look like the painted sets that Upper Deck used to make. The set features gorgeous autographs on them. The Time Capsule cards give you the added fun of opening up the back to find a mini card. I'd trade that type of fun for an autograph just about any day! A Pierre-Luc Dubois mini came out of the Malkin Time Capsule. There wasn't anything really special about it save that it was serial numbered to 60. I probably should have just kept it sealed up... hindsight's 20/20!

  • Masterpiece autographs look great and are popular with collectors.
  • On-card autographs.
  • Current NHL players have been added.
  • Expensive for a product that doesn't have much of a WOW factor.
  • Letterman cards fall flat.
  • 4 cards.

Overall Rating: